1236: WhoTube

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 48m
April 23rd, 2020
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Executive Producers: Sir Dude named Ben Defender of Megawatts protector of the Electric Grid, Kyle Davis

Associate Executive Producers: Baronet Sir Charles Knight of the Coin Operated Laundromat, John Kresic, Nelson Mullins

Cover Artist: Darren O'Neill

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TODAY
In the future there will be containment operations to “keep the public safe” from small outbreaks. Yeah right.
Trump skill is understanding scale. Massive scale.
OTG
SSL upgrade iPhone 5C bullcrap
Need app that measures Bluetooth distance and yells out to socially distance citizen!
Pork
The Meat Packers are scamming Brian the Beef Producer
The packers set the price for cattle coming out of the
feed lots, when a animal is at the size to be slaughtered (1400 lbs is the max)
they have to go. If the steer or heifer
gets larger then the maximum weight the feed lots have to take a deduction on
price because the packers can’t fit as many cuts into a box.
They told feed lots 92 cents a pound for fed cattle
because the hysteria of Covid19 knowing there was going to be a buying frenzy.
They were telling feed lots “I’m not sure how much I can give you” and Turing
around and selling ground chuck 6.00 a pound, limit 2 per customer
A few years ago the packers told the feed lot to get the
cattle as big as you can when there was a slowdown, when 2,000 lbs steers came
on line to be slaughtered they turned around and fucked them for oversized
cuts. So feed lots hands are tied, they either sell the ones they have now at a
small loss or get a check with a undisclosed closed deduction in a few months.
The senate is investigating this right now on a the
principle that the packers knew what was coming. The California cattleman's
association is spear heading a investigation into futures. The packers control
the futures by reports that say how many cattle they think they are going to
have to slaughter in the next few months surprisingly they are often low on
their estimations. Four packing companies kill almost all the cattle in the US.
I might be able to communicate this over the phone better
sorry I’m not a HAM.
Fears grow for food supply as Tyson halts operations, processing plants become coronavirus hotspots
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 06:53
By Frances Mulraney For Dailymail.com 17:09 22 Apr 2020, updated 23:06 22 Apr 2020
Tyson became the third major U.S. pork shutdown Wednesday announcing the closure of their plant in Waterloo, Iowa The plant is critical to the nation's pork supply 180 employees have coronavirus and more positive tests are expectedEmployees at Kraft Heinz' Holland, Michigan, plant criticized the company for not providing face masks as two employees test positiveThe plant remains open despite the outbreakStaff at Smithfield's closed Sioux Falls plant have also hit out about the lack of safe protective equipment provided They say they were given hair and beard nets instead of face masksThe plant is now one of the largest coronavirus clusters in the United States with 760 employees testing positive Here's how to help people impacted by Covid-19Fears are increasing the American food supply chain could be disrupted as further coronavirus outbreaks are confirmed in food processing plants and more closures are announced.
Processing plants in 10 states have now reported outbreaks as Tyson Food Inc. suspended operations Wednesday at an Iowa plant that is critical to the nation's pork supply.
More than 180 infections have been linked to the plant and officials expect that number to dramatically rise.
It is at least the ninth major plant across the US forced to reduce operations or close altogether due to outbreaks among their employees.
It comes as shocking details emerge about the lack of protective equipment provided to plant workers around the country.
At Smithfield's Sioux Falls plant, the location of one of the country's worst coronavirus clusters with more than 760 employees infected, staff claim they were given hairnets instead of masks to cover their faces.
Workers at the Kraft Heinz food plant in Holland, Michigan, also claim that the company has been slow in providing personnel protective equipment as two workers there test positive.
Workers at Smithfield's pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, claim they were provided with these hair nets instead of proper face masks. The factory, which is now closed, has one of the largest cluster outbreaks in the country infecting more than 760 workers As Tyson becomes the third large pork processing plant to close following a coronavirus outbreak, there are fears about a break in the food supply and a shortage of fresh meat. Pictured is an empty chicken and poultry food case in New Jersey on March 13 Tyson will close its pork processing facility in Waterloo, Iowa, as the meat processing industry takes another hit amid the coronavirus pandemic. The company will continue to pay workersTyson became the third major U.S. pork processing plant to shut down Wednesday as it was forced to close their Waterloo facility in Iowa, adding to concerns about the country's meat supply.
The Iowa plant is critical to the nation's pork supply but had been blamed for fueling a massive coronavirus outbreak in the community.
Tyson had kept the facility, its largest pork plant, open in recent days over the objections of local officials.
The plant can process 19,500 hogs per day, accounting for nearly 4 percent of U.S. pork processing capacity, according to the National Pork Board.
More than 180 infections have been linked to the plant and officials expect that number to dramatically rise.
A 65-year-old employee in the plant's laundry department died Sunday after contracting the virus, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier newspaper reported.
The plant was already running at reduced levels due to worker absenteeism but will now close until further notice, according to a statement released Wednesday.
Workers will continue to be paid while the factory is closed and there will be coronavirus testing held there for all 2,800 employees this week.
The company said its other meat and poultry plants are continuing to operate although some at a reduced level.
The closure of the Waterloo facility comes as the meatpacking industry, in particular, struggles to prevent the spread of coronavirus among its workers.
Closures are having a cascading effect on the supply chain as farmers, truckers, distributors and supermarkets are all affected.
'It means the loss of a vital market outlet for farmers and further contributes to the disruption of the nation's pork supply,' Steve Stouffer, group president of Tyson Fresh Meats, said in the statement.
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Employers have struggled to contain the virus in meatpacking plants, where workers toil side by side on production lines and often share crowded locker rooms, cafeterias and rides to work.
While plants have added safety measures, public health experts say social distancing is virtually impossible in them.
Tyson's Waterloo closure was the third major pork shutdown after JBS SA shuttered its pork-processing facility in Minnesota and Smithfield Foods Inc. closed its slaughter plant in South Dakota.
The closed Smithfield plant is one of the nation's largest pork processing facilities, representing 4 percent to 5 percent of U.S. pork production, according to the company.
It has also become the location of one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the country, as staff express fears they have not been provided with adequate protective equipment.
More than 760 workers were infected as of Wednesday.
Speaking to Good Morning America, forklift operator Michael Bul Gayo Gatluak said that they were provided with a hair or beard net to cover their mouth and nose instead of a mask.
According to the Argus Leader, before the plant's closure, many workers were bringing in their own homemade masks because they were unhappy with the ones provided, which were not made with CDC-recommended face mask material.
Workers were also reportedly offered a $500 'responsibility bonus' if they didn't miss work in April.
Smithfield forklift operator Michael Bul Gayo Gatluak told Good Morning America that the employees at the coronavirus hotspot were given hairnets instead of facemasks at the plant A Smithfield worker posted their mask on FacebookSmithfield employee Sherronda Sessoms posted her mask to Facebook on April 15'Because management drug its feet and didn't act quickly, that's why it's a hot spot,' said Kooper Caraway, president of the Sioux Falls AFL-CIO, a labor federation that represents local unions, including the Smithfield United Food and Workers Union.
'And we're seeing the cases go up every day. No matter what the latest numbers are, I promise you there's more than that.'
Chinese-owned Smithfield has said it is doing it can to protect its staff.
'We are doing everything in our power to protect our team members from Covid-19 in the workplace, implementing 17 measures including boosting protective equipment like masks,' it said in a statement.
Workers at the Kraft Heinz food production plant in Holland Michigan also voiced concern about the protective equipment supplied after two workers tested positive Tuesday.
Three more are presumed to have the virus and others are in self-quarantine.
Kraft Heinz Company's Holland plant remains open despite two employees testing positive for coronavirus with three more thought infected. The plant closed Sunday for cleaningThe plant remains open but was closed Sunday for extensive cleaning, Kraft Heinz Corporate Affairs Senior Vice President Michael Mullen said in a statement.
A union representing the plant's 227 employees, however, has said that there have been no 'real negotiations around essential pay and quarantine procedures', according to the Detroit Free Press.
'Weeks ago, workers were promised masks, and they're still yet to arrive, despite promises from management day after day that they would,' the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Local 705 said.
The union also criticized the company for supplying a $100 bonus only to workers who were not absent, meaning those who are out sick or in quarantine do not qualify.
Mullens argued that the masks should arrive at the plant this week and that employees are no longer being asked to take vacation days if they need to quarantine.
He added that social distancing procedures have been added to production lines and temperature checks will begin next week.
Other food production plant owners are warning that implementing social distancing guidelines in the work space is not easy, however, as companies struggle to rearrange the line production to keep their workers safe.
'We've been able to implement some social distancing measures in the plant but it's not possible to completely change the way the manufacturing process is configured and still operate and still meet this high level of demand,' Patrick Criteser, President and CEO of Tillamook County Creamery Association, told Good Morning America.
'Some of the jobs, they are literally elbow to elbow. Some ways they stand a little bit apart but most of the ways they're side by side right, the way down the line,' one meatpacking inspector warned.
So far meat processing plants have been hit the hardest with ten states reporting an outbreak among employees.
Reduced meat output from the shutdowns threatens to tighten supplies of certain products at a time when demand is rising at grocery stores as the United States battles COVID-19.
Food producers say that there should be no long-term food shortages but there may be spot shortages in items such as fresh meat.
Patrick Criteser, President and CEO of Tillamook County Creamery Association, told Good Morning America that it is not possible to implement all social distancing guidelines in the food processing plant line and still keep operating and meeting demand from stores This meatpacking inspector identified only as Kevin said that some parts of the food processing line require people to be side by side making social distancing impossibleLockdowns that aim to stop the spread of the coronavirus have also prevented farmers across the globe from delivering food products to consumers.
Millions of laborers also cannot get to the fields for harvesting and planting, and there are too few truckers to keep goods moving.
Grocery store workers are also showing massive numbers of infection as they continue to work through the crowds of shoppers.
There are at least 3,000 grocery store workers showing symptoms and more than two dozen have died from the virus.
'The 95 percent of them, and higher, believe they are going to catch the virus because of what is happening in those stores because people aren't doing social distancing,' warned Marc Perone, International President of the United Food Commercial Workers International Union.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of coronavirus.
Scientists also say that temperatures above 135 Fahrenheit quickly kill coronavirus, meaning any meat cooked according to instructions should be free of the pathogen.
Green New Deal
Planet of the humans Doc
Debunks ap gore Sierra club bull rap 350.org etc 60% green is biomass
Right is afraid of dying -> God
Left is afraid of dying -> Save the planet
Problem is too many people as always.
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Thu, 23 Apr 2020 07:36
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Oil
Driven By The Dramatic Collapse Of US Shale, The Trump Administration Takes Aim At Venezuela
Sun, 19 Apr 2020 17:02
Loading ... President Trump has claimed that the U.S. no longer needs foreign oil and is ''energy independent.'' Yet, now the U.S. shale oil industry faces near total ruin, meaning that another ''war for oil'' could be in our future. With Trump again taking aim at Venezuela, we may be closer to war than we think. On Sunday, President Trump praised a deal reached largely by Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the top oil producers in the world who together dominate the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), saying that the agreed upon production cuts would ''save hundreds of thousands of energy jobs in the United States.''
Despite the president's rosy tone, most analysts have called the agreement '' which presumably will freeze the Saudi-Russian oil price war that broke out last month '' ''too little too late'' and have noted that a slew of bankruptcies from the U.S. shale oil industry are inevitable , despite the actions that have been taken. Even the Federal Reserve has stated that around 40% of domestic shale companies now face bankruptcy in just a few months if the price of oil remains under $30, a figure it is unlikely to pass for some time due to slumping demand caused by global lockdowns, among other factors that have emerged as the current coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis has played out. Trump has since fielded the possibility of imposing tariffs on oil imports to drive up oil prices and favor the domestic consumption of U.S. shale oil, but it remains to be seen if that policy will materialize.
Michael Hudson , President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a former Wall Street financial analyst and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, told The Last American Vagabond that, not only are numerous shale oil companies set to go out of business, but the entire shale oil industry in the U.S. ''can't be saved.''
''We have peak shale oil,'' Hudson stated, ''It was always an awful idea '... It's an over indebted sector and is one of the first to go.'' Hudson further asserted that the U.S. government's ''nurturing'' of the shale oil sector in recent years was chiefly aimed at targeting Russia's oil industry by driving down global oil prices, calling it an unsuccessful ''anti-Russian cold war campaign'' that has since backfired. He added that Trump's recent overtures with respect to the shale oil industry are likely aimed at ''making an excuse to give huge loans to the shale oil producers, as if it's to keep them in business, and then they [the oil companies] are just going to pay the loans to themselves and go out of business. It's a cover story for a huge corporate giveaway before this sector falls and goes bankrupt.''
Thus, the imminent reckoning for shale oil in the U.S. is unlikely to be stopped, despite the new production cuts and Trump's efforts last month to set aside billions for the purchase of shale oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), a move critics labeled as a bail-out for domestic ''Big Oil'' producers. In addition, the fate of U.S. shale oil is compounded by the possibility that the production cuts will not hold and that the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia could flare up again at any time. Previous yet recent OPEC-brokered deals of a similar nature have ended in this way, and it is very possible '' if not likely '' that it will happen again.
With oil extremely cheap at the moment, some of the issues raised by shale oil bankruptcies are not necessarily of immediate concern while demand remains low. Yet, if enough U.S. domestic oil producers go bankrupt, once current lockdowns are relaxed and oil demand creeps back up to relatively normal levels, there will be less domestic oil available, despite the SPR. As a result, the U.S. will again have to look more to other countries in order to make up the difference. Though the media thus far has explored the economic effects of this eventuality, less attention '' if any '' has been given to how it will impact U.S. foreign policy.
For years, President Trump has publicly claimed on several occasions that U.S. foreign policy objectives in the Middle East were no longer guided by oil due to the U.S. having obtained ''energy independence,'' ''independence'' that relies heavily on U.S. shale oil production. However, critics '' including Michael Hudson '' have long charged that this claim of energy independence is a ''deliberate falsification.'' Such claims are also supported by the fact that U.S. foreign policy in Iraq , Syria and elsewhere has remained linked to oil in key ways during this period of so-called ''domestic energy independence'' under Trump. Yet, the bankruptcies of 40% (or perhaps more) of U.S. shale oil producers would likely greatly increase the role oil plays in guiding U.S. foreign policy.
While there are many reasons as to why oil has long been a key factor in U.S. foreign policy (with the petrodollar ranking chief among them), another often overlooked reason is the U.S. military's heavy reliance on oil. Indeed, the U.S. military is the largest institutional purchaser and consumer of oil in the world and, therefore, securing a reliable, stable and ''ideally '' geographically nearby source of oil has long been deemed a critical, strategic objective by the Pentagon.
The Pentagon has said as much on numerous occasions, stating recently that '''... longer operating distances, remote and austere geography, and anti-access/area denial threats [areas or nations unfriendly to the U.S.] are challenging the Department's ability to assure the delivery of fuel. As the ability to deliver energy is placed at risk, so too is the Department's ability to deploy and sustain forces around the globe.''
In other words, long distances from fuel sources as well as fuel sources located in or near areas/nations that are hostile to the U.S. directly threaten U.S. empire and its global military presence. In addition, control and influence over global oil flows has long been a key component of military strategy, as noted in the '' Wolfowitz Doctrine .''
It is also worth noting that the economic calamity that threatens the domestic oil industry is not the only reliable, stable and geographically close oil supply to be hit by the crisis. For instance, Argentina's shale oil industry in the ''Vaca Muerta'' area also faces ruin , an endeavor that had largely been ''kick-started'' by Exxon Mobil after that company had been ejected from Venezuela and also includes considerable investments from another U.S. oil giant , Chevron '' a company ordered by the Trump administration to stop doing business in Venezuela by April 22 .
As domestic oil production collapses, the US returns its attention to Venezuela
Venezuela, the country with the world's largest proven oil reserves, has also made a seemingly odd reappearance on the Trump administration's list of priorities during the current coronavirus crisis. On March 26, the Department of Justice, led by Attorney General William Barr, announced narco-terrorism and other criminal charges against top Venezuelan officials, including the country's president Nicols Maduro, alleging that these officials are involved in the trafficking of cocaine to the United States. The charges were odd for a few reasons, one of the main ones being that the U.S. government's own data shows that Colombia, not Venezuela, is the source of the vast majority of cocaine that ends up in the U.S.
Then, on March 31, former CIA director and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a plan entitled ''Democratic Framework for Venezuela,'' where he demanded that Maduro resign and the ''opposition'' figure Juan Guaid" also relinquish his claim to the Venezuelan presidency, a claim to power that the U.S. had previously backed. Pompeo's plan calls for the formation of a council that would be led by an ''interim president'' (a title the U.S. had previously reserved for Guaid") and that the council would be formed by members of Venezuela's largest four political parties, including that led by Maduro. Unsurprisingly, Maduro's government rejected the plan.
The criminal charges against Maduro and Pompeo's ''democratic'' plan were quickly followed with much more troubling news. Announced at a press conference on April 1 , President Trump, alongside top government officials, announced that U.S. Southern Command would begin a new ''counter-narcotics effort'' targeting Venezuela that would include the deployment of Navy destroyers, combat ships, aircraft, helicopters and more. The official justification of this large deployment is to surveil, disrupt and seize shipments allegedly containing ''drugs'' that are leaving Venezuela. ''We must not let narco-terrorists exploit the pandemic to threaten American lives,'' Trump said at the time. It was also announced that other countries would be joining the U.S. in what amounts to both a military build-up and a de facto blockade of Venezuelan exports, including its oil.
Soon after the announcement regarding this new build-up and de facto naval blockade of Venezuela, U.S. media accused President Trump of using these announcements to deflect criticism about his administration's handling of the federal response to the coronavirus crisis. One report in Newsweek revealed that these initiatives with respect to Venezuela had been planned several months ago and were set to be announced this May. That report also alleged, citing senior Pentagon officials, that the administration had decided to announce the planned crackdowns on Venezuela sooner in order to ''redirect attention.''
However, there may be another reason that these initiatives targeting Venezuela were sped up: the carnage in shale oil markets in the U.S. as well as Argentina and the implications of that for U.S. access '' particularly the military's access '' to oil supplies once lockdowns and their associated economic effects begin to lessen.
Michael Hudson told The Last American Vagabond that the U.S. pivot towards Venezuela was ''absolutely'' related to the carnage in global oil markets and particularly the U.S. oil industry. He further argued that the U.S. was seeking to reimpose a debt-for-oil system that it had enjoyed under pre-Chavista governments in Venezuela: ''Under U.S.-backed dictators, Venezuela provided the collateral [for its debt] with all of its oil reserves'... [Now,] America wants to give IMF [International Monetary Fund] loans to Venezuela and [oversee] the collateralization of Venezuela's foreign debt with its oil reserves and then foreclose. [They want to] find an excuse to do to Venezuela what it did to Argentina, to grab Venezuela's oil reserves as collateral by '... preventing Venezuela from paying its foreign debt, [thus] forcing it to default on its foreign debt.''
This certainly seems to be a big part of the equation, as the U.S.-backed Juan Guaid" has long promoted IMF loans and personally sought sizable loans from that organization to finance his ''interim government,'' which controls essentially nothing in Venezuela. More recently, the IMF rejected Venezuela's request for a loan to help it combat the coronavirus crisis, but the IMF has reportedly offered to give the country such a loan were Venezuela's President, Nicolas Maduro, to step down and cede authority to a U.S.-backed ''emergency government.''
Yet, there is much more to be concerned about than the IMF and the U.S.' interest in imposing a debt-for-oil scheme on Venezuela. As Hudson told The Last American Vagabond, one very notable ''great threat'' is the parallel between the recent U.S. policy and military moves towards Venezuela and the moves that were made by the George H.W. Bush administration just prior to the 1989 invasion of Panama. ''America would like to grab Venezuela's oil and it wouldn't be the first time,'' said Hudson.
Regime change in the time of coronavirus
Though recent mainstream media reports claimed that the sudden reappearance of Venezuela on the White House's agenda was merely political theater, subsequent events suggest something e lse. This past Saturday, U.S. envoy for Venezuela '' war criminal and Project for a New American Century neo-con Elliott Abrams '' stated that , if Venezuela's Maduro did not agree to the Pompeo plan for a new ''transition government,'' a transition in Venezuelan governance would still occur, but would be more ''dangerous and abrupt.'' Abrams' comments failed to generate much buzz in the media, as the April 1 press conference and announcement had done, despite the fact that Abrams was essentially starting that ''dangerous and abrupt'' action would be taken to force Maduro from power.
There is also the added mystery of an incident that took place right before the announcement of the large deployment of U.S. military assets to target ''narco-terrorism.'' On the last day of March, a Venezuelan coast guard ship asked a Portuguese cruise ship, the ''RCGS Resolute,'' that was in Venezuelan territorial waters to accompany it to port. Instead, the cruise ship rammed the Venezuelan vessel, sinking it. Maduro subsequently claimed that the cruise ship ''was being used to transport mercenaries,'' noting that Dutch authorities in Curacao, where the ''RCGS Resolute'' is currently docked, had been instructed to not inspect the ship. The company that owns the cruise ship, however, asserts that it is carrying no passengers and disputes Venezuela's account of why the coast guard vessel was sunk.
In addition to this disconcerting event, there is the fact that the U.S.' recently announced military build-up is the largest in the region since the U.S. invasion of Panama, which took place in 1989 during the George H.W. Bush administration. Disturbingly, the same Attorney General that greenlit the invasion of Panama once again serves in that same role in today's administration, William Barr. At the time of the Panama invasion, it was Barr who created the legal justification for the war, arguing that the U.S. had the ''legal authority'' to arrest Panama's then-dictator Manuel Noriega on drug charges, despite him not residing in the U.S. To think that Barr would not do so again is naive, especially considering that Trump had previously pushed to invade Venezuela, citing the invasion of Panama as an example of successful ''gunboat diplomacy,'' and has long talked about '' taking the oil '' of foreign countries and, in places like Syria , has used military force to do just that.
Though the 1989 invasion of Panama was dressed up in the typical rhetoric of restoring ''democracy'' and promoting ''human rights,'' it was actually waged with the intention to utterly destroy Panama's military. Why would the U.S. want to destroy Panama's capacity for self-defense? The answer lies in the treaty that then existed between Panama and the U.S. over the Panama canal, whereby control over the canal would eventually be returned to the Panamanians.
The only ''loophole'' for the U.S. to retain control of the canal, per that treaty, was if Panama became incapable of defending it. Notably, the gradual turnover of control of the canal was set to begin just ten days after the Bush administration's invasion of Panama ended. Not long after the invasion, in 1991, the U.S. passed a law that ensured an indefinite U.S. military presence in the canal zone due to the fact that Panama (thanks to the U.S. invasion) could no longer defend that territory.
There are other notable points regarding the invasion of Panama that are seemingly relevant today as well. For instance, media's effort to manufacture public consent for the invasion was largely centered around pointing out Manuel Noriega's involvement in narco-trafficking and Panama's lack of democracy under his rule. Of course, this rhetoric has obvious similarities to current rhetoric involving Venezuela.
However, this media campaign, in Noriega's case, failed to note that the Noriega's role in drug smuggling was largely on the behalf of U.S. interests and that Noriega had closely collaborated with then-President, George H.W. Bush, when he had served as CIA director. In addition, Noriega was well known at the time to have been on the CIA payroll for years. Such reports also overlooked the fact that the CIA had recently been caught driving the trafficking of drugs and weapons between Central America and the U.S. as part of the Iran Contra scandal. If these reports had pointed this out, it would have made Noriega's involvement in these matters, including his supporting role in Iran Contra, appear negligible by comparison.
Similarly, today, efforts to link Venezuelan leadership to the drug trade fail to note that the U.S.-backed Juan Guaid" took selfies with a narco-paramilitary organization just a few months ago and that Colombian leadership and its military, the U.S.' biggest regional supporter of its Venezuela regime change agenda, both share direct ties to drug cartels.
It is also worth pointing out that, not only did the U.S. military hide the actual civilian death toll and cover up the war crimes committed during the invasion, they tested out new experimental weapons on the Panamanian people, which CounterPunch noted was ''a kind of dress rehearsal for the Persian Gulf War the following year.'' As many readers of this article are likely aware, the Trump administration has been making strong overtures about regime change, and potentially war, in Iran alongside their push for regime change in Venezuela. Were a similar invasion to occur in Venezuela, it seems likely that this pattern would repeat and would be treated as an experimental battlefield for a subsequent war in Iran.
The current confluence of factors suggests that such a Panama-style invasion of Venezuela is not only a possibility, but increasingly likely. Indeed, as previously mentioned, the U.S. has ordered the few U.S. companies that have been given waivers to avoid sanctions for their operations in Venezuela (namely Chevron) to terminate their dealings in the country by April 22 '' next Wednesday. In addition, soon after that date, Venezuela's oil sector is set to resume two joint oil ventures , one of which involves two European oil companies and another that involves Russia' Rosneft, which the U.S. sanctioned in February for doing business with Venezuela's state oil company. Those projects are due to re-initiate in May and July, respectively. The U.S. is openly opposed to these projects going forward and has threatened sanctions (and further sanctions in Rosneft's case) against the companies involved.
Taken in combination with Elliott Abrams' recent statements, the massive U.S. military build-up and the collapse of U.S. oil markets, such events seem to be pointing in the direction of an invasion being more likely than not . There is also the added layer of the U.S. facing a new ''Great Depression'' and these major economic downturns are often followed by the U.S. entering a major war. On the other hand, there is also the fact that most of the U.S. population is on lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis, making domestic resistance against such an invasion unlikely to manifest in any significant way. If Americans aren't careful and don't quickly begin to pay attention, the country could soon sleepwalk into another devastating and deadly ''war for oil.''
Question Everything, Come To Your Own Conclusions.
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ADOS
'Tuskegee always looms in our minds': Some fear black Americans, hardest hit by coronavirus, may not get vaccine
Sun, 19 Apr 2020 17:28
David Graham is a nurse practitioner who spends his days and nights treating coronavirus patients. He's a 41-year-old black man who learned in high school how doctors failed to treat hundreds of black men in a federal study for their syphilis, so he isn't inclined to trust the government to get a vaccine for the pandemic right.
African Americans, who are being infected and killed by COVID-19 at a much higher rate than whites, are 40% less likely to get flu shots, a study out last year showed, and some fear they will be reluctant to get the coronavirus vaccine when one is released. A historical distrust of the health care system, which has far fewer physicians of color and a record of discrimination and mistreatment, gets much of the blame, experts said.
"For African Americans of a certain age group, Tuskegee always looms in our minds," Graham said.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton issued a formal apology for the U.S. Public Health Service study that started in 1932. Men who were mostly poor and illiterate sharecroppers were enrolled in a study of syphilis, and hundreds were not given penicillin when it was found to be a cure. Dozens of men died, and countless others were infected.
Black Americans are dying of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, at much higher rates compared with other Americans in some major cities. Of the 512 coronavirus-related deaths In Louisiana for example, about 360, or 70%, were African American even though blacks comprise less than a third of the state's population.
Most federal officials and states are not keeping track or releasing racial data on COVID-19 victims. The reasons cited for the higher death toll include higher rates of chronic illness, especially heart disease and diabetes, and higher rate of exposure to infected people in jobs that require face-to-face contact.
Racial disparities persist: Black people dying from coronavirus at much higher rates in cities across the USA
Fighting fear with vaccine facts
The resistance to vaccines is unwarranted, said Dr. Garth Graham, vice president of community health and impact at CVS Health. Citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, he noted the flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctors visits and complications each year.
Another major study, he said, showed the flu vaccine can significantly reduce a child's risk of dying from flu. Children with underlying high-risk medical conditions saw their risk reduced by half, and the risk of death dropped by nearly two-thirds for healthy children.
Given such strong arguments for vaccination, Graham said, racial disparities in flu vaccines can be lessened if not eliminated.
"The history of Tuskegee notwithstanding, you should not assume resistance to vaccines because it could be a lack of appropriate outreach," Graham said. "Are we designing and pushing the campaign enough so we're reaching all communities?"
When he was an investigator and chief of health services research at the University of Florida, Graham said, he didn't find much resistance to vaccines when he explained "the risks and benefits."
Disparities are often due to ''inappropriate and ineffective outreach,'' said Graham, a former deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services,
Nurse practitioner David Graham, who is unrelated to Garth Graham, still worries.
He said flu vaccines have taken "decades of trial and error," and many people still get the flu. The speed and financial interests involved in the race for a coronavirus vaccine concern him. He hopes it isn't "made mandatory when kids get back to school."
Building trust
Epidemiologist Suma Vupputuri, a research scientist for Kaiser Permanente's Mid-Atlantic region, studied what factors lead to the disparity between African Americans and whites getting flu shots.
Her study last year in the medical journal Plos One found African Americans in the health system were 40% less likely to receive a flu shot than white members, despite having access to health care and no out-of-pocket costs.
That's for a health system with more doctors of color than many others and a study population of higher socioeconomic levels indicating ''there may not be as much of a problem with distrust.''
Vupputuri said she expects the same disparity would not exist with coronavirus vaccinations because of media attention and the seriousness of the pandemic.
"I suspect that if the vaccination is offered equitably, the disparity would not be as great,'' she said.
More African Americans are likely to get the coronavirus vaccine if adverse effects are reduced, said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association and a former Maryland and D.C. health commissioner. That will be aided if African Americans participate in the research for drugs and vaccines, he said.
Less than 5% of National Institutes of Health funded respiratory research included racial or ethnic minorities, according to a study in 2015 in the American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine. Similar disparities exist for cancer, heart disease and diabetes research, even though these diseases affect people of color at far higher rates.
Vaccines are "overall safe and effective," Benjamin said. Even though a vaccine for coronavirus will be new, he hopes research protocols for clinical trials will have enough women, Hispanics and African Americans, "so there are no untoward effects in those populations."
"We always have to be on the watch for research misconduct, but there's much less chance today of the significant abuses that occurred with Tuskegee," Benjamin said.
The United States has higher standards for vaccine approval and oversight, he said.
''What is most important is for people of all races to have equal access to vaccines since we're not going to go back to normality until we have an effective vaccine," Benjamin said.
Follow O'Donnell on Facebook and Twitter at @JayneODonnell or email at jodonnell@usatoday.com
Black medical leaders: Coronavirus magnifies racial inequities, with deadly consequences
Social Distancing
Advies: RAMADAN etentje tot 10 (dezelfde) mensen toegestaan | Buitenland | Telegraaf.nl
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 07:32
Dat blijkt uit een eerste uitgelekte versie van een rapport van de raad waarover de Belgische krant Le Soir schrijft.
Vanaf 4 mei zouden de nu veelal gesloten bedrijven en winkels weer open moeten kunnen. De scholen volgen dan op 18 mei. Bedrijven als banken en verzekeraars zouden hun personeel wel thuis moeten laten werken.
Samen optrekken
De Raad vindt dat het tijd wordt dat 'we' weer onder vrienden kunnen komen en stelt een groep van maximaal tien mensen voor. De experts pleiten ook voor de heropening van parken en speelpleinen en voor het opnieuw toelaten van bepaalde buitensporten zoals bijvoorbeeld tennis, vissen of golf, met maximaal twee personen.
In tegenstelling tot Nederland wil de Raad de kleuters nog thuishouden, maar de basisscholen wel openen. Eerst moeten de hoogste klassen open, en daarna telkens een lager.
De restaurants en caf(C)s zouden volgens het advies gesloten blijven.
'Verplichte bedekking'
De versoepeling wordt onder meer gekoppeld aan de beschikbaarheid van mondkapjes en het uitvoeren van 40.000 tests per dag. Ov-bedrijven in Belgi pleiten voor verplichte mond- en neusbedekking in treinen en bussen.
Iedere middag de belangrijkste corona-updates en het laatste nieuws in je inbox.
Ongeldig e-mailadres. Vul nogmaals in aub.
Uitschrijven kan met 1 klik
Social Snitching
St. Louis County Releases 'Snitch Files" - Local Citizens Who Called County Government to Snitch on Business Owners
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 15:55
By Assistant Editor
Responsible parents teach their children ''don't be a snitch.'' We do this so that our children aren't hated, because everyone knows that everyone hates a snitch.
But the Coronavirus fear mongers are turning otherwise responsible and likable people into sniveling snitches that nobody likes. And we can prove it.
Talk radio great Jamie Allman filed a Sunshine law request for the actual emails of St. Louis County residents who've snitched on local entrepreneurs trying to make a living. Most of the complaints were unfounded, involving people ''turning in'' companies that were deemed essential by the county.
TRENDING: "We Don't Want You to Feel Like We're Harassing You" - AWFUL! Bodycam Video Shows Business Owner Harassed and Arrested by Police for Staying Open
But reading the actual complaints reveals just how terrified the media and corrupt academics have made good people. The complainants are truly scared. They believe that Coronavirus kills almost everyone who gets infected. They believe that washing your car, hitting golf balls at a range, or playing singles tennis can spread the disease to many people.
The 900-page file of complaints is, ultimately, sad. What could be more depressing than a mother begging government officials to put her daughter out of work? Or women asking the county to shut down their fianc(C)'s company?
Yet, it's all there.
Lecturing emails from busybodies demanding that car washes, laundromats, and parks be shut down. And an obviously anti-Christian attack on Hobby Lobby.
Throughout, the complainants display complete disregard for the well-being of the people who own and work at these establishments. This is selfishness to the highest degree, even among those who are truly ignorant and terrified of Coronavirus. The complainants want hard-working people to be sidelined so they can have peace of mind.
If you want to avoid community-transmitted diseases, stay home. If you stay home, it doesn't matter what anyone else does. Why complain if others choose to take their chances?
But the snitches don't want to just stay home themselves. They want everyone else to suffer the consequences of their choice to stay home. Misery loves company, as my grandmother used to say.
Here are a few of the choice complaints with commentary. You can read the entire document here, thanks to Jamie Allman.
Amanda ***** wants a pawn shop closed in South County:Hi, I live on Reavis'....the pawn shop on Lemay ferry road next to the old Dairy queen(planet sub) is still open. Yesterday it was packed with people coming in and out non stop. There is no reason a pawn shop is essential'...'....in fact the amount of people and lack of sanitation is going to spread fast'...'.....also the Harley Davison store has been having constant crowds during the day and evening now with the nice weather'...'....joan fabrics isn't sanitizing According to employees'...'...no one needs to be spreading the virus onto fabric constantly touching it'...'...'...'...what will it take for the Governor to shut the state down. I fear for all of us'...'...'....
Imagine that! Twenty million people thrown out of work with no notice, and now people are lining up to pawn to their engagement rings and their kids' clarinets in order to pay the rent. Amanda ''Amazing Panda'' is right. People who don't have jobs shouldn't be allowed to sell their property for basic necessities.
Amanda isn't alone in calling for the abolition of last-hope lenders.
Ralph ****** Wants Auto Dealership CloseAuto plaza Breckenridge East car dealership at 9201 st Charles rock road is not closing as required..claiming the service department attached to the dealership is why he is staying open but it is not open to the public and has no business license to even operate. Is this ok? Isn't that a non essential business that should be closed or not?
Joyce Ann WantS a Relative FiredJoyce Ann wants all auto parts shops closed.
My relative who I'm very concerned about is still having to mandatorily report to work even amid this coronavirus crisis. Schools, banks, businesses all over are cancelled and everything else. Reaction Auto Parts in Earth City MO is advising their workers not to miss work unless showing symptoms and I'm concerned for their safety and the safety of the whole community.
Gee, Joyce Ann. I hope no doctors, nurses, or first responders (like Emergency Medical Technicians and paramedics) need a car part in your fascist regime. And I hope the ''relative'' whose job you just destroyed comes to your place for Easter dinner. Won't that be nice?
Erin J**** Puts Fiance Out of WorkHere's another woman who must hate both cars and her fianc(C).
Hello, My fianc(C) works at Frisco Hill Auto. They do restorations. I know the essential businesses say car repair and other related facilities. I was just wondering if a restoration shop, that doesn't do collision or mechanical repair is essential? Also two of their employees live in Illinois, which I thought was weird because I thought they were on a shelter in place order. I am just trying to gain clarification. We really want our families and the communities to be safe. Thank you, Erin
What do you want to bet sweet Erin calls off the wedding after her fianc(C) tells her ''I lost my job?'' (At least Erin won't be able to pawn the engagement ring, thanks to Amanda and CitizenIrish.)
Craigslist A Wants Car Washes ClosedGee, these people hate cars, don't they?
The Auto Spa Etc of University City is still open and taking customers. 8304 Olive Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63132 is the address.
Thank you for addressing those who are not taking this pandemic serious.
Apparently, sitting alone in your car while a machine washes the Coronavirus off the fender is just risky for this person.
Diane W****** Likes Cracked WindshieldsDiane ([email protected]) wants windshield repair shops closed, and she's not afraid to say it IN ALL CAPS:
THEY ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS ,CUSTOMERS ARE ON THE INSIDE
James L****** of Ballwin Likes Dirty AmbulancesYou'd think the Gladys Kravitzes of the world would want a clean ambulance to take them to the ICU ward, but James Lindemann ([email protected]) must like dirty ones:
They have employees inside cars detailing them from the inside out. Some of which will be Ballwin ambulances and police cars that transported COVID-19 positive patients.
He goes on:
I am friends with employees here and they feel forced to work and have not been informed of any allowable PTO. The owners are being shady and the employees feel expendable and exposed.
Hey, Jimmy, I wouldn't be want be you when a Ballwin cop pulls you over in his filthy, Coronavirus-filled squad car.
Marianne W****** Wants More Time Off and Still Get Her PaycheckMarianne wants yet another car dealership shut down, but she expects its employees to receive 100% of their pay.
Opening the first and last Saturday of every month and also making employees take off unpaid days to help with their ''loss''
I'm guessing Marianne won't have to working two days a month after her boss reads this.
Michele P******** Wants Golf Courses Closed300 people occupying the same 34 acre area is a little too much for Michelle Patterson.
WHY are golf courses and driving ranges allowed to stay open when I cannot perform essential grooming to my clients dogs? It is outrageous. Michele Patterson
Passive-Aggressive Paulette T******** Is Thankful for the Disease, ApparentlyIf you have 5 golfers and they all have carts but when they get out of carts they are totally not six feet apart . So let's spread the virus thank you so I guess St. Louis county will continue to spread. Thank you
No, Paulette. Thank YOU.
Muriel G****** Identifies the Most Popular Driving Range in the World!Speaking of Thank Yous, he owners of this driving range owe Muriel a big thank you for telling the world their golf range is the most popular:
I would like to report a golf range that has been open daily since 3/23. Hundreds if not thousands have been patronizing this business since the stay at home order has been in place.
Muriel's email is dated April 2. If thousands of people have been this driving range in just over a week, this must be an amazing range. Put it on your bucket list.
Jeri B***** Finds Tennis and Playgrounds DangerousMy son and I took a walk yesterday through Heman Park in U City and we saw a number of families playing on the playground equipment. We walked out of the park and up to Olive and saw a number of people playing tennis. Neither activity seemed safe to me.
Jon K***** Angry With Tennis Players ''Touching Each Others' Balls''You can't make this up.
Flynn Park Tennis Courts are allowed to be in use. Every person touches the same gate is tennis court is very popular exchange hands touching each other's balls and spreading the germs what other services at the parks are admitted; total contradiction in the science of this virus
I'm with Jon. If you can't play without touching other people's private areas, you need to stay home.
Elsa H******* Likes Dirty DogsThe dog grooming salons in all stores are still open. I get that food and supplies are essential however getting you dog a bath is not
Thanks, Elsa, for being the world's leading authority on essential pet services. BTW, have you smelled my dog?
Christopher L****** Says ''Don't Eat That Here!''Restaurant is allowing customers to sit on outside patio in close quarters with one another. The restaurant was also allowing patrons to order drinks while sitting outside, and some customers were sitting outside with their 'carryout' orders.
Let's all be thankful Christopher's out there making sure we eat properly.
Michael H*****: Another Essential Service ExpertClaiming on the news to be essential because they sell elastic and something that might maybe possibly be used for respirators. They are a hobby shop and do not provide essential services.
Think Michael was done? Not even close. He analyzed this situation like an IHME data scientist:
Owners were searching for excuses to be able to stay open. Attempting to identify any items in their inventory that could be used for health related needs. Their primary sales are still 100% hobby and craft supplies, puzzles, rc cars, and toys.
They are putting their employees and customers at risk even running ''curb-side'' services. This is not contact-less service like other stores are offering. Employees are expected to take products to customer's cars to let customers see the products before they buy. They are also having to handle customers credit cards, cash, and change. Employees do not have proper protective equipment (no gloves, no masks, limited hand sanitizer).
While working is voluntary per the owners, some employees will feel pressured to work in order to lighten the load of other employees who feel they must work to survive.
Tracey V*** Likes Filthy CarsPeople washing and vacuuming their cars close to each other
And, apparently, this a very popular car wash:
Everyone's getting car washes and vacuuming their cars
Get that? Literally everyone is getting car washes. Must have been national car wash day or something.
Robin E********* Very Concerned With California HikersThere is a PCT thru hiker making videos displaying his blatant disregard for social distancing. He has taken rides from seniors etc. He encourages people to hike the PCT and says it's ''legal'' because he has a permit. Doesn't the CA stay at home law affect him? He makes excuses to stay on trail by saying business in small towns want thru hiker business but these towns are susceptible to COVID 19 with older citizens and limited resources.
So who is this dangerous British hiker?
Company Contact: His name is somewhere on the YouTube channel The Trail Hunter
I'm sure St. Louis County Police will get right on that, Robin. Thanks for the tip.
About those pleas for anonymity.
Britany J****** Should Have Asked FirstMy company is remaining open and calling themselves essential, which in my opinion, is a very far stretch. We make labels. My position, along with many others at the business, is NOT essential. Labels Direct, Inc. in Chesterfield, MO on Trade Center Dr. I don't want them to know I reported. Is this anonymous to the company? Thank you!
Sorry, Brittany, no, this is not anonymous. The good news is you probably won't be pressured to return to work anytime soon.
Paula F***** Must Not Smoke. Or GameI don't want my name known'...but why are vape shops (vapor connection fenton mo stl county), smoke shops in Manchester, game stop in Fenton and Manchester, allowed to be open? What exactly is essential there???
Another Woman Trying to Get Her Fianc(C) FiredWhat's with these bridezillas?
Hi
My fiance works for TeeTurtle llc, (TeeTurtle.com), and as of yesterday, they have not closed their warehouse or office.
The warehouse is located at 11115 Linpage, and the main office is at 1034 S Brentwood Blvd, ph 2 b.
Please keep this anonomyous as this particular company is known for reprisals.
John L******* Doesn't Like R&DThe company I work for Labrynth Technologies believes that we fall under the essential business. We are making the 5g street light poles for the city of St Louis as of today we have not made one complete pole. We are still in the process of refining the design. If you contact the company/owner Theodore (Ted) Stegman please do not use my name as he will find a way to fire me. Thank you.
Don't worry, John, we won't mention your name to Ted.
Alarms Important During National Emergencies? Not According to Jaci K.I work for an alarm instillation and service company. They say we are an essential business so we will stay open. My question is why is it an essential company by installing/servicing customers? Technicians are going in and out of customers daily and then come into our office. I do understand we need to service life safety as an emergency. Is this putting the technicians and customers at risk?
Thank you, Jaci
Brazilian j**-****Constantine Cosmas wants a Brazilian jiu-jitsu studio closed:
Maelstrom Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu located at 2500 Ohio Ave., St. Louis, MO 63104 is still holding classes and operating daily between 6pm-9pm.
I bet if Constantine walked into the studio and told them to shut down or else, he'd find out just how essential jiu-jitsu skills can be.
Is This Actually an Ad for McBride and Sons?I can't tell if Kristen H**** is trying to get her family members fired or if she's craftily advertising for them.
I have family members who work for McBride and Son in the St. Louis area and are being told they are essential workers. They are part of the sales team that sells homes. They sit in displays and meet with the public daily.
Unfortunately, even with the stay in rules in place, people are STILL coming in to get home tours and meet with them. It's a revolving door that needs to be closed down to help flatten the curve. These are nonessential workers deemed so by St. Louis County. I called the hotline to make sure before sending this email to report McBride and Son.
There are 40 sales offices staffed Friday '' Monday and still completely open to the public.
Again, if you're looking to buy a new home, McBride and Sons 40 sales offices are open Friday through Monday.
It's Okay to Fly but Don't Leave the AirportKathleen J******* says it's okay to fly and to stay at hotels, but NO GROUND TRANSPORTATION:
Hotels are still running Shuttles to the Airport and most of the flights have been cancelled, the Extended Stay of America at the Airport is still having the employees come in that are Drivers , I feel that is Non Essential now Please inform all Hotels in Saint Louis County and Mo to CLOSE FOR NOW , THANK YOU
But Some People Are Just Trying to SurviveThe saddest emails come from small business owners who work their butts off to get through life. Their entire livelihood is threatened by authoritarians and busybodies.
Just Wants to WorkI clean houses by myself for a living. Im a llc in missouri was getting ready to hire then this came up. So Can I tell my customers that i can or cant work. I will be out of business and evicted if i go 30 or more days with no income. That is a $7000 loss.
Big thanks to radio king Jamie Allman for obtaining the Snitch File from St. Louis County through a Sunshine Law request.
You can download the whole snitch file here.
EuroLand
The European Union is Dead but Does Not Yet Know It
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 07:45
(Image source: iStock)
The new coronavirus appears to be tearing apart the fragile framework of the European Union.
"Europe" said the former Commission chief and a EU godfather, Jacques Delors, "is in "mortal danger".
If citizens feel themselves abandoned at the heart of the pandemic, said Former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, the EU could "collapse".
The EU objective was evidently supposed to be an "ever closer union". But now, if the EU does not show solidarity and strength at a time of global crisis, what is the EU's purpose? Its ideological supporters have a mantra: each new problem must be solved by more Europe. "Europe is our future, we have no other", Germany's former Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher once said.
Although these are important and dramatic statements, each time it is as if something even more important and dramatic needs to happen to shake people awake, as if the European Union is never actually seen as dying.
Sadly, these high-flown phrases seem to shrivel into empty slogans.
The truth is that there is no "Union". There is a conglomerate of European states trying to take advantage of some rules called "the union". In times of crisis, old European divisions always seem to reopen -- and crises are part of the old continent, possibly its epitaph.
The coronavirus now has put the European Union and its comfort zone face-to-face with all its weaknesses, decadence and cowardice.
In the face of Italy's pandemic catastrophe, the European Union showed only impotence and indifference. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen even "apologized" to Italy and acknowledged that the EU had failed to respond well to the Covid-19 pandemic.
When Italy called for solidarity from its European neighbors, they declined. Even the former President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, spoke of a "cowardly Europe". The pro-EU Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, called it bluntly, "Ugly Europe". It seems that 70% of Italians believe Germany is trying to "strangle" them.
Because of the coronavirus, Europe's Schengen Area of passport-free travel inside the EU -- one of the two pillars of EU dogma (the other being the euro) -- was suspended in a hurry and internal borders closed without coordinated action. During the the first two weeks of March, nine countries closed their borders; followed by the partial closure of Germany's borders. The EU then announced the closure of its external borders for 30 days.
"Do you not understand the emergency we are going through?", Spain's prime minister, Pedro Snchez, asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel during one of the EU's latest summits.
What the Germans appeared to want was the advantages of an expanded euro market without its disadvantages, such as "solidarity" in the instance of migrants or coronavirus. Germany has always dominated Europe via the EU, which was created after the Second World War to prevent Germany from rearing its head again.
A report by the Bertelsmann Foundation found that Germany, which accounts for more than a quarter of the eurozone's economic output, benefited most from the EU's single market, earning an extra 86 billion euros a year because of it. It is likely this financial bonus that now helps Germany in contending with the epidemic. Germany had 25,000 ventilators; France had only 5,000, and Italy was forced by a lack of ventilators to make agonizing decisions about whom to treat. "Wouldn't European solidarity mean Germany deliver [sic] at least some of the new ventilators to countries that currently need them most?", asked Die Zeit's journalist Jochen Bittner.
Among the European states, however, even faster than empathy and solidarity, spread bitterness and resentment.
In 2017, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, then the Dutch Minister of Finance and head of the "Eurogroup" (the EU's grouping of finance ministers), said that southern European countries such as Italy wasted their money on "drinks and women". This month, one of Germany's leading newspapers, Die Welt, wrote that the Italian mafia was waiting for Brussels' coronavirus money.
Berlin was not moved, even by the pictures of the Italian army transporting dozens of coffins out of a city because the local crematorium was overwhelmed by the deaths. Dozens of coffins awaiting burial were lined up in churches.
"It pains me to say it, but the countries who are dragging their feet, such as Holland, Germany and Sweden, have not yet experienced shortages of coffins", Italy's former prime minister Enrico Letta commented. The Germans and the Dutch never found retirement home residents "dead and abandoned," as happened in Spain. "European capitals watched as Italy took steps that seemed extreme at the time in an ultimately futile bid to hold back infections from the rest of the Continent", wrote Politico.
Another merciless battle Italy fought with the EU was for protective face-masks. France adopted a policy of requisitioning them; Germany banned their export. Those unilateral decisions undermined a much-touted EU principle: the free movement of goods in the single market. As L'Express exposed, France seized four million masks belonging to a Swedish company and that had been intended, in part, for Italy and Spain.
A German writer, Hans-Magnus Enzensberger, calling the European Union "the gentle monster", predicted its demise: "All the empires of history flourished for no more than a limited half-life, before they foundered on over-expansion and internal contradictions".
To revive their economies, the countries most affected, such as Italy and Spain, claimed that they could be financed by a common EU debt to be raised through "coronabonds". Spain, France, Greece, Malta and Ireland all supportd this solution, as did the German philosopher J¼rgen Habermas, who asked the EU to give "mutual aid".
Germany and the Netherlands, however, killed the proposal.
The Netherlands was demanding that the loans be accompanied by "long-term conditions", such as reducing the size of welfare states.
The same lack of interest was exhibited by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), funded by EU member states, a process to lend money to a state in difficulty, up to 2% of its GDP.
"North Europe is abandoning south Europe!" said the former leader of the German Social Democrats, Sigmar Gabriel . "Better to have Eurobonds and coronabonds than a destroyed EU".
The conditions demanded, however, would be unacceptable for Italy: the countries hit the worst by Covid-19 -- Italy, Spain and France -- are the ones that have the least amount of fiscal breathing space. "Europe never met when we needed it" French economist Jean-Paul Fitussi reflected. "And therefore, it was foreseeable that the northern countries would say no to the mutualisation of debt. But without mutualising debt, today's crisis is not resolved. And not doing it is collective suicide".
The UK, after Brexit, is out the door; eastern Europe has clashed with Brussels for years and now comes the isolation of southern Europe.
While Italy was struggling to slow and contain the deadly contagion, the president of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, announced that the central bank was "not here to close spreads" between Italian and German bonds, a measure of the risk differential between the two sovereign debts. Lagarde's comments, untarnished by "solidarity", sent Italy's bond yields sharply higher.
Earlier, when Italy and Greece were overwhelmed by migrants from the Middle East and Africa, the EU countries refused to take their "share" of migrants. Lacking a policy to stop the flow of mass immigration, Europe decided to leave the southern countries to their fate. Italy's foreign minister at the time, Angelino Alfano, declared that Europe had "abandoned" Italy. "The EU Is Abandoning Italy in Its Hour of Need," declared Elisabeth Braw in Foreign Policy.
The truth is that the EU is simply showing how weak it really is. As ‰ric Zemmour observed:
"... our borderless ideology has prohibited us from closing borders... As for our European sovereignty, it turns out to be vanishing. When the tragedy knocks on our doors, our conception of the world brings us to our knees..."
In times of crisis, the technocrats in Brussels look robotic and apathetic, while national states become essential to contain illegal immigration or a pandemic. The European Union is dead, it just does not yet know it.
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.
(C) 2020 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.
Epstein
Private jets, parties and eugenics: Jeffrey Epstein's bizarre world of scientists | Jeffrey Epstein | The Guardian
Sun, 19 Apr 2020 17:08
Show caption Though out of place, Jeffrey Epstein was known to surround himself with prominent scientists. Photograph: Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images
Jeffrey EpsteinThe billionaire financier and convicted sex offender famously mixed with presidents, models and film stars. But he also indulged his unorthodox beliefs by cultivating top scientists
Luke Darby
Mon 19 Aug 2019 02.00 EDT
According to his indictment, over the course of many years Jeffrey Epstein ''sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations''. It continues: ''in order to maintain and increase his supply of victims, Epstein also paid certain of his victims to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused.''
Some of his victims were reportedly as young as 14. Virginia Giuffre was one of those girls, claiming in newly unsealed documents that she was ''recruited'' at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida by socialite, heiress, and Epstein's alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell in 2000, when she was just 16. Giuffre now describes her time with Epstein as being forced to be a ''sex slave''.
Jeffrey Epstein attends an event in New York City with Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005. Photograph: Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images Shortly after her sworn deposition became public Epstein was found dead in his holding cell, apparently from suicide.
Epstein's lifestyle has been well documented: he owned a private island in the US Virgin Islands and jetted around the world with rich and powerful men, including the Clintons, Trump, Woody Allen, Larry Bird and Prince Andrew.
He had been indicted in 2008, when he walked away with a ''sweetheart deal'' that gave him minimal jail time and shielded any possible co-conspirators.
From left, Donald Trump and his future wife, Melania Knauss, financier Jeffrey Epstein, and Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at Mar-a-Lago in 2000. Photograph: Davidoff Studios Photography/Getty Images One aspect of Epstein's life of luxury seems incongruously out of place though. He surrounded himself with prominent scientists, Harvard professors, multiple Nobel Prize winners, authors, almost exclusively men '' Epstein kept his social gatherings stocked with some of the world's most eminent figures in this world.
He would host dinners at his Upper East side Manhattan apartment and invite a mix of leading scientists and people from the world of fashion and modeling. One scientist, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Slate that there was virtually no interaction between these two sets of guests . ''Sometimes he'd turn to his left and ask some science-y questions. Then he'd turn to his right and ask the model to show him her portfolio.'' Slate claimed that a young ''female staffer'' emerged in the middle of one of these dinners to give Epstein a neck massage while he talked.
When he gathered 21 physicists on his private island for a 2006 meeting about gravity, he reportedly had three to four young women in tow at all times. He also met many scientists at an annual gathering hosted by John Brockman, a literary agent who represented famous science authors such as Stephen Hawking and Jared Diamond. Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, who discovered the quark and was represented by Brockman, thanked Epstein for his financial support in the acknowledgments section of his 1995 book, The Quark and the Jaguar.
A partial list of the biggest scientific names in Epstein's orbit, according to the New York Times includes ''the theoretical physicist and best-selling author Stephen Hawking; the paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould; Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and best-selling author; George M Church, a molecular engineer who has worked to identify genes that could be altered to create superior humans; and the MIT theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek, a Nobel laureate''.
Epstein called himself a ''science philanthropist'', and donated handsomely to prestigious organizations such as Harvard, MIT, and the Santa Fe Institute. At one point, he was allegedly giving as much as $20m a year to fund scientists. Some institutions and researchers continued to take Epstein's money even after his 2008 conviction, like MIT, according to BuzzFeed News.
Epstein called himself a 'science philanthropist' and donated handsomely to prestigious organizations Joi Ito, the head of MIT's world-famous Media Lab issued an apology last week for having accepted donations for the Media Lab and his own tech startups. In his open letter on the MIT Media Lab's website, he said: ''I take full responsibility for my error in judgment. I am deeply sorry to the survivors, to the Media Lab, and to the MIT community for bringing such a person into our network.
''Regrettably, over the years, the Lab has received money through some of the foundations that he controlled. I also allowed him to invest in several of my funds which invest in tech startup companies outside of MIT's.''
Last month Jenna Marshall, a spokesperson for the Santa Fe Institute, said in the BuzzFeed News story that a $25,000 donation in 2010 from Epstein ''prompted our leadership to decide not to accept any additional funds from Mr Epstein or related sources''. They were, she said, considering donating an equal amount to a charity working with victims of sex trafficking.
Several years after his 2008 conviction, publications including Forbes, the National Review, and HuffPo all ran stories on Epstein praising him as a selfless philanthropist, ''a hedge-funder with a zealous science background'', and ''one of the largest backers of cutting-edge science around the world''. None of the articles mentioned his criminal history, and an investigation by the New York Times claimed they were used as part of a public relations campaign to revamp Epstein's image. All three publications have since deleted or amended articles cited by the New York Times.
By most accounts, he would engage with his guests at his science-related parties but never for very long or very deeply, often derailing conversations by abruptly changing topics or turning other people's comments into jokes.
Still, some of the scientists seemed smitten. In a 2002 profile of Epstein for New York Magazine, Martin Nowak, now a professor of biology and mathematics and head of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard, said that he once broke out a blackboard during dinner with Epstein and, for two hours, gave a mathematical description of how language works. ''Jeffrey has the mind of a physicist. It's like talking to a colleague in your field. Sometimes he applies what we talk about to his investments. Sometimes it's for his own curiosity. He has changed my life. Because of his support, I feel I can do anything I want,'' Nowak said.
Jeffrey has the mind of a physicist. He has changed my life. Because of his support, I feel I can do anything I want Lawrence Krauss, a physicist who retired from Arizona State University, even continued defending Epstein after his 2008 conviction, telling the Daily Beast in 2011: ''As a scientist I always judge things on empirical evidence and he always has women ages 19 to 23 around him, but I've never seen anything else, so as a scientist, my presumption is that whatever the problems were I would believe him over other people.'' He added, ''I don't feel tarnished in any way by my relationship with Jeffrey; I feel raised by it.''
Other scientists seem to have been drawn to the attention and spotlight that Epstein gave them. Evolutionary biologist George Church, one of the few researchers who has apologized for having contact with Epstein, which he attributes to ''nerd tunnel vision'', told STAT News that ''he is used to financiers, technologists, and celebrities seeking him out, and has become a quasi-celebrity himself''.
Many of the scientists and researchers began distancing themselves from Epstein after 2008 and have publicly condemned him since his arrest in July. Scoene author Steven Pinker, who was flown to a TED Conference on Epstein's private jet in 2002, including Daniel Dennetand John Brockman, has recently refuted any suggestions that he knew, or had any relationship with Epstein. In a response published on the @evolutionistrue website, Pinker said: ''The annoying irony is that I could never stand the guy, never took research funding from him, and always tried to keep my distance. I think the dislike was mutual '' according to a friend, he 'voted me off the island'.''
''Given my longstanding distaste for everything Epstein, it's galling to be publicly associated with him based on some photos and mutual associates.''
He explained the private jet to the TED conference, in a tweet last month:
I have no relationship with Epstein & have taken no funding from him. Our circles have occasionally overlapped: In 02, my lit agent invited me to join a group of east-coast TED speakers Epstein flew to CA. In 14, Krauss seated me next to him at a lunch, & someone snapped a photo.
'-- Steven Pinker (@sapinker) July 11, 2019 Dennett has since said he had never heard of Epstein when he boarded the jet.
But while Epstein may not have been able to contribute much to the conversations he cultivated around him, he did have sincere interest in at least some scientific topics.
The New York Times did a deep dive into Epstein's scientific beliefs in an article titled Jeffrey Epstein Hoped to Seed Human Race With His DNA. The Times' reporters found that Epstein was apparently fixated on ''transhumanism'', the belief that the human species can be deliberately advanced through technological breakthroughs, such as genetic engineering and artificial intelligence.
At its most benign, transhumanism is a belief that humanity's problems can be improved, upgraded even, through such technology as cybernetics and artificial intelligence '' at its most malignant though, transhumanism lines up uncomfortably well with eugenics.
Eugenics is the belief that humanity can be improved by controlled breeding, selecting for preferable traits and minimizing less desirable ones. Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus of law at Harvard and a former lawyer of Epstein's, said in the New York Times investigation that Epstein would at times steer conversations about how to improve the human race genetically, an idea that appalled Dershowitz because of the overlap with Nazi theories about eugenics.
Epstein was allegedly fascinated with and inspired by the Repository for Germinal Choice, which was founded in Escondido, California, in 1980 by Robert K Graham, an avowed eugenicist and tycoon who got rich developing shatterproof eyeglass lenses. Graham's goal was the ''strengthening of the human gene pool''and he would accomplish this with the Repository, a sperm bank where all the donors were Nobel laureates. At least that's how it was supposed to work: according to a 2001 story in Slate, Graham only ever convinced three or five (the stories vary) to actually contribute, and the Repository shuttered in 1999.
But Epstein was apparently taken with the idea. In his version though, rather than a bunch of lettered academics, he'd be the one ''strengthening the gene pool''. Starting in the early 2000s, he reportedly told multiple people that he wanted to impregnate as many women as he could to distribute his genes as widely as possible. Several acquaintances told the New York Times that Epstein mentioned using his sprawling New Mexico ranch as a base of operations, and at least one person said he planned to impregnate up to 20 women at a time.
The puzzle at the heart of Epstein's fandom is how it lasted for so long and why he managed to draw so many scientists into this circle. As Katha Pollit, writing in the Nation last week said: ''What I can't get over is how Epstein successfully weaseled his way into science at the highest level by cultivating major figures in the field socially and spreading his wealth around. Science! The very temple of the pursuit of truth. Call me insufficiently jaded, but am I wrong to expect more of those we rely on to combat all of the nonsense swirling around us?''
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Deep State Coronavirus, Jeffrey Epstein & Harvard University
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 11:14
Editor-in-Chief, Medical Veritas International, Inc.
Foreword
This important article links Deep State agents Jeffrey Epstein, closely tied socially, financially, and in the intelligence community to Bill Gates, together granting millions of dollars in funding to Harvard and MIT's black op genetic engineering ''Media lab'' projects, to the 2019 Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.
What is not mentioned by the author, although sought, is the overall purpose of the associations and outbreak.
The overall objective of the Wuhan coronavirus is not simply profitable depopulation and vaccine marketing.
Based on evidence advanced by Johns Hopkins University's related investments in ''growing'' brain nerve cells to advance higher forms of human consciousness, genetically, evolutionarily, and pharmaceutically, is detailed in The Ayahuasca Death Cult: The Psycho-Spiritual Delusion (subtitled ''Drug 'Therapy' for Depression or Mind Control for Profitable Transhumanism'').
The main objective is to evolve the human race to interface with the Deep State's advancing information technologies (IT) utilizing 5G and the Cloud, and the Silicon Valley's most promising ''PROMIS''-like software, for optimal permanent control over civilization.
Therefore, we are republishing this important article, as this intelligence ties the Deep State's evolutionary biology technology, advancing novel viruses that alter the human genome (and facilitate genetic transformations and media intelligence operations promoting Big Pharma's drugs and vaccines) to the transhumanism movement that generations starting now will integrate by demonic imposition.
________
by
''tldr''Epstein gave exorbitant amounts of money, at least $9 million (pledged $30 million) to researchers funded by DoD, DARPA, IARPA, and NIH at Harvard University with the expertise and technology to genetically engineer and improve bacteria and viruses.
One of Harvard's most prominent scientists who received $18 million from DoD and NIH was arrested and charged for operating a secret lab in Wuhan China just hours ago '' This researcher was given over $1.5 million dollars to do so, in secret, by Chinese institutions.
Meanwhile, the area where the new coronavirus emerged (Wuhan) recently opened a biosafety level 4 lab (the only one in China, a country with 1.4 billion people) where researchers were actually studying and experimenting with the genetics of coronaviruses over the past few years before the emergence of this new strain.
Whether these things are linked or not remains to be see, but each of these independent statements are in fact true.
In a way this post contains two distinct conspiracy theories, that I suspect may be linked together, hence my post.
A few years ago, I attended a private government research conference where Dr. George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT, was describing how his lab systematically altered the genome of a bacterial cell using synthetic biology and genetic engineering to make cells resistant to viruses.
There was some brief discussion of how these techniques could be used for the opposite purpose (to engineer viruses to improve them or make them less recognizable by the host, thus delaying the immune response).
Immediately following Dr. Church's presentation, other researchers and myself had a discussion about how frightening these technological capabilities were.
Over the years, this concern has always remained in the back of my mind and I've discussed it with others that didn't attend the talk on various occasions.
It is worth noting that a lot of George Church's recent research also involves the study and engineering of viruses. Most recently in his career, Dr. Church has been funded by DARPA and IARPA, with the most recently funded grant titled, 'Functional Genomic and Computational Assessment of Threats' (by IARPA).
http://arep.med.harvard.edu/gmc/gc_grants.html
The description of this grant solicitation, if you search for it, starts with:
''The biological sciences have experienced extraordinary growth over the past decade. Technological advances in DNA synthesis, sequencing, large gene construction, and data analysis are expanding biological research and the bioeconomy, and are likely to enable revolutionary advances in medicine, agriculture, and materials. At the same time, these advances have intensified security concerns around the accidental or deliberate misuse of biotechnologies. One special concern regards DNA synthesis technologies that can be used to create novel organisms.''
Hence, Dr. Church is obviously involved in the area of applying advanced techniques (lab based and computational) to engineer organisms to make them resistant to viruses (and potentially vice-versa, to engineer viruses), and is involved in the efforts to combat the risks involved.
Interestingly enough, Dr. Church was one of the scientists most involved with Jeffrey Epstein. He received funding from Epstein for the purposes of 'cutting edge science & education' from 2005 to 2007 (the funding was apparently unrestricted).
Epstein was convicted of soliciting an underage prostitute in 2008. Following his conviction, Dr. Church and Epstein continued to meet. According to an NBC report, ''he had six phone calls and meetings with Epstein in 2014, as shown in Church's online calendar (he has posted one every year since 1999). Sample entry: ''Jun 21, 2014 Lunch w/ Jeffrey Epstein, 12-1:30, Martin Nowak's Institute.'' (Nowak, a Harvard biologist/mathematician, is also a Brockman client and Edge participant.)
He also met with Epstein ''several times'' each year since, Church said.''
These meetings were often between Church, Epstein, and Church's colleague Dr. Martin Nowak, Harvard Professor of Biology and Mathematics and Director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics.
At the get-togethers with Nowak, Church said, ''Epstein seemed interested in the science of life's origins and mathematically modeling the evolution of viruses''.
Epstein had also previously given a whopping $6.5 million dollars in research money to Dr. Nowak's lab at Harvard in 2003.
Apparently, Epstein had actually pledged a total of $30 million dollars (which is an incredible amount of money for a university professor to receive for research; large government funded grants usually top out at $2-3 million over several years) to Dr. Nowak's program.
I was not able to find additional information on what these talks in 2014 and beyond ultimately led to, or if more money was pledged to or received by these prominent scientific figures.
Another thing to add is that Nowak also has a record of studying and writing about viruses, such as his first book publication in 2000 titled, Virus Dynamics: Mathematical Principles of Immunology and Virology.
Jumping to a slightly different topic of discussion. There are other two other posts that stood out to me in this sub.
https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/ev7az3/wuhan_coronovirus_bioweapon_conspiracy_indepth/
This post describes a few things. First, Wuhan, China, the 7th most populated city in a country with 1.4 billion has a biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory that was recently established in 2015. It is apparently one out of 70 or so in the entire world (number was given by OP of the post linked above; my own search only turned up 52), and it is the only BLS-4 lab in the ENTIRE country of China.
For those unfamiliar with what BLS-4 refers to, they are labs involving the study of the greatest biological threats and have the highest level of biosafety precautions.
It is the sort of lab where researchers would attempt to study and perhaps modify something like a coronavirus. As the other redditor pointed out (and is also outlined in other r/conspiracy posts), there are lead scientists, such as Xing-Ye Ge, that study coronaviruses based out of Wuhan.
These studies are often carried out by a team of 5-20 researchers, usually across institutions.
https://www.semanticscholar.org/author/Xing-Yi-Ge/5583604?sort=influence
If you look up the Wuhan scientists research profile, you'll be able to find that this individual and his fellow researchers also publish studies on adenoviruses in bats (similar to Dr. Church's own virus-focused work on adeno-associated viruses, which are similar to adenoviruses and have similar applications; there is considerable overlap here). Further searching indicates that adenoviruses and adeno-associated viruses hold potential to serve as a vaccine for coronaviruses, and there are several studies on this.
Dr. Church's own work is related to this, as he studies adeno-associated viruses mostly in the context of delivering it as a sort of gene therapy for diseases. To be fair, however, these topics are outside my own area of expertise.
Now on to another recent reddit post:
https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/ev9adz/harvard_biologist_charles_lieber_taken_into/
In the last 24 hours, a colleague of Dr. Church and Dr. Nowak, Dr. Charles Lieber, Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, was arrested and criminally charged over a contract he made with a foreign university.
Where?
In Wuhan, China.
As a side note, it's worth pointing out to those unaware that all three of these people are some of the highest-ranking academic officials at Harvard and are revolutionary scientists in their respective fields. They would not at all be considered just minor or just moderately important figures at Harvard.
According to the Justice Department: ''Lieber, 60, lied about his contact with the Chinese program known as the Thousand Talents Plan, which the U.S. has previously flagged as a serious intelligence concern. He also is accused of lying about about a lucrative contract he signed with China's Wuhan University of Technology.''
Apparently, amongst other things, Lieber established a secret research lab at the Wuhan university and was given $1.5 million dollars by the Chinese (in addition to salary and living expenses) to do so.
Meanwhile ''Lieber was also the principal investigator on at least six U.S. Defense Department research grants, with a cumulative value of more than $8 million, according to the affidavit.
It also says he was the principal investigator on more than $10 million in grants funded by the National Institutes of Health.'' So, Dept. of Defense'... NIH'...
For those that are unfamiliar with academia, you may be wondering ''how often does a leading, well-funded academic scientist from the most prestigious university in the country set up a secret lab with a foreign government?''
This probably never happens, and it is extraordinarily '' and I mean extraordinarily '' odd and suspicious. Researchers are sometimes solicited by foreign governments and will leak or share info, but set up another lab somewhere else under the radar? Maybe a minor scientist would, but a major one?
I've never heard of such a thing.
Some other redditor mentioned that Lieber's research seems to be mostly focused on nanotechnology rather than bioweapons research, and this is true.
However, he has been involved in previous research to use nanotechnology to detect small viral particles in humans.
Most oddly though, if you try to search Charles Lieber's Google Scholar page (basically a page where you can find all scientific articles and books authored by a researcher), his page just went dark. It shows up in the Google search results, but says 'No information available for this page'.
I kid you not, his Google Scholar page went down as I was writing this post. When you try to click on it, it strangely links you to the Google Scholar page of some completely different person.
In my mind, these are a series of very strange coincidences that seem to be interconnected.
As the redditor of the first link I posted put it, what are the odds that the new coronavirus that is now making world news just so happened to come out of the same place that the Chinese just set up their first BLS-4 lab a few years ago that also just so happens to be a place where researchers are studying coronaviruses?
What are the odds that, again, just in the last several hours, one of the most prominent scientists at Harvard was arrested for setting up a secret lab in Wuhan, China?
Also, why was Jeffrey Epstein giving heaps and heaps of money to researchers at Harvard studying synthetic biology and genetic engineering, who had the means to systematically alter cells or viruses '' people receiving money from secret defense agencies such as DARPA and IARPA '' and stated himself he was interested in modeling the evolution of viruses.
We need to look into these things further. Even if the Epstein-Church-Nowak part of the conspiracy doesn't link to the Lieber-Wuhan Coronavirus portion, these two segments stand well on their own and I feel that despite having more of a background in nanotech instead of bioweapons, Liebers arrest for secret lab in Wuhan while the coronavirus problem continues to explode is just too much of a coincidence.
Why would someone getting $10 million plus from U.S. funding agencies go through the hassle of setting up a secret lab in another country and risk his entire life's work for less money. What was he doing there exactly?
I eagerly wait for more details to come out.
edit: One more thing, it keeps getting better. Another Redditor made this post: https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/evikbw/wuhan_institute_of_virology_an_ad_posted_2_months/ It's unclear who all is involved (such as Lieber or others), but this seems to be shaping up to be one of the better conspiracies I've seen on this board in a while.
China
Banksters
Deadly Virus Fails to Trigger World Bank's Pandemic Bonds
Sun, 19 Apr 2020 17:04
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Fake News
Second wave of coronavirus: Winter outbreak is likely to be more devastating, CDC director warns - The Washington Post
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 09:05
Even as states move ahead with plans to reopen their economies, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday that a second wave of the novel coronavirus will be far more dire because it is likely to coincide with the start of flu season.
''There's a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,'' CDC Director Robert Redfield said in an interview with The Washington Post. ''And when I've said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don't understand what I mean.''
''We're going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time,'' he said.
Having two simultaneous respiratory outbreaks would put unimaginable strain on the health-care system, he said. The first wave of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has already killed more than 42,000 people across the country. It has overwhelmed hospitals and revealed gaping shortages in test kits, ventilators and protective equipment for health-care workers.
In a wide-ranging interview, Redfield said federal and state officials need to use the coming months to prepare for what lies ahead. As stay-at-home orders are lifted, officials need to stress the continued importance of social distancing, he said. They also need to massively scale up their ability to identify the infected through testing and find everyone they interact with through contact tracing. Doing so prevents new cases from becoming larger outbreaks.
Asked about protests against stay-at-home orders and calls on states to be ''liberated'' from restrictions, Redfield said: ''It's not helpful.'' The president himself has tweeted encouragements of such protests, urging followers to ''LIBERATE MINNESOTA!'' and ''LIBERATE MICHIGAN!''
Sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter to track the outbreak. All stories linked in the newsletter are free to access.
