Cover for No Agenda Show 1273: False Positive
August 30th, 2020 • 3h 16m

1273: False Positive


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn't Be. - The New York Times
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 03:11
The usual diagnostic tests may simply be too sensitive and too slow to contain the spread of the virus.
Tests authorized by the F.D.A. provide only a yes-no answer to infection, and will identify as positive patients with low amounts of virus in their bodies. Credit... Johnny Milano for The New York Times Aug. 29, 2020Updated 4:07 p.m. ET
Some of the nation's leading public health experts are raising a new concern in the endless debate over coronavirus testing in the United States: The standard tests are diagnosing huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus.
Most of these people are not likely to be contagious, and identifying them may contribute to bottlenecks that prevent those who are contagious from being found in time. But researchers say the solution is not to test less, or to skip testing people without symptoms, as recently suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Instead, new data underscore the need for more widespread use of rapid tests, even if they are less sensitive.
''The decision not to test asymptomatic people is just really backward,'' said Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, referring to the C.D.C. recommendation.
''In fact, we should be ramping up testing of all different people,'' he said, ''but we have to do it through whole different mechanisms.''
In what may be a step in this direction, the Trump administration announced on Thursday that it would purchase 150 million rapid tests.
The most widely used diagnostic test for the new coronavirus, called a PCR test, provides a simple yes-no answer to the question of whether a patient is infected.
But similar PCR tests for other viruses do offer some sense of how contagious an infected patient may be: The results may include a rough estimate of the amount of virus in the patient's body.
''We've been using one type of data for everything, and that is just plus or minus '-- that's all,'' Dr. Mina said. ''We're using that for clinical diagnostics, for public health, for policy decision-making.''
But yes-no isn't good enough, he added. It's the amount of virus that should dictate the infected patient's next steps. ''It's really irresponsible, I think, to forgo the recognition that this is a quantitative issue,'' Dr. Mina said.
The PCR test amplifies genetic matter from the virus in cycles; the fewer cycles required, the greater the amount of virus, or viral load, in the sample. The greater the viral load, the more likely the patient is to be contagious.
This number of amplification cycles needed to find the virus, called the cycle threshold, is never included in the results sent to doctors and coronavirus patients, although it could tell them how infectious the patients are.
In three sets of testing data that include cycle thresholds, compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus, a review by The Times found.
On Thursday, the United States recorded 45,604 new coronavirus cases, according to a database maintained by The Times. If the rates of contagiousness in Massachusetts and New York were to apply nationwide, then perhaps only 4,500 of those people may actually need to isolate and submit to contact tracing.
One solution would be to adjust the cycle threshold used now to decide that a patient is infected. Most tests set the limit at 40, a few at 37. This means that you are positive for the coronavirus if the test process required up to 40 cycles, or 37, to detect the virus.
Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk '-- akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left, Dr. Mina said.
Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive, agreed Juliet Morrison, a virologist at the University of California, Riverside. ''I'm shocked that people would think that 40 could represent a positive,'' she said.
A more reasonable cutoff would be 30 to 35, she added. Dr. Mina said he would set the figure at 30, or even less. Those changes would mean the amount of genetic material in a patient's sample would have to be 100-fold to 1,000-fold that of the current standard for the test to return a positive result '-- at least, one worth acting on.
Image ''It's just kind of mind-blowing to me that people are not recording the C.T. values from all these tests, that they're just returning a positive or a negative,'' one virologist said. Credit... Erin Schaff/The New York Times The Food and Drug Administration said in an emailed statement that it does not specify the cycle threshold ranges used to determine who is positive, and that ''commercial manufacturers and laboratories set their own.''
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is examining the use of cycle threshold measures ''for policy decisions.'' The agency said it would need to collaborate with the F.D.A. and with device manufacturers to ensure the measures ''can be used properly and with assurance that we know what they mean.''
The C.D.C.'s own calculations suggest that it is extremely difficult to detect any live virus in a sample above a threshold of 33 cycles. Officials at some state labs said the C.D.C. had not asked them to note threshold values or to share them with contact-tracing organizations.
For example, North Carolina's state lab uses the Thermo Fisher coronavirus test, which automatically classifies results based on a cutoff of 37 cycles. A spokeswoman for the lab said testers did not have access to the precise numbers.
This amounts to an enormous missed opportunity to learn more about the disease, some experts said.
''It's just kind of mind-blowing to me that people are not recording the C.T. values from all these tests '-- that they're just returning a positive or a negative,'' said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York.
''It would be useful information to know if somebody's positive, whether they have a high viral load or a low viral load,'' she added.