Redfield said that he, along with other members of the White House coronavirus task force, have emphasized the importance of social distancing ''and the enormous impact that it's had on this outbreak in our nation.''
As part of the White House guidelines released last week for a gradual reopening of the country, testing by CDC teams is already underway in nursing homes in four states for asymptomatic cases. The four states are Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota and Tennessee.
The CDC has also drafted detailed guidance for state and local governments on how they can ease mitigation efforts, moving from drastic restrictions such as stay-at-home orders in a phased way to support a safe reopening. Redfield said that guidance will be ''in the public domain shortly.''
The CDC has about 500 staff in the states working on a variety of public health issues, and most will pivot to the covid-19 response, Redfield said. The CDC also plans to hire at least another 650 people as experts to ''substantially augment'' public health personnel in the states and assist with contact tracing, among other tasks, he said.
But he acknowledged a much larger workforce is needed. Redfield said the agency is talking with state officials about the possibility of using Census Bureau workers and Peace Corps and AmeriCorps volunteers to build ''an alternative workforce.''
The Census Bureau had earlier suspended field operations because of the pandemic and census personnel are already located in every jurisdiction, Redfield said. If there is an agreement to use census workers, they could be trained ''to be part of a comprehensive contact tracing effort,'' he said.
''These are all discussions that are going on to try to determine what is the optimal strategy to be used,'' he said. ''And it may be some combination of all three.''
Former CDC director Tom Frieden has estimated that as many as 300,000 contact tracers would be needed in the United States. The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials '-- which represents state health departments '-- estimate 100,000 more contact tracers are needed than are in the states now and call for $3.6 billion in emergency funding from Congress.
In the summer months, U.S. health officials need to persuade Americans to think ahead to the fall and the importance of getting flu shots. That way, public health officials can minimize the number of people hospitalized from flu. Getting a flu vaccination, Redfield said, ''may allow there to be a hospital bed available for your mother or grandmother that may get coronavirus.''
Luckily, the arrival of the novel coronavirus in the United States came as the regular flu season was waning, he said. By itself, a severe influenza season can strain hospitals and clinics.
If the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak and flu season had peaked at the same time, he said, ''it could have been really, really, really, really difficult in terms of health capacity.''
During the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, the United States experienced the first wave of cases in the spring, followed by a second, larger wave in the fall and winter, during flu season.
Royals
Mark Di Stefano on Twitter: "NEW: In a Sunday night letter, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have written to editors of the four major British tabloids - The Sun, Daily Express, Daily Mirror and Daily Mail - promising never to work with them again, barring
Sun, 19 Apr 2020 23:21
Rae St James @ RaeStJames
5h This is like calling your ex to remind him you're no longer talking to him and why. Superfluous. Just do it. Don't work with them, don't respond to them but don't KEEP telling them and us why. It smacks of desperation and wanting to create a news cycle so they can be in the news.
View conversation ·
War on Guns
Seventeen people, including RCMP officer, dead in shooting rampage, deadliest in Canadian history - NEWS 1130
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 07:28
Thirteen people are dead, including an RCMP officer, after a mass shooting in Nova Scotia this weekend. The suspect is also dead.
RCMP cruisers in the parking lot of the Enfield Big Stop (Chris Halef/HalifaxToday.ca/News97.5)
HALIFAX (NEWS 1130) '' Mounties say at least 17 people, including an RCMP officer and the suspect, were killed in a mass shooting that triggered a lengthy police chase in Nova Scotia this weekend.
It was the deadliest shooting in Canadian history.
''Our important investigational work is continuing,'' the RCMP said in an email to NEWS 1130. ''Out of respect for the families who have yet to be notified, we cannot provide any additional information at this time.''
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The RCMP identified Cst. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the force and a mother of two, as the officer who was killed in the incident.
''Heidi answered the call of duty and lost her life while protecting those she served,'' commanding RCMP officer Lee Bergerman said. ''Two children have lost their mother, and a husband has lost his wife. Parents have lost their daughter, and countless others lost an incredible friend and colleague.''
Another officer sustained non-life threatening injuries, Bergerman added.
The suspect, who was identified by the RCMP as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, died on Sunday at the Enfield, N.S. gas station, about 35 kilometres northwest of downtown Halifax.
He's said to have, at one point, worn a police uniform and drove a mock-up cruiser during the killing spree.
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RCMP Superintendent Chris Leather said police were first responding to a firearms call on Saturday night.
''Members located several casualties inside and outside of the home,'' Leather explained. ''They did not, however, locate the suspect. This was a very quickly evolving situation and a chaotic scene.''
The scene was surrounded by a half dozen police vehicles. Yellow police tape surrounded the gas pumps, and a large silver-coloured SUV was being investigated by police.
Mounties caught up with the suspect the next day.
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Leather said the investigation was still in its early stages, but noted the impacts of what took place have already been devastating.
''I can tell you an excess of 10 people have been killed, but the investigation is still ongoing and I expect to have more details in that regard in the coming days,'' he said Sunday.
''The impact of this incident will extend from one end of the province to the other,'' Bergerman added. ''As Nova Scotians, we have to do what we're known for an come together in times of need and support each other.''
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A statement from National Police Federation president Brian Sauv(C) dedicated thoughts to the slain officer's family and friends.
The union said representatives are in the Halifax area to support members and families, and thanked members involved in the chase for resolving the attack.
''Our hearts are heavy with grief and sadness today as we have lost one of our own. Our thoughts go out to our Member's family and friends,'' Sauv(C) said.
''Our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to the Members involved in the manhunt and the timely resolution to this violent attack. Your efforts and selflessness in this situation are heroic, invaluable and have kept others in the community safe.''
Meanwhile, Premier Stephen McNeil offered condolences to ''families of the victims'' and called the incident ''one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province's history.''
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''I never imagined when I went to bed last night that I would wake up to the horrific news that an active shooter was on the loose in Nova Scotia,'' McNeil said in Halifax at a previously scheduled news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic.
''Words cannot console the families affected by what has transpired over the last 24 hours.''
McNeil urged the province to remain united.
''We're all in shock that such a thing could happen here in Nova Scotia, and there's a heavy burden to bear on top of COVID-19. But now more than ever we must stay strong together,'' he said.
In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent out his condolences, calling what happened ''senseless violence.''
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''As a country, in moments like these, we come together to support one another,'' Trudeau's statement reads. ''Together we will mourn with the families of the victims, and help them get through this difficult time.''
Testing
Coronavirus Testing Needs to Triple Before the U.S. Can Reopen, Experts Say - The New York Times
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 07:35
As some governors consider easing social distancing restrictions, new estimates by researchers at Harvard University suggest that the United States cannot safely reopen unless it conducts more than three times the number of coronavirus tests it is currently administering over the next month.
Average Daily Coronavirus Tests in the U.S.Level needed
to safely
reopen
152 tests
150
tests per 100,000 people
(7-day average)
120
90
60
30
March 4
April 15
May 15
150
tests per 100,000 people
(7-day average)
Level to reopen
152 tests
120
90
60
30
March 4
April 15
May 15
An average of 146,000 people per day have been tested for the coronavirus nationally so far this month, according to the COVID Tracking Project, which on Friday reported 3.6 million total tests across the country. To reopen the United States by mid-May, the number of daily tests performed between now and then should be 500,000 to 700,000, according to the Harvard estimates.
That level of testing is necessary to identify the majority of people who are infected and isolate them from people who are healthy, according to the researchers. About 20 percent of those tested so far were positive for the virus, a rate that the researchers say is too high.
''If you have a very high positive rate, it means that there are probably a good number of people out there who have the disease who you haven't tested,'' said Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. ''You want to drive the positive rate down, because the fundamental element of keeping our economy open is making sure you're identifying as many infected people as possible and isolating them.''
The researchers said that expanded testing could reduce the rate to 10 percent, which is the maximum rate recommended by the World Health Organization. In Germany, that number is 7 percent, and in South Korea, it is closer to 3 percent.
There is variation in the rate of testing and positive results among states, but most need to administer more tests to get to the level the researchers suggest '-- a minimum of about 152 tests per 100,000 people each day .
Average Daily Coronavirus Tests Per 100,000 peopleDistrict of Columbia
D.C.
66
Notes: Testing levels shown are a 7-day moving average. Reporting methods and regularity can vary. Some decreases in testing can be because of a gap in reporting or a change in the reporting method. Only places with consistent and reliable data from the COVID Tracking Project are included.
In most states, people who had severe symptoms, worked in health facilities or were otherwise hospitalized were given priority for testing. The goal of the testing level recommended by the researchers would be to test nearly everyone who has mild or severe flulike symptoms, and an average of 10 contacts for each person who tests positive for the virus.
A shortage of test kits and technical flaws in the United States significantly delayed more widespread testing of the virus, letting it spread undetected for weeks. With more than 695,000 cases as of Friday, the country has the highest number of known cases in the world.
Health experts said that if the U.S. had tested earlier and more, the outbreak would have been better contained. Caitlin Rivers, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said that since that did not happen and the virus spread rapidly, it has made sense to prioritize testing for those in hospitals in recent weeks.
''It does make sense, given constraints, to focus on people with severe illness, because you need that information to guide their care,'' Dr. Rivers said.
In mid-May, however, when the researchers estimate infections will have subsided somewhat and states are looking to reopen their economies, Dr. Jha believes vastly expanded testing will be crucial.
''I want to be able to identify everybody who is even mildly symptomatic,'' he said. ''So when I wake up one morning and have a sore throat and a fever, I should be able to go get tested. And then I want to be able to test all of my contacts if I turn out to be positive, so that I can do the test, trace and isolate strategy that's so critical to allowing us to open up and stay open.''
New Jersey currently has the highest positive rate among all states '-- about half of the 157,000 coronavirus tests that it has conducted so far have come back positive. That suggests that many of the people in the state who have the coronavirus have not been tested. And recently, testing in New Jersey has started to decline.
Average Daily Tests in New JerseyLevel needed
to safely
reopen
152 tests
200
tests per 100,000 people
(7-day average)
150
100
50
March 4
May 15
April 15
200
tests per 100,000
people (7-day
average)
Level to reopen
152 tests
150
100
50
March 4
May 15
April 15
Note: Estimated cases are five times the number of cases identified. The researchers estimate that at least 80 percent of people who have the virus have not been tested.
The state's testing has been hindered by setbacks, including long lines at testing facilities and a shortage of health care workers and testing swabs.
Christopher Neuwirth, an assistant commissioner at New Jersey's Health Department, said the state's recent lag in testing could also indicate that fewer people are trying to get tested.
''In the days and weeks up until testing was available, there was a huge pent-up demand,'' Mr. Neuwirth said. After that, he said, the public became more aware of the criteria for testing. ''People really paid attention and really heard the messaging that you have to be symptomatic.''
That messaging will have to be reversed, Dr. Jha said, once testing is expanded.
''We need to switch from saying to people, 'if you have mild symptoms, if you're not feeling super sick, don't come and stay at home,' to 'if you have any symptoms, you need to come in to get tested right away,' '' he said.
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Thu, 23 Apr 2020 07:40
Young readers may find this hard to believe, but the United States was not always an ill-fated land battered by disaster, piling up its dead and crying out for humanitarian aid from more developed countries. The old-timers among us remember a different America '' an America where airlines fly millions of people from city to city every day, an America where people could walk in the street with their faces exposed, an America where every citizen has the right to shake the hand of the shopkeeper who just sold him a box of cornflakes, or a rifle. Yesterday's world.
And suddenly, there's the coronavirus. There's no knowing where this contaminated rolling snowball will stop '' perhaps it will even bring about the removal of President Trump from office in November? After all, it would take only a few thousand angry people in Pennsylvania and Florida to tilt the electoral scales from red to blue and to deliver the presidency to whoever is running against him (as long as that person is not a socialist Jew).
In any event, every such crisis has a deeper dimension than its potential influence on a presidential election. There is something thrilling, almost hypnotic, about the glorious helplessness America displays every time a devastating hurricane or a wind-borne virus transforms the country from an economic and technological superpower into a humanitarian disaster area. People dying in the streets was something we had in the Old Country '' and surely not what we expected when we boarded the Mayflower almost exactly 400 years ago.
Sooner or later, our lips will utter the precise word: capitalism. After all, in the eyes of the progressive left, that's the preexisting condition from which America has been suffering since the 17th century. It's what prevents establishment of a public health system and makes the country so very vulnerable now. In the eyes of free-market advocates, however, capitalism is what turned mass death, hunger and disease from self-evident and almost certain phenomena in the pre-capitalist world, into something rarely seen in the modern landscape.
I always found people of the second type more interesting (right is always more interesting than left, everywhere and at any time). In fact, they interested me so much that ages ago I decided to visit America and get as close as possible to an extraordinarily fascinating cult that sprang up around an equally extraordinary and fascinating woman. It was a particularly marvelous journey that was still possible in another era '' in early January 2020, before the first coronavirus victim in China wondered why he'd had a hard time breathing. I bought a plane ticket, because they were being sold, and disembarked in California, because it was permitted. Heady days.
Dollars and dystopia
Ten measures of dollar fetishism God gave to the world '' nine were taken by writer and philosopher Ayn Rand, on whose behalf I'd boarded the plane. In ''Atlas Shrugged,'' her best-known, dystopian novel, the United States sinks into the depths of collectivist tyranny, and all that remains of the dying empire of capitalism is an isolated valley settled by a few hundred free enterprisers '' individualists, the last true Americans. And what hangs like the sun in the skies? A sculpture of the dollar sign, fashioned of pure gold, one meter high. The same dollar sign '' this time made of flowers, and almost two meters high '' was placed on Ayn Rand's grave in 1982 by the most loyal and tearful of her admirers, as it was being sealed.
Related ArticlesWilliam F. Buckley, Jr., the godfather of modern American conservatism, often accused Rand of wanting to substitute the sign of the dollar for the cross. He thereby erred in underestimating her intentions; the truth is that she would also have replaced the American flag with the dollar sign. Her fetishism for the letter S with a vertical stroke through it was not based on some aesthetic caprice, but on a rational argument that goes well beyond obsession: The dollar was the apex of creativity of the human spirit.
Ten measures of dollar fetishism God gave to the world '' nine were taken by Ayn Rand. Mark Lennihan,AP Ayn Rand, n(C)e Alisa Rosenbaum, was born in 1905 to a bourgeois Jewish family in St. Petersburg '' a reality that placed her on the wrong side of the Bolshevik revolution. In an alternative and not untenable scenario, she might have fled to Palestine and lived out her life in Tel Aviv as Miss Rosenbaum, the persnickety neighbor on the ground floor. But Alisa wanted America, America first, and crossed the ocean, where she eventually found work as a scriptwriter in Hollywood.
Rand would go on to divide her life between Manhattan and Hollywood, thrilled to the depths of her soul by the skyscrapers of the one and the factory of dreams of the other. Her most important novels, ''Atlas Shrugged'' and ''The Fountainhead,'' would sell 30 million copies between them. The rate of sales would accelerate with every economic crisis, with every public debate about the limits of the government's power, with every election of a person named Barack Obama to the White House.
The outbreak of the coronavirus also will have its effect: 2020 is sure to be a boon for the beneficiaries of Rand's intellectual estate.
The philosophical theory she propounded, which she called Objectivism, arises from every one of the too-many pages of her literary works and from numberless other theoretical texts she published, which are far more interesting.
When it comes to philosophy, political thought (radical capitalism, in this case) is built upon basic philosophical tiers: metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. Yes, lofty words, but in contrast to some contemporaneous philosophers, who did all they could to ensure that we would have no idea what they were talking about '' with Rand everything is understood. She wrote clearly. In fact, the principal tenets of Objectivism can be summed up quite briefly:
The first tier: metaphysics. Reality is objective. Facts exist. Beliefs or desires will not change them. In other words, it makes no difference how ardently you believe in God '' that will not make him exist.
The second tier: epistemology. Reason is man's sole means of perceiving reality and his place within it. In short: Stop feeling things and use your brain, stupid.
The third tier, ethics, is the crowning glory of Objectivism: egoism. Man is his own purpose. Do not sacrifice your life for the sake of others and do not ask others to sacrifice their lives for you.
What are the political implications of this architectural edifice? And then there is the fourth tier: capitalism. The only system in which everyone lives for himself. Randian morality does not differentiate between human rights and property rights. Plundering a person's property (by levying taxes, for example) '' namely, dispossessing someone of the fruits of his labor, which promote his physical survival and his egoistic happiness '' is equivalent to jailing him without a trial.
Capitalism, Rand decreed, need not be restrained, as liberals argue, nor need it be prettified and painted in colors that will conceal its true nature, as conservatives habitually do. We should take pride in and feel blessed by pure capitalism '' the sort that is fueled by uncompromising rational egoism. ''But capitalism runs contrary to the principle of equality!'' readers of Haaretz and The New York Times will grumble. ''Indeed,'' Rand will reply to them, in her Russian accent, ''and that is exactly what makes it just.''
When in virtually every Hollywood movie the ''bad guy'' is always the one who thinks only of himself and the ''good guy'' sacrifices himself for the benefit of others; when the leftist propaganda machine persuaded generations of Americans that the mega-industrialists of the 19th century '' ''the greatest humanitarians of mankind'' '' were nothing but ''robber barons''; and when an American president dares to preach, ''Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,'' and is wildly applauded even by self-styled capitalists '' after all this, Rand's conclusion was that America is committing suicide by way of a cup of moral hemlock served up by left-wing intellectuals in their perverted thrust to establish an anti-rational nightmarish society.
From her point of view, this is a society whose raison d'ªtre is adhering to the primitive tribal principle of serving ''the common good.'' It's a society that's suitable for a beehive but contrary to human nature: an egalitarian society.
Instant cult
Objectivism became a cult the instant it was born, thanks largely to Rand's enigmatic character, her psychological control over an inner circle of followers, and most of all, the obsessed devotion of young Nathaniel Branden, her intellectual right-hand (and secret lover), the cult builder, who made it clear to everyone that Objectivism is a package deal: If you are a radical capitalist but believe in God, go away and don't come back; if you are an avowed atheist but believe in the state's right to levy taxes, find yourself a different rabbi.
At regular meetings with her acolytes in her apartment on E. 36th Street in Manhattan, when the slightest hint of disagreement over her teachings was expressed by anyone present, even in a discussion about art, that person was sent into permanent exile.
The result: a cult that extols radical individualism, consisting of people whose philosophical, political, cultural, aesthetic, cinematic, literary and musical tastes are absolutely identical. To ensure the cult's long-term survival, Rand ordained one of her brilliant pupils, Leonard Peikoff, as her legal and intellectual heir '' that is, a human mouthpiece through whom she would continue to articulate her doctrine, even from beyond the grave.
Rand's desk on display at the institute. Only God knows how many social democrats were tortured on it. Itay MeirsonTo be an Objectivist means to believe with complete faith (that is to say, to think solely based on reason) in one and only one proposition: ''John Galt's oath'' '' a reference to the protagonist of ''Atlas Shrugged.'' In the novel, every free enterpriser who wants to be admitted to the last capitalist paradise on Earth is obligated to pledge: ''I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.''
If ''Atlas Shrugged'' is the Bible (although it's not; the Bible is shorter), then John Galt's oath is the Ten Commandments. It is engraved in the heart of every Objectivist, tattooed on the arm of many of them, printed on T-shirts, coffee mugs, caps, posters '' on anything that can be sold for a few bucks, for the egoistical benefit of buyer and seller.
Within a few years of Rand's death, the movement she founded faced a crisis that revolved around a question usually reserved for discourse surrounding religious cults: Is Objectivism a complete, hermetically sealed doctrine '' as Peikoff and the vast majority of her followers maintained '' or is it an elastic philosophy that can still be developed, as a no-less loyal Randist, David Kelley, thought? For a few thousands of die-hard Objectivists, this was not merely a theoretical matter; old friends turned their back on each other, families were torn apart.
In 1985, Peikoff, the leader of the orthodox majority faction of the movement remaining after Rand's death, established the Ayn Rand Institute, a research body that would disseminate standard Objectivism, the type that is permissible and desirable to contemplate by day and by night, but in which not even a comma can be changed. The institute's declared goal is to ''spearhead a cultural renaissance that will reverse the anti-reason, anti-individualism, anti-freedom, anti-capitalist trends in today's culture.''
In leftist eyes, this constitutes a paradox. After all, every social democrat knows that the 1980s marked the awakening of neoliberalism, the ''swinish capitalism'' with which economist Milton Friedman cultivated leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Well, you're making Rand laugh: Friedman's insistence on viewing economics as a science detached from philosophy made him, in her eyes, a ''miserable eclectic'' and ''an enemy of Objectivism.'' Redemption would not come from pretend capitalists.
Meeting the faithful
I decided to pay a visit to the Ayn Rand Institute in Southern California for two reasons: to meet Rand herself through her private archive there, and to meet the faithful of her cult of followers who, like her, are known among their enemies as mysterious, rigid, dogmatic, humorless, socially challenged individuals who are unable to express human affection '' people who admire humankind but hate human beings. It's not surprising that many of them, so it's said, have chosen, like Rand herself, not to have children.
The headquarters of the Ayn Rand cult is located in the city of Irvine, one of the least touristy places within the greater Los Angeles area. It's morning, the streets are utterly empty, the few paved sidewalks look as sterile as a computer simulation of some future real estate project. In another two months, the emptiness would be due to the area's closure, following the advent of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lee Lawrie's statue of the Greek titan Atlas, the inspiration for Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged." Michael GreeneI walk to the address I've been given, on the way memorizing John Galt's oath from my iPhone, in case officers of the order ask me to recite it. I stand below their premises. Not a bewitched fortress or a dark monastery, but a plain 10-story office building; there are a hundred like it in Ramat Hahayal or the Ra'anana industrial zone, in Israel.
At the entrance is a small man-made pond with ducks paddling about on it. Just before I enter the lobby, one of them fixes round, warning eyes on me, and I can't help thinking that this duck was once a person who arranged to visit here, did not properly follow the order's ritual rules and paid for it by being cursed for all eternity. What will happen if they ask me whether I'm an Objectivist? Is it the custom to say ''good morning'' there, or does that greeting attest to moral failure, an irrational act that exercises the vocal cords for the sake of taking an interest in the happiness of a person who is not me? Is it okay to look them in the eyes?
I press the doorbell on the sixth floor. As I will infer afterward, as I wait for long seconds at the entrance, members of the order, proficient in the ''stranger at the door'' drill, doff their robes, remove the stuffed heads of leftists that normally hang on the walls, and try to create the appearance of an innocent office within the space there. Steps are heard approaching from inside. The door opens, and facing me is the gatekeeper of the order '' a man on the brink of retirement age, no longer wearing the robe, wearing a broad smile and overt silence. I introduce myself hesitantly. ''Come in,'' he whispers, ''we've been waiting for you.''
The Ayn Rand Institute '' the control center of the world Objectivist cult '' looks like a medium-sized accountant's office. In the anteroom, behind a rope barrier similar to those found in banks, is the original wooden desk on which Rand wrote her books and articles. The desk was built by her husband, the actor and painter Frank O'Connor. It's a very heavy desk, recalling a medieval surgical table. Only God knows how many social democrats have been tortured on it by electric shock since it was brought here.
The gatekeeper entrusts me to Jennifer, the archive's director. She shows me around the office and introduces me to the dramatis personae, each of whom is nicer and friendlier than the last. Then she takes me to the kitchenette. There are three boxes of cookies on the counter. I look for a name sticker on them, stating which of the people in the office is the exclusive legal and moral owner of said property, bought with his money, with the egoistic intent of benefiting his own material and spiritual condition.
''The cookies belong to everyone, feel free to have some,'' Jennifer says. ''To everyone?'' I give her a suspicious look. ''What do you mean, 'to everyone'?''
''There's coffee here, too,'' she adds, pointing to a shared machine, with shared capsules in a drawer with shared cups, which can be washed in the shared sink. There's also a shared refrigerator and a shared microwave machine for the office staff. These people have decided to play mind games with me.
For quite a few days, I arrive at the office in the morning and leave when it's dark. My many hours at the institute are spent alone, at the table in the archive library, as Jennifer, displaying endless devotion, plies me with dozens of numbered cartons that contain innumerable fan letters to Rand, letters she wrote castigating rivals from right and left, invitations to lectures, telegrams she sent, notes she scribbled, original handwritten drafts of her literary works.
There's also a sensational find: a receipt bearing her name, from February 1940, for a $25 donation to the people of Finland to help them repel the Red Army's invasion. In the language of scoop hunters on Twitter: ''Boom!'' And in the language of biographers: To take revenge on the communists for what they did to her and her family in 1917, she was ready, in a moment of weakness, to do something for others. Poor woman, she lost it for a moment.
The entrance to the Ayn Rand Institute. Looks like a mid-sized accountant's office. Itay Meirson'''
During the many long days I spend there, not once do I catch the members of the order stepping out of the humane and people-loving guise they'd donned in my honor. Not when I go down to have lunch with them, nor when some of them engage me in friendly chitchat. One is the director of the Ayn Rand Institute '' yes, we can stop calling it an ''order'' now '' a particularly friendly Israeli fellow and a marvelous conversationalist named Tal Tsfany. One fine day in 2018, after making his fortune in high-tech, Tsfany decided to stop advancing his own interests in order to try to get other people to advance their own.
The Israeli connection to the Objectivist movement is not a coincidental one. First, the CEO of the institute from 2000 to 2017 was also a former Israeli, Yaron Brook, who is apparently the most successful spokesperson for Randism in this century, together with the aged Peikoff.
Second, and more important, in regard to the connection with Israel '' this time regarding its conflict with the Arabs '' the Objectivist movement espouses a position to the right of the most hawkish members of the Zionist camp. Certainly, the Objectionists say, Israel is far from being an Objectivist paragon: It has a centralist, union-driven economy; its nationalism is suffused with primitive religious collectivism. But when Israel is seen in light of the backward, oppressive, anti-rational dictatorships that surround and want to eradicate it '' it is nothing but a beacon of light of individual freedom in a dark cave. In Rand's words, ''When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are.'' Let the IDF win '' but in a rational way, of course.
Intellectuals needed
Still, it wasn't my Israeliness that prompted the folks at the institute to be so cordial. They're nice to anyone who shows an interest in them, to anyone who displays sincere curiosity. The Objectivist movement takes seriously the Randian imperative, according to which all the ills of the West (kowtowing to the weak, apologizing for the achievements of capitalism, hatred of the good for being good) are the result of a philosophical flaw, hence it follows that the correction must be made on a philosophical basis. Capitalism, in their view, is too important to be left to ignorant boors like Donald Trump or Israel's Nir Barkat, who preach a free market without understanding either what a market is or what free means.
Accordingly, what the Objectivists need desperately are more intellectuals who will adopt their precepts lock, stock and barrel. And because no sensible intellectual will stick the tip of his nose into a cult, they are vigorously dissociating themselves from that appellation '' and the truth is that they are indeed far less insular and purist than they were two or three decades ago.
Just before I take my leave of the institute's staff, Jennifer gives me a box of surplus books and invites me to choose one as a gift. I'm not even surprised. See you later, I tell them, knowing that they really are nice people, almost normative, that it's great to talk to them about subjects that don't occupy any other institute, and that they are really and truly concerned about the future of the human race, which is shackled by an altruistic ethos that threatens to thrust it back into the dark ages.
Faithful to the Randian spirit, I spend the day that remains before my flight home egoistically and rationally wasting a few dollars at the Universal Studios park. I clear my mind by going on the Harry Potter roller coaster. I have a regular habit on roller coasters: During the scariest part, when the G-force forces my lungs into my gut, I start thinking about epistemology.
Nathaniel Branden '' Rand's pupil, lover and colleague, whom she eventually cast off '' claimed that anyone who truly understands her is bound to agree with her. He was wrong. But what's great about Rand is that everyone is wrong about her. Her ardent admirers see her as the greatest philosopher since Aristotle (she's not); conservatives accuse her of demanding to banish belief in God from the world (she didn't; she only claimed, and rightly, that if everyone were to behave rationally, that belief would uproot itself); leftists maintain that she is a lightweight philosopher (she's not; her Objectivism is fully grounded and consistent, apart from a few minor internal contradictions, which are also debatable). Ayn Rand should be evaluated, and sometimes strongly criticized, for the philosopher she is '' not for the philosopher she is not.
The tendency of Rand's haters is to see her philosophy as a package deal. In this, ironically, they are no different from followers of her cult. But when objectivism is divided into its four tiers, it becomes more useful. It makes no different whether you're Bernie Sanders or Stanley Fischer, Shelly Yacimovich or Nehemia Shtrasler, the CEO of the NGO Latet (To Give) or the chairman of Lakahat (To Take): If you understand Ayn Rand, you will become a better capitalist, social democrat or communist. Her Objectivism is an ideology-sharpener that should belong in every pencil case. Indeed, every pencil you put into it will come out better honed than when it went in. Even today. Especially today.
Itay Meirson is a doctoral student at The Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies, Tel Aviv University, where he's studying the intellectual history of the American right.
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VIDEO - History of Bill Gates Sr, Johns Hopkins, Planned Parenthood and ''Population Control'' by Laurie Zabin - YouTube
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 07:39
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VIDEO-Rachel Maddow Takedown of Trump, Fox News on Hydroxychloroquine
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 07:05
Rachel Maddow executed a long, thorough, and devastating takedown of the relentless cheerleading about the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine from Fox News and President Donald Trump, which has quietly stopped after recent studies here and abroad found that drug can have severe and even fatal side effects when used as an off-label treatment for the coronavirus.
''It is a common drug used to prevent malaria. You may have taken it before traveling overseas, if you were trying not to get malaria,'' Maddow said, introducing her segment. ''But most likely you never heard of this drug until last month when the primetime Fox News hosts and then the president started incessantly promoting it on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, as what they were quite sure was a miracle cure for coronavirus. There's no big deal, for this coronavirus thing, we've got a cure already. They promoted it to despite zero clinical trials and next to no evidence of its effectiveness. But boy were they insistent.''
What then followed was a damning, two-minute-long supercut of nearly 30 instances of Trump, as well as Fox hosts Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham touting the drug's potential if not outright singing the drug's praises.
''Beginning in middle of March, hydroxychloroquine was mentioned hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times on the Fox News channel, particularly by its primetime hosts, and by the president, from the White House podium,'' Maddow explained, before noting a stark reversal about a week ago, when those mentions disappeared almost overnight. '' They just stopped bringing it up. And we don't know why it is,'' Maddow noted. '' But yesterday, we did get the results of a new study, which is yet to be peer recovered, but it is the largest to date involving the use of hydroxychloroquine among 368 veterans in veterans hospitals across the U.S. In that trial, the drug was found to have no benefit, and there were actually more deaths reported among those who were given the drug than those who were given standard care.''
The president, when asked about the disappointing results of the VA study at Wednesday's coronavirus task force briefing, quickly shrugged off the question, saying ''I don't know of the report.'' Gone was the unbridled enthusiasm for the drug so evident a month ago.
The MSNBC host then pulled another thread to the story, the breaking news from Wednesday that the federal government's lead scientist tasked with developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, Dr. Rick Bright, was abruptly demoted earlier this week, a move that he claims was payback because he refused to pursue more research funding for hydroxychloroquine.
'' It is one thing to not have leadership at the federal level in response to this crisis. It is actually a whole 'nother thing to have the president putting American lives at risk every time he blurts something made up or that he thought he understood from TV into the microphone at the White House briefing room,'' Maddow said in a very, let-that-sink-in tone. '' I won't tell you my opinion about the president and how he should be treated. But as a general matter, I think we should all agree that perhaps there should be a more concerted effort to stop the misinformation about this disease, particularly if it is potentially deadly misinformation.''
''If somebody is repeatedly misinforming the American public, about important things having to do with this disease, don't broadcast that,'' Maddow exclaimed, before throwing several not-so-veiled jabs at both Trump and Fox News. '' Don't listen to people who are lying to you about this disease. Don't broadcast their comments. C ertainly don't keep doing it day after day, when they've proven themselves to be lying day after day. And honestly, it doesn't matter who it is. Show some responsibility, honestly.''
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.
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VIDEO-Liz Wheeler on Twitter: "AOC says people should refuse to go back to work. Not because of COVID-19. Because... well, listen to it yourself. https://t.co/aQjTDYma9v" / Twitter
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 07:00
Rising serpent @ rising_serpent
12h A person with a lobotomy and an icepick lodged deep within their skull would make more sense than this drooling socialist idiot who, go figure, has an economics degree from Boston University.It takes the right combination of lack of brains and lack of soul to become a politician
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VIDEO-EXCLUSIVE: Robert F Kennedy Jr. Drops Bombshells on Dr. Fauci For Medical Cover Ups and Fraud; Fauci "Poisoned an Entire Generation of Americans" '' True Pundit
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 06:48
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. revealed disturbing information about Dr. Anthony Fauci's medical career in the government, calling out the celebrated physician for a history of disturbing practices ranging from costly cover ups to outright fraud.
Kennedy repeatedly slammed Fauci on the Thomas Paine Podcast on Wednesday, revealing disturbing information about Fauci's problematic career steering key medical policy for the United States. Kennedy described Fauci as a workplace tyrant who has ruined careers of upstanding physicians and researchers in order to cover up scandals and costly medical research disasters at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases where Fauci has served as director since 1984 as part of the National Institute of Health.
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''Tony Fauci didn't want the American public to know that he has poisoned an entire generation of Americans,'' Kennedy said, alleging Fauci targeted a whistleblower who was trying to uncover the blood supply in the country was tainted with deadly strains.
Kennedy said Fauci ruined the physician's career and covered up the crucial research. And that was just one of Kennedy's attacks against Fauci. There were more. Kennedy also targeted Bill Gates, Big Pharma, the media, and more in this exclusive interview. Listen at top of page.
VIDEO - '' Feminists are angry man-hating lesbians | Ann Coulter interview | SVT/TV 2/Skavlan - YouTube
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 20:29
VIDEO - Westport Police to Test 'Pandemic Drone' That Can Sense Fevers, Coughing '' NBC Connecticut
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 20:20
Westport police are going to be testing a ''pandemic drone'' that can monitor people's temperatures from 190 feet away and detect sneezing, coughing and heart and breathing rates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Westport police said they are working with Draganfly, a drone company, to test technology in an effort to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.
A news releasefrom Draganfly said the pandemic drone will be equipped with a specializedsensor and computer vision systems that can display fever/temperature, heartand respiratory rates, as well as detect people sneezing and coughing incrowds, and wherever groups of people may work or congregate.
The state ofConnecticut has 19,815 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 8.320 of those cases havebeen in Fairfield County. Westport has 197 cases.
''One of the major problems for cities and towns like Westport inmanaging and responding to a pandemic like the COVID-19 virus, is finding outwho could be infected and how widespread the disease has spread,'' WestportFirst Selectman, Jim Marpe said in a statementa. ''One way to do this is to lookfor underlying symptoms. By teaming up with Draganfly and the UniSA team led byDefence Chair of Sensor Systems Professor Javaan Chahl, we are able to remotelylook at valuable lifesaving data and better manage current and future healthemergencies.''
Police said thegoal is to provide better health monitoring support for potential at-riskgroups, including seniors, as well as for gathering crowds at beaches, trainstations, parks and recreation areas, and shopping centers.
Police said thedrone software uses biometric readings to understand population patterns andallows quicker reaction time to ongoing events or potential health threats.
The program iscalled the ''Flatten the Curve Pilot Program.''
Police said itwill not be used in individual private yards and it does not use facialrecognition technology.
''Using dronesremains a go-to technology for reaching remote areas with little to no manpowerrequired. Because of this technology, our officers will have the informationand quality data they need to make the best decision in any given situation,'' WestportPolice Chief Foti Koskinas said in a news release.
You can learn more here.
VIDEO - Remains of Peter Beard found on Long Island
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 17:10
By Tamar Lapin
April 19, 2020 | 3:58pm
The body of famed photographer Peter Beard was found not far from his Long Island property Sunday, authorities and his family said.
The 82-year-old African wildlife shutterbug '-- a onetime fixture at Studio 54 and pal of Andy Warhol '-- suffered from dementia and had been missing from his cliffside Montauk compound since March 31.
A hunter in nearby Camp Hero State Park stumbled on clothing ''consistent with'' what Beard was wearing when he disappeared, the East Hampton Police Department said.
The remains were soon found in a ''densely wooded area'' of the park, police said. There was no appearance of foul play.
His family later confirmed Beard's passing.
Photographer Peter Beard Getty Images''We are all heartbroken by the confirmation of our beloved Peter's death,'' said a statement from Beard's family, including wife Nejma and their daughter, Zara.
''Peter was an extraordinary man who led an exceptional life. He lived life to the fullest; he squeezed every drop out of every day.''
The legendary photographer '-- whose creations have sold for more $500,000 a pop '-- had a history of wandering off from time to time, even earning the nickname ''Walkabout'' from friends.
''Peter has always been a wanderer,'' a source close to him previously told Page Six.
Close pals had been holding out hope that he'd ''just gone on another joyride with one of his friends'' when he vanished.
Born into Manhattan high society in 1938, Beard fell in love with Africa as a boy after seeing Museum of Natural History dioramas depicting the continent.
In the mid-1960s, he purchased a rugged 45-acre property in Kenya known as Hog Ranch and spent decades there working.
Adventure was seductive to Beard, who swam with crocodiles, was charged at by rhinos and was once trampled by an elephant.
His first two marriages were to socialite Minnie Cushing in the 1960s and then supermodel Cheryl Tiegs in 1982.
He wed Nejma Khanum, the daughter of a high court judge, in 1986.
Beard's disappearance last month sparked a massive search, with dozens of cops and K-9 units going door to door and helicopters and drones scanning the coastline.
His family thanked law enforcement for their efforts and friends for their support.
Beard was ''an intrepid explorer, unfailingly generous, charismatic, and discerning,'' the family statement said.
''Peter defined what it means to be open: open to new ideas, new encounters, new people, new ways of living and being.
''Always insatiably curious, he pursued his passions without restraints and perceived reality through a unique lens. Anyone who spent time in his company was swept up by his enthusiasm and his energy.''
The pioneering contemporary artist ''was decades ahead of his time in his efforts to sound the alarm about environmental damage,'' the statement said.
''His visual acuity and elemental understanding of the natural environment was fostered by his long stays in the bush and the 'wild-deer-ness' he loved and defended.
''He died where he lived: in nature.''
VIDEO - Coronavirus may have infected hundreds of thousands in L.A. County - Los Angeles Times
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 17:06
Hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles County residents may have been infected with the coronavirus by early April, far outpacing the number of officially confirmed cases, according to a report released Monday.
The initial results from the first large-scale study tracking the spread of the coronavirus in the county found that 4.1% of adults have antibodies to the virus in their blood, an indication of past exposure.
That translates to roughly 221,000 to 442,000 adults who have recovered from an infection, once margin of error is taken into account, according to the researchers conducting the study. The county had reported fewer than 8,000 cases at that time.
The findings suggest the fatality rate may be much lower than previously thought. But although the virus may be more widespread, the infection rate still falls far short of herd immunity that, absent a vaccine, would be key to return to normal life.
''We are very early in the epidemic, and many more people in L.A. County could potentially be impacted,'' said Neeraj Sood, the study's leader and a professor at USC's Sol Price School of Public Policy. ''And as those number of infections arise, so will the number of deaths, the number of hospitalizations, and the number of ICU admissions.''
1 / 13
Nurse anesthetist Nilu Patel quietly stands with fellow nurses at UC Irvine Medical Center for a candlelight vigil at their shift change to describe conditions and the need for more N95 respirators and protective gear required to safely treat coronavirus patients. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
2 / 13
Registered nurses at UC Irvine Medical Center pose for campy selfies following a candlelight vigil at their shift change. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
3 / 13
Nurse Maria Louviaux quietly stands with fellow nurses at UC Irvine Medical Center for an hourlong candlelight vigil to highlight conditions and the need for more N95 respirators and protective gear required to safely treat coronavirus patients. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
4 / 13
Registered nurse Patty Pinedo takes the temperature of resident Sally Kimani as she enters a West L.A. hotel that has been turned into housing for the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
5 / 13
A nurse gets help putting on her personal protective equipment before heading into a negative pressure room to administer care for a COVID-19 patient at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center in Chula Vista, Calif. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
6 / 13
Orange County Fire Authority firefighters and other first responders from Laguna Beach, Santa Ana and Irvine thank healthcare workers for their efforts to combat COVID-19 at Mission Hospital (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
7 / 13
Red Cross nurse Edith Fernandez, right, tends to blood donor, Cheri Adams as USC Athletics and the Red Cross host a blood drive to help maintain a stable blood supply during the coronavirus pandemic at USC's Galen Center. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
8 / 13
Marsha Santini, a nurse at UCLA Medical Center, and fellow nurses and supporters gather to protest the lack of personal protective equipment. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
9 / 13
Nurse practitioner Christine Alberto puts on protective gear before she and other health professionals prepare to go outside of the COVID Cabana, the name for the COVID-19 testing tent, to test a patient while they sit in their car parked next to the tent at Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines in San Diego. (Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)
10 / 13
Medical personnel from St. Jude Medical Center stand clustered on the sidewalk as Fullerton and Brea Firefighters, EMS and Police join together in a show of support for healthcare workers outside of the St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
11 / 13
Healthcare workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic at Glendale Adventist Hospital in Glendale gather outside the facility for a tribute to their work by Glendale police and fire personnel. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
12 / 13
UC Irvine Medical Center health care workers bang on the windows in a return of gratitude as they watch about 25 Orange County first responders vehicles participate in a drive-by parade of gratitude as they battle COVID-19 at the hospital. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
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Jennifer Adams, a registered nurse, joins fellow healthcare workers outside UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center to call for further action from the federal government's in reaction to the Covid 19 outbreak. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
The early results from L.A. County come three days after Stanford researchers reported that the coronavirus appears to have circulated much more widely in Santa Clara County than previously thought.
Though the county had reported roughly 1,000 cases in early April, the Stanford researchers estimate the actual number was 48,000 to 81,000.
The findings bolster the sense that a significant portion of those carrying the virus could show no symptoms at all, and therefore be unknowingly infecting others. Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of President Trump's coronavirus task force, said during the White House briefing that the USC results underscore ''concern about asymptomatic spread'' because it is harder to trace.
''This has been the fundamental question to begin with,'' she said, emphasizing the importance of treating the disease as ''highly contagious.''
Antibody tests, also known as serology testing, have increasingly become a focal point in the response to coronavirus because they can potentially show the true extent of the virus' reach and therefore can shed light on how close the population is to achieving herd immunity. That occurs when enough people have some degree of immunity to the virus that it becomes difficult for infections to spread.
''Any way you slice the data ... it's clear that herd immunity in this situation does not apply. It's still way below that level,'' said Natalie Dean, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida.
Such tests can also provide a more accurate picture of how lethal the virus is.
The mortality rate is based on the number of confirmed infections; the higher the number of infections, the lower the fatality rate. Both studies estimated a mortality rate of 0.1% to 0.2%, which is closer to the death rate associated with the seasonal flu.
Researchers emphasized that these initial findings should not make people dismiss the risks of COVID-19.
Paul Simon, chief science officer for Los Angeles County's public health department, noted that the county was averaging 50 deaths from coronavirus a day, eclipsing cardiac disease as the top killer.
''If this mortality were to continue for the whole year '-- we hope it doesn't, but if it did '-- COVID would be the leading cause of death in Los Angeles County,'' Simon said.
Preliminary data from Los Angeles found that men were more likely to be infected than women. Seven percent of blacks in the study tested positive, compared with 6% of white participants, 4% of Asian Americans and 2.5% of Latinos.
''There seem to be some differences by gender, and by race/ethnicity, but we really need to dig deeper into that to figure out,'' Sood said. ''Is it something about where you live? Is it something about you taking public transportation? Is it something about your biology or some genetic predisposition?''
The Santa Clara study recruited around 3,300 participants from social media, which has raised some concerns that the results may not be representative of the county as a whole. The researchers made adjustments to their data to account for that problem.
The study was composed differently in Los Angeles; 863 adults were selected through a market research firm to represent the makeup of the county. The county and USC researchers intend to repeat the study every two to three weeks for several months, in order to track the trajectory of the virus' spread.
Both counties used rapid antibody tests supplied from Premier Biotech, a Minneapolis-based company. The test has not yet been approved by the FDA, although the federal government does allow for such tests to be used for public health surveillance.
Neither the Stanford nor USC studies have been vetted by the typical peer review process, and their initial conclusions have been fiercely debated. USC researchers did not release an underlying technical report Monday that detailed their methodology.
Dr. Warner Greene, a virologist with Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, said that research out of Wuhan, China '-- where the virus is believed to have originated '-- found that the number of infections was likely 2.5 times higher than originally known. The studies in Los Angeles and Santa Clara, by contrast, said the true case counts were between 28 and 85 times greater than official reports.
''I don't know where the truth lies yet,'' Greene said. ''I do know that we knew all along that we were missing a lot of infections. The degree of the miss is what's in question.''
Eric Topol, a physician and executive vice president of Scripps Research in La Jolla, contrasted the Los Angeles study findings with those from a Wuhan hospital that found an infection rate hovering between 2% to 3%.
''You have to check your serology versus what's known in the rest of the world, and the 4.1% that they came up with is ... considerably higher than Wuhan,'' Topol said. ''We are not Wuhan anywhere in California, by any stretch of anyone's imagination.''
The two studies in California are among the surge of new research underway across the globe attempting to detect the presence of coronavirus antibodies to find cases that may have been missed initially.
''Early data from some of these studies suggest that a relatively small percentage of the population may have been infected, even in heavily affected areas '-- not more than 2% to 3%,'' said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
As antibody testing has risen in prominence and are increasingly available on the commercial market, so too have concerns about accuracy over the results, particularly the occurrence of false positives, which could inflate estimate of infection rates.
It is unlikely the initial findings will cause county officials to immediately change their response to the virus. Barbara Ferrer, the county's top health official, said that the high rate of infection only underscored the need to continue with physical distancing, wearing cloth face coverings and staying home if sick.
''We need to assume that at any point in time, we could be infected and that all of the other people we come in contact with could also be infected,'' Ferrer said Monday.
Ferrer also took pains to note that much is still unknown about whether the presence of antibodies to this virus means a person is immune.
''Being positive for COVID-19 antibodies does not mean that a person is immune, or that a person is not able to be reinfected,'' Ferrer said. ''More research is really needed to understand what protections people have who may have already been infected with COVID-19.''
Times staff writers Deborah Netburn, Emily Baumgaertner and Noah Bierman contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Coronavirus outbreak: Canadian company behind technology to monitor people quarantining in Hong Kong - YouTube
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 17:06
VIDEO - (11) Josh Marshall on Twitter: "Las Vegas Mayor offers city as "control group", "we offer to be a control group" to see how many people die without social distancing. https://t.co/NESE2hActE" / Twitter
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 17:03
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VIDEO-Glenn Beck on Twitter: "The NHS has "a hostile DISLIKE of the private sector." British author @mattwridley explains why Great Britain puts so much trust in its National Health Service, despite continued failures with the coronavirus. https://t.co/lb
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 16:17
Log in Sign up Glenn Beck @ glennbeck The NHS has "a hostile DISLIKE of the private sector." British author
@mattwridley explains why Great Britain puts so much trust in its National Health Service, despite continued failures with the coronavirus.
pic.twitter.com/lbRLQWZ5ku 11:00 AM - 22 Apr 2020 Twitter by: Glenn Beck @glennbeck Kevin Dick @ kdkevindick
3h Replying to
@glennbeck @mattwridley Yes. And the U.S. has dealt with Covid-19 so successfully!
View conversation · John Jay @ JohnJay_01
3h Replying to
@kdkevindick @glennbeck @mattwridley Ideed the U.S. is doing much better than the U.K. based on the data.
pic.twitter.com/umRuJQaJvV View conversation · Matt Ridley @ mattwridley
3h Replying to
@glennbeck Thanks, Glenn
View conversation · LiberalPaul @ LiberalPaul
3h Replying to
@glennbeck @mattwridley That's why you can get a test for COVID-19 a whole lot easier in the UK.
View conversation · Blazzers78 @ blazzers781
3h Replying to
@glennbeck @mattwridley America's private medical system is the ultimate failure. It leaves huge gaps of people who are under protected or not protected at all. Those without insurance don't go to hospital because it's unaffordable. Everyone is at risk and America's massive death rate results.
View conversation · John Jay @ JohnJay_01
3h Replying to
@blazzers781 @glennbeck @mattwridley Yes. Look at this data. The UK is doing much better!
pic.twitter.com/jU0HMBFx6S View conversation · Counterchekist @ Counterchekist3
48m Replying to
@glennbeck @mattwridley America needs you to leave your bunker, Colonel
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VIDEO-Respiratory Therapist Blows the Whistle on CDC Fraud
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VIDEO-45mins POPULATION BOMB IS BACK-Michael Moore Presents: Planet of the Humans | Full Documentary | Directed by Jeff Gibbs - YouTube
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 11:54
VIDEO-David Icke | Dr. Birx CONFRONTED on Her and Fauci MISLEADING Trump, Her Reaction Says EVERYTHING
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 05:27
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VIDEO-Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson Team Up with Michelle Obama for Left's Push for Vote By Mail
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 05:12
Former first lady Michelle Obama made a big push for vote by mail during a virtual voter registration drive on Monday that included appearances by a giddy Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who recently recovered from COVID-19. While the online event was billed as a non-partisan effort, it was dominated by former Obama administration faces, including former special White House advisor Valerie Jarrett.
Michelle Obama was the marquee speaker at the virtual ''couch party'' organized by When We All Vote, a voter registration group that bills itself as non-partisan but is stacked with former Obama administration officials. In addition to Jarrett, its leaders include Tina Tchen, who served as Michelle Obama's chief of staff, and Kyle Lierman, who served as a policy advisor in the White House Office of Public Engagement.
''Voting should never be difficult and never be a partisan issue,'' Michelle Obama told viewers via phone Monday evening during the online drive. The former first lady spoke about the recent Wisconsin primaries, which took place in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and how the organization's members need to push vote-by-mail for the elections in November.
''I don't think you need me to tell you that this work is more urgent than ever before,'' she said.
Voting by mail has become a hotly contested issue in the lead-up to the presidential election. Democrats have introduced a measure in Congress to increase vote-by-mail options throughout the country. But President Donald Trump has stated that he is against it because it increases the likelihood of voter fraud.
Valerie Jarrett told viewers that ''voting transcends politics'' while speaking via video from her apartment in New York.''Everyone should be able to vote by mail,'' she said. The former Obama advisor appeared on MSNBC last week to push the initiative, saying that the federal government should make it ''as easy as possible'' for people to vote.
Jarrett also said Monday that online voter registration should be universal. ''Every single American should be able to register to vote online,'' she said.
Co-chairs Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson appeared remotely from Los Angeles, to liven up the virtual party with star power.''I want to vote no matter where I am,'' said Hanks, who played a toy xylophone and appeared in a giddy mood. ''I have Diabetes type 2 and I still want to be able to vote.''
Wilson called vote by mail a ''great compromise'' and said that ''we as Americans should be able to request the options'' of a mail-in ballot.
The virtual couch party also featured an appearance by Vanita Gupta, who heads the The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Gupta worked as an attorney at the Justice Department during the Obama administration.
She said the U.S. as a history of ''denying voters of color to the ballot box,'' adding ''we will not back down.''
''In light of COVID-19, states need to loosen their requirements,'' she said. ''It should be easy and accessible for everyone.''
Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at dng@breitbart.com
VIDEO-'What science?' Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says nation never should have been locked down - HoustonChronicle.com
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 18:58
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said the country never should have been locked down and is blaming the ''wrong numbers'' and ''wrong science'' for devastating the state and national economies.
''Our country should not have been locked down,'' Patrick, a Republican from Montgomery County said on a Fox News Channel program with host Tucker Carlson.
Patrick said while every life is valuable, Texas had lost only about 500 people, but the economy has been destroyed because of the stay-at-home orders. Nearly every governor in the nation issued such an order, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican who signed a stay-at-home order three weeks ago to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Patrick, 70, took issue with the science that has been cited to justify the lockdowns. He said at the end of January, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was saying the virus wasn't a big issue. Then weeks later, 2 million Americans were predicted to die, Patrick said. Then it was 100,000 to 200,000 deaths. Now it might be under 60,000.
''They told us, Tucker, follow the science,'' Patrick said. ''Well, what science?''
TEXAS TAKE: Get political headlines from across the state sent directly to your inbox
Patrick said the numbers and science have been wrong.
''But let's face reality of where we are,'' Patrick said. ''In Texas, we have 29 million people and we've lost 495 '-- and every life is valuable. But 500 people out of 29 million and we're locked down and we're crushing the average worker. We're crushing small business. We're crushing the markets. We're crushing this country.''
The number of COVID-19 fatalities estimated for Texas through August 4 has been adjusted downward from 6,000 to less than 1,000 by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which provides data to the White House.
But coronavirus expert Peter Hotez, a professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, says the new estimates show that social distancing measures adopted early in the state are working.
''We avoided the horrors they're suffering in New York and New Jersey because we social-distanced before the virus had gotten here in a significant way,'' Hotez said in a Monday interview with Hearst Newspapers. ''Early social distancing, before transmission had been going on for a few weeks, really saved parts of Texas, especially Houston.
''Now we have to be careful not to get too complacent. It's too soon to start high-fiving each other. Things could still go wrong.''
Patrick also doubled down Monday on comments he made in late March, when he said he and other seniors would be willing to risk their lives to get the economy back up and running.
Those remarks drew fire from critics including Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, who called Patrick ''a very troubled man. And dangerous to Texans and Americans.''
ESTIMATES FOR TEXAS COVID-19 DEATHS DOWN TO 1,000: Coronavirus expert Peter Hotez says social distancing saved Houston, but don't get complacent.''
Patrick said Monday that there are ''more important things than living.'' And that, he said, includes making sure the country is saved for his children and grandchildren.
''And I don't want to die. Nobody wants to die,'' Patrick said. ''But man, we've got to take some risks and get back in the game and get this country back up and running.''
Patrick did not take issue with Abbott for ordering the stay-at-home order but instead took aim at Democratic governors and local Democrats in Texas for imposing restrictive orders.
''And everywhere you see this draconian rules of locking down people and keeping businesses shut and destroying our country'...'' Patrick said. ''It's mostly Democratic governors. Democrat county judges, Democrat mayors. Almost everywhere.''
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, a Democrat, issued a countywide ''Stay Home, Work Safe'' order on March 24 that closed non-essential businesses.
That was the same day San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, an independent, and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, a Democrat, put in place a similar stay-at-home that closed non-essential businesses.
VIDEO-Jimmy Kimmel blasts 'crazy right-wing' protesters, Trump supporters, southern states: 'They want guns. They want pollution.' - TheBlaze
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 16:33
Jimmy Kimmel, late-night host of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" blasted Trump-supporting protesters during a Monday night monologue, questioning everything from their intellect to their intent.
What are the details? Kimmel, delivering his monologue from his multimillion-dollar home in the Los Angeles area, said that demonstrators protesting the state's stay-at-home orders are "crazy right-wing" voters.
"People are getting restless," he said. "Especially the people who aren't too bright. In Florida, on Saturday, I saw the hashtag #FloridaMorons was trending and thought, well, this could mean a lot of things."
Pointing to the Florida governor's decision to open the beaches in Jacksonville, Kimmel said, "[O]f course no one followed the rules. Fortunately, there are no old people living in Florida who might be at risk."
He then took a swipe at another southern state '-- Georgia '-- in an apparent swipe at country culture.
"The governor of Georgia is planning to reopen tattoo parlors and bowling alleys this week," he added. "Which I think that's on their state flag, right?"
What else?Kimmel then went on to address the stay-at-home protests taking place across America.
"There were some very creative signs that illustrated this plight," he mocked. "Many are experiencing so powerfully, like, 'I need a haircut. Massage is essential. Jesus is my vaccine.'"
He continued, "In Denver, Colorado, there was a standoff between protesters and an angry health care worker. Well, you know what they say: It ain't over till the fat lady screams crazy, right-wing talking points at a medical professional who's trying to save her family's lives."
Kimmel said the big reason people are feeling so emboldened to stand up for their rights is because of President Donald Trump.
"[O]ur president is encouraging them," he insisted. "Despite everyone who works for him telling people to stay at home. Despite the official White House mandate being shelter-in-place, over the weekend, the guy who runs the White House tweeted, 'Liberate Michigan, liberate Minnesota, and liberate Virginia.'"
He continued, "I'm starting to think that these characters who support Trump might be suicidal. They seem to fight the hardest for the things that will kill them. They want freedom to gather in large groups during an epidemic. They want guns. They want pollution. I figured it out. They want to die and they're taking us down with them."
(H/T: Newsbusters)
VIDEO-Chris Cuomo's coronavirus performance shows he is an insecure blowhard
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 15:43
Not since Lazarus has the world heard of such an unbelievable rise.
On Monday, CNN posted video of pseudo-newsman Chris Cuomo ''finally'' emerging from self-quarantine in his Southampton basement '-- despite Cuomo having been out and about in East Hampton just last week, getting into a fight with a ''jackass loser fat-tire biker'' who dared to ask why an infected Cuomo was breaking quarantine. Without a face mask.
''Who the hell are you?'' Cuomo replied. ''I can do what I want.''
Yes: If we've learned anything about Chris Cuomo these past three weeks, it's that he's an insecure, self-important, entitled blowhard who suffers in the shadow of his much more accomplished and respected brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Chris' ratings must be something, though, because CNN just debased itself by posting and broadcasting this video, Chris in sweatpants and a hoodie, at the bottom of his basement stairs, declaring, ''All right, here it is '-- the official re-entry from the basement.''
If anything screams coastal liberal elite media bubble, it's CNN's decision to air this latest piece of performance art from Chris Cuomo. He and Brian Williams should take it on the road.
''Cleared by CDC,'' he goes on '-- no, not by a mere doctor for our Chris, but the nation's health protection agency, clearly plenty of free time on its hands. Then he wipes his brow with an open palm as he oh-so-casually announces ''a little sweaty '-- just worked out, it happens.''
See? He's still a tough guy, despite those nightly freak-outs from his well-appointed, million-dollar basement in the Hamptons.
''This is what I've been dreaming of, literally, for weeks,'' Chris goes on, a regular Anne Frank of coronavirus. Then he greets his clearly overjoyed family '-- his wife, speaking for us all as she puts her arms out and leans way back as if to say, STAY AWAY. His children look on expressionless, but who knows how many takes of this totally spontaneous, non-reunion reunion they've had to endure? They're not SAG members.
Even Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's in-house medical expert, has had enough of Chris Cuomo's coronavirus chronicles. Doing yeoman's work as Chris' split-screen counterpart lo these many weeks, Gupta's face contorted as Chris announced his next on-air narrative: He may be cured, but the family now has lots of trauma to process.
So that's something to look forward to.
At the end of his homemade video, Cuomo's wife hands him a face mask. ''This is for when we go outside,'' Cuomo intones. ''That's what we have to do now, all of us in New York.''
Sure, Chris. You made it clear last week: You'll do what you want, say what serves you.
And CNN will back this fake, childish nonsense all the way.
VIDEO-Glen Woodfin on Twitter: "Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, says he is deleting anyone's account that disagrees with forced lockdown. #Censorship https://t.co/vFc98q6gL4" / Twitter
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 14:49
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VIDEO-LΞIGH on Twitter: "''Anything that goes against W.H.O will be removed from YouTube'' YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki https://t.co/1TxwdBMq17" / Twitter
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 14:46
Log in Sign up LΞIGH @ LeighStewy ''Anything that goes against W.H.O will be removed from YouTube''YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki
pic.twitter.com/1TxwdBMq17 11:53 AM - 21 Apr 2020 Twitter by: Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 @tariqnasheed Oaf Politcs @ Cannibal_Lecher
23m Replying to
@LeighStewy So call it CHO. It'd be a more accurate description anyway.
View conversation · Soul Shaker @ UncleDonaldJ
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@LeighStewy Let's just call YouTube WHOtube from now on
View conversation · Han Solo @ HanSolo89533902
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@LeighStewy @JasonBermas Things that are allowed.
twitter.com/ReliableSource'... View conversation · Nick VM @ nickvmeel
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@LeighStewy @TheQuartering @GundamIsHere @TheQuartering @GundamIsHere Well if you need any ideas for a vid today..
View conversation · William Koop @ Hockeypotato
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@LeighStewy @mostly_yoshi So YouTube does not believe in 1A. Got it.
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@LeighStewy pic.twitter.com/bcSBk3nOlw View conversation · Mrs. Charlie Girl.👍🇨ðŸ‡...👍 @ charliegirl42
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@LeighStewy @FaithGoldy Believe the who. ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚
View conversation · ωη Фмм$ 🇺🇸 @ JRMONEYnc
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@LeighStewy @FaithGoldy 🖕
View conversation · Common Sense @ OilersRmyTeam
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@LeighStewy They are part of the problem. Media. And social media Lefties are in on it !!
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VIDEO - We're All in This Together! | Disney Junior - YouTube
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 10:36
VIDEO - MSNBC: People Who Protest Stay-At-Home Orders Are Nazis - YouTube
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 10:16
VIDEO - Ontario's community spread 'appears to have peaked' but COVID-19 cases rising in care homes - YouTube
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 09:45
VIDEO-Nova Scotia shooting: Justin Trudeau is pushing for stricter Canadian gun laws - CNN
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 08:34
By Madeline Holcombe, CNN
Updated 4:43 AM EDT, Tue April 21, 2020
(CNN) In the wake of a deadly shooting rampage in Nova Scotia, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his administration is moving ahead with stricter gun laws.
"In regards to gun control, we took very serious commitments in the election campaign and have moved forward -- and are moving forward on them -- to ensure that we're strengthening gun control in this country," Trudeau told reporters Monday, according to CNN media partner CTV News.
A 51-year-old gunman killed 18 people in Nova Scotia over the weekend, including a police constable, a corrections officer, a nurse and a teacher, and led police on a miles-long,12-hour manhunt across the Canadian province that ended in his death.
The shooting spree was one of Canada's deadliest.
Authorities have not said what kind of weapons the gunman used.
Trudeau said while campaigning last year that he wanted to ban assault-style weapons across Canada and set up a buyback program for all military-grade weapons that had been legally purchased. Legislation was about to be introduced when Parliament was suspended over the coronavirus pandemic, Trudeau said.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil called the shootings one of the most senseless acts of violence in the province's history.
"I never imagined when I went to bed last night that I would wake up to the horrific news that an active shooter was on the loose in Nova Scotia," he said.
Cst. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the force.
A passionate teacher and a 23-year police veteran killedAmong the victims was elementary school educator Lisa McCully, who worked at Debert Elementary School, according to the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union, which described her a "passionate teacher" and a "shining love" in her friends' and family's lives.
Constable Heidi Stevenson was also killed. It isn't clear when in the rampage she was killed, but she and another officer tried to run the gunman's vehicle off the road, a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN.
Stevenson was killed and the other officer was injured in an ensuing exchange of gunfire, the source said.
The other officer was hospitalized, the RCMP said on Facebook. The injured officer is recovering from gunshot wounds at home, police said.
"It is with tremendous sadness that I share with you that we lost Cst. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the force," said Lee Bergerman, the RCMP's commanding officer in Nova Scotia. "Two children have lost their mother and a husband his wife. Parents lost their daughter and countless others lost an incredible friend and colleague."
The rampageThe chaos began when police were first called to a "firearms complaint" at a property in the quiet town of Portapique on Cobequid Bay on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. ET). Police found several casualties in and outside the home, said Chris Leather, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police chief superintendent and criminal operations officer in Nova Scotia.
The gunman was identified as Gabriel Wortman. He was a skilled mechanic and had recently bought two used police cars, neighbor Bill McCormack told CTV.
Investigators believe the incident began with a domestic violence incident at a home in Portapique, where Wortman was trying to find his former significant other, the law enforcement source familiar with the investigation said.
Wortman killed two people there before he fled, the source said.
The gunman was wearing either an RCMP uniform or a convincing replica, while driving a car that appeared to be a police vehicle, Leather said. Wortman was not employed by the RCMP, authorities said.
Authorities believe he then began pulling over random motorists and executing them, the law enforcement source said. He was involved in a traffic accident and ditched his fake police crusader for a vehicle stolen from a motorist, the source said.
"His ability to move around the province undetected was surely greatly benefited by the fact that he had a vehicle that looked identical in every way to a marked police car," Leather said.
Wortman was later seen in Central Onslow and farther south in Brookfield, where police updated the suspect's vehicle description to a silver Chevy Tracker.
Regional police investigators confer outside the Atlantic Denture Clinic.
Witnesses recall the gunshotsWortman was involved in a "serious criminal event" in Shubenacadie, about 15 miles south of Brookfield, the RCMP's Serious Incident Response Team said.
Witnesses recalled hearing multiple gunshots in the area, according to CTV News.
Several burned-out vehicles, which may have been police cruisers, sat along the highway, the station reported.
"I hear the shots and ... there's a guy running back and forth up beside what looks to be a police vehicle," a witness at the scene told the station. "Then after a short bit I saw fire."
Following the incident in Shubenacadie, Wortman continued south to Milford and was ultimately found at a truck stop in Enfield between 11 a.m. and noon Sunday, about 12 hours after the initial 911 call to police.
Truck driver Tom Nurani was at the truck stop when he heard a staff member frantically shouting, he told CTV News.
"'Oh my God, lock the doors! He's here!'" Nurani recalled the woman saying. "I peek out of the window, and I saw some RCMP vehicles, and there was four or five uniforms with guns."
Witness Glen Hines was driving past when he heard gunfire, he told the station.
"All I could hear was gunshots and my wife. I thought I was going to call 911 because she was going into panic, it scared her so bad," Hines said.
Wortman was killed in a shootout with police in Enfield, about 60 miles from the initial crime scene, Leather said.
CNN's Paula Newton contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Golden State Times 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "Very Interesting exchange Caught on (GST HOT MIC) between FAKE NEWS @FoxNews @johnrobertsFox and a FAKE NEWS Tech at Todays White House Press Briefing! #coronavirus #WhiteHousePressBriefing #TrumpPressConf @r
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 08:19
One reporter makes the realization that the coronavirus numbers are pretty close to the flu numbers and says "so it's a hoax" because we were led to believe it was much more dangerous (in some ways, it may be), but then
@johnrobertsFox says, "No, I don't think it was a hoax."
VIDEO-Bannon: The world must hold the Chinese government accountable - YouTube
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 08:03
VIDEO-Rachel Maddow: Right-Wing Media Covid Coverage from Earth 2
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 07:37
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow unleashed a long monologue against conservative media, calling it out for undertaking a broad campaign to misinform viewers and distort the risk of coronavirus while agitating for a quick restart of the U.S. economy.
As her Monday show opened, the staunch liberal Maddow noted that she'd been working in cable news for more than a decade and then traced the evolution of rival cable network, Fox News, and right-wing talk radio from previously legitimate political opponents to its current role as serial propagandists reporting as if from an alternative universe. The Covid-19 outbreak, she explained, has thrown this radical transformation into sharp relief.
''They were people who were coming at the news from a very pronounced right-wing view, perhaps a very partisan, pro-Republican Party view, but at least we were all doing the same kind of work, at least we were all covering the same stuff,'' Maddow began. ''But over this past decade or so, steadily, that has decreased. Year after year. To the point where now, even in times like this, weird, conservative media is like Earth 2. Like all the rest of us are on Earth 1 in terms of what the news is and what it means to cover it. And in terms of conservative media, they are as influential as they ever were, if not more so, when it comes to electing conservatives in the party base. But the conservative media, the most influential parts of it, really are living in and describing and now promoting a completely different world than the one that all the rest of us live on here on Earth 1.''
''For example, you can see it in how the conservative media has been really, really excited about Sweden,'' she pointed out, citing numerous reports on Fox News, in the conservative magazine National Review, and Glenn Beck's right-wing radio show. ''They are still hyping Sweden and how Sweden's response has been the best in the world and that should be the one that America emulates.''
Why? Because, as Maddow notes: ''Sweden didn't do a stay-at-home approach. They didn't close themselves down. Which sounds awesome, right? The Swedes have found the coolest possible way to deal with coronavirus. What they have decided to do is not do anything, and it must be working great.''
In fact, as she notes moments later, Sweden's approach has now backfired horribly and the number of Covid-19 cases in that country have skyrocketed in the past two weeks, surpassing all other Scandinavian countries. Sweden's death toll per capita is now even greater than that of the U.S.
''It turns out the virus doesn't care how cool that sounds,'' Maddown noted. ''Our friends in conservative media are nevertheless in love with the idea that this is no big deal, that you can definitely reopen everything as soon as you don't feel like dealing with all of this stuff anymore. And so with the helter skelter encouragement of President Trump, we've now got red state governors all over our country, saying: 'You know what? Screw it, let's tear the lid off. The Swedes did it. It was great!' I keep hearing in conservative media how everyone has been overreacting and do we really need to do anything, so that's the way we should be governing here.''
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.
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VIDEO-In Georgia and elsewhere in South, governors begin lifting coronavirus restrictions
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 07:25
Some governors in the South have begun loosening restrictions put in place to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday granted businesses across the state permission to reopen later this week, an announcement echoed by a handful of other Republican governors who are beginning to lift stay-at-home orders.
Kemp's decision, which will apply to barbershops, gyms and other businesses that include close contact, comes days after President Donald Trump issued guidelines to reopen state economies. Protesters across the country have been gathering at rallies outside state capitals demanding an end to shutdown orders.
In a series of tweets last week, the president called for demonstrators to "LIBERATE" certain states.
Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak
Some health experts have expressed concern that it's too early to be backing off lockdown measures.
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South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Monday that beaches and retail stores can reopen Tuesday. Businesses including sporting good shops and florists will have to observe social distancing guidelines that limit how many customers can shop at once, he said.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said he won't extend the state's stay-at-home order beyond April 30, while state parks can reopen Friday. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said elective surgery will resume May 4.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made a similar announcement Friday.
Kemp said Georgia theaters, restaurants and social clubs can reopen Monday, while bars, nightclubs and concert venues will remain closed. He said the state appeared to be on track to meet the first phase of Trump's guidelines, which were developed by the administration's public health officials and recommend a "downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period."
"Reports of ER visits for flu-like illnesses are declining, documented COVID-19 cases have flattened and appear to be declining, and we have seen declining ER visits in general," Kemp said. He called testing for the disease a "key component" of reopening and said the state is seeking to expand its ability to test people with and without symptoms.
Reopened businesses will also be subject to guidelines that include wearing gloves and masks "if appropriate" and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from other people, he said.
Volunteers load food into vehicles during a mobile market day at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., on Friday, April 17, 2020. Kevin C. Cox / Getty ImagesKemp ordered the shuttering of businesses across the state April 1, saying he did so after having learned that the virus could be transmitted by asymptomatic carriers '-- a possibility that public health experts had been warning of since January.
Georgia has recorded nearly 19,000 confirmed cases, one of the highest tallies in the region, and more than 700 people have died, according to data collected by NBC News.
Data compiled by John Hopkins University showed that the number of cases in Georgia rose from 7,300 on April 6 to just over 18,000 on Sunday.
Asked during a news conference whether the measures could trigger more cases and lead to another cycle of shuttering businesses, Kemp said he'd consulted with experts about the state's "measured" approach.
"It's not just throwing the keys back to business owners," he said, adding: "I think our citizens are ready for this."
"People know what social distancing is," he said. "They're learning what mitigation was when we went through it and are still trying to do."
Download the NBC News app for full coverage and alerts about the coronavirus outbreak
But Gerardo Chowell, an epidemiologist at Georgia State University's School of Public Health in Atlanta, worried that Kemp's measures are coming too soon. He said that the state appeared to have just passed its peak in confirmed cases and that reopening without adequate public health measures could lead to another wave of infections.
"If we go back to business as usual, it's going to happen," he said.
Before reopening, he said, the state needs to launch a rigorous contact tracing effort, offer robust support for telecommuting and remote learning, and mandate masks in public.
"This takes time, and you need to communicate it," Chowell said. "You need to launch a communication campaign to inform the public how our new life will be. That doesn't happen in a couple of days."
Stacey Abrams, Kemp's gubernatorial challenger in 2018, ridiculed the governor for the move, saying the state has a low testing rate, a high infection rate, a health care system in shambles and thousands of low-wage workers "forced to risk their lives to make a living."
"Reopen?" Abrams tweeted. "Dangerously incompetent."
VIDEO-Hot Mic- Task Force Briefing - Vaccination
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 00:27
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#taskforce#vaccines#vaccinatedSource:Granite State Times live streamClip from April 20, 2020Trump Task Force Briefing
Hot Mic:"Everyone's been vaccinated anyway"
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VIDEO-á--მÆ...ð'--áƒ"ðŸ'¤ on Twitter: "he put some stank on it https://t.co/FOISLX4lxt" / Twitter
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 22:51
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VIDEO - Coronavirus: Idris Elba says 'world should quarantine for a week every year to remember this time' | Ents & Arts News | Sky News
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 16:08
Idris Elba has said he thinks the world should take a week of quarantine every year to "remember this time" once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
The star, who along with his wife Sabrina Dhowre Elba has recovered after contracting coronavirus, said it had been a "scary" time.
As new UN Goodwill Ambassadors, the couple are helping to raise $200m (£160m) to support rural farmers trying to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak, in addition to an initial $40m in funding from the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Elba revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19 in MarchSpeaking about the virus and recovery, Elba - who also took part in the global One World: Together At Home event on Saturday - told the Associated Press their cases had been "very mild".
On lockdown, he said: "I think that the world should take a week of quarantine every year just to remember this time. Remember each other. I really do.
"I think it's'... other species use it. It's called hibernation. But it does remind you that the world doesn't tick on your time."
The British actor, star of series including The Wire and Luther, said he and his wife were lucky not to suffer serious symptoms of the virus after testing positive in March.
"It's been about six weeks from the beginning to this point right now for us, where it's essentially our lives turned around," he said. "Definitely scary and unsettling and nervous. And I think that's been like a real collected world experience.
"You know, everyone's sort of feeling the way we have been feeling, but it has definitely been sort of just a complete upheaval."
Dhowre Elba, a model, said: "But thankfully we were extremely lucky to be able to get very mild cases of COVID and the outpouring of support and all of the people who have reached out to us, it's just been overwhelming."
The couple have been recovering in New Mexico, where Elba was filming when he became ill, but plan to return to London as soon as they can get a flight.
The actor said he had to miss his six-year-old son's birthday because of the lockdown, but is "hoping to see him as soon as I can".
"We've been fortunate," he added. "We have been staying in a lovely place that's been very comfortable for the time. But we're looking forward to going home."
Speaking about the UN fund for farmers, Elba said people in rural and poor areas are likely to suffer more in the pandemic.
Both Elba and his wife have roots in Africa, as Elba's parents are from Sierra Leone and Ghana, while Dhowre Elba is of Somali descent.
Last year, they spoke of their pride at being the "first African couple" to be featured on the cover of British Vogue.
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In December, the couple visited Sierra Leone with the UN to see how IFAD is assisting people in the country.
"If you imagine being in a village where no one even knows the name of your village or your population, and that you live in a slum where there is one room and six of you live in it, social distancing is almost laughable," Elba said.
"What we are really worried about at the moment, and why we are launching this fund is that those people are being forgotten," Dhowre Elba said.
"The economic fallout of this pandemic is being overlooked and while health, you know, is so important at the moment, we are dealing with a health pandemic, we don't want people to forget about what comes after that."
VIDEO - Turn the machines back on 123 - YouTube
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 15:49
VIDEO-Laboratory in Wuhan breaks silence to deny claims that the coronavirus originated there
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 12:40
A laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan has broken its silence to deny accusations that the novel coronavirus originated there.
Yuan Zhiming, vice director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, told Chinese state broadcaster CGTN, that this was a "conspiracy theory" designed to "confuse" people. He also denied the virus was manmade.
It is the first time anyone from the institute has spoken publicly.
"As people who carry out viral study, we clearly know what kind of research is going on in the institute and how the institute manages viruses and samples. As we said early on, there is no way this virus came from us," said Yuan, a microbiology and biotechnology expert who trained and worked in France, Denmark, and the U.S. for several years.
"We have a strict regulatory regime and code of conduct of research, so we are confident," he added.
Yuan said he understood why some people might link the outbreak with the $44-million laboratory, founded in 2014, because it was based in Wuhan. But that it was wrong to deliberately mislead people, he added.
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More than 156,000 people have died globally from coronavirus, according to a John Hopkins University tally on Saturday.
The origin of the virus has been a politically sensitive issue for China, with Trump and his officials angering the country by referring to it as the "China or Wuhan virus."
Trump told reporters on Friday that "a lot of strange things are happening" regarding the origins of COVID-19 and that U.S. investigations were ongoing.
His comments came days after he announced that he would stop U.S. funding to the World Health Organization pending a review of its response to the initial coronavirus outbreak. He accused the WHO of "severely mismanaging and covering up" the coronavirus crisis, specifically the initial outbreak in China.
The American intelligence community is also examining whether the coronavirus accidentally emerged from the Wuhan research lab while it studied diseases in bats, current and former U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News this week.
Spy agencies have ruled out that the coronavirus was man-made, the officials said. But they added that scientists at the Wuhan lab were known to have conducted research on coronaviruses and that intelligence agencies were weighing evidence that an employee could have become accidentally infected and left the facility with the virus.
"It's a possibility, though not the most likely possibility," one official said.
China disputes that the virus could have originated in the Wuhan lab.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Thursday that the head of the World Health Organization had "repeatedly said there's no evidence" the virus was made in a lab and that "many well-known medical experts in the world also think that the statement of so-called laboratory leaks is without scientific basis."
The Wuhan virology lab has actively worked with the WHO and other United Nations bodies, said Yuan, handing over the genome sequence and laying the foundation for other countries to prepare testing and vaccines.
Adela Suliman is a London-based writer and reporter for NBC News Digital.
Eric Baculinao is a producer based in Beijing. A long-term resident of Beijing who is fluent in Chinese, Baculiano scans Chinese news daily for hints of major new policy trends and insights into the workings of China's secretive Communist Party and government leadership.
Dartunorro Clark, Ken Dilanian and Courtney Kube contributed.
VIDEO-Fauci and China Defend Wuhan Lab - YouTube
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 12:39
VIDEO-Von der Leyen: "Europe as a whole offers a heartfelt apology" to Italy - YouTube
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 09:34
VIDEO-Coronavirus: Ursula von der Leyen speaks about the EU's exit strategy | LIVE - YouTube
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 09:33
VIDEO-EU apologies to Italy: Brussels "not there" when country needed help, says Ursula von der Leyen - YouTube
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 09:32
VIDEO-Guy Verhofstadt 16 Apr 2020 plenary speech on the COVID 19 pandemic - YouTube
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 09:28
VIDEO-Verhofstadts meltdown: ''Ik eis 1 biljoen!'' - YouTube
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 09:06
VIDEO-RNC Research on Twitter: "Fox News' Chris Wallace calls out Nancy Pelosi for promoting tourism during the coronavirus pandemic https://t.co/fcdjy9c5W9 https://t.co/ooyMQfgcev" / Twitter
Sun, 19 Apr 2020 15:57
Replying to
@RNCResearch @LegInsurrection I don't know why it's so difficult to say ''yep, as a public official I messed up badly and now we are all trying to recover.'' Instead, a denial and something about calling the virus what/where it's established that's where it comes from... blah. Be honest.
STORIES
Proef met digitale munt van centrale bank in de maak | NOS
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 07:30
De Nederlandsche Bank en het ministerie van Financin willen dat Nederland gaat experimenteren met een nieuw soort betaalmiddel. Er moet een digitale munt komen die bestaat naast het geld dat mensen nu in hun portemonnee hebben en op de bank hebben staan.
Een groep economen adviseerde een half jaar geleden om met een dergelijk systeem te komen. Volgens hen hebben commercile banken een te belangrijke rol gekregen. Voorheen hadden mensen spaargeld op de bank en ook nog cash in huis. Dat laatste is veel minder geworden, dus zijn consumenten afhankelijker geworden van de banken.
De Nederlandsche Bank heeft het idee onderzocht en is er enthousiast over. Een digitale munt zou bijdragen aan het vertrouwen in het geldstelsel in tijden van oorlog, financile crisis of verstoring van het betalingsverkeer bij banken. Volgens minister Hoekstra van Financin kan het een stimulans zijn voor innovatie en diversiteit in de financile sector.
Anoniem betalenHoe de digitale munt precies gaat werken is nog niet vastgesteld. Er zijn verschillende scenario's onderzocht, ook met het oog op privacy. Helemaal anoniem wordt betalen met de digitale munt sowieso niet. Bij de transacties wordt er gecontroleerd of er sprake is van witwassen.
Nederland kan als euroland niet in zijn eentje beslissen om een digitale munt in te voeren. Dat komt op de agenda van de ministers van Financin van de eurolanden te staan. Nederland wil wel als eerste starten met een proef, die kan binnen een of twee jaar worden gehouden.
Hidalgo orders Harris County residents to wear masks in public, draws fire from police unions, GOP - HoustonChronicle.com
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 07:06
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Wednesday ordered residents to cover their faces in public starting next week, the latest effort by local governments to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The new rules, which require residents 10 and older to cover their nose and mouth when outside the home, take effect Monday and last 30 days. Acceptable garments include a homemade mask, scarf, bandana or handkerchief. Medical masks or N-95 respirators are not recommended as they are most needed by first responders and health workers.
Under the order, the county's 4.7 million residents must cover their faces at all times except when exercising, eating or drinking; the exemptions also include when individuals are alone in a separate single space, at home with roommates or family, or when wearing a mask poses a greater risk to security, mental or physical health. Violating the mask rules is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, though Hidalgo urged police to use discretion.
Unlike previous measures announced by the city and county executives, Hidalgo's mask order drew fierce, partisan rebuke, highlighting what has become a national political divide over coronavirus restrictions.
Republican Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick accused Hidalgo of abusing her authority and said residents would be justified to react with anger. U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw said mask guidelines made sense, but punishments would ''lead us to government tyranny.''
Harris County Republican Party Chairman Paul Simpson blasted the rules as an ''unenforceable power grab.''
Harris County law enforcement officers, including the fire marshal and constables, will be responsible for ensuring residents and businesses comply. The unions representing officers from the Houston Police Department and Harris County deputies, however, said their members are disinclined to do so.
''The citizens of Harris County are working hard together through this pandemic and do not need the added stress and fear of being fined or arrested for failing to wear a mask/face covering they may not have,'' Harris County Deputies Organization President David Cuevas said in a statement.
Houston Police Officers Union President Joe Gamaldi, a frequent critic of Hidalgo's approach to criminal justice, called the order idiotic and said the ''draconian'' measure would erode bonds between officers and the community.
In a statement, Gamaldi said the union had reached out to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office seeking an opinion on the legality of imposing a criminal penalty or fine on someone for not wearing a face mask. The attorney general said Wednesday afternoon that police should use their discretion on duty and focus on dangerous criminals but did not limit Hidalgo's authority.
Employers at businesses deemed essential under Harris County's stay-at-home order must provide face coverings and training to workers whose jobs require them to come into contact with colleagues or the public. Hidalgo has yet to determine whether to extend the stay-at-home rules, which expire April 30.
Hospitalization data suggests the curve of new cases is flattening here, Hidalgo said at a news conference Wednesday. The region still is susceptible to another wave of infections, she warned.
''If we get cocky, we get sloppy, we get right back to where we started, and all of the sacrifices people have been making have been in vain,'' Hidalgo said while wearing a homemade mask. ''Let's not get complacent. Let's remember that we still have work to do.''
Hidalgo said the mask rules were spurred by her team's realization the outbreak would require a long-term health response that extends beyond the end of stay-home rules.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner endorsed Hidalgo's plan. He thanked residents for their sacrifices to date and said he would announce a plan Thursday to distribute 70,000 masks to vulnerable residents.
Masks are a crucial tool to prevent a surge in cases as businesses and public spaces reopen, said Firas Zabaneh, an infectious disease expert at Houston Methodist. He said they also serve as a visual reminder to maintain social distancing.
''The public will be safer with masks on,'' Zabaneh said. ''As we ease the restrictions, more and more people are going to be interacting with each other.''
The Centers for Disease Control recommends wearing masks when social distancing is not possible, such as at a grocery store. Many people who have coronavirus do not show symptoms, and the disease can be spread through speaking, coughing or sneezing.
Laredo on April 2 was the first Texas city to require residents to wear face coverings. Officials in Dallas, San Antonio and Austin made them mandatory last week.
None of Harris County's seven contiguous counties have enacted similar rules. The Republican leaders of Montgomery and Galveston counties said Wednesday they would not do so, though both said they supported residents who choose to wear masks.
''America was built upon the fabric of individual liberty and freedom,'' Galveston County Judge Mark Henry wrote in a statement. ''It's important now more than ever that we stress personal responsibility.''
Hidalgo responded to the criticisms by arguing most residents have supported the series of measures enacted by Houston and Harris County the past seven weeks to stifle the outbreak. First was the closure of the Houston Rodeo March 11, followed by restaurant and bar restrictions March 17 and the stay-at-home order March 24.
Similar to those orders, Hidalgo said the mask rule is based on the recommendations of doctors.
''This is a step people understand we need to take,'' Hidalgo said. ''It follows CDC guidelines. It is responsible. It is right.''
Hidalgo repeatedly has noted that Houston has suffered a far milder coronavirus outbreak than other major cities, including New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Though Harris County has recorded 79 deaths, its hospitals never have exceeded their intensive care and ventilator capacities since the virus was detected here in March, and a field hospital county officials ordered built may never need to be used.
Hidalgo has implored residents to heed the county's restrictions on movement and commerce, however, warning cases could spike if residents drop their guards. The county judge said rolling back restrictions would be premature before widespread testing becomes available and the virus has reached its peak here, which health experts predict will be at the end of April.
Hidalgo may be unable to slowly ease restrictions in Harris County as she sees fit, however. Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday he would issue a new executive order Monday as part of his plan to reopen the Texas economy. It would override any local coronavirus measures regarding businesses reopening.
The county judge struck a conciliatory tone Tuesday when asked about Abbott's potential curtailing of local rules. Hidalgo, a Democrat, so far has avoided clashing with the Republican governor.
''I work very closely with Gov. Abbott,'' Hidalgo said, noting the state had helped set up a partnership with Walgreens for testing. ''I think, in many ways, we are at a great place in terms of bipartisanship, particularly given the vitriol that was going on just before this crisis. I don't think this is a time to stir things up.''
Local leaders also face pressure to allow a return to normal life. A coalition of 350 businesses last week called on Hidalgo to ease restrictions beginning May 1, warning that many firms cannot survive additional weeks of forced closures.
zach.despart@chron.com
Peter Dutton Proposes Prison for Refusing to Provide Passwords
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 06:42
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has been absent from the media spotlight in recent times, ever since he contracted coronavirus.
And many are asking where the man at the helm of curtailing civil liberties on a federal level has been in the midst of the current pandemic.
The man at the helm of the surveillance stateMr Dutton has been credited with proposing a wide range of laws designed to increase the power of authorities at the expense of individual liberties.
Among these, are proposed laws which would result in prison time for those who fail or refuse to hand over their passwords or PINs when requested to do so by authorities.
Peter Dutton says these types of laws are needed to help police catch criminals who are hiding behind encryption technology '' a line we have heard many times before as the country's law makers put in place draconian measures to grant police and other authorities surveillance powers that encroach upon our privacy.
Under the proposals, people who are not even suspected of a crime would face a fine of up to $50,000 and up to five years' imprisonment for declining to provide a password to their smartphone, computer or other electronic devices.
Furthermore, anyone (an IT professional, for example) who refuses to help the authorities crack a computer system when ordered will face up to five years in prison. If the crime being investigated is terrorism-related then the penalty for non-compliance increases to 10 years in prison and/or a $126,000 fine.
Tech companies who refuse to assist authorities to crack encryption when asked to do so, will face up to $10 million in fines. What's more, if any employee of the company tells anyone else they have been told to do this, they will face up to five years in gaol.
Under the legislation, foreign countries can also ask Australia's Attorney General for police to access data in your computer to help them investigate law-breaking overseas.
Australia's hyper-legislative response to September 11Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, the Australian parliament has responded to the threat of terrorism here and overseas by enacting more than 80 new laws and amending existing laws '' many of them with wide-reaching consequences, such as the terrorism laws used to conduct raids on journalist Annika Smethurst's home and the ABC's head offices, as well as charge former military lawyer and whistleblower David Mc Bride with offences that could see him spending the rest of his life in gaol.
Controversial metadata laws too, introduced in 2015, seriously impact our personal privacy requiring telecommunications companies to retain metadata including information on who you call or text, where you make calls from, and who you send emails to.
The problem is that once these kinds of extraordinarily heavy-handed powers are legislated, they are very seldom retracted or rescinded. In many cases, over time, they are expanded. Australia's oversight body the Australian Law Reform Commission can review laws that are already in place, but it has limited powers which only enable the commission to make recommendations for change, not to actually change the laws themselves.
Police already have the power to seize a phone or laptop if you have been arrested.
Border Force has even more extensive seize and search powers.
The extensive powers of border forceIn 2018, Border Force made headlines after intercepting an British-Australian citizen travelling through Sydney airport seizing his devices.
Nathan Hague, a software developer was not told what would be done with his devices, why they were being inspected or whether his digital data was being copied and stored. He believes his laptop password was cracked.
Australian Border Forces have extensive powers to search people's baggage at Australian airports. These are contained in section 186 of Customs Act 1901 (Cth). These include opening baggage, reading documents, and using an X-ray or detection dog to search baggage.
The Customs Act allows officers to retain an electronic device for up to 14 days if there is no content on the device which renders it subject to seizure. And if it is subject to seizure, the device may be withheld for a longer period.
ABF officers have the power to copy a document if they're satisfied it may contain information relevant to prohibited goods, to certain security matters or an offence against the Customs Act. A document includes information on phones, SIM cards, laptops, recording devices and computers.
Usama bin Laden wanted to kill Obama so 'totally unprepared' Biden would be president, declassified docs show | Fox News
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 06:40
Usama bin Laden wanted to assassinate then-President Barack Obama so that the "totally unprepared" Joe Biden would take over as president and plunge the United States "into a crisis," according to documents seized from bin Laden's Pakistan compound when he was killed in May 2011.
The secretive documents, first reported in 2012 by The Washington Post, outlined a plan to take out Obama and top U.S. military commander David Petraeus as they traveled by plane.
''The reason for concentrating on them is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make [Vice President] Biden take over the presidency," bin Laden wrote to a top deputy. "Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis. As for Petraeus, he is the man of the hour ... and killing him would alter the war's path" in Afghanistan.
Bin Laden specifically wanted fellow terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri to shoot down Obama.
''Please ask brother Ilyas to send me the steps he has taken into that work,'' bin Laden wrote to the top lieutenant, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman. Kashmiri wouldn't get too far along in the plot, however; he was killed in 2011 in a U.S. drone strike shortly after bin Laden himself was shot to death by U.S. special forces.
Usama bin Laden said he wanted Joe Biden to be president, according to declassified documents.
Intelligence officials told the Post that bin Laden's plan never progressed past the aspirational stage.
For his part, Biden has sent mixed signals on his role in bin Laden's death, as explained at length in a timeline by The Washington Examiner's Jerry Dunleavy. In late April 2011, Obama gathered together a team that included Biden before making a final decision on whether to strike at bin Laden's suspected compound.
In January 2012, Biden revealed he had opposed to the raid, and claimed that ''every single person in that room hedged their bet'' except for CIA Director Leon Panetta, who supported striking the compound.
''Mr. President, my suggestion is, don't go,'' Biden said he told his boss, as reported by The New York Times. "We have to do two more things to see if he's there.'"
But in 2015, Biden changed his mind and said he had told Obama he "should go."
HUNTER BIDEN SCANDALS EXPLAINED: UKRAINE, COCAINE, AND MORE
Obama himself verified Biden's opposition to the plan, telling Mitt Romney in a 2012 presidential debate, ''Even some in my own party, including my current vice president, had the same critique as you did."
On CBS's ''60 Minutes" in Oct. 2015, Biden tried to clear up the confusion, and insisted everything he said had been "accurate."
''In order to give the president the leeway he needed, I said, 'Mr. President, there's one more thing we can do.' '... One more pass to see if it was bin Laden. I said, 'You should do that, and there'd still be time to have the raid, but that's what I would do,'' Biden said.
NEW YORK TIMES STEALTH-EDITS PIECE ON SEX ASSAULT ALLEGATION AGAINST BIDEN
SEAL Team Six ultimately landed at bin Laden's compound in two MH-60 Black Hawks, killed the terror leader and seized a fateful cache of valuable intelligence.
Coronavirus: Trump disagrees with Georgia push to reopen economy
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 06:28
US President Donald Trump has said he strongly disagreed with Georgia state's aggressive push to reopen its economy in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, saying it was "just too soon" to lift restrictions.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp , a Republican and Trump ally, is allowing businesses such as beauty salons, tattoo parlours and bowling alleys to reopen as soon as Friday. Trump said Georgia is not adhering to federal guidelines for states to restart their economies.
More: A timeline of the Trump administration's coronavirus actionsFive of Trump's coronavirus claims fact-checkedHow many coronavirus cases does each US state have? "It's just too soon. I think it's too soon," Trump said on Wednesday. "They can wait a little bit longer, just a little bit - not much. Because safety has to predominate. We have to have that."
Georgia has had more than 20,000 cases of COVID-19 and has seen more than 800 deaths.
But Trump at his daily briefing on the pandemic largely projected optimism in the nation's battle against the virus. He said he was encouraged to see other states begin to open up their economies and ease restrictions.
Trump's top adviser on the pandemic, Dr Anthony Fauci, said mitigation strategies were working, setting the stage for some states to reopen. He urged Kemp to proceed with caution.
"If I were advising the governor, I would tell him, be careful. I would tell him not to just turn the switch on and go," Fauci said, adding that Georgia could see a rebound of the virus, further damaging the state's economy.
In response, Kemp on Twitter praised Trump's leadership but said the state would move forward as planned.
"Our next measured step is driven by data and guided by state public health officials. We will continue with this approach to protect the lives - and livelihoods - of all Georgians," he said.
Trump' s reopening guidelines recommend 14 days of declining new infections before moving to the reopening phase that Kemp has called for. That means testing healthcare workers and people who show any symptoms, as well as the screening of asymptomatic people.
The number of tests administered in Georgia had plateaued between 3,500 to 4,000 a day. However, on Wednesday, the state reported almost 6,000 tests over 24 hours, with Kemp saying on a conference call with Republican US Senator Kelly Loeffler that Georgia was "really ramping up" its capacity.
However, despite these measures, many businesses and workers are holding back for fear of illness.
Dewond Brown, 42, was laid off in March from an Atlanta-area restaurant as a line cook, making him worried about his high blood pressure. He told The Associated Press news agency he would not go back if his employer reopened.
"I understand everybody wants to get back to normal, but you hear the medical people say everyday it's not time yet."
UpFront
The US coronavirus response: An F for failure?
Leaked pics from Amazon Ring show potential new surveillance features | Ars Technica
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 20:29
home surveillance '-- Amazon wouldn't be the first consumer company to do it, but it would be the biggest. Kate Cox - Apr 22, 2020 11:45 am UTC
Enlarge / Ready for your closeup?
Amazon subsidiary Ring, which has partnerships with almost 1,200 law enforcement agencies nationwide, does not currently include facial recognition or license plate scanning tools in its home surveillance line of consumer products. The company appears to be evaluating the feature feasibility of adding both tools, however, raising additional privacy concerns for its pervasive platform.
Ring last week distributed a confidential survey to beta testers weighing sentiment and demand for several potential new features in future versions of its software. According to screenshots shared with Ars, potential new features for Ring include options for enabling or disabling the camera both physically and remotely, both visual and audible alarms to ward off "would-be criminals," and potential object, facial, and license plate detection.
Such surveys usually include options a company is considering offering, though not necessarily actively planning to implement. The source who shared the survey with Ars, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, described these options as the "most troubling" of a much larger set of potential features described in the survey.
One wonders how it might define a "familiar" face.
What if your camera were an automatic license plate reader with an always-on mic?
Perhaps sometimes you don't want your Amazon camera capturing everything and everyone?
Your Ring doorbell could potentially become annoyingly bright and loud to drive off porch pirates.
Media reports have for many months been indicating that Ring may integrate facial recognition into its product line. The company does not at this time use any such technology, including Amazon's own Rekognition platform, but in a January 6 letter to Congress (PDF), Amazon left open the possibility for adding it in the future.
"We do frequently innovate based on customer demand," the company said, citing competing products from Google, Tend, Netatmo, Wisenet, and Honeywell that include facial recognition capability.
"If our customers want these features in Ring security cameras, we will release these features only with thoughtful design including privacy, security, and user control, and we will clearly communicate with our customers as we offer new features," Amazon added.
The company has also not publicly discussed any plans for potentially deploying object detection or license plate scanning technology. In the same letter, lawmakers asked Amazon if employees had access to "any previously tagged information in video feeds that specifically identify a person or vehicle," including specific license plate data; to that question, Amazon answered simply "no."
Automatic license plate reader technology is widely used by local, state, and federal authorities nationwide'--but not individuals. Amazon would have at least one competitor if it were to add that functionality to Ring, though: Rekor Systems began marketing a version of its plate-reader software to individual homeowners back in January for $5 per month.
"These features are not available on Ring devices, but are available on similar products from other device makers," a Ring spokesperson told Ars. "Like many companies, we regularly engage with our customers to better understand the types of products and features they might find useful. Privacy is foundational to us, and any products and features we develop include strong privacy protections and provide customers with privacy controls."
Police partnershipsNot only does Ring have access to all the video content consumers capture'--the police might come asking for it, too. It has been less than a year since the scope of Ring's partnerships with local law enforcement agencies first began to come to light. Amazon agreed at the very tail end of August to make and keep updated a public list of those agreements going forward. At that time, there were 405 such arrangements.
Ring no longer indicates on what day the master list was last updated, only saying it updates the page "regularly." As of April 21, though, the map lists a total of 1,187 police departments'--plus another six fire departments'--with which it has arrangements.
The initial lack of transparency around the deals, particularly concerning how police accessed data and the incentives and marketing support law enforcement received, generated significant criticism from both civil rights groups and lawmakers.
To its credit, Amazon has recently taken steps to increase transparency about its police partnerships. Clicking any agency on the map now not only tells you when Ring's arrangement with that city or county began, but also how many requests for footage that agency issued in the first quarter of this year. (Here in the DC metro, for example, the Prince George's County Police Department apparently began working with Ring in February 2019 and issued 53 video requests between January and March 2020.)
Ring also now describes for users how video requests work. Agencies submitting a request must include an incident case number and specify a limited area and time range for footage, the company says. Police also cannot see which specific users were sent a request but do receive user information from anyone who does choose to share a video in response.
At the end of March, the company also published a tally of all requests for user content it received from local, state, and federal agencies'--as opposed to requests partner agencies sent to consumers'--in 2019. Last year, the company says, Ring received 162 subpoenas, nine court orders, 536 search warrants, 30 requests from agencies outside of the United States, and somewhere between zero and 249 national security requests for data.
Techno-Tyranny: How The US National Security State Is Using Coronavirus To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 20:16
Loading ... Last year, a government commission called for the US to adopt an AI-driven mass surveillance system far beyond that used in any other country in order to ensure American hegemony in artificial intelligence. Now, many of the ''obstacles'' they had cited as preventing its implementation are rapidly being removed under the guise of combating the coronavirus crisis. Last year, a U.S. government body dedicated to examining how artificial intelligence can ''address the national security and defense needs of the United States'' discussed in detail the ''structural'' changes that the American economy and society must undergo in order to ensure a technological advantage over China, according to a recent document acquired through a FOIA request . This document suggests that the U.S. follow China's lead and even surpass them in many aspects related to AI-driven technologies, particularly their use of mass surveillance. This perspective clearly clashes with the public rhetoric of prominent U.S. government officials and politicians on China, who have labeled the Chinese government's technology investments and export of its surveillance systems and other technologies as a major ''threat'' to Americans' ''way of life.''
In addition, many of the steps for the implementation of such a program in the U.S., as laid out in this newly available document, are currently being promoted and implemented as part of the government's response to the current coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. This likely due to the fact that many members of this same body have considerable overlap with the taskforces and advisors currently guiding the government's plans to ''re-open the economy'' and efforts to use technology to respond to the current crisis.
The FOIA document, obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), was produced by a little-known U.S. government organization called the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI). It was created by the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and its official purpose is ''to consider the methods and means necessary to advance the development of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and associated technologies to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States.''
The NSCAI is a key part of the government's response to what is often referred to as the coming '' fourth industrial revolution ,'' which has been described as ''a revolution characterized by discontinuous technological development in areas like artificial intelligence (AI), big data, fifth-generation telecommunications networking ( 5G ), nanotechnology and biotechnology, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and quantum computing.''
However, their main focus is ensuring that ''the United States '... maintain a technological advantage in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other associated technologies related to national security and defense.'' The vice-chair of NSCAI, Robert Work '' former Deputy Secretary of Defense and senior fellow at the hawkish Center for a New American Security (CNAS) , described the commission's purpose as determining ''how the U.S. national security apparatus should approach artificial intelligence, including a focus on how the government can work with industry to compete with China's 'civil-military fusion' concept.''
The recently released NSCAI document is a May 2019 presentation entitled '' Chinese Tech Landscape Overview .'' Throughout the presentation, the NSCAI promotes the overhaul of the U.S. economy and way of life as necessary for allowing the U.S. to ensure it holds a considerable technological advantage over China, as losing this advantage is currently deemed a major ''national security'' issue by the U.S. national security apparatus. This concern about maintaining a technological advantage can be seen in several other U.S. military documents and think tank reports, several of which have warned that the U.S.' technological advantage is quickly eroding.
The U.S. government and establishment media outlets often blame alleged Chinese espionage or the Chinese government's more explicit partnerships with private technology companies in support of their claim that the U.S. is losing this advantage over China. For instance, Chris Darby, the current CEO of the CIA's In-Q-Tel, who is also on the NSCAI, told CBS News last year that China is the U.S.' main competitor in terms of technology and that U.S. privacy laws were hampering the U.S.' capacity to counter China in this regard, stating that:
''[D]ata is the new oil. And China is just awash with data. And they don't have the same restraints that we do around collecting it and using it, because of the privacy difference between our countries. This notion that they have the largest labeled data set in the world is going to be a huge strength for them.''
In another example, Michael Dempsey '' former acting Director of National Intelligence and currently a government-funded fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations '' argued in The Hill that:
''It's quite clear, though, that China is determined to erase our technological advantage, and is committing hundreds of billions of dollars to this effort. In particular, China is determined to be a world leader in such areas as artificial intelligence, high performance computing, and synthetic biology. These are the industries that will shape life on the planet and the military balance of power for the next several decades.''
In fact, the national security apparatus of the United States is so concerned about losing a technological edge over China that the Pentagon recently decided to join forces directly with the U.S. intelligence community in order ''to get in front of Chinese advances in artificial intelligence.'' This union resulted in the creation of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), which ties together ''the military's efforts with those of the Intelligence Community, allowing them to combine efforts in a breakneck push to move government's AI initiatives forward.'' It also coordinates with other government agencies, industry, academics, and U.S. allies. Robert Work, who subsequently became the NSCAI vice-chair, said at the time that JAIC's creation was a ''welcome first step in response to Chinese, and to a lesser extent, Russian, plans to dominate these technologies.''
Similar concerns about ''losing'' technological advantage to China have also been voiced by the NSCAI chairman, Eric Schmidt, the former head of Alphabet '' Google's parent company, who argued in February in the New York Times that Silicon Valley could soon lose ''the technology wars'' to China if the U.S. government doesn't take action. Thus, the three main groups represented within the NSCAI '' the intelligence community, the Pentagon and Silicon Valley '' all view China's advancements in AI as a major national security threat (and in Silicon Valley's case, threat to their bottom lines and market shares) that must be tackled quickly.
Targeting China's ''adoption advantage'' In the May 2019 '' Chinese Tech Landscape Overview '' presentation, the NSCAI discusses that, while the U.S. still leads in the ''creation'' stage of AI and related technologies, it lags behind China in the ''adoption'' stage due to ''structural factors.'' It says that ''creation'', followed by ''adoption'' and ''iteration'' are the three phases of the ''life cycle of new tech'' and asserts that failing to dominate in the ''adoption'' stage will allow China to ''leapfrog'' the U.S. and dominate AI for the foreseeable future.
The presentation also argues that, in order to ''leapfrog'' competitors in emerging markets, what is needed is not ''individual brilliance'' but instead specific ''structural conditions that exist within certain markets.'' It cites several case studies where China is considered to be ''leapfrogging'' the U.S. due to major differences in these ''structural factors.'' Thus, the insinuation of the document (though not directly stated) is that the U.S. must alter the ''structural factors'' that are currently responsible for its lagging behind China in the ''adoption'' phase of AI-driven technologies.
Chief among the troublesome ''structural factors'' highlighted in this presentation are so-called ''legacy systems'' that are common in the U.S. but much less so in China. The NSCAI document states that examples of ''legacy systems'' include a financial system that still utilizes cash and card payments, individual car ownership and even receiving medical attention from a human doctor. It states that, while these ''legacy systems'' in the US are ''good enough,'' too many ''good enough'' systems ''hinder the adoption of new things,'' specifically AI-driven systems.
Another structural factor deemed by the NSCAI to be an obstacle to the U.S.' ability to maintain a technological advantage over China is the ''scale of the consumer market,'' arguing that ''extreme urban density = on-demand service adoption.'' In other words, extreme urbanization results in more people using online or mobile-based ''on-demand'' services, ranging from ride-sharing to online shopping. It also cites the use of mass surveillance on China's ''huge population base'' is an example of how China's ''scale of consumer market'' advantage allowing ''China to leap ahead'' in the fields of related technologies, like facial recognition.
In addition to the alleged shortcomings of the U.S.' ''legacy systems'' and lack of ''extreme urban density,'' the NSCAI also calls for more ''explicit government support and involvement'' as a means to speed up the adoption of these systems in the U.S. This includes the government lending its stores of data on civilians to train AI, specifically citing facial recognition databases, and mandating that cities be ''re-architected around AVs [autonomous vehicles],'' among others. Other examples given include the government investing large amounts of money in AI start-ups and adding tech behemoths to a national, public-private AI taskforce focused on smart city-implementation (among other things).
With regards to the latter, the document says ''this level of public-private cooperation'' in China is ''outwardly embraced'' by the parties involved, with this ''serving as a stark contrast to the controversy around Silicon Valley selling to the U.S. government.'' Examples of such controversy, from the NSCAI's perspective, likely include Google employees petitioning to end the Google-Pentagon ''Project Maven,'' which uses Google's AI software to analyze footage captured by drones. Google eventually chose not to renew its Maven contract as a result of the controversy, even though top Google executives viewed the project as a ''golden opportunity'' to collaborate more closely with the military and intelligence communities.
The document also defines another aspect of government support as the ''clearing of regulatory barriers.'' This term is used in the document specifically with respect to U.S. privacy laws, despite the fact that the U.S. national security state has long violated these laws with near complete impunity. However, the document seems to suggest that privacy laws in the U.S. should be altered so that what the U.S. government has done ''in secret'' with private citizen data can be done more openly and more extensively. The NSCAI document also discusses the removal of ''regulatory barriers'' in order to speed up the adoption of self-driving cars, even though autonomous driving technology has resulted in several deadly and horrific car accidents and presents other safety concerns .
Also discussed is how China's ''adoption advantage'' will ''allow it to leapfrog the U.S.'' in several new fields, including ''AI medical diagnosis'' and ''smart cities.'' It then asserts that ''the future will be decided at the intersection of private enterprise and policy leaders between China and the U.S.'' If this coordination over the global AI market does not occur, the document warns that ''we [the U.S.] risk being left out of the discussions where norms around AI are set for the rest of our lifetimes.''
The presentation also dwells considerably on how ''the main battleground [in technology] are not the domestic Chinese and US markets,'' but what it refers to as the NBU (next billion users) markets, where it states that ''Chinese players will aggressively challenge Silicon Valley.'' In order to challenge them more successfully, the presentation argues that, ''just like we [view] the market of teenagers as a harbinger for new trends, we should look at China.''
The document also expresses concerns about China exporting AI more extensively and intensively than the U.S., saying that China is ''already crossing borders'' by helping to build facial databases in Zimbabwe and selling image recognition and smart city systems to Malaysia. If allowed to become ''the unambiguous leader in AI,'' it says that ''China could end up writing much of the rulebook of international norms around the deployment of AI'' and that it would ''broaden China's sphere of influence amongst an international community that increasingly looks to the pragmatic authoritarianism of China and Singapore as an alternative to Western liberal democracy.''
What will replace the US' ''legacy systems''? Given that the document makes it quite clear that ''legacy systems'' in the U.S. are impeding its ability to prevent China from ''leapfrogging'' ahead in AI and then dominating it for the foreseeable future, it is also important to examine what the document suggests should replace these ''legacy systems'' in the U.S.
As previously mentioned, one ''legacy system'' cited early on in the presentation is the main means of payment for most Americans, cash and credit/debit cards. The presentation asserts, in contrast to these ''legacy systems'' that the best and most advanced system is moving entirely to smartphone-based digital wallets.
It notes specifically the main mobile wallet provider in India, PayTM, is majority owned by Chinese companies. It quotes an article, which states that ''a big break came [in 2016] when India canceled 86% of currency in circulation in an effort to cut corruption and bring more people into the tax net by forcing them to use less cash.'' At the time, claims that India's 2016 ''currency reform'' would be used as a stepping stone towards a cashless society were dismissed by some as ''conspiracy theory.'' However, last year, a committee convened by India's central bank (and led by an Indian tech oligarch who also created India's massive civilian biometric database) resulted in the Indian government's '' Cashless India '' program.
Regarding India's 2016 ''currency reform,'' the NSCAI document then asserts that ''this would be unfathomable in the West. And unsurprisingly, when 86% of the cash got cancelled and nobody had a credit card, mobile wallets in India exploded, laying the groundwork for a far more advanced payments ecosystem in India than the US.'' However, it has become increasingly less unfathomable in light of the current coronavirus crisis, which has seen efforts to reduce the amount of cash used because paper bills may carry the virus as well as efforts to introduce a Federal Reserve-backed '' digital dollar .''
In addition, the NSCAI document from last May calls for the end of in-person shopping and promotes moving towards all shopping being performed online. It argues that ''American companies have a lot to gain by adopting ideas from Chinese companies'' by shifting towards exclusive e-commerce purchasing options. It states that only shopping online provides a ''great experience'' and also adds that ''when buying online is literally the only way to get what you want, consumers go online.''
Another ''legacy system'' that the NSCAI seeks to overhaul is car ownership, as it promotes autonomous, or self-driving vehicles and further asserts that ''fleet ownership > individual ownership.'' It specifically points to a need for ''a centralized ride-sharing network,'' which it says ''is needed to coordinate cars to achieve near 100% utilization rates.'' However, it warns against ride-sharing networks that ''need a human operator paired with each vehicle'' and also asserts that ''fleet ownership makes more sense'' than individual car ownership. It also specifically calls for these fleets to not only be composed of self-driving cars, but electric cars and cites reports that China ''has the world's most aggressive electric vehicle goals'....and seek[s] the lead in an emerging industry.''
The document states that China leads in ride-sharing today even though ride-sharing was pioneered first in the U.S. It asserts once again that the U.S. ''legacy system'' of individual car ownership and lack of ''extreme urban density'' are responsible for China's dominance in this area. It also predicts that China will ''achieve mass autonomous [vehicle] adoption before the U.S.,'' largely because ''the lack of mass car ownership [in China] leads to far more consumer receptiveness to AVs [autonomous vehicles].'' It then notes that ''earlier mass adoption leads to a virtuous cycle that allows Chinese core self-driving tech to accelerate beyond [its] Western counterparts.''
In addition to their vision for a future financial system and future self-driving transport system, the NSCAI has a similarly dystopian vision for surveillance. The document calls mass surveillance ''one of the 'first-and-best customers' for AI'' and ''a killer application for deep learning.'' It also states that ''having streets carpeted with cameras is good infrastructure.''
It then discusses how ''an entire generation of AI unicorn'' companies are ''collecting the bulk of their early revenue from government security contracts'' and praises the use of AI in facilitating policing activities. For instance, it lauds reports that ''police are making convictions based on phone calls monitored with iFlyTek's voice-recognition technology'' and that ''police departments are using [AI] facial recognition tech to assist in everything from catching traffic law violators to resolving murder cases.''
On the point of facial recognition technology specifically, the NSCAI document asserts that China has ''leapt ahead'' of the US on facial recognition, even though ''breakthroughs in using machine learning for image recognition initially occurred in the US.'' It claims that China's advantage in this instance is because they have government-implemented mass surveillance (''clearing of regulatory barriers''), enormous government-provided stores of data (''explicit government support'') combined with private sector databases on a huge population base (''scale of consumer market''). As a consequence of this, the NSCAI argues, China is also set to leap ahead of the U.S. in both image/facial recognition and biometrics.
The document also points to another glaring difference between the U.S. and its rival, stating that: ''In the press and politics of America and Europe, Al is painted as something to be feared that is eroding privacy and stealing jobs. Conversely, China views it as both a tool for solving major macroeconomic challenges in order to sustain their economic miracle, and an opportunity to take technological leadership on the global stage.''
The NSCAI document also touches on the area of healthcare, calling for the implementation of a system that seems to be becoming reality thanks to the current coronavirus crisis. In discussing the use of AI in healthcare (almost a year before the current crisis began), it states that ''China could lead the world in this sector'' and ''this could lead to them exporting their tech and setting international norms.'' One reason for this is also that China has ''far too few doctors for the population'' and calls having enough doctors for in-person visits a ''legacy system.'' It also cited U.S. regulatory measures such as ''HIPPA compliance and FDA approval'' as obstacles that don't constrain Chinese authorities.
More troubling, it argues that ''the potential impact of government supplied data is even more significant in biology and healthcare,'' and says it is likely that ''the Chinese government [will] require every single citizen to have their DNA sequenced and stored in government databases, something nearly impossible to imagine in places as privacy conscious as the U.S. and Europe.'' It continues by saying that ''the Chinese apparatus is well-equipped to take advantage'' and calls these civilian DNA databases a ''logical next step.''
Who are the NSCAI? Given the sweeping changes to the U.S. that the NSCAI promoted in this presentation last May, it becomes important to examine who makes up the commission and to consider their influence over U.S. policy on these matters, particularly during the current crisis. As previously mentioned, the chairman of the NSCAI is Eric Schmidt, the former head of Alphabet (Google's parent company) who has also invested heavily in Israeli intelligence-linked tech companies including the controversial start-up ''incubator'' Team8 . In addition, the committee's vice-chair is Robert Work, is not only a former top Pentagon official, but is currently working with the think tank CNAS, which is run by John McCain's long-time foreign policy adviser and Joe Biden's former national security adviser.
Other members of the NSCAI are as follows:
Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle, with close ties to Trump's top donor Sheldon Adelson Steve Chien, supervisor of the Artificial Intelligence Group at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Lab Mignon Clyburn, Open Society Foundation fellow and former FCC commissioner Chris Darby, CEO of In-Q-Tel (CIA's venture capital arm) Ken Ford, CEO of the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition Jose-Marie Griffiths, president of Dakota State University and former National Science Board member Eric Horvitz, director of Microsoft Research Labs Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services (CIA contractor) Gilman Louie, partner at Alsop Louie Partners and former CEO of In-Q-Tel William Mark, director of SRI International and former Lockheed Martin director Jason Matheny, director of the Center for Security and Emerging Technology, former Assistant director of National Intelligence and former director of IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Project Agency) Katharina McFarland, consultant at Cypress International and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Andrew Moore, head of Google Cloud AI As can be seen in the list above, there is a considerable amount of overlap between the NSCAI and the companies currently advising the White House on ''re-opening'' the economy (Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Lockheed Martin , Oracle) and one NSCAI member, Oracle's Safra Katz , is on the White House's ''economic revival'' taskforce. Also, there is also overlap between the NSCAI and the companies that are intimately involved in the implementation of the ''contact tracing'' ''coronavirus surveillance system,'' a mass surveillance system promoted by the Jared Kushner-led, private-sector coronavirus task force. That surveillance system is set to be constructed by companies with deep ties to Google and the U.S. national security state , and both Google and Apple, who create the operating systems for the vast majority of smartphones used in the U.S., have said they will now build that surveillance system directly into their smartphone operating systems .
Also notable is the fact that In-Q-Tel and the U.S. intelligence community has considerable representation on the NSCAI and that they also boast close ties with Google, Palantir and other Silicon Valley giants, having been early investors in those companies. Both Google and Palantir, as well as Amazon (also on the NSCAI) are also major contractors for U.S. intelligence agencies. In-Q-Tel's involvement on the NSCAI is also significant because they have been heavily promoting mass surveillance of consumer electronic devices for use in pandemics for the past several years. Much of that push has come from In-Q-Tel's current Executive Vice President Tara O'Toole, who was previously the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and also co-authored several controversial biowarfare/pandemic simulations , such as Dark Winter.
In addition, since at least January, the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon have been at the forefront of developing the U.S. government's still-classified ''9/11-style'' response plans for the coronavirus crisis, alongside the National Security Council. Few news organizations have noted that these classified response plans , which are set to be triggered if and when the U.S. reaches a certain number of coronavirus cases, has been created largely by elements of the national security state (i.e. the NSC, Pentagon, and intelligence), as opposed to civilian agencies or those focused on public health issues.
Furthermore, it has been reported that the U.S. intelligence community as well as U.S. military intelligence knew by at least January (though recent reports have said as early as last November ) that the coronavirus crisis would reach ''pandemic proportions'' by March. The American public were not warned, but elite members of the business and political classes were apparently informed, given the record numbers of CEO resignations in January and several high-profile insider trading allegations that preceded the current crisis by a matter of weeks.
Perhaps even more disconcerting is the added fact that the U.S. government not only participated in the eerily prescient pandemic simulation last October known as Event 201 , it also led a series of pandemic response simulations last year. Crimson Contagion was a series of four simulations that involved 19 U.S. federal agencies, including intelligence and the military, as well as 12 different states and a host of private sector companies that simulated a devastating pandemic influenza outbreak that had originated in China. It was led by the current HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Robert Kadlec, who is a former lobbyist for military and intelligence contractors and a Bush-era homeland security ''bioterrorism'' advisor.
In addition, both Kadlec and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, which was intimately involved in Event 201, have direct ties to the controversial June 2001 biowarfare exercise '' Dark Winter ,'' which predicted the 2001 anthrax attacks that transpired just months later in disturbing ways. Though efforts by media and government were made to blame the anthrax attacks on a foreign source, the anthrax was later found to have originated at a U.S. bioweapons lab and the FBI investigation into the case has been widely regarded as a cover-up, including by the FBI's once-lead investigator on that case.
Given the above, it is worth asking if those who share the NSCAI's vision saw the coronavirus pandemic early on as an opportunity to make the ''structural changes'' it had deemed essential to countering China's lead in the mass adoption of AI-driven technologies, especially considering that many of the changes in the May 2019 document are now quickly taking place under the guise of combatting the coronavirus crisis.
The NSCAI's vision takes shape Though the May 2019 NSCAI document was authored nearly a year ago, the coronavirus crisis has resulted in the implementation of many of the changes and the removal of many of the ''structural'' obstacles that the commission argued needed to be drastically altered in order to ensure a technological advantage over China in the field of AI. The aforementioned move away from cash, which is taking place not just in the U.S. but internationally , is just one example of many.
For instance, earlier this week CNN reported that grocery stores are now considering banning in-person shopping and that the U.S. Department of Labor has recommended that retailers nationwide start '''using a drive-through window or offering curbside pick-up' to protect workers for exposure to coronavirus.'' In addition, last week, the state of Florida approved an online-purchase plan for low income families using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Other reports have argued that social distancing inside grocery stores is ineffective and endangering people's lives. As previously mentioned, the May 2019 NSCAI document argues that moving away from in-person shopping is necessary to mitigate China's ''adoption advantage'' and also argued that ''when buying online is literally the only way to get what you want, consumers go online.''
Reports have also argued that these changes in shopping will last far beyond coronavirus, such as an article by Business Insider entitled '' The coronavirus pandemic is pushing more people online and will forever change how Americans shop for groceries, experts say .'' Those cited in the piece argue that this shift away from in-person shopping will be ''permanent'' and also states that ''More people are trying these services than otherwise would have without this catalyst and gives online players a greater chance to acquire and keep a new customer base.'' A similar article in Yahoo! News argues that, thanks to the current crisis, ''our dependence on online shopping will only rise because no one wants to catch a virus at a shop.''
In addition, the push towards the mass use of self-driving cars has also gotten a boost thanks to coronavirus, with driverless cars now making on-demand deliveries in California. Two companies, one Chinese-owned and the other backed by Japan's SoftBank, have since been approved to have their self-driving cars used on California roads and that approval was expedited due to the coronavirus crisis. The CPO of Nuro Inc., the SoftBank-backed company, was quoted in Bloomberg as saying that ''The Covid-19 pandemic has expedited the public need for contactless delivery services. Our R2 fleet is custom-designed to change the very nature of driving and the movement of goods by allowing people to remain safely at home while their groceries, medicines, and packages are brought to them.'' Notably, the May 2019 NSCAI document references the inter-connected web of SoftBank-backed companies, particularly those backed by its largely Saudi-funded ''Vision Fund,'' as forming ''the connective tissue for a global federation of tech companies'' set to dominate AI.
California isn't the only state to start using self-driving cars, as the Mayo Clinic of Florida is now also using them. ''Using artificial intelligence enables us to protect staff from exposure to this contagious virus by using cutting-edge autonomous vehicle technology and frees up staff time that can be dedicated to direct treatment and care for patients,'' Kent Thielen, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida stated in a recent press release cited by Mic .
Like the changes to in-person shopping in the age of coronavirus, other reports assert that self-driving vehicles are here to stay. One report published by Mashable is entitled '' It took a coronavirus outbreak for self-driving cars to become more appealing ,'' and opens by stating ''Suddenly, a future full of self-driving cars isn't just a sci-fi pipe dream. What used to be considered a scary, uncertain technology for many Americans looks more like an effective tool to protect ourselves from a fast-spreading, infectious disease.'' It further argues that this is hardly a ''fleeting shift'' in driving habits and one tech CEO cited in the piece, Anuja Sonalker of Steer Tech, claims that ''There has been a distinct warming up to human-less, contactless technology. Humans are biohazards, machines are not.''
Another focus of the NSCAI presentation, AI medicine, has also seen its star rise in recent weeks. For instance, several reports have touted how AI-driven drug discovery platforms have been able to identify potential treatments for coronavirus. Microsoft, whose research lab director is on the NSCAI, recently put $20 million into its ''AI for health'' program to speed up the use of AI in analyzing coronavirus data. In addition, ''telemedicine'''' a form of remote medical care '' has also become widely adopted due to the coronavirus crisis.
Several other AI-driven technologies have similarly become more widely adopted thanks to coronavirus, including the use of mass surveillance for ''contact tracing'' as well as facial recognition technology and biometrics. A recent Wall Street Journal report stated that the government is seriously considering both contact tracing via phone geolocation data and facial recognition technology in order to track those who might have coronavirus. In addition, private businesses '' like grocery stores and restaurants '' are using sensors and facial recognition to see how many people and which people are entering their stores.
As far as biometrics go, university researchers are now working to determine if ''smartphones and biometric wearables already contain the data we need to know if we have become infected with the novel coronavirus.'' Those efforts seek to detect coronavirus infections early by analyzing ''sleep schedules, oxygen levels, activity levels and heart rate'' based on smartphone apps like FitBit and smartwatches. In countries outside the U.S., biometric IDs are being touted as a way to track those who have and lack immunity to coronavirus.
In addition, one report in The Edge argued that the current crisis is changing what types of biometrics should be used, asserting that a shift towards thermal scanning and facial recognition is necessary:
''At this critical juncture of the crisis, any integrated facial recognition and thermal scanning solution must be implemented easily, rapidly and in a cost-effective manner. Workers returning to offices or factories must not have to scramble to learn a new process or fumble with declaration forms. They must feel safe and healthy for them to work productively. They just have to look at the camera and smile. Cameras and thermal scanners, supported by a cloud-based solution and the appropriate software protocols, will do the rest.''
Also benefiting from the coronavirus crisis is the concept of ''smart cities,'' with Forbes recently writing that ''Smart cities can help us combat the coronavirus pandemic.'' That article states that ''Governments and local authorities are using smart city technology, sensors and data to trace the contacts of people infected with the coronavirus. At the same time, smart cities are also helping in efforts to determine whether social distancing rules are being followed.''
That article in Forbes also contains the following passage:
'''...[T]he use of masses of connected sensors makes it clear that the coronavirus pandemic is''intentionally or not''being used as a testbed for new surveillance technologies that may threaten privacy and civil liberties. So aside from being a global health crisis, the coronavirus has effectively become an experiment in how to monitor and control people at scale.''
Another report in The Guardian states that ''If one of the government takeaways from coronavirus is that 'smart cities' including Songdo or Shenzhen are safer cities from a public health perspective, then we can expect greater efforts to digitally capture and record our behaviour in urban areas '' and fiercer debates over the power such surveillance hands to corporations and states.'' There have also been reports that assert that typical cities are '' woefully unprepared '' to face pandemics compared to ''smart cities.''
Yet, beyond many of the NSCAI's specific concerns regarding mass AI adoption being conveniently resolved by the current crisis, there has also been a concerted effort to change the public's perception of AI in general. As previously mentioned, the NSCAI had pointed out last year that:
''In the press and politics of America and Europe, Al is painted as something to be feared that is eroding privacy and stealing jobs. Conversely, China views it as both a tool for solving major macroeconomic challenges in order to sustain their economic miracle, and an opportunity to take technological leadership on the global stage.''
Now, less than a year later, the coronavirus crisis has helped spawn a slew of headlines in just the last few weeks that paint AI very differently, including '' How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Fight Coronavirus ,'' '' How AI May Prevent the Next Coronavirus Outbreak ,'' '' AI Becomes an Ally in the Fight Against COVID-19 ,'' '' Coronavirus: AI steps up in battle against COVID-19 ,'' and '' Here's How AI Can Help Africa Fight the Coronavirus ,'' among numerous others.
It is indeed striking how the coronavirus crisis has seemingly fulfilled the NSCAI's entire wishlist and removed many of the obstacles to the mass adoption of AI technologies in the United States. Like major crises of the past, the national security state appears to be using the chaos and fear to promote and implement initiatives that would be normally rejected by Americans and, if history is any indicator, these new changes will remain long after the coronavirus crisis fades from the news cycle. It is essential that these so-called '' solutions '' be recognized for what they are and that we consider what type of world they will end up creating '' an authoritarian technocracy. We ignore the rapid advance of these NSCAI-promoted initiatives and the phasing out of so-called ''legacy systems'' (and with them, many long-cherished freedoms) at our own peril.
Question Everything, Come To Your Own Conclusions.
Related
Spying for Xi? 43 U.S. law enforcement agencies accept free drones from China - Rebel News
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 18:38
43 U.S. law enforcement agencies in 22 states have accepted drones manufactured by Chinese company Da Jiang Innovations (DJI) for free, in order to enforce coronavirus lock downs and police difficult areas, as reported by Fox News.
These drones were donated free of charge by the Chinese company, who experts estimate controls around 90 per cent of the market share. This powerful of a company means it automatically falls under the watch of the Communist regime. While the machines are said to help monitor areas that patrol cars cannot reach, like in New Jersey for example, many fear this is just convenient timing to roll out authoritarian tactics.
In fact, DJI has been producing drones capable of capturing infrared video as early as 2015:
A representative of the company disagrees with the implication they possess ulterior motives, however:
"Some people are trying to score ideological points by discouraging the use of important equipment and tools that save lives and protect American first responders," spokesperson Adam Lisberg told Fox News on Monday.
Lisberg denied claims that the drones would be used to spy on Americans saying the prevention of data transmission is well within the users control.
"All DJI customers have complete control over any photos, videos and flight logs they generate during their operations," Lisberg remarked. "None of this data is ever transferred to DJI or anyone else unless they deliberately choose to do so."
Not only has China's recent accountability been less-than-stellar, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a warning about the aforementioned drones nearly a year ago. As CNN reported in May, 2019:
The drones are a "potential risk to an organization's information," the alert from DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency states. The products "contain components that can compromise your data and share your information on a server accessed beyond the company itself."
While the DHS did not name any specific companies, nearly 80 per cent of drones used in the United States and Canada come from DJI, as per industry analysis, according the same CNN report.
This warning came shortly after President Trump made strong moves to restrict U.S. firms from using telecommunications equipment from Huawei, the Chinese company who still freely operates in Canada, even sponsoring Hockey Night in Canada.
To help Rebel News fight back against Canadians who are having their civil liberties taken away, go to FightTheFines.com
Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak | The White House
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 18:35
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has significantly disrupted the livelihoods of Americans. In Proclamation 9994 of March 13, 2020 (Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak), I declared that the COVID''19 outbreak in the United States constituted a national emergency, beginning March 1, 2020. Since then, the American people have united behind a policy of mitigation strategies, including social distancing, to flatten the curve of infections and reduce the spread of SARS''CoV''2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This needed behavioral shift has taken a toll on the United States economy, with national unemployment claims reaching historic levels. In the days between the national emergency declaration and April 11, 2020, more than 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment.
In the administration of our Nation's immigration system, we must be mindful of the impact of foreign workers on the United States labor market, particularly in an environment of high domestic unemployment and depressed demand for labor. We must also conserve critical State Department resources so that consular officers may continue to provide services to United States citizens abroad. Even with their ranks diminished by staffing disruptions caused by the pandemic, consular officers continue to provide assistance to United States citizens, including through the ongoing evacuation of many Americans stranded overseas.
I have determined that, without intervention, the United States faces a potentially protracted economic recovery with persistently high unemployment if labor supply outpaces labor demand. Excess labor supply affects all workers and potential workers, but it is particularly harmful to workers at the margin between employment and unemployment, who are typically ''last in'' during an economic expansion and ''first out'' during an economic contraction. In recent years, these workers have been disproportionately represented by historically disadvantaged groups, including African Americans and other minorities, those without a college degree, and the disabled. These are the workers who, at the margin between employment and unemployment, are likely to bear the burden of excess labor supply disproportionately.
Furthermore, lawful permanent residents, once admitted, are granted ''open-market'' employment authorization documents, allowing them immediate eligibility to compete for almost any job, in any sector of the economy. There is no way to protect already disadvantaged and unemployed Americans from the threat of competition for scarce jobs from new lawful permanent residents by directing those new residents to particular economic sectors with a demonstrated need not met by the existing labor supply. Existing immigrant visa processing protections are inadequate for recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak. The vast majority of immigrant visa categories do not require employers to account for displacement of United States workers. While some employment-based visas contain a labor certification requirement, because visa issuance happens substantially after the certification is completed, the labor certification process cannot adequately capture the status of the labor market today. Moreover, introducing additional permanent residents when our healthcare resources are limited puts strain on the finite limits of our healthcare system at a time when we need to prioritize Americans and the existing immigrant population. In light of the above, I have determined that the entry, during the next 60 days, of certain aliens as immigrants would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, hereby find that the entry into the United States of persons described in section 1 of this proclamation would, except as provided for in section 2 of this proclamation, be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and that their entry should be subject to certain restrictions, limitations, and exceptions. I therefore hereby proclaim the following:
Section 1. Suspension and Limitation on Entry. The entry into the United States of aliens as immigrants is hereby suspended and limited subject to section 2 of this proclamation.
Sec. 2. Scope of Suspension and Limitation on Entry. (a) The suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation shall apply only to aliens who:
(i) are outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation;
(ii) do not have an immigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation; and
(iii) do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.
(b) The suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply to:
(i) any lawful permanent resident of the United States;
(ii) any alien seeking to enter the United States on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees; and any spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of any such alien who are accompanying or following to join the alien;
(iii) any alien applying for a visa to enter the United States pursuant to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program;
(iv) any alien who is the spouse of a United States citizen;
(v) any alien who is under 21 years old and is the child of a United States citizen, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
(vi) any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee;
(vii) any member of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces;
(viii) any alien seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification, subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State may impose, and any spouse and children of any such individual; or
(ix) any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
Sec. 3. Implementation and Enforcement. (a) The consular officer shall determine, in his or her discretion, whether an immigrant has established his or her eligibility for an exception in section 2(b) of this proclamation. The Secretary of State shall implement this proclamation as it applies to visas pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may establish in the Secretary of State's discretion. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall implement this proclamation as it applies to the entry of aliens pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may establish in the Secretary of Homeland Security's discretion.
(b) An alien who circumvents the application of this proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or illegal entry shall be a priority for removal by the Department of Homeland Security.
(c) Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to limit the ability of an individual to seek asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, consistent with the laws of the United States.
Sec. 4. Termination. This proclamation shall expire 60 days from its effective date and may be continued as necessary. Whenever appropriate, but no later than 50 days from the effective date of this proclamation, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Labor, recommend whether I should continue or modify this proclamation.
Sec. 5. Effective Date. This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020.
Sec. 6. Additional Measures. Within 30 days of the effective date of this proclamation, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review nonimmigrant programs and shall recommend to me other measures appropriate to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.
Sec. 7. Severability. It is the policy of the United States to enforce this proclamation to the maximum extent possible to advance the interests of the United States. Accordingly:
(a) if any provision of this proclamation, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this proclamation and the application of its provisions to any other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby; and
(b) if any provision of this proclamation, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid because of the lack of certain procedural requirements, the relevant executive branch officials shall implement those procedural requirements to conform with existing law and with any applicable court orders.
Sec. 8. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or,
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This proclamation shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This proclamation is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand thistwenty-second day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.
DONALD J. TRUMP
Healthy Together App | coronavirus
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 17:07
The Healthy Together beta app helps you assess your symptoms, find the nearest testing center, view test results, and learn what to do after you've been tested for COVID-19. We can work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our family members, friends, health workers, and our communities. If authorized by the user, the app can also provide location data to public health workers, providing them with a faster and more accurate picture of where and how the virus is spreading in our community to focus public health efforts.
No, participation in Healthy Together is strictly voluntary. Using the app, however, helps you and your fellow Utahns to more accurately pinpoint where the virus might be active during this period where we move into stabilization and recovery, but before we have a vaccine. As more people use the Healthy Together app, the more effective it becomes at helping us find out who is at risk for COVID-19 and if there are larger outbreaks of the disease in communities. This will help us to safely return to daily activities, including reactivating our economy.
Protecting your data is of utmost concern to the State of Utah and the developer, Twenty. To ensure the privacy and security of the data will follow these principles and limitations:
Using the app is strictly opt-in and voluntary.You own your data and can delete it at any time.Only data required to combat COVID-19 will be shared with public health officials.Location data is automatically deleted after 30 days.Symptom data is automatically de-identified after 30 days.The developer will comply with State requirements for data security and encryption.You can decide what data you would like to share '' for example, bluetooth data, location data, or contact lists.Your data is secure and you are in full control of what you choose to share. Only data that is useful to combat COVID-19 will be shared with public health officials.
While the State will have access to your symptom data, location and bluetooth data will only be released to the state should you test positive for COVID-19.
Utah has trained a team of contact tracers under the Utah Department of Health who reach out to people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been potentially exposed to the disease. When you grant access to your location or GPS and bluetooth data, members of this team will be able to access your data to help in the contact tracing process.
The app will help these professionals identify transmission zones, contact patterns, and other vital information to inform their research.
Yes. You can fully delete your data at any time. Location data will automatically be deleted after 30 days. Symptom data will be automatically de-identified after 30 days.
Public health officials and a limited number of development employees with Twenty Holdings, Inc. will have access to your name, phone number, and location data for COVID-19 tracing purposes only.
No. Within our privacy policy, we've limited all data collected to researchers, public health, and COVID-19 response efforts.
Public health will only receive access to necessary health data Your data is protected by network security (firewall provisioning, third-party penetration testing, data encryption) as well as State data security measures to ensure your data is protected.
No. You will only be informed by public health workers if you've come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The State of Utah values the role of limited government and recognizes that asking you to provide personal information may be uncomfortable and concerning to some. However, you can be assured that your personal data will be used only for the purpose of fighting COVID-19.
Utah will investigate GPS and location data to help understand transmission zones, with the goal of informing policy-makers so they can make swift and smart decisions in the coming weeks and months.
Bluetooth on its own gives a less accurate picture than bluetooth and GPS location data. The goal of Healthy Together is to allow public health officials to understand how the disease spreads through the vector of people and places, and both location and bluetooth data are needed to accomplish that.
Bluetooth helps us understand person-to-person transmission, while location/GPS data helps us understand transmission zones '-- having both of these important data points provides a more effective picture of how COVID-19 spreads. This data helps policy makers make the best possible decisions about how and where we begin to relax and modify restrictions as our community and economy begin to reactivate.
Right now, the app helps the Utah Department of Health conduct enhanced contact tracing by providing public health workers with location and bluetooth data.
This enhances our contact tracing efforts by giving our public health teams more information. If public health determines it to be helpful, the app could begin automatically alerting people who are identified as having a moderate to high risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The Governor's Office and the Utah Department of Health worked closely with a developer, Twenty, to develop the Healthy Together app. Twenty repurposed its iOS and Android mobile application technology with existing user registration, location data sharing, basic map visualization, user-to-user sharing, and alerts to deliver a solution in two parts through a mobile application and an official portal to be used by public health.
Twenty consulted with other technology experts and the state of Utah's team during the development process. The app was coded and created by the core Twenty team and approved by State of Utah leaders and health officials.
New Michael Moore-Backed Documentary On YouTube Reveals Massive Ecological Impacts Of Renewables
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 09:57
about the eco-impacts of renewables
Getty Editorial and Jeff Gibbs, Planet of the Humans
Over the last 10 years, everyone from celebrity influencers including Elon Musk, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Al Gore, to major technology brands including Apple, have repeatedly claimed that renewables like solar panels and wind farms are less polluting than fossil fuels.
But a new documentary, ''Planet of the Humans,'' being released free to the public on YouTube today, the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, reveals that industrial wind farms, solar farms, biomass, and biofuels are wrecking natural environments.
''Planet of the Humans was produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore. ''I assumed solar panels would last forever,'' Moore told Reuters. ''I didn't know what went into the making of them.''
The film shows both abandoned industrial wind and solar farms and new ones being built '-- but after cutting down forests. ''It suddenly dawned on me what we were looking at was a solar dead zone,'' says filmmaker Jeff Gibbs, staring at a former solar farm in California. ''I learned that the solar panels don't last.''
Like many environmental documentaries, ''Planet of Humans'' endorses debunked Malthusian ideas that the world is running out of energy. ''We have to have our ability to consume reigned in,'' says a well-coiffed environmental leader. ''Without some major die-off of the human population there is no turning back,'' says a scientist.
In truth, humankind has never been at risk of running out of energy. There has always been enough fossil fuels to power human civilization for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years, and nuclear energy is effectively infinite.
But the apocalyptic rhetoric detracts little from the heart of the documentary, which exposes the complicity of climate activists including Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Sierra Club's Executive Director, in promoting pollution-intensive biomass energies, as well as natural gas.
The film unearths a great deal of information I had never seen before. It shows Apple's head of sustainability, former EPA head Lisa Jackson, claiming on-stage at an Apple event, ''We now run Apple on 100% renewable energy,'' to loud applause.
But Gibbs interviews a scientist who researched corporate renewables programs who said, ''I haven't found a single entity anywhere in the world running on 100% solar and wind alone.'' The film shows a forest being cut down to build an Apple solar farm.
After Earth Day Founder Denis Hayes claims at a 2015 Earth Day concert that the event was being powered by solar, Gibbs goes behind the stage to find out the truth. ''The concert is run by a diesel generation system,'' the solar vendor said. ''That right there could run a toaster,'' said another vendor.
The film also debunks the claim made by Elon Musk that his ''Gigafactory'' to make batteries is powered by renewables. In fact, it is hooked up to California's electric grid.
''Some solar panels are built to only last 10 years,'' said a man selling materials for solar manufacturing at a corporate expo. ''It's not like you get this magic free energy. I don't know that it's the solution and here I am selling the materials that go in photovoltaics.''
''What powers a learning community?'' said MicKibben at the unveiling of a wood-burning power plant at Middlebury College in Vermont. ''As of this afternoon, the easy answer to this is wood chips. It's incredibly beautiful to look at the bunker of wood chips. Anything that burns we can throw in there! This shows that this could happen everywhere, should happen everywhere, and must happen everywhere!''
The film reveals that McKibben and Sierra Club supported a Michigan ballot initiative that would have required the state get 25% of its electricity from renewables by 2025, and that the initiative was backed by biomass industrial interests, and that efforts to build a biomass plant at Michigan State University were hotly opposed by climate activists '-- including ones from 350.org.
In reality, scientists have for over a decade raised the alarm about biomass and biofuels causing rainforest destruction around the world including Brazil and Malaysia, and have documented that, when one takes into account their landscape impacts, the fuels produce significantly higher carbon emissions than oil and gas and may produce more than coal.
The film shows Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla telling Leslie Stahl of ''60 Minutes'' that his biofuels plant made ''Clean green gasoline.'' After Stahl asked what the downside was, Khosla said, ''There is no downside.''
One year later, Khosla's company filed for bankruptcy and defaulted on a $75 million loan it received from the state of Mississippi. It produced biofuels for $5 to $10 a gallon '-- ''even without counting the cost of building the plant,'' noted Washington Post's Steve Mufson in 2014. Two earlier Khosla biofuel ventures had already gone bankrupt after receiving hundreds of millions of federal government subsidies. Shareholders sued Khosla's company for fraud.
''Planet of the Humans'' notes that Al Gore personally accepted fossil fuel money in 2013 when he and a co-owner sold Current TV to Al Jazeera, which is state-funded by Qatar, the gas-exporting nation whose citizens have the largest per capita carbon footprint in the world.
One year earlier, Gore had said the goal of ''reducing our dependence on expensive dirty oil'' was ''to save the future of civilization.''
The film shows Jon Stewart, the host of Comedy Central's ''The Daily Show,'' asking Gore, ''You couldn't find, for your business, a more sustainable choice?''
''What is not sustainable about it?'' responded Gore.
''Because it is backed by fossil fuel money?'' said Stewart
As part of the agreement, Gore reportedly received $100 million. Climate activists weren't bothered by it. ''I don't think the community is too upset,'' a politically active environmentalist told The Washington Post about Gore's deal with Qatar. ''My personal sense is he got a good deal.''
Gore's business partner, David Blood, ''turns forests into profits,'' notes Gibbs.
The main problem with biofuels'--the land required'--stems from their low power density. If the United States were to replace all of its gasoline with corn ethanol, it would need an area 50 percent larger than all of the current U.S. cropland.
Even the most efficient biofuels, like those made from soybeans, require 450 to 750 times more land than petroleum. The best performing biofuel, sugarcane ethanol, widely used in Brazil, requires 400 times more land to produce the same amount of energy as petroleum.
Publicly, Kennedy, McKibben, and Brune promoted solar panels as an alternative to fossil fuels. ''There were days where Germany was generating 80 percent of its power from solar,'' said Mckibben. In reality, wind and solar provided just 34 percent of German electricity in 2019, and Germany relies upon burning natural gas, coal, and biogas from corn.
''In the Green Century Fund, recommended by 350.org,'' reports Gibbs, ''I found less than one percent solar and wind and 99% things like mining, oil and gas infrastructure, a tar sands exploiter, McDonald's, Archer Daniels'... Coca-Cola'... and lots of banks, including Black Rock, the largest financer of deforestation on earth.''
''The plants that we are building, the wind plants and solar plants, are gas plants,'' Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told oil and gas investors. About another project, Ivanpah, he said, ''It's a turbine that we just take from a gas plant and suspend it from a big scaffolding, a tower and surround it with giant mirrors in the desert.''
Building the Ivanpah solar farm resulted in the deaths of hundreds of old desert tortoises. ''Deserts are not dead,'' said the filmmaker. ''They are in fact full of ancient life.''
The film points to the massive materials requirements of renewables.
Solar panels require sixteen times more materials in the form of cement, glass, concrete, and steel than do nuclear plants, and create three hundred times more waste. ''You would have been better off just burning fossil fuels in the first place,'' said one expert, ''instead of just playing pretend. We're basically just being fed a lie.''
The man noted that the Koch Brothers industries provide many of the materials used to build solar panels and industrial solar farms. ''The funny part is that when you criticize solar plants like this you are accused of working for the Koch brothers,'' he laughs. ''That's the idiocy. This relies on the most toxic industrial processes we've ever created.''
Why drives people who believe they want to save the environment into destroying it? The filmmaker hints that the desire for ''sustainability'' is really a desire for a kind of immortality. ''What differentiates people is that we know we'll die someday,'' says a sociologist. ''We enveloped ourselves in belief systems and worldviews.''
''People on the left and the right who think we're going to be able to solar panel ourselves into the future,'' he says, ''I think that's delusional.''
The good news, the man says, is that ''once you come to terms with death, anything is possible.''
Follow me on
Twitter. Check out my website or some of my other work here. Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine ''Hero of the Environment'' and Green Book Award Winner. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall
'... Read More Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine ''Hero of the Environment'' and Green Book Award Winner. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, and other publications. His TED talks have been viewed over five million times. He is author of Apocalypse Never (HarperCollins June 2020).
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NPR Cuts Executive Pay as Corporate Sponsors' Payments Fall - The New York Times
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 09:43
National Public Radio, the purveyor of ''Morning Edition,'' ''All Things Considered'' and ''Planet Money,'' is cutting executives' pay to combat the effects of the economic collapse brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
The radio and podcasting giant does not run traditional advertisements, but nearly one-third of its revenue has come from corporate sponsors like Angie's List, General Motors, State Farm and Trader Joe's.
In an email to the staff on Friday, John Lansing, who joined the nonprofit as chief executive in September, projected that NPR would fall $12 million to $15 million short of the amount it had expected to receive from sponsors this year. He described the pay cuts as a way for NPR to avoid layoffs.
''We do not have any position eliminations on the table now,'' Mr. Lansing said in the email, which was reviewed by The New York Times, ''and it is our goal to avoid them as much as is reasonably possible.''
Mr. Lansing's own pay will be reduced by 25 percent, said Isabel Lara, an NPR spokeswoman; other NPR executives will have their salaries cut by 10 to 15 percent.
In the email, Mr. Lansing projected a budget deficit of $30 million to $45 million. NPR was looking to save as much as $25 million in costs through the pay cuts and by keeping a close eye on discretionary spending, he said.
Ms. Lara declined to confirm the figures in the email. ''NPR is taking a significant budget hit because of the economic lockdown,'' she said in a statement, adding that its ''main priority is to preserve jobs.''