The Coronavirus Outbreak 'ºFrequently Asked QuestionsUpdated August 27, 2020
What should I consider when choosing a mask?There are a few basic things to consider. Does it have at least two layers? Good. If you hold it up to the light, can you see through it? Bad. Can you blow a candle out through your mask? Bad. Do you feel mostly OK wearing it for hours at a time? Good. The most important thing, after finding a mask that fits well without gapping, is to find a mask that you will wear. Spend some time picking out your mask, and find something that works with your personal style. You should be wearing it whenever you're out in public for the foreseeable future. Read more: What's the Best Material for a Mask?What are the symptoms of coronavirus?In the beginning, the coronavirus seemed like it was primarily a respiratory illness '-- many patients had fever and chills, were weak and tired, and coughed a lot, though some people don't show many symptoms at all. Those who seemed sickest had pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome and received supplemental oxygen. By now, doctors have identified many more symptoms and syndromes. In April, the C.D.C. added to the list of early signs sore throat, fever, chills and muscle aches. Gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea and nausea, has also been observed. Another telltale sign of infection may be a sudden, profound diminution of one's sense of smell and taste. Teenagers and young adults in some cases have developed painful red and purple lesions on their fingers and toes '-- nicknamed ''Covid toe'' '-- but few other serious symptoms.Why does standing six feet away from others help?The coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets from your mouth and nose, especially when you cough or sneeze. The C.D.C., one of the organizations using that measure, bases its recommendation of six feet on the idea that most large droplets that people expel when they cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within six feet. But six feet has never been a magic number that guarantees complete protection. Sneezes, for instance, can launch droplets a lot farther than six feet, according to a recent study. It's a rule of thumb: You should be safest standing six feet apart outside, especially when it's windy. But keep a mask on at all times, even when you think you're far enough apart.I have antibodies. Am I now immune?As of right now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering what seems to be a second bout of Covid-19. But experts say these patients may have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may last in the body only two to three months, which may seem worrisome, but that's perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it's highly unlikely that it would be possible in a short window of time from initial infection or make people sicker the second time.I'm a small-business owner. Can I get relief?The stimulus bills enacted in March offer help for the millions of American small businesses. Those eligible for aid are businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 workers, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers. Some larger companies in some industries are also eligible. The help being offered, which is being managed by the Small Business Administration, includes the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. But lots of folks have not yet seen payouts. Even those who have received help are confused: The rules are draconian, and some are stuck sitting on money they don't know how to use. Many small-business owners are getting less than they expected or not hearing anything at all.What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work?Employers have to provide a safe workplace with policies that protect everyone equally. And if one of your co-workers tests positive for the coronavirus, the C.D.C. has said that employers should tell their employees -- without giving you the sick employee's name -- that they may have been exposed to the virus.Officials at the Wadsworth Center, New York's state lab, have access to C.T. values from tests they have processed, and analyzed their numbers at The Times's request. In July, the lab identified 794 positive tests, based on a threshold of 40 cycles.
With a cutoff of 35, about half of those tests would no longer qualify as positive. About 70 percent would no longer be judged positive if the cycles were limited to 30.
In Massachusetts, from 85 to 90 percent of people who tested positive in July with a cycle threshold of 40 would have been deemed negative if the threshold were 30 cycles, Dr. Mina said. ''I would say that none of those people should be contact-traced, not one,'' he said.
Other experts informed of these numbers were stunned.
''I'm really shocked that it could be that high '-- the proportion of people with high C.T. value results,'' said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. ''Boy, does it really change the way we need to be thinking about testing.''
Dr. Jha said he had thought of the PCR test as a problem because it cannot scale to the volume, frequency or speed of tests needed. ''But what I am realizing is that a really substantial part of the problem is that we're not even testing the people who we need to be testing,'' he said.
The number of people with positive results who aren't infectious is particularly concerning, said Scott Becker, executive director of the Association of Public Health Laboratories. ''That worries me a lot, just because it's so high,'' he said, adding that the organization intended to meet with Dr. Mina to discuss the issue.
The F.D.A. noted that people may have a low viral load when they are newly infected. A test with less sensitivity would miss these infections.
But that problem is easily solved, Dr. Mina said: ''Test them again, six hours later or 15 hours later or whatever,'' he said. A rapid test would find these patients quickly, even if it were less sensitive, because their viral loads would quickly rise.
PCR tests still have a role, he and other experts said. For example, their sensitivity is an asset when identifying newly infected people to enroll in clinical trials of drugs.
But with 20 percent or more of people testing positive for the virus in some parts of the country, Dr. Mina and other researchers are questioning the use of PCR tests as a frontline diagnostic tool.
People infected with the virus are most infectious from a day or two before symptoms appear till about five days after. But at the current testing rates, ''you're not going to be doing it frequently enough to have any chance of really capturing somebody in that window,'' Dr. Mina added.
Highly sensitive PCR tests seemed like the best option for tracking the coronavirus at the start of the pandemic. But for the outbreaks raging now, he said, what's needed are coronavirus tests that are fast, cheap and abundant enough to frequently test everyone who needs it '-- even if the tests are less sensitive.
''It might not catch every last one of the transmitting people, but it sure will catch the most transmissible people, including the superspreaders,'' Dr. Mina said. ''That alone would drive epidemics practically to zero.''
Nursing homes prove test faulty BOTG
every month my employer (WI state) requires everyone who works in healthcare setting (I work in long term state facility) to get covid testing. We have the National Guard come in to do this. I have emailed you in the past about it being mandatory, and can be fired if one does not comply.
When we do staff testing, we also test our residents. This past test cycle 4 of our residents came back positive. Next day they were retested and were all negative. Although they are negative, they are now all in a quarantine unit, and the apartment (ward/unit) they were on -where everyone tested negative- is now required to where mask and goggles (that has been standard for 2 months), gown and gloves just to enter the apartment. This is not even doing patient care. When I do rounds (walk through) I have to get all the gear on before I even enter a unit where everyone has tested negative.
Bother, said pooh.
Copy of the email from the infection control nurse.
CDC death rate now 6% after numbers review
" Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. The number of deaths with each condition or cause is shown for all deaths and by age groups. For data on comorbidities, ..."
Dissecting te Chromosome 8 in the PCR tests
Sorry about the long explanation, but I think it's necessary to help you understand what she means.
So what this lady is referring to is the "primary assembly", which is a short string of nucleotides that is unique and complimentary to the genetic sequence used to detect the viral RNA in a sample. Let me explain:
PCR is a process that increases the amount of, or amplifies, a DNA sample if the target DNA is present. This is achieved by manufacturing the target DNA into a master mix, along with the sample being tested for the presence of this DNA. The manufactured DNA has fluorescent markers bound to them. Everything is mixed together and put into a bunch of little tubes. The samples are then heated up to about 96 degrees C, causing the DNA to unravel and separate the two strands of the DNA. This is called denaturing. Then the machine starts to cool the samples. As this happens, the separate DNA strands will bind with the manufactured ones, making new copies of the DNA. When this happens, the markers will be activated and will fluoresce. The machine detects the fluorescence and quantifies it. The thermal cycler will go through about 30 or more rounds of this until millions of copies are made if the DNA is present in the sample. If a strong fluorescence is detected, the sample is positive for the target DNA. No fluorescence means nothing bound, making a negative result.