Paul G. Haaga Jr., the chairman of NPR's board of directors, said he believed NPR was built to withstand tough economic times. ''My personal view is, I don't think we're going to need to make huge permanent cuts that will undermine the mission,'' Mr. Haaga said. ''We've got a lot of reserves, we've been prudent in our finances and our investment management. That's going to benefit us in this difficult time.''
At least 33,000 workers at news organizations in the United States have had their pay cut, been furloughed or lost their jobs since the virus started spreading through the country.
People are consuming more news than usual. Monthly readership of NPR's website has more than doubled, Ms. Lara said, and average weekly streaming of its radio shows has gone up 31 percent since the crisis began. Podcast downloads have also increased.
Created in 1970, NPR receives roughly 1 percent of its budget from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a federal entity controlled by Congress, which approved $465 million for public media for the 2020 fiscal year. As part of the annual White House budget request released in February, President Trump recommended slashing federal funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to $0 by 2023.
The majority of NPR's revenue comes from corporate sponsorships and fees from member stations around the country. Rob Risko, the director of membership at Southern California Public Radio, said on Monday that his station was projecting losses into next year.
In his email to the staff, Mr. Lansing said the pandemic made it difficult to predict NPR's future. ''I expect by mid-May/June, we'll have a better sense of what steps we may need to take this year,'' he wrote.
Ben Smith contributed reporting.
Updated April 11, 2020
When will this end?This is a difficult question, because a lot depends on how well the virus is contained. A better question might be: ''How will we know when to reopen the country?'' In an American Enterprise Institute report, Scott Gottlieb, Caitlin Rivers, Mark B. McClellan, Lauren Silvis and Crystal Watson staked out four goal posts for recovery: Hospitals in the state must be able to safely treat all patients requiring hospitalization, without resorting to crisis standards of care; the state needs to be able to at least test everyone who has symptoms; the state is able to conduct monitoring of confirmed cases and contacts; and there must be a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days.
How can I help?The Times Neediest Cases Fund has started a special campaign to help those who have been affected, which accepts donations here. Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities. More than 30,000 coronavirus-related GoFundMe fund-raisers have started in the past few weeks. (The sheer number of fund-raisers means more of them are likely to fail to meet their goal, though.)
What should I do if I feel sick?If you've been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.
Should I wear a mask?The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don't need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don't replace hand washing and social distancing.
How do I get tested?If you're sick and you think you've been exposed to the new coronavirus, the C.D.C. recommends that you call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and fears. They will decide if you need to be tested. Keep in mind that there's a chance '-- because of a lack of testing kits or because you're asymptomatic, for instance '-- you won't be able to get tested.
How does coronavirus spread?It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can be carried on tiny respiratory droplets that fall as they are coughed or sneezed out. It may also be transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface and then touch our face.
Is there a vaccine yet?No. Clinical trials are underway in the United States, China and Europe. But American officials and pharmaceutical executives have said that a vaccine remains at least 12 to 18 months away.
What makes this outbreak so different?Unlike the flu, there is no known treatment or vaccine, and little is known about this particular virus so far. It seems to be more lethal than the flu, but the numbers are still uncertain. And it hits the elderly and those with underlying conditions '-- not just those with respiratory diseases '-- particularly hard.
What if somebody in my family gets sick?If the family member doesn't need hospitalization and can be cared for at home, you should help him or her with basic needs and monitor the symptoms, while also keeping as much distance as possible, according to guidelines issued by the C.D.C. If there's space, the sick family member should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom. If masks are available, both the sick person and the caregiver should wear them when the caregiver enters the room. Make sure not to share any dishes or other household items and to regularly clean surfaces like counters, doorknobs, toilets and tables. Don't forget to wash your hands frequently.
Should I stock up on groceries?Plan two weeks of meals if possible. But people should not hoard food or supplies. Despite the empty shelves, the supply chain remains strong. And remember to wipe the handle of the grocery cart with a disinfecting wipe and wash your hands as soon as you get home.
Can I go to the park?Yes, but make sure you keep six feet of distance between you and people who don't live in your home. Even if you just hang out in a park, rather than go for a jog or a walk, getting some fresh air, and hopefully sunshine, is a good idea.
Should I pull my money from the markets?That's not a good idea. Even if you're retired, having a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds so that your money keeps up with inflation, or even grows, makes sense. But retirees may want to think about having enough cash set aside for a year's worth of living expenses and big payments needed over the next five years.
What should I do with my 401(k)?Watching your balance go up and down can be scary. You may be wondering if you should decrease your contributions '-- don't! If your employer matches any part of your contributions, make sure you're at least saving as much as you can to get that ''free money.''
Opinion | Europe Needs to Come Together. But Not Like This. - The New York Times
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 09:20
It's neither necessary nor prudent to distribute debt across the continent.
By Jochen Bittner
Contributing Opinion Writer
April 22, 2020In the finance district in Frankfurt last month. Credit... Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images HAMBURG, Germany '-- Spider-Man, that force for good, taught us that with great power comes great responsibility. That's especially true in times of strife. So in the midst of arguably Europe's worst crisis since 1945, is Germany '-- the continent's powerhouse '-- living up to its great responsibility?
This week may tell us. On Thursday, the heads of the European Union's governments are meeting to discuss the introduction of so-called corona bonds, which would distribute countries' debt across the continent. Several southern European states insist such bonds are essential to help fund the reconstruction of their economies, after the ravages of the coronavirus. But Germany, the Netherlands and other northern countries are strictly against the policy. It is bound to be a historic showdown.
The introduction of corona bonds might be a strong symbol of cohesion '-- but the joy will be short lived. They will in time cause damage from which Europe might not be able to recover. In the interests of the long-term well-being of Europe, it's Germany's great responsibility to resist them.
It's entirely understandable that Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy has called for a rescue package of at least 1.5 trillion euros, around $1.63 trillion '-- and that he sees no other ways of creating the cash flow than by issuing collective bonds. But Mr. Conte should consider two things. First, this is not the euro crisis, with its starkly uneven effects: The coronavirus has hit the economies of Germany and other European countries in much the same way as it has Italy's. Second, Germany and others are absolutely willing to help. But this readiness does not stretch to scrapping a fundamental principle of the eurozone '-- that the union shall not be liable for the commitments of single governments.
To cross this red line would do more harm than good. Corona bonds would breach a founding principle of the eurozone, a core promise that helped convince the Germans of the idea of the euro in the first place: Every country is responsible for its own budget and no one will be allowed to live at the expense of others. Even if intended to be temporary, corona bonds would be viewed as an opening of the floodgates. They would not only reawaken anti-European populist parties like the Alternative for Germany, whose support has been falling. By showing how malleable the rules can be, they would also spread euroscepticism far into the political center.
Sure, not granting the bonds is feeding populists in the south '-- like Italy's opposition leader Matteo Salvini. The rescue package of 500 billion euros, around $540 billion, agreed to by E.U. governments this month, inflamed him: He is furious that Italy should have to ''beg'' for money. What's more, this rescue money could come from the European Stability Mechanism, an emergency cash box created during the euro crisis, its funds carrying harsh conditions. For many Italians, accepting assistance from it feels humiliating; hence the call for corona bonds instead. Yet the Italian populists merely wield a sentiment, while the Germans have an argument. Corona bonds are simply not necessary to master the crisis.
First, rescue funds would come without tough conditions for Rome this time around. The German finance minister made it clear that it would be ''inappropriate'' in the current situation to make aid dependent ''on fundamental debates about the pension system, the tax system, and the labor market.'' So it's baseless to reject the European Stability Mechanism as a mean, disciplinary tool.
In addition, the European Central Bank has already decided to buy extra state bonds this year to the tune of 750 billion euros, nearly $814 billion. This act of solidarity enables Italy and other southern European states to keep their sovereign bonds low, meaning they can borrow much more cheaply than they would otherwise be able to. In other words, Europe is printing money to help Italy. A third fund, possibly worth around 1.5 trillion euros, has been suggested by the European Commission and will be up for debate on Thursday, too.
The truth is that the challenge for the European Union is far bigger than the usual quarrel between north and south. Europe needs to generate money for continentwide reconstruction '-- for a new Marshall Plan. But the coronavirus has been weakening Europe's economic immune system, leaving it unable to defend itself. The European Commission has warned, for example, that China could go on a shopping spree, buying out hundreds of cash-strapped European companies.
So the real question for Europe should be how to strengthen its defenses. Possible steps would be to make the continent a more friendly place for start-ups, cutting red tape wherever possible, especially in sectors like climate-friendly technology. It's time for vision. How about Europe strives to bring the first hydrogen-powered airplanes to the world market, for a start? While the ruinous effects of the coronavirus have given rise to extraordinary solidarity, it is of a compressed, jealous kind. That attitude needs to change, north and south.
And yes, there is need for strong symbolic action, too. Here's an idea that would help immediately: Germany currently has 10,000 free intensive-care beds, while Italians and other Europeans are dying because their health care systems are overstretched. More critically ill patients should be airlifted to the country to receive treatment '-- not just a few dozen, but a few hundred. That should be a moral imperative.
Europe's past has been difficult, often antagonistic. But the union is strongest when it builds a common future where countries can thrive together. Spider-Man, after all, was a networker.
Jochen Bittner (@JochenBittner) is a co-head of the debate section for the weekly newspaper Die Zeit and a contributing Opinion writer.
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We'd like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here's our email: letters@nytimes.com.
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Professor Didier Raoult Releases the Results of a New Hydroxychloroquine Treatment Study on 1061 Patients - PaulCraigRoberts.org
Wed, 22 Apr 2020 04:53
Professor Didier Raoult Releases the Results of a New Hydroxychloroquine Treatment Study on 1061 Patients
Posted on April 9, 2020
by covexit
The new study, of which the abstract was released today, was performed at IHU M(C)diterran(C)e Infection, Marseille, France. A cohort of 1061 COVID-19 patients, treated for at least 3 days with the Hydroxychloroquine-Azithromycin (HCQ-AZ) combination and a follow-up of at least 9 days was investigated.
Key findings are:
'No cardiac toxicity was observed.
'A good clinical outcome and virological cure was obtained in 973 patients within 10 days (91.7%).
A poor outcome was observed for 46 patients (4.3%); 10 were transferred to intensive care units, 5 patients died (0.47%) (74-95 years old) and 31 required 10 days of hospitalization or more.
The authors conclude that:
''The HCQ-AZ combination, when started immediately after diagnosis, is a safe and efficient treatment for COVID-19, with a mortality rate of 0.5%, in elderly patients. It avoids worsening and clears virus persistence and contagiosity in most cases.''
See the complete abstract below.
The original abstract can be accessed here.
Also, the researchers made this table available.
It's not clear when the complete study will be made available.
ABSTRACT
Background
In a recent survey, most physicians worldwide considered that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and azithromycin (AZ) are the two most effective drugs among available molecules against COVID-19. Nevertheless, to date, one preliminary clinical trial only has demonstrated its efficacy on the viral load. Additionally, a clinical study including 80 patients was published, and in vitro efficiency of this association was demonstrated.
Methods
The study was performed at IHU M(C)diterran(C)e Infection, Marseille, France. A cohort of 1061 COVID-19 patients, treated for at least 3 days with the HCQ-AZ combination and a follow-up of at least 9 days was investigated. Endpoints were death, worsening and viral shedding persistence.
Findings
From March 3rd to April 9th, 2020, 59,655 specimens from 38,617 patients were tested for COVID-19 by PCR. Of the 3,165 positive patients placed in the care of our institute, 1061 previously unpublished patients met our inclusion criteria. Their mean age was 43.6 years old and 492 were male (46.4%). No cardiac toxicity was observed. A good clinical outcome and virological cure was obtained in 973 patients within 10 days (91.7%). Prolonged viral carriage at completion of treatment was observed in 47 patients (4.4%) and was associated to a higher viral load at diagnosis (p < 10-2) but viral culture was negative at day 10 and all but one were PCR-cleared at day 15. A poor outcome was observed for 46 patients (4.3%); 10 were transferred to intensive care units, 5 patients died (0.47%) (74-95 years old) and 31 required 10 days of hospitalization or more. Among this group, 25 patients are now cured and 16 are still hospitalized (98% of patients cured so far). Poor clinical outcome was significantly associated to older age (OR 1.11), initial higher severity (OR 10.05) and low hydroxychloroquine serum concentration. In addition, both poor clinical and virological outcomes were associated to the use of selective beta-blocking agents and angiotensin II receptor blockers (P<0.05). Mortality was significantly lower in patients who had received > 3 days of HCQ-AZ than in patients treated with other regimens both at IHU and in all Marseille public hospitals (p< 10-2).
Interpretation
The HCQ-AZ combination, when started immediately after diagnosis, is a safe and efficient treatment for COVID-19, with a mortality rate of 0.5%, in elderly patients. It avoids worsening and clears virus persistence and contagiosity in most cases.
Source: https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/
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Director of key U.S. vaccine agency leaves role suddenly amid coronavirus
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 21:53
W ASHINGTON '-- Rick Bright, one of the nation's leading vaccine development experts and the director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, is no longer leading the organization, officials told STAT.
The shakeup at the agency, known as BARDA, couldn't come at a more inopportune time for the office, which invests in drugs, devices, and other technologies that help address infectious disease outbreaks and which has been at the center of the government's coronavirus pandemic response.
Bright, whose departure was confirmed by three industry sources and two current Trump administration sources, will instead move into a narrower role at the National Institutes of Health. Gary Disbrow, Bright's former deputy at BARDA, will serve as the acting director of the office, an HHS spokesperson confirmed to STAT.
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BARDA was expected to play an even larger role in the coming months; Congress more than tripled BARDA's budget in the most recent coronavirus stimulus package. Already, the office has a role in some of the splashiest Covid-19 projects, including partnerships with Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Therapeutics, both of which are developing potential Covid-19 treatments.
BARDA has been plagued with management issues virtually since its creation in 2006, with much of the criticism aimed at a contracting department that some say is unresponsive to industry partners. The office has only had two permanent directors since its creation in 2006. Bright has led the organization since 2016.
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The BARDA director position is not a Senate-confirmed position. It reports directly to the HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response.
None of the sources articulated the reason for Bright's departure, though several mentioned recent chafing between Bright and Bob Kadlec, the current HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response.
An HHS spokesperson confirmed that Bright will begin working out of NIH. An NIH spokesperson later clarified that Bright will work on diagnostics.
''Dr. Rick Bright will transfer the skills he has applied as Director of the [BARDA] to the [NIH]. '... Dr. Bright brings extensive experience and expertise in facilitating powerful public-private partnerships that advance the health and well-being of the American people,'' the HHS spokesperson said.
Bright did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Bright's career has largely centered around vaccine and drug development. His work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focused on influenza viruses, antiviral drugs and tests. He has also worked in the biotechnology industry and served as an advisor to the World Health Organization. Before becoming BARDA director, he led the agency's Influenza and Emerging Infectious Diseases Division.
Lev Facher contributed reporting.
Correction: An earlier version of this story suggested Bright would oversee an NIH public-private partnership; An NIH spokeswoman later said he will not be involved with that effort.
Mass Testing at Ohio Prison Shows Many People With Coronavirus Show No Symptoms
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 20:30
The most difficult thing about measures to contain the pandemic coronavirus that has swept across the globe and the United States are all the unknown factors about the disease and how exactly it spreads.
Several mass tests for the coronavirus among groups of people '-- including recent testing done in an Ohio prison '-- highlight one alarming dimension of that lack of knowledge.
In those tests, a large proportion of individuals '-- much higher than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's estimated 25 percent '-- tested positive for the virus without having any symptoms at all.
If the results of those tests are relevant to the general population, they suggest you could very well catch and spread the coronavirus that causes the sometimes-deadly respiratory illness COVID-19 without ever knowing it.
The virus causes serious symptoms in roughly 20 percent of the population, with an estimated 5 percent '-- mostly those who have underlying health conditions or who are above the age of 60 '-- needing intensive care.
Ohio, like the U.S. in general, is a long way from being able to administer mass testing across its population. Thus far, the state has relied on testing mostly a small group of people who have severe symptoms of the virus.
Even with that narrow testing criteria, Ohio has confirmed more than 11,600 cases of coronavirus. Those cases have led to at least 471 deaths in the state.
But state officials tested every inmate at the Marion Correctional Institution recently. What they discovered was alarming. Some of the findings were likely specific to that prison, where COVID-19 has established a strong foothold already. Roughly 73 percent of the inmates at the facility '-- more than 1,800 prisoners '-- had the virus. But the alarming thing is that a large number show no symptoms at all.
In one shared dorm at the prison, all 152 inmates living there tested positive. But 60 '-- about 40 percent '-- didn't have any signs of the disease.
That's a larger pattern found in the mass testing the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has done, officials say.
"Throughout our mass testing process, we have found many individuals who are testing positive for COVID who are asymptomatic,'' ODRC spokesperson JoEllen Smith
told The Columbus Dispatch yesterday.
Other mass-testing situations have yielded similar results. The U.S. Navy tested all 4,800 crew members of the USS Theodore Roosevelt earlier this month after COVID-19 broke out there. The outbreak was more contained than it is in Ohio's prisons '-- 600 sailors tested positive. But of those, 60 percent have shown no symptoms.
''It has revealed a new dynamic of this virus," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on NBC's TODAY show Thursday. "That it can be carried by normal, healthy people who have no idea whatsoever that they are carrying it.''
Mass testing of 397 residents of a Boston shelter for those experiencing homelessness had similar results, with almost all of the 146 residents who tested positive showing no symptoms. Another test at a shelter in Worcester, Massachusetts also saw a similar, very high level of asymptomatic confirmed cases.
If those patterns hold true, they're a double-edged sword. They suggest that the virus is potentially harmless for many people. But they also show that transmission of the virus from healthy individuals to much more vulnerable people may be much harder to control, especially given the limited availability of testing in the U.S.
The United States currently has the most confirmed cases '-- more than 751,000 '-- and deaths '-- more than 36,000 '-- of any country on the globe.
There are some caveats, as with everything related to COVID-19. The tests being used aren't always consistently accurate and can result in false positives and false negatives. And most of the instances mentioned above occurred among very specific populations '-- prison inmates, sailors, residents at a shelter. It's unclear if the populous at large would see similar rates of asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus.
Still, the prospect that half or more of the people who contract the coronavirus wouldn't know they have it without testing is sobering. Health officials say it underscores the importance of what they do know for sure '-- that staying home whenever possible, wearing masks and gloves, observing six feet of physical distance from others in public and washing your hands frequently are vital means of slowing the spread of the pandemic.
Whitmer backtracks after COVID-19 contract awarded to Dem consultant who said Trump should 'get coronavirus ASAP' | Fox News
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 20:28
Published April 21, 2020
Last Update 3 minutes ago
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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration acknowledged Tuesday that normal protocols were bypassed when a no-bid contract for coronavirus contact tracing was awarded by the state to Great Lakes Community Engagement, which is operated well-known Democratic consultant Michael Kolehouse -- who has previously written that President Trump should "get Coronavirus ASAP" and that someone should "do the country a favor and cough on that man," Facebook posts reviewed by Fox News show.
The Washington Free Beacon reported earlier Tuesday that Michigan gave a separate contract to track the spread of coronavirus to Every Action VAN, a division of the Democratic data operation NGP VAN. The contract for Great Lakes Community Engagement, which would total $200,000 over eight weeks, was to be executed in coordination with EveryAction, which is tightly linked to NGP VAN's operation.
''Nearly every major Democratic campaign in America is powered by NGP VAN's software, including the Obama campaign's voter contact, volunteer, fundraising and compliance operations in all 50 states," NGP VAN boasts on its website. The Washington Post has described NGP VAN as "the voter file provider for Democratic campaigns and independent groups up and down ballot."
NGP VAN has previously exposed secretive and proprietary information due to technical glitches, The Washington Post has reported, including when a software patch was improperly applied.
The contracts raised concerns that Whitmer's administration was tying confidential health information to a political data gathering operation and that Whitmer, a rising star floated as a possible vice presidential candidate, had circumvented the state's normal process for awarding key financial resources.
"This is who Gov. Whitmer is giving state contracts to?" asked GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
''I want to know how Gov. Whitmer's administration decided to hire this company without a competitive bid process, or letting the Legislature '-- charged with ensuring accountability within state government '-- know about it,'' wrote GOP state Rep. Shane Hernandez in a letter to Whitmer that was first reported by The Detroit News. ''I want to know what safeguards the governor has in place to ensure the information gathered during this COVID-19 response doesn't wind up in the hands of any campaigns."
Whitmer's office told Fox News that neither Kolehouse's operation nor NGP VAN should have gotten the funds, but didn't explain how the purported mistake had occured in the first place.
In this photo, provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state in Lansing, Mich., Monday, April 20, 2020. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool)
"This contract should have been approved by the State Emergency Operations Center," a Whitmer spokesperson said by email. "This issue is being corrected, and a different vendor and software platform will be selected by the SEOC. The state is committed to ensuring this important tracing work can begin quickly to help save lives, while also ensuring that public health data is safe and secure."
The governor's office separately told The Washington Post: ''The executive office is uncomfortable with this vendor for the same reason others are. The public needs to have confidence that this tracing work is being done by a nonpartisan firm. The state is committed to ensuring this important tracing work can begin quickly to help save lives, while also ensuring that public health data is safe and secure.''
AOC CELEBRATES OIL CRASH IN NOW-DELETED TWEET
Kolehouse Strategies appears in contact tracing testing materials obtained by Fox News, although the governor's office indicated that the firm hadn't yet begun work.
There was little doubt that Kolehouse and NGP VAN were no strangers to the Whitmer administration before they secured the contracts. Kolehouse also runs Kolehouse Strategies, which openly advocates on behalf of progressive candidates. In other social media posts, including one on April 1, he has praised Whitmer and called Trump a "maniac."
"We stand with that women [sic] and her name is Governor Whitmer!" Kolehouse wrote on March 30.
Kolehouse has since locked down his Facebook account, and he did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.
Contact tracing allows health officials to proactively address the spread of a virus by assessing exposure among individuals, and involves major potential privacy risks. Wes Nakagiri, a local county commissioner, told the Free Beacon that the Whitmer contract was unprecedented.
"I've been involved with grassroots activists for a little over a decade," Nakagiri told the outlet. "I've never seen anything like this on the conservative side of the ledger, where you've got this entity working with governmental bodies, dumping huge networks of information into one database. They're asking for contact information, they're asking for who else lives in the house'--it's troubling that this information is being stored in a Democrat-aligned database."
Whitmer has taken numerous hits on the national stage amid the coronavirus epidemic, even as her profile surges and she is discussed as a possible running mate for Joe Biden.
Two Michigan business owners who filed a lawsuit against Whitmer after she imposed one of the strictest stay-at-home orders in the country told ''Fox & Friends Weekend'' on Sunday that they weren't alone.
''We are representing thousands of business owners like us in the state of Michigan,'' Chris Welton, a co-owner of Welton Lawn Care, said. ''It's our peak season and it's devastating to the entire industry.''
EXCLUSIVE: LEAD NIH CORONAVIRUS VACCINE RESEARCHER ENGAGED WITH THEORIES CALLING PANDEMIC BLACK 'GENOCIDE'
''We have customers that want us to come. They don't understand why we can't,'' she continued. ''We have lost revenue, employees that are laid off that we're trying to take care of, unused inventory, customer retention issues, that really is a problem.''
Whitmer was facing at least two federal lawsuits challenging her April 9 executive order to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
CORONAVIRUS TIMELINE SHOWS MULTIPLE FLIP-FLOPS BY JOURNOS, POLITICIANS
In the complaints filed last week, several Michiganders said the governor's recent tightening of restrictions infringed on their constitutional rights.
Whitmer's April 9 order prohibited people in her state from visiting family or friends in groups of any size, in public or private. It also placed restrictions on what types of businesses may operate and restricted essential businesses from selling non-essential items. It also banned travel to second homes and vacation properties.
Fox News' Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.
Trump draft order requires more from tech workers on H-1B visas: Bloomberg By Reuters
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 20:22
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Stacey Abrams Is the Only Vice Presidential Pick for Joe Biden. Here's Why.
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 20:04
Joe Biden pledged he would choose a woman as his running mate, and that woman needs to be Stacey Abrams.
The road to the White House for Democrats only exists with the support and excitement of black voters'--black female voters to be specific. Just ask Bernie Sanders. He thought he could carve a path to the nomination without overwhelming support among the Democratic base'--black voters. He was wrong.
Sure, other Democratic voters matter. Lots of ink has been spilled about the importance of ''suburban'' Democratic voters, read white voters, even though blacks have been moving to the suburbs at great rates as they've been pushed out of cities for years now. However, any viable Democratic strategy rests on the active participation and interest of diverse groups of black voters.
Biden made a promise to select a female running mate, a declarative statement some feel may have painted the former veep into a corner. There are several qualified women on the Democratic bench, but only Abrams can deliver the significant number of black voters across the United States to galvanize the base and articulate a clear vision.
Several women are qualified to assist Biden in the governance phase of a possible Biden presidency, but only Abrams assists fully with the two-stage process of a successful Democratic presidency'' campaigning and then governance.
I don't think Democrats want or need another Tim Kaine moment. That is, selecting a running mate who would be fine for governing but brings relatively little to the ticket during the campaign stage. Kaine would have served the nation dutifully, and he possessed the intellect to assist Hillary Clinton in White House strategic matters. However, the lack of excitement about Kaine and his inability to connect with the Democratic base was yet another Achilles heel for the Clinton campaign.
The 2020 election season is already unprecedented, and now more than ever, Biden needs to select a running mate who has the gift of reaching diverse demographics of voters and connecting with them on a myriad of levels. He needs a storyteller, a leader, a robust fundraiser, and a running mate who can contextualize the past and present and present a clear outline for the future.
''Biden needs a partner who can lay out arguments in a way that is accessible, realistic, compassionate, and policy driven.''
Anyone who has heard Abrams speak for more than five minutes is sold on her policy acumen and her ability to present realistic solutions to decades-long problems pertaining to the institution of poverty, criminal justice, and economic exclusion. As more Americans find themselves slipping out of their tenuous middle-class identity, Biden needs a partner who can lay out arguments in a way that is accessible, realistic, compassionate, and policy-driven.
The Democrats have not shown their eagerness for innovation in this presidential cycle. The overwhelming Democratic primary support for Biden is a clear indication that a majority of Democratic voters who bothered to participate are not willing to dramatically change course. However, Biden cannot afford to isolate and alienate the more progressive wing of Democratic voters or voters who are concerned that this septuagenarian may need some critical assistance galvanizing Democratic voters and delivering a hybrid of Democratic policy needs and desires. It is imperative Biden choose someone with leadership experience who can explain to voters the values and ideals of the Democratic Party.
Let's actually discuss Abrams' qualifications, since many believe the only viable candidates for the presidency or vice presidency should be sitting governors or senators. There has been a desire for Biden to choose a running mate with ''executive experience.'' To that I would ask that we dissect the type of executive experience we are looking for.
As I wrote about Abrams previously for The Daily Beast, she was a Truman Scholar and received her law degree at Yale. She was elected to the Georgia state house in 2006 and began serving as House Democratic leader in 2011. She's been a trailblazer and visionary rolled into one.
When she saw that 800,000 people of color in Georgia were not registered to vote, she launched the New Georgia Project, registering more than 200,000 Georgians in just two years. When she noticed there was a dearth of businesses run by women and people of color, she and a friend launched the NOW Account, a program to help small businesses grow and spur innovation in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, creating and maintaining over 2,000 jobs from over 350 small businesses in Georgia.
In a post-COVID America, Biden will need a right hand who can assist him in thinking of the economics of the working class and formerly middle class. He will also need someone who has experience with innovation rooted in empathy. As the current administration has made abundantly clear, cruelty and personal financial gain is the foundation of the vast majority of their policy decisions. He also needs a veep who can unite the party, someone who can galvanize the more progressive wing of the party concerned with issues like criminal justice and the environment.
During the 2018 campaign, Abrams and her team built an extensive grassroots campaign strategy that extended across the 159 counties in Georgia and included the highest rates of youth and Latino participation the state had ever seen. Since the election, Abrams and her team launched Fair Fight, an organization dedicated to litigation, legislation, and advocacy in order to support voter-protection programs at state parties around the country.
The oft-repeated question surrounding Abrams' qualifications often relates to concerns pertaining to Biden's age and Abrams' ability to step up and step in if the moment arises. To answer those questions, I would say that if you doubt Abrams' qualifications I might ask what exactly you are looking for in a candidate. Abrams has a successful record in business, nonprofits, leadership, governance, and policy innovation. And we must not forget grassroots organizing and mutli-ethnic and multi-generational coalition building.
''Let's be honest, if the 2018 Georgia governors race was not hijacked by Brian Kemp, there would be no question as to whether Abrams should be the Democratic nominee for vice president.''
In a post-COVID world, the traditional r(C)sum(C) of a candidate is outdated. Critics also question how Abrams will poll nationally. If her ability to fundraise across the country and connect with young voters and voters of color in her various voter-mobilization organizational efforts are any indication, Biden should do all he can to secure Abrams as his No. 2.
And let's be honest, if the 2018 Georgia governors' race was not hijacked by Brian Kemp, there would be no question as to whether Abrams should be the Democratic nominee for vice president, or even president.
American democracy cannot afford another 2016 election, when, for example, black voters in Michigan were so uninspired they either stayed home or decided to vote down ballot and ignore the top of the ticket. The democracy cannot afford a party that is not equipped to address the rampant voter suppression and disenfranchisement efforts affecting marginalized communities in states across the nation. For the past two years, Abrams and Fair Fight have been dedicated to mitigating the rampant voter-suppression efforts in states across the country.
There are several sitting elected officials who are talented and have bright futures ahead of them. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, and Rep. Val Demings of Florida all come to mind. However, none of these women can galvanize the type of base Biden needs for success. None possess the multiple skill sets to simultaneously galvanize the progressive wing of the party, the South, and the black base.
Sure, some may wonder if Abrams can deliver since she did not win her home state of Georgia when she ran for governor in 2018 against a sitting secretary of state who controlled the electoral ballots and the entire voting process. Even with almost 2 million votes and the highest Democratic turnout in modern history, Abrams was not able to win the game against Brian Kemp, who served as her opponent, the referee, the judge, and the man in charge of the equipment. There is no need to relitigate that shameful display of democracy stolen. If you truly believe Kemp is the rightful recipient of the Georgia governor's seat, I have several bridges to sell you. Venmo me.
Now is not the time for a safety pick. If we know black voters will be the deciding factor in several swing states, it is imperative Biden have a running mate who can inspire and motivate Democratic voters to turn out on Nov. 3 and assist in governance every day after that.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, political editor at The Grio, the author of Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream, and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC.
Bill Gates CoVid 19 Cure and Vaccine: Another Trump Chessboard Victory... - Helena
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 19:58
''We don't want to have a lot of recovered people ['...] To be clear, we're trying '' through the shut-down in the United States '' to not get to one percent of the population infected.'' Bill Gates.
The players: Unitaid, WuXi Pharm Tech, Gilead Sciences, Bright Gene Biomedical. And '' NIH '' our veritable government institution formerly head by my brother-in-law.
The investors are always the same: Bill Gates, Clinton Initiative, UK, USAID, The Netherlands and China.
The Agenda? Dualfold: 1. Create epidemic situations that give rise to drug therapies and vaccines, and 2. ultimately create the mother of a global pandemic wherein control of the therapy and vaccine profit margin will be absolute.
WHO the frick cares about the economy'...not I said the little mouse Tedros.
Unitaid: Founded in 2006 with focus on TB, Malaria and HIV, it is backed by Bill Gates, the Clinton Health Initiative and WHO. The formation's purpose is stated to be to ''further the development of new drugs'...'' Unitaid's main source of income is a tax levied on flights to specific countries in Africa, Europe, South America and Korea. The Head of Unitaid is Marisol Touraine of Switzerland whose father was an advocate for Socialism, Labour and Globalization. She is a member of the Socialist Party.
WuXi AppTec and Biologics: WuXi was founded in Shanghia China in 2000 by Ge Li specializing in 'synthetic chemistry'. As in mucking around with biohazard virus's and manipulating them for funzies. After acquiring a number of US companies, in 2012, they opened a chemistry factory in Wuhan. In 2013, WuXi entered into a joint venture with PRA Resources in Raleigh North Carolina to build a research business in '' China. Shortly after the collaboration WuXi bought: MedKay, Abgent, Xeno Biotic Labs, NextCODE Health and genomic analysis, Life Science Limited, Crelux GmbH, and joint ventured with -Medimmune (which became Astra-Zeneca in 2019) and PRA International.
In 2015, Wuxi spun off Wuxi Biologics as a Caymen Island public stock based in Hong Kong with an IPO of $511 million. February 2020, Wuxi Biologics entered into a collaborative deal with Vir Biotech based in San Francisco to develop antibodies to treat CoVid 19.
Bright Gene Biomedical: Founded in 2001, and based in Shanghai, Bright Gene was given approval/license from Gilead Sciences to make Remdesivir '' the drug being pushed in the US to treat CoVid 19. They focus on 'antibody expression' '' as in identifying the antibody resistance which would relate to understanding why the vast majority of people survived CoVid 19.
Remdesivir was created by Gilead Sciences to cure Ebola. In conjunction with the CDC, Remdesivir was 'rapidly pushed through clinical trials and used in the 2018 epidemic of Ebola. But Congolese health officials nixed the drug in mid 2019 because they said it was ineffective compared to other remedies. No great profits.
February 2020, Gilead announced they are partnering with WuXi.
February 2020 WuXI announced its relatively new subsidiary, WuXi Vaccines, and signed a deal worth $3 billion as a strategic partner with a 'global vaccine leader'' (unnamed).
April 2020, Bill Gates announced that he is investing billions to build vaccine factories in the US for 7 candidate companies. WuXi already has 2 satellite locations in the US: Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Their net Profit is over 25%, their year over growth is 57%, 5% of the global market and 78% of China's market.
Who are their major shareholders?
WuXi Holding Company, JP Morgan, BlackRock, Vanguard, Capital Research and Invesco.Their agenda or drive is to infiltrate the North America market by building state of the art drug substance manufacturing factories. Three months ago Wuxi announced a Master Contract Agreement with their Ireland Factory to produce vaccines.
Nice neat package with everything 'made in China'.
Central to the drug treatment and ultimate vaccination protocol is Bill Gates. With somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 billion invested in China, those investments took a beating, albeit not nearly as devastating as the peasant man/woman. Still, money seems to consume his focus. His fallback '' vaccines. But vaccines take time, more time than he had. With Trump releasing the Hydroxy treatment, such a measure could upend his entire program.
Locking people in their homes '' mass prison measures '' allowed Gates time. Immunity would be slowed down. The hyped media frenzied news would instill mind boggling propaganda instituting paranoia, fear, and chaos that would ultimately make people beg for the cures, the vaccines. Herd acquired antibodies would not be allowed to rise within the populace.
Gates drug of choice, Remdesivir would be hailed as a success and gain him popularity. Of course vaccine trials are paramount in pushing through approval. Finding volunteers willing to be guinea pigs can be difficult '' but not in China. China as a healthy populace interned within their re-education camps '' the Turkish Muslim Uyghurs. Volunteers! All seemed to fall in place'...
But then: People began recovering quickly, the dire numbers fell into abysmal lows, and lockdown measures were challenged. Even with falsified death certificates, the numbers were not what Gates needed. The concept of asymptomatic was already disputed in an NIH study before CoVid, and then the mother of all chaos was initiated when Trump issued an EO shutting down all immigration and VISAs!
Now no Chinese or WuXi scientists or technicians are allowed in the US to work Gate's factories. Sex and child trafficking will grind to a halt. His largest means of income just ground to a halt.
Imagine being a fly on the wall'...
Internal planning document for Vice Media Group lays out the possibility of layoffs of 300+ in digital operations, including cuts at Vice News and Refinery29 (Wall Street Journal)
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 19:54
Mediagazer presents the day's must-read media news on a single page.
The media business is in tumult: from the production side tothe distribution side, new technologies are upending the industry.Keeping up with these changes is time-consuming, as essential media coverageis scattered across numerous web sites at any given moment.
Mediagazer simplifies this task by organizing the key coverage in one place.We've combined sophisticated automated aggregation technologies withdirect editorial input from knowledgeable human editorsto present the one indispensable narrative of an industry in transition.
The Real Reason Why A Harvard Professor Thinks Homeschooling Should Be Banned | Zero Hedge
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 19:50
Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,
A Harvard University law professor believes that homeschooling is dangerous and should be banned.
Elizabeth Bartholet, Wasserstein public interest professor of law and faculty director of the Law School's Child Advocacy Program, wrote a paper recommending a ''presumptive ban'' on homeschooling children in the United States. Yeah, that United States. The land of the free, home of the brave United States.
According to Bartholet, homeschooling can prevent children from receiving a meaningful education, leave them open to child abuse, and can socially isolate them. She argues that anybody can homeschool, even parents who are illiterate. She suggests that as many as 90% of homeschool parents educate their kids at home because of conservative Christian beliefs, inculcating them with the beliefs that women are subservient, science isn't real, and white people are the supreme race.
These parents are committed to homeschooling largely because they reject mainstream, democratic culture and values and want to ensure that their children adopt their own particular religious and social views. Many belong to fundamentalist religious groups, groups that Michael Rebell describes in his important new book, Flunking Democracy, as believing ''that exposing their children to ideas such as secularism, atheism, feminism, and value relativism is inconsistent with the values they espouse and undermines their ability to inculcate in their children their beliefs in the sacred, absolute truth of the Bible.'' Many use alternative textbooks that teach creationism instead of evolution. Many seek to create for their children a system of ''total socialization'' aimed at negating the influence of competing socialization agents. As Dwyer and Peters say in their recent comprehensive book on homeschooling, many religious homeschoolers object in principle to some core goals of public education:
[T]hey reject the value of independent thinking about values and aims in life, they oppose instruction in scientific methodologies . . . and they want to constrain their daughters' lives to a single occupation'--housewife. To the extent parents in this group do value secular learning, they treat it'--even basic literacy'--as of little importance compared to unflinching acceptance of religious doctrine and reactionary political views. (source)
I'm sure that will come as a vast surprise to all my homeschooling friends (particularly the ones who homeschool for secular reasons) who may have missed that part of the curriculum.
In her 80-page diatribe, Bartholet completely overlooks the lack of practical knowledge imparted by the school system. Our kids leave school knowing all about anal sex and BDSM but not how to do their taxes, make a reservation, navigate using a map, handle credit, or stick to a budget.
The real issue is a lack of indoctrination.Ironically, the real problem Bartholet has with homeschooling is this:
Many homeschool because they want to isolate their children from ideas and values central to our democracy. (source)
Let me rephrase that. Homeschooled children can't be indoctrinated five days a week, eight hours a day, by an education system that emphasizes political agendas. (And incidentally, our form of government is a constitutional republic. Shouldn't someone from Harvard who is worried I might not have the knowledge to educate my child know something as elementary as that?)
Bartholet defames homeschoolers for wanting to encourage their children toward a particular belief system while touting the belief system that the school system wants to instill. So it's okay for the public school system to do it, just not for the parents to do it.
Here are a few of the things that the public school system wants children to believe:
Everyday things like the food you eat can be racist.
Cupcakes can be ''insensitive.''
You need to feel safe at all times.
Guns are scary.
Snitching on your parents is encouraged.
Only the school understands nutrition.
While Bartholet scorns parents who indoctrinate their kids, she praises the school system for doing so. The American education system is wholly responsible for raising a generation of perpetually offended people who think they're open-minded but who actually are only accepting of those with the same beliefs.
They're creating a generation of worker bees, of dependent people who'd never dream of revolting against the status quo shown as ideal by Hollywood and the mainstream media. They're creating adults who don't know how to handle conflict, who don't know how to deal with defeat, and who are regularly fearful of imaginary threats. People who are afraid of a tripod or a pop-tart chewed into the shape of a gun certainly aren't going to be leading the next revolution.
Schools create a culture of fear.In fact, nearly everything about today's school system is designed to instill a sense of fear that will turn frightened children into frightened adults.
Do you remember a few years back when a school in Baltimore was locked down for hours because a person was spotted carrying a tripod on the property? It's a perfect example of the culture of fear being created in the public school system.
The younger generation is being taught that the very sight of a gun or anything that could be related to a gun is a reason for fear. That fear is cemented in the minds of children and parents when they are traumatized by the handling of the incidents.
Kids are getting in trouble for drawing pictures of guns. For having tools which are sharp. For wearing t-shirts with the word ''gun'' printed on them. For cutting their poor, defenseless food in the lunchroom. For biting a pastry into a shape that could either be a gun or the state of Florida. Maybe we should outlaw maps of Florida because the shape of that state is ''intimidating.''
They are being taught to have an irrational fear of inanimate objects. And because everyone else shares that fear, that mass delusion, it becomes ''normal''. It becomes so commonplace that it isn't fear anymore, but an accepted fact: ''Guns are scary.''
The fear is quite literally being implanted. When police refuse to tell people what is going on, when kids are rapidly evacuated, when cops in military-style SWAT gear swoop in '' all of these dramatic scenes are not soon forgotten. When the dreaded ''gun sighting'' occurs in the future, the natural human response is to flash back to the last time that it happened. Instantly, the emotional response is overwhelming fear. (source)
Why would the education system want children to be fearful? People who are scared are far easier to control. Kids are literally begging the government to take away all of the guns and keep them ''safe''.
It's even worse when you get to college.At this point, a university education results in two things: lifelong debt and 4 more years (at least) of indoctrination. Some professors outright incite violence against people who have different political beliefs. A few years back I wrote an article about the following stellar educators.
An instructor at Clemson University was recently outed by College Reform for volunteering his graphic design skills to help a local Antifa chapter that made headlines in February for openly promoting violence on campus. He replied to this request for help that was posted on the Upstate Antifa Facebook page.
Assistant Professor Bart Knijnenburg, another notable member of Indivisible Clemson, caused national outrage when he wrote that ''All Republicans are racist scum'' in a Facebook post.
This is the same professor who tweeted last December of his desire for the deaths of white people. Interestingly, Ciccariello-Maher appears to be white and is a self-proclaimed ''actual communist.''
Another example of this is Rashida Love, director of First Peoples Multicultural Advising Services at Evergreen College who demanded ''A Day Without White People'' at the Washington institution. When another member of the staff, Professor Bret Weinstein, rightly objected, he had to be escorted from the campus for his own safety as protests became heated. Then, a bunch of self-proclaimed Neo-Nazis decided to counterprotest the protest and things really went downhill. (The whole story is here.) What this tells us is that when professors speak up against the Radical Left agenda, they lose their jobs and face real threats to their physical safety.
Professor Michael Isaacson is a member of Antifa who teaches at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He was quoted in an article on The Hill justifying violence against ''Nazis.''The justification [of the use of violence] is that Nazi ideology at its very core is founded on violence and on wielding power by any means,'' said Mike Isaacson, one of the founders of Smash Racism D.C., an Antifa organization in Washington.
A Dartmouth professor published The Antifascist Handbook, complete with a call to arms. Mark Bray calls his book an ''unabashedly partisan call to arms.''
But by all means, we should definitely worry about the homeschoolers, right?
Homeschool is just better for some kids.There are children who do not thrive in the public school system. I had one of those kids myself.
Before I continue, I should note that I'm not one of those all-or-nothing parents who believe children should only be home-educated or should only be publicly educated. In fact, I have one kid who is the product of the public school system and one who is the product of homeschooling. Both of my daughters have grown up to be intelligent, thoughtful, sociable, and kind individuals who can think for themselves.
When I removed my youngest daughter from the public school system, the main reason was because critical thinking was discouraged. ''If your daughter didn't have to question everything, her grades would be higher,'' the principal informed me at the very last school meeting I'd ever attend. ''She always has to ask questions. She refuses to simply absorb the information.''
How could a school system like that properly educate my curious and intelligent child, who had been asking me ''why'' from the moment she could talk? Quite simply they wouldn't. They'd try to shove her square little brain into their round hole until she became just like everyone else '' an automaton who believed that guns are scary and the government and all its agencies are always right. (Unless it's President Trump, because he's always bad.)
Not every child thrives in a homeschool setting but Dr. Bartholet's premise that it should be banned is utterly outrageous.
Thank goodness for the HSLDA.According to Bartholet, the only thing standing in the way of banning homeschooling for good is the Home Schooling Legal Defense Association.
In the United States, Bartholet says, state legislators have been hesitant to restrict the practice because of the Home Schooling Legal Defense Association, a conservative Christian homeschool advocacy group, which she describes as small, well-organized, and ''overwhelmingly powerful politically.'' During the last 30 years, activists have worked to dismantle many states' homeschooling restrictions and have opposed new regulatory efforts. ''There's really no organized political opposition, so they basically get their way,'' Bartholet says. A central tenet of this lobby is that parents have absolute rights that prevent the state from intervening to try to safeguard the child's right to education and protection.
Bartholet maintains that parents should have ''very significant rights to raise their children with the beliefs and religious convictions that the parents hold.'' But requiring children to attend schools outside the home for six or seven hours a day, she argues, does not unduly limit parents' influence on a child's views and ideas. ''The issue is, do we think that parents should have 24/7, essentially authoritarian control over their children from ages zero to 18? I think that's dangerous,'' Bartholet says. ''I think it's always dangerous to put powerful people in charge of the powerless, and to give the powerful ones total authority.''
'...''I think an overwhelming majority of legislators and American people, if they looked at the situation,'' Bartholet says, ''would conclude that something ought to be done.'' (source)
Right now, more parents than ever are getting the opportunity to interact with their child's education, which could be one bright point in the COVID-19 catastrophe in our country. Perhaps giving our kids one-on-one attention and watching their bright and curious minds at work will encourage more parents to say, ''You know what? The school system is not for us. I want to raise this independent child to be an independent adult.''
And perhaps more parents will tell ivory tower elitists like Dr. Elizabeth Bartholet to go fly a kite.
The genius of America's deep state propagandists
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 19:48
Divide and conquer.Due to my being an old guy with too much free time on his hands, I find myself spending hours every day with my face stuck on various news sites. After a couple of hours on the big US news platforms you come away with the impression that America is on the threshold of civil war.On Fox News, the Dems are radical leftists just itching to spring communism on the Land of the Free.On CNN and MSNBC, the only people clamouring to return to work are Trumpentards who have been duped by Koch Brothers astroturf fronts into wanting their jobs back.The Dems and the GOP were first tagged as "two wings of the same bird of prey" well over a hundred years ago. It was true then, and it's just as true now.Are there any substantive policy differences between the two parties?Both are 100% committed to American Exceptionalism uber alles.One thing Trump, Schumer, and Pelosi can agree on is blank cheque support for Israel.Another is unlimited funding for America's "security" apparatus.Neither will ever betray their billionaire backers by bringing forward health care for all, a liveable minimum wage, affordable housing initiatives, and pensions that will allow a dignified retirement for every worker.Nor has either wing of that bird of prey ever made any serious effort to curtail the use of tax havens that permit their billionaire funders to avoid billions of dollars in taxes.Between them, they have conspired to offer a free ride to the ultra rich while saddling regular folks with the bill.Meanwhile, at ground level, the threat of open warfare between rival factions of otherwise ordinary Americans looms large.Divide and conquer.Like I said; genius!
DoppelPaymer Ransomware hits Los Angeles County city, leaks files
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 19:36
The City of Torrance of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, California, has allegedly been attacked by the DoppelPaymer Ransomware, having unencrypted data stolen and devices encrypted.
The attackers are demanding a 100 bitcoin ($689,147) ransom for a decryptor, to take down files that have been publicly leaked, and to not release more stolen files.
The City of Torrance is a suburb of Los Angeles located in the South Bay along the Pacific coast, with a population of approximately 150,000 people.
In February 2020, DoppelPaymer created a site called "Dopple Leaks" that they used to publish the stolen data of victims who refuse to pay a ransom.
In a new update to this site, DoppelPaymer has created a page titled "City of Torrance, CA" containing numerous leaked file archives allegedly stolen from the City during the ransomware attack.
Data leaked on DoppelPaymer siteBased on the names of the archives, this data includes city budget financials, various accounting documents, document scans, and an archive of documents belonging to the City Manager.
In the past, DoppelPaymer has sold stolen data on the dark web and hacker forums to "cover some costs" of their attacks.
200 GB worth of files allegedly stolenIn an email to BleepingComputer, the DoppelPaymer operators stated that in an attack on March 1st, they erased the City's local backups and then encrypted approximately 150 servers and 500 workstations.
As part of the attack, they also claim to have stolen approximately 200+ GB of files.
In a text file shared with BleepingComputer listing all of the files they claim to have stolen, it comes out to 269,123 files throughout 8,067 directories.
To receive a decryption key, DoppelPaymer is demanding 100 bitcoins or approximately $680,000 at current prices.
In March, local media reported [1, 2] of a cyberattack on the City of Torrance. At that time, the City stated that no "public personal data" was affected.
DoppelPaymer also previously attacked the Mexico's Pemex Oil November 2019 where they demanded a $4.9 million ransom.
BleepingComputer has contacted the City of Torrance to confirm the attack but has not heard back at this time.
The heat is on
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 19:31
Patreon lays off 30 people:Creative platform Patreon  has laid off 30 employees, which is 13% of its workforce, TechCrunch has learned.“It is unclear how long this economic uncertainty will last and therefore, to prepare accordingly, we have made the difficult decision to part ways with 13% of Patreon’s workforce,” a Patreon spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch. “This decision was not made lightly and consisted of several other factors beyond the financial ones.”Several other factors indeed.... Snicker-snack.Labels: ELoE, law
After Repeated Failures, It's Time To Permanently Dump Epidemic Models '' Issues & Insights
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 19:10
'The '... crisis we face is unparalleled in modern times,'' said the World Health Organization's assistant director, while its director general proclaimed it ''likely the greatest peacetime challenge that the United Nations and its agencies have ever faced.'' This was based on a CDC computer model projection predicting as many as 1.4 million deaths from just two countries.
So when did they say this about COVID-19? Trick question: It was actually about the Ebola virus in Liberia and Sierra Leone five years ago, and the ultimate death toll was under 8,000.
With COVID-19 having peaked (the highest date was April 4), despite the best efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase numbers by first saying any death with the virus could be considered a death from the virus and then again this week by saying a positive test isn't even needed, you can see where this is going.
Since the AIDS epidemic, people have been pumping out such models with often incredible figures. For AIDS, the Public Health Service announced (without documenting) there would be 450,000 cases by the end of 1993, with 100,000 in that year alone. The media faithfully parroted it. There were 17,325 by the end of that year, with about 5,000 in 1993. SARS (2002-2003) was supposed to kill perhaps ''millions,'' based on analyses. It killed 744 before disappearing.
Later, avian flu strain A/H5N1, ''even in the best-case scenarios'' was to ''cause 2 (million) to 7 million deaths'' worldwide. A British professor named Neil Ferguson scaled that up to 200 million. It killed 440. This same Ferguson in 2002 had projected 50-50,000 deaths from so-called ''Mad Cow Disease.'' On its face, what possible good is a spread that large? (We shall return to this.) But the final toll was slightly over 200.
In the current crisis the most alarming model, nay probably the most influential in the implementation of the draconian quarantines worldwide, projected a maximum of 2.2 million American deaths and 550,000 United Kingdom deaths unless there were severe restrictions for 18 months or until a vaccine was developed. The primary author: Neil Ferguson. Right, Mad Cow/Avian Flu Fergie.
Then a funny thing happened. A mere nine days after announcing his model, Ferguson said a better number for the U.K. would be only 20,000. The equivalent would be fewer than 80,000 American deaths. Technically, that U.K. number was buried in a table in the report under what might be called ''a fantastic case scenario.'' But could that reduction possibly reflect a mere nine days of restrictions? No.
Soon all the numbers were tumbling. Yet as late as March 31, the New York Times declared: ''White House Projects Grim Toll from Virus'' citing White House Coronavirus Task Force head Deborah Birx and director of the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, who in turn cited a model showing deaths up to 240,000. Still awful, but Birx explicitly backed off the Ferguson projection for which she had previously been the Grey Lady's pompom girl.
Then suddenly Fauci announced a flat figure of ''more like 60,000,'' the same number the CDC says died of flu two years ago. Probably not coincidentally, until quite recently the agency said there were 80,000 flu victims that year, before lowering it to 61,000 '' presumably because people were using that figure to compare to COVID-19 deaths. In any event, the 1968-1969 ''Hong Kong flu'' killed an estimated 100,000 Americans, or 165,000 adjusted to today's population.
Moreover, as noted, the CDC now encourages coding a death of anyone ''if the circumstances are compelling'' even though they haven't been tested at all. Yeah, wow; it's not a ''conservative myth.'' During flu season, that means a lot of flu victims have magically become COVID-19 victims in addition to people who would have otherwise had cause of death listed as heart attack, diabetes, and other co-morbid conditions.
One reason Italy had so many ''coronavirus deaths'' seems to be coding, even though it's still far more strict than the new CDC guidelines. Re-evaluation of death certificates by the country's National Institute of Health showed only ''12% with direct causality from coronavirus, while 88% of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity '' many had two or three.''
Then Fauci finally said it. ''I've spent a lot of time on the models. They don't tell you anything.'' A few days later CDC Director Robert Redfield also turned on the computer crystal balls. ''Models are only as good as their assumptions, obviously there are a lot of unknowns about the virus'' he said. ''A model should never be used to assume that we have a number.''
Which, of course, is exactly how both a number of public health officials and the media have used the them.
Only one significant model appears to have been correct. But wasn't. The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has actually been dramatically reduced and reduced.
Model defenders declare the plummets were based on the success of severe restrictions of civil liberties. ''It just means we won,'' declared an article in The Atlantic. Wrong. The bottom range of the models presumes the best-case scenario. If the low end is 100,000, that's the low end.
If epidemic models were just haphazardly wrong, we would expect about half the time they would be too low. Instead, they're almost universally vastly too high. This isn't happenstance but intentional. The single most cynical model is probably one regarding Sweden. Released online after the Swedish epidemic had already peaked, and with deaths at about 1,300, it nonetheless predicted a median of 96,000 Swedish COVID-19 deaths with a maximum of 183,000. WTH?
Basically the Swedes have shown dictatorial methods aren't needed and thereby pose an incredible threat to all those who claim otherwise. This was apparently (yet another) desperate effort to convince the Swedes to lock down like everyone else '' never mind that it comes after their epidemic has already crested.
The only ''model'' with any success is actually quite accomplished and appeared in 1840, when a ''computer'' was an abacus. It's called Farr's Law, and is actually more of an observation that epidemics grow fastest at first and then slow to a peak, then decline in a more-or-less symmetrical pattern. As you might guess from the date, it precedes public health services and doesn't require lockdowns or really any interventions at all. Rather, the disease grabs the low-hanging fruit (with COVID-19 that's the elderly with co-morbid conditions) and finds it progressively harder to get more fruit.
That's not proof that public health interventions are worthless; merely that since the Plague of Athens four centuries B.C. and before, epidemics have risen and fallen quite on their own. Nobody needed Big Brother looking over their shoulder and cracking a whip; nobody needed to implode their economies and leave their citizens with tops reading: ''I survived the 'worst epidemic in history' and all I have left is this crummy t-shirt.''
The models essentially have three purposes: 1) To satisfy the public's need for a number, any number; 2) To bring media attention for the modeler; and 3) To scare the crap out of people to get them to ''do the right thing.'' That can be defined as ''flattening the curve'' so health care systems aren't overridden, or encouraging people to become sheeple and accept restrictions on liberties never even imposed during wars. Like Ferguson, all the modelers know that no matter what the low end, headlines will always reflect the high end.Assuming it's possible to model an epidemic at all, any that the mainstream press relays will have been designed to promote panic. Take it from Fauci, who early on so eagerly employed them '' they are to be ignored. Now and forever.
Michael Fumento is a former Investor's Business Daily National Issues reporter and is also an attorney, author, and freelance journalist who has been writing about epidemic hysterias for 35 years. He may be reached at Fumento[at]gmail.com.
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Trump draft order requires more from tech workers on H-1B visas: Bloomberg
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 16:38
U.S. President Donald Trump points to a reporter as he answers questions during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst'¨
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump would require technology workers in the United States on H-1B visas to provide updated certifications that they are not displacing American workers, according to a draft executive order, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.
The executive order would deny entry for people seeking most types of work visas for at least 90 days, Bloomberg reported.
It excludes people seeking jobs related to the food supply chain and would not apply to health care or medical research professionals, according to the draft.
Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Sandra Maler
EU climate chief sees green strings for car scrappage schemes - Reuters
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 16:37
(Reuters) - The European Union's chief climate official said on Tuesday there could be green conditions attached to any car scrappage schemes set up by the bloc to revive vehicle demand following the coronavirus pandemic.
FILE PHOTO: European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans presents a new law for the bloc to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 in Brussels, Belgium March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Johanna Geron
The European Commission, the bloc's executive, is facing calls from carmakers for incentives to boost vehicle sales, which have slumped amid lockdown measures to fight the virus outbreak.
Meanwhile, politicians, investors and campaigners are piling pressure on the EU to use green investments to restart growth and deliver on climate targets.
EU climate commissioner Frans Timmermans said on Tuesday the bloc could heed both calls.
''We see the automotive industry asking us to help them, by helping households to afford a new car,'' Timmermans said in a videocall with EU lawmakers.
''But why don't we do this with ecological scrappage schemes, replacing an old and dirty car with a cleaner, even zero emission one?''
With Europe headed for a steep recession this year, carmakers fear consumers and transport operators will be unable to afford new vehicles.
Lockdown measures have also forced firms to scale back production, although some - including German carmakers Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz - plan to reawaken some European plants this week.
Attaching green strings to cash-for-clunkers schemes would help boost factories while removing the most polluting cars from Europe's roads, Timmermans said.
''It's good for the car industry, it's good for jobs, and it's good for the environment.''
European carmaker lobby ACEA called last week for EU measures to stir vehicle sales.
''A dedicated EU-wide fleet renewal scheme for all vehicle categories would be needed to help re-launch demand for the latest vehicle technologies,'' ACEA said in a statement.
But campaigners warned that without clear climate rules from Brussels, scrappage schemes could support demand for polluting vehicles.
''The European Commission must issue clear, binding guidance to member states that state aid such as scrappage schemes must target the sales of zero-emission vehicles,'' Julia Poliscanova, clean vehicles director at NGO Transport and Environment, told Reuters.
Timmermans said the EU would have an ''open ear and an open mind'' for industries facing serious challenges.
But he warned that the Commission's Green Deal plan, to make the EU climate neutral by 2050, is not a luxury that can be tossed aside because of the pandemic.
''It would be a dereliction of duty, not to insist on the Green Deal as a growth strategy to get us out of this crisis,'' he said.
Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama
Dutch Central Bank Wants to Be European Union's CBDC Proving Ground - CoinDesk
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 15:39
Apr 21, 2020 at 19:16 UTC Updated Apr 21, 2020 at 19:49 UTC
The Dutch Central Bank cited its nation's declining use of physical cash as one of the reasons it may do well with a CBDC trial. (Credit: Shutterstock)
Dutch Central Bank Wants to Be European Union's CBDC Proving GroundThe Dutch Central Bank (DNB) thinks the eurosystem's central bank digital currency (CBDC) should be more programmable than bitcoin.
Saying on Tuesday that cryptocurrencies offer some technological lessons for the banks they seek to displace, DNB wrote that smart contracts could help ''future proof'' CBDCs. The 45-page CBDC report is the Netherlands' pitch to become a digital currency proving ground for the eurosystem.
''A smart contract system with complex logic potentially increases the demand for CBDC and offers opportunities to reduce transaction costs,'' DNB said. ''In this way it could contribute to diversity and innovation in the payment market.''
The striking admission comes as the DNB jockeys for influence in European central bankers' growing digital currency debate. Just last month the French seized that discussion with an open call for limited CBDC experiments. The Netherlands, which does not have its own active experiment just yet, went a step further in the report: DNB wants to be a research, development and deployment hub for a European CBDC.
''If the decision should be taken within the eurosystem to experiment with some more concrete type of CBDC, we are ready to play a leading role. The Netherlands provides a suitable testing ground for such an experiment,'' DNB said.
Rise of private cash
That appears to be an imperative for the Dutch, whose 17 million residents are the least likely in the eurozone to pay for goods or services with cash, according to a 2017 European Union report. Three years later Holland's cash aversion has only come into stronger focus: there are fewer ATMs and fewer cash withdrawals each year. On a macro scale, ''private digital money'' use '' private money being funds tied to a commercial bank account '' is growing and Libra, though neutered, is still a threat.
Responding as well to what it said was its own citizens' growing interest in CBDC, the DNB said digital currency could help ensure that public money stays alive in a digital future.
The report offers a detailed look at what a ''reasonable'' eurozone CBDC could be and compares the choices against some monetary benchmarks: Libra, bitcoin, cash, commercial bank money and central bank reserves.
''After 10 years of experimenting with private cryptos, the question is whether some techniques have sufficient added value for use in CBDC,'' DNB mulled. It concluded that smart contracts may be the only ''technique'' worth salvaging, in part because its future-forward flexibility could make CBDC more in demand.
It indicated that CBDC should be more programmable to bitcoin and second only to libra.
Centralized coins
DNB divorced smart contacts from another less desirable hallmark feature of cryptocurrency: distributed ledger technology (DLT). DNB roundly rejected DLT as a feature coined by idealists working outside the banking system.
''The fully decentralized solution of, for example, bitcoin, with decentralized validation, was partly ideologically driven,'' DNB said as it argued against bitcoin's resource-intensive and potentially cumbersome model of distributed consensus. ''It seems unnecessary for CBDC to make those sacrifices.''
Even so, DNB embraced the need for some anonymity that bitcoin evangelists and cash stalwarts adore. DLT makes bitcoin transaction history completely transparent even while offering users a means to transact pseudonymously.
Conversely, commercial banks, who have full knowledge of their users' transaction history, have a market incentive to sell data that central banks do not. DNB therefore said that a CBDC should offer a selective degree of privacy second only to wholly anonymous cash.
Those technical aspects and more build out DNB's uncannily detailed envisioning of CBDC. Coming also with DNB's emphatic call for CBDC to shore up the public money system as the world continues to change, it amounts to a striking endorsement of CBDC '' perhaps, as the Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra told parliament Tuesday, the loudest in Europe so far.
''In no other euro area has the central bank so clearly expressed a positive attitude towards digital central bank money aimed at the general public,'' Hoekstra said.
''The ball is now'' in the eurosystem's court, he said.
Disclosure Read More The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
EIDL Program
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 15:32
Applying for SBA Disaster Loans (EIDL)SBA Disaster Customer Service Center(800)659-2955Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-83393/23/2020This handout is updated daily with the most current information available. https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/wv/clarksburg/resources/west-virginia-small-business-training-opportunities
2'Funds come directly from the U.S. Treasury'Apply directly to SBA's Disaster Assistance Program at: DisasterLoan.sba.gov'There is no cost to apply'There is no obligation to take the loan, if offered'The maximum unsecured loan amount is $25,000Applicants can have an existing SBA Disaster Loan and still qualify for an EIDL for this disaster, but the loans cannot be consolidated.SBA's Working Capital Loans are Different from Other SBA LoansWest Virginia District Office
What businesses are eligible to apply?'Small businesses 'Small agricultural cooperatives 'Small aquaculture businesses'Most private non-profit organizationsThis includes:'Directly affected by the disaster'Businesses that offer services directly related to the businesses in the declaration'Other businesses indirectly related to the industry that is likely to be harmed by losses in their community(Example: Manufacturer of widgets may be eligible as well as the wholesaler and retailer of the product.)3SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Basics 3West Virginia District Office
4What is the criteria for a loan approval?'Credit History -acceptable to SBA'Repayment -ability to repay the SBA loan'Eligibility 'Located (physical presence) within the declared disaster area'Have suffered, or are likely to suffer, substantial economic injury as a result of the disaster'Must be an independently owned and operated business'Do not have credit available elsewhere'The size of the applicant alone (without affiliates) must not exceed the size standard for the industry in which the applicant is primarily engaged'The size of the applicant combined with its affiliates must not exceed the size standard designated for either the primary industry of the applicant alone or the primary industry of the applicant and its affiliates, whichever is higher.SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Basics West Virginia District Office
5How much can I borrow?'Up to $2 million 'Interest rates 'Small Businesses 3.75 % 'Most Private, Non-Profits 2.75 % 'Terms up to 30 years'Eligibility based on the size, type of business and financial resourcesHow can I use the loan funds?'Fixed debts (rent, etc.) 'Payroll'Accounts payable'Some bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Terms West Virginia District Office
6What kinds of small businesses can apply? Including (but not limited to) 'Restaurants'Retailers'Hotels'Manufacturers'Owners of rental property'Wholesalers 'Others (i.e. too many to list all of them here)What other criteria is involved?'Musthave a physical presencein the declared disaster area'Physical presence = ''tangible and significant'' 'P.O. Box does not qualifySBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Basics 6West Virginia District Office
What are the collateral requirements?'Economic Injury Disaster Loans over $25,000 require collateral'SBA takes real estate as collateral when it is available'SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral, but requires borrowers to pledge what is available7Economic Injury Disaster Loan Terms7West Virginia District Office
Basic Filing Requirements8'SBA Loan Application (SBA Form 5 or 5C)'Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506T)'Complete copies of the most recent Federal Income Tax Return'Schedule of Liabilities (SBA Form 2202)'Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413)Although a paper application and forms are acceptable, filing electronically is easier, faster, and more accurate. 8West Virginia District Office
Additional Filing Requirements9Other information that may be requested:'Complete copy, including all schedules, of the most recent Federal income tax return for principals, general partners or managing member, and affiliates (see filing requirements for more information)'If the most recent Federal Income Tax Return has not been filed, a year-end profit-and-loss statement and balance sheet for that tax year'A current year-to-date profit-and-loss statement'Additional Filing Requirements (SBA Form 1368) providing monthly sales figures. This is especially important for Economic Injury Disaster Loans.9West Virginia District Office
Ineligible EntitiesWhat are some of the businesses that are ineligible for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan?'Agricultural Enterprises: If the primary activity of the business (including its affiliates) is as defined in Section 18(b)(1) of the Small Business Act, neither the business nor its affiliates are eligible for EIDL assistance'Religious Organizations 'Charitable Organizations 'Gambling Concerns (Ex: Concerns that derive more that 1/3 of their annual gross revenue from legal gambling activities)'Casinos & Racetracks (Ex: Businesses whose purpose for being is gambling (e.g., casinos, racetracks, poker parlors, etc.) are not eligible for EIDL assistance regardless of 1/3 criteria above'Complete list ineligible businesses1010West Virginia District Office
Ineligible Uses of Loan'Dividends and bonuses'Disbursements to owners, etc. except when directly related to performance of services'Repayment of stockholder/principal loans, except when the funds were injected on an interim basis because of the disaster and non-repayment would cause undue hardship to the stockholder/principal'Expansion of facilities or acquisition of fixed assetsWest Virginia District Office11
Ineligible Uses of Loan (cont.)'Repair or replacement of physical damages'Refinancing long term debt'Paying down (including regular installment payments) or paying off loans provided, or owned by another Federal agency (including SBA) or a Small Business Investment Company'Payment of any part of a direct Federal debt, (including SBA loans) except IRS obligations'Relocation'Other ineligible uses available online. West Virginia District Office12
How to Apply13'Apply online at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela'Paper loan applications at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/PaperFormsU.S. Small Business AdministrationProcessing and Disbursement Center14925 Kingsport RoadFort Worth, TX 76155. 'SBA's Customer Service Center 800-659-2955 800-877-8339 deaf/hard-of-hearingdisastercustomerservice@sba.govWest Virginia District OfficeSBA's Customer Service Representatives are ready to serve.
Assistance From SBA Partners14Freeassistancewithreconstructingfinancialrecords,preparingfinancialstatementsandsubmittingtheloanapplicationisavailablefromanyofSBA'spartners:SmallBusinessDevelopmentCenters(SBDCs),SCORE,Women'sBusinessCenters(WBC),andVeteran'sBusinessOutreachCentersandlocalChambersofCommerce.Forthenearestoffice,visit:https://www.sba.gov/local-assistanceWest Virginia District Officehttps://wvsbdc.com/https://wv.score.org/
Advice'WeSTRONGLY suggest that once you are registered, you download and/or print out the application, familiarize yourself with what is needed, do it manually and then submit online. WE WANT YOU TO HAVE A COMPLETE APPLICATION UP FRONT.'If the application is incomplete, it will be set aside. You will be notified what is missing, but YOU FALL BACK IN THE QUEUE.'If more funds are needed, applicants can submit supporting documents and a request for an increase. If less funds are needed, applicants can request a reduction in the loan amount. 15West Virginia District Office
Advice (Cont.)'Iftheloanrequestisdenied,theapplicantwillbegivenuptosixmonthsinwhichtoprovidenewinformationandsubmitawrittenrequestforreconsideration.'Do not second guess the process and ignore the ''credit elsewhere'' statement. 'For Phase I processing, only losses of six months or less are eligible for the more expedited type of loan processing. Make sure you provide a specific loan amount on the application as an additional note.'Make sure you request a specific loan amount; input this into the comment section. When in doubt, apply!16West Virginia District Office
Applying for SBA Disaster Loans (EIDL)'Click on the link below, or copy and put it in your browser:'https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/'Then, follow the instructions on the slides.17West Virginia District Office
Disaster Loan Application Portal (DLAP)18West Virginia District Office
Register19West Virginia District Office
Apply Online20West Virginia District Office
Business Type21West Virginia District Office
Select State /County / Disaster Declaration22West Virginia District Office
Select This Disaster Declaration23West Virginia District Office
Complete Certifications24West Virginia District Office
Start Application ''Form 525West Virginia District Office
Form 5 ''Pages 2 and 3Questions'Bankruptcy'Outstanding judgements'Criminal offense re civil disorder/riot'Had another federally guaranteed loan'Delinquent on federal taxes'Work for SBA'Debarred26West Virginia District Office
Paper Forms for ComparisonSBA Disaster Business Loan Application(paper forms)Below are instructions for the SBA Disaster Business Loan Application (paper forms). Please see attachments below to download corresponding forms.'SBA Form 5'SBA 159D'SBA Form 1368'SBA Form 413D Personal Financial Statement'IRS Form 4506-T'IRS Form 4506-T Instructions'SBA Form 2202 Schedule of Liabilities'SBA Form 2202 Schedule of Liabilities InstructionsWest Virginia District Office27
28West Virginia District Office
Application Successfully Submitted29West Virginia District Office
Final Advice'If you are having trouble with getting in, i.e. it is not recognizing the county and/or state: 'Make sure you entered your type of business ANDclicked on EIDL onlyunder the ''Are you applying for'' section. 'Otherwise, please give it a time and try again. The Office of Disaster Assistance is moving as fast as it can, but each state and individual county needs to be entered. 'Take your time and make sure the application is complete. We are here to assist where we can, but given the district's limited staffing, we can't run through an entire application with every (state/district) small business owner. We are working with the state and our partners to provide as much in-depth help as we can.30West Virginia District Office
Final Advice (cont.)'For assistance contact SBA's Customer Service Center at (800)659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov'Get step by step on-line instructions HERE'Check our webpage for additional updates and training sessions as this continues, www.sba.gov/WVSincerely, Karen Friel, District Director and all the West Virginia District Office Staff 31West Virginia District Office
West Virginia District Officewvinfo@sba.govwww.sba.gov/wv
Trolls Flood Bill de Blasio's Coronavirus Snitch Line With Dick Pics & Hitler Memes '' NewsWars
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 15:10
People reacted to the launch of Mayor Bill de Blasio's coronavirus snitch hotline by flooding it with dick pics and Hitler memes.
The Mayor launched the service on Saturday to encourage New Yorkers to report people who violate social distancing rules.
However, the response didn't quite go as planned as it was deluged by trolls seeking to stick the figurative middle finger up at the Stasi-like nature of the hotline.
''An NYPD source said that ''dick pic'' photos of real penises have also been texted to 311, and a caller phoned in a tip that de Blasio was seen performing oral sex on someone ''in an alleyway behind a 7-11'' early Sunday,'' reports the New York Post.
Another individual sent a meme of Adolph Hitler along with the words, ''TO THOSE TURNING IN YOUR NEIGHBORS AND LOCAL BUSINESSES '-- YOU DID THE REICH THING.''
Other messages included a sign saying ''EAT A BAG OF DICKS'' that was accompanied by an image of candies arranged in the shape of male genitalia.
Another user sent the message ''We will fight this tyrannical overreach!'' while another message accused de Blasio himself of spreading the virus by deliberately coughing on people.
Over the last week, the U.S. has seen a number of anti-lockdown protests, with one expert even suggesting that the demonstrations could metastasize into full blown ''mass civil unrest.''
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Bipartisan deal reached on small business coronavirus relief
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 15:06
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. | John Shinkle/POLITICO
Congress and the Trump administration have reached a deal on a new round of coronavirus aid that could be approved by the Senate on Tuesday afternoon if all 100 senators agree.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced the accord just an hour before the Senate will try and pass the agreement and rapped Democrats for blocking a previous proposal to give money to small businesses.
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"I am just sorry that it took my colleagues in Democratic leadership 12 days to accept the inevitable," McConnell said. "The American people are counting on Congress to put aside reflexive partisanship and work across the aisle to help our nation through this pandemic.''
The legislation totals $484 billion and delivers funding to small businesses, hospitals, and for testing. The Senate is scheduled to come in for a 4 p.m. session on Tuesday. Leaders are seeking to have the legislation approved unanimously.
''We have a deal, and I believe we will pass it today,'' Schumer said on CNN. Despite optimism over the weekend, Democrats and the Trump administration struggled to clinch the agreement and failed to deliver it during Monday's Senate session.
"I think it will happen at 4 o'clock today," Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) agreed on C-SPAN. "I think it will go a long way for small businesses."
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Aides in both parties said they were still finalizing the legislation throughout the day and making sure it could pass unanimously. President Donald Trump also signaled he'd sign the legislation into law, tweeting Tuesday that he's urging lawmaker to pass the bill "with additional funding for PPP, Hospitals, and Testing."
According to a summary of the deal obtained by POLITICO, the legislation includes $321 billion for the depleted Paycheck Protection Program, of which $60 billion is set aside for underbanked businesses, a priority for Democrats.
The deal also includes $60 billion in loans and grants for economic disaster assistance, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for coronavirus testing. Of that testing money, $11 billion will go to states and some will also go to the federal government.
Two weeks ago, Senate Democrats blocked the Senate GOP's initial offer of $250 billion for small businesses, demanding a broader package of aid that included millions of dollars for hospitals and states. That conflict has resulted in a standoff between Democrats and Republicans, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin moving to arbitrate the impasse.
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The Paycheck Protection Program ran out of its initial $349 billion round of funding last week. Republicans have hammered Democrats for blocking efforts to replenish the small business fund.
"Democratic leaders blocked the money and spent days trying to negotiate extraneous issues that were never on the table. I am grateful our colleagues have walked away from those demands and will finally let Congress act," McConnell said.
But Democrats counter that the bill expected to pass Congress this week contains much of what they demanded two weeks ago, pinning the delay on Republicans.
"When you look at the package that's going to be passed, it's almost exactly like the one we asked for two weeks ago," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters on a press call Tuesday. "We're ending up with a bill we could've passed 12 days ago."
Yet Republicans fended off money for state and local governments that Democrats wanted and also got more for small businesses than previously requested. Democrats, meanwhile, were able to deliver on more money for hospitals and testing that they'd requested.
Schumer played up the testing language as a major breakthrough for federalization of the program.
''You need a national strategy, and the president and Mnuchin and [White House chief of staff Mark] Meadows agreed to that to their credit. And that will be in the proposal,'' Schumer said.
Democrats admitted defeat on their demands for $150 billion for states and local governments after McConnell and Mnuchin took a hard line against including that money. Instead, the legislation will grant flexibility for unspent money from previous relief bills to be used for revenue shortfalls and seek more money in the next round, Schumer said.
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The Senate minority leader, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.) continued negotiating with Meadows and Mnuchin until early Tuesday.
The House, which is set to vote Thursday on the relief measure, will not be able to pass the legislation unanimously and lawmakers have been instructed to prepare to return to the Capitol this week.
Hoyer said members were not being forced to come back but he expected more than enough lawmakers to establish a quorum '-- 216 members '-- and clear the package via a roll call vote.
"We are asking every member to return who can return," Hoyer told reporters during his weekly press call on Tuesday. "There are some members who are particularly vulnerable to either themselves because of some preexisting condition or they are caring for relatives ... so we're not ordering members to come back."
Trump-backed anti-malaria drug for coronavirus finds no benefit, more deaths
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 14:57
News
By Jackie Salo
April 21, 2020 | 3:47pm
Sign up for our special edition newsletter to get a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic.
The anti-malaria drug touted by President Donald Trump showed zero benefits for coronavirus patients in a nationwide study '-- and even caused more deaths among those given the drug versus those given standard care, researchers reported.
Hydroxychloroquine proved to be no better than standard care among more than 300 male patients at Veterans Health Administration medical centers across the nation, according to a report on pre-publication server medRix.
The study '-- backed by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Virginia '-- marked the largest of its kind on the controversial drug but has not been reviewed by other scientists.
Researchers looked at the medical records of 368 veterans with confirmed cases of COVID-19 who died or were discharged by April 11.
Around 28% who were treated with hydroxychloroquine along with routine care died, compared to only 11% of those who only received the usual care, researchers said.
In addition, 22% of patients receiving a combination of hydroxychloroquine and the anti-bacterial drug azithromycin died too, the report said.
Hydroxychloroquine also didn't do anything to help keep patients off ventilators, researchers said.
''Specifically, hydroxychloroquine use with or without co-administration of azithromycin did not improve mortality or reduce the need for mechanical ventilation in hospitalized patients,'' researchers wrote.
''On the contrary, hydroxychloroquine use alone was associated with an increased risk of mortality compared to standard care alone.''
The researchers said it wasn't clear why there was a higher fatality rate among those given the anti-malaria drug, but pointed to a small Brazil study that was nixed after patients experienced heart issues on a similar drug, chloroquine.
However, the study also noted there were limitations since it only focused on men, the majority of whom were black.
Nevertheless, the researchers are now urging medical professionals to use caution in prescribing hydroxychloroquine until more studies are available.
''Until then, the findings from this retrospective study suggest caution in using hydroxychloroquine in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, particularly when not combined with azithromycin,'' researchers said.
With Post wires
Altria launches IQOS heated tobacco device in the US '-- Quartz
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 11:25
As of this month, some 500 tobacco stores in Atlanta, Georgia are the first in the United States to start selling IQOS'--a heated-tobacco product from tobacco giant Philip Morris International.
Traditionally, heated tobacco products haven't been all that popular: IQOS is one of two on sale in the US. (The first, introduced in the 1990s, has flitted off and on the market.) But as CNBC noted, the timing of IQOS' US debut seems serendipitous for its marketers, arriving just as one of the country's most popular cigarette alternatives'--e-cigs'--comes under fire.
PMI is currently licensing the IQOS technology to Altria, which owns 35% of e-cigarette market leader Juul. Last month, amid a flurry of concerns about the safety of using e-cigarettes and the high rate of teenage vaping, Juul's CEO stepped down and Altria's former chief growth officer, K.C. Crosthwaite, took the reins. Crosthwaite was reportedly responsible in large part for getting IQOS off the ground in the US.
Now, Altria is heading up the sales, marketing, and distribution of IQOS in the US. The device had been pending authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for almost two years, and the regulatory agency finally gave IQOS the okay in April 2019. If sales in the Atlanta test market go well, it will expand to the rest of the US within a few years.
Like e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes, IQOS delivers nicotine'--the addictive component in tobacco products. It wouldn't be surprising if smokers or vapers looking for an alternative gave IQOS a spin in the coming months. Here's more about how this latest smoking product works, and why the FDA is allowing US residents to buy it.
What even is IQOS?IQOS is a device designed to mimic the smoking experience, but without actually burning tobacco. It contains three parts: a pen, a case, and ''HeatSticks'' that look like tiny cigarettes (although they can't be smoked on their own). The HeatSticks are Marlboro-branded, and either have a natural tobacco flavor, or one of two menthol flavors.
The tobacco in the HeatSticks is actually folded sheets of tobacco paste mixed with glycerin, a substance that forms a puffy white cloud to ferry along nicotine and tobacco flavors. When going for a smoke, an IQOS user sticks the tobacco-filled end of the HeatStick into the pen. That part of the device contains a ceramic heated blade, which heats the tobacco up to 350°C (about 662°F)'--enough to aerosolize the nicotine, glycerin, and flavors.
Each HeatStick contains about the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette, and lasts about as long'--roughly 15 puffs, or 6 minutes. The pen's battery only lasts long enough to smoke a single HeatStick before it needs to be recharged in the carrying case, which looks like an elongated Airpod case. Afterward, the tobacco in the used HeatStick looks toasted, and it can't be reused.
Because they don't actually burn the tobacco (a process that occurs at 600°C, or 1,112°F), the IQOS pens are no good for trying to smoke home-rolled tobacco or other substances like marijuana. (They won't fit a traditional cigarette inside, either.) But they're designed to mimic the experience of smoking a regular cigarette in every other way.
The acronym, according to PMI, doesn't stand for anything. Although there have been rumors that IQOS stands for ''I Quit Ordinary Smoking,'' a spokesperson PMI pointed out that it wouldn't make sense to have an English name, because the device has been on sale in Japan since 2014. PMI has since expanded sales to South Korea, Germany, Russia, the UK, and Italy.
How did the FDA authorize IQOS for sale?Unlike medical drugs and devices, the FDA doesn't approve any tobacco products, because none of them are safe by their very nature. Instead, it authorizes their sale, with extremely specific guidelines.
PMI submitted IQOS through the FDA's premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) over two years ago. In a PMTA, the FDA is looking for evidence that allowing a new tobacco product is ''appropriate for the protection of the public health'''--namely, that it's not more toxic than existing tobacco products, and won't draw in anyone who isn't already smoking. The application for IQOS was over a million pages long, Priscilla Callahan-Lyon, a scientist at the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products said in a grand rounds presentation yesterday (Oct. 10). The company conducted studies that covered everything from toxicology to real-world usage.
Based on the FDA's review of those studies, the agency deemed that with proper labeling (which FDA requires of all tobacco products) IQOS likely won't be any more of a danger to public health than traditional cigarettes, and may be better for smokers who switch to using only IQOS (more on that in a bit). It also seems like IQOS wouldn't hold a huge appeal for teens, based on US surveys and use in countries where the device is already on sale. And unlike many e-cigarettes, the device can't be used to smoke illegal products like marijuana.
Is heating tobacco safer than burning it?In terms of overall safety'--maybe. But there still isn't good long-term data on IQOS.
The data PMI submitted to the FDA indicated that IQOS produces lower levels of toxic chemicals like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde than cigarettes. Short-term studies found no serious adverse events related to IQOS, and medium-term observation of people who use IQOS in other countries didn't give the FDA reason to believe that longer-term health consequences would be any different from smoking tobacco cigarettes.
IQOS does contain nicotine and tobacco, just like cigarettes. And although glycerin is ''generally regarded as safe'' by the FDA, that designation is largely for ingested glycerin'--not inhaled. Glycerin is one of the common carriers used in e-juice cartridges.
PMI has also submitted an application for IQOS to be labeled as a Modified Risk Tobacco Product by the FDA, which applies to tobacco products that ''benefit the health of the population as a whole,'' presumably by being less dangerous than what's already on the market. But the agency hasn't approved that labeling. It's worth noting that none of the 35 Modified Risk Tobacco Product applications have been approved to date.
Is IQOS safer than vaping?That's unclear. PMI only conducted safety research on IQOS in comparison to traditional cigarettes, not e-cigarettes. Although e-cigarettes don't contain tobacco and IQOS does, there's no good data on e-cigarettes' long-term safety.
With IQOS, users at least have the benefit of knowing that there have been studies conducted'--some by PMI, others by FDA, and all reviewed by the regulatory agency. And although the tobacco in it is a known risk, it's at least well-understood.
The presumed advantage of e-cigarettes is that they don't contain tobacco'--but there's growing evidence that they may not be safe, either. VAPI, or vaping-associated pulmonary illnesses has sickened nearly 1,300 in the US and killed 26 as of Oct. 10. There's no clear cause, either. One of the biggest problems with e-cigarettes is that even though the FDA has authorized their sale, people have been modifying their devices and their e-juice extensively to smoke nicotine, marijuana, and thousands of unregulated flavors.
Where can you buy it?In Atlanta, Altria is selling the full device plus 200 HeatSticks for $80, compared to a solo device for $100. You can also buy an IQOS online, but you have to go to a physical store in Atlanta to pick it up'--a process that ensures vendors will verify they're only selling IQOS to adults.
Correction (Oct. 11): An earlier version of this story said the FDA had authorized multiple heated tobacco devices. It has only authorized IQOS, because the other product came on the market before FDA could regulate it.
Audio & Radio Emergency Fund | Radio Academy
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 11:20
About the Audio and Radio Emergency Fund:The Audio and Radio Emergency Fund has been created to help those in the radio and audio sector who are facing hardship because of the coronavirus crisis.
The urgent need to provide support for freelancers and other individuals who are the lifeblood of radio, podcasts, and audiobooks, has brought together the Radio Academy, AudioUK, the BBC, Audible, ReelWorld and Folder Media to create the new Fund.
It has been kick-started with a contribution from the Radio Academy's benevolent fund and boosted by contributions from the BBC and internet audio company Audible. Funding from other organisations will be announced shortly.
The scheme will give grants of up to £1,000 to individuals who need extra support during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as those in hardship who are receiving no government assistance; people who need help with radio or audio development projects, or those who need new equipment or software.
How will it work:Funding will operate on a rolling basis. That means we'll have a new round every week. It will open every Monday at noon and be open for a week at a time. As soon as one round closes, the next opens straight away. This enables us to keep a rolling fund going, and distribute funds as quickly as possible to meet immediate needs.
Dates:First round funding open for applications noon: Monday 20th AprilFirst round assessments begin: Monday 27th AprilPanel meeting: Tuesday 28th AprilNotifications: Wednesday 29th April
The second round opens on Monday 27thApril and so on.
It doesn't matter when you apply in the one-week period, it's not on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications will be assessed based on need, not when we receive them.
If you do not receive funding in the first funding round, you are able to re-apply in the second or future rounds.
We may also make partial funds in any given round, again, you can apply again if needed.
Click here to applyApplying for funding and support:We want to make the Fund go as far as possible to help as many industry colleagues affected by COVID-19 as we can, so we're asking you to only apply for what you need. We're expecting high demand for this fund, and we may not be able to give grants to everyone who applies.
The maximum that can be applied for is £1,000, although we expect most grants will be up to £500. This guidance will be kept under review, dependent on the demand for, and availability of funding.
The Fund will also seek to offer non-financial support such as using the Radio Academy and AudioUK's networks to match skills and services of individuals with places where there may be a demand for them. We can signpost people to online training tools to enable skill development during isolation.
Applications will be treated in the strictest confidence and in the first instance, will only be seen by the Fund Project Manager and the Radio Academy CEO.
They will then be anonymised, with all identifying details taken out before being sent to the panel for review. Confidentiality is paramount to us and we will go to every length to protect those that are applying.
Eligibility criteria:The fund must be used for individuals who require additional support as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as those who:
are in personal hardship and in particular those not eligible for the government's emergency support measures, or awaiting paymentneed support for radio or audio development projectsneed new equipment or software to meet new working practices/demandshave lost income from indefinitely postponed or cancelled work, including travel expenses and equipment rentalbe a UK resident (This is defined as those with the ''right to work in the UK'' You can have worked on UK or international productions, but your primary residence should be in the UK.)The Fund is open to individuals who are recent active workers in UK-based audio and radio including podcasts and audiobooks. This includes anyone working for a radio station or audio-led production company, or as a freelancer working predominantly in the audio and radio sector.
This fund is specifically targeted to offer help to individuals and unfortunately is not able to offer any assistance to companies, charities or other organisations.
Click here to applyFAQsWho is the fund for?Those working in UK audio and radio, including podcasts and audiobooks, who are freelancers and whose main source of income is from freelance work in the audio and radio sector.
Do I need to be a member of the Radio Academy?No. If you are successful in your request, you will be gifted a Radio Academy membership for a year. This is because the Radio Academy is a member-based organisation and this meets the criteria for financial support and you also benefit from the membership.
How do I apply?Follow the link on this page to a secure site with a form to fill in and submit. If you have any questions about the form or something isn't clear, please contact aref@radioacademy.org (please be aware the team are volunteering their time and may not get back to you straight away).
How much can I apply for:The maximum that can be applied for is £1,000, although we expect most grants will be up to £500.
Are the panel capping how much they give each week?Yes, in order to make the fund work most effectively over time, there will be a limit the panel can distribute each week.
Can I apply more than once?Yes. If you are not successful in one round, you can apply in the next round. There is no limit on how many times you apply, however, the panel need to make sure that as many people as possible benefit from the fund overall.
I volunteer in the Audio and Radio sector (community/hospital/student and more) can I apply?This fund is for individuals whose primary source of income is audio and radio, and where this has been impacted by the effect of coronavirus. Unfortunately, it is therefore unable to support volunteers or those who do not earn an income from the work they do. We can only support people whose living is made in the audio and radio sector and where that has been impacted by the current pandemic.
Do I need to live and work in the UK to apply for the fund?Yes, you do. We ask for proof of UK address if you are successful in funding. This is to ensure that you meet the criteria.
How will I know my information is kept confidential?Once you fill in the form, it is sent to the Fund email address at the Radio Academy. Only two people have access to this account, the Project Manager and the CEO. They will then prepare the pack for the deciding panel and take out all identifying information, i.e. your name/where you have worked etc. Only the Project Manager and CEO will be in contact with you directly and know your personal details. These will be stored in a secure password protected file on a hard drive and only kept as long as is necessary, in accordance with GDPR requirements and the Radio Academy's privacy policy.
How will the panel know about the industry and make decisions?The panel are industry professionals and will be guided by the criteria and the information you provide to demonstrate how you meet these.
How will I know if I've been successful or not?The Project Manager will write to you with the outcome following each round. If you haven't been successful, you may apply again. If we feel that you need to provide more information, we will also give this feedback to you asap.
What happens if I am successful?The Project Manager will write to you with the outcome. There may be additional information required to ensure you meet the criteria, for example passport or driving licence to confirm identity. They will then ask for your Bank Account details in a safe and secure way. This email will only come from the Fund address at the Radio Academy. More details on this will follow. Please do NOT reply to any other emails, texts, phone calls or whatsapp messages that request your bank account details. This will only come from the aref@radioacademy.org email address.
How will payment be made, and when will I receive it?Payment will be made via Bank Transfer and within three working days of a decision, based on the details in the application form are correct.
Will there be a verification process?It's really important that we are confident that we are supporting the right people, so If you are successful we will also ask for a copy of your passport or driving licence and proof of address to ensure residency in the UK. More advice on this will follow with your successful outcome email.
I have a question that's not listed above '' can I contact anyone?Yes, please email aref@radioacademy.org and the Project Manager will get back to you in the strictest confidence. We are here to support and assist you.
For those wishing to help with funding:We welcome contributions to the Emergency Fund '' we're currently working on the best way to accept these via the website, but in the meantime'...
We need to prioritise our limited administrative resources to help applicants. If you wish to make a donation of £1,000 or more, please email aref@radioacademy.org. Otherwise, we appreciate that every little helps, but for smaller amounts, we'll be very grateful to receive them in the next few days when we're able to accept online donations.
Click here to apply Back to All Posts
Coronavirus may have infected hundreds of thousands in L.A. County - Los Angeles Times
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 11:13
How many people in L.A. have had COVID-19? This study seeks answers
By Melanie Mason Staff Writer
April 20, 2020
1:12 PM
UPDATED 7:35 PM
Hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles County residents may have been infected with the coronavirus by early April, far outpacing the number of officially confirmed cases, according to a report released Monday.
The initial results from the first large-scale study tracking the spread of the coronavirus in the county found that 4.1% of adults have antibodies to the virus in their blood, an indication of past exposure.
That translates to roughly 221,000 to 442,000 adults who have recovered from an infection, once margin of error is taken into account, according to the researchers conducting the study. The county had reported fewer than 8,000 cases at that time.
The findings suggest the fatality rate may be much lower than previously thought. But although the virus may be more widespread, the infection rate still falls far short of herd immunity that, absent a vaccine, would be key to return to normal life.
''We are very early in the epidemic, and many more people in L.A. County could potentially be impacted,'' said Neeraj Sood, the study's leader and a professor at USC's Sol Price School of Public Policy. ''And as those number of infections arise, so will the number of deaths, the number of hospitalizations, and the number of ICU admissions.''
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The early results from L.A. County come three days after Stanford researchers reported that the coronavirus appears to have circulated much more widely in Santa Clara County than previously thought.
Though the county had reported roughly 1,000 cases in early April, the Stanford researchers estimate the actual number was 48,000 to 81,000.
The findings bolster the sense that a significant portion of those carrying the virus could show no symptoms at all, and therefore be unknowingly infecting others. Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of President Trump's coronavirus task force, said during the White House briefing that the USC results underscore ''concern about asymptomatic spread'' because it is harder to trace.
''This has been the fundamental question to begin with,'' she said, emphasizing the importance of treating the disease as ''highly contagious.''
Antibody tests, also known as serology testing, have increasingly become a focal point in the response to coronavirus because they can potentially show the true extent of the virus' reach and therefore can shed light on how close the population is to achieving herd immunity. That occurs when enough people have some degree of immunity to the virus that it becomes difficult for infections to spread.
''Any way you slice the data ... it's clear that herd immunity in this situation does not apply. It's still way below that level,'' said Natalie Dean, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida.
Such tests can also provide a more accurate picture of how lethal the virus is.
The mortality rate is based on the number of confirmed infections; the higher the number of infections, the lower the fatality rate. Both studies estimated a mortality rate of 0.1% to 0.2%, which is closer to the death rate associated with the seasonal flu.
Researchers emphasized that these initial findings should not make people dismiss the risks of COVID-19.
Paul Simon, chief science officer for Los Angeles County's public health department, noted that the county was averaging 50 deaths from coronavirus a day, eclipsing cardiac disease as the top killer.
''If this mortality were to continue for the whole year '-- we hope it doesn't, but if it did '-- COVID would be the leading cause of death in Los Angeles County,'' Simon said.
Preliminary data from Los Angeles found that men were more likely to be infected than women. Seven percent of blacks in the study tested positive, compared with 6% of white participants, 4% of Asian Americans and 2.5% of Latinos.
''There seem to be some differences by gender, and by race/ethnicity, but we really need to dig deeper into that to figure out,'' Sood said. ''Is it something about where you live? Is it something about you taking public transportation? Is it something about your biology or some genetic predisposition?''
The Santa Clara study recruited around 3,300 participants from social media, which has raised some concerns that the results may not be representative of the county as a whole. The researchers made adjustments to their data to account for that problem.
The study was composed differently in Los Angeles; 863 adults were selected through a market research firm to represent the makeup of the county. The county and USC researchers intend to repeat the study every two to three weeks for several months, in order to track the trajectory of the virus' spread.
Both counties used rapid antibody tests supplied from Premier Biotech, a Minneapolis-based company. The test has not yet been approved by the FDA, although the federal government does allow for such tests to be used for public health surveillance.
Neither the Stanford nor USC studies have been vetted by the typical peer review process, and their initial conclusions have been fiercely debated. USC researchers did not release an underlying technical report Monday that detailed their methodology.
Dr. Warner Greene, a virologist with Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, said that research out of Wuhan, China '-- where the virus is believed to have originated '-- found that the number of infections was likely 2.5 times higher than originally known. The studies in Los Angeles and Santa Clara, by contrast, said the true case counts were between 28 and 85 times greater than official reports.
''I don't know where the truth lies yet,'' Greene said. ''I do know that we knew all along that we were missing a lot of infections. The degree of the miss is what's in question.''
Eric Topol, a physician and executive vice president of Scripps Research in La Jolla, contrasted the Los Angeles study findings with those from a Wuhan hospital that found an infection rate hovering between 2% to 3%.
''You have to check your serology versus what's known in the rest of the world, and the 4.1% that they came up with is ... considerably higher than Wuhan,'' Topol said. ''We are not Wuhan anywhere in California, by any stretch of anyone's imagination.''
The two studies in California are among the surge of new research underway across the globe attempting to detect the presence of coronavirus antibodies to find cases that may have been missed initially.
''Early data from some of these studies suggest that a relatively small percentage of the population may have been infected, even in heavily affected areas '-- not more than 2% to 3%,'' said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
As antibody testing has risen in prominence and are increasingly available on the commercial market, so too have concerns about accuracy over the results, particularly the occurrence of false positives, which could inflate estimate of infection rates.
It is unlikely the initial findings will cause county officials to immediately change their response to the virus. Barbara Ferrer, the county's top health official, said that the high rate of infection only underscored the need to continue with physical distancing, wearing cloth face coverings and staying home if sick.
''We need to assume that at any point in time, we could be infected and that all of the other people we come in contact with could also be infected,'' Ferrer said Monday.
Ferrer also took pains to note that much is still unknown about whether the presence of antibodies to this virus means a person is immune.
''Being positive for COVID-19 antibodies does not mean that a person is immune, or that a person is not able to be reinfected,'' Ferrer said. ''More research is really needed to understand what protections people have who may have already been infected with COVID-19.''
Times staff writers Deborah Netburn, Emily Baumgaertner and Noah Bierman contributed to this report.
Kim Yo-jong: the sister of Kim Jong-un, fast 'becoming his alter ego' | World news | The Guardian
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 09:43
F rom producing an ashtray during a cigarette break en route to a nuclear summit to issuing a statement in praise of the US president, Kim Yo-jong has become the single most important figure in the North Korean regime after her brother, the country's leader, Kim Jong-un.
Since representing Kim at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Yo-jong has not only acquired prestigious titles within the ruling Workers' party. She is rumoured to be the brains behind Kim's carefully constructed public image, at home and abroad. In return, she enjoys the absolute confidence of her brother, a leader capable of ordering the execution of his own uncle for alleged treason.
As the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic '' with Pyongyang continuing to insist it has not recorded a single case '' Kim Yo-jong's ascendancy continues.
Last month, she made her first public statement, condemning the South as a ''frightened dog barking'' after Seoul protested against a live-fire military exercise by the North. And in March, she publicly praised Donald Trump for sending Kim a letter in which he said he hoped to maintain good bilateral relations and offered help in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
The publication of political statements in Kim Yo-jong's name underlines her central role in the regime, according to Youngshik Bong, a research fellow at Yonsei University's Institute for North Korean Studies in Seoul. ''It is revealing that Kim Jong-un permitted her to write and announce a scathing statement about South Korea in such a personal tone,'' Bong said. ''He is clearly ready to allow his sister to become his alter ego.''
But Yo-jong, who accompanied Kim to his two summits with Trump, apparently paid a price when his nuclear diplomacy suffered a setback. Last weekend, she was reinstated to the party's powerful politburo, according to the state Korean Central News Agency, just over a year after she had reportedly been removed from the position and told to keep a low profile following the failure of the Hanoi denuclearisation summit.
And she has not escaped the attention of US officials, who in 2017 placed her and other North Korean officials on a blacklist for ''severe human rights abuses''.
Internationally, Yo-jong has been a visible presence throughout the regime's high-stakes diplomatic process with Washington and Seoul. At home, she has performed the role of propagandist-in-chief, burnishing Kim's reputation as head of the dynasty that has ruled North Korea for three generations.
''She has direct access to and strong influence on Kim Jong-un,'' said Leonid Petrov, a North Korea specialist and senior lecturer at the International College of Management in Sydney. ''She is not associated with his purges or military brinkmanship, but knows all about them. She is a trusted political figure who helps Kim maintain a positive public image when he is dealing with foreigners or South Koreans.''
Yo-jong, who is thought to be four years younger than her brother, was rarely seen in public until 2010, when she was photographed attending a party conference. By the following year, she was a regular presence in her father Kim Jong-il's entourage, and was seen mourning after his death in late 2011.
But her journey to the heart of the North Korean regime had arguably begun in the late 1990s, when she attended primary school in Berne, Switzerland at the same time as Kim Jong-un, with whom she lived in a private home, attended to by staff and watched over by bodyguards, according to North Korea Leadership Watch.
''They were virtually in exile together, both knowing what the future had in store for them,'' Bong said. ''They must have gained a tremendous sense of having a common fate. As a result, she has her brother's unconditional trust.''
Little is known about Yo-jong's life during the period between her graduation with a computer science degree from Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang and 2007, when she began to play a junior role in the ruling party.
She is said to have been involved in arranging her brother's succession as supreme leader after Kim Jong-il suffered two strokes in 2008, but was not mentioned by North Korean state media until March 2014, when she accompanied her brother during elections for the Supreme People's Assembly.
''The North Korean regime is a family business, and Kim Jong-un appears to place trust in his sister,'' said Leif-Eric Easley, associate professor of international studies at Ewha University in Seoul. ''She has demonstrated skills at modernising the brand of the regime, and has some sway over state propaganda. Her most important function is probably as a confidante to her brother.
''But she also has a signalling role because messages from Kim Yo-jong carry more weight than those of an imminently replaceable North Korean official.''
Kim Yo-jong's upward trajectory is expected to continue once the North resumes its nuclear diplomacy in a post-pandemic world. ''She plays a pivotal role in North Korean domestic and foreign policy campaigns because she is one of the main stakeholders in the regime's survival,'' Petrov said.
But, he added, she would never adopt the mantle of leader should something happen to her brother. ''Kim Yo-jong knows how to smooth Kim Jong-un's initiatives and strengthen his soft power '... but she won't replace the primary decision-maker. North Korea is a Confucian country where seniority and masculinity are respected. She is Kim's most trusted ally, but no more than that.''
73% Of Inmates At An Ohio Prison Test Positive For Coronavirus : Coronavirus Live Updates : NPR
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 09:41
Ohio's prison system accounts for more than 20% of its 12,919 confirmed coronavirus cases. Mass testing at the Marion Correctional Institution, seen here, found more than 1,800 cases. Google Maps/ Screenshot by NPR hide caption
toggle caption Google Maps/ Screenshot by NPR Ohio's prison system accounts for more than 20% of its 12,919 confirmed coronavirus cases. Mass testing at the Marion Correctional Institution, seen here, found more than 1,800 cases.
Google Maps/ Screenshot by NPR A state prison has become a hot spot of the COVID-19 outbreak in Ohio, with at least 1,828 confirmed cases among inmates '-- accounting for the majority of cases in Marion County, which leads Ohio in the reported infections. Ohio officials say an aggressive testing program is responsible for the large number.
The large cluster of cases was found through mass testing of everyone at the Marion Correctional Institution; 109 staff members were also positive. No COVID-19 deaths have been reported at the prison.
"Because we are testing everyone '-- including those who are not showing symptoms '-- we are getting positive test results on individuals who otherwise would have never been tested because they were asymptomatic," the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction says.
There are currently 2,400 coronavirus cases among inmates in Ohio's state prisons, along with 244 staff members. The numbers could rise this week: A prison in Pickaway County began mass testing on Sunday.
With Ohio reporting some 12,919 coronavirus cases as of Monday, the prison system now accounts for more than 20% of the state's cases.
No other state has reported as many cases of COVID-19 behind bars as Ohio, in large part because no other state has tested as many inmates as Ohio.
"They are pulling off mass testing of their entire population inclusive of staff which is something that no other state is doing," says Jennifer Clayton, head of health services for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
Texas, California, Florida and Georgia all have larger prison populations than Ohio '-- but those states all report significantly fewer coronavirus cases.
Michigan, which has one of the largest outbreaks in the country with more than 30,000 confirmed cases, reports 572 of 889 inmates tested were found to have the coronavirus. More than 200 staff members are also infected.
New York state, whose nearly 250,000 cases account for roughly a third of all U.S. cases, reports just over 1,000 coronavirus cases in its prison system '-- and most of those infections (794) are among staff. New York says it tests inmates only after they show symptoms and have a medical evaluation.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently recommended early release for about 300 of the 49,000 inmates who are in Ohio's prison system '' far short of the thousands of people the state's American Civil Liberties Union chapter said should be released.
"This is devastating and terrifying, but it was not inevitable," ACLU Ohio Advocacy Counsel Claire Chevrier said via Twitter. She added, "This was a policy choice."
As he gave an update on COVID-19 in his state Monday, DeWine said, "We're looking at more prisoners who can be released." He added that Ohio isn't planning for "a wholesale release where every one in a certain category gets out of prison."
With dozens of staff testing positive for the virus at the Marion and Pickaway prisons, members of the Ohio National Guard are being deployed to bolster operations.
Preliminary results of USC-LA County COVID-19 study released - Press Room USC
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 09:30
April 20, 2020
USC-LA County Study: Early Results of Antibody Testing Suggest Number of COVID-19 Infections Far Exceeds Number of Confirmed Cases in Los Angeles CountyWatch the L.A. County Department of Public Health briefing livestream at 1 p.m. on Facebook.
Contact: Leigh Hopper, USC Media Relations, uscnews@usc.edu or (213) 740-2215;
Carl Kemp, LA County Public Health Communications, ckemp@ph.lacounty.gov or (323) 365-7260
Los Angeles (April 20, 2020) '' USC and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) today released preliminary results from a collaborative scientific study that suggests infections from the new coronavirus are far more widespread '' and the fatality rate much lower '-- in L.A. County than previously thought.
The results are from the first round of an ongoing study by USC researchers and Public Health officials. They will be conducting antibody testing over time on a series of representative samples of adults to determine the scope and spread of the pandemic across the county.
Based on results of the first round of testing, the research team estimates that approximately 4.1% of the county's adult population has antibody to the virus. Adjusting this estimate for statistical margin of error implies about 2.8% to 5.6% of the county's adult population has antibody to the virus'-- which translates to approximately 221,000 to 442,000 adults in the county who have had the infection. That estimate is 28 to 55 times higher than the 7,994 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the county by the time of the study in early April. The number of COVID-related deaths in the county has now surpassed 600.
''We haven't known the true extent of COVID-19 infections in our community because we have only tested people with symptoms, and the availability of tests has been limited,'' said lead investigator Neeraj Sood, a USC professor of public policy at USC Price School for Public Policy and senior fellow at USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. ''The estimates also suggest that we might have to recalibrate disease prediction models and rethink public health strategies.''
The results have important implications for public health efforts to control the local epidemic.
''These results indicate that many persons may have been unknowingly infected and at risk of transmitting the virus to others,'' said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health. ''These findings underscore the importance of expanded polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to diagnose those with infection so they can be isolated and quarantined, while also maintaining the broad social distancing interventions.''
The antibody test is helpful for identifying past infection, but a PCR test is required to diagnose current infection.
''Though the results indicate a lower risk of death among those with infection than was previously thought, the number of COVID-related deaths each day continues to mount, highlighting the need for continued vigorous prevention and control efforts,'' said Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer at L.A. County Department of Public Health and co-lead on the study.
The study's results have not yet been peer reviewed by other scientists. The researchers plan to test new groups of participants every few weeks in coming months to gauge the pandemic's trajectory in the region.
About the studyWith help from medical students from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, USC researchers and Public Health officials conducted drive-through antibody testing April 10th and 11th at six sites. Participants were recruited via a proprietary database that is representative of the county population. The database is maintained by LRW Group, a market research firm.
The researchers used a rapid antibody test for the study. The FDA allows such tests for public health surveillance to gain greater clarity on actual infection rates. The test's accuracy was further assessed at a lab at Stanford University using blood samples that were positive and negative for COVID-19.
In addition to Sood and Simon, other authors and institutions contributing to the study include Peggy Ebner of the Keck School; Daniel Eichner of the Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory; Jeffrey Reynolds of LRW Group; Eran Bendavid and Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University School of Medicine.
The study was supported with funding from USC Schwarzenegger Institute, USC Lusk Center, USC President's Office, Jedel Foundation, LRW Group, Soap Box Sample, and several individual donors.
More information
A recent Q&A with Neeraj Sood on antibody testing can be found here.See the Los Angeles County's April 16, 2020, Health Advisory SARS-CoV2 Serology Advisory for clarification on antibody testing.B-roll and photos from the April 10-11, 2020 antibody testing conducted in Los Angeles can be found here.To learn more about the L.A. County Department of Public Health and the work they do, visit the following sites and pages:
L.A. County Channel: http://bit.ly/CountyChannelOnline: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/countyofla/Twitter: https://twitter.com/LAPublicHealthYouTube: https://www.youtube.com/LAPublicHealth
18 confirmed killed in Canada's deadliest mass shooting, but officials expect to discover more victims
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 09:21
TORONTO '-- Police fanned out across more than a dozen crime scenes Monday after a rampage by a gunman disguised as a police officer left at least 18 dead and homes in smoldering ruins in rural communities across Nova Scotia '-- the deadliest mass shooting in Canada's history.
Officials said the suspect, identified as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, also died in the weekend attack. Authorities did not provide a motive for the killings.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Chief Superintendent Chris Leather told a news conference Monday that police expect to find more victims once they are able to comb through all the crime scenes, some of which were houses set ablaze as victims were inside, adhering to government calls to stay at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Leather said police teams were spread out at 16 locations across central and northern Nova Scotia. He said some of the victims knew Wortman, and some didn't.
''We're relatively confident we've identified all the crime scenes,'' Leather said. ''We have had five structure fires, most of those being residences, and we believe there may be victims still within the remains of those homes which burnt to the ground.''
The dead included a police officer. Another was wounded by gunfire and was recovering at home, Leather said.
''The 18 innocent lives lost will be remembered throughout Canada's history,'' Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted how close-knit the small province of Nova Scotia is.
''The vast majority of Nova Scotians will have a direct link with one or more of the victims. The entire province and country is grieving right now as we come to grips with something that is unimaginable,'' Trudeau told a news conference.
''The pandemic will prevent us from mourning together in person, but a vigil will be held virtually to celebrate the lives of the victims,'' Trudeau added, saying it would take place Friday night through a Facebook group.
Trudeau asked the media to avoid mentioning the name of the assailant or showing his picture.
''Do not give this person the gift of infamy,'' he said.
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There are no words for the pain felt by the families and loved ones of the victims. But I want them to know that all Canadians are with them. That this senseless, evil act will not define Nova Scotia. Today, all Canadians are Nova Scotian. pic.twitter.com/yYC7rrWwMH
'-- Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 21, 2020The 12-hour rampage began late Saturday in the rural town of Portapique, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of Halifax, where police warned residents to lock their doors and stay in their basements as the attack unfolded. The town, like all of Canada, had been adhering to government advice to remain at home because of the pandemic and most of the victims were inside when the attack began.
Several bodies were later found inside and outside one house on Portapique Beach Road, the street where the suspect lived, authorities said.
Bodies were also found at other locations within about a 30-mile (50-kilometer) area from the neighborhood where the shootings began, and authorities believe the shooter may have targeted his first victims but then began attacking randomly.
Authorities said the gunman wore a police uniform and made his car look like a Royal Canadian Mounted Police cruiser.
''His ability to move around the province undetected was surely greatly benefited by the fact that he had a vehicle that looked identical in every way to a marked police car,'' Leather said, adding that the gunman was also either wearing a police uniform or very good copy.
He said at one point the suspect was forced to abandon his car and then carjacked other vehicles to continue to ''circulate around the province steps ahead of our investigators.''
Authorities believe he acted alone. RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said he was not well known to police and no note from the suspect has been found. She said police were still studying the crime scenes to determine what weapons were used.
According to his high school yearbook, Wortman long had a fascination with the Mounties. ''Gabe's future may include being an RCMP officer,'' his yearbook profile said.
The dead officer was identified as Constable Heidi Stevenson, a mother of two and a 23-year veteran of the force.
Two health care workers at local nursing homes were also among those killed, according to Von Canada, a long term health care company, which identified them as Kristen Beaton, a continuing care assistant, and Heather O'Brien, a licensed practical nurse.
O'Brien's daughter, Darcy Dobson, wrote in a Facebook post that, ''A Monster murdered my Mother.''
''Murdered her, without a second thought. The pain comes and goes in waves. I feel like I'm outside of my own body. This can't be real. At 9:59 am she sent her last text message to our family group chat. By 10:15 she was gone.''
School teacher Lisa McCully, who worked at a local elementary school, also was among the dead. ''Our hearts are broken along with those of her colleagues and students at Debert Elementary,'' Nova Scotia Teachers Union President President Paul Wozney said.
Police initially said Wortman had been arrested Sunday at a gas station in Enfield, outside Halifax, but later said he had died. It was not clear how, and they did not provide further details, although one police official said that there was an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and police at one point.
Wortman, who owned a denture practice in the city of Dartmouth, near Halifax, lived part time in Portapique, according to residents.
Atlantic Denture Clinic, the practice Wortman owned, had been closed for the past month because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Neighbor Nancy Hudson said she met Wortman about 18 years ago when he bought the property on Portapique Beach Road, which is a short walk from her home, and she and her husband used to socialize with him.
''There is another side to Gabe. He had some issues, especially with his girlfriend,'' Hudson said, adding that he was obsessed and jealous. ''It was a red flag.''
Speaking to reporters Monday, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said that even in the midst of such anguish now was not the time to gather together to mourn.
''We cannot forget that in the midst of this tragedy we are still fighting a deadly virus,'' McNeil said. ''Now more than ever we need your cooperation. It takes inner strength. The best that we can honor the victims of this tragedy is to continue to act in a way that protects our fellow Nova Scotians.''
Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada. The country overhauled its gun-control laws after gunman Marc Lepine killed 14 women and himself at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique college in 1989. Before this weekend's rampage, that had been the country's worst mass shooting.
Trudeau said Monday his government would introduce further gun control legislation prohibiting military-style assault weapons, a measure that had already been planned before the coronavirus pandemic interrupted the current parliamentary session.
Amid coronavirus pandemic, U.S. philanthropy surges - Los Angeles Times
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 08:23
Cars line up at a food distribution site in a parking lot at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza shopping center in Los Angeles.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
By Laurence Darmiento Staff Writer
The coronavirus outbreak has shut down entire school districts and turned bustling commercial corridors into ghost towns, but there's one sector of society that's busier than ever: philanthropy.
The charitable acts have come in all shapes and sizes. Small checks to food pantries, foundations issuing emergency grants to desperate nonprofits and, most conspicuously, billionaires doling out big-dollar gifts with all the attendant publicity.
Large charitable gifts from corporations, foundations and individuals, including faith-based and other sources, hit $7.8 billion worldwide last week, with about two-thirds originating in the United States '-- an amount that dwarfs records set after other disasters such as Hurricane Sandy.
''It shows no signs of slowing up yet,'' said Andrew Grabois, manager of corporate philanthropy at Candid, a nonprofit tracking the response. ''We are just getting grants by the hour.''
The calamity has stressed the charitable industry as it faces demands not imagined since the Great Depression. It has sent foundations scrambling to dole out the new funding to nonprofits overwhelmed by some 22 million people who have lost jobs since President Trump declared a national emergency, even as some states prepare to reopen some businesses and public facilities.
And, like much else in a modern America preoccupied by inequality, the disaster has heightened tensions in an industry dependent on much of its funding from the wealthy. Rich donors are facing calls to give more, even as some of the biggest gifts have drawn scorn from critics of so-called billionaire philanthropy.
Twitter and Square Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, center, shown with company executives Audrey Herblin-Stoop and Damien Viel in Paris in 2019, is a high-profile coronavirus philanthropist.
(Antoine Gyori / Corbis via Getty Images)
The difficulty is reflected in the bewildering number of ad hoc funds, with nearly 100 established statewide by last week, according to a listing of vetted funds by Philanthropy California, an association of foundations and other charities.
''The challenging part is coordinating all these efforts,'' said Phuong Pham, communications director of Southern California Grantmakers, a regional association that has been working to resolve the issue. ''In the mid to long term, there will be fewer funds and more collaboration, but in this time we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.''
The funds have been set up by public agencies, United Way chapters and community foundations, as well as by faith-based groups, private foundations and others. Meanwhile, there's been a movement to relax the typical restrictions on how the money can be spent by the nonprofit agencies on the ground.
''It's been very fog of war,'' said Wendy Garen, chief executive of the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, a Los Angeles private charity started decades ago by the founder of the Parsons Corp., which funds human services, health and other areas. ''What we think we knew on Monday by Wednesday makes no sense.''
The United Way of Greater Los Angeles, which typically raises the bulk of its money from workplace and corporate campaigns, had raised $9.5 million by Friday for its coronavirus response, about half through small contributions, said Chief Executive Elise Buik. ''You are just seeing a rush of giving in a very short time,'' she said.
Although there is no doubt that the need is greater than private philanthropy can meet, Buik says organizations such as the United Way have been able to move faster than the government has, with her agency deploying $3.5 million through the first week of April to recipients that included homeless outreach organizations. An additional $1 million was set to be disbursed this week.
''We had a lot of vulnerable people before this started. They were living paycheck to paycheck,'' she said. ''This crisis for me really exposes those cracks.''
Amazon's Jeff Bezos, shown at a 2019 event in Las Vegas, has given millions during the health crisis. But critics say billionaire philanthropy is not a solution.
(John Locher / Associated Press)
Attorney Matt Johnson, brought in to help run the coronavirus crisis response for the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles, said that the fund, which has received contributions from Jay-Z and Rihanna, has been focused on getting money to needy people the government isn't serving '-- also a target of the United Way's next round of grant making.
''If you are undocumented or someone in your household is undocumented,'' he said, ''you are not entitled to federal funds. In L.A., there are tons of families where you might have an undocumented family member living with you.''
To get a sense of the demand, consider the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, which was given an emergency $50,000 grant by the Parsons Foundation. It has seen demand explode, and has been distributing nearly 75% more food than normal, with demand surging among hospitality workers and others.
One Saturday in March, it handed out 30-meal boxes of food to 1,159 families in Long Beach, where truckers serving the ports lost work when China factories went dark.
''It's impacted so many sectors of our economy. It's almost hard to wrap your mind around it. It's like this very condensed, compacted Great Recession happening in four weeks,'' said Michael Flood, chief executive of the food bank, which used the grant money to hire temporary workers.
That level of need has widened fault lines that already had appeared in the philanthropic community over the last decade, as wages stagnated while immense wealth was created in tech and other industries amid a stock market boom.
The lion's share of the donations has so far come from corporations, whose pledges have topped $4 billion worldwide when including funds from corporate-controlled foundations. Private foundations, typically run by wealthy families or individuals, have given less than $500 million, as have private independent foundations no longer controlled by their benefactors, such as Parsons, according to Candid.
Small nonprofits have been eligible for financial assistance from the federal government's $2-trillion stimulus package, which also temporarily increases and makes more widely available tax breaks for charitable giving. But even as the virus-related market downturn has eaten into the value of endowments, some have been calling on the wealthy and their private foundations to do more.
A volunteer loads a box of food into a car on Friday at a distribution site at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza shopping center.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Nine philanthropic groups signed an April 2 open letter calling on foundations and all funders to significantly increase their spending on grants, specifically noting that black, indigenous and other communities of color are being devastated by mass unemployment. ''Unprecedented challenges require unprecedented responses,'' the letter said.
Private foundations are required to make an annual distribution of at least 5% of their assets, including an allowance for administrative costs '-- allowing them to exist in perpetuity given historical investment returns. Spending more could mean dipping into their capital, rather than just relying on returns.
''We are seeing nonprofits in communities hit by massive increases in demand coupled with declines in revenue,'' said Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, a signatory of the letter. ''I am not calling on foundations to spend themselves out of existence. There is a lot of opportunity in the future to be more prudent in the grant making or to be more savvy on the investment side and build it back up.''
The Libra Foundation, the private charity of a branch of the Chicago-based Pritzker family, is one of the few foundations that has publicly backed the letter's call. It is doubling its grant making this year to $50 million, which represents about 10% of its endowment.
The San Francisco-based foundation, which funds social, gender and environmental justice groups, had actually decided to up its spending before the outbreak partly due to it being a U.S. census year, and it is abiding by that decision despite the market downturn, said Crystal Hayling, executive director.
''Your endowment will definitely take a hit,'' she said, ''and it may take you a while to build back up, but if our purpose is to respond to communities, then I think we have to put that front and center at times like these.''
Among the beneficiaries of its largess is the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which the foundation has been supporting as it seeks to organize home care workers such as house cleaners. The alliance has established an emergency assistance fund, because many domestic workers have lost jobs or are trying to stay home themselves.
''It's our job to stick with them during those difficult times,'' Hayling said.
That hasn't been a universal response to the letter. Buchanan said that although he'd heard that some foundations were already considering just such a move on their own, others are in outright opposition amid a stock market that tanked and is still off its record high in February.
''Phil, you really don't get it. We have already taken a big hit and we can't lock in our losses now. We've got to be here for the next crisis in 30 years,'' was one type of response Buchanan said he had heard.
The crisis has similarly brought renewed attention to the immense growth of donor-advised funds, a charitable investment vehicle sponsored by traditional public charities, such as the California Community Foundation, but also by independent charitable affiliates of financial services companies. Money is deposited into the fund and disbursed at will by the donor to recipients.
The funds are simpler to establish than a private foundation and have made Fidelity Charitable the nation's largest grant maker, giving out more than $5.25 billion last year .
But the funds have drawn criticism because they allow donors to take an immediate tax deduction '-- which can be beneficial if facing a large tax bill '-- without any disbursement requirement, leading to the warehousing by some of philanthropic dollars. Donor-advised funds have become favorites of the tech community, such as WhatsApp founder Jan Koum, who Bloomberg reported contributed $114 million after selling the messaging service to Facebook.
Antonia Hernandez, chief executive of the California Community Foundation, said that the accusations of hoarding did not apply to her L.A. institution, where annual payouts from donor-advised funds are roughly 15% to 20% and total some $200 million. ''Our donors are very generous,'' she said.
Nevertheless, the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy put out a nationwide call for donors to release money to nonprofits battling the coronavirus, noting a study that found there were 700,000 donor-advised accounts holding an estimated $110 billion nationwide as of the end of 2017.
''Where there is a crisis, there is opportunity to be seized to get more philanthropic capital off the sidelines and put it to work in really smart ways,'' said Melissa Stevens, executive director of the center. ''Donors have the opportunity '-- and really the obligation '-- to do their part.''
Fidelity Charitable has challenged its donors to set aside $200 million in coronavirus-related grant recommendations by May 5, and as of Friday $147 million had been made, according to its website.
But with masses of Americans facing deprivations not experienced in generations '-- during an era some have compared to the Gilded Age '-- some of the biggest donors have found themselves the target of barbs.
''When you hear that Jeff Bezos has donated $100 million to food banks during this crisis, remember that Amazon paid just 1.2% in taxes on $13,285,000,000 in profit last year,'' tweeted Berkeley professor Robert Reich, a critic of billionaire philanthropy who served as Labor secretary under President Clinton. ''The solution isn't philanthropy. It's making everyone pay their fair share to strengthen our safety nets.''
Among the highest-profile givers is Bill Gates, while Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has so far made the biggest pledge, to put $1 billion from his stake in payments firm Square '-- more than a quarter of his wealth '-- into a limited liability corporation to fight the outbreak and, later, fund other causes.
One of his first outlays was $2.1 million to the L.A. Mayor's Fund to help domestic violence victims, who can face physical harm if they must stay at home. Rihanna's foundation also gave $2.1 million to the cause. The use of an LLC doesn't confer any tax advantages until money is disbursed, but even so, big donations by him and others in the tech community have been derided.
Journalist Anand Giridharadas, who critiqued billionaire giving in his 2018 bestseller ''Winners Take All,'' said it was important to understand why philanthropic giving had become so critical '-- namely public policies and a tax system that benefits the wealthiest and big corporations but has left the nation with meager health, employment and social services compared with other developed countries.
''If you look at why our systems are as precarious as they are in this country relative to other countries ... the biggest culprit is the same billionaire class that is now so publicly heroically stepping up,'' he said. ''We would not be this bruised if not for the very people masquerading as the help.''
Financier George Soros, at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January, says the U.S. ''missed the opportunity to create a more just economy'' after the Great Recession.
(Fabrice Coffrini / AFP via Getty Images)
Variations on that sentiment are also shared by members of the giving class. The Open Society Foundations, founded by liberal financier George Soros, donated $130 million globally to provide relief for communities hit hard by the viral outbreak.
''We missed the opportunity to create a more just economy after the financial crisis of 2008 and provide a social safety net for the workers who are the heart of our societies. Today, we must change direction and ask ourselves: What kind of world will emerge from this catastrophe, and what can we do to make it a better one?'' Soros said in a statement accompanying the gift.
But prominent philanthropic scholar Una Osili, who leads the research program at Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, believes the crisis has highlighted not just a debate over the role of philanthropy in a polarized society, but also America's penchant for charity.
That fondness was something French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville famously observed as far back as the 1830s, and it was rooted, Osili said, in our founders' conception of a restricted government, leading to a limited safety net and tax policy that encourages charitable contributions. It has made Americans the most generous givers among developed countries as measured by household giving as a percentage of gross domestic product, with total giving reaching $428 billion in 2018, she said.
''It's not just the large gifts '-- there is a generosity taking place at the community level by everyday people and sometimes really heroic acts where people are stepping up to help their neighbors,'' Osili said of the current response.
Coronavirus 'likely' to have come from animals '-- not a lab, WHO says
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 07:51
Published Tue, Apr 21 2020 7:12 AM EDT
Updated 7 min ago
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Evidence suggests the coronavirus originated in bats in China in late 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday.President Donald Trump said last week that the U.S. was trying to determine whether the virus originated from a lab in Wuhan, central China.The WHO says it's "likely" the virus is of animal origin.Resident wear masks to buy vegetables in the market on January 23th, 2020 in Wuhan, China.
Getty Images
Evidence suggests the coronavirus originated in bats in China in late 2019 and was not manipulated or made in a laboratory, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday.
The comment from the United Nation's health agency comes after President Donald Trump said last week that the U.S. was trying to determine whether the virus originated from a lab in Wuhan, central China.
"All available evidence suggests the virus has an animal origin and is not a manipulated or constructed virus in a lab or somewhere else," WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told a news briefing in Geneva, Reuters reported Tuesday.
"It is probable, likely that the virus is of animal origin," she said, adding that there had "certainly" been an intermediate animal host before the virus had been transmitted to humans.
Current and former U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News last week that the country's intelligence community was examining whether the coronavirus emerged accidentally from a Chinese lab studying diseases in bats. The lab in question has denied the accusation, calling it a "conspiracy theory."
The coronavirus has now infected almost 2.5 million people and caused over 170,000 deaths around the world, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University.
The WHO and President Trump have had a dramatic falling-out over the pandemic, with the U.S. president announcing last week that he would halt his country's funding to the organization.
Trump accused the WHO of mishandling its response to the pandemic. The WHO responded by saying it would not be appropriate to suspend funding during the global outbreak.
On Tuesday, the WHO said it was still assessing the impact of blocked U.S. funds to the organization, and that it would work with its partners to fill any gaps, Reuters reported.
View the full site
China rattles sabres as world battles coronavirus pandemic | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 07:26
Tue Apr 21, 2020 / 1:35 AM EDT
Yew Lun Tian and Ben Blanchard
BEIJING/TAIPEI BEIJING/TAIPEI (Reuters) - China is becoming increasingly assertive in the region as the coronavirus crisis eases on the mainland while raging elsewhere in the world, with a crackdown in Hong Kong and sabre-rattling around Taiwan and in the South China Sea.
The U.S. State Department said China was taking advantage of the region's focus on the pandemic to "coerce its neighbours".
In a significant strike against democracy activists in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong, police in the city arrested 15 people on Saturday, just days after a senior Beijing official called for the local government to introduce national security legislation "as soon as possible."
The arrests drew a strong rebuke from the United States and Britain.
China has also been flying regular fighter patrols near Chinese-claimed Taiwan, to the island's anger, and has sent a survey ship flanked by coast guard and other vessels into the South China Sea, prompting the United States to accuse Beijing of "bullying behaviour."
"Now that the domestic coronavirus outbreak has been stabilised, China wants to send an important signal to the world that its military and foreign affairs, previously put on hold, are back on track," said Cheng Xiaohe, associate professor of international politics at Beijing's Renmin University.
China describes Taiwan, Hong Kong and the South China Sea as its most sensitive territorial issues.
The most dramatic actions have been close to Taiwan, the self-ruled island China claims as its own. Beijing has been angered by moves by President Tsai Ing-wen during the outbreak to assert the island's separate identity from China.
In the latest uptick in tensions, China's navy this month sailed a battle group, led by the country's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, around Taiwan's east coast and has mounted regular air force drills near the island.
Lo Chih-cheng, a senior legislator with Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said China was showing that its military power had not been affected by the virus and that things had returned to normal.
"The other aspect is of course to test whether the combat strength of the U.S. military has been reduced due to the impact of the epidemic," he said.
The pandemic's first cases were reported in late December in China's Wuhan city. China has reported almost 83,000 cases and more than 4,600 deaths, but the situation there is now largely under control.
The United States has by far the world's largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 780,000 infections and over 42,300 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.
The United States has berthed one of its carriers in the region, the Theodore Roosevelt, in Guam, with nearly 14% of the crew testing positive for the coronavirus.
China's Foreign Ministry said in a short statement to Reuters: "No matter when or where, China resolutely safeguards its sovereignty, security and development interests". China's Defence Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus expressed serious concern about recent Chinese moves.
"The United States strongly opposes PRC efforts to take advantage of the region's focus on addressing the COVID pandemic in order to coerce its neighbours in the region. We call for the PRC to live up to its international obligations," she said, referring to the People's Republic of China.
U.S. MILITARY MOVES
The U.S. military has also carried out its own South China Sea drills, and sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait, most recently this month on the same day that Chinese fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers drilled in waters close to the island.
Rear Admiral Fred Kacher, commander of the USS America Expeditionary Strike Group, told Reuters that his forces had interacted with Chinese naval forces in the South China Sea this week.
"All our interactions continue to be safe and professional with them," Kacher said in a telephone interview from the USS America, an amphibious assault ship.
China's navy says the Liaoning was heading for the South China Sea as part of routine exercise plans, and that it would continue with such drills to "speed up the increase of the combat capability of the carrier group system".
Beijing this month denounced criticism from the United States of its recent South China Sea moves, saying Washington had been using the South China Sea issue to smear China.
China claims much of the resource-rich South China Sea, also a major trade route. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei all have competing claims with China.
"China's recent activities in the South China Sea and elsewhere in Asia have shown its intention to further militarise the area," said Ha Hoang Hop at the Singapore-based ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.
Former Philippines foreign minister Albert Del Rosario said on Sunday that China "has been relentless in exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic as it continues to pursue its illegal and expansive claims in the South China Sea."
A senior Taiwan official told Reuters that its interpretation was that Beijing's aggressiveness was due to President Xi Jinping's need to boost his prestige at home as Beijing tackles mounting international criticism over the handling of the pandemic, a slowing economy and rising tensions with Washington.
"If the Communists need a conflict, Taiwan will be their top choice," said the official, who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter. "But it is highly risky for Xi's regime and we do not think they will rush into danger."
(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian and Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Yimou Lee in Taipei, Martin Petty in Manila, James Pearson in Hanoi, and Idrees Ali, Phil Stewart and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
Ofcom Censures London Live Over David Icke Interview '' Deadline
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 07:24
The UK's media regulator Ofcom has censured local TV channel London Live after it broadcast an 80-minute interview with David Icke, in which the notorious conspiracy theorist made baseless claims about coronavirus.
On April 8, London Live aired London Real: COVID-19 an edited version of an interview Icke did with YouTube channel London Real in March on the coronavirus crisis. During the exchange with presenter Brian Rose, a largely unchallenged Icke set out his wild theory that the pandemic is part of a plot by technocrats to destroy the global economy and impose mass surveillance on society.
The interview prompted 48 complaints and Ofcom launched an urgent investigation into the matter to establish whether London Live broke strict broadcasting standards in the UK. Ofcom today has concluded that London Real: COVID-19 represented a ''serious'' breach of its Broadcasting Code and is now considering sanctions (up to an including a fine) against the broadcaster, which is owned by Russian billionaire Evgeny Lebedev.
In its assessment, Ofcom said Icke ''was allowed to set out his highly controversial and unsubstantiated views on the coronavirus and the public policy response to it in significant detail with very little challenge or context.'' It added Icke's views ''had the potential to undermine confidence in the motives of public authorities for introducing restrictions and therefore discourage viewers from following current official rules around social distancing.'' In short, Ofcom concluded that this might have caused ''significant harm to viewers,'' given the virus has killed more than 16,000 people in the UK and the lockdown currently is the most effective weapon for keeping it in check.
London Live accepted Ofcom's decision but argued that Icke's ''absurd'' theories were unlikely to have caused harm to viewers and that he was introduced by Rose as a ''professional conspiracy theorist.'' It said presenter Rose also made clear that he believed that coronavirus ''occurred naturally'' and that a vaccine will be found to combat the virus.
Eamonn Holmes (right). ShutterstockIn addition to the London Live ruling, Ofcom also said it has issued guidance to ITV and its presenters after This Morning host Eamonn Holmes made comments last week about the baseless conspiracy linking 5G with the spread of coronavirus. Holmes, who clarified his remarks in an on-air apology the next day, said he took issue with ''mainstream media immediately slapping that [5G theory] down as not true when they don't know it's not true.''
''In our view, Eamonn Holmes' ambiguous comments were ill-judged and risked undermining viewers' trust in advice from public authorities and scientific evidence. His statements were also highly sensitive in view of the recent attacks on mobile phone masts in the UK, caused by conspiracy theories linking 5G technology and the virus,'' Ofcom said.
Antibody tests suggest that coronavirus infections vastly exceed official counts
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 16:17
Limited global testing for coronavirus (yellow) has led researchers to try to estimate the prevalence of infection within specific communities. Credit: CDC/Science Photo Library
Widespread antibody testing in a Californian county has revealed a much higher prevalence of coronavirus infection than official figures suggested. The findings also indicate that the virus is less deadly than current estimates of global case and death counts suggest. But some scientists have raised concerns about the accuracy of kits used in such studies because most have not been rigorously assessed to confirm they are reliable.
An analysis of the blood of some 3,300 people living in Santa Clara county in early April found that one in every 66 people had been infected with SARS-CoV-2. On the basis of that finding, the researchers estimate that between 48,000 and 82,000 of the county's roughly 2 million inhabitants were infected with the virus at that time '-- numbers that contrast sharply with the official case count of some 1,000 people reported in early April, according to the analysis posted today on medRxiv. The work has not yet been peer reviewed.
The results are some of the first of more than a dozen 'sero-prevalence surveys' being carried out in cities worldwide to try to estimate populations' true infection rates, in the absence of widespread diagnostic testing. The World Health Organization is also running a global sero-prevalence study, known as Solidarity II.
Many surveys are using commercial antibody kits to detect antibodies against the virus in blood samples. The presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies reveals that a person had been infected for at least a week earlier, even if they have had no symptoms.
''A sero-survey gives you a snapshot in time of who is infected in your given population,'' says Kanta Subbarao, a virologist at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne. This is especially important for an infection such as SARS-CoV-2, for which some people show no symptoms, or only mild ones, she says.
When combined with information about age, gender, symptoms, co-morbidities and socioeconomic status, these surveys can also help to answer questions about factors such as the role of children in spreading the infection, and the portion of cases that are asymptomatic.
''This is a really inexpensive way to get an incredible amount of information,'' says Jayanta Bhattacharya, a health economist at Stanford University in California and a co-author of the study.
News of the Santa Clara analysis follows preliminary results from a similar study in Germany, released on 9 April, that tested some 500 people in a village of more than 12,000 and found that one in seven had been infected with SARS-CoV-2. The German team also looked for active infections, using diagnostic tests based on the polymerase chain reaction, and when those figures were combined with those who had antibodies, estimate that the town's overall infection rate was 15%.
But this result might not be indicative of what's happening across Germany, says virologist Christian Drosten, who heads the Institute of Virology at the Charit(C) university hospital in Berlin, because many people in the town celebrated at a carnival in February. ''There was a big point source outbreak in that village,'' he says.
The fact that both studies detected much higher rates of infection than official figures suggest is not surprising, says Peter Collignon, a physician and microbiologist at the Australian National University in Canberra. The virus had been spreading in the United States and parts of Europe for at least a month before it was detected as spreading in the community.
But Collignon notes that the commercial antibody tests used in both studies were evaluated onusing only a small number of people, which could also affect the accuracy of the survey results.
Antibody kits aren't just being used for population studies. Kits are also being marketed for testing whether individuals have had the disease. But experts warn that most tests haven't been rigorously evaluated to ensure they are reliable.
How deadly is SARS-CoV-2?Sero-surveys can also provide a better estimate of how deadly a virus is, using a measure known as the infection fatality rate (IFR) '-- the proportion of all infections, not just those confirmed through clinical testing, that result in death.
An accurate IFR can improve models being used to decide public-health responses. If a disease turns out to be less deadly than previously estimated, this could reframe discussions around the measures being introduced to contain it, and their economic and social impact, says Neeraj Sood, a health economist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, who is leading a separate antibody study in Los Angeles and is also a co-author in the Santa Clara study. ''We are trying to prevent the spread of disease, but at the same time we have rising unemployment in the US because of the preventive measures, so there is a trade-off here,'' he says.
The Santa Clara team estimated an IFR for the county of 0.1''0.2%, which would equate to about 100 deaths in 48,000-82,000 infections. As of 10 April, the county's official death count was 50 people. The study's IFR is lower than the IFR used in models by researchers at Imperial College London, which estimated an IFR for Great Britain on the basis of data from China to be 0.9%. In another study, the same group estimated an IFR for China of 0.66%, and a study of deaths on the Diamond Princess cruise ship estimated an IFR of 0.5%.
Figures vary in different places for several reasons, including the age distribution of the population and the extent of testing.
Fatality rate estimates have been revised down over time as more people have been tested and researchers have gained more insight into less-severe cases, as happened with swine flu in 2009, says Eran Bendavid, a population-health researcher at Stanford University who led the Santa Clara study.
Test concernsBut scientists have concerns about the reliability of antibody tests, particularly in regards to the number of false positives they produce, which could inflate infection rate estimates.
The Santa Clara study reports using a kit purchased from Premier Biotech, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. According to the preprint, the manufacturer's kit performance data noted 2 false positives out of 371 true negative samples.
But with that ratio of false positives to true cases, a large number of the positive cases reported in the study '-- 50 out of 3320 tests '-- could be false positives, says Marm Kilpatrick, an infectious disease researcher at the University of California Santa Cruz.
To ensure a test is sensitive enough to pick up only true SARS-CoV-2 infections, it needs to be evaluated on hundreds of positive cases of COVID-19 and thousands of negative ones, says Michael Busch, an infectious-diseases researcher and director of the Vitalant Research Institute in San Francisco, California, who is also leading a sero-prevalence survey. But most kits have not been thoroughly tested, and health agencies are particularly concerned about the accuracy of some rapid tests, says Busch.
The researchers involved in the Santa Clara study say that they assessed the sensitivity and specificity of the antibody tests in an initial 37 positive samples and 30 negative controls. The tests identified 68% of the positive samples and 100% of the negatives. An unpublished follow-up assessment in 30 positive and 88 negative controls found that the test correctly identified 28 positives and all 88 negatives, says Bendavid.
Bendavid says they adjusted for the test kit's performance and differences in the survey population relative to the county to estimate the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in Santa Clara. Survey participants included a higher proportion of white, female and affluent individuals than is found in the county's population.
Kilpatrick says another potential source of bias in the study is that participants were recruited using social media. As a result, the sample could include a disproportionally higher number of people who thought they were exposed to the virus and volunteered to get tested, he says. ''The real prevalence might be half as high, a tenth as high, or it might even be the number presented in the paper - we don't know because recruiting participants over Facebook presents an unknown bias,'' he says
Bhattacharya says the results probably undercount the prevalence in the wider population, because they miss anyone who has been infected too recently to have mounted an immune response, and exclude people in prisons, nursing homes and other institutions.
Results are expected soon from sero-prevalence surveys run by other groups around the world, including teams in China, Australia, Iceland, Italy, Germany and several others in the United States.
Proposed government coronavirus tracking app falls at the first hurdle due to data breach | ZDNet
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 15:55
A mobile application proposed to the government of the Netherlands as a means to track COVID-19 has already fallen short of acceptable security standards by leaking user data.
The app, Covid19 Alert, was one of seven applications presented to the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport, as reported by RTL Nieuws.
The shortlisted mobile app's source code was published online over the weekend for scrutiny as the government decides which solution to back. It was not long before developers realized that the source files contained user data -- originating from another application.
According to the publication, the app contained close to 200 full names, email addresses, and hashed user passwords stored in a database from another project linked to an Immotef developer.
See also: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic
The source code was quickly pulled, but the damage was already done, with one developer criticizing the leak as "amateurish."
A spokesperson for the Covid19 Alert app said the information was "accidentally put online" due to the haste in which the team wanted to make the source code available for analysis.
The developers are working on improvements, but it remains to be seen if Covid19 Alert will go any further in the selection process, which is ongoing.
CNET: Judge rules against Twitter transparency effort, citing national security
Mobile technology, specifically our smartphones and tablets, provides an opportunity for healthcare providers, governments, and researchers to be able to accurately track the spread of the novel coronavirus moving through populations.
However, forcing the general public to install these kinds of applications has prompted a number of privacy and security concerns, including how geolocation data is stored and could otherwise be used, whether or not information can be anonymized properly, and how tracking individuals in the future could erode rights to free movement, speech, and association.
At the beginning of April, 130 scientists, academics, and technology experts launched the Pan-European Privacy Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) initiative, a European scheme designed to oversee the development of COVID-19 tracker apps.
TechRepublic: Subscription businesses proving resilient as economy contracts due to coronavirus
Earlier this month, researchers from Boston University proposed an alternative method for tracking COVID-19 that does not impede our privacy. A voluntary mobile application is installed on our smartphones that leverages short-range broadcast technology -- such as NFC or Bluetooth -- and blasts out ID numbers, that change on a frequent basis, to those nearby.
These numbers are stored on the device itself and users can choose to share them if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 to alert others that they have been in contact with a confirmed case.
Previous and related coverage Researchers propose method to track coronavirus through smartphones while protecting privacyCoronavirus app: What contact tracing is, and how it will workCoronavirus contact-tracing apps: What are the privacy concerns?Have a tip? Get in touch securely via WhatsApp | Signal at +447713 025 499, or over at Keybase: charlie0
JBS closes Worthington pork plant indefinitely | KSTP.com
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 15:54
The company has also taken other safety measures, such as temperature testing employees prior to them entering facilities, providing extra protective equipment, promoting social distancing by staggering shifts and breaks, and increasing sanitation efforts.
On Friday, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 633 said at least 19 employees at the plant had tested positive for COVID-19.
That rise in cases came a week after a Smithfield Pork Processing plant in nearby Sioux Falls, S.D. suddenly shut down because of an outbreak that turned it into one of largest coronavirus hotspots in the country.
JBS operates more than 60 meat, poultry and prepared food facilities in the U.S. The Worthington facility is now the third of their plants to close temporarily during the pandemic.
"As we all learn more about coronavirus, it is clear that the disease is far more widespread across the U.S. and in our county than official estimates indicate based on limited testing," Krebs said. "We have taken aggressive actions to keep coronavirus out of our plant and keep this critical infrastructure facility operational. It is our hope that Governor Walz's effort to implement more widespread community testing will help all of us better understand the measures we must all take to stop its potential spread. We must work together to defeat this common enemy."
CDC's failed coronavirus tests were tainted with coronavirus, feds confirm | Ars Technica
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 15:46
Tragic '-- A federal investigation found CDC researchers not following protocol. Beth Mole - Apr 20, 2020 3:16 pm UTC
Enlarge / Barricades stand outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, March 14, 2020. As the novel coronavirus has spread in the US, the CDC is under increasing heat to defend a shaky rollout of crucial testing kits.
As the new coronavirus took root across America, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent states tainted test kits in early February that were themselves seeded with the virus, federal officials have confirmed.
The contamination made the tests uninterpretable, and'--because testing is crucial for containment efforts'--it lost the country invaluable time to get ahead of the advancing pandemic.
The CDC had been vague about what went wrong with the tests, initially only saying that ''a problem in the manufacturing of one of the reagents'' had led to the failure. Subsequent reporting suggested that the problem was with a negative control'--that is, a part of the test meant to be free of any trace of the coronavirus as a critical reference for confirming that the test was working properly overall.
Now, according to investigation results reported by The New York Times, federal officials confirm that sloppy laboratory practices at two of three CDC labs involved in the tests' creation led to contamination of the tests and their uninterpretable results.
''Just tragic''Shortly after the problems became apparent in early February, the Food and Drug Administration sent Timothy Stenzel, chief of in vitro diagnostics and radiological health, to the CDC to investigate what was going wrong. According to the Times, he found a lack of coordination and inexperience in commercial manufacturing.
Problems that led to the contamination included researchers coming and going from labs working on the test kits without changing their coats and researchers sharing lab space to both assemble test components and handle samples containing the coronavirus.
The CDC said in a statement Saturday to the Times that the agency ''did not manufacture its test consistent with its own protocol.'' Though the CDC appeared reluctant to admit contamination was at the root of the problem, the Times noted that in a separate statement the CDC seemed to acknowledge such problems, saying the agency has since ''implemented enhanced quality control to address the issue and will be assessing the issue moving forward.''
After the CDC first sent its test kit to states in early February, it took the agency around a month to fix the problem. By then, the virus had invaded many communities unimpeded, and any chance that the US had at containing its spread had virtually vanished. By mid-March, many states turned to mitigation efforts, such as social distancing, to try to blunt'--rather than prevent'--the life-threatening, healthcare-overwhelming effects of COVID-19.
''It was just tragic,'' Scott Becker, executive director of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, told the Times. ''All that time when we were sitting there waiting, I really felt like, here we were at one of the most critical junctures in public health history, and the biggest tool in our toolbox was missing.''
As of the morning of April 20, the US has confirmed more than 760,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 40,700 deaths. The numbers are expected to be underestimates due to the slow and still limited amount of testing.
Judiciary Committee Releases Key Material Related to FISA Abuse Investigation | United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 15:41
April 16, 2020 Announces dedicated webpage related to Committee oversight effortsWASHINGTON '' The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), today released declassified confidential human source transcripts related to the Crossfire Hurricane operation.
In addition to the transcripts, the Committee released other material related to the Committee's investigation into Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) actions leading up to and during the Crossfire Hurricane operation, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant process.
''I'm committed to being as transparent as possible about the circumstances surrounding FISA abuse. The goal is to make sure it never happens again,'' said Chairman Graham.