Since covid is an RNA virus, it only has one strand of genetic material. If order to get amplification, a complementary DNA, or cDNA, must be manufactured. In order to amplify it, an enzyme called reverse transcriptase is introduced to the master mix along with the sample, hence RT-qPCR, Reverse Transcriptase quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction. Reverse transcriptase goes backwards, and creates DNA from RNA by annealing the the denatured manufactured cDNA. If the target RNA is present, again, the machine detects the fluorescence.
So what she's saying is that this small portion of the cDNA for the covid RNA sequence matches the sequence of this particular contig (a contig is a portion of DNA within a chromosome that codes for specific proteins/enzymes) in chromosome 8. She didn't clarify that it wasn't the entirety of chromosome 8, which is around 145 million base pairs long. Specifically, the contig she's referring to is GRCh38.p12
The sequence is:
I've been doing RT-qPCR on covid at work and I have the probe sequences available to me. But I was looking on the CDC website, and it turns out they use different probes for diagnostic tests than what I use for research...that's interesting. I didn't know they used different primers. Here are the research sequences, none of which match to the chromosome 8 contig she's talking about:
So I've been looking for the actual sequence they use for diagnostics and I'm having a lot of trouble finding it. I have been looking at the links she provided with that youtube video you sent me and have been looking at the product number on the websites
where I buy my shit for covid research. I'm going down a rabbit hole here so I'm going to need to look into this more. My instinct is that this is probably a wild goose chase like you say, but I'm not dismissing it. Detection doesn't just use one sequence
to get a positive result. DNA and RNA sequences between human and viral genetic sequences do match in some instances and this is not an uncommon occurrence. But I'm scratching my head as to why diagnostic and research sequences for detection are different.
It must be a legal thing, which I have very little understanding for.
I have to run some tests and get back to you. I'll admit that I'm biased because I do research on this and it's very real to me, but the government is grossly misrepresenting the statistics. I actually ran my own numbers on where San Diego county
is as far as herd immunity is concerned if you're interested. I can basically prove that we're almost done solely based on the numbers that the CDC is providing. I've got some work to do but I'll get to the bottom of this. I was sipping tequila while I was
doing research and accidentally got drunk, so I'll leave it here for now until tomorrow. I'll have something more conclusive for you before Thursday.
Copied after I verified it- look for the... - DrElizabeth Hesse DC | Facebook
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 11:33
Copied after I verified it- look for the link below that takes you to the CDC site.
This week the CDC quietly updated the Covid number to admit that only 6% of all the 153,504 deaths recorded actually died from Covid.
That's 9,210 deaths.
The other 94% had 2 to 3 other serious illnesses and the overwhelming majority were of very advanced age; 90% in nursing homes.
That's a pretty big BOOM.
This is not to say it's not real. I'm not debating that. I'm just showing updated numbers. Not here to fight. Sick of fighting. Will delete messages wanting to fight. Peace, love & good health to all.
ETA- I am so grateful for the lives this post has touched and to see so many truth seekers! I do not know who the OP was, but I am super grateful to them! Since my comment is hard to access now, I am adding the CDC link here. https:// nchs/nvss/vsrr/ covid_weekly/ index.htm?fbclid =IwAR0fUcThh_Dn 2PL3FqFmpNqJPUX 1pFJKkaw5oNtwZs iOn-xr96v9gnxhm YE#Comorbiditie s
Remember the light has won! Keep holding the space for truth, liberty and sovereignty! We are living through the revelation and dismantling of many systems and paradigms that have been holding us down! We are moving into our empowerment! Love and peace to you all- Dr. Elizabeth Hesse DC
covid tests being modified to test from influenza as well
Hi Adam, listened to 1273. My wife works for a major Midwest covid tester. They are about to modify their test so that it also looks for Influenza A and B in addition to Covid, all at the same time. Potentially so people who are sick with something, know what bullshit virus they are supposed to cower in fear from.
CNN Proclaims National Panic Day as Rally of 500,000 (!) Bikers in South Dakota Linked to a Whooping 22 Additional Test Positives '' Anti-Empire
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 04:49
Oh my God! Anything but an extra 22 test positives! Sounds more like proof how idiotic the ban on non-BLM mass rallies really is at this point Coronavirus cases linked to the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota last week have now reached across state lines to Nebraska, public health officials said.
At least seven Covid-19 cases in Nebraska's Panhandle region have been tied to the rally, Kim Engel, director of the Panhandle Public Health District, confirmed in an email to CNN.
The department said that contact tracing had been completed, and it declined to comment further.
The cases that have appeared in Nebraska are the latest to be connected to the 80th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally, which took place August 7-16.
Minnesota also confirmed 15 cases of Covid-19 connected with the rally, according to Kris Ehresmann, director of the Minnesota Health Department Infectious Disease Division. Of those 15 cases, one person has been hospitalized. Health officials say they expect to see additional cases in the next few days, Ehresmann said.
South Dakota state health officials announced Thursday that a person who worked at a tattoo shop in Sturgis had tested positive for the virus and could have possibly exposed people during the event last week.
The person was an employee of Asylum Tattoo Sturgis and could have spread the virus to others on August 13-17 from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., officials said.
Earlier this week, officials said a person who spent hours at a bar during the rally had also tested positive. That individual visited One-Eyed Jack's Saloon in Sturgis on August 11 from noon to 5:30 p.m. while able to transmit the virus to others, health officials said.