As part of Chairman Graham's efforts to increase transparency and accountability to the American people, these declassified documents and other material may be accessed at the following link: judiciary.senate.gov/fisa-investigation.
Today, the Committee released three categories of material.
Declassified DOJ materials related to the Crossfire Hurricane operation.Timeline of correspondence sent or received by Chairman Graham and Committee activity regarding the FISA abuse investigation.Corrective actions taken by DOJ and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as a result of the FISA abuse investigation.Declassified Department of Justice Materials Related to the Crossfire Hurricane Operation:
In response to Graham's letters on March 7, August 29, and December 19, 2019 urging Attorney General Barr to declassify as much material as possible relating to the abuse of the FISA process targeting the Trump campaign, DOJ has produced the following documents:
Confidential human source transcripts related to the Crossfire Hurricane operationTranscript of George Papadopoulos and FBI Confidential Human Source (declassified March 13, 2020) (document)Transcript of George Papadopoulos and FBI Confidential Human Source (declassified April 1, 2020) (document)FISA Warrant Application for Carter Page and Three Subsequent RenewalsFISA Warrant Application for Carter Page (document)FISA Warrant Application for Carter Page, Renewal One (document)FISA Warrant Application for Carter Page, Renewal Two (document)FISA Warrant Application for Carter Page, Renewal Three (document)A July 2018 letter from DOJ to the FISA court alerting the court to some of the significant errors and omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications (letter)Timeline of Correspondence Sent or Received by Chairman Graham and Committee Activity Regarding the FISA Abuse Investigation:
March 7, 2019
Graham to Attorney General Barr: Requested documents related to Carter Page FISA warrant application, Steele dossier (press release, letter)May 10, 2019
Graham to DOJ Inspector General (IG) Horowitz and Secretary of State Pompeo: On political motivation behind Carter Page FISA warrant application (press release, letter to IG Horowitz, letter to Secretary Pompeo)August 29, 2019
Graham to Attorney General Barr: Urged declassification of key documents in FISA abuse investigation (press release, letter)October 2, 2019
Graham to Prime Ministers of Australia, Italy and the United Kingdom: Requested continued cooperation with AG Barr during the Justice Department's investigation into the origins and extent of foreign influence in the 2016 U.S. presidential election (press release, letter)November 18, 2019
Graham to IG Horowitz: Invitation to testify publicly on IG's report on FISA abuse investigation (press release)November 21, 2019
Graham announced IG Horowitz's report to be released on December 9, 2019 (press release)IG Horowitz response to GrahamDecember 11, 2019
Senate Judiciary Committee held oversight hearing entitled ''Examining the Inspector General's Report on Alleged Abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act'' (hearing)December 17, 2019
After the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court condemned the FISA warrant process and application with respect to Carter Page, Chairman Graham declared that FISA reform would be a top priority for the Judiciary Committee in 2020 (press release)December 19, 2019
Graham to Attorney General Barr and IG Horowitz: Requested the previously redacted names of the individuals '' along with their previous and current positions at DOJ or FBI '' who were involved in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation during the 2016 presidential election (letter)January 15, 2020
Graham to FBI Director Wray: After concerns were raised about certain personnel at DOJ and FBI involved in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation receiving promotions or being rewarded, Graham requested the current employment status of these individuals, including what types of promotions or rewards were given or whether legal action or other remedies were taken for terminated personnel (letter)February 14, 2020
Graham to Attorney General Barr: Requested transcribed interviews with DOJ, FBI officials regarding Crossfire Hurricane investigation during the 2016 presidential election (press release, letter)March 3, 2020
Committee began depositions of individuals involved in the Justice Department and FBI's handling of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, including the applications and renewals of a FISA warrant on Carter Page (The Hill, Washington Examiner)March 31, 2020
Graham invited IG Horowitz to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding initial findings of FISA warrant application audit (press release)Corrective Actions Taken by the Department of Justice and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as a Result of the FISA Abuse Investigation:
During the Committee's December 11, 2019 hearing on IG Horowitz's report on alleged FISA abuse, Chairman Graham publicly called on the FISA court to take ''corrective action''. Less than a week after Graham's comments, the FISA court started what would become a series of orders to DOJ and FBI to reform the FISA process and examine where the system failed.
December 17, 2019
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ordered DOJ to conduct a review and FBI to propose changes to remedy faulty FISA warrant application process (FISC order)January 13, 2020
Attorney General Barr and FBI Director Wray announced DOJ is raising the standard for opening of a counterintelligence investigation of a presidential campaign (press conference)March 4, 2020
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court banned FBI officials involved in errors and omissions with Carter Page FISA warrant applications from appearing before the court (FISC opinion and order)March 31, 2020
IG Horowitz released initial findings of audit of the FBI's procedures and actions during the FISA warrant application process (memo)April 3, 2020
In response to the Inspector General's audit, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ordered FBI to reexamine the FISA warrant application process, including by reviewing the 29 FISA warrant applications that the Inspector General identified as flawed and identifying the targets of these warrants (FISC order)
Panic of 1907 - Wikipedia
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 15:31
The Panic of 1907 '' also known as the 1907 Bankers' Panic or Knickerbocker Crisis[1] '' was a financial crisis that took place in the United States over a three-week period starting in mid-October, when the New York Stock Exchange fell almost 50% from its peak the previous year. Panic occurred, as this was during a time of economic recession, and there were numerous runs on banks and trust companies. The 1907 panic eventually spread throughout the nation when many state and local banks and businesses entered bankruptcy. Primary causes of the run included a retraction of market liquidity by a number of New York City banks and a loss of confidence among depositors, exacerbated by unregulated side bets at bucket shops.[2]The panic was triggered by the failed attempt in October 1907 to corner the market on stock of the United Copper Company. When this bid failed, banks that had lent money to the cornering scheme suffered runs that later spread to affiliated banks and trusts, leading a week later to the downfall of the Knickerbocker Trust Company'--New York City's third-largest trust. The collapse of the Knickerbocker spread fear throughout the city's trusts as regional banks withdrew reserves from New York City banks. Panic extended across the nation as vast numbers of people withdrew deposits from their regional banks.
The panic might have deepened if not for the intervention of financier J. P. Morgan,[3] who pledged large sums of his own money, and convinced other New York bankers to do the same, to shore up the banking system. This highlighted the impotence of the nation's Independent Treasury system, which managed the nation's money supply yet was unable to inject liquidity back into the market. By November, the financial contagion had largely ended, only to be replaced by a further crisis. This was due to the heavy borrowing of a large brokerage firm that used the stock of Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company (TC&I) as collateral. Collapse of TC&I's stock price was averted by an emergency takeover by Morgan's U.S. Steel Corporation'--a move approved by anti-monopolist president Theodore Roosevelt. The following year, Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, father-in-law of John D. Rockefeller Jr., established and chaired a commission to investigate the crisis and propose future solutions, leading to the creation of the Federal Reserve System.[4][5]
Economic conditions Edit When United States President Andrew Jackson allowed the charter of the Second Bank of the United States to expire in 1836, the U.S. was without any sort of central bank, and the money supply in New York City fluctuated with the country's annual agricultural cycle. Each autumn money flowed out of the city as harvests were purchased and'--in an effort to attract money back'--interest rates were raised. Foreign investors then sent their money to New York to take advantage of the higher rates.[6] From the January 1906 Dow Jones Industrial Average high of 103, the market began a modest correction that would continue throughout the year. The April 1906 earthquake that devastated San Francisco contributed to the market instability, prompting an even greater flood of money from New York to San Francisco to aid reconstruction.[7][8] A further stress on the money supply occurred in late 1906, when the Bank of England raised its interest rates, partly in response to UK insurance companies paying out so much to US policyholders, and more funds remained in London than expected.[9] From their peak in January, stock prices declined 18% by July 1906. By late September, stocks had recovered about half of their losses.
The Hepburn Act, which gave the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) the power to set maximum railroad rates, became law in July 1906.[10] This depreciated the value of railroad securities.[11] Between September 1906 and March 1907, the stock market slid, losing 7.7% of its capitalization.[12] Between March 9 and 26, stocks fell a further 9.8%.[13] (This March collapse is sometimes referred to as a "rich man's panic".)[14] The economy remained volatile through the summer. A number of shocks hit the system: the stock of Union Pacific'--among the most common stocks used as collateral'--fell 50 points; that June an offering of New York City bonds failed; in July the copper market collapsed; in August the Standard Oil Company was fined $29 million for antitrust violations.[14] In the first nine months of 1907, stocks were lower by 24.4%.[15]
On July 27, The Commercial & Financial Chronicle noted that "the market keeps unstable ... no sooner are these signs of new life in evidence than something like a suggestion of a new outflow of gold to Paris sends a tremble all through the list, and the gain in values and hope is gone".[16] Several bank runs occurred outside the US in 1907: in Egypt in April and May; in Japan in May and June; in Hamburg and Chile in early October.[10] The fall season was always a vulnerable time for the banking system'--combined with the roiled stock market, even a small shock could have grave repercussions.[9]
The Panic Edit Cornering copper Edit The 1907 panic began with a stock manipulation scheme to corner the market in F. Augustus Heinze's United Copper Company. Heinze had made a fortune as a copper magnate in Butte, Montana. In 1906 he moved to New York City, where he formed a close relationship with notorious Wall Street banker Charles W. Morse. Morse had once successfully cornered New York City's ice market, and together with Heinze gained control of many banks'--the pair served on at least six national banks, ten state banks, five trust companies and four insurance firms.[17]
Augustus' brother, Otto, devised the scheme to corner United Copper, believing that the Heinze family already controlled a majority of the company. He also believed that a significant number of the Heinze's shares had been borrowed, and sold short, by speculators betting that the stock price would drop, and that they could thus repurchase the borrowed shares cheaply, pocketing the difference. Otto proposed a short squeeze, in which the Heinzes would aggressively purchase as many remaining shares as possible, and then force the short sellers to pay for their borrowed shares. The aggressive purchasing would drive up the share price, and, being unable to find shares elsewhere, the short sellers would have no option but to turn to the Heinzes, who could then name their price.[18]
To finance the scheme, Otto, Augustus and Charles Morse met with Charles T. Barney, president of the city's third-largest trust, the Knickerbocker Trust Company. Barney had provided financing for previous Morse schemes. Morse, however, cautioned Otto that in order to attempt the squeeze, Otto needed much more money than Barney had, and Barney declined to provide funding.[19] Otto decided to attempt the corner anyway. On Monday, October 14, he began aggressively purchasing shares of United Copper, which rose in one day from $39 to $52 per share. On Tuesday (Oct. 15), he issued the call for short sellers to return the borrowed stock. The share price rose to nearly $60, but the short sellers were able to find plenty of United Copper shares from sources other than the Heinzes. Otto had misread the market, and the share price of United Copper began to collapse.[20]
The stock closed at $30 on Tuesday and fell to $10 by Wednesday (Oct. 16). Otto Heinze was ruined. The stock of United Copper was traded outside the hall of the New York Stock Exchange, literally an outdoor market "on the curb" (this curb market would later become the American Stock Exchange). After the crash, The Wall Street Journal reported, "Never has there been such wild scenes on the Curb, so say the oldest veterans of the outside market".[21]
Contagion spreads Edit The failure of the corner left Otto unable to meet his obligations and sent his brokerage house, Gross & Kleeberg, into bankruptcy. On Thursday, October 17, the New York Stock Exchange suspended Otto's trading privileges. As a result of United Copper's collapse, the State Savings Bank of Butte Montana (owned by F. Augustus Heinze) announced its insolvency. The Montana bank had held United Copper stock as collateral against some of its lending and had been a correspondent bank for the Mercantile National Bank in New York City, of which F. Augustus Heinze was then president.
F. Augustus Heinze's association with the corner and the insolvent State Savings Bank proved too much for the board of the Mercantile to accept. Although they forced him to resign before lunch time,[22] by then it was too late. As news of the collapse spread, depositors rushed en masse to withdraw money from the Mercantile National Bank. The Mercantile had enough capital to withstand a few days of withdrawals, but depositors began to pull cash from the banks of the Heinzes' associate Charles W. Morse. Runs occurred at Morse's National Bank of North America and the New Amsterdam National. Afraid of the impact the tainted reputations of Augustus Heinze and Morse could have on the banking system, the New York Clearing House (a consortium of the city's banks) forced Morse and Heinze to resign all banking interests.[23] By the weekend after the failed corner, there was not yet systemic panic. Funds were withdrawn from Heinze-associated banks, only to be deposited with other banks in the city.[24]
A week later many regional stock exchanges throughout the nation were closing or limiting trading. For example, the Pittsburgh city's stock exchange closed for three months starting on October 23, 1907.[25]
Panic hits the trusts Edit In the early 1900s, trust companies were booming; in the decade before 1907, their assets had grown by 244%. During the same period, national bank assets grew by 97%, while state banks in New York increased by 82%.[26] The leaders of the high-flying trusts were mainly prominent members of New York's financial and social circles. One of the most respected was Charles T. Barney, whose late father-in-law William Collins Whitney was a famous financier. Barney's Knickerbocker Trust Company was the third-largest trust in New York.[27]
Because of past association with Charles W. Morse and F. Augustus Heinze, on Monday, October 21, the board of the Knickerbocker asked that Barney resign (depositors may have first begun to pull deposits from the Knickerbocker on October 18, prompting the concern).[24] That day, the National Bank of Commerce where J.P. Morgan was a dominant factor, announced it would not serve as clearing house for the Knickerbocker. On October 22, the Knickerbocker faced a classic bank run. From the bank's opening, the crowd grew. As The New York Times reported, "as fast as a depositor went out of the place ten people and more came asking for their money [and the police] were asked to send some men to keep order".[28] Two van loads of notes were quickly unloaded, yet even this failed to calm the panic stricken depositors. Directors and other officials of the Trust forced their way through the crowd, assuring them that everyone would be paid.[29] In less than three hours, $8 million was withdrawn from the Knickerbocker. Shortly after noon it was forced to suspend operations.[24]
As news spread, other banks and trust companies were reluctant to lend any money. The interest rates on loans to brokers at the stock exchange soared to 70% and, with brokers unable to get money, stock prices fell to a low not seen since December 1900.[30] The panic quickly spread to two other large trusts, Trust Company of America and Lincoln Trust Company. By Thursday, October 24, a chain of failures littered the street: Twelfth Ward Bank, Empire City Savings Bank, Hamilton Bank of New York, First National Bank of Brooklyn, International Trust Company of New York, Williamsburg Trust Company of Brooklyn, Borough Bank of Brooklyn, Jenkins Trust Company of Brooklyn and the Union Trust Company of Providence.[31]
J. P. Morgan Edit When the chaos began to shake the confidence of New York's banks, the city's most famous banker was out of town. J. P. Morgan, the eponymous president of J.P. Morgan & Co., was attending a church convention in Richmond, Virginia. Morgan was not only the city's wealthiest and most well-connected banker, but he had experience with other similar financial crises'--he had helped rescue the U.S. Treasury during the Panic of 1893. As news of the crisis gathered, Morgan returned to Wall Street from his convention late on the night of Saturday, October 19. The following morning, the library of Morgan's brownstone at Madison Avenue and 36th St. had become a revolving door of New York City bank and trust company presidents arriving to share information about (and seek help surviving) the impending crisis.[32][33]
Morgan and his associates examined the books of the Knickerbocker Trust and decided it was insolvent, so they did not intervene to stop the run. Its failure, however, triggered runs on even healthy trusts, prompting Morgan to take charge of the rescue operation. On the afternoon of Tuesday, October 22, the president of the Trust Company of America asked Morgan for assistance. That evening Morgan conferred with George F. Baker, the president of First National Bank, James Stillman of the National City Bank of New York (the ancestor of Citibank), and the United States Secretary of the Treasury, George B. Cortelyou. Cortelyou said that he was ready to deposit government money in the banks to help shore up their deposits. After an overnight audit of the Trust Company of America showed the institution to be sound, on Wednesday afternoon Morgan declared, "This is the place to stop the trouble, then."[34]
As a run began on the Trust Company of America, Morgan worked with Stillman and Baker to liquidate the company's assets to allow the bank to pay depositors. The bank survived to the close of business, but Morgan knew that additional money would be needed to keep it solvent through the following day. That night he assembled the presidents of the other trust companies and held them in a meeting until midnight, when they agreed to provide loans of $8.25 million to allow the Trust Company of America to stay open the next day.[35] On Thursday morning Cortelyou deposited around $25 million into a number of New York banks.[36] John D. Rockefeller, the wealthiest man in the United States, deposited a further $10 million in Stillman's National City Bank.[36] Rockefeller's massive deposit left the National City Bank with the deepest reserves of any bank in the city. To instill public confidence, Rockefeller phoned Melville Stone, the manager of the Associated Press, and told him that he would pledge half of his wealth to maintain U.S. credit.[37]
Stock exchange nears collapse Edit Despite the infusion of cash, the banks of New York were reluctant to make the short-term loans they typically provided to facilitate daily stock trades. Prices on the exchange began to crash, owing to the lack of funds to finance purchases. At 1:30 p.m. Thursday, October 24, Ransom Thomas, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, rushed to Morgan's offices to tell him that he would have to close the exchange early. Morgan was emphatic that an early close of the exchange would be catastrophic.[38][39]
Morgan summoned the presidents of the city's banks to his office. They started to arrive at 2 p.m.; Morgan informed them that as many as 50 stock exchange houses would fail unless $25 million was raised in 10 minutes. By 2:16 p.m., 14 bank presidents had pledged $23.6 million to keep the stock exchange afloat. The money reached the market at 2:30 p.m., in time to finish the day's trading, and by the 3 o'clock market close, $19 million had been loaned out. Disaster was averted. Morgan usually eschewed the press, but as he left his offices that night he made a statement to reporters: "If people will keep their money in the banks, everything will be all right".[40]
Friday, however, saw more panic on the exchange. Morgan again approached the bank presidents, but this time was only able to convince them to pledge $9.7 million. In order for this money to keep the exchange open, Morgan decided the money could not be used for margin sales. The volume of trading on Friday was 2/3 that of Thursday. The markets again narrowly made it to the closing bell.[41]
Crisis of confidence Edit Morgan, Stillman, Baker and the other city bankers were unable to pool money indefinitely. Even the U.S. Treasury was low on funds. Public confidence needed to be restored, and on Friday evening the bankers formed two committees'--one to persuade the clergy to calm their congregations on Sunday, and second to explain to the press the various aspects of the financial rescue package. Europe's most famous banker, Lord Rothschild, sent word of his "admiration and respect" for Morgan.[42] In an attempt to gather confidence, the Treasury Secretary Cortelyou agreed that if he returned to Washington it would send a signal to Wall Street that the worst had passed.[43][44]
To ensure a free flow of funds on Monday, the New York Clearing House issued $100 million in loan certificates to be traded between banks to settle balances, allowing them to retain cash reserves for depositors.[45] Reassured both by the clergy and the newspapers, and with bank balance sheets flush with cash, a sense of order returned to New York that Monday.[46]
Unbeknownst to Wall Street, a new crisis was being averted in the background. On Sunday, Morgan's associate, George Perkins, was informed that the City of New York required at least $20 million by November 1 or it would go bankrupt. The city tried to raise money through a standard bond issue, but failed to gather enough financing. On Monday and again on Tuesday, New York Mayor George McClellan approached Morgan for assistance. In an effort to avoid the disastrous signal that a New York City bankruptcy would send, Morgan contracted to purchase $30 million worth of city bonds.[47][44]
Drama at the library Edit Although calm was largely restored in New York by Saturday, November 2, yet another crisis loomed. One of the exchange's largest brokerage firms, Moore & Schley, was heavily in debt and in danger of collapse. The firm had borrowed heavily, using shares of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company (TC&I) as collateral. With the value of the thinly traded stock under pressure, many banks would likely call the loans of Moore & Schley on Monday and force an en masse liquidation of the firm's stock. If that occurred it would send TC&I shares plummeting, devastating Moore and Schley and triggering further panic in the market.[48]
To avert the collapse of Moore & Schley, Morgan called an emergency conference at his library Saturday morning. A proposal was made that the U.S. Steel Corporation, a company Morgan had helped form through the merger of the steel companies of Andrew Carnegie and Elbert Gary, would acquire TC&I. This would effectively save Moore & Schley and avert the crisis. The executives and board of U.S. Steel studied the situation and offered to either loan Moore & Schley $5 million, or buy TC&I for $90 a share. By 7 p.m. an agreement had not been reached and the meeting adjourned.[49]
By then, Morgan was drawn into another situation. There was deep concern that the Trust Company of America and the Lincoln Trust might fail to open on Monday due to continuing runs by depositors. On Saturday evening 40''50 bankers gathered at the library to discuss the crisis, with the clearing-house bank presidents in the East room and the trust company executives in the West room. Morgan and those dealing with the Moore & Schley situation moved to the librarian's office. There Morgan told his counselors that he would agree to help shore up Moore & Schley only if the trust companies would work together to bail out their weakest brethren.[50] The discussion among the bankers continued late into Saturday night but without much progress. Around midnight, J. P. Morgan informed a leader of the trust company presidents that keeping Moore & Schley afloat would require $25 million, and he would not commit those funds unless the problems with the trust companies could also be resolved. The trust company executives understood they would not receive further help from Morgan; they would have to finance any bailout of the two struggling trust companies.
At 3 a.m. about 120 bank and trust company officials assembled to hear a full report on the status of the failing trust companies. While the Trust Company of America was barely solvent, the Lincoln Trust Company was probably $1 million short of what it needed to cover depositor accounts. As discussion ensued, the bankers realized that Morgan had locked them in the library and pocketed the key to force a solution,[51] the sort of strong-arm tactic he had been known to use in the past.[52] Morgan then entered the talks and advised the trust companies that they must provide a loan of $25 million to save the weaker institutions. The trust presidents were still reluctant to act, but Morgan informed them that if they did not it would lead to a complete collapse of the banking system. Through his considerable influence, at about 4:45 a.m. he persuaded the unofficial leader of the trust companies to sign the agreement, and the remainder of the bankers followed.[52] Having received these commitments, Morgan allowed the bankers to go home.[53]
On Sunday afternoon and into the evening, Morgan, Perkins, Baker and Stillman, along with U.S. Steel's Gary and Henry Clay Frick, worked at the library to finalize the deal for U.S. Steel to buy TC&I and by Sunday night had a plan for acquisition. But one obstacle remained: the anti-trust crusading President Theodore Roosevelt, who had made breaking up monopolies a focus of his presidency.[54]
Frick and Gary traveled overnight by train to the White House to implore Roosevelt to set aside the application of the Sherman Antitrust Act and allow'--before the market opened'--a company that already held a 60% share of the steel market to make a large acquisition. Roosevelt's secretary refused to see them, but Frick and Gary convinced James Rudolph Garfield, the Secretary of the Interior, to bypass the secretary and arrange a meeting with the president. With less than an hour before the Stock Exchange opened, Roosevelt and Secretary of State Elihu Root began to review the proposed takeover and appreciate the crash likely to ensue if the merger was not approved.[55][56] Roosevelt relented; he later recalled of the meeting, "It was necessary for me to decide on the instant before the Stock Exchange opened, for the situation in New York was such that any hour might be vital. I do not believe that anyone could justly criticize me for saying that I would not feel like objecting to the purchase under those circumstances".[55] When news reached New York, confidence soared. The Commercial & Financial Chronicle reported that "the relief furnished by this transaction was instant and far-reaching".[57] The final crisis of the panic had been averted.[58]
Aftermath Edit The panic of 1907 occurred during a lengthy economic contraction, measured by the National Bureau of Economic Research as occurring between May 1907 and June 1908.[59][60] The interrelated contraction, bank panic and falling stock market resulted in significant economic disruption. Industrial production dropped further than after any previous bank run, and 1907 saw the second-highest volume of bankruptcies to that date. Production fell by 11%, imports by 26%, while unemployment rose to 8% from under 3%. Immigration dropped to 750,000 people in 1909, from 1.2 million two years earlier.[61]
Since the end of the Civil War, the United States had experienced panics of varying severity. Economists Charles Calomiris and Gary Gorton rate the worst panics as those leading to widespread bank suspensions: the panics of 1873, 1893, and 1907, and a suspension in 1914. Widespread suspensions were forestalled through coordinated actions during the 1884 and 1890 panics. A bank crisis in 1896, in which there was a perceived need for coordination, is also sometimes classified as a panic.[60]
The frequency of crises and the severity of the 1907 panic added to concern about the outsized role of J.P. Morgan and renewed impetus toward a national debate on reform.[62] In May 1908, Congress passed the Aldrich''Vreeland Act, which established the National Monetary Commission to investigate the panic and to propose legislation to regulate banking.[63] Senator Nelson Aldrich (R''RI), the chairman of the National Monetary Commission, went to Europe for almost two years to study that continent's banking systems.
Central bank Edit A significant difference between the European and U.S. banking systems was the absence of a central bank in the United States. European states were able to extend the supply of money during periods of low cash reserves. The belief that the U.S. economy was vulnerable without a central bank was not new. Early in 1907, banker Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. warned in a speech to the New York Chamber of Commerce that "unless we have a central bank with adequate control of credit resources, this country is going to undergo the most severe and far reaching money panic in its history".[64]
In 1908: Frank A. Vanderlip led a U.S. business delegation to Japan to meet with Japanese financial leaders including Taka Kawada, Shibusawa Eiichi and his son Shibusawa Masao, also founding members of Mitsui & Co., Takuma Dan & Takamine Mitsui with the goal allying with the Japan to resolve The Panic of 1907 and the unstable U.S. Stock Market.[65]
Aldrich convened a secret conference with a number of the nation's leading financiers at the Jekyll Island Club, off the coast of Georgia, to discuss monetary policy and the banking system in November 1910. Aldrich and A. P. Andrew (Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Department), Paul Warburg (representing Kuhn, Loeb & Co.), Frank A. Vanderlip (James Stillman's successor as president of the National City Bank of New York), Henry P. Davison (senior partner of J. P. Morgan Company), Charles D. Norton (president of the Morgan-dominated First National Bank of New York), and Benjamin Strong (representing J. P. Morgan), produced a design for a "National Reserve Bank".[66]
The final report of the National Monetary Commission was published on January 11, 1911. For nearly two years legislators debated the proposal, and it was not until December 23, 1913, that Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act. President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation immediately, and the legislation was enacted on the same day, December 23, 1913, creating the Federal Reserve System.[67] Charles Hamlin became the Fed's first chairman, and none other than Morgan's deputy Benjamin Strong became president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the most important regional bank, with a permanent seat on the Federal Open Market Committee.[67]
Pujo Committee Edit Cartoon of J. P. Morgan seizing control of banks.
[n 7]Although Morgan was briefly seen as a hero, widespread fears concerning plutocracy and concentrated wealth soon eroded this view. Morgan's bank had survived, but the trust companies that were a growing rival to traditional banks were badly damaged. Some analysts believed that the panic had been engineered to damage confidence in trust companies so that banks would benefit.[68][69] Others believed Morgan took advantage of the panic to allow his U.S. Steel company to acquire TC&I.[70] Although Morgan lost $21 million in the panic, and the significance of the role he played in staving off worse disaster is undisputed, he also became the focus of intense scrutiny and criticism.[56][71][72]
The chair of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, Representative Ars¨ne Pujo (D''La. 7th), convened a special committee to investigate a "money trust", the de facto monopoly of Morgan and New York's other most powerful bankers. The committee issued a scathing report on the banking trade, and found that the officers of J. P. Morgan & Co. also sat on the boards of directors of 112 corporations with a market capitalization of $22.5 billion (the total capitalization of the New York Stock Exchange was then estimated at $26.5 billion).[73]
Although suffering ill health, J. P. Morgan testified before the Pujo Committee and faced several days of questioning from Samuel Untermyer. Untermyer and Morgan's famous exchange on the fundamentally psychological nature of banking'--that it is an industry built on trust'--is often quoted in business articles:[74][75]
Untermyer: Is not commercial credit based primarily upon money or property? Morgan: No, sir. The first thing is character. Untermyer: Before money or property? Morgan: Before money or anything else. Money cannot buy it '... a man I do not trust could not get money from me on all the bonds in Christendom.[74]
Associates of Morgan blamed his continued physical decline on the hearings. He became ill in February and died on March 31, 1913, nine months before the Federal Reserve officially replaced the "money trust" as lender of last resort.[74]
Timeline Edit Timeline of panic in New York City[76]Monday, October 14Otto Heinze begins purchasing to corner the stock of United Copper.Wednesday, October 16Heinze's corner fails spectacularly. Heinze's brokerage house, Gross & Kleeberg is forced to close. This is the date traditionally cited as when the corner failed.Thursday, October 17The Exchange suspends Otto Heinze and Company. The State Savings Bank of Butte, Montana, owned by Augustus Heinze announces it is insolvent. Augustus is forced to resign from Mercantile National Bank. Runs begin at Augustus' and his associate Charles W. Morse's banks.Sunday, October 20The New York Clearing House forces Augustus and Morse to resign from all their banking interests.Monday, October 21Charles T. Barney is forced to resign from the Knickerbocker Trust Company because of his ties to Morse and Heinze. The National Bank of Commerce says it will no longer serve as clearing house.Tuesday, October 22A bank run forces the Knickerbocker to suspend operations.Wednesday, October 23J.P. Morgan persuades other trust company presidents to provide liquidity to the Trust Company of America, staving off its collapse.Thursday, October 24Treasury Secretary George Cortelyou agrees to deposit Federal money in New York banks. Morgan persuades bank presidents to provide $23 million to the New York Stock Exchange to prevent an early closure.Friday October 25Crisis is again narrowly averted at the Exchange.Sunday, October 27The City of New York tells Morgan associate George Perkins that if they cannot raise $20''30 million by November 1, the city will be insolvent.Tuesday, October 29Morgan purchased $30 million in city bonds, discreetly averting bankruptcy for the city.Saturday, November 2Moore & Schley, a major brokerage, nears collapse because its loans were backed by the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company (TC&I), a stock whose value is uncertain. A proposal is made for U.S. Steel to purchase TC&I.Sunday, November 3A plan is finalized for U.S. Steel to take over TC&I.Monday, November 4President Theodore Roosevelt approves U.S. Steel's takeover of TC&I, despite anticompetitive concerns.Tuesday, November 5Markets are closed for Election Day (no federal elections were actually held this year).Wednesday, November 6U.S. Steel completes takeover of TC&I. Markets begin to recover. Destabilizing runs at the trust companies do not begin again.See also Edit Mercantile National Bank BuildingA Central Bank as a Menace to Liberty, by George H. Earle Jr.'--Philadelphia lawyer and businessman. (1908)Notes Edit References Edit ^ "AMERICAN BANKS "IN THE JUNGLE " ". The Advertiser. Adelaide. March 16, 1933. p. 8 . Retrieved November 22, 2012 '' via National Library of Australia. ^ Yale M. Braunstein, "The Role of Information Failures in the Financial Meltdown" Archived December 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, School of Information, UC Berkeley, Summer 2009 ^ Panic of 1907: J.P. Morgan Saves the Day ^ Born of a Panic: Forming the Fed System ^ Tucker, Abigail (October 9, 2008). "The Financial Panic of 1907: Running from History". Smithsonian Magazine . Retrieved September 27, 2017 . ^ Tallman & Moen 1990, pp. 3''4 ^ Odell & Weidenmier 2004 ^ Paul Saffo, ABC News (April 17, 2008) ^ a b Tallman & Moen 1990, p. 4 ^ a b Noyes 1909, pp. 361''2 ^ Edwards 1907, p. 66 ^ As measured by an index of all listed stocks, according to Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 19 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 20 ^ a b Kindleberger & Aliber 2005, p. 102 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 32 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 31 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 38''40 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 43''44 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 45 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 47''48 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 49 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 51''55 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 61''62 ^ a b c Tallman & Moen 1990, p. 7 ^ Historic Pittsburg Archived February 7, 2017, at the Wayback Machine ^ Moen & Tallman 1992, p. 612 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 68 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 79 ^ "WHEN THE POUND SAVED THE DOLLAR". Western Argus. Kalgoorlie, WA. December 8, 1931. p. 36 . Retrieved November 22, 2012 '' via National Library of Australia. ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 85 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 101 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 83''86 ^ Chernow 1990, p. 123 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 87''88 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 93 ^ a b Tallman & Moen 1990, p. 8 ^ Chernow 1998, pp. 542''44 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 99 ^ Chernow 1990, p. 125 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 100''01 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 102''03 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 103''07 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 108 ^ a b Chernow 1990, p. 126 ^ Tallman & Moen 1990, p. 9 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 111 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 111''12 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 116 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 116''117 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 122 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 124 ^ a b Chernow 1990, p. 127 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 124''127 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 131 ^ a b Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 132 ^ a b Chernow 1990, pp. 128''29 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 133 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 132''33 ^ US Business Cycle Expansions and Contractions, National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved on September 22, 2008. ^ a b Calomiris & Gorton 1992, p. 114 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 141''42 ^ Smith 2004, pp. 99''100 ^ Miron 1986, p. 130 ^ Herrick 1908 ^ "1908 Photo: Frank A. Vanderlip leads a U.S. business delegation to Japan to meet with Japanese business leaders including Shibusawa Eiichi and representatives of Mitsui & Co. for their assistance in resolving The Panic of 1907 and the unstable U.S. Stock Market". TheEmperorandtheSpy.com. 2020. ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 143 ^ a b Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 146 ^ McNelis 1969, pp. 154''67 ^ Chernow 1990, pp. 122''123 ^ Chernow 1990, p. 148 ^ Jean Strouse. "Here's How It's Done, Hank: A Parable From a Crisis of a Century Ago". The Washington Post (September 28, 2008), p. b1. Retrieved on September 30, 2008. ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 182 ^ Bruner & Carr 2007, p. 148 ^ a b c Bruner & Carr 2007, pp. 182''83 ^ Chernow 1990, p. 154 ^ Distilled from Bruner & Carr 2007 Bibliography Edit Bruner, Robert F.; Carr, Sean D. (2007), The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market's Perfect Storm, Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-470-15263-8 Bruner, Robert F. and Sean Carr, "The Panic of 1907, (Darden Case No. UVA-G-0619, U of Virginia '' Darden School of Business, (2009)Calomiris, Charles W.; Gorton, Gary (1992), "The Origins of Banking Panics: Models, Facts and Bank Regulation", in Hubbard, R. Glenn (ed.), Financial Markets and Financial Crises, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-35588-7 Caporale, Tony; McKiernan, Barbara (1998), "Interest Rate Uncertainty and the Founding of the Federal Reserve", The Journal of Economic History, 58 (4): 1110''17, doi:10.1017/S0022050700021756 Carosso, Vincent P. (1987), The Morgans: Private International Bankers, 1854''1913, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-58729-8 Chernow, Ron (1990), The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance, New York: Grove Press, ISBN 978-0-8021-3829-3 Chernow, Ron (1998), Titan: the Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr, New York: Random House, ISBN 978-0-679-43808-3 Edwards, Adolph (1907), The Roosevelt Panic of 1907 (PDF) , Anitrock Pub. Co Friedman, Milton; Jacobson Schwartz, Anna (1963), A Monetary History of the United States: 1867''1960, Princeton: Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-00354-2 Gorton, Gary (2009), "Clearinghouses and the Origin of Central Banking in the United States", The Journal of Economic History, 45 (2): 277''283, doi:10.1017/S0022050700033957 Gorton, Gary; Huang, Lixin (2006), "Bank panics and the endogeneity of central banking" (PDF) , Journal of Monetary Economics, 53 (7): 1613''1629, doi:10.1016/j.jmoneco.2005.05.015 Herrick, Myron T. (1908), "The Panic of 1907 and Some of Its Lessons", Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 31 (2): 8''25, doi:10.1177/000271620803100203 Johnson, Owen (1913), The Sixty-first Second (PDF) , New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, OCLC 3101622 . Retrieved January 11, 2010.Kynaston, David (2017). Till Time's Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England, 1694''2013. New York: Bloomsbury. pp. 261''262. ISBN 978-1408868560. Leab, Daniel, ed. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Recessions and Depressions. ABC-CLIO 2 vol 919 pp. ISBN 9781598849462. pp 329''78Kindleberger, Charles P.; Aliber, Robert (2005), Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises (5th ed.), Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-471-46714-4 McNelis, Sarah (1969), Copper King at War: The Biography of F. Augustus Heinze (2nd ed.), Missoula: University of Montana Press, OCLC 7369533 Miron, Jeffrey A. (1986), "Financial Panics, the Seasonality of the Nominal Interest Rate, and the Founding of the Fed" (PDF) , American Economic Review, 76 (1): 125''40 Moen, Jon; Tallman, Ellis (1992), "The Bank Panic of 1907: The Role of the Trust Companies", The Journal of Economic History, 52 (3): 611''30, doi:10.1017/S0022050700011414 Noyes, Alexander Dana (1909), Forty Years of American Finance, G. P. Putnam's sons, ISBN 978-0-405-13672-6 Odell, Kerry A.; Weidenmier, Marc D. (2004), "Real Shock, Monetary Aftershock: The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and the Panic of 1907", The Journal of Economic History, 64 (4): 1002''1027, doi:10.1017/S0022050704043062, hdl:10419/94590 Smith, B. Mark (2004), A History of the Global Stock Market; From Ancient Rome to Silicon Valley, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-76404-7 Sprague, Oliver M.W. (1908), "The American Crisis of 1907", The Economic Journal, 18 (71): 353''372, doi:10.2307/2221551, JSTOR 2221551 Tallman, Ellis W.; Moen, Jon (1990), "Lessons from the Panic of 1907" (PDF) , Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Economic Review, 75: 2''13, archived from the original (PDF) on October 29, 2008 , retrieved April 3, 2008 . Retrieved on September 14, 2008.External links Edit
Republicans attack Facebook as network shuts down anti-lockdown protests
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 14:27
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Facebook is blocking anti-quarantine protesters from using the site to organize in-person gatherings in states that require residents to stay in their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The world's largest social network has already removed protest messages in California, New Jersey and Nebraska from its site at the urging of state governments who say those events are prohibited by stay-at-home orders, a company spokesperson said.
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"Unless government prohibits the event during this time, we allow it to be organized on Facebook. For this same reason, events that defy government's guidance on social distancing aren't allowed on Facebook,'' the spokesperson said.
Protesters have gathered in state capitals around the country in recent days to push back against their governments' decisions to close non-essential businesses and requiring residents to largely isolate at home.
Those protests have been fueled in part by President Donald Trump, who has wavered between urging governors to reopen their economies and deferring to state leaders to make such calls. In a series of tweets last week, Trump issued a call to ''liberate'' Michigan, Virginia and Minnesota.
Counter-Protesters in Scrubs Block Anti-Lockdown Campaigners in Denver | Storyful Video
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 14:13
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Montana County Demands People Wear Government-Issued Arm Bands To Do Business - Montana Daily Gazette
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 13:58
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Paid for by Manzella for Montana Senate District 44 '' Republican. Theresa Manzella, Treasurer. PO Box 1100, Hamilton, MT 59840In what might be one of the most over-the-top and draconian responses to coronavirus yet seen in Montana, Valley County is mandating that people wear government-issued pink arm bands in under to purchase products inside of stores. The measure, enforced by the Valley County Health Department, insists that store-owners keep customers out unless they have the pink arm-bands, which denote the customer has been in the area more than 14 days and submitted to quarantine protocol.
According to the flier produced by the Valley County Health Department, out-of-towners who lack the government-issued armbands will be prohibited from stores and residents are notified to call law enforcement if they do not comply.
The health department even issued a script to warn customers to flee, saying, ''You are violating our Governor's and Valley County's Health Officer's orders. I am happy to shop for you with curbside delivery. I will get the items for you and bring them to your car. If you don't cooperate, you will force me to call law enforcement.''
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See below.
The Valley County health officer's dubiously unconstitutional order can be seen below.
You can see the order yourself on the Valley County Health Department Facebook page here.
Brian Burleson asked in the comments section of their Facebook page, ''How do we know if they're from out of town in the first place. Will they be wearing a large scarlet ''O'' on their chest?'' It appears the answer is that out-of-town workers are mandated to stop at the health department, where they will ostensibly receive the arm bands.
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Another commenter left the following photo, saying, ''I think they have tried this once already'...''
China utilizes wristbands to track coronavirus patients. It has GPS monitoring and is used to make sure that patients comply with quarantine mandates. For many Montanans, it's strange to see similar measures to prevent out-of-area essential workers from being able to purchase their supplies at local retailers.Update: In response to our reporting, the Valley County Commissioners offered the following apology and ''retraction'' of the health department's flier.
Australian police bust child sex abuse ring across five states, 16 people charged with 728 offences
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 13:40
Sixteen people across five states have been charged with more than 700 child exploitation offences after a two-year investigation involving Australian authorities and US Homeland Security Investigators.
Starting in 2018, matters were regularly referred to Australian authorities by US officials following their investigations into an online website where users paid to access child abuse material.
Australian investigators ultimately executed 18 search warrants and arrested 16 people across NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia on 738 charges.
Queensland Police shared footage of one of the arrests. (Queensland Police) Authorities were also able to remove four Australian children from harm, three in NSW and one in Victoria.
Queensland Detective Superintendent Denzil Clark from the Child Abuse and Sexual Crimes Group said strong law enforcement partnerships and a whole-of-community response are crucial to protect children from online predators.
"Queensland Police will continue sharing our expertise and working collaboratively with our national, interstate and international counterparts to target those who pose a risk to children in our community," Detective Superintendent Clark said.
"Every day Argos investigators are online monitoring a range of platforms targeting predators who are attempting to exploit children.
"But the first defence in the global fight against online child exploitation is parents and carers, who we ask to be vigilant with electronic devices used by their children and monitor their children's online activities."
The man is one of 16 Australians arrested in the joint investigation. (Queensland Police) Those charged are expected to appear in court in the coming months.
Just weeks ago AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw warned of a spike in traffic across the dark web '-- including live-streaming and incidents of child sexual abuse and child grooming '-- since the COVID-19 outbreak, prompting calls for parents to strictly monitor their children's online activity.
Homeland Security Australian attache Adam Parks said the arrests came at a critical time.
"More so than ever, children are increasingly online for their schooling, to socialise with their friends and family, and to play games," he said.
"Let this be a warning that law enforcement is undeterred by COVID-19 and remains on-duty to keep our children safe in Australia, the US and online."
Nocebo - Wikipedia
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 12:50
A nocebo effect is said to occur when negative expectations of the patient regarding a treatment cause the treatment to have a more negative effect than it otherwise would have. For example, when a patient anticipates a side effect of a medication, they can suffer that effect even if the "medication" is actually an inert substance. The complementary concept, the placebo effect, is said to occur when positive expectations improve an outcome. Both placebo and nocebo effects are presumably psychogenic, but they can induce measurable changes in the body. One article that reviewed 31 studies on nocebo effects reported a wide range of symptoms that could manifest as nocebo effects including nausea, stomach pains, itching, bloating, depression, sleep problems, loss of appetite, sexual dysfunction and severe hypotension.
Etymology and usage Edit The term nocebo (Latin nocÄ'bō, "I shall harm", from noceō, "I harm")[3] was coined by Walter Kennedy in 1961 to denote the counterpart to the use of placebo (Latin placÄ'bō, "I shall please", from placeō, "I please";[4] a substance that may produce a beneficial, healthful, pleasant, or desirable effect). Kennedy emphasized that his use of the term "nocebo" refers strictly to a subject-centered response, a quality inherent in the patient rather than in the remedy". That is, Kennedy rejected the use of the term for pharmacologically induced negative side effects such as the ringing in the ears caused by quinine. That is not to say that the patient's psychologically induced response may not include physiological effects. For example, an expectation of pain may induce anxiety, which in turn causes the release of cholecystokinin, which facilitates pain transmission.
Response Edit In the narrowest sense, a nocebo response occurs when a drug-trial subject's symptoms are worsened by the administration of an inert, sham, or dummy (simulator) treatment, called a placebo. According to current pharmacological knowledge and the current understanding of cause and effect, a placebo contains no chemical (or any other agent) that could possibly cause any of the observed worsening in the subject's symptoms. Thus, any change for the worse must be due to some subjective factor. Adverse expectations can also cause the analgesic effects of anesthetic medications to disappear.
The worsening of the subject's symptoms or reduction of beneficial effects is a direct consequence of their exposure to the placebo, but those symptoms have not been chemically generated by the placebo. Because this generation of symptoms entails a complex of "subject-internal" activities, in the strictest sense, we can never speak in terms of simulator-centered "nocebo effects", but only in terms of subject-centered "nocebo responses". Although some observers attribute nocebo responses (or placebo responses) to a subject's gullibility, there is no evidence that an individual who manifests a nocebo/placebo response to one treatment will manifest a nocebo/placebo response to any other treatment; i.e., there is no fixed nocebo/placebo-responding trait or propensity.[citation needed ]
McGlashan, Evans & Orne (1969, p. 319) found no evidence of what they termed a "placebo personality". Also, in a carefully designed study, Lasagna, Mosteller, von Felsinger and Beecher (1954), found that there was no way that any observer could determine, by testing or by interview, which subject would manifest a placebo reaction and which would not. Experiments have shown that no relationship exists between an individual's measured hypnotic susceptibility and their manifestation of nocebo or placebo responses.
Effects Edit Side effects of drugs Edit It has been shown that, due to the nocebo effect, warning patients about side effects of drugs can contribute to the causation of such effects, whether the drug is real or not. This effect has been observed in clinical trials: according to a 2013 review, the dropout rate among placebo-treated patients in a meta-analysis of 41 clinical trials of Parkinson's disease treatments was 8.8%. A 2013 review found that nearly 1 out of 20 patients receiving a placebo in clinical trials for depression dropped out due to adverse events, which were believed to have been caused by the nocebo effect. A 2018 review found that half of patients taking placebos in clinical trials report intervention-related adverse events.[16]
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity Edit Evidence suggests that the symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity are caused by the nocebo effect.[17][18]
Pain Edit Verbal suggestion can cause hyperalgesia (increased sensitivity to pain) and allodynia (perception of a tactile stimulus as painful) as a result of the nocebo effect. Nocebo hyperalgesia is believed to involve the activation of cholecystokinin receptors.
Ambiguity of medical usage Edit Stewart-Williams and Podd argue that using the contrasting terms "placebo" and "nocebo" to label inert agents that produce pleasant, health-improving, or desirable outcomes versus unpleasant, health-diminishing, or undesirable outcomes (respectively), is extremely counterproductive. For example, precisely the same inert agents can produce analgesia and hyperalgesia, the first of which, from this definition, would be a placebo, and the second a nocebo.
A second problem is that the same effect, such as immunosuppression, may be desirable for a subject with an autoimmune disorder, but be undesirable for most other subjects. Thus, in the first case, the effect would be a placebo, and in the second, a nocebo. A third problem is that the prescriber does not know whether the relevant subjects consider the effects that they experience to be desirable or undesirable until some time after the drugs have been administered. A fourth problem is that the same phenomena are being generated in all the subjects, and these are being generated by the same drug, which is acting in all of the subjects through the same mechanism. Yet because the phenomena in question have been subjectively considered to be desirable to one group but not the other, the phenomena are now being labelled in two mutually exclusive ways (i.e., placebo and nocebo); and this is giving the false impression that the drug in question has produced two different phenomena.
Ambiguity of anthropological usage Edit Some people maintain that belief kills (e.g., "voodoo death": Cannon (1942) describes a number of instances from a variety of different cultures) and belief heals (e.g., faith healing). A "self-willed" death (due to voodoo hex, evil eye, pointing the bone procedure, etc.) is an extreme form of a culture-specific syndrome or mass psychogenic illness that produces a particular form of psychosomatic or psychophysiological disorder which results in a psychogenic death. Rubel (1964) spoke of "culture bound" syndromes, which were those "from which members of a particular group claim to suffer and for which their culture provides an etiology, diagnosis, preventive measures, and regimens of healing".
Certain anthropologists, such as Robert Hahn and Arthur Kleinman, have extended the placebo/nocebo distinction into this realm in order to allow a distinction to be made between rituals, like faith healing, that are performed in order to heal, cure, or bring benefit (placebo rituals) and others, like "pointing the bone", that are performed in order to kill, injure or bring harm (nocebo rituals). As the meaning of the two inter-related and opposing terms has extended, we now find anthropologists speaking, in various contexts, of nocebo or placebo (harmful or helpful) rituals:
that might entail nocebo or placebo (unpleasant or pleasant) procedures;about which subjects might have nocebo or placebo (harmful or beneficial) beliefs;that are delivered by operators that might have nocebo or placebo (pathogenic, disease-generating or salutogenic, health-promoting) expectations;that are delivered to subjects that might have nocebo or placebo (negative, fearful, despairing or positive, hopeful, confident) expectations about the ritual;which are delivered by operators who might have nocebo or placebo (malevolent or benevolent) intentions, in the hope that the rituals will generate nocebo or placebo (lethal, injurious, harmful or restorative, curative, healthy) outcomes; and, that all of this depends upon the operator's overall beliefs in the harmful nature of the nocebo ritual or the beneficial nature of the placebo ritual.Yet, it may become even more terminologically complex; for, as Hahn and Kleinman indicate, there can also be cases where there are paradoxical nocebo outcomes from placebo rituals (e.g. the TGN1412 drug trial[27][28]), as well as paradoxical placebo outcomes from nocebo rituals (see also unintended consequences). Writing from his extensive experience of treating cancer (including more than 1,000 melanoma cases) at Sydney Hospital, Milton (1973) warned of the impact of the delivery of a prognosis, and how many of his patients, upon receiving their prognosis, simply turned their face to the wall and died a premature death: "there is a small group of patients in whom the realization of impending death is a blow so terrible that they are quite unable to adjust to it, and they die rapidly before the malignancy seems to have developed enough to cause death. This problem of self-willed death is in some ways analogous to the death produced in primitive peoples by witchcraft ('pointing the bone')".
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Neuroscience. 147 (2): 260''271. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2007.02.020. PMID 17379417. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Cannon, Walter B. (1942). " ' Voodoo' Death". American Anthropologist. 44 (2): 169''181. doi:10.1525/aa.1942.44.2.02a00010. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Charcot, J.M. (January 1893). "The Faith-Cure". The New Review. 8 (44): 18''31. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Cohen, Sanford I. (1985). "Psychosomatic death: Voodoo death in a modern perspective". Integrative Psychiatry. 3 (1): 46''51. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Colloca, Luana; Miller, Franklin G. (2011). "The Nocebo Effect and its Relevance for Clinical Practice". Psychosomatic Medicine. 73 (7): 598''603. doi:10.1097/PSY.0b013e3182294a50. PMC 3167012 . PMID 21862825. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Colloca, Luana; Benedetti, Fabrizio (2007). "Nocebo hyperalgesia: How anxiety is turned into pain". Current Opinion in Anesthesiology. 20 (5): 435''439. doi:10.1097/aco.0b013e3282b972fb. PMID 17873596. 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The American Journal of Psychology. 10 (3): 431''502. doi:10.2307/1412143. JSTOR 1412143. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Hahn, Robert A. (1997). "The Nocebo Phenomenon: Concept, Evidence, and Implications for Public Health". Preventive Medicine. 26 (5): 607''611. doi:10.1006/pmed.1996.0124. PMID 9327466. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Hahn, Robert A.; Kleinman, Arthur (1983). "Perspectives of the Placebo Phenomenon: Belief as Pathogen, Belief as Medicine: 'Voodoo Death' and the 'Placebo Phenomenon' in Anthropological Perspective". Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 14 (4): 3''19. doi:10.1525/maq.1983.14.4.02a00030. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Harrington, E.R. (1998), The Nocebo Effect: A Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Suggestion on Reports of Physical Symptoms (Ph.D. Dissertation), Temple University CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) H¤user, Winfried; Hansen, Ernil; Enck, Paul (2012). "Nocebo Phenomena in Medicine". Deutsches Aerzteblatt Online. 109 (26): 459''65. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2012.0459. 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CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Stam, Henderikus (1982). "Hypnotic analgesia and the placebo effect; controlling ischemic pain". doi:10.22215/etd/1982-00726 . CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Stam, Henderikus J.; Spanos, Nicholas P. (1987). "Hypnotic analgesia, placebo analgesia, and ischemic pain: The effects of contextual variables". Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 96 (4): 313''320. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.96.4.313. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Stathis, P.; Smpiliris, M.; Konitsiotis, S.; Mitsikostas, D. D. (2013). "Nocebo as a potential confounding factor in clinical trials for Parkinson's disease treatment: A meta-analysis". European Journal of Neurology. 20 (3): 527''533. doi:10.1111/ene.12014. PMID 23145482. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Stewart-Williams, Steve; Podd, John (2004). "The Placebo Effect: Dissolving the Expectancy Versus Conditioning Debate". Psychological Bulletin. 130 (2): 324''340. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.130.2.324. PMID 14979775. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Bingel, U.; Wanigasekera, V.; Wiech, K.; Ni Mhuircheartaigh, R.; Lee, M. C.; Ploner, M.; Tracey, I. (2011). "The Effect of Treatment Expectation on Drug Efficacy: Imaging the Analgesic Benefit of the Opioid Remifentanil". Science Translational Medicine. 3 (70): 70ra14. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3001244. PMID 21325618. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Wilson, Ian (1991). The Bleeding Mind: An Investigation into the Mysterious Phenomenon of Stigmata. London: Paladin. ISBN 978-0-586-09014-5. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Zusne, L.; Jones, W.H. (1989). Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking (2nd ed.). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) External links Edit Look up nocebo in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.Nocebo and nocebo effectThe nocebo responseThe Nocebo Effect: Placebo's Evil TwinWhat modifies a healing responseThe science of voodoo: When mind attacks body, New ScientistThe Effect of Treatment Expectation on Drug Efficacy: Imaging the Analgesic Benefit of the Opioid RemifentanilThis Video Will Hurt (The Nocebo Effect) - Video LinkBBC Discovery program on the nocebo effectWhat is the Nocebo effect?
Congress Defies Trump, Gives Big Raise to NIH Medical Research
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 10:55
Congress sent President Donald Trump a multi-billion dollar poke in the eye Monday, refusing to slash medical spending as Trump proposed and instead giving the National Institutes of Health a $2 billion raise.
The budget agreement, finalized in the wee hours of Monday morning, also defies Trump's demand for cuts to NASA's earth science program, which the administration had targeted as part of a wider promise to cut climate change research. And it provides $103 million to fight the opioid abuse epidemic '-- an area of rare bipartisan agreement that even Trump supports.
The new budget proposal, which needs votes in the House and Senate, would keep the government running until October, when the 2018 budget is supposed to kick in.
Trump had proposed slashing NIH by $1.2 billion for the rest of 2017 to help pay for his proposed increases in defense spending. Instead, Congress gave the NIH an extra $2 billion for the next 6 months, bumping its total 2017 budget to $34 billion.
Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican who chairs the appropriations subcommittee that oversees NIH funding and who sits on the budget committee, said funding medical research is something Republicans and Democrats agree on easily.
Related: Congressional Leaders Reach $1 Trillion Agreement to Avert Shutdown
''We doubled NIH funding in the late 1990s and early 2000s and then we were flat for a dozen years,'' Cole told a seminar on biodefense Monday morning. The result was a giant cut in proposed medical research projects that got paid for, he said.
''Instead of funding one in three grants we fell to funding one in six,'' Cole said.
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He said the agency, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, need regular increases, not cuts.
''The bill includes a total of $73.5 billion for HHS (the Health and Human Services Department), an increase of $2.8 billion above last year's enacted level and $3.8 billion above the previous Administration's budget request,'' the House Appropriations committee said in a statement.
''It includes specific increases for research related to Alzheimer's disease, the brain, antibiotic resistance, and the Precision Medicine Initiative. The bill also provides a general increase to all NIH Institutes and Centers to continue progress in developing new treatments and cures,'' it added.
Specifically, the bill:
Gives the National Cancer Institute nearly $5.4 billion, including $300 million to the Obama administration's Cancer Moonshot programProvides $4.9 billion to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesRaises Alzheimer's research funding by $400 million, to $1.4 billionGives $120 million to former president Barack Obama's BRAIN initiativeGives $3.2 billion to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteAllocates $57 million to prepare for an influenza pandemicGives CDC $112 million for ''an evidence-based opioid drug overdose prevention program'' and $50 million to the Veterans Health Administration for opioid and substance abuse treatment.
The new 2017 budget also preserves the $101 million Teen Pregnancy Prevention program that Trump proposed cutting in half.
It also sets aside $32 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Trump's State Department earlier this year said it would stop giving any money to UNFPA, which got $69 million from the U.S. last year, so the bill provides for the money to go to other global health programs instead.
Related: Proposed Trump Budget Cuts Would Devastate Medical Spending, Experts Say
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gets a small increase, also.
''The agreement includes a total of program level of $7.3 billion for the CDC '-- $22 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. This includes $6.3 billion in appropriated funds, as well as $891 million in transfers from the Prevention and Public Health Fund,'' the Appropriations summary said.
A GOP bill designed to replace as much of the Affordable Care Act as possible had targeted the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which accounts for 12 percent of the CDC budget. But Congress joined Trump in doing everything possible to starve the 2010 Affordable Care Act. ''The bill provides no new funding for Obamacare,'' the committee said.
And it returns the U.S. to a focus on ''abstinence only'' education, which many studies have shown is not effective in reducing teen pregnancies or stopping the spread of disease.
Related: Teen Birth Rate Not Low Enough, CDC Says
''The legislation also increases funding for sexual risk avoidance programs for teens (formerly known as abstinence education) by 50 percent,'' the committee said.
NASA gets a 1.9 percent increase, with $19.5 billion to spend before October, including $1.9 billion for earth science, and keeps the NASA education office running despite Trump administration proposals to cut it.
The budget also gives a small raise to climate change research. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research gets a 3.5 percent increase to $478 million.
The fight is not over. Trump has indicated he wants to cut overall health spending, including NIH, by 20 percent for 2018.
Maggie Fox Maggie Fox is a senior writer for NBC News and TODAY, covering health policy, science, medical treatments and disease.
What's Trump's Plan for U.S. Biomedical Research? | MIT Technology Review
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 10:54
Among the many uncertainties related to the election of Donald Trump is the fate of the National Institutes of Health, the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world. In fiscal year 2016 it had a budget of $32 billion.
Trump has promised voters he will cut federal spending, and last year he expressed a negative opinion about the NIH to conservative radio host Michael Savage, saying, ''I hear so much about the NIH, and it's terrible.'' But in response to a question about research from ScienceDebate.org, Trump said that scientific advances ''require long-term investment.''
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is rumored to be a top pick for a position in Trump's administration, could influence the president-elect's views on the NIH. Gingrich has been a longtime advocate of the NIH and last year appealed to Congress to double the agency's budget.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health, located in Bethesda, Maryland, is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world.In a statement provided to MIT Technology Review, NIH said it ''has a long history of bipartisan support and stands ready to work with the new administration to improve people's health and reduce the burden of disease through biomedical research.''
Others in the biomedical research community are similarly urging support for medical research. ''We look at the new administration as needing to understand the real benefits that fundamental scientific research brings to everyone,'' says Hudson Freeze, president of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), a major industry group that advocates for biomedical research.
Freeze says it is not necessarily a bad sign that Trump hasn't yet outlined a plan for biomedical research. ''That could mean there are openings'' to talk about policy, says Freeze.
Funding for NIH has remained flat for much of the last decade, resulting in a 22 percent loss in purchasing power, according to FASEB. In 2013, automatic spending cuts known as sequestration diminished NIH's budget by 5 percent. That year, NIH funded about 700 fewer grants than in fiscal 2012. But the agency got a boost for fiscal year 2016 when Congress approved President Obama's request for a $1.1 billion funding hike, the agency's single biggest funding increase in more than a decade.
In June, a Senate subcommittee approved an increase of $2 billion for NIH's fiscal 2017 budget. But new funds were shot down by Congress in favor of a short-term extension of current 2016 funding levels.
The future also remains uncertain for funding for specific medical research programs spearheaded by President Obama's administration, like the BRAIN Initiative, Precision Medicine Initiative, and Cancer Moonshot. The BRAIN Initiative was launched in 2013 with an initial investment of $110 million from the NIH, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the National Science Foundation.
In January 2015, Obama announced a $215 million investment in fiscal 2016 for the Precision Medicine Initiative. Those funds also come from a handful of agencies, including the NIH. The Obama administration also wants Congress to appropriate $1 billion for the Cancer Moonshot initiative, outlined by the president in his State of the Union Address in January, but no funding has been allocated yet.
Video conference of the members of the European Council - Consilium
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 10:32
Agenda highlightsOn 23 April 2020 EU leaders will follow up, by video conference, on the EU's response to the COVID-19 outbreak. It will be the fourth video meeting of this kind.
At the leaders' video conference on 26 March, the members of the European Council agreed that a coordinated exit strategy, a comprehensive recovery plan and unprecedented investment were required. Leaders tasked Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, to work on a roadmap and an action plan to ensure the well-being of all Europeans and to bring the EU back to strong, sustainable and inclusive growth, based on a green and digital strategy.
Joint statement of the members of the European Council, 26 March 2020 Video conference of the members of the European Council, 26 March 2020 As part of the EU's response, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, outlined the following four priorities of the recovery strategy:
internal marketmassive investment strategyexternal EU's actions and responsibilityresilience and governance"On all these issues, we want the European Union to step up to the plate and be capable of meeting the challenges which face us."
Charles Michel, President of the European Council Remarks by President Charles Michel at the press conference on the EU response to the coronavirus crisis, 15 April 2020 Remarks by President Charles Michel at the plenary session of the European Parliament, 16 April 2020 On 15 April, Presidents Michel and von der Leyen presented a European roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures.
Joint European Roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures At the video conference on 26 March, EU leaders also tasked the Eurogroup to come up with the proposals to tackle socio-economic consequences of the crisis. The Eurogroup reached an agreement on 9 April 2020.
Video conference of the Eurogroup, 7-9 April 2020 Statement by the President of the European Council Charles Michel following the agreement of the Eurogroup, 10 April 2020 Letter from the President of the Eurogroup to the President of the European Council, 13 April 2020 COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and the EU's response (background information) Meeting information Chaired by Charles Michel 23 April 2020 15:00 European Council: Other meetings Last reviewed on 20 April 2020
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Trump to Press: 'You And The Obama administration Were Duped For Years By China' '' NewsWars
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 08:51
President Trump reacted to a CNN reporter's jibing against his praise for his administration's handling of the coronavirus crisis by telling the press as a whole that they are the ones who were duped 'for years' by China, along with his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Trump played another montage of positive video clips praising the government's handling of the outbreak, which triggered CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond into charging that Trump is focusing on 'self-congratulation', rather than focusing on the death toll.
Watch:
''What I'm doing is standing up for the men and women that have done an incredible job,'' Trump replied, adding ''I'm also sticking up for doctors and nurses and military doctors and nurses.''
''Those people have been just absolutely excoriated by some of the fake news, like you.'' Trump continued, adding ''You're CNN, you're fake news. And let me just tell you, they were excoriated by people like you that don't know any better because you don't have the brains you were born with.''
Trump noted that he is used to being personally attacked, but is losing patience with critics of his coronavirus task force.
''It's not about me, nothing's about me. You're never going to treat me fairly, many of you, and I understand that,'' he said, adding ''I got here with the worst, most unfair press treatment they say in the history of the United States for a president.''
Diamond also questioned if Trump has been ''duped'' by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
''You know who was duped? You and the Obama administration was duped for years,'' Trump responded, and further pointing to his early decision to ban travel from China.
''You people are so pathetic at CNN'... That's why your ratings are so bad: because you're pathetic. Your ratings are terrible; you got to get back to real news,'' Trump blasted.
Meanwhile, over at the aforementioned fake news headquarters, CNN's Fareed Zakaria slammed Trump for blaming China for the outbreak, while actually acknowledging that China is to blame.
In a extreme display of cognitive dissonance, Zakaria stated that while China certainly has ''engaged in a cover-up,'' blaming the communist government for the spread of the virus doesn't solve anything.
Zakaria argued that instead, the finger of blame should be pointed at Trump.
''China's repressive regime has always controlled and manipulated information to serve its larger interests, but none of that changes the fact that Donald Trump was well aware of the potential dangers of the virus by late January at minimum and by mid-February at the latest.'' Zakaria argued.
Zakaria further argued that the solution is globalism.
''Whatever China's mistakes, missteps and deceptions, the fastest way to defeat this pandemic would be to build a broad international alliance.'' the CNN host urged.
The Rothschild Bloodline
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 08:02
The Rothschild Bloodline
Financial Wizzards & Wealthy Cults
(The numbers behind some sentences and words (...)
are references to the bibliography list at the end of the article of course)
Two neighbor horse farmers came together one day to talk business. The first farmer sold his horse to the second for a quarter million dollars, and then bought it back for about $20 more. He could now advertise his horse (actually worth $20), as a horse he that he had paid over a quarter of a million dollars for.
Jew Rothschild and his fellow-Christian, Baring. You'll learn about some other ,,neighbor horse traders" in this chapter too.
ROTHSCHILD TALKS ABOUT THEIR DYNASTY
Lord Rothschild in his book The Shadow of a Great Man quotes a letter sent from Davidson on June 24, 1814 to Nathan Rothschild, ,,As long as a house is like yours, and as long as you work together with your brothers, not a house in the world will be able to compete with you, to cause you harm or to take advantage of you, for together you can undertake and perform more than any house in the world."(1) The closeness of the Rothschild brothers is seen in a letter from Saloman (Salmon) Rothschild to his brother Nathan on Feb. 28, 1815, "We are like the mechanism of a watch: each part is essential. (2) This closeness is further seen in that of the 18 marriages made by Mayer Amschel Rothschild's grandchildren 16 were contracted between first cousins.
VISITING THE NATION THE ROTHSCHILDS BUILT
In 1974, in the summer after the Yom Kippur War this Author toured Israel, and got the chance to personally visit many of the buildings like the Knesset that the Rothschild's money has built. The Knesset is the Israeli equivalent to our Congress's Capitol building. One of the Rothschilds in his will left money for ongoing building projects in Israel, and the Rothschilds are honored with a Street named after them in Jerusalem.
The people of Germany and Turkey have been very close. I can recall meeting Turkish "Gastarbeiter" (guestworkers) in Germany. The reader will remember that Turkey fought on Germany's side in W.W. I. A few powerful Jews, including the Rothschilds were responsible for the wording of the Treaty imposed on Germany that ended W.W. I (3) The treaty gave the Rothschilds the German owned railway rights in Palestine (which had been part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire), thus paving the way for the Rothschilds to have a sure leverage to dictate policy concerning Palestine. The Rothschilds had made loans to Turkey which amounted to almost one hundred million pounds. When the Turkish government collapsed after W.W. I because they were on the losing side, the Rothschilds had a claim on Palestine because of those unpaid Turkish loans.4 The British government followed the dictates of the Rothschilds. The British were given a mandate over Palestine, and the Rothschilds were able to through their proxies in the British government, to create the steps that led to the nation of Israel.(5)
THE ROTHSCHILDS AS "PROPHETS"
One item stands out as a person listens to the International Bankers and reads their books. They believe money is what makes the world go round. If you have money, you can do anything. Money is "God", and it is worshipped and served. Even after these families accumulate more than can be spent, these devotees continue selling their souls for this false but powerful god. The great poet-philosopher Heinrich Heine (a Banker's son) said, "Money is the god of our time, and Rothschild is his prophet."6 Following the cue of the Rothschilds, Heinrich Heme, a Jew, signed his name by drawing a Seal of Solomon.7 Amsel Rothschild is reported to have said, "Give me control of the economics of a country; and I care not who makes her laws. (8) Today his descendents meet twice daily in London to dictate to the world what the world price of gold will be. They also dictate what the "Federal Reserve System" will do with America's finances.
ANOTHER GOD TOO
According to eye-witnesses, who were prominent enough to visit one of the British Rothschild homes, the Rothschilds worship yet another god too, Satan. They set a place for him at their table.(8a) The Rothschilds have been Satanists for many generations. The Rothschilds are an important part of the history of the Seal of Solomon (also known as hexagram, Magen David, six-pointed star, Star of David.) The Seal of Solomon, the hexagram, was not considered a Jewish symbol before the Rothschilds began using it.9 Throughout the Middle Ages the Seal of Solomon had been used by Arab Magicians, Cabalist Magicians, Druid witches and Satanists. One of the few ancient uses of the symbol was on the floor of a 1,200 year old Moslem Mosque found where Tel Aviv is today.10 In the twelve century an Ashkenazic Jew Menahem ben Duji, who thought he was the Messiah, used the magical symbol.11 Because the Rothschilds were Satanists they adopted this powerful magic symbol in 1822 for their coat- of-arms.
The name they adopted for their family actually comes from the fact that in the 17th century Mayer Amschel Bauer began hanging out a red hexagram in front of their house to identify it. Mayer Amschel then decided to take the name red-schield (Rothschild in German) after the red Seal of Solomon that they used. Alice Bailey in A Treatise On White Magic, p. 412, claims that the Hierarchy has a special group which she calls "the financial group" ,,controlling all that can be converted into energy, and constituting a dictatorship over all modes of intercourse, commerce and exchange." According the Luciferian Alice Bailey, the "financial group" is the latest group directed by the Hierarchy. In 1836 Zevi Hirsch Kalischer approached Rothschild and proposed Rothschild buy all of Erez Israel. It took many years for the Rothschilds to finally create Israel. The Rothschilds have been a primary force behind the creation of Israel, and so it is appropriate that the nation carries their magical Seal of Solomon as the state logo.
The Ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel will not serve in the Israeli army because they know that Almighty God was not behind the creation of modern Israel, but rather the rich ungodly apostate Jews. They refuse to serve the ungodly. They are more wiser than men like Jerry Falwell who run around proclaiming Israel is God's nation. Men like Falwell are the type that this Author finds reference to repeatedly in Jewish documents that speak of their power within the Fundamentalists. God is ultimately in charge, he has allowed Hitler to come to power, Stalin to come to power, and the Rothschilds to come to power. In the same sense that God rules over and blessed Stalin's Russia, he rules over America and Israel. To twist scriptures about God seating the rulers and then to apply them to bless one Satanic secular communist nation and not another is inconsistent and not correctly using the Word of Truth. Some people object that the conspiracy of Power is labelled Jewish rather than Satanic by certain concerned citizens.
This objection is valid-- however, will these objectors then take the obvious next step and admit the nation of Israel which the Rothschild's created is Satanic and not Jewish? But then who knows precisely why people do what they do? If you ask someone why he does something, he will give you one answer today, another tomorrow, and another the next day. Does he do what he does for a real reason, or a single motive? Perhaps to label the Power as only Satanic or only Jewish or only Masonic is to neglect the personal human dimension. This personal human dimension is godless. Being godless it fills that void, by pretending its men are gods. This brings us right back to the Gnostic religions and Satan. Most Jewish people do not concern themselves with learning the occultic significance to their treasured Magen David (Star of David). King David did not have anything to do with the hexagram, although his son Solomon did when he began worshipping Ashtoreth (star, also known as Astarte, Chiun, Kaiwan, Remphan, and Saturn).12 Solomon built altars to Star (Astarte, aka Ashtoreth).
The god Saturn is associated with the Star but both Saturn and Astarte also been identified with a number of other names. Saturn is an important key to understanding the long heritage this conspiracy has back to antiquity. The city of Rome was originally known as Saturnia or City of Saturn. The Roman Catholic church retains much of the Saturn worship in its ritual. Saturn also relates to Lucifer.'13 In various occult dictionaries Saturn is associated with evil. Saturn was important to the religion of Mithra, and also the Druids.
CO-MASTERS OF THE WORLD -- connections to JWs, Mormons, and Judaism
It has been said all roads lead to Rome. For this book, it could be said all paths of investigation lead to the Rothschilds. Charles T. Russell, in a 1891 letter to Baron (Lord) Rothschild, mailed from Palestine, outlined possible courses of action that could be taken to establish the Jews in Palestine. Russell's letters praised the Rothschild's money which established Jewish colonies in Palestine. Russell writes Rothschild, ,,What is needed here, therefore, next to water and cleanliness, is a good government which will protect the poor from the ravenous and the wealthy. Banking institutions on sound bases, and doing business honorably, are also greatly needed " Russell continues, "May the God of Jacob direct you, my dear Sir, and all interested with you in the deliverance and prosperity of Israel, and blessed will they be who, to any extent, yield themselves as his servants in fulfilling his will as predicted."(14) When the Mormon Church needed financing in the late 19th century, they went to Kuhn, Loeb Co.15 To explain the Rothschild's control of Kuhn, Loeb Co. here is some background information.
The method that the House of Rothschild used to gain influence, was the same that Royalty had used for centuries, marriage. The Rothschild children, girls and boys, have had their spouses chosen on the basis of alliances that would benefit the House of Rothschild, but since consolidating world power they generally have married cousins these last two centuries.'16 Jacob Schiff grew up in the house that the Rothschild's had at 148 Judengasse, Frankfurt. Jacob Schiff came to the United States with Rothschild capital and took over control of a small jewish banking concern founded by two Cincinnati dry goods merchants Abraham Kuhn and Solomon Loeb. He even married Soloman's daughter. In 1885, Loeb retired, and Schiff ran the Kuhn, Loeb Co. for the Rothschilds until 1920 when he died.17 During Russell's and Brigham Young's day, Lord Rothschild was considered the "lay leader of world Jewry."18 Edmund Rothschild was President of the Jewish Colonization Assoc,19 which was a major Zionist group. Amselm Rothschild indicated that his grandfather Amschel Mayer Rothschild had insisted in Clause 15 of his will to his children, "may they and their descendants remain constantly true to their ancestral Jewish faith."(20) However, the will has been secret and there is no way of knowing what it says.
The Rothschilds have not remained true to the Orthodox faith. If this was actually what Clause 15 said then something is amiss. The Jewish world has showered the Rothschilds with praises, "The Rothschilds govern a Christian world. Not a cabinet moves without their advice. They stretch their hand, with equal ease, from Petersburg to Vienna, from Vienna to Paris, from Paris to London, from London to Washington. Baron Rothschild, the head of the house, is the true king of Judah, the prince of the captivity, the Messiah so long looked for by this extraordinary people... .The lion of the tribe of Judah, Baron Rothschild, possesses more real force than David--more wisdom than Solomon." (21) The Prieure de Sion-the Elders of Sion22 also relates to the Rothschilds who are reported to serve on a Jewish council of Elders of Sion.23 The Rothschilds have "helped" the Jewish people the Rothschild's own way. For those who admire stinginess, the Rothschilds will be greatly looked up to. For instance, the extent of James Rothschild's charity in France to poor Jews was 5 francs (the equivalent of $1). Their dynasty has destroyed honest Jews along with Christians. Today, few dare criticize the Rothschilds.
CO-MASTERS OF THE WORLD -- connections to secret societies
The Rothschilds had played a major role in the Bavarian Illuminati, (25) and it is known that a least one of the sons of Amsel was a member. As the reader remembers, Amsel placed his sons in the major European capitals, where they each set up the principal banking houses. By their own secret intelligence service and their own news network they could outmanouver any European government. (26) The large amounts of voluminous correspondence by Rothschild couriers attracted attention, (27) but no one ever stopped their personal intelligence and mail services. After the Bavarian illuminati were exposed, the central occult power over the European secret societies shifted to Carbonarism a.k.a. the Alta Vendita,(28) led by another powerful Rothschild, Karl Rothschild,29 son of Amschel. In 1818, Karl participated in a secret document that was sent out to the head-quarters of Masonry from the Alta Vendita. The Masons were quite distressed when a copy of this was lost, and offered rewards to anyone who could return the lost copy. It was originally written in Italian. Its title translates "Permanent Instructions, or Practical Code of Rules; Guide for the Heads of the Highest Grades of Masonry."(30)
The Masonic reference book 10,000 Famous Freemasons, Vol. 4, p.74, indicates two other sons of Amschel were Masons, James Meyer Rothschild, and his brother Nathan Meyer Rothschild. James Rothschild in Paris was a 33 degree Scottish Rite Mason, and his brother Nathan in London was a member of the Lodge of Emulation. And Jewish Freemason Katz indicates Solomon Meir Rothschild, a third member of the five brothers, was initiated into Freemasonry on June 14, 1809.(31) The Rothschilds became powerful within Freemasonry. We find the Saint-Simonians, the occult religious millenialist forerunners of communism, praising Baron de Rothschild in their magazine Le Globe, "There is no one today who better represents the triumph of equality and work in the nineteenth century than M. le Baron de Rothschild... .Was this Jew born a millionaire? No, he was born poor, and if only you knew what genius, patience, and hard work were required to construct that European edifice called the House of Rothschild, you would admire rather than insult it." Lionel de Rothschild (the de was added by the French Rothschilds) was involved with the first communist Internationale. The Mason Mazzini who helped start communism praised Rothschild, "Rothschild could be King of France if he so desired."32
Adoiphe Cremieux, was a French Jewish Mason (see chap. 1.4 for his credentials). The Rothschilds gave at least £ i ,000 to Cremieux to go to Damascus with Salomon Munk, and Sir Moses Montefiore to win the release of Jews imprisoned there, and to convince the Turkish Sultan to declare the charges of ritual murder false.33 According to the three Jewish authors of Dope, Inc. the B'nai B'rith was a spin-off of the Order of Zion and was organized as a ,,covert intelligence front" for the House of Rothschild. It is highly probable that the B'nai B'rith was used as a Rothschild intelligence cover. The Rothschilds are prominent in the Bilderbergers too. The Rothschilds were closely related to the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR). Although many people today would not view the CFR as a secret society it was originally set up as part of a secret society and it was kept secret for many years, in spite of its awesome power. Carroll Quigley, professor of International Relations at the Jesuit Georgetown University, exposed the Round Table Group with his book Tragedy and Hope.(34) The Rothschilds supported Rhodes to form De Beers. (35)
Later, Rhodes made seven wills which established a secret society modelled after the Jesuits and Masons to help bring in a One-World- Government centered upon Britain, and the Rhodes Scholarships.36 The inner group was established in Mar. 1891 and consisted of Rhodes, Stead, Lord Esher (Brett), and 33* Mason Alfred Milner.(33bb) A secondary circle of "potential members of the Circle of Initiates" consisted of the Jew Lord Balfour, Sir Harry Johnson, Lord Rothschild, Lord Grey and others. Initially, Lord Rothschild was part of the inner group of Rhode's secret society, but was replaced by his son-in-law Lord Rosebury who wasn't as conspicuous.37 The Fabian Socialists dominated the staff at Oxford when the Rhodes Scholars began arriving. These scholars then received indoctrination and preparation to become part of an international socialist New World Order.(38)
The Round Table Group developed from the inner executive circle of Rhode's secret society. The outer circle was established after the start of the 20th century. The Round Table Group was extended after W.W. I by organizing a front organization the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The Council of Foreign Relations was the American part of this front. The inner circle continues to direct the outer circle and its two front organizations RIIA and CFR. The CER in turn set up a number of fronts including the Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR).
CO-MASTERS OF THE WORLD -- management of the Catholic and Czars' wealth and the capture of the Orthodox Church's wealth.
Early in the 19th century the Pope came to the Rothschilds to borrow money. The Rothschilds were very friendly with the Pope, causing one journalist to sarcasticly say "Rothschild has kissed the hand of the Pope...Order has at last been re-established."39 The Rothschilds in fact over time were entrusted with the bulk of the Vatican's wealth. The Jewish Ency., Vol. 2, p.497 states, ,,It is a somewhat curious sequel to the attempt to set up a Catholic competitor to the Rothschilds that at the present time (1905) the latter are the guardians of the papal treasure." Researcher Eustice Mullins writes that the Rothschilds took over all the financial operations of the worldwide Catholic Church in 1823.(40) Today the large banking and financial business of the Catholic Church is an extensive system interlocked with the Rothschilds and the rest of the International Banking system. The great wealth of the Russian Czars was entrusted to the Rothschilds, $35 million with the Rothschild's Bank of England, and $80 million in the Rothschild's Paris bank. The Rothschilds financed the Russian Revolution which confiscated vast portions of the Orthodox Church's wealth. They have been able to prevent (due to their power) the legitimate heirs of the Czars fortune to withdraw a penny of the millions deposited in a variety of their banks. The Mountbattans, who are related to the Rothschilds, led the court battles to prevent the claimants from withdrawing any of the fortune. In other words, the money they invested in the Russian Revolution, was not only paid back directly by the Bolshevists in millions of dollar of gold, but by grabbing the hugh deposits of the Czars' wealth, the Rothschilds gained what is now worth over $50 Billions.(41)
CO-MASTERS OF THE WORLD -- CONTROL OVER SATANISM & WITCHCRAFT
Chapter 2.11 gives the names of a Witchcraft Council of 13 which is under Rothschild control and in turn issue orders to various groups. One of the purest form of Satanism can be traced to the Jewish Sabbatain sect and its Frankist spin-off. The leaders of this up to the Rothschilds were:
Sabbatai Zevi (1626-1676) Nathan of Gaza (16??-?) Jacob Frank (1726-1791) Rothschilds
Three connections between Satanism, evil, and money
Money naturally attracts itself to evil. For instance, if a woman prostitutes herself she may receive a great sum of money, but who will pay her for keeping her virginity or her dignity? If you are a hit man a large amount of money is yours if you kill your target, who will pay you if you would miss your target?
Second, evil men believe in where there is a will there is a way, and they are willing to sell their souls for their God money. They will employ evil to gain money.
While most people are quite aware of these last two connections, a third may likely have escaped their attention. Thirdly, the principle group of men who cranked up International Banking were Satanists from the beginning. These Satanists now are the ones who run the Federal Reserve and are responsible for the creation of U.S. Federal Reserve notes. Just having total control over the supply of U.S. paper money almost gives them leverage over the world's finances, without mentioning they control the world bank. It is no accident then, that once they established world financial control, they would do all in their power to divide and conquer and destroy both the Christian and the Moslem faith in God. These powerful Bankers relate to faith in God as Cain related to his brother Abel. That they may be related to the Jewish people, does not mean they have the Jewish people's best interest at heart. Initially Sabbatai Zevi was rejected by many Jews. His sect gained momentum in second half of the seventeenth century in southeastern Poland.(42) In 1759-60, 500 Jewish Sabbateans ,,converted" to Christianity.43 In 1715, 109 of the 415 Jewish families in Frankfurt were engaged in money lending. The rest were merchants of various kinds. The concepts that Satanism holds to were a natural shoe in to justify for many of these Jewish bankers the type of behavior they were engaged in." (44)
LONG-STORY SHORT
Many divisions and battles between religious elements in the world have been encouraged and supported by the Power's wealth. Unfortunately, many have been fooled into thinking that being devout and faithful to God is the source of religious fighting. In some areas of the world, Moslems, Christians, and others have gotten along fine for centuries. Religious tensions do spring to some degree from within the religions themselves, but the fuel to keep those fires burning and to light up conflicts often come from the Power's wealth. An obvious example is the Iran-Iraq war.
CO-MASTERS OF THE WORLD -- CONTROL OVER W.W. I TREATY
When Germany fell, not only did Rothschild agents draft the treaty, prepare the idea of the League of Nations, but Max Rothschild was one of 11 men who took control over Bavaria. Max Rothschild was a Freemason in Lodge No. 11, Munich, Germany.
CO-MASTERS OF THE WORLD -- connections to MI5, Rockefellers, J.P. Morgan, CFR, et. al.
Victor Rothschild, who worked for J.P. Morgan & Co., and was an important part of MI5 (British Intelligence). Victor Rothschild was also a communist and member of the Apostles Club at Cambridge.45 Lord Rothschild was one of the original members of Rhode's Round Table group which developed into the CFR. It was the Rothschilds who had financed Cecil Rhodes, beginning in Africa. The Rothschilds' have several agents which their money got started and who still serve them well, the Morgans and the Rockefellers. The Rockefellers were Marrano Jews. The original Rockefeller made his money selling narcotics, (they weren't illegal then). After acquiring a little capital he branched out in oil. But it was the Rothschild capital that made the Rockefeller's so powerful. "They also financed the activities of Edward Harriman (railroads) and Andrew Carnegie Steel."(46)
CO-MASTERS OF THE WORLD -- Power within Christendom
The Rothschilds also wielded much influence and power not only in Secret Societies, but also in Christendom's churches. The Salvation Army under the suggestion of the Rothschilds adopted the Red Shield (Roth-red Schild-shield) for their logo. One history of the Rothschilds remarks, "The Rothschilds had rapidly propelled themselves into a position of immense financial power and political influence. They were an independent force in the life of Europe, accountable to no one and, to a large extent, reliant on no one. Popular lampoons depicted them as the real rulers of Christendom..."(47)
Some of the Rothschilds have been involved in the campaign to loosen public morals. The first executive Secretary of the National Student Forum was John Rothschild. This National Student Forum changed its name like articles of clothing. Speaking about clothing, one of the aims of this Socialist group was to promote public nudity, and free love. This organization had the following constituent groups Radcliffe Liberal Club, Union Theological Seminary Contemporary Club, Yale Liberal Club"(48) to name just a few. A further development of this was the Youth Peace Federation which consisted of the League of Youth of Community Church, Methodist Epworth League, NY District, Young Judea, and Young People's Fellowship of St. Phillip's Parish49 to name a few. American religious men have ties to the Rothschilds especially through their various agents.
Harry Emerson Fosdick, who was Pastor of Rockefeller's church was also among the Presidents of the Rockefeller Foundation. John Foster Dulles, CFR, was chairman of the board of the Rockefeller Foundation, and married a Rockefeller, Janet Pomeroy Avery. Remember John Foster Dulles was an important Federal Council of Churches of Christ official. (See chap. 2.9) Every road leads back to the Rothschilds. There are more items than what have been mentioned above linking the Rothschilds to the various tenticles. Each of the various tenticles that conspiracy theorists have put forth,--the Jews, the Masons, the Intelligence Communities, the International Bankers, the Prieure de Sion, the Catholics, the Trilateral commission, the CFR, the New Age, the Cults-- each ties back to the Rothschild's power.
EXTENT OF ROTHSCHILD POWER
According to one source "it was estimated that they controlled half the wealth of the world."(50) The Federal Reserve Bank of New York was controlled by five banks which owned 53% of its stock. These five banks were controlled by Nathan M. Rothschild & Sons of London. Control over the U.S. Fed is basically control over the world's money. That fact alone shows how immense the Rothschild Power is. If one examines who has been appointed to head the Fed, and to run it, the connections of the "Federal" Reserve System to the Rothschilds can further be seen. Another private enterprise using the name Federal that the Rothschilds also direct is Federal Express. Any one else might be taken to court for making their businesses sound like their are government, not the Rothschilds. It is appropriate for them to appropriate the name of Federal, because by way of MI6 via the CIA they instruct the U.S. government. Senators are bought and paid off by their system, as investigators of the BCCI are discovering. The Rothschilds have been intimately involved in witchcraft and the Illuminati since its early known history. The Kaiser of Germany seems to refer to them when he said, "the magic powers of money as wielded by the Lord of Lucre are powers of Black Magic at its blackest."51
If only half of the wealth is controlled by the Rothschilds, it indicates that if they are to be part of the world's rulership, they must have allies.
ALLIES
The Rothschilds and Rockefellers are only two of thirteen controlling families of the Illuminati. (52) Two Jewish families that appear to be prominent are the Oppenheims and the Oppenheimers. A. Oppenheim was situated in Cologne. The Oppenheimers were early members of the Bavarian Illuminati. The Bund der Gerechten (League of the Just) was an illuminati front run mainly by Jews who were Satanists. This Bund financed in part by the Rothschilds paid the Satanist and Mason Karl Marx to write the Communist Manefesto. The Jew Gumpel Oppenheim was in the inner circle of the Bund. His relative Heinrich Oppenheim masterminded the communist revolution of 1848 in Germany. The Communist Party's official histories even accept the Bund as the predecessor of Communism.
The Oppenheimers apparently are close to the Rothschilds. J. Robert Oppenheimer of the CFR was exposed as a communist. Harry Oppenheimer, an international banker, is chairman of the Jewish De Beers world-wide diamond monopoly, and chairman of the Anglo-American Corp. Oppenheimers can be found in important financial positions in the U.S. They help run around 10 large foundations, including the Oppenheimer Haas Trust of NY for the care of needy Jewish children.
The Jewish Ency. Vol. 2, p. 496 indicates other Jewish families "adopted the Rothschild plan." These were the Lazards, Sterns, Speyers, and Seligmans. The Rothschild plan was to place family members in the 5 largest European capitals to coordinate their activities. One of Germany's largest magazines is the Stern, and Ernst Stern is second-in-command of the World Bank."(53) The Jewish families that established the Frankfurt Judenloge (this was the Masonic lodge the Rothschilds belonged to in Frankfurt) included the Adlers, Speyers, Reisses, Sichels, Ellisons, Hanaus, Geisenheimers, and Goldschmidts. Isaac Hildesheim, a Jew who changed his name to Justus Hiller is credited as being the founder of this Frankfurt lodge. Michael Hess, principal of the Reformed Jewish school Philanthropin was an important figure in the lodge too, as was Dr. Ludwig Baruch (later Borne) who joined in 1808. Most of these Frankfurt Jewish Freemasons engaged in commerce.(54) Those Freemasons from 1817-1842 were the leaders of the Frankfurt Jewish community.55 A gentile Mason in Frankfurt Johann Christian Ehrmann began warning the German people that the Frankfurt Jewish Masons wanted a world republic based on humanism. In 1816 he came out with a warning pamphlet Das Judenthum in der M[aurere]y (The Jews in Masonry). A powerful ally of the world's jewry can be seen beginning with men like Oliver Cromwell, who was considered a Mason.
Cromwell was financed by Jews, and helped the Jews gain power in England. Cromwell was willing to go along with the Jews, because he became convinced of British Israelism. Since the core of the conspiracy of power is Jewish, the attitude of those allied with it hinges on their attitude toward the Jewish people.
The religious idea that the British people are descended from the tribes of Israel doesn't automatically place people into the camp of the conspiracy. Some of the British-Israelites realize that the so called Jewish people in general have no claim over the promises of God. For that reason, they realize that it is not the Christian duty to bow and scrape at their every move. When Christians can be arrested in Israel and abused, and Christians will not even stand up for their own kind, we can see how much hold the idea of the "Chosen Race" theory has over Christendom. Some of the British Israelites such as the Mormons, the old New England wealthy families such as make up the Order, some Masons and New Agers, and the non-Jewish members of the Priuere de Sion are collaborating with the One-World-Power. The anglican church which is run by the Freemasons is strongly British Israelistic.
SORTING OUT THE VARIOUS IDENTITY GROUPS
In contrast, a hodge-podge of groups which are opposed to the conspiracy like some Neo-Nazi groups, and various Churches unrelated with them are also believers in British Israelism. These various groups are sometimes all lumped together as the "Identity" movement, which is misleading because of their vast differences. It is important to differentiate between those groups that are trying to approach things from a Christian perspective and place themselves under the authority of God, and those who are setting themselves up under the New Order's authority, or under their own authority.
CO-MASTERS OF THE WORLD - The Media
Eustice Mullins has published his research in his book Who Owns the TV Networks showing that the Rothschilds have control of all three U.S. Networks, plus other aspects of the recording and mass media industry. It can be added that they control Reuters too. From other sources it appears CNN, which began as an independent challenge to the Jewish Network monopoly, ran into repeated trickery, and ended up part of the system. Money from B.C.C.I., (B.C.C.I. has been one of the New World Orders financial systems for doing its dirty business such as controlling Congressmen, and is involved with INSLA, the Iran-Contra Scandal,
Centrust, and other recent scandals) which has tainted so many aspects of public power in the U.S. has also been behind CNN. Perhaps nothing dominates the life of some Americans as does the television. Americans sit themselves before the television set and simply absorb what it projects to them. On a day to day basis the biggest way the Rothschilds touch the lives of Americans are the three major networks which are under Rothschild direction. To illustrate this we will examine who run the networks. This list is not current, and no attempt was to provide that. The length of writing a book insures that some material will be dated anyway.
NBC DIRECTORS ROTHSCHILD CONNECTIONS
OTHER CONNECTIONS
John Brademas Dir. Rockefeller. Fdtn. chrm
Fed. Reserve Bank of N.Y. which controls
all other Fed.R.Bks. Humanist of the Yr 1978
Cecily B. Selby nat. dir. Girl Scouts (the occult is nowpart of the to Girl Scout program),
dir.Avon Products and Loehmann s (dresses).
Husb. James Cole, pres. Bowdoin College
Peter G. Peterson frmr head of Kuhn-Loeb Ex-Sec. of commerce
Robert Cizek dir. First City Bancorp dir. RCA, chairmn Cooper Industries
Thomas O. Paine Pres. of Northrup- large defense contractr.
Dir. of Strategic dir of Inst. of Studies, various
munitions assoc.
Donald Smiley dir. of several Morgan Firms dir. of Ralston- Purina,
Irving Trust, Metro-Life and U.S. Steel and chrm of Macy Co.
David C. Jones Pres. Consolidated Contr., dir. U.S. Steel, Kemper
Insur.
Thornton Bradshaw, dir. Aspen Inst. of Humanistic Studies, Atlantic-Richfield dir. Rock. Bros. Fund
Oil, Champion Paper Co., chairman of RCA
Brandon Tartikoff (head of NBC entertainment) Jewish
CBS
Harold Brown, Jewish. ex-Sec. of Air Force and ex-Sec. of Defense. Ex. dir. Trilat. Com.
Roswell Gilpatric, dir. Fed. Res. Bk.NY. Kuhn Loeb firm C.S.& M
Henry B. Schnacht, dir. Chase Manhattan, dir AT&T, chnmn Cummins CFR, Brookings Inst
Engine Co., Committee for Economic Develop
Michel C. Bergerac, chrmn. Revlon
dir. Manufacturers
James D. Wolfensohn
frmr.hd. J. Henry Schr¶der Bank
Walter Cronkite
Newton D. Minow dir. Rand Corp
Franklin A. Thomas, head of Ford Found.
Marietta Tree, dir. Winston Churchill Found., dir. Salomon Bro., Foundation & dir., dir. U.S. Trust, granddgtr of fdr. of Groton, hsbd in Br. Intell., assoc. w/ Ditchlcy
THE ROTHSCHILD'S HISTORY BY A JEWISH WRITER RELATED TO THE ROTHSCHILDS
Jewish writer Anka Muhlstcin wrote a book Baron James The Rise of the French Rothschilds. I prefer paraphrase and make short quotes from her book, because I am trying to document for the reader the mindset and history of thc Rothschilds. Anka Muhlstein has nothing against the Rothschilds, so it will be easier for the reader to accept what shc says about them than from me. I can't require the reader to read her book, but I can try to summarize some of the appropriate thoughts. Other books also relate many of the things Anka does, but again if I write a footnoted article, it will not carry the weight as my paraphrase will. The reader is recommended to read the book first hand if he has the time and is interested in the details of James' life. The Jews in the 18th century were restricted to living in Ghettos. Mayer Amschel Rothschild lived in the Frankfurt ghetto. (p.22)
The Jews were repressed by outsiders. (p.23) They lived in geographically isolated and self-contained communities (p. 24). The Jewish communities in Europe used a secret relay system between all the Ghettoes. Hebrew characters were one effective code. (p.24) Because of the persecution and repression, the Jewish communities were very tight- knit and highly organized. (p.23) They were deeply hostile to the Christian people. Christians had restricted their own people from money-lending with interest, so lending money on interest had become a Jewish enterprise. The German princes of Thurn and Taxis in the 16th century initiated a postal service. Mayer Amschel loaned them money. (p.21) "Certainly they [the Rothschilds] discovered the latitude that the Thurn and Taxis allowed themselves in unsealing letters, possibly divulging their contents, and according to their own interests, delaying or accelerating delivery. "(p.22) When it profited Mayer Amschel, he would hire Christians, but in general his business and banking were conducted by his close knit family. For instance Mayer Amschel hired a young Christian woman to write his letters for him. (p. 25) Mayer Amschel Rothschild and his family were wholeheartedly Jewish. (p.27)
Mayer Amschel Rothschild picked his sons' wife's for the business gains the wives would bring the family. The oldest son was not happy with this (actually he was bitter because he was denied marriage to the woman he loved), but he complied with his father's choice. (p.26) Amschel's daughters all married bankers--in Worms, Sichel, and Beyfus. (p.26) Mayer had ten children and they were all employed in the family business. (p.25) The Jews were taught from childhood up, that the Christians were to blame for all their woes, and that the Christians were to be feared and detested. (p.24) Mayer Amschel had secret, underground passages. (p.22) His carriage was honey-combed with secret drawers. (p.27) The Napoleonic War greatly helped the Rothschild business. (p. 27) Rothschild even outsmarted Napoleon--because the Rothschilds had such good connections. (p.38) The Rothschilds smuggled during the English blocade of Napoleon's Europe, and made millions. (p.33)
"The Rothschilds changed course constantly during this period, always maneuvering to avoid any kind of political commitment. "(p.34)
One of the things Mayer Amschel set up, was to disperse his 5 sons to the major capitals of Europe. Anka attributes the respectability of Jewish money lending to the help it gave merchants and entrepreneurs. [See chap. 3.2 -this Author's view is that merchants had been borrowing for centuries prior to interest taking becoming acceptable by society in the 19th century. It was greatly in part due to who owned and controlled the major newspapers in the 19th century--Jews and Masons--that led the public to change.] "The obligation to reimburse a loan and to pay interest became less onerous to men whose affairs had flourished as a result of the borrowed money. The Jewish lender ceased to be a bloodsucker; often, indeed, he became an associate of the borrower." (p.31) [The Bible says a borrower is a slave to the lender, hardly an association to be desired.]
The business of financing Monarchs was lucrative. The Rothschilds had developed several traits in the ghetto that made their family hard to stop. "The great gift the Frankfurt ghetto bestowed upon him [James Rothschild] was adaptibility, a quality matched by the driving force of his ambition, his prodigious energy, tremendous powers of concentration, and determination to get even [with Christians]. James set out to make his place in the world." (p.40) The five Rothschild brothers, each in the five major European capitals set up their own private courier system which was faster than the regular mail. (p.47) The Rothschilds had news whether political or economic faster than anyone else including the monarchs. "Thus the Rothschilds had news before anyone else, including ministers [govt.]; they also understood how to make use of it." (p.47) [Somewhat akin to how money could be made off of knowing the future.] The Rothschilds nomal correspondence to each other was in code.(p.46)
Their world was one of finance, politics and secrecy. In the anti-Napoleonic time period, the Rothschilds increased their wealth ten-fold. (p.47) "...James. He enjoyed, moreover, a rock-solid strength and stability, built up by his family, that family simultaneously closed tight like a fist, united by mutual confidence and an invisible wall of secrecy, yet wide open to the outside world. Such was the cohesion of the Rothschilds that the removal of one or more of them left no gap in their common defenses."
The Rothschilds carried out espionage with their own intelligence service, and other questionable subversive activities but none of these could be tracked. "Whenever Mayer Amschel and his sons were on the verge of being caught out, some highly placed person stepped in and stopped the investigation." (p.36)
The made their money doing technically illegal activity. The original large sum of money made was to take the Elector of Hesse's large sum and instead of investing it into government bonds as directed--to put it to use at investments of higher returns, and giving the elector the return from the government bonds. Anka writes, "The Elector was never the wiser, but even if he had been, he could hardly have complained of disobedience." (p.34) In summary, the Mafia-like closeness of the Rothschild family, along with their tactic to situate themselves in all the major capitals, along with their own quick secret personal news/intelligence/mail service gave them the contacts and the power to manipulate all kinds of business opportunities.
1. Lord Rothschild. The Shadow of a Great Man. London: 1982, p.6. 2. Wilson, Derek. Rothschild The Wealth and Power of a Dynasty. NY: Charles Schribner's Sons, p. 101. Source of quote given in the book. 3. Armstrong, George. Rothschild Money Trust. CPA reprint of 1940 ed., pp.66-88. Also in this vein read Mullins, Eustice. The World Order. pp. 31-33 and other sources too. 4. Darms, Anton. The Delusion of British-Israelism. N.Y.: Loizeaux Brothers, pp. 186-187. 5. Darms, op. cit., plus there are numerous other accounts of how Israel was started with British help, and one has to simply see who did it and their Rothschild connections. 6. As quoted in Sampson, Anthony. The Money Lenders. Middlesex, Eng.: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1985, p.37. 7. Encyclopaedia Judaica, p. 696. 8. Mohr, Gordon. The Hidden Power Behind Freemasonry. Burnsville, MN: Weisman Pub., 1990, p. 154. 8a. Various high-ranking Satanists that the power of God has pulled out of Satanism have said they were eyewitnesses to Satan appearing at the Rothschilds. What they witnessed when Satan showed up at the Rothschilds was that Satan appeared as an extremely beautiful man, except his hoofs would be cloven. He would wear a black tuxedo to gamble and play cards (winnings were sexual victims) and a white tuxedo when coming only to socialize. 9. An excellently researched book by a Christian journalist of Jewish ancestry is The Six-Pointed Star by O.J. Graham. New Puritan Library, 1984. This book covers the satanic/magic history of the Seal of Solomon before its modern Jewish use. The book shows how the symbol was not a Jewish symbol until recent times. 10. Goldberg, M. Hirsch. The Jewish Connection. NY: Stein & Day, 1976, p.197. 11. Koestler, Arthur. The Thirteenth Tribe. NY: Random House, 1976, pp. 136-137. 12. The Satanic star is refered to in Acts 7:43, in Amos 5:25-26. "The shield carried by King David.. .was traditionally believed to be engraved either with the name of God or the Menorah, or Psalm 67." Siegel, Richard and Carl Rheins. "Metamophoses of a Tree; 10 Jewish Symbols and Their Meanings," Jewish 44 Almanac. New York: Bantam Books, 1980, p. 515. 13. Hall, Manly P., 33°. Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic & Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy. l7ed., L.A.,CA: The Philosophical Research Soc., 1971, p. CXLV. 14. WT Dec. 1891, pp.170-71 See also WTR p.1342. C.T. Russell's letter was sent by him from Palestine in Aug., 1891 to Rothschild. 15. Taylor, Samuel W. Rocky Mountain Empire The Later-Day Saints Today. NY: Macmillan Pub. Co., Inc., 1978, p.66. 16. Read Wilson, Derek. Rothschild, The Wealth and Power of a Dynasty. NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988. 17. Mullins, The World Order, p. 11. 18. Wilson, op. cit., pp. 338-339. 19. ibid., p.338 20. The Reign of the House of Rothschild, p. 405. 21. Muhlstein, Anka. Baron James, The Rise of the French Rothschilds. NY: The Vendome Press, (n.d.-c.1980) . 22. Baigent, Leigh, Lincoln. Holy Blood, Holy Grail. pp. 190-199. 23. Various references. For instance, Armstrong, The Rothschild Trust, p. 196, "That is the present objective of Jeroboam Rothschild and his secret Elders of Zion." 24. Wilson, Derek. op. cit., p. 45. 25. William Still writes, "In 1782, the headquarters of illuminized Freemasonry was moved to Frankfurt, the stronghold of German finance, and controlled by the Rothschilds." Still, The New World Order, p. 82. 26. Muhlstein, Anka. Baron James, The Rise of the French Rothschilds. ‘p.47. She describes how their private courier system was faster than the regular mail. 27. Corti, Count Egon Caesar. (trans. from German by B.& B. Lunn). The Rise Of The House Of Rothschild. Boston: Western Is., 1972, p.278 cf. pp. 386-389. 28. Miller, Edith Star. Occult Theocracy. chap on Carbonarism, pp. 427-438 is a start in learning its importance. 29. Mullins, op. cit., p.2. 30. di Gargano, Michael. Irish and English Freemasons and their Foreign Brothers, 1878, p. 62. 31. Bruell, Geschichte, p. 24 as quoted by Katz, Jacob. Jews and Freemasons in Europe 1723- 1939. (trans. by L. Oschry) Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970, pp.61, 248 32. Mullins, op. cit. p. 3. 33. Muhlstein, op. cit. p. 125 34. Carroll Quigley's book was very enlightening on the New World Order except that it leaves out the Catholic Church and the Jesuits' participation, at a time that their participation was increasing dramatically. In other words, Quigley's book must be taken with a grain of salt, it would be a mistake to believe it to be infallible or unbiased. 35. Le Sueur, Gorden (Rhode's confidential secretary). Cecil Rhodes The Man and His Work. London: John Murray, 1913, p. 10. 36. Aydelotte, Frank (co-fndr CFR and Amer. Sec. to Rhodes Trustees). American Rhodes Scholarships. "The model for this proposed secret society was the Society of Jesus, though he mentions also the Masons." 37. Allen, Gary. Nixon's Palace Guard. Boston: Western Islands, 1971, p. 9. cf. Quigley. Tragedy and Hope. 38. Martin, Rose. Fabian Freeway. Boston: Western Islands, 1966. 39. Wilson, Derek. Rothschild The Wealth and Power of a Dynasty, p. 101. The source of the quote is given in the book. 40. Mullins, Eustice. The Curse of Canaan, p.125. 41. Mullins, Eustice. The World Order, p.5. 42. Friesel, Evyatar. Atlas of Modern Jewish History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. 43. ibid. 44. Mohr, op. cit. p. 118. 45. Read Mullins, The World Order. 46. Still, op. cit. p. 136 quoting Griffin, op. cit. p. 37. See also Mullins, op. cit., p. 11. 47. Wilson, op. cit., p. 92. 48. pamphlet published by The American Defense Society Inc., 154 Nassau St., NY. 49. Peace Militant. NY: The New History Foundation. 50. Griffin, Des. Descent into Slavery. S. Pasadena, CA: Emissary Publications, 1980, p. 52. 51. England Under the Heel of the Jew. London, 1918, pp 60-2. 52. Confidential interview with those who were recently in the illuminati hierarchy. 53. Smith, Gary. Land of the ZOG. Portland, OR: VuePoint, 1989, p.58. 54. Katz, Jacob. Jews and Freemasons in Europe 1723-1939. Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press, 1970, p.60. 55. ibid, p.92 WHERE DOES NAZISM FIT INTO SATAN'S PLANS?
Let me briefly recap what some of the plan was . And while you read these plans that I am relaying to you from my intensive research on high level Satanism, see if you don't see the irony in the Satanic plans . How very ironic it is that in all the twisted thinking and reasoning of the leading Satanists for why they must do things, it is surprising they do not catch on that this plan of Satan's is going to achieve God's revealed plan . How pride does blind us! (For the sake of brevity I will dispense with my normal method of documenting everything; I suggest that my book Be Wise As Serpents be read for documentation, and further questions be written to me . Otherwise this article would be way to bulky for the newsletter.) The "brilliant" plan given in detail to the Illuminati was to create a thesis and its opposite called the antithesis . The process would repeat itself until the desired outcome.
Out of the battle between the two would emerge the synthesis . Out of the battle of chaos would come a new order reminding us of the Masonic slogan "Order out of Chaos." If the thesis were like a hammer and the antithesis like an anvil, what was caught in between would be broken or reshaped . Three world wars would enable the plan to work. The hammer would be constructed and then given a homeland, a secure base in Russia . It is what we call communism. The first anvil would be created out of economic chaos in Germany . It would be called National Socialism . That anvil would be destroyed in a Second World War, but another anvil would replace it called democracy. The first two world wars accomplished exactly what they were intended to accomplish. Out of the first world war came:
(1) A secure Satanic dictatorship in Russia, a secure base to carry out further world subversion.
(2) The Satanic family of Rothschilds gained partial control over Palestine, preparing the way for Satan to rule from Jerusalem some day
(3) Weapons of mass destruction and terror.
(4) The League of Nations.
Out of the second world war came
(1) The enlargement of their secure base in Russia into a world power.
(2) complete control over Palestine by the Rothschilds.
(3) airpower, including long range missiles, jets, secret flying saucers, and powerful submarines, all items that individuals could not produce . Those in control of production would therefore control all air and sea ways of the earth.
(4) The cold war and an era of terror to convince the people of the need for Satan's One World Order.
(5) the United Nations .
Out of the third world war would emerge a new religious system . The third world war would have to be tailored to be like the Bible's Armageddon, Satan told his highest slaves, because- if it resembled Armageddon, then the people would believe he was the Messiah when he came after its end . It would have to be terrible, so that he could step in and bring miraculous order out of a world beaten into chaos by the worst war in history. Again it would be "Order out of chaos", as the Masonic documents repeatedly proclaim. The third world war would come during a period of seven years of tribulation starting in 1992 and running until 1999. Just like the Second World War emerged out of the great world-wide depression.
Satan told his followers this 1992-99 tribulation would repeat on a larger scale the plagues of Egypt, for he would wreck revenge for what was done to Egypt by God (and Moses) by giving back in a bigger way to the world what happened to ancient Egypt . To a demonic controlled mind it makes sense to wreck such revenge, especially when the end result is held out to be the salvation of the world by the Lightbearer, the Morning Star, also known as Lucifer. For most of us, the idea of such pain and destruction seems like demonic madness- - which it is .
At the core of the One-World-System is Satanism. It hides itself behind fronts such as Jewish Finance, Socialism, Aryanism, British Israelism, Zionism, and Freemasonry which are tools to get the broad masses to serve the Plan. The "conspiracy" to create the One-World-System has enlisted the help of almost everyone. That is because most of the religious systems at the top are controlled by Satanists who know what they are doing and direct the people's religious efforts. (Read the research in Be Wise As Serpents for the documentation on this.) Nazism was a Pagan Gnostic religious system whose High Priest Hitler knew what he was doing in relation to Satan's mission. (More about this further down.) The Jewish people (1 use the term in its broadest sense) are being used.
Actually the allegiance of the Satanic hierarchy is not in the least concerned with Judaism, although it appears that at first the plans are to create a religious leader that will have the apparent credentials of the Jewish messiah. How sad, because the actions of the Rothschilds and other Satanic "Jewish" bloodlines during W.W. II show that their first allegiance is not to the Old Testament and not to even Orthodox Judaism, but is purely to Satan. At some point in the future the Orthodox Jews and the Conservative Jews will find that this Messiah, who is already alive waiting to play his role, will only give them temporary relief. They are being taken for a ride and then they will be dumped by the New World Order's dictatorship.
Constance Cumbey correctly notices that the New Age movement resembles Nazism exactly to a T . For those students wanting to get a detail by detail parallel go to pages 114 to 120 in The Hidden Dangers Of The Rainbow.
In 1952, James Larratt Battersby in England published The Holy Book of Adolf Hitler for the German World Church in Europe . Except for some of his pro-German ideas, obviously thrown in to make the book enlist the intended audience's favor, the book is an exact description of what would happen in the next 50 years to bring in the New World Order. The reason some of the prognostications of pro-German ideas are not valid is that the Satanic hierarchy is not really concerned for the German people either, except to harness their help in their plans . Batterby's Holy Book of Adolf Hitler was given to him "in the spirit" . According to Battersby the book was written in order that "May God open the eyes of the Gentiles to Truth, and carry his Holy Gospel to the ends of the earth" .
The book is an excellent synopsis of what Satan had planned in 1952 and has carried out since to a large degree. The Rothschilds (and other top Satanic families in a lesser way) financed a jewish Mason and devote Satanist named Karl Marx to write his Das Kapital . The Satanists controlling key Masonic groups (along with some other groups they controlled) got Communism started. The original idea came from Satan, and was given at a Feast of the Beast in meticulous detail to those highest in the Satanic Hierarchy . Albert Pike, and Guiseppe Mazzini were two men in strategic positions of control that were let in on the plans.
After creating International Socialism (communism) a temporary antithesis was created called National Socialism (Nazism). The process to create National Socialism was to turn again to the Masonic Lodges and other esoteric secret Societies to get it done. Therefore, the secret esoteric gnostic and satanic societies along with the Illuminati helped create "the Thule Gesellshaft" (in English the Thule Society) . Adolf Hitler was some type of member of this occult Thule Society, along with many other men who later began leading Nazi leaders such as Rudolf Hess. The Thule Society used the Masonic/Hindu symbol the Swastika, which the Nazi party then also used as its symbol. In other words the grandmother of the Nazi Party was the Masonic Lodges in Germany.
The Vril was another secret occult group that many of the Nazi leadership belonged to. Hitler also was a member of the Theosophical Society, which has strong Satanic and Masonic ties. Both Bailey and Hitler studied from Tibetians, Hindus, occultists, and black magicians. They also both studied the Gnostics, and every major Pagan/Occult religious system. A example of how valued the Swastika was for Freemasons before Hitler ruined its image, is a quote from Joseph Fort Newton, a Baptist Minister and high ranking Mason, "The second of these volumes also contains an essay. . . by Thomas Carr, with a list of Lodges, and a study of their history, customs, and emblems- -especially the Swastika . Speculative Masons are now said to be joining.., seeking more light on what are called the Lost Symbols of Masonry." After promoting and using the Swastika for years the Freemasons quit using it after Hitler.
The Holy Book of Hitler provides the answer as to why the Theosophical Society worked so hard to destroy the British Empire. It had always at first mystified me why the Theosophical Society Presidents who connected to the Satanic hierarchy would want to ruin the British Empire. The reason it seemed strange is that the mother country of Satanism and Witchcraft is Great Britain. The center of secret political power is geographically in England. And further, one of the largest and most powerful secret fronts for Satanism is Britism-Israelism. The reason why the British Empire was destroyed was that Satan had already determined even before 1870 that the steps to world government would include setting up around 9 or 10 Continental blocs . The Union of Europe into one country (or bloc) could not be accomplished while Great Britain had most of her focus on her empire. Great Britain as long as she had an empire would never want to join up with Europe. In fact all the European nations would have to be convinced to give up their colonies, that is why the World Power got everyone they could get to help fight Portugal in Angola in recent history, everyone including the large masonic-controlled Christian denominations who donated millions of dollars to the NCC and WCC which moneys were then passed on to the guerillas to buy weapons and ammo.
The Theosophical Society is mostly to blame for India's independence from Britain . First, the Theosophical Society managed to change British policy so that the British became unpopular. Then Theosophical President Besant, who published the largest English paper strongly criticized British rule in her newspapers and eventually was arrested . Gandhi and other Indian leaders were involved in Besant being made the President of the Indian Congress Party. And that political party still rules Indian politics . The Theosophist Mahatma Gandhi, following in the steps of Theosophical President Annie Besant, led the Indian people against British rule.
But the final blow to the British Empire was done by another Theosophist--Adolf Hitler. It is common knowledge that the powerful blows of Axis attacks in W.W. II struck the death blow to the British Empire, or so we are told. The truth is that the elite wanted the Empire to die, and pulled every string to convince the British public and indigenous natives that the Empire was too weak after W . W . II to save the empire and prevent her colonies from independence. It is hard for people to grasp that the Illuminati controlled Russia, Great Britain, Germany and France during World War II, but they did. Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin were all Masons . DeGaulle of France was closely linked with several esoteric groups, and the Priere de Sion and Grand Orient Masons helped him to power in the 50s . Churchill was a Zionist and pro-Fabian Socialist . Stalin was a closet Satanist . Roosevelt was a Zionist, pro-communist and socialist . Both Churchill and Roosevelt came from important elite blood lines . Apparently, Stalin was somewhat independent, but basically did what was expected of him. As the previous paragraph indicates the people of the world weren't ready for a world government, and most not even a united Europe. W.W. II was carried out to adjust people's thinking toward wanting European unity . Satan already ruled the world through his secret chain of command, but he wanted to openly rule the world's hearts and to be publicly hailed as ruler and savior.
Who was Hitler? Hitler's father was the offspring of the Rothschild's secret breeding program which impregnated his grandmother. It appears from the details available, Hitler was groomed for his role, without realizing his heritage at first . It appears that Hitler learned of his "Jewish bloodline" after taking over Germany. Hitler had romances with many beautiful women. Although Hitler was very strict with his New Age religious practices such as being a vegetarian, that did not include being celebrate .
He did have sex contrary to the deceptions of the Establishment. Hitler's seed (the Rothschild's powerful generational occult bloodline) was hidden in an Askenazim bloodline, at least part of which has come to the U.S. In fact, Hitler's generational occult power was passed on too . This was most likely done by thrusting a knife into his heart, and the person who received his occult power then gulped his last breath with the kiss of death to receive his occult power . What I am telling you is that Hitler's offspring are alive and well and that his terrifying Anti-Christ spirit was passed to someone and is not dead. Let me remind you of some of Hitler's own prophecies about himself and his goals. "At the time of supreme peril I must die a martyr's death for the people.
But after my death will come something really great, an overwhelming revelation to the world of my mission." The world was to witness his divinity . Further, "My spirit will rise from the grave, and the world will see that I was right." Von Ribbentrop on Apr. 30, 1945 was told this same thing, "You will see that my spirit will rise from the grave . " National Socialism "is even more than a religion; it is the will to make mankind anew." "All creative energy will pass to the new man." Hitler claimed to be the real fulfillment of Marx's socialism. "I am not only the conqueror, but also the executor of Marxism, of that part of it which is essential and justified, stripped of its Jewish-Talmudic dogma." In essence, he is saying whatever veneer of Jewishness that Marx's satanic plan had, he disagreed with it and would destroy that veneer . These type of statements reveal that the essence of the message of various elite men like Hitler is the same Satanic plan if stripped of their variously decorated veneers .
Hitler is viewed as the Messiah, the Holy Spirit, the martyred Savior of his people by his followers today. The blasphemous Holy Book of Adolf Hitler states, "All hail to God's Christ and Chosen, Adolf Hitler...Lord of Lords, and King of Kings, the Eternal Adolf Hitler." Such blasphemy . Father forgive them for they know not what they do. Hitler's Demonic Spirit and Hitler's descendents both live on today. (By the way, some Rothschild descendents such as Hitler's have come to Christ as their Lord and Savior!) Will this powerful occult branch of the Rothschild's be used again by the New World Order? Whatever the case it is clear that Hitler's Anti-Christ spirit will get plenty of demonic help. The demonic forces that have manifested themselves in National Socialism and International Socialism (aka Communism) demonized much of Europe.
So much so that Europe officially portrays itself as a beast with Venus on it on a stamp commemorating the Second election of the European Parliament, and also as the same forces that tried to build the Tower of Babel on an official poster. Not only are the same demons that led communist leaders and Nazi leaders operating in Europe's leaders, but there are armies of demons trampling over anything of moral value in Europe . It can be said without a doubt that the ,,man" who rules the One-World-Government will derive his power from a demonic supernatural source . According to Revelations, God is going to have an angel open up a key to the abyss and teeming hordes of demonic spirits shall be descending upon the earth . My conclusion is that Satan has so many Anti-Christs available that Hitler's personal occult power is not necessary for the New World Order's success .
I rarely like to comment on the end times from Scriptures because I feel like most people are thoroughly confused about the clear teachings that the Scriptures give. 2 Thes. 2:3 and other Scriptures make it clear that the Christians must witness a great apostasy and the Anti-Christ being revealed before Christ returns . We can live everyday as if it may be our last, but Scriptures are clear that the Apostles did not live each day as if Jesus could return that day. They knew that certain things had to happen first . The church has been going through tribulations since Pentecost . The church will go through the "great tribulation" according to the Word of God .
We will if we are that faithful remnant we will be spared from the Wrath of God, but we will not be spared from the tribulation of Satan which shall include martyrdom . The New Age leaders are fully ready to cooperate with this "cleansing" from the earth of us bothersome disciples of Truth. In this respect, their thinking will resemble the Nazi's rationalizations that people must pay their Karmic debt, and shall benefit from being killed . How truth can be stood on its head! The Plans are already drawn up how to use rail lines to move large groups of civilians to labor camps . When we compare Nazi Germany with today's New World Order plans, Nazi Germany can be seen to be the basic model of what Satan's timetable includes for us these next few years .
To illustrate that the Pagan religion of Nazism is an example to the Satanists and New Agers, let us ponder Anton LaVey's (head of a visible Church of Satan) trip to the sacred initiation castle of Hitler's Black Order the SS . The SS apparently brought the Holy Grail to Germany, and hid it before the end of the war . On May 2, 1945, a select group of SS officers, those initiated into the higher mysteries of the Nazi Pagan religion, hid the Grail in the Schleigeiss glacier at the foot of 3,000 meter high Hochfeiler mountain . Seekers in the area have been found decapitated, and mutilated . The area is still guarded by the Black Order in anticipation of the day that the Grail can be revealed to the world . It has been speculated 1995 might be the date, but this is pure speculation . The important thing for us is to begin to experience the Kingdom of God right now . Let us prepare ourselves for Almighty God's New World Order as the Satanists launch their counterfeit New World Order .
THE ROTHSCHILDS
A CONTINUATION OF ARTICLES ON THE TOP 13 ILLUMINATI FAMILIES
INTRODUCTION
by Fritz Springmeier
The Rothschilds are one of the most well-known of the thirteen families. David J. Smith of Portland was asked to prepare an article on the Rothschilds for this newsletter. His article follows this introduction. Satan's selective breeding program has been continuing down through the ages hidden from the eyes of the public. One of the most powerful Rothschild bloodline families in America are the Springs. The Springs were originally the Springsteins when they came to America in the mid-I 1700s and settled in NY and NJ. They later changed their name from Springstein to Springs to hide their identity. Leroy Springs was hired by LC. Payseur. Now most American's have to ask, who is L.C. Payseur? One of the most secret and most powerful families in North America has been the Payseurs. They have been so powerful that they could hide their wealth and power, and use other Satanic families as proxies.
The Payseurs are part of the 13 top Illuminati family. The first Payseur to come to America was the former crown prince of France Daniel Payseur (1785-1860). He came over about 1805 to the U.S. and married Susannah Kiser c. 1814. They had two boys Adam and Jonas (1819-1 884). Jonas married Harrietta Smith and they had Lewis Cass Payseur (1850-1939). It was this Lewis Cass Payseur who hired the Rothschild bloodline of the Springs to run a number of the Payseur's companies. The Payseurs were one of the original big railroad families along with Issac Croom and William H. Beatty. Isaac Croom's wife was a sister of William Beatty's, so the reader can see how all these elite bloodlines intertwine. Remember that LC. Payseur hired Leroy Springs to operate a host of his companies. Leroy Springs father was A.A. Springs and A.A. Springs was the secret father of Abraham Lincoln.
In 1808, Nancy Hanks, of the lineage of the McAdden Scottish family visited some of her famIly at Lincolnton, N.C. Nancy Hawks visited the Springs family and that is when A.A. Springs impregnated her, and her child when born was named Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln's Rothschild blood was kept very secret, but he did grow up to be a famous lawyer, a secret leader of the Rosicrucians, and President of the United States. It is believed from the evidence that the establishment conspiracy concocted the person of Thomas Lincoln out of thin air. The actual early history of Abraham Lincoln is shrouded in myth and mystery, and as one encyclopedia puts it, "We know little about the family of his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln." While a lawyer, Abraham Lincoln had a sexual liaison with Elizabeth who was the illegitimate daughter of German King Leopold, who is also of elite blood lineage.
Abraham Lincoln and Elizabeth had two twin daughters Ella and Emily in 1856 who were adopted out. Lincoln in fact had a fairly large number of illegitimate children. Now A. A. Springs, who was both the biological father of Leroy Springs and Abraham Lincoln left an enormous amount of land in what is now Huntsville, AL to his son Abraham Lincoln. Huntsville, AL by the way has become a hotbed of NWO activity. Some of the mind-control research the intelligence community has been conducting has been done at Huntsville. The Rothschilds even named one of their boys after Abraham Lincoln, his name was Lincoln Rothschild. Although Abraham Lincoln secretly had powerful occult blood, he was a great man in his own right.
And just like JFK, he had the strength of personality to refuse to bow to the Illuminati's instructions. Lincoln refused to go the path that his distant European International Banking Rothschild relatives wanted for the United States. The Illuminati goal had been to split the U.S. into two easier to control nations. And just as with JFK, who also came from a top 13 family, a large scale conspiracy Involving many government officials including the Secretary of Defense was put into place to assassinate Lincoln. There are numerous indications that show that the Rothschilds were in part behind the assassination of Lincoln. Some of the men who worked for the Payseurs of the 13th top family were Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, the Vanderbilts, Giftord Pinnchot, and John D Rockefeller. These men were selected to run Payseur companies because they belonged to the satanic elite.
The Leroy Springs family got Payseur family companies in the early 1920s. It was Leroy that managed to get the Rothschild's involved with the Federal Reserve. Two companies that have come out of the Payseur's old Lancaster Manufacturing Co. ins Weyerhaeuser and Crown-Zellerbach. I have long know these were companies tied to the elite, but it wasn't until i found the secret Payseur family at the very top of these companies that I really understood the full story. The Payseurs have gone to extreme lengths to corrupt government documents, such as courthouse records. They have hidden the births of many of their descendants, and have covered over with extreme secrecy most of their monetary holdings.
Remember the Beatty family was an early railroad family with business ties to the Payseur family. Bartholomew F. Moore, who was the private attorney for years to President Abraham Lincoln, was a blood relative of the Beatty family. It was Bart Fingers Moore who co-authored the 14th amendment for the conspiracy. The Beatty family continually resurfaces when doing research on the conspiracy. Shirley MacLaine, the famous New Age leader/author is from the Beatty family. She credits her start to Edgar Cayce by the way, who in turn was interested in Blavatsky. Blavatsky was a student of the Mason Anton Mesmer, who introduced the world to hypnotism. Hypnotism had been secretly practiced by the Mystery Religions for thousands of years before Mesmer taught Blavatsky and others about it. Charles Beatty Alexander, who is an Illuminati "prince"/Pilgrim Society member is an example of a Beatty in recent times who was within the elite. Quantrill, who was a famous Confederate colonel and guerilla leader, whose band of raiders evolved into the Jessie James gang was married into the Springs (Rothschild) family
The recent lala Madelyn Payseur Gatling Fulghum (1876-1972) was the late head of the Payseur family. The documentation on the above families is extensive, but much of the evidence that has been photocopied out of the few documents left intact have been destroyed since the documents were photocopied. The amount of tampering with official documents is incredible, and further Illustrates the enormous power the Rothschilds and the Payseurs (the 13th family--the Holy Blood line) have. The researchers who wrote Holy Blood, Holy Grail got a taste of the power of the 13th blood line to manipulate documents held by libraries and governments in Europe. The same type of thing has been happening in the United States. The researcher into the Satanic elite has a hard row to hoe because the Satanic families have tried to cover their tracks through history. They have also tried very hard to cover up what their financial assets are. Those Rothschilds who have carried on the Rothschild name have had a higher visibility. It is this group of Rothschilds which have gained the public's attention, even though they too are very secretive.
The origins of the Masonic and Rosicrucian movements lie with the medieval alchemists. Manly P. Hall, Freemasonry's greatest philosopher writes, ,,During the Middle Ages, alchemy was not only a philosophy and a science but also a religion. Those who rebelled against the religious limitations of their day concealed their philosophic teachings under the allegory of gold-making. In this way they preserved their personal liberty and were ridiculed rather than persecuted. Alchemy is a threefold art, its mystery well symbolized by a triangle." (The Secret Teachings of All Ages, pg CLIV-ul) -- Manly P Hall also states in his book on magic entitled Magic, "... [the] pentagram. This was known to medieval alchemy as the sign of the cloven hoof .... (Hall.. Magic, Los Angeles, CA: Philosophical Research Soc., pg. 46) Quicksilver (which was one of the things the early Astor family traded in) was one of the primary items employed in the alchemical transmutations.
The oxide produced using quicksilver was considered magical and mystically identified with the god Osiris. As the reader may have already figured out, alchemy practiced Hermetic magic from ancient Egypt. Alchemy was really a front for the mystery religion of Satanic witchcraft. The leading alchemist was a german Richard Bauer who was alive sometime in the 14 or 15 hundreds. Richard Bauer is said to have been the only alchemist who was successful in transforming lead to gold. Whether that report is meant in an allegorical way, or some other way I do not know What I am trying to communicate is that the Bauer family was a leading alchemical family which secretly practiced Hermetic magic during the late Middle Ages. David's article on the Rothschilds is meant to be an extension of what I have already put out on the Rothschilds. for instance my chapter 3.3 in the Be Wise As Serpents book.
Chapter 3.3 is entirely devoted to the Rothschilds. I chose them to write about in the book, because the family is the most renown of the Satanic families and the easiest to expose to people just becoming acquainted with what is going on. The other family which has a chapter devoted to it is the Russell family, which is described in chapter 1. 6. The Russell family has yet to be covered in this series, but was covered in the Be Wise As Serpents book because of their importance to the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. I am aware of intense secret meetings that have been going on in Frankfurt and Moscow between World Bank officials. These secret meetings have been going on now for two months which gives some of the scope of their importance. Undoubtedly the Rothschilds are playing a role in these secret meetings, even while I write this.
There has been a great deal of misinformation put out that the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers are fighting for control of the world. It is true that they are in intense competition in some areas. It has also been true that they have been in intense cooperation in many areas. One of the difficulties for people to sort out what is going on, is that they don't know about the Satanic spiritual dimension of the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers. For instance, to make an analogy, if I am a minister and one of my brothers-in-Christ is my up line on a multi-level marketing distributorship, then he is my business head, but I could be the spiritual leadership that he looks up to.
The point is that essentially all researchers trying to expose the NWO are drawing conclusions about occult power on the basis of business relationships, and it doesn't always work. Sometimes the business boss may be in a secret satanic leadership position over someone else, but it may also be that both men are on equal footing when it comes to occult power and status within the Illuminati. So far I have seen only one book advertised (and I haven't read it) which claims to expose the conflict between the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers as a sham. If It really does show this, then the book has contributed greatly toward helping people tear down their misunderstandings about the Illuminati power structure.
Part I
THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD
If one looked on the backstage of history, he would find the House of Rothschild. They have indebted Kings, manipulated kingdoms, created wars and molded the very shape of the international world. Among the hierarchy of the Illuminati they are revered as a powerful satanic bloodline. They are "living legends."
Said one biographer: "In America a boy wants to become President. In Europe he would rather be a Rothschild.... To be ‘a Rothschild' is to be a modern Croesus, a twentieth-century Midas." They are a dynasty of enduring power; a "magic" bloodline In Satan's Empire. We will probably never know exactly when occultism was introduced to the Rothschilds. Several of their ancestors have been rabbis, so the occultism probably came in the form of Jewish Cabalism, Sabbatism, or Frankism. The House of Rothschild practices gnostic-satanism (the Rothschilds would probably not call themselves satanists, but by our standards they are, considering the sacrificial and spiritual worship involved). The truth is sometimes hard to tell. The stories the family weave are hard to distinguish from the truth. Myths are one of their best weapons, and a researcher must be wary. The family began in Frankfort, Germany (the city where paper money was popularized). The oldest known Rothschild went by the name of Uri Feibesch who lived in the early 16th century. His descendants lived in the House of Red Shield. His great, great, great, great Grandson was Moses Bauer, who lived in the early 18th century. The family was mostly made-up of Jewish retail traders, and lived in the Judengasse, or Jew's Alley in Frankfort. Jew's Alley was the product of the anti-semitic bent in Europe, and did not have very good living conditions.
Most Ashkenazim Jews of that time did not use sir-names, instead they preferred the Chinese custom of using a symbol as the family identity. These symbols were sometimes used on signs outside Jewish houses as an address. Some Jews had taken on sir-names, to fit in, but the use of symbols was more popular. The early Rothschilds chose the sir-name Bauer (meaning farmer in German. Why would a family of retail traders call themselves Bauer? Perhaps to remain un-noticed). The Bauer line continues today, but in the 1700's one man re-named his branch of the family after its symbol and address - the Red Shield or the Seal of Solomon.
Mayer Amschel Bauer was a well-off coin trader in Frankfort. In front of his house hung a sign with the family's symbol, which was a red hexagram. The hexagram (also known as the Seal of Solomon, the Magden David, or the Star of David) is very occultic. It is used today as the symbol of Israel, but It is not ,,Jewish." In his excellent book THE SIX-POINTED STAR, O.J. Graham explains that the hexagram was used in the ancient mystery religions. It was the symbol of Moloch, Ashtoreth, and others. In fact, the hexagram was used to represent Saturn, which earlier newsletters have discussed. The six-pointed star is considered the equivalent of the Oriental Yin-and-Yang symbol, which is the Luciferian concept of balancing good and evil.
The symbol appears to have been used by King Solomon when he apostasized, and was thereafter called the Seal of Solomon. Later on, Jewish Cabalism (or Occultism - different name, same game) picked it up as a magic symbol. Through the promotion of the Cabalists and the Zionists it has become the symbol of Jewish identity, although the occult circles know better. The Bauer's use of a hexagram as their family sign points to their involvement in Jewish Cabalism. In fact, the six-pointed star was so significant to them that Mayer Amschel Bauer decided to adopt it as his new name - Mayer Amschel Rothschild (Rot-schildt = Red Shield). I believe this was done to identify his family with occultism and the likes of Saturn or Ashtoreth (whom the Astors are named after). Mayer was sent to be a rabbi when he was 10, in 1753. A year and a half later his parents died. Mayer was brilliant and was encouraged by relatives to continue his studies but coin trading was his love. He left the school and when 13 was sent to Hanover to be an apprentice at the Illuminati Oppenheimer bank.
He worked there for 7 years, learning the ins and out of money. The big question is why he left the Oppenheimer bank. It was a good situation, both financially and socially (Hanover was less antagonistic towards the Jews than Frankfort). Why leave this security and head back home to an uncertain future? Because the future wasn't all that uncertain. While in Hanover Mayer made the acquaintance of General von Estorff, a numismatist who was impressed by Mayer's knowledge of the subject. In 1763 General von Estorff left Hanover and joined the Court of Prince William IX of Hesse-Hanau, whose territory included Frankfort. Mayer knew that through his connections he would be able to get some business with the Prince. It appears Mayer's stay at the Oppenheimer bank was used to establish himself in Illuminati circles and to find a way to get close to the Illuminati royalty. General von Estorff was his key.
Prince William of Hesse-Hanau was tied into the Illuminati. He was the son of Landgrave Frederick or Hesse-Cassel, of the royal family of Hesse. Prince William was a Freemason, and his younger brother Karl, was according to JEWS AND FREEMASONS IN EUROPE, 1723-1939, ‘accepted as the head of all German Freemasons.' Members of the Hesse dynasty have been described as the leaders of the Strict Observance (in 1782 a Masonic Congress in Wilhelmsbad, a city in the Hesse province, dropped the name ‘Strict Observance' and changed it to "Beneficent Knights of the Holy City"). The Hesse dynasty is totally connected to the Illuminati. Prince William was the grandson of King George II of England.
The Hesse-Cassel's were one of the richest royal houses in Europe. Their income came mainly from the loaning-out of Hessian soldiers to foreign countries. (The elite loves to makes profit off of "peacekeeping" troops, which is exactly what the Hessians were called. This "peacekeeping" always adds up to imperialism. The Hessian troops were used by England in the American Revolution, in fact the colonial armies fought more Hessian soldiers than English. The House of Hesse-Cassel made a lot of money off the American Revolution.) Another example of the Hesse-
Cassel's ties to the Illuminati is the enigmatic figure St. Germain, who is hailed as a New Age Messiah-figure. Many researchers believe that St. Germain was the son of Francis II of Transylvania. Francis II's second wife was Charlotte Amalie of the House of Hesse, he married her in 1694. St. Germain was either her son, or the prior wife's, this point is debated. His name was Leopold-George and they staged his death in 1700 to save him from the deadly collapse of the Transylvanian dynasty. Prince Karl of Hesse, Masonic leader of Germany, wrote that St. Germain had been sent down to Italy to be raised by the Medici family. Later on St. Germain appeared out of nowhere to work with the elite.
There were questions as to his identity and Napoleon Ill had a dossier gathered on him, but the house holding the dossier was mysteriously destroyed in a fire. St. Germain was an alchemist and he claimed to have the alchemical Elixir of Life, the secret formula of immortality (which the Rosicrucians also claimed to have). He was a guest of William and Karl of Hesse in 1774, and in 1779 returned to Karl to spend the last years of his known life. Helena Blavatsky, cofounder of the Theosophical Society claimed that St. Germain was one of the Hidden Masters of Tibet who secretly controlled the world's destiny. In 1930 Guy Ballard claimed that he met St. GermaIn on Mount Shasta. This supposed meeting led to the creation of the ‘I AM' movement.
The Hesse Dynasty has lasted clear up to the 20th century. During WWII they were on Hitler's side. Prince Philip of Hesse was a messenger between Hitler and Mussolini. He was still alive in 1973 and was reported to be the richest prince in Europe. The House of Hesse is still a powerful force in Germany. In 1763 Mayer left Hanover to build his fortune in Frankfort. His main objective was to become a financial agent of Prince William of Hesse-Hanau. Prince William was an intelligent man who loved to make money. (His passions went beyond money. His wife did not please him so he became an adulterer and almost every woman he slept with became pregnant. He fathered between 70 to 21 illegitimate children. His main mistress, Frau von Lindenthal, bore him 8 children and ran his household.) William loved to loan money at high interest rates. He was the perfect man to aid Mayer's quest for riches. Mayer began bribing Prince William's servants to become informants.
At that time he was an antique dealer, trader, coin collector, and exchanger (the country was divided and as a result the separate currencies made money exchanging very profitable) . General von Estorff convinced Prince William of the value of a rare coin collection and then recommended Rothschild. Thus began the relationship between the Prince and the Rothschilds. Mayer would sell rare coins, precious stones, and antiques to the Prince at ridiculously low prices. Then, in 1769, after a significant amount of sales, he wrote the Prince asking for and receiving the designation ‘Crown Agent to the Prince of Hesse-Hanau" (a great commercial advertiser.
Titles and honors were important in that day, they opened doors). Mayer then married Gutle Schnapper, daughter of a respected merchant, Wolf Salomon Schnapper, in 1770. He then set up a money exchange bureau. His two brothers worked in this bureau with him until 1785 when Kalmann died and Moses quite. Some researchers contend that Adam Wieshaupt of the Bavarian Illuminati was financially supported by the Rothschilds. The Bavarian Illuminati was founded in 1776, and the Rothschilds were not necessarily a financial power at that time. I may be wrong, but I do not believe Mayer was in a financial position to support Wieshaupt. It is possible, though, that when, in 1782, the headquarters of the Illuminati moved to Frankfort, that it began to be controlled by the Rothschilds.
In 1785 Prince William's father, Landgrave Frederick of Hesse-Cassel, died and William became the new Landgrave. This made him the richest prince in Germany and possibly Europe. He left the small province of Hesse-Hanau to become ruler in Hesse-Cassel. Around this time Wolf Schnapper, Mayer's father-in-law, introduced Rothschild to Carl Buderus who was the Prince's chief financial advisor. Through either coercion, friendship, or occultic ties Mayer was able to convince Buderus to become an agent for him. This was a big mover for Mayer. The Landgrave William of Hesse-Cassel was to be the ‘steppingstone" to power.
Until then Mayer had only done meager business with William, but by 1789 Buderus managed to get some royal bills for Rothschild to discount. This wasn't much, but it was a start. Carl received a cut of the profits when he did William's business through Rothschild. This was the beginning of a long financial relationship that would benefit both parties.
Mayer Amschel Bauer-Rothschild was a shrewd man, but his quick rise in social status shows the power of money, for Mayer was not cultured. He could never master the German language and so he and his family spoke a strange Yiddish German mixture (which benefitted their secret network). He enjoyed
discussing the medieval world and coin collecting. When it came to business he was ruthless and naturally adept. His occult side was well hidden. He was most likely a Cabalistic Jew. Although it is not known if he was a Freemason, he did accompany the Landgrave on several trips to Masonic lodges (after the two had become better friends). He had 5 daughters and 5 sons, plus several children that died young. He moved from his old house, the ,,Haus zur Hinterpfann", to a new one, Green Shield, when he started making more money. Green Shield was a dual residency and the other half was occupied by the Schiff family who were to play an important role later on as agents of the Rothschilds.
Every passage of Green Shield held hidden shelves and cupboards, and the backyard counting house's walls had a number of secret shelves and a secret underground room which was connected to a neighbor's house for a quick getaway if necessary (the house was built to protect Jews from the dangerous pogroms that would sweep Germany, it was a great place to secretly practice their gnostic-satanic rituals, if they were yet involved in that form of worship). His five sons have been called the Mayer brothers because they all shared that middle name: Amschel Mayer, Salomon Mayer, Nathan Mayer, Kalmann (Carl) Mayer, and Jacob (James) Mayer. Each son entered the family business at the age of 12. The humorous side of studying an elite IllumInati family is the
biographer's insistence on owing the family's ability to profit from circumstances as "luck.' They never seem to put two and two together. Many of these circumstances happened by design. They always say things like ‘... the infant opportunity seemed to be the child of coincidence." They never attribute a family's wealth to well planned extortion, cheating, or thievery, which is exactly how families like the Rothschilds attain their riches. The French Revolution is an example.
The Illuminati fueled French Revolution got under way in the 1790's, and Prince William began to get nervous. He was afraid the revolutionary riots would reach Germany and he would lose his gold. So he invested his money in a magnificent new palace called Wilhelmshoe, which was built from 1791 to 1798. Although the French Revolution frightened William it was a delight for Mayer. The war helped his sales. When the French ended up pitted against the Holy Roman Empire, the prices of imported goods skyrocketed, and importing goods from England was a Rothschild specialty. In fact Mayer's English trade helped him secure a deal with the Landgrave (through Buderus, of course) in which he became a middleman in England's payments for the hire of Hessian soldiers. ‘...every ill wind of the 1790's seemed to blow good to the Rothschilds." The winds were so good that by the end of the decade they were established as a rich and independent family.
In 1800 they were the 11th richest family in Frankfort's Jew Alley (not counting the wealth in proxy). Around the turn of the century Mayer decided to send his most clever son, Nathan to England to establish another Rothschild House. The family tells a silly story about Nathan leaving for England to best an annoying English cotton trader, but I believe that Nathan was sent by Mayer with a specific purpose - to establish power with the Rothschild network in that country. Nathan arrived in England with no knowledge of the language but a great amount of money. He would soon be the most powerful man in Europe. Many more profitable events occurred at the turn of the century. Many of these events revolve around the Rothschild infiltration of the Thurn and Taxis postal system. The House of Thurn and Taxis was of the Black Nobility. In 1516 Holy Roman Emperor Maximilion I (of the Merovingian bloodline and husband of a member of the Black Nobility) commissioned the House to create a mounted postal service between Vienna and Brussels. The service eventually included all of Central Europe.
The head office of the system was in Frankfort, which was rather convenient for Mayer who proceeded to do business with them. His relationship with Thurn and Taxis became so close that the service began to inform him of any pertinent Information found among the letters (that they had a habit of covertly reading). This mail fraud system was also used by the Emperor Francis to keep abreast of his enemies. While Mayer was receiving stolen news from Thurn and Taxis he was busy setting up his own postal service so that no-one could secretly discover his dealings. This system was eventually so effective that the Rothschilds became the best and fastest informed individuals in the world.
The system was so good that many prominent men began to send their letters through the Rothschilds, who of course, always snuck a peak at the contents. The business with Thurn and Taxis helped Mayer receive the title "Imperial Crown Agent" in 1800. This title served as a passport that allowed him to travel throughout the Holy Roman Empire. It also provided the right to bear arms, and it freed him from having to pay the taxes and obligations upon the Jews of that period. Mayer began to get even more titles, including one from the German Order of St. John. His sons Amschel and Salomon were also busy getting various titles. In 1801 they became crown agents of the Landgrave William of Hesse-Cassel. All these titles were wonderful, but most important was the Landgrave's. The Landgrave was the richest Prince in Europe and the Rothschilds were determined to take advantage of his wealth.
The relationship with the Landgrave improved greatly in 1803. A Danish King, and cousin of William, asked the Prince for loans but William declined because he did not want anyone to know how rich he had become. Rothschild learned about it and through Buderus, proposed lending the money anonymously. William thought the idea was splendid. The loan was sent through Mayer and a Hamburg Jew. The interests were paid to Rothschild who, after taking commission, forwarded the money to the Landgrave. The event was a great triumph, after 36 years, Mayer had finally done a significant job for the Prince. Six more Landgrave loans to Denmark were negotiated by Rothschild. Many more loans ensued (although they required some teeth pulling on Buderus' part), Including loans to the Order of St. John.
This negotiating of the Landgrave's loans greatly increased the reputation of the House of Rothschild. By this time Napoleon had come to power in France. This caused a distress in Europe, but brought great profits to the House of Rothschild. As one biographer put it "Napoleon seemed bent on Improving the Rothschild's lot in life." Even though Napoleon was not purposely doing It, the conditions he created were of great benefit. Napoleon tried to get the Landgrave as his ally, but Prince William squirmed and politely as possible refused. William's goal was to wait untIl the winning side in the Napoleonic conflict was clear so that he could join without any risks. The pressure of the situation gave the Landgrave a very bad temper. By this time half the crown heads of Europe were in his debt. Napoleon grew tired of the Landgrave's games. His troops Invaded Germany and the province of Hesse to "remove the House of Hesse-Cassel from rulership and to strike It out of the list of powers." Wllhelmshoe became frantic as William attempted to hide his riches.
After the scramble to conceal his wealth he fled the province and went to live in exile in Denmark. The French immediately found most of his treasures. Buderus and Mayer had to act fast to preserve the wealth of the Landgrave. Some of the valuables had already been sold. They quickly bribed a French General, Lagrange, who turned over 42 trunks to Hessian officials and lied to Napoleon about the Prince's true wealth. Lagrange's deceptive act was eventually discovered and he was dismissed, but much of the wealth was preserved. During the frantic moments before Hesse-Cassel's Invasion, the Landgrave gave Buderus the right to collect the Interest payments due from Holy Roman Emperor Francis. Buderus eventually transferred this right to the Rothschilds. Mayer began doing the Landgrave's business behind Napoleon's back. These secret dealings were greatly boosted by the man Napoleon appointed to rule the area -Karl von Dalberg. Dalberg was a friend of Mayer and Buderns and had done business with them (his connection to them may have also been occult).
Napoleon made Dalberg Primate of the new Confederation of the Rhine, which included Frankfort. As ruler of the region Dalberg protected the Rothschilds from being exposed as traders of contraband and as agents of the House of Hesse-Cassel. When the French cut off trade with England prices on Imports soared. The Rothschilds smuggled goods in and made large profits, with Dalberg keeping guard. "It was certainly most remarkable," said one biographer. "That the Archbishop and Lord of the Confederation of the Rhine, who ruled over sixteen German princes, and stood so high in Napoleon's favor, should have shown so much good-will to the Jewish Mayer Amschel Rothschild at Frankfort, who, although now a rich man, had no dame to move in high and influential circles." Despite Dalberg's protection Mayer kept two sets of books, one inspectable and the other secret.