Anyone who visited either the tattoo shop or the saloon, which are located at the same address, during that period should monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the visit.
Rally had raised concernsHealth experts were concerned that this year's Sturgis motorcycle rally could be a ''super spreader'' event. The 10-day mass gathering typically draws crowds of more than 500,000 people from all over the country, including coronavirus hotspots.
South Dakota Department of Transportation officials tracked more than 462,000 vehicles entering Sturgis during the rally. Though the total was a 7.5% decline from the previous year, it is still one of the largest mass gatherings since the start of the pandemic.
Many of the attendees did not comply with health guidelines such as wearing masks and keeping distance from others [''Guidelines'' which do not apply in South Dakota.], as seen at a concert for the rock band Smash Mouth.
A little more than 60% of people in Sturgis voted against holding the motorcyle event. But city officials said they felt they wouldn't have been able to stop the crowds from coming in and instead opted to prepare for the event as best they could.
''There are people throughout America who have been locked up for months and months,'' Daniel Ainslie, the city manager, told CNN last week. ''So we kept hearing from people saying it doesn't matter, they are coming to Sturgis. So with that, ultimately the council decided that it was really vital for the community to be prepared for the additional people that we're going to end up having.''
South Dakota reported 193 new cases on Friday. It's one of several states that have seen an increase in new cases this past week compared to the week prior, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Source: CNN
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Milgram experiments
The Milgram experiment(s) on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram. They measured the willingness of study participants, men from a diverse range of occupations with varying levels of education, to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. Participants were led to believe that they were assisting an unrelated experiment, in which they had to administer electric shocks to a "learner." These fake electric shocks gradually increased to levels that would have been fatal had they been real.
Covid-deniers protest in Berlin and London - CNN
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 10:46
Berlin, Germany(CNN) Berlin police ordered a halt to a demonstration Saturday protesting against the German government's Covid-19 regulations, citing the crowd's failure to abide by social distancing guidelines.
Thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, including a large contingent of far-right groups and members identifying with the US-based right-wing conspiracy movement QAnon. And in London, a large crowd of protesters took to the streets, calling for the end of what they called "COVID hoax" measures.
Few of the demonstrators wore masks or followed social distancing guidelines as they waved flags and marched towards the Brandenburg Gate for a final rally, where about 20,000 people from Germany and other European countries were expected to gather.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Berlin to demonstrate against the German government's coronavirus response.
Some held up placards showing German lawmakers with the word "guilty" underneath, while others waved imperialist flags usually associated with far-right group "Reichsbuerger," or displayed tributes to Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
"Mr Trump, please don't forget the German patriots," read one banner.
Just hours into the demonstration, Berlin police tweeted that they were dispersing the marchers.
Some held up signs showing pictures of German lawmakers and the word "guilty."
"Unfortunately, we have no other option: We approached the leader of the demonstration and informed him that his meeting would be dissolved by the police," police said on Twitter.
"All previous measures have not led to compliance with the requirements," police added, pointing to "non-compliance with the distance regulations according to the Infection Protection Act, despite constant requests by the meeting management & our colleagues."
About 3,000 police officers were deployed to monitor the march after concerns about whether social distancing rules would be followed. "We are getting a lot of support from other states and the federal police. Please maintain distance and stay safe," the police tweeted.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded swiftly to the coronavirus outbreak, but case numbers have recently begun to creep up again and restrictions have been reenforced.
Earlier this week, Berlin's state government announced that it would prohibit the demonstration from taking place, following fears over potential violations of the government's coronavirus regulations.
But the ban was lifted on Friday following an urgent ruling by the Berlin Administrative Court on Friday.
"The assembly against the coronavirus policy of the federal and state governments planned for August 29, 2020 by the initiative Lateral Thinking 711 can take place after an urgent ruling," the court said in a statement.
"The organizers must comply with conditions," the statement added.
Chancellor Angela Merkel initially responded to the coronavirus with swift and strict lockdown measures and widespread testing, and it appeared to have worked, with Germany's death toll remaining low.
But after a recent rise in infections as measures were eased, tougher restrictions were introduced on Friday, including new travel regulations.
Merkel warned that the coronavirus pandemic was "likely to get more difficult in the coming months," cautioning that society "is never going to be the same" until a successful vaccine is developed.
Anti-mask protesters are seen at the Unite for Freedom protest in Trafalgar Square on August 29.
Protesters listen to speeches in Trafalgar Square during an anti-mask demo.
Protests in LondonMeanwhile on Saturday, a large crowd of protesters gathered in London's Trafalgar Square to demonstrate against the UK's government's coronavirus measures, with video and still photos of the event indicating the attendance was in the thousands.
Photos circulating on social media showed protesters holding up banners with slogans including "COVID hoax," "no mandatory vaccines," and "no lockdowns" as they climbed the landmark Nelson's Column challenging the current social distancing rules.
The "Unite for Freedom" protest called for an end to mandatory measures such as lockdowns, social distancing, mask wearing and track and trace systems, described by the organizers as a "violation of people's rights and freedoms."
Several protesters also held up signs for QAnon. One man was photographed unfurling the flag of the British Union of Fascists, an anti-Semitic group formed in the early 1930s.
The UK continues to see a rise in coronavirus infection rates, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock telling British media Saturday that further nationwide restrictions cannot be ruled out.
Britain reported 1,108 new cases on Saturday bringing the total number of cases across the country to 332,752. A total of 41,498 people have reportedly died from coronavirus in the UK.
CNN's Nadine Schmidt, Emma Reynolds, Isabel Tejera, Anastasia Graham-Yooll and Schams Elwazer contributed to this report.