By 1807 Buderus, as proxy for the Landgrave, was almost exclusively using the Rothschilds for Hesse-Cassel business. Mayer himself would visit the Prince in exile, but since he was getting old he soon had to give up these trips and sent his sons on the journeys. The House of Rothschild was collecting the income of the wealthiest prince in Europe less than half a century after Mayer had begun building his fortune! The satanic House of Rothschild's Illuminati dealings at this time are well exemplified by their involvement with the second Tugenbund League. The first Tugenbund League (or Virtue League) was formed in 1786 as a kind of sex society. The group would meet at Henrietta Herz's home (her husband was an Illuminati Jew who was the disciple of the powerful occultist Moses Mendelssohn). Many Illuminists attended this "Virtue" League.
A number of young Jewish women whose husbands were always away on business would come to the Herz's house to participate in the immorality (two members were daughters of Moses Mendelssohn). Frequenters of this ‘salon" included revolutionary Freemason Mlrabeau, William von Humbolt, and Frederick von Gentz who was to become an important Rothschild agent. Later on, I will discuss Gentz in further detail. In 1807 the second Tugenbund League was formed. This League pursued ‘moral-scientific" and political aims. The main aim being the deliverance of Germany from French occupation. The League was formed by Baron von Stein who was its principle "protector."
Thomas Frost wrote in SECRET SOCIETIES OF THE EUROPEAN REVOLUTION that ‘The Initiations [into the second Tugendbund] multiplied rapidly, and the League soon numbered in its ranks most of the Councilors of State, many officers of the army, and a considerable number of the professors of literature and science.... A central directorate at Berlin, presided over by Stein, had the supreme control of the movement, and exercised, through provincial committees, an authority all the more potent from emanating from an unknown source, and which was obeyed as implicitly as the decrees of Emperor or King.' The Landgrave William of Hesse-Cassel held an important position in the second Tugendbund. Buderus was also involved. It appears the Rothschilds were members and they were ,,go-betweens for the [Landgrave's] correspondence on this matter, and made payments in favor of the Tugendbund." This put Mayer Rothschild at the head of the propaganda system against Napoleon.
Napoleon tried to suppress Tugundbund but it went underground, concealing itself under the protection of the English Masonic Lodge at Hanover, It as sisted many anti-Napoleon causes physically and financially. Tugendbund was eventually dissolved, but many of its members moved on to other Masonic societies such as the ‘Black Knights,' ‘The Knights of the Queen of Prussia," and ‘The Concordists." In 1818 the second Tugundbund was revived as the Burschenschaft (Association of Boys or Fellows). The Burschenschaft was a revolutionary group of students who introduced martial exercises into the universities. The Burschenschaft eventually fell apart. After a few years the exiled Landgrave came to totally trust the Rothschilds. ‘...[Prince William] got more and more accustomed to following [Mayer] Rothschild's advice, and scarcely took any important financial step without consulting him.'
This princely steppingstone was working out perfectly. It was paving the way towards Rothschild financial freedom. Mayer wanted to become a creditor, and his goal was soon achieved. In 1810 the Rothschild's firm became ‘Mayer Amschel Rothschild and Sons" (Nathan was not a public partner of this firm). That same year Mayer loaned his own money to Denmark and when Dalberg took out a big loan to go to the baptism of Napoleon's son, the financial security of the Frankfort bank was set in stone.
The House of Rothschild needed a new steppingstone. The old one, the Landgrave, would not be discarded, but they needed a younger, more political man who could be their key to controlling Europe. That man was Prince Clemens Metternich who in 1809 became the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs. He became the leading opposer of Napoleon, and the Landgrave moved in his exile to Austria, hoping the powerful up-start would get Hesse back. So the Rothschild network increased its operations in Austria - the land of the Hapsburgs.
Around this time Mayer Amschel Bauer-Rothschild got sick. Before his death he wrote a Will that would dictate the structure of the Rothschilds. Although the exact content's of Mayer's Will have been kept secret, one edict is clear. It completely excluded the daughters and their husbands and heirs from the business, and all knowledge of it. The Will totally exalted the importance of the family circle. On Sept. 19, 1812 Mayer died. A bogus legend about his death maintains that his five sons gathered around his deathbed and he split Europe between them. Only Amschel and Carl were in Frankfort when he died. Nathan was in England, and Salomon and James were on the road (the brothers were constantly traveling).
THE "FIVE WIZARDS'
When Mayer died, headship over the family fell on Nathan Rothschild of England. Even though Nathan was not the oldest, the 5 brothers had voted unanimously that he was the most capable to lead them. Nathan was an intelligent, uneducated, self-absorbed jerk. Though he was an impolite, foul-mouthed man (‘...he could swear like a trooper.') his money got him into the high society of England. His cold view on life and power is seen in his response to an English Major who was being sentimental about the horrible deaths of the large number of soldiers that had died in the war. ‘Well,' said Rothschild. ‘If they had not all died, Major, you presumably would still be a drummer.' There is a story that says one of Nathan's sons asked him how many nations there were in the world and Nathan replied: ‘There are only two you need to bother about. There is the mishpoche [Yiddish for family] and there are the others.' This story may be false, but the attitude is real.
Nathan first settled in Manchester, England, the center of cloth manufacturing. In 1804 he moved to London. As his wealth and his reputation began to grow he was able to marry Hannah Cohen. The Cohens were a wealthy Jewish family from Amsterdam, and Hannah's father, Salomon Cohen was a respected merchant in London. Nathan served with him as Warden of the Great Synagogue (the Rothschilds relationship to the Jews will be discussed later on in this article). Hannah's sister, Judith, married the powerful Jewish Freemason Moses Montefiore (the Montefiore's were of "ancient" and extremely ‘aristocratic Jewish stock', probably another Cabalistic family), who was friends with Nathan (Nathan's sister Henrietta married a Montefiore, so did his second son, Anthony, and his brother, Salomon's great grandson, Aiphonse married a Sebag-Montefiore in 1911).
Nathan's social life revolved around the Cohens. Nathan was a Freemason. He was a member of London's Lodge of Emulation. Nathan's accumulation of wealth was incredible. His money-making exploits were unbelievable. He was smuggling English goods past the French blockade during the Napoleonic conflict, and making great profits. This smuggling required an agent in Paris, so Mayer, through his Dalberg connections, got his son James a passport and James went to live in Paris. A large amount of the Landgrave's money was sent to Nathan in England, on the advice of Buderus, for the purpose of buying stock. But Nathan, as he and Buderus had planned, used the money as capitol for other ventures. When the exiled Landgrave began asking for a proof-of-purchase, Buderus and the Rothschild brothers had to come up with all sorts of excuses to protect Nathan's thievery.
Eventually the Landgrave demanded to see receipts, so Nathan quIckly bought some stock (the Landgrave had told him to buy the stocks at 72, but their price when be ended up buying them was 62, Nathan pocketed the savings) and they snuck the receipts through the French blockade to the exiled Prince. The Landgrave was satisfied, he had no idea what had really been done with his money. Nathan began making connections in the British government. Probably his greatest early connection was to the Treasury official John Herries. Herries aided Nathan's rise to power in every way possible. He became an intimate friend or Nathan's and eventually a proxy for Rothschild in the British government. Their dealings were kept secret and the public had no idea as to the enormity of Nathan's power. The most incredible example of
Nathan's devious schemes is a job he would later describe as the best business he had ever done. Through Nathan's connections in the treasury he learned of the plight of the English army in Spain. The Duke of Wellington (soon to become Nathan's friend) had British troops in Spain ready to attack France, only they lacked one thing - hard cash (the army's financiers would not take paper money), but the government was very short on gold at the time. Nathan knew how to profit from this situation. The East India Company was trying to sell gold that, of coarse, the government wanted to buy, but the price was so high that officials decided to wait until it dropped.
Nathan stepped in and bought up the gold (using some of the Landgraves money as well as his own). He then proceed to raise the price. When the officials realized the price wouldn't drop they bought the gold and Nathan made a great profit. But the deal didn't stop there. Nathan offered to deliver the gold to Wellington (this was a heavy responsibility because of the French blockade). Hemes went to bat and got Rothschild the job. Nathan's plan was incredible, one biographer said his scheme was ‘comparable to burglary in broad daylight.' Nathan's brother, James went to Napoleon's government and told them that Nathan would be importing gold into France and that the British government was upset at the move because it would financially hurt England. Napoleon's government believed his lie and any French police who might have uncovered the plot were bribed. So Nathan was able to ship the gold to Paris with the approval of both the English and French governments.
In Paris the gold was exchanged in French banking firms for cash Wellington could use, and then the Rothschild network carried the money into Spain as France allowed Nathan to fund the war against itself. Eventually some French officials grew suspicious, but Napoleon ignored their reports (why?). The plan went smoothly even though the same officials secretly watched James Rothschild and his brother Carl (who was in on the plot). Wellington eventually defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. The Wellington smuggle was one of the greatest scams in history! In order to better understand the Rothschild's involvement in the defeat of Napoleon we must look at the role played by the Rothschild's second steppingstone - Metternich. Metternich was the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and he led the opposition against Napoleon.
Metternich was a fierce enemy of the revolutionary fires that were spreading through Europe. The Rothschild's got to him through a member of the first Tugendbund (the sexual one), Frederick von Gentz. Gentz was Metternich's right-hand man. Metternich was not financially minded and he relied on Gentz's advise concerning economics (Gentz's ability to handle his private finances was terrible, but he had a knack for political economy). John Herries brought Gentz and the Rothschilds together. The family proceeded to bribe the man into their service. Gentz is an interesting character. He was a Freemason so he was probably occultic. His involvement in the first Tugendbund League points to Immorality. Another interesting fact is that I found most of his visits to the Rothschilds occurred on occultic
holidays, such as Winter Solstice. This may be a coincidence, but it is interesting non-the-less. Gentz called the Rothschilds ‘a special species plantarum with its own characteristics.' Gentz steadily brought Metternich into the Rothschild's web. By at least 1814 Metternich was an ally of the House of Rothschild. His goal was to protect the power of the old aristocracy. His plan was simply to extinguish revolution, and he began with Napoleon. Austria declared war on France and allied Itself with Russia. England Joined them to form a powerful coalition against Napoleon. The battle of Waterloo in 1815 decided the war. Metternich had led Europe to victory with the help of Nathan's delivery network which funded the overthrow. The victory made Metternich the most powerful man in Europe. Due to his speedy courier system, Nathan knew of the outcome of the Waterloo battle before the news reached any other Englander.
A persistent myth is that he made the bulk of his fortune by manipulating the stock exchange with this knowledge. First of all, he did manipulate the market, but he already had a fortune, this only added to It. Second of all, he might not have even made a significant profit (the issue is complicated and debatable. I will not go into it). Two years before his defeat, Napoleon had pulled out of Germany. In 1813 the Landgrave William of Hesse-Cassel returned to his province. Said one biographer: ‘Earlier it had been the Rothschilds who had asked for favors, now it was the (Landgrave] and Buderus who tried to maintain a close connection.' In 1818 Buderus died. By 1815 Nathan controlled England's finance. He did a large amount of direct business with the English treasury. John Hemes was allowing deals that would hurt England but fill the pockets of the House of
Rothschild. The following quote by one of Nathan's contemporaries describes his eerie countenance: ‘Eyes are usually called windows of the soul. But in Rothschild's case you would conclude that the windows are false ones, or that there was no soul to look out them. There comes not one pencil of light from the interior, neither is there any gleam of that which comes from without reflected in any direction. The whole puts you in mind of an empty skin, and you wonder why it stands upright without at least something in it. By and by another figure comes up to it. It then steps two paces aside, and the most inquisitive glance that you ever saw, and a glance more inquisitive than you would have thought of, is drawn out of the fixed and leaden eyes, as if one were drawing a sword from a scabbard...'
This description is disturbingly similar to either MPD or demonic possession. A Prussian official said that Rothschild had ‘an incredible influence upon all financial affairs here in London. It is widely stated ... that he entirely regulates the rate of exchange in the City. His power as a banker is enormous.' ‘When Nathan ... (made] a fuss, the Bank of England trembled.' Once he tried to cash a check from his brother Amschel at the Bank, but the Bank refused saying it cashed only its own notes. Nathan's volcano-like temper exploded. The next morning he and nine of his clerks arrived at the Bank and began exchanging bank notes for gold. In one day he had reduced the Bank's gold reserves by a substantial amount. The next day he and his clerks arrived with more bank notes.
A Bank executive nervously asked how long he intended to keep this up. Nathan replied something to the effect of ‘The Bank of England refused to take by bills, so I will not keep theirs.' A meeting was quickly called and they decided that from then on the Bank of England would be pleased to cash any Rothschild check Nathan's firm was named N.M. Rothschild and Sons. The firm met in the New Court building and for the sake of brevity will be referred to as New Court. New Court was so powerful that it even became a gold broker for the Bank of England (whose price I believe they still fix at will, though I may be wrong). He also founded the Alliance Insurance Company in England. The Illuminati has the Luciferian belief system that one's evil acts must be balanced by one's good acts. This belief system has led to the philanthropy of the truly evil elite (although much of this ,,charity" money goes to fund their objectives). Nathan hated the common masses but his duty called. ‘Almoners, particularly those acting on behalf of the poor Jews of London, reported that they got thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of pounds out of Rothschild, but hardly a word and never a courtesy.' Nathan did not enjoy charity.
He was good friends with Thomas Buxton, the anti-slavery leader. The famous musicians Mendelssohn and Rossini taught his daughter to play the harp. When Mayer died in 1812, his oldest son Amschel took over the Frankfort firm. Although Amschel was not the head of the family, he was its spokesman to the aristocracy. He was the one who would apply for the honors and titles for his brothers. He has been described as a crotchety worrier who clung to the past. He was socially odd, yet held great dinners that were the talk of the elite. Religion was a big part of his life, to the point of being called ,,monkish." Even though he lived on a grand scale Amschel had no joy. Much of this distress came from the fact that he had failed to have any children. After Napoleon exited Germany a German Confederation was set up, of which Amschel became the treasurer. In a sense this made him the first finance minister of the Prussian Empire which was created by the Confederation. Amschel's sorrow over his lack of children led him to pick prominent young men to treat as his sons. One such man was Otto von Bismark, who would later become the Iron Chancellor of Germany. Amschel was the protector of his mother Gutle, who was the Matriarch of the family. No one could receive full admission into the House of Rothschild by marriage unless she approved. Gutie smiled little and had a harsh tongue. One legend has it that a neighbor asked her whether there was to be peace or war. "War?" Gutle replied. "Nonsense. My boys won't let them."
Saloman was the second oldest son of Mayer. Along with the other brothers he was constantly travelling through Europe. What separated him from his brothers was his gift of diplomacy. He was more stately and complimentary than the others. Said one banker of Salomon: "Nobody leaves him without being comforted." in other words he knew how to kiss up. It was this fact that led the brothers to send him to Vienna, Austria to establish a relationship with the painfully aristocratic Hapsburgs and with vain Metternich. Although the Rothschilds had attempted to enter a close business relationship with the Hapsburgs and Austria, the Austrian royalty kept putting them off. Then Salomon came along. He rode in on a wave of new found Rothschild power. Their name had become famous. One person described it as the "two magic syllables."
The brothers had become, as one biographer put it, "the Archdemons of Progress." Salomon began to vie for Austrian ties through Gentz and Metternich. Eventually Salomon's diplomacy, Metternich's lobbying, and the below-cost method earlier used on the Landgrave broke down the wall between the House of Rothschild and the Illuminati Hapsburgs. Austria began to employ the Rothschilds on a regular basis. Salomon moved into Vienna and bought a Hotel and a house. Salomon knew how to play Metternich like a piano. He knew the right thing to say at the right time. He knew Metternich's quirks and prejudices, such as his vanity which Salomon easily manipulated. Pretty soon Metternich and Salomon became close friends. The same goes for Metternich's right-hand man, Gentz. Gentz and Salomon were "inseparable." Salomon was also a Freemason. It came to the point where Austria became so controlled by the Rothschilds that the government did not want to refuse the brothers anything. In 1816 Amschel, Salomon, Carl, and James received a title of nobility from the Hapsburgs.
In 1818 the Aix-la-Chapelle Congress met to discuss the future of Europe. Salomon, Carl, Metternich, and Gentz all attended this Congress. It was here that Metternich first met the Rothschilds. Gentz kept the minutes of the Congress, he was called the "Secretary of Europe." A Rothschild scheme at this Congress totally shook the financial institutions of Europe, there was no denying the power of the Rothschilds. "The divine right of kings had been overthrown by the divine right of money.." At Aix-la-Chapelle the Rothschilds widened their circle of influence in the Illuminati. Salomon set up a new firm in Vienna. He financially supported Metternich's fight against revolution. Metternich had established the "Vienna System" which controlled Europe after Napoleon's defeat. The Austrian leader began doing what the elite love to do - sending "peacekeeping" troops into conflicts. 1814-1848 has been described as "The Age of Metternich", but since the Rothschilds financed and controlled him it would be more accurate to call it "The Age of the House of Rothschild."
The Order of Vladimir was conferred upon Salomon for his work with Russia. Gioacchino Rossini, the Italian opera composer who wrote Cinderella and the William Tell overture became a good friend of both Salomon and his brother James. In 1822, he, Metternich, Gentz, James, and Cari attended the Verona Congress. This Congress was totally manipulated by the Rothschilds. They profited Immensely by its outcome. Salomon financed the first important Central European railways. The Austrians began saying that they had an Emperor Ferdinand and a King Salomon. When it came to Austrian finances Salomon got the last word. The people would show up at his office and beg for a royal "laying on of hands." He only had to touch a bond or a stock, and its owner went away certain of its rise. Uke the other Rothschilds he gave immense charity donations. He bought the huge coal and iron works of Vitkovitz. In 1843 he received permission to purchase inheritable agricultural real estate (many people were against Jews buying private property), and he proceeded to buy up large amounts of land. He obtained the lease of Austria's mercury mines. This and the only other mercury deposit in Spain were controlled by the Rothschilds, creating a world monopoly on a key metal. Salomon was incredibly powerful.
The next son, Cart was the family's chief courier. He was the least intelligent of all the brothers. He was awkward when he spoke and he had a nasty temper. One biographer described him as "punchy". In 1821 Carl was sent to Naples, Italy to oversee loans there that were meant to finance Metternich's forces who had arrived to quell a rebellion. While in Italy the Rothschild "mantle" came upon Carl and he made a series of ingenious deals with the Italian government that forced Naples to pay for its own occupation. He also helped Luigi de Medici of the Black Nobility to re-gain his position as finance minister of Naples, and later did business with the powerful man. Due to his success it was decided that he would stay in Naples and set up his own bank. He became financier to the court, the "financial overlord of Italy." Carl "...wound the Italian peninsula around his hand." He did business with the Vatican, and when Pope Gregory XVI received him by giving him his hand rather than the customary toe to kiss, people realized the extent of his power. The Pope conferred upon him the Order of St. George.
It appears that in Italy Carl became a leader of Carbonarism. After the Bavarian Illuminati was exposed, Carbonarism (or the Alta Vendita) became the major European occult power. Carl's leadership in this group is very significant. In 1818 a secret Alta Vendita document, that Cari had participated in preparing, was sent to the headquarters of Masonry. A copy of this document was lost, and the Masons got very upset, and offered rewards for the return of this copy. The title of the document translates "Permanent Instructions, or Practical Code of Rules; Guide for the Heads of the Highest Grades of Freemasonry. "
Last, but absolutely not least, was the youngest son, James. During the Napoleonic conflict James had spent his time between London and Paris, supporting the Rothschild's network of illegal trade with England. After the Wellington smuggle and the defeat of Napoleon, James became an established figure in France. He founded a bank there and began the French branch of the Rothschild family. James was a 33 degree Scottish Rite Mason. At this time the French House was the center of operations for the Rothschilds. Even though successive revolutions would de-throne ruler after ruler, Rothschild power kept the family in control. James was good friends with the leading minister of the Bourbon court, Count de Villele, and he "owned" King Louis Philippe. He also secretly funded Spanish revolutionaries (his agent in Madrid was Monsieur Belin). James yearned for social status.
The pursuit of which was second only to money. He had gown so powerful that the French exchange was deeply affected by all his decisions. Like his brother, Salomon, he pioneered the railroad business in France. He also bought the great Lafite vineyards. His bank, de Rothschild Freres was in a league all its own. No one in France could even wish to be as powerful as James. As Salomon had, James received the Order of Vladimir for his work with the Russian dynasty. He also became a member of the Societe de Antiquites. In the Rothschild tradition (as constituted by Mayer's Will) of trying to keep everything within the family James married his niece, Betty Rothschild, the daughter of Salomon. The Rothschilds main advantage was their incredible courier system.
It kept the 5 Houses connected. In fact, the Hapsburgs used this system quite often. All evidence points to the Rothschild brothers being very powerful within Freemasonry. They were one of the leading families in occultism at that time in Europe. Many prominent Masons of their day praised the brothers. In 1820, due to Metternich's lobbying, Nathan was made Austrian consul in London, and two years later he was made consul-general. James was also made an Austrian consul in Paris. Metternich's promptings also provided something else very important to the family; in 1822 all the brothers and their descendants of either sex were made Barons. This established social position for the Rothschilds. The Gentz-Metternich team was very beneficial to the House of Rothschild. By this time a few papers had run some upsetting articles about the family.
Salomon asked Gentz to censure any more unkind reports and he also commissioned the Illuminist to write a bogus biography on the family that would portray them in a good light. Gentz, now called the "Pen of Europe", proceeded to write legends for the Rothschilds, and the family fully encouraged the propaganda in their social circles. The brothers had a system (based on Mayer's Will) where only family members were partners or owners of the banks. This system is still in use today. The Rothschild banks bought everything up, from mining corporations to national debts. For instance, New Court has been controlling Brazil's debts since 1824. In 1836 Nathan Rothschild, head of the House of Rothschild, died (he may have been poisoned).
The headship was passed on to his younger brother, James, by a vote of all the brothers. In 1830 the signs of masonic-fueled revolution began to appear again. Metternich's "peace of the world" (they always call imperialism "peace") was being threatened. A new king was set up in France, the House of Orange was dethroned in the Netherlands. The fires of revolution were spreading through the masonic network and Metternich began to lose his grip on Europe.
The Revolution of 1848 in France dethroned yet another royal house. James went along with the masonic agenda and financed this revolution, even though he was a friend of the court. The revolution marked the end of Metternich's "Age" and that same year insurrectors chased him and Salomon out of Austria. Neither returned, but a Vienna House had already been established, others would carry it on, under the direction of Salomon's son, Anselm. Metternich's descendants are still close to the House of Rothschild. After this the power of the Rothschilds weakened. By 1855 all five brothers were dead except James. Napoleon III was now in power in France and his advisors were the enemies of James. But Rothschild ingenuity came through again when James got Napoleon Ill to marry a Rothschild agent. James died in I 868 and the family headship went to Alphonse, his son.
"THE NEW TRINITY"
Three cousins now ran the show - Alphonse of the French House, Uonel of the English House and Anselm of the Vienna House - "the new trinity". The three banned together to destroy an enemy bank, French Credit Mobilier. Anselm set up a new firm, Creditanstalt in Vienna to combat the French bank. With the help of Lionel and Alphonse he attacked Credit Mobilier until it collapsed. The new head of the House of Rothschild was Baron Alphonse de Rothschild. Alphonse was a suave, socially elite man. After the rail of France's Credit Mobilier Napoleon ill stepped onto the Rothschild bandwagon. Alphonse was powerful, he had "access" to men like Napoleon III and Bismark of Prussia. The Illuminati decided to get rid of Napoleon Ill, so English Prime Minister Gladstone (friend of the Rothschilds) set things up so that Prussia and France would go to war. Napoleon ill proceeded to attack Prussia and Bismark responded in a furry, defeating France and banishing Napoleon III from the throne. The war indemnities were paid to Bismark (who had a dislike for Alphonse, despite his connections to the family) through the Rothschilds. Alphonse's brother, Edmond, was the one who helped create Israel (this will be discussed further on in the article). Alphonse married another
Rothschild, but his love for her was not very strong. The Comtesse de Castiglione was a beautiful woman who was a Marylin Monroe of her day. She was the mistress of Alphonse, his brother Gustave Rothschild (whose daughter married a Sassoon), and Napoleon III. Anselm Rothschild of the Vienna House was a shrewd playboy. He destroyed Credit Mobilier with Creditanstalt, and in 1861 he became a member of the Austrian Imperial House of Lords. Anselm had many mistresses and his wife left him because of his adultery. He died in 1874. Lionel Rothschild of the English House inherited New Court. He financed England's Crimean War, Cecil Rhodes' South African kingdom, vast copper and nitrate mines, and the purchase of the Suez Canal. Lionel's younger brother, Anthony was knighted by the Queen. Another brother, Nathaniel, bought the renowned Mouton vineyards near Bordeaux. Lionel was a good friend of Prime Ministers Disraeli (who was controlled by Rothschild money) and Gladstone.
He also probably paid for Lord John Russell's election as Prime Minister. Lord Tennyson (whose poems are used in programming) attended his house parties. Lionel has been described as "grouchy" and "crotchety." In 1858, Lionel became the first Jew in House of Commons. After eleven tries, the British Parliament gave in and allowed Rothschild to take his seat. Not a single significant political move by Lionel was recorded during his stay in Parliament. He was a member for 15 years. in 1879 he died. After Amschel of the House of Frankfort died without an heir, two of Carl of Italy's sons came to take over the business. But they also remained heirless, bearing only daughters. When the last brother died in 1901, the Frankfort bank was liquidated (I believe they did not try to continue the original bank because they knew that Germany was about to be caught up in the turmoil of the world wars, they eventually set up another Frankfort bank after Germany's turmoil).
The House of Italy ended the same way. The one son of Carl who had stayed in Naples produced only daughters, and when Geribaldi's Red Shirts unified Italy this remaining son (out of character for a Rothschild) chose not to accommodate the new powers and moved to France. Thus ended the Italian branch.
ROTHSCHILD INFLUENCE IN AMERICA
This subject is so massive that it will only be touched on. In 1837 August Belmont came to the U.S., during the Panic of 1837. August Belmont appears to have been a Rothschild proxy. Belmont bought up government bonds in this Panic and his success eventually led him to the White House where he became the "financial advisor to the President of the United States". His policies helped pit the North against the South for the Civil War. Judah P. Benjamin, who according to A. Ralph Epperson was the Clvii War campaign strategist for the House of Rothschild held many key positions in the Confederacy. He was apparently connected to John Wilkes Booth. J.P. Morgan has been called a Rothschild agent. His father was one of the many elite who made their fortunes by shipping supplies past the North's blockade and into the Confederacy. J.P. was a major supporter of an American central bank (Interestingly enough, he is reported to be related to Alexander Hamilton). In 1869, J.P. Morgan went to the House of England and formed Northern Securities as an agent for New Court in the U.S. Then, in 1907 J.P. Morgan
shuttled back and forth between London and Paris, presumably getting orders from the Rothschilds. He returned to America and instigated the Panic of 1907, which led to the ,,need" for a central bank. Another man who appears to be connected to the Rothschilds was Thomas House, who also made his fortune slipping supplies past the North and into the South. His son, Colonel Edward M. House was one of the main Illuminati figures to control America during the early 20th Century.
Some of the Bauer line of the Rothschild family moved to America and took up Important positions in the hierarchy's network.
THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD AND ISRAEL
The Rothschild relationship to the Jews is deceiving. The family stance is publicized as "pro-Jewish", and they have given abundant charity to Jewish causes. But their support of the Jewish race has, in most cases, been used for the sole purpose of controlling the direction and profiting from the Jews. The Rothschilds have been described as the royal family of the Jews. Many leading Rothschilds have been dubbed "King of the Jews". But what kind of Judaism do the Rothschilds support? Do they support the orthodox Jews who believe in the Old Testament and are waiting for the return of the messiah? No. Do they support Messianic Jews who believe Jesus Christ was the messiah who came to save all men? No. The Rothschilds support those Jews who have fallen prey to the deceptive gnostic and occultic teachings of Cabalism, and in turn support the Illuminati controlled Zionist movement. Not all Zionists are part of the conspiracy, but their leaders are, and the ultimate leaders of the Zionists have been the Rothschilds. I am disappointed by some researchers, who automatically coin the conspiracy a "Jewish" one.
This unfortunate stumbling block has polluted their work, making it just as misleading as the information put out by the popular media. These researchers seem blinded by the fact that the conspiracy has abused and manipulated the Jewish race more than any other group in the history of the world. The hierarchy of the Jews has sat back and allowed the attack on, and control of the Jewish masses for the furtherance of Satan's agenda. I am saying this to let you see that I am not anti-semitic. I believe that there are people who call themselves "Christians" who are part of the conspiracy, at the same token there are people who call themselves "Jews" who are part of the conspiracy. To call the conspiracy "Jewish" is ignorant. I believe the Rothschilds to have been involved in Cabalism, Jewish Sabbatism, or Frankism, all of which
are involved in witchcraft. This belief is strengthened by the Rothschild's use of the occultic Seal of Solomon as a family symbol. The city in which the Rothschilds originated, Frankfort, was deeply anti-Semitic. The Rothschilds were constantly striving to overcome the boundaries put on them because of their culture. It is very likely this berthed a bitterness in their hearts towards "Christian" society. This bitterness, and the need to facilitate more profit and power were most likely the reasons why they excepted the idea of a Jewish state. (I will assume that the readers understand that the Zionism / restoration of Israel concept is an unbiblical sham.)
The following quote will help you understand the Rothschild attitude towards the Jews. ,,... the first principle of the House of Rothschild was to amass wealth, [and] the liberation of the [Jewish] race from oppressive restrictions contributed Indirectly to this end, since it would facilitate intercourse with the rest of the world, and thereby increase the possibility of financial gain, which in turn would serve to increase its power." (The Rise of The House of Rothschild by Count Egon Corti, p. 124-125) Amschel of the Frankfort House was constantly harassed by anti-semites. As a result "He became the grand almoner and grand protector to the German Jews; he helped sweep away the chains of Jew Street; he pressed, in the end successfully, for the Jews' enfranchisement as free citizens of Frankfort." One of the main Rothschild agents used to promote the emancipation of the Jews in Frankfort was Frederick von Gentz, the evil "Pen of Europe". At this point I must clarify something for the reader. There are 3 Baron Edmond Rothschilds, and all 3 have been involved with the nation of Israel. To avoid confusion I will number them:
1 Baron Edmond de Rothschild -(1845-1934) House of France. Son of James and brother of Alphonse. 2 Baron Edmund "Eddie" L de Rothschild - (1916- ) House of England. Son of Uonei Nathan and great, great grandson of the infamous Nathan Rothschild. 3 Baron Edmond de Rothschild -(1926. ) House of France. Son of Maurice and grandson of #1 Edmond. The story begins with #1 Edmond, the "Father of Israel". During the Crimean War (which was funded by the Rothschilds) the small Jewish community in Jerusalem became cut off from all outside support. This resulted in "semi-starvation". #1 Edmond's father, James, set up the James Mayer de Rothschild Hospital in Jerusalem in response to this problem. #1 Edmond picked up his fathers interest in Palestine. When the Russian Jews fled the Czar's pogroms in the 1880's Edmond began to finance the Russian Jew's attempts to establish colonies in Palestine, It is clear that #1 Edmond was a fan of Zionism, his charities were not only aiding the persecuted but were promoting the concept of a return the "homeland". "The Baron's money drained swamps, dug wells and built houses. It founded industries ranging from scent factories to glass works, form wine cellars to bottle manufacturers.
The Baron established his own administration in Palestine and his overseers dictated to the farmers exactly what crops were to be grown and where." The man who set up the first Zionist Congress was Theodor Herzl. He attempted to get the support for his plans to "restore the Jewish state" from the Rothschilds but many members of the family were opposed to Zionism (the Rothschilds supported those causes which they could profit from and the Integration of Jews into the European culture was profitable for them. One Rothschild told Herzl he was an Englishman and proposed to remain one. #1 Edmond on the other hand. was leading a Rothschild plan similar to Herzl's that slowly created a Jewish state controlled by the family). #1 Edmond did not oppose Zionism, in fact he supported Herzl's cause, yet he felt Herzl's plans should not be implemented so soon (they were "to be accomplished quietly, stealthily, not by shouting from the roof-tops"), plus he was concerned that Herzl would take away too much Rothschild power over the slowly forming Jewish state.
The Baron continued to support his own colonies and though Herzl was socially supported, because his Ideas facilitated Rothschild power in Palestine, he was not allowed to implement his plans. #1 Edmond did not want Herzl in control. Later, after Herzl had died and was no longer a threat, #1 Edmond "admitted" that Herzl had been right, and went right on pouring money into the Jewish "Homeland". #1 Edmond had a tight-fisted control of the colonies. ,,... the Baron was a dictator who expected the colonists to obey him unquestionably." In 1901 the Jews in Palestine sent a delegation to the Baron who told him ,,... if you wish to save the Yishuv [the -83 Jewish settlement] first take your hands from It, and ... for once permit the colonists to have the possibility of correcting for themselves whatever needs correcting ..." This upset the Baron. He replied: "I created the Yishuv, I alone. Therefore no men, neither colonists nor organizations, have the right to interfere in my plans."
Herzl was succeeded as President of World Zionism by David Wolffsohn. Wolffsohn got the full support of the Baron. Wolffsohn's successor was Otto Warburg. Another prominent leader of the Zionists was Chalm Weizmann. Weizmann was on better terms with #1 Edmond than his predecessor, Herzl. He made this observation of the Baron after their first visit. "In manner be could be both gracious and brutal; and this was the reflex of his split personality; for on the one hand he was conscious of his power and arrogant in the possession of it; on the other hand he was rather frightened by it, and this gave him a touch of furtiveness." The Baron Rothschild told Weizmann be would finance a Hebrew University in Palestine. With Weizmann's appearance on the scene the Baron became closer to Zionism.
In 1914 #1 Edmond traveled to Palestine. "Edmond could scarcely believe his eyes. Tel Aviv had become a city and his miserable windswept colonies had been transformed into lush gardens..." His journey to Palestine was hailed as the "prince returning to his people". Later the Baron Rothschild told Weizmann: "Without me Zionism would not have succeeded, but without Zionism my work would have been struck to death." Another Rothschild embraced Zionism through Weizmann - Lionel Walter, the second Lord Rothschild (apparently this upset some relations). The Balfour declaration, which declared England's support of the creation of a Jewish homeland, was addressed to Lord Rothschild II. Lord Rothschild also received the documents of support from the League of Nations. Charles T. Russell sent a letter to Lord Rothschild that praised him for his work towards a Jewish homeland.
After World War I Britain ruled Palestine, and the Rothschilds ruled Britain. Also, a bulk of unpaid debts to the Rothschilds by the failed Ottoman Empire gave the family more control over Palestine. Then came Hitler. According to Walter Langer, a psychoanalyst who wrote the book THE MIND OF ADOLF HITLER, the demonic German leader was a grandson of a Rothschild. ,,Adolf's father, AIls Hitler, was the illegitimate son of Maria Anna Schicklgruber. It was generally supposed that the father of Alols Hitler was Johann Georg Hiedler....
"There are some people who seriously doubt that Johann Georg Hiedler was the father of Alois.... [an Austrian document was supposedly] prepared that proved Maria Anna Schicklgruber was living in Vienna at the time she conceived. "
At that time she was employed as a servant in the home of [a] Baron Rothschild. As soon as the family discovered her pregnancy she was sent back to her home ... where Alois was born."
It is believed that Hitler (who was totally created by Satan's Empire) attacked Austria first, in order to destroy the Austrian records that proved his Jewish ancestry. As Hitler's demonic attack on the Jews progressed, one would imagine that the Zionists would come to the rescue and offer Palestine as a safe haven. Not so. Many European countries shut their doors to the Jews, including the Palestine colonies.
The Zionist controlled immigration laws in Palestine were very strict and it was near impossible to escape to the Jewish homeland. In fact, the Zionists refused to admit there was a Holocaust going on although evidence points to them knowing! I suppose in their minds it was ok to sacrifice a great number of Jewish lives in order to promote the idea of a Jewish state. To the elite the Holocaust was like shooting dead a herd of cattle to receive the insurance payment. Said Michael Seizer in his book. ZIONISM RECONSIDERED:
"Not even the events of 1933 aroused their [Zionism's] political interest. They were naive enough to see them as a God-sent opportunity for an undreamt of wave of immigration to Palestine. When the Zionist Organization against the natural impulses of the whole Jewish people, decided to do business with Hider, to trade German goods against the wealth of German Jewry, to flood the Palestine market with German products and thus make a mockery of the boycott against German-made articles, they found little opposition in the Jewish National Homeland, and least of all among its aristocracy - the so-called Kibutniks."
Hitler forced the Jews to wear the six-pointed star as a sign of shame. It was this same symbol that the Rothschilds were named after and the same symbol that the Zionists promoted as a symbol of Jewish national identity. Do you see the contradiction? Said Jewish author OJ. Graham in THE SIX-POINTED STAR:
"Not all the concentration camp victims were Jewish people. Many were Christians. Spiritually, a parallel can be seen in the rituals to Ashteroth and Moloch, where the victims were burned as sacrifices to these false gods. Were the victims of the Nazis someone's sacrificial offerings?"
I believe they were. Remember the six-pointed star was the symbol of Moloch and Ashteroth.
Unfortunately, few Jews will tolerate a discussion of this subject. After World War II, the U.N., spurred on by the Illuminati created horrors against the Jews, panted Israel its statehood. Weizmann was the first president of Israel's Knesset (which was built with Rothschild money). The occultic hexagram is on the Knesset, and is also displayed on the Jewish flag.
"...the six-pointed star [had] made its way from Egyptian pagan rituals of worship, to the goddess Ashteroth and Moloch, to King Solomon when he went into idolatry," say, Graham. "Then it progressed through the magic arts, witchcraft [including Arab magicians, Druids, witches and Satanists], astrology (in which It was no new thing), through the Cabala to Isaac Luria, a Cabalist, in the 16th century, to Mayer Amschel Bauer, who changed his name to this symbol, to Zionism, to the Knesset of the new State of Israel, to the flag of Israel and Its medical organization equivalent to the Red Cross."
What is the ultimate goal of Zionism?
David Ben-Gurion, a Zionist leader, tells us:
"With the exception of the U.S.S.R. as a federated Eurasian state, all other continents will become united in a world alliance, at whose disposal will be an International police force. All armies will be abolished, and there will be no more wars. In Jerusalem, the United Nations (a truly United Nations) will build a Shrine of the Prophets to serve the federated union of all continents; this will be the seat of the Supreme Court of Mankind, to settle all controversies among the federated continents."
Simply stated, Zionism (with Rothschild support) promotes a New World Order. The Rothschild control of Israel is Immense. #1 Edmond established Trusts that make massive donations to Israel. Biographer Virginia Cowles explains:
"Originally the principle Trust was known as Pica - Palestine Jewish Colonization Association - but when it became clear, after the establishment of the State of Israel, that colonization would be handled by the Government, Its functions were changed. Edmond's son, James, renamed it ,Hanadiv' the Hebrew word for ‘benefactor' by which his father was known throughout Palestine; and at the same time rechannelled the Trust's funds to the promotion of education, science and culture.
When James died in 1957 his widow, Dollie, assumed the presidency which she still holds. For many years she has been powerfully assisted by Lord [Victor] Rothschild, and recently she has enlisted the help of the latter's son, [Lord] Jacob. The Trust knows no boundaries. In the 1960s it carried out James' wishes by providing money for the Knesset, the new Parliament building in Jerusalem. Today its beneficiaries range from universities, hospitals and public libraries to archaeological digs; from the board of the Weizmann Scientific Institute to the organizers of Instructional Television."
#2 Edmund is the most "race-conscious" of all the Rothschilds. He is on the board of many Jewish philanthropies - including president of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, joint treasurer of the Council of Christians and Jews and treasurer of the Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1967 he sent a letter to THE TIMES magazine suggssting Great Britain, Russia, and the U.S. all chip in and build desalinization plants for Israel so that the desert could be turned into a lush garden, with plenty of food and nothing to fight over (I have found that #2 Edmund loves to come up with cock-a-maime scientific suggestions towards the solution of world problems. For example, in an address to the organizers of the U.N.'s Earth Summit, he suggested building massive dry-ice machines on the polar capes to prevent their melting in the face of global warming).
#2 Edmund is also a warden of the Great Synagogue in London. He is the senior member of New Court in London and is a member of the Illuminati's Pilgrim Society. #3 Edmond is an entrepreneur. He is very involved in tourism, and has funded many luxury resorts in Israel. He controls Compagnie Financlere, which is his holding company in France. He owns Banque Privee in Switzerland, and a merchant bank in Paris. He controls the largest toy company and the largest frozen food company in France. He is a director of Belgium's Banque Lambert, and of DeBeers Consolidated Mines in South Africa. He is on the Steering Committee of the Bilderbergers. And his interests extend into Israel, where he is the chairman of Tri-Continental Pipelines. Chairman of the Israel Corporation, and chairman of Isrop, which controls the Israel General Bank. The list continues.
#3 Edmond is on the board of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He directs the Middle East Peace Institute, which he founded in 1967. He regularly donates money to the Biological-Physio-Chemical Institute, which was founded by his grandfather, #1 Edmond. Hesits on the boards ofa dozen or so hospitals and scientific institutes. #3 Edmond is considered the richest Rothschild. He has massive power, and this includes control of much of Israel. The Rothschilds have even had a street named in their honor. The First International Bank of Israel is located at 39 Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv. Bank Hapoalim, "Israel's fastest growing bank", is next door at 50 Rothschild Boulevard. The satanic Rothschilds simply dominate Israel.
Apparently Israel has served as the meeting grounds for the French and English Rothschilds. The French and English Houses contributed over $1 million to Israel around the time of the Six-Day War. It is reported that when Baron Alain of the French House visited Israel he "burst into tears" at the sight of the walling wall. Baroness Alix of the French House is the World President of Youth Aliyah, which deals with the emigration of Jewish children to Israel. Evelyn of the English House is chairman of the Board of Governors of the Technion, Israel's Institute of Technology. The satanic Rothschilds simply dominate Israel. The Rothschilds help Satan's Empire control the world's resources, the world's nations and the world's religions. They are an institution in the conspiracy and, if one looks carefully, the path of their destructive reign can be followed through the history of the past 3 centuries.
This article will be continued in the next newsletter, where It will discuss the House of Rothschild in the 20th century.
Bibliography:
Corti, Count Egon Caesar. THE RISE OF THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD. Boston, Los Angeles: Western Islands, 1972 (copyright 1928 by Cosmopolitan Books Corporation). Graham, OJ. THE SIX-POINTED STAR. Fletcher, NC: New Puritan Ubrary, 1984. Springmeier, Fritz. BE WISE AS SERPENTS. Portland, OR.: Privately published, 1991. Cowles, Virginia. THE ROTHSCHILDS: A FAMILY OF FORTUNE. New York.: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1973 Morton, Frederic. THE ROTHSCHILDS: A FAMILY PORTRAIT. New York.: Collier Books, 1961, introduction and epilogue 1991. Miller, Edith Starr. OCCULT THEOCRASY. Los Angeles, CA. 1933 Epperson, Raiph A. THE UNSEEN HAND. Tucson, AR.: Publius Press, 1985 Part II
INTRODUCTION
by Fritz Springmeier
Lenin said that the establishment of a central bank was 90% of communizing a nation Lenin himself (and Trotsky) were required to place MI6 operatives in key positions during the Russian Revolution. and these operatives were in turn controlled by the Satanic elite back in London, England. It is no secret that the Rothschilds play a major rode in International Bankers, and that various Rothschilds like Lord Victor Rothschild have played major roles in MI6. I mention these two items to drive home what should be an obvious conclusion, the Rothschilds are major players in the control of the world and the New World Order.
There is so much activity on the part of the modern-day Rothschilds, that the controlled news media's censorship which protects the Rothschilds have not been able to screen out everything, there are still tidbits here and there that filter through the controlled media's censorship. Still my search continues for descendants of the Rothschilds who are willing to expose what the Rothschilds are all about. I have found a few. One who I have not had the opportunity to interview yet, is the husband of Rebecca Brown. It is reported that Rebecca Brown's husband was an Illuminatus of the Rothschild bloodline, and that he escaped them and has been attempting to do some exposure of their Satanic practices. According to what I have been told, they wanted to skin him alive. I have unfortunately not been able to interview Rebecca Brown Yoder's husband, who has been called by the Lord to strengthen the end time church.
THEIR POWER IS EXTENSIVE
Peter Rupert Lord Carrington, who is the chairman of the Bilderbergers . has been the Rothschild's director of their Rio Tinto Zinc Corp. He also is director of Barclay's Bank and part of the Trilateral Commission. Francois Mitterand, who has led France, is an extremely close friend of the Rothschilds. I point these two men out just to portray to the reader the extensive power the Rothschilds wield behind the scenes. WHAT THEY CALL THEIR BLOODUNE IN THE ILLUMINATI
During Illuminati ceremonies, when candidates are presented for approval at the Sisters of Ught and the Mothers of Darkness levels the bloodline of the Rothschilds is actually called ,,the Rothschild bloodline." Although It was originally went by the name Bauer (and many of the descendants today continue to be Bauers and Bowers, the name "Rothschild" was the occult name that the Bauers personally chose for their bloodline to be POWER BROKER IN LATIN AMERICA
One of my friends from South America got to personally witness the destruction of South America by Rothschild interests. One item that I am familiar with from history, and which I can't help thinking about is how the nation of Bolivia in 1908 had the fine distinction of having absolutely no foreign debt. However, in 1908 the Morgans of America loaned Bolivia money, and in 1917 Chandler & Co. loaned them $2.4 million. Thus began the plunge of a free nation Into economic slavery to the Illuminati's international Bankers. The point is that nations like Bolivia, if left alone would have been far better off. People don't realize that the problems these "banana republics" have is to a large degree being cause by powerful outsiders like the Rothschilds. who then direct organizations like the IMF to ,,save" these poor nations. When the Rothschilds set themselves up in Brazil, they set up to be there permanently. They came in during the 19th century.
The Rothschilds and other British Interests played a major role in Brazil's railway system, which became a law unto itself. Just as the secret history of the railway tycoons reveals a great deal about the secret elite in the United States, so it also does in Brazil. Later Henry Kaiser and Nelson Rockefeller moved into South America (incl. Brazil) to promote their capitalistic visIons. They promoted the light industrialization of Latin America and its economic interdependence in the 1950's and 1960's. The Scroll & Key Society is one of the illuminati's secret entry points at Yale University. The Scroll and Key Society financed a book by Elizabeth A. Cobbs entitled The Rich Neighbor Policy: Rockefeller and Kaiser in Brazil. This book (Yale Univ., 1992, p. 248) states that Brazilians have looked to Rockefeller as their connection to the United States. Other elite families besides the Rothschilds have also substantial Latin American economic control, such as the DuPonts.
THE BLOODUNES ARE SECRET
One of the principle points that should be borne in mind, is that the actual occult power of the Rothschild bloodline is hidden in secret lineages. Although the Rothschilds make up part of the Rothschild bloodline, people should also watch out for names such as Bauer, Bowers, Sassoons, and many other last names. People within the illuminati who have Rothschild blood are aware of their secret ancestry, but outsiders in the world are more often than not are never going to be told that they carry such ,,powerful" occult blood.
ABOVE THE LAW
The story of what happened to BankCal, which was the oldest bank in California, illustrates how powerful the Rothschilds are in the United States. (The details of this story come from the San Jose Calif Mercury News, Jan. 12. 1992. I was somewhat surprised that the article appeared considering the strength of the Rothschilds. Sometimes corruption at the top stinks so bad, that It can't be suppressed entirely.) The United States has the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in place to protect the American public from stock fraud. During the 1980's there were 3 highly publicized cases of fraud that the SEC uncovered. These three cases created widespread confidence within the american public that stock market trading was in general honestly traded. The story of what Edmond Rothschild (full name is Edmond Adolphe Jules Jacques Maurice Baron de Rothschild) did with BankCal expose to the world that men like the Rothschilds do not have to play by the same rules as everyone else.
They are literally above the law. The powerful Illuminati control the law. In 1973, the CEO of BankCal, De Bretteville sold Edmond Rothschild 300,000 shares of Bancal Tristate Corp., 22% of the holding company for the Bank of California. De Bretteville had originally asked two English Rothschild cousins if they wanted to purchase the stock. These two cousins then called two French Rothschild cousins, who then called Edmond in Geneva, Switzerland for assistance. Edmond told them he would help them buy it, and that after he purchased it. he would turn around and divide it with his relatives. He lied. And over the next few years, he would continue to lie to numerous people about his intents for the bank.
De Bretteville says, "He lied to his family and he lied to me, it was a dirty deal all around." Bank of California had the only banking franchise at the time which was in all three Pacific rim states (OR, WA, CA). It turned out that the Bank of California was like a piece of art to Rothschild. He had no Intention of improving the bank, he simply wanted it for his collection of companies. Edmond already owned companies in Brazil, toy companies, 10% in De Beers mining in So. Africa, joint business ventures with Robert Vesco, and 30% of Club Mediterranean which Edmond co-founded. Club Mediterranean was created out of the idea that others of the elite would enjoy seaside playgrounds like those he and his mother cavorted at when he was a youngster. Edmond went on to marry a chorus girl named Nadine Actually, sources indicate that the Baron Edmond had wanted to give the Bank of California to his only son.
Bengie (Benjam in de Rothschild) as a graduation present. But Bengie who was going to Pepperdine University was more interested in partying. Bengie lived high on the hog at a fabulous California beach house while flunking school and living wildly. Apparently, his father decided his son wasn't ready for a graduation present. In fact, he left Pepperdine Univ. after 4 years with 31 credits (97 short to graduate) and went back home to Chateau Pregny on the shore of Lake Geneva near Geneva. Switz. It wasn't until 1989, that Benjamin stepped forward into the world of finance, by launching his La Compagnie de Tresorerie-Benjamin de Rothschild.
The San Jose Mercury. Jan. 12, 1992 reported, ,,The longtime chief executive of the blue-blood San Francisco bank invited Rothschild to invest. Banking regulators encouraged Rothschild to take charge. Securities investigators ignored the frenzy of trading overseas, and later, the documentation of insider trading. The bank's directors fawned while the baron used it as a personal plaything. ,,This is not what made this country great." says Bill Miles, a former BankCal vice president. "This is greed, all the way through." Edmond Rothschild only purchased a minority of BankCal's shares, but he was still able to totally control the company. He was also able to manipulate its stock prices and carry out insider trading without the Securities and Exchange Commission watching it. Edmond named two representatives to the board of directors. The first was George Coulon Karlweis, a patrician Swiss Banker who worked for Edmond. The other was George Shapiro. a New York lawyer who knew nothing about banking. Edmond has called George Shapiro his "godfather and his "guardian angel." Then Edmond replaced De Bretteville as CEO with his man Chauncey Schmidt.
Edmond had agreed to leave DeBretteville in his position as a condition to purchase BankCal shares, but when he chose to renege on his agreement he did without compassion. Bank board meetings became a game of ,,What does Edmond think?" Edmond on his part threw parties that enamored him to San Francisco's high society. Edmond carried out a series of actions which dropped the value of BankCal's stock drastically. Financial advisors and securities analysts convinced small stockholders to sell their BankCAl stock which they then did for rock bottom prices as little as $16 a share. Rothshild bought some at that price.
Some of Rothschild's secret proxies paid slightly higher prices. Most of the stock went to anonymous investors trading through private banks protected by secrecy laws. Nearly 20% of the bank's stock was sold by misled shareholders, and was sold to secret European bank accounts. The Baron and his friends secretly began buying the Bank's stock after It had hit rock bottom prices. During 1979 to 1981 more than 15% of Bank of California's stock was sold in Europe. Such an abrupt shift in a stock's trading pattern is supposed to set off alarms with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Instead the Securities and Exchange Commission turned a blind eye to all the insider trading. The European buyers bought their cheap stock as secretly as possible. They did not openly shop through American brokerages. Instead, they bought small (and therefore. unremarkable) blocks of stock through dozens of private banks in Switzerland, the Netherlands. Germany. Luxembourg. The Baron told his friends that he would sell BankCal, while he publicly gave the appearance that the company was not for sale.
For instance, publicly It was announced that David Rockefeller. as well as the elite's front man for BCCI Ghaith Pharaon had both taiked with Edmond Rothschild about the purchase of BankCal. According to what the public was led to believe. Rothschild said he would not sell his shares in the bank. Jean Marc Vemes, a buddy of Edmond. bought 310.000 shares through a defunct Asian mining company. He was anonymous until Edmond Rothschild nominated him to the bank's board of directors. After gathering up shares at rock bottom prices, Rothschild announced an official change of heart to sell the bank at $50 a share. Rothschild then sold this supposedly American bank to the Japanese, Mitsubishi, to be exact, and ,,made a killing" off of his manipulations and insider trading.
In Mar. 1982, Mitsubishi began secret negotiation to buy the bank which they codenamed ,,Snoopy." Over the years, stockholders had watched various companies offer $74 a share, $60 a share and other good terms only to be rebuffed. When Rothschild finally sold for $50 a share to the Japanese, it was clear that his whole goal had been to cheat stockholders to Insure a big cash reward for himself. Richard Freemon, a large stockholder who had sold. sued Rothschild and the directors for cheating him on his stock. The $25 million dollar lawsuit was settled out of court, with all parties swearing not to disclose how much Freemon got for having lost money due to Rothschild's stock manipulations.
THE ROUND TABLE GROUP
David Smith who has written the following article on the Rothschilds for this newsletter asked me to explain in this introduction about Rothschild and the Round Table Group. The men who formed Milner's Round table group from the various clues in their lives were by and large secret satanists. Rhodes and Stead created a secret society which had a ,,circle of initiates." This circle included such names as Albert (Lord) Grey, Arthur (Lord) Balfour, Sir Harry Johnston, and Lord Rothschild. Milner was on the executive committee of this secret group. Carroll Quigley dates the start of the group as March i 891. Apparently, the Rothschilds helped finance this secret society. In 1909-1913, this secret society in turn formed Round Table groups in British dependencies and the U.S. Eight of these round table groups were still functioning into the 1970s. Sir Abe Bailey supported the Round Table groups quarterly magazine called The Round Table in 1919, Sir Abe Bailey and the Astors financed the creation of the Royal Institute of International Affairs which in turn created daughter organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations in the United States.
The RIIA is also sometimes called Chatham House. The first Round Table group of the Rhode-Milner group were sometimes called the Cliveden Set because they often met at the Astor's Cliveden Estate. Terence O'Brien's biography describes Milner's relationship to the Rothschild's as very close Lord Alfred Milner (1854-1925) frequently visited the Rothschilds, stayed overnight with various Rothschilds, and even had some sleepless nights with them. without explanation as to why. Milner also worked for Rothschild as a director of Rio Tinto. Three Illuminati families stand out in the creation of the Round Table groups, which then became the RIIA and the CFR and related groups. These are the Rothschilds, Astors, and Greys. The Bailey family also shows up an important generational satanic family. The RIIA and its various branches such as the CFR are very powerful today. In my Be Wise As Serpents book readers can find a chart showing the role the CFR plays in the Policy Process of the U.S.
THE ROTHSCHILDS
By David Smith
The Rothschild family reached a peak in Its power during the Age of Metternich (1814-1848), but as the century waned, so did Rothschild power. They still held a considerable amount of influence but their ,,veto power" was not as strong as It had been before the Revolutionary overthrow of Metternich's Europe. This lagging power was nothing that could not be reversed though, and last half of the 19th century was spent manufacturing another incredible climb upward. The new rise in power came about during the reign of the "New Trinity" - Alphonse (France), Lionel (England), and Anselm (Vienna). The succeeding generations of these three family leaders were the catalysts of new family order. An excellent example of Rothschild power in the late 19th century is the families dealings with the Illuminati Habsburgs. In order to be court worthy for the Habsburgs you had to have four ancestral lines of nobility and you had to be baptized. Yet Emperor Francis Joseph gave the Rothschilds "a special act of grace" in 1887. From then on, the House was allowed to be on close terms with the Habsburgs. This was a considerable act.
The European nobility are very serious about their aristocratic rules. (Francis Joseph was not very close to the House, but his wife was a good friend of the Rothschilds). Another great example of Rothschild influence is their direct Involvement on both sides of the Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian Wars. Bismarck., dictator of Prussia, was a sort of son to featheriness Amschel of Frankfort. After Amschel died Bismarck remained close to the Rothschilds (although he had occasional quibbles with the family). Bismarck's banker, Bleichroder, was a Rothschild agent and the richest man in Berlin. He was invaluable to Bismarck as the financier of the dictator's wars with Austria and France. In Austria, the Hapsburgs were at least publicly Implored by Alphonse and Anthony of Paris and Anselm of Vienna to avoid a war with the ambitious Prussian dictator at all costs. Of all the international banking families, the Rothschilds appeared to be in favor of peace the most, although this was probably a ruse. "We want peace at any price," said Anthony de Rothschild. "What do we care about Germany, or Austria or Belgium? That sort of thing is out of date." But the Austrians gave in to Bismarck's provocations and embarked on a war with Prussia in 1866 (the Rothschilds had all congregated in London for a family wedding the year before; it is possible the wedding was used as an excuse to assemble the family together to discuss a plan of action concerning the up-coming events) .
Austria had been warned. In seven weeks the war was over, Bismarck had crushed the Austrians. The war had been financed by Rothschild agent, Bleichroder. Then Bismarck began to provoke France. Napoleon III was in the pocket of the head of all the Rothschilds, Alphonse de Rothschild of the Paris House. In fact, the two even shared the same mistress. Alphonse also had "access" to Bismarck. He was on both sides of the track, so to speak. Then, (very possibly under Rothschild direction) Bismarck began to try to put a German prince on the Spanish throne. Napoleon III responded by telling Alphonse that France could not allow such a thing, and unless England intervened diplomatically he would have no choice but to go to war against Prussia.
The Emperor wished to use the Rothschild's courier/agent system to relay this message to England. Baron Alphonse did so, sending the message to Nathaniel de Rothschild at New Court who relayed it to a close family Mend, and former Prime Minister Gladstone (England happened to be without a Prime Minister at that time). Gladstone (shedding. I believe, a light on the family's own opinions) answered the message with a refusal to intervene. The stage was set. Although Bismarck withdrew his Spanish candidate, the frictions between France and Prussia had become irreconcilable. Napoleon III declared war on Prussia in 1870. Explained one biographer: "No one foresaw the fall of France. Indeed crowned beads and statesmen alike believed that at long last Bismarck. had taken on an impossible task." Despite everyone's confidence in France, Alphonse sent his family to England.
He apparently knew better. Napoleon III suffered a terrible defeat. His empire came to an end. This war was also financed by the Rothschild agent, Bleichroder. Here comes the great puzzle concerning the whole affair. Biographers, using diaries and such, seem to think the Rothschilds were very distraught over Napoleon III's loss. But It also appears they were behind the whole mess. Perhaps the fear of the unpredictability of the new revolution caused this dismay. Perhaps It is just Rothschild disinformation. Perhaps their pan was to keep connections on both sides of the conflict and ride out the storm, but they were upset because their philosophical loyalty was to France (although I find this hard to believe). The family had their hands in both sides of the conflict, it even appears they manufactured the conflict, why the outcome might have upset them I have no idea. I personally believe the House of Rothschild wanted to get rid of Napoleon Ill and his empire, which is exactly what happened, the third republic was set up in France. After the war the French economy was devastated. The Rothschild agent, Junius Morgan was brought in to help restore the French financial situation. He made a large profit. As you can see the Rothschild's involvement in the Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian Wars was significant, even though they were crying peace.
FRENCH HOUSE, LATE 19TH AND EARLY 20TH CENTURY
Alphonse, of the "New Trinity", was the 4th bead of the House of Rothschild. He was an aristocratic man and friend of many prominent leaders of his day. He was also an adulterer, his most notable affair being with the Comtesse de Castiglione. He and his wife were called "the most lavish entertainers of their day." The sophisticated Alphonse was even friends with Belgium's King Leopold and England's Prince of Whales. He also improved upon his Inherited network of Rothschild agents, an underground system that would continue to grow well after his death. He was one of best Informed men of his day. His older sister Charlotte married Nathaniel of the English House. His brother Gustave also had an affair with the Comtesse de Castiglione.
His youngest brother, Edmond #1 was a genius and a main figure in the creation of a Jewish homeland in Israel. He helped divide the world's oil between Shell and the Rockefeller's Standard Oil. His other brother Salomon James married a Frankfurt Rothschild and is the subject of a weird circumstance described by biographer Virginia Cowles. "In 1864 Baron James' third son, the brilliantly clever Salomon [James], dropped dead. The boy had become a compulsive gambler which had caused his father great anxiety, as anyone with the Rothschild name was given unlimited financial credit. Apparently Salomon died of a heart attack which fascinated the Goncourt brothers. ,,Cabarrus, Rothschild's doctor,' one of them wrote, ,,told Saint-Victor that the young Rothschild who died the other, day really died of the excitement of gambling on the Stock Exchange.
Imagine it; a Rothschild dead of a paroxysm over money.' "However, If the Goncourt brothers had known the details of a previous heart attack suffered by Salomon they would have been even more enthralled. Three years earlier Salomon had ‘dropped dead'. He had been placed in a coma and, according to Jewish custom, carried into every room in the house. One of the pall bearers had stumbled, the coffin had crashed Into a door and -Salomon had woken up! Not for another three years was he well and truly buried." This story could lead to all sorts of speculation. De Rothschild Freres, the French House bank, was very powerful. It got its hands Into electrical Industries, the development of the Mediterranean Railway and North African business. It also controlled, with the British House, the Baku oil fields in Russia, which made the Rothschilds the main competitors of the Rockefeller trust. The oil business was principally run by Edmond #1.
When Alphonse died in 1905, the new generation of the French House came under the charge of Baron Edouard, a quiet and very rich man. Edouard was a director of the Bank of France. Baron Edouard also ran the de Rothschild Freres with his cousin, Robert (who married a Beer), son of Gustave (Robert's sister, Alice Caroline married Sir Edward A. Sassoon). These two carried de Rothschild Freres through the tumult of the first world war. Their policies were passive, as they extremely protective of the family wealth. Baron Edouard and Robert had close business dealings with J.P. Morgan. One of the operations of the Morgan-French Rothschild combine involved economic manipulation that allowed the Vienna House to almost fully regain the losses that the Austrian Rothschilds had incurred during WWI. The son of Edmond #1, James Armand de Rothschild, carried on the Israel work of his father after Edmond #1's death in 1934. James Armand's brother
Maurice was the black sheep of the Rothschild's new French generation. Maurice was a banker and a Senator in the French Parliament. Maurice was a very scandalous figure in the aristocratic scene. He was known as Don Juan de Rothschild. Said one biographer: "Some people went as far as to claim that ... one had to be seduced or at least pinched by Baron Maurice if one was a woman, or affronted by Baron Maurice, if a man. No other personage surpassed him in enriching the delicious scandal of his times." Thus a new French generation began the 20th century, the undynamic Baron Edouard leading the way.
BRITISH HOUSE, LATE 19TH AND EARLY 20TH
Uonel de Rothschild, of the "New Trinity", brought the British House into the late 19th century. Uonel was a very powerful man. He ran New Court shrewdly, and financed many prominent ventures, such as Cecil Rhodes' gold and diamond mines, and the purchase of the Suez Canal. He was also the first Jewish member of Parliament. His sister, Charlotte married another member of the "New Trinity", Anselm of Vienna. Another sister married into the soon-to-be extinct Italian House.
Lionel's brother Anthony - who described the Rothschilds as "complete slaves to business - married a Montefiore, and was knighted by the Queen - thus Sir Anthony de Rothschild. Lionel's next brother, Nathaniel, was the father of the Mouten Rothschilds. Nathaniel, though of the British House, loved France and moved to Paris in 1851. In 1853 he bought vineyards that became known as Mouton Rothschild, and he lived at these vineyards several months of the year. His descendants, the Mouton Rothschilds, are citizens of France but are of the British House (except that their mother was a French Rothschild, but the male lineage is the most important in the Rothschild family). Another of Lionel's brothers, Baron Mayer, married a Cohen. Mayer built a spectacular house, Mentmore Towers.
Said one woman: "I do not believe that the Medicis were ever so lodged at the height of their glory." The Mentmore Towers were turned over to Mayer's daughter, Hannah, when he died. Hannah married the Earl of Roseberry in 1878. The Earl of Roseberry became Prime Minister of England in 1894-95. The Mentmore Towers are still owned today by the son of Hannah, the current Earl of Roseberry. The Baron Mayer de Rothschild was a member of Parliament (never made a speech), and loved horse breeding and racing. He was the "sporting" member of the family. When Lionel died in 1879 a new generation of British Rothschild appeared on the scene led by Lionel's aristocratic son, Nathaniel "Natty" de Rothschild. Natty took control of New Court, the Rothschild's British bank He was elected to the House of Commons in 1865, and then, in 1885, Queen Victoria made him a Lord and he entered the House of Lords - the first Lord Rothschild. The Intelligent and extroverted Natty was an ornate speechmaker, unlike his father, Lionel, and uncle Mayer. Lord Natty has been described as exclusive, lofty, humorless, "one of the three rudest men in England," selective, blunt, aloof, powerful and a man with an explosive temper.
A perfect representative of the ruling class. Said one biographer: "Although Natty lacked the soaring Intelligence of his rough, unsociable grand father [Nathan, 2nd head of the Rothschilds] he had a strong personality and the authoritative air of a man who is not accustomed to being contradicted." Lord Natty was a good friend of Prime Ministers Disraeli and Gladstone. He played the philanthropy game of the rich very well. The powerful head of New Court was known for his charities, especially to the Jews - he was called ,,King of the Jews" as have many other Rothschilds. The haughty Lord Rothschild was even chairman of the British Red Cross. Lord Natty won the hearts of the London police (an effective measure when one is in the Illuminati). Every Christmas he presented them with a "handsome cheque," and any officer could receive a four course meal at his home. Hence, Rothschild carriages were always given the right of way in traffic. In business Lord Natty was very conservative.
He did not take very many risks and looked only for safe family investments. His self-confidence told him to manage his wealth himself and not trust his Investments with people who might strike a painful blow to his riches. "Natty was brusque and humorless and did not suffer fools gladly." Nor could he allow his money Into the hands of a fool, caution was a necessary device as far as he was concerned. According to the writer Frank Harris the Lord Rothschild told him: ,,I go to the bank [New Court] every morning and when I say ‘no' I return home at night without a worry. But when I say ‘yes' Its like putting your finger Into a machine - the whirring wheels may drag your whole body in after the finger." New Court was very powerful at this time, for example It controlled the Ruby Mines in Burma, and the banks operations covered most of South America. Brazil was the Rothschild's "preserve" in South America, as Argentina was the "preserve" of London's other major banking family - the Barings.
While Lord Natty's two brothers, Alfred and Leo, helped run New Court, Natty was almost totally calling the shots. "Natty stood for finance, Alfred for the arts, Leo for sport." Son of the Queen, the Prince of Whales Albert College, Cambridge. They became good friends and soon the Prince was close friends with most of the British House and others of the Rothschild clan, Including Natty's brothers, Alfred and Leo. The group of friends became known as ,,The Marlborough Boys", named after the Prince's Marlborough House at which they regularly gathered. ,,The Marlborough Boys" were intent on having fun. The small circle of partiers were living a life where "wit took precedence over etiquette..." The Prince probably had a hand in convincing the Queen to grant Natty peerage. The Rothschilds were suspected, rightfully so, of financing the Prince's investments and paying off his debts. The Prince later became King Edward VII of England. As you can see, Rothschild influence extends far and wide. Alfred, Lord Natty's brother, was an eccentric man.
He had a zebra four-in-hand, a pet goat, a private philharmonic which be conducted and a private circus which he would ringmaster. Needless to say, the Baron Alfred was a man with flair. "He loved music, clothes, furniture, paintings, beautiful women and, above all, luxury." He was also Involved in business - he worked at New Court and was the first Jewish Director of the Bank of England. The Baron was among those in charge of the last rites over Disraelis' dead body (Queen Victoria might have had an affair with Disraeli that the Rothschilds covered up). Alfred's demeanor was like that of a diplomat and was very Interested in foreign affairs. He was instrumental in easing the English - German tensions around the turn of the century. It was not to the Rothschilds benefit to have war. Alfred parted with tradition when he gave, in his will, his great wealth to his daughter. His daughter, in turn, used some of that Rothschild money to fund the expedition into Egypt that discovered Tutankhamen's grave.
Lord Natty's other brother, Baron Leopold de Rothschild, was not much of a businessman. He much more preferred horse racing and automobiles. He had the reputation of being a kind man. His wife, Maria Perugia, was the sister of Mrs. Arthur Sassoon. The first world war supposedly hurt the British House financially (although it appears their missing riches only went underground), but as always they bounced right back (in the eyes of the public). Thus a new British House of Rothschild began the 20th century, lofty Lord Natty leading the way.
AUSTRIAN HOUSE, LATE 19TH AND EARLY 20TH CENTURY
Baron Anselm von Rothschild, of the "New Trinity", brought the Austrian House to the close of the 19th century. Anselm lived under the reputation of his father, Salomon, and his uncle, Amschel (with whom he spent a good deal of his time). But be did not necessarily ride their coat tails, he proved his worth, so to speak. His most notable act being the creation Creditanstalt, which destroyed the financial challenger of the Rothschilds, Credit Mobilier. As a young man Anselm was a bit wild and frivolous, so hi. father sent him away to apprentice. Anselm ended up working under his uncle Amschel in the Frankfort bank (which was doomed to future liquidation). Frankfort mellowed him, and he lived there for 30 years. When his father died in 1855, Anselm returned to Vienna to take his father's place. He became a very active businessman. Anselm had influence in the Habsburg court. Baron Anselm's "name was inscribed in the Golden Book of the capital and in 1861 he had been made a member of the Imperial House of Lords." He also knew bow to incur his wrath.
One club in Austria refused him membership because be was a Jew. Baron Anselm simply bought a sewage disposable unit and installed it right next to the club. The smell was horrible. The dub then tried to give him a membership card, to mend the problem, but he returned the card doused in perfume and informed them that he would not move his sewage unit. The Rothschilds set off the financial crisis of 1873 in Vienna. S.M. Rothschild und Sohne totally controlled Hungarian finance. And Creditanstalt was the financial powerhouse of the Habsburg realm. Anselm's children carried on in Vienna after he died in 1874. Ills eldest son Nathaniel was an aristocrat, who was not interested in banking, only fine art and history. Anselm's second son, Ferdinand, moved to England. Only Baron Albert von Rothschild, Anselm's youngest son had a business inclination and be was chosen to take over Creditanstalt. Baron Albert and Nathaniel were the two richest men in Austria.
Baron Albert "held controlling interest in innumerable industries ranging from coal to railways; and when, in 1881, he converted the famous six-per-cent Gold Loan to Hungary the bank was recognized as the greatest financial force in the empire." Albert was afraid of the common people and he built a mansion that was more of a castel than a house. Its wails were seven feet high, and on top of that sat another eight feet of iron fencing. Anselm's second son, Baron Ferdinand, was a member of Prince Edward's "Marlborough Boys." He remained in England, becoming a naturalized citizen. "Ferdy" as he was called was an intellectual socialite. He built an Incredibly grandiose mansion named Waddeson
Manor; one of the most awesome of all the Rothschild homes. The Manor was so marvelous that the Queen herself paid it a visit. Visitors to its halls ranged from the Empress Frederick to the Shah of Persia. Ferdinand also had a zoo. One of Anselm's daughters also moved to England - Alice. The unmarried Alice was a very "tyrannical" person. In fact, she even yelled at the Queen when she saw her Inadvertently trampling a flower-bed. The Queen and Alice remained friends, and the Queen nicknamed Alice ,,The Al Powerful" "Alice ... reigns absolutely," wrote a cousin. "There is nothing constitutional about this monarchy. No wonder the Queen has named her ‘The Al Powerful'..." When Ferdinand died Alice received Waddeson Manor. Head of the Austrian House, Albert died in 1911.
His son (none of his brothers had any children), Baron Louis became the head of the house. Louis' brothers, Alphonse and Eugene, were "gentlemen of leisure." Baron Louis and his two brothers both served in the Austrian army during World War I (the war supposedly split the Vienna House from the French and English Houses, I don't believe this). The Austrian House's wealth had to go underground during the war. After the war ended the French and English Houses put the Austrian House back "on their feet again." Thus a new Austrian House began the 20th century, powerful Albert and suave Baron Louis leading the way.
THE MORGAN CONNECTION
George Peabody, a Massachusetts's trader, set up a banking house - George Peabody & Co. - in London in 1837. He became regarded as a "financial ambassador in London. Carrol Quigley attributes the use of tax-exempt foundations for manipulation of society to Peabody, seen in his Illuminati Peabody foundation. Daniel Colt Gilman, a member of the Skull & Bones and first President of the Carnegie Institution, was involved in the establishment of the Peabody foundation. He was in such high regard by the elite that they have erected a statue of him across from the Bank of England. Peabody was getting old and needed a younger partner. Junius Morgan, of Hartford, Connecticut, was recommended to Peabody. In 1854 Junius and his family arrived in London to join George Peabody & Co. When the elite's concocted American Civil War broke out, Peabody and Junius Morgan raised loans for the North. It appears Junius played both sides of the war. Ralph Epperson claims Junius was one of the Rothschild agents who shipped supplies to the South. When Peabody retired in 1864 Junius took over the business.
The firm was re-named JS. Morgan & Co. That same year Junius' son, J.P. Morgan, became a junior partner in the firm. A year later J.P. left for America to represent the firm in