Thousands Join Bobby Kennedy Jr. In Berlin Protesting Abuses in the Vaccine Industry - Police Step In to Shut it Down
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 23:33
Bobby Kennedy Jr. joined members of the global community today in Berlin in an effort to raise awareness about the dangers our children face due to the vaccine lobby. Thousands showed up.Bobby Kennedy is the son of the former US Attorney General and the nephew of the US President who famously said, ''I am a Berliner.'' Bobby was in Berlin today to join forces with citizens around the globe who are concerned about our children's health as a result of damaging vaccines.
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The group Children's Health Defense got together in Berlin with the younger Kennedy in an effort to bring attention to corrupt individuals and institutions in the global medical community pushing dangerous medicines on our children.
In #Berlin launching @ChildrensHD Europe. Tomorrow, I will speak to largest crowd in #German history. We are expecting 1 million+ people protesting Bill Gates' bio security agenda, rise of authoritarian surveillance state + Pharma sponsored coup d'etat against liberal democracy.
'-- Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) August 28, 2020
The Children's Health Defense website shares various posts similar to the ones we published here at TGP over the past few months.
Individuals and entities like Dr. Fauci, Bill Gates and the WHO all took efforts to prevent the use of HCQ and efforts to shut down those doctors who wanted to tell the truth about HCQ's use:
A must-read article: ''These tech giants are financially intertwined with Big Pharma; they have captured the media narrative, deliberately preventing the public from gaining access to the truth.''
'-- Children's Health Defense (@ChildrensHD) August 23, 2020
The Children Health Defense team also warns about governments like in Australia who are pushing for a vaccine even though they have had a very minimal COVID-19 impact on their lives and economy down under:
The loss of civil liberties we're seeing is truly astonishing. Australia is considering measures such as banning restaurants, international travel, public transport & withholding gov't programs through ''No Jab No Pay'' in order to coerce vaccine resisters.
'-- Children's Health Defense (@ChildrensHD) August 23, 2020
Despite COVID winding down, elites want to push a vaccine on the people:
I calculated the past 30-day Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for COVID-19 in Europe*
CFR = 0.76% (IFR is much lower)
There are currently <2 daily deaths per TEN MILLION persons from COVID-19'...'...This is lower than Europe's suicide rate.
*Spain, Italy, France, UK, Switzerland, Sweden
'-- James Todaro, MD (@JamesTodaroMD) August 27, 2020
Today Kennedy spoke in Berlin about why he was there:
My very narrow purpose in starting the Childrens Health Defense was to address this problem [that vaccines are not adequately tested and put in use without any liability on the part of the maker] to get vaccines properly safety tested. Because if they are not safety tested, nobody can tell you with any medical authority that that vaccine isn't injuring people and is safe''
Thousands came out and tuned in to see Bobby Kennedy Jr. at the event today but unfortunately the police stepped in to shut it down early. reported:
Police in Berlin announced Saturday that they were cutting short a demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in Germany, saying that protesters had failed to abide by court-ordered guidelines.
Officials estimated some 38,000 protesters took part in the rally on Saturday, a day after a court overturned the capital's ban on the protest.
So the left wouldn't allow the rally until the day before and then the police shut it down early. The left is against the people worldwide.
Berlin: police call off protests against coronavirus curbs
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 11:50
Authorities in the German capital have called off a rally aimed at protesting too much government interference over the coronavirus. Police said protesters failed to abide by court-mandated health safety rules.
Police in Berlin announced Saturday that they were cutting short a demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in Germany, saying that protesters had failed to abide by court-ordered guidelines.
An estimated 18,000 protesters descended on Berlin for the demonstration on Saturday morning, according to police estimates, a day after a court overturned the capital's ban on the protest.
"Unfortunately, we have no other option," Berlin police wrote on Twitter. "We've approached the leader of the demonstration and informed him that his assembly will be dissolved by the police. All the measures taken so far have not led to compliance with the conditions."
A mixed crowd
The crowd had initially gathered around the Brandenburg Gate on Saturday morning, news agency dpa reported. Demonstrators shouted "Open the gate" and "We are the people," echoing chants used in the pro-democracy movement in former East Germany.
DW's Thomas Sparrow, reporting live from the scene of the demonstration in Berlin, cited one protester as saying: 'Only dead fish swim with the current.'"
"There is a wide variety of people here," Sparrow continued. "You have people here against vaccines, you have people that are conspiracy theorists. You have families saying they just want to have the right to protest."
"This is a protest that has been co-opted, to a large extent, by the far right. Although some people have told us that is not the case."
Far-right groups among attendees
Protesters were expected to march through Berlin to the Tiergarten district and the main road that cuts through the park of the same name.
Demonstration organizer "Querdenken 711" (Lateral Thinking 711)registered for over 22,500 people to attend. Some 3,000 police officers were deployed Saturday morning to control the crowds.
Previous "anti-corona" marches in Germany have attracted support from people across the political spectrum, including those from the far-left and far-right as well as anti-vaccination campaigners and conspiracy theorists.
Reporting on Twitter from Berlin on Saturday, DW correspondent Kate Brady said she'd spotted flags and T-shirts promoting far-right extremist groups among the crowd.
Court overturns ban at last minute
An administrative court in Berlin on Saturday morning ruled that the demonstration could go ahead, overturning an earlier decision from a lower court banning the protest.
The city had announced the ban earlier this week, citing the lack of health precautions taken by protesters at a similar demonstration earlier this month.
The new ruling required organizers and participants to meet certain conditions, otherwise, police could shut down the protest. Barriers are required in place in front of stages where speeches are held and event coordinators must regularly remind those in attendance to keep a safe distance from each other. The judge did not include wearing masks in the guidelines.
kp/mm (dpa, epd)
CDC announces ''emergency might require a sudden sleepover'' of schoolkids '' USSA News | The Tea Party's Front Page
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 13:03
Bahugala/Flickr The Center for Disease Control issued a three-step preparedness card questionnaire that asks parents the unthinkable and insinuates what should be done when it comes to protecting ''your child during emergencies in the school day.''
The CDC guidelines say it's as ''easy as ABC.''
''How would you be reunited with your child in an emergency?'' the questionnaire asks parents.
''Bring extra medicines, special foods, or supplies your child would need if separated overnight,'' it reads. ''Complete a backpack card and tuck one in your child's backpack and your wallet.''
Screenshot via Additionally, it reads: ''An emergency might require a sudden sleepover. Tell school administrators about any extra supplies your child may need to safely make it through a night away from home.''
H/T: @AmeriforceJ on Twitter
The post CDC announces ''emergency might require a sudden sleepover'' of schoolkids appeared first on Intellihub.
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Trump Willing To Sign $1.3 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Bill, Chief Of Staff Says
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 04:39
Breaking | 2,499 views | | Aug 28, 2020, 05:01pm EDT TOPLINEWhite House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Friday that President Trump would be willing to sign a $1.3 trillion coronavirus relief bill, according to multiple news reports'--that's slightly higher than the GOP's original $1 trillion proposal, but nowhere near the $2.2 trillion compromise that Democrats have offered.
members of the press outside the West Wing of the White House on August 28, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Getty Images
KEY FACTSAccording to Reuters, Meadows said the $1.3 trillion bill was offered to Democrats privately.
In their first conversation in weeks, Meadows and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spoke for 25 minutes via phone on Thursday but did not make any progress towards reaching an agreement.
Meadows described the call as ''25 minutes of nothing,'' Fox Business reported, and Pelosi said in a statement that the conversation made it clear that ''the White House continues to disregard the needs of the American people.''
Pelosi also said Thursday that Democrats were ''not budging'' on their latest offer.
Meadows' comments on Friday afternoon are the latest iteration of an ongoing blame game between the two camps, both of which have continually portrayed the other as unwilling to compromise.
Big numberFive weeks. That's how long it's been since the last of the $600 weekly unemployment checks went out. After the original CARES Act benefit expired, President Trump created a new program that will allow states to send out $300 weekly checks. Only a handful of states have begun sending out the new payments so far.
Tangent GOP lawmakers'--who have been largely absent from negotiating meetings between Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)'--have also been preparing a ''skinny'' version of their original proposal. That bill would be worth roughly $500 billion and exclude some more expensive provisions like another round of stimulus payments. Given Democrats' insistence on a larger price tag, however, it isn't likely that the new GOP bill will become law.
Further readingPelosi Says Democrats Are 'Not Budging' As Second Stimulus Gridlock Wears On (Forbes)
Stimulus Update: White House's Meadows Says He's Reached Out To Pelosi To Restart Talks (Forbes)
Kudlow Promises 'Targeted, Sensible Help' But GOP's Pared-Down Bill Isn't Gaining Traction With Democrats (Forbes)
$300 Weekly Unemployment Payments Are 'Too Little Too Late' To Prop Up August Spending, Goldman Sachs Says (Forbes)
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Twitter. Send me a secure tip. I'm a breaking news reporter for Forbes focusing on economic policy and capital markets. I completed my master's degree in business and economic reporting at New York
'... Read More I'm a breaking news reporter for Forbes focusing on economic policy and capital markets. I completed my master's degree in business and economic reporting at New York University. Before becoming a journalist, I worked as a paralegal specializing in corporate compliance.
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US President Donald Trump SLAMS NBA protests: 'What they're doing is gonna DESTROY basketball' '-- RT Sport News
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 11:55
United States President Donald Trump took aim at the player protests actioned by the stars of the NBA following the shooting of Jacob Blake, saying their actions would ''destroy basketball.''
Trump criticized the actions of the NBA players, after their team-by-team decision to stop play for three days following the shooting of Blake, a black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
He was shot in the back multiple times by police officers, leading him to be paralyzed from the waist down.
READ MORE: Trump says NBA acting 'like a political organization' as ANOTHER day of games is canceled
Reacting to the incident, NBA players in their respective teams took the collective decision to not play their NBA Playoff games. The decision hasn't gone down well with Trump, who criticized the NBA.
Speaking on Air Force One, Trump told reporters that the actions would be ''threatening'' to the NBA, stating, "I think what they're doing, in particular, is gonna destroy basketball."
The league and players association confirmed Friday that the NBA Playoffs would resume on Saturday in a deal that includes increased access to voting in the U.S. presidential election.
Trump, however, said the public would not want to deal with political messaging when watching sport.
''It's very bad for the NBA, and it's gonna prove to be very bad for football," he said.
Also on Boycott over: NBA playoffs to resume on Saturday after suspension over Jacob Blake shooting
New Zealand's stock exchange has crashed for a fourth day in a row
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 05:04
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Big Ten college football season could start Thanksgiving weekend
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 14:23
MADISON, Wis. '' With parents groups continuing to demand Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren further explain the reasons for shutting down the 2020 football season and eight Nebraska players filing a lawsuit in an attempt to overturn that decision, the league's football coaches continue working on a revised schedule.
According to two college football people familiar with the Big Ten, those talks have generated a new option, starting a Big Ten season of at least eight games the week of Thanksgiving. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The Journal Sentinel reported earlier this month that league officials were working on a plan to play an eight-game season beginning in January, with the games to be played in indoor facilities.
Reached Friday by the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith confirmed that ''multiple plans are and have been discussed'' regarding a season that could start later this fall.
Smith said the possibility of a season starting this fall is just one of the options.
''No leader. Just multiple ideas,'' he said. ''Working closely with our television partners.''
If teams would be unable to take the field later this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, league officials could still fall back on the January start.
The news comes one day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency approval for a rapid antigen test designed by Abbott Labs. The test is expected to cost $5 and the results should be available in just 15 minutes, without the sample being sent to a lab.
Abbott anticipates being able to produce 50 million of the BinaxNOW tests by October. In addition, Abbott is designing a free mobile app that will allow those who test negative to display a temporary, date-stamped health pass. That pass will be renewed each time a new test is administered.
"The massive scale of this test and app will allow tens of millions of people to have access to rapid and reliable testing," Dr. Joseph Petrosino, professor and chairman of Molecular Virology and Microbiology at the Baylor College of Medicine, said in a release. ''With lab-based tests, you get excellent sensitivity but might have to wait days or longer to get the results. With a rapid antigen test, you get a result right away, getting infectious people off the streets and into quarantine so they don't spread the virus.''
Big Ten officials, including Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, have noted the importance of being able to get rapid test results to be sure athletes and staff members are not infected.
''We thought that potentially could be an answer for us,'' Alvarez said recently. ''If we had a saliva test that we could get back within an hour.
''Heck, we could have our guys do their test, go in and have breakfast and they'd have an answer before they went to practice and we could have a clean practice field.''
Contributing: Bill Rabinowitz, Columbus Dispatch
VIDEO-Schools deal with inappropriate content during online learning | KXAN Austin
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 15:13
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- Two Central Texas school districts have reported students being exposed to inappropriate content while meeting and learning online.
On Thursday, Leander ISD confirmed some students heard audible ''moaning sounds'' as they were being let in one by one to a Glenn High School sophomore class meeting. Seconds after hearing the sounds, the meeting was ended.
There were 17 teachers in the meeting monitoring students.
''The incident is under investigation to find the source of the audio (unsure if it was a student) and follow up,'' LISD said.
Earlier this week, Eanes ISD also had an issue where West Ridge Middle School students saw an icon for an inappropriate website on a teacher's desktop. The icon itself wasn't inappropriate, but according to a screenshot referenced ''free porn videos.''
''The district is investigating and will take appropriate action,'' the district said.
Vaccines and such
Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Is a Growing Concern for Researchers, Health Officials - WSJ
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 11:58
Scientists and drugmakers are beginning efforts to overcome Americans' safety and other concerns about Covid-19 vaccines, while U.S. health authorities ready a campaign to encourage widespread uptake.
As vaccine candidates advance closer to U.S. authorization, health and industry officials want to make sure as many people as possible get vaccinated to reach the level, known as herd immunity, that would protect even people who aren't immunized.
Yet large percentages of Americans, including those at high risk of contracting the virus, are reluctant, skeptical or opposed to taking a vaccine, according to surveys and researchers. Among the reasons: concerns about safety because of the quick development pace and government overreach.
Among those opposed include small but vocal numbers of people who are opposed to all vaccines, which they say are unsafe despite research proving otherwise.
And some Americans, including many who might otherwise support vaccination, express worry the Trump administration will greenlight a vaccine ahead of the November election for political purposes, before the shot is proven to work safely.
Walter Williams, a filmmaker who lives in New Orleans with his wife and 10-year-old son, said he wouldn't take a vaccine that was approved before the election, out of suspicion it was rushed through development and authorized under pressure.
''We're going to play it safe with a vaccine,'' said Mr. Williams, 66, who said he plans to wait for a vaccine that has broad support from doctors. ''I'm not paranoid about vaccination. I'm just paranoid about ones that aren't properly tested by scientists.''
To tackle the doubts, scientists have been educating community leaders about the benefits of vaccines. An industry-supported group is assembling a network of contacts to send alerts to correct vaccine misinformation when it starts to spread.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to launch by November a public-awareness campaign across TV, radio and social media, focusing on vaccine safety, efficacy and hesitancy, the agency said.
The campaign will likely feature medical experts paired with celebrities to help their messages resonate with the public, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said.
''The idea that there would be resistance to what might potentially turn [the pandemic] around seemed a little bit unlikely, but obviously I did not properly understand the groundswell of resistance that is now out there,'' Dr. Collins said in an interview.
By naming a key coronavirus-response program Operation Warp Speed, emphasizing speed rather than safety, the federal government might have added to the challenges, experts said. ''Maybe there's an aspect of the Warp Speed brand name that isn't helping here because it sounds as if that might include some cutting of corners that would increase the likelihood that this vaccine isn't really safe and isn't really effective,'' Dr. Collins said.
Some public-health experts expressed concerns that the government's efforts aren't enough. Given the broad need for vaccination, critics said, the federal government should already have begun raising awareness.
''The response should be done at a massive scale,'' said Dr. Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health who studies vaccine hesitancy. ''Pandemics have large impacts on the overall population. So communication and intervention efforts should match that impact.''
Health officials say vaccines will be critical to preventing spread of the new coronavirus and allowing life to return to normal. Yet their effectiveness hinges not only on how well they work in an individual but also on how widely they are used.
Many researchers estimate that, depending on how effective the vaccines are, at least half of the U.S. will need to get vaccinated to help provide the herd immunity needed to protect everyone, even those who don't take a shot.
Health experts worry that vaccination threshold might not be met if concerns deter many people from getting the shots. Some Americans rejected the H1N1 vaccine in 2010, fearing it wasn't safe despite being tested before distribution, researchers have found.
''You could have the best, most perfect vaccine available, but if no one takes it, then it doesn't matter,'' said Emily Brunson, a medical anthropologist at Texas State University who co-led a group that published a report on recommendations to address hesitancy for the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
In the years before the coronavirus pandemic, antivaccination groups spread their messages on social media and found sympathizers among small percentages of Americans, though their assertions were proven false.
Last year, the World Health Organization declared vaccine hesitancy a top-10 global health threat.
According to a Gallup poll published Aug. 7, one in three Americans wouldn't take a Covid-19 vaccine if it were available free of charge. In a Harris Poll released last week, about 30% of Americans said they were unlikely to take a vaccine, while half said they wouldn't take a vaccine developed outside the U.S.
Kathryn Edwards, scientific director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program in Nashville, Tenn., said skepticism of coronavirus vaccines goes beyond the hesitancy of small but significant fractions of Americans. People may be especially doubtful out of concern that safety was sacrificed to accelerate the vaccines' development, Dr. Edwards and other researchers said.
Other factors researchers cited were distrust of government and health-care institutions, triggered by experimentation on Black people decades ago.
Politics is playing a role, too. Democrats would be more likely to take a vaccine than Republicans, according to a new survey from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern and Rutgers universities.
''People have to understand the system is really working very hard to do it'' with the normal safeguards and without circumventing careful practices, Dr. Edwards said.
The Food and Drug Administration has said any Covid-19 vaccine must be at least 50% more effective than a placebo in preventing the disease, a benchmark used routinely for flu shots. Dr. Edwards and other researchers say awareness and education campaigns should focus on the millions of Americans who aren't necessarily opposed to vaccines but who aren't fully supportive either, a middle ground in which many people support some vaccines, or are on the fence.
In their meetings with community groups, churches and advocacy activist groups, researchers say misinformation often appears to drive hesitancy to get vaccinated.
Researchers from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center who gave an educational presentation at an area church earlier this month faced concerns that vaccines would inject people with the new coronavirus.
The researchers told church members that the vaccine wouldn't contain the virus itself, but rather a protein designed to generate a protective immune response but that wouldn't harm them.
''There are a lot of myths, and people don't get the right information,'' said Dr. Lori Crosby, who is leading community outreach for the hospital's Covid-19 vaccine trials.
The Public Good Projects, which receives funding from the industry group Biotechnology Innovation Organization, plans to alert vaccine supporters to correct misinformation that appears in the news or on social media, Chief Executive Joe Smyser said.
'--Peter Loftus contributed to this article.
Write to Jared S. Hopkins at
Texas mandates vaccines for all kids in public school, even if learning online | News | LifeSite
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 15:24
PETITION: No to mandatory vaccination for the coronavirus! Sign the petition here.
TEXAS, August 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) '-- Despite the fact that many children will be ''in'' school only virtually, receiving instruction via computer in their homes, the Texas Department of State Health Services has chosen not to relax its student vaccine requirements for the upcoming school year.
To be at a school or simply to be part of the education curriculum online, proof of immunization will be required.
More importantly to a growing number of parents in the Lone Star State, the right to exemption due to conscience '-- religious or otherwise '-- from mandatory vaccinations for schoolchildren is seen as under threat amid the ongoing heavy-handed pandemic strictures.
''While there is a state law that allows students to attend school without all required vaccinations, this law also gives state and local health authorities during times of emergency or pandemic the authority to exclude students from school who have not been vaccinated,'' warns a notice from Texans for Vaccine Choice.
Health officials lament drop in vaccines to kids
After COVID-19 lockdowns derailed the normal cycle of wellness visits, many kids have not received routine childhood vaccinations.
Health officials are concerned that as immunizations rates drop, the risk of a measles, mumps, or whooping cough outbreak increases, and with the threat of COVID-19 still looming, simultaneous outbreaks could stretch local health resources to the limit.
''It's not a theoretical concern. It's real,'' Dr. Jason Terk, a pediatrician with Cook Children's in Keller, told CBS Dallas/Fort Worth.
''It's a terrifying trend for health leaders. We don't want to have a pandemic and then have some epidemics alongside it,'' Metro Health Immunization Clinic Supervisor Martha Groomer told KSAT.
''We do know all it takes is for one person to be infected, and it spreads,'' said Groomer.
Students ''have to register to be at that school or to be part of the education curriculum,'' continued Groomer. Schools ''will be asking for an immunization record, so they will know.''
Dallas County Health and Human Services reports that the number of vaccine doses administered by the county's child vaccine program is down by nearly 50% this year, according to CBS Dallas/Fort Worth. The county's Vaccines for Children (VFC) program reported 49,506 doses of vaccines administered from January to July last year. This year, the number is 25,162.
Across Texas, the drop has been slightly less at 44%, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Exemptions for reasons of conscience
Although childhood vaccinations are mandatory in the state, Texas is one of 16 states that allows parents to opt out of vaccine requirements by filing a conscientious exemption.
Image Unavailable
With discussions about whether a future COVID-19 vaccine, if successfully developed, would be mandatory for participation in public life, a growing number of parents are on high alert about government immunization requirements.
In North Texas, the rate of conscientious exemptions to vaccine requirements is above average for the state, with some schools reporting that more than five percent of their student body took advantage of the state's permission to forgo immunizations.
With so many families already reluctant to have vaccinations administered to their kids, state health officials worry that the introduction of a COVID-19 vaccine will be similarly avoided.
The founder of Texans for Vaccine Choice, Jackie Schlegel, told CBS Dallas/Fort Worth that since the outset of the pandemic earlier this year, her grassroots political group has gone from 10,000 members to more than 14,000.
For years, the group has advocated for the right of parents to decide whether or not their children receive school immunization shots.
Schlegel told CBS Dallas/Fort Worth that her phone has been ''ringing off the hook'' with people concerned about a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
The Playbook Revealed! CHD's 'The Jab' Delivers Inside Scoop on COVID Pandemic ' Children's Health Defense
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:35
August 27, 2020
Join Children's Health Defense (CHD) on a snappy journey through the recent history and current replay of the pandemic-scam-page from Big Pharma's playbook. It's deja-vu with the W.H.O. declaring ''pandemics'' that result in gold rushes for pharmaceutical companies. But serious adverse events such as the very real narcolepsy epidemic that we saw in the swine flu ''pandemic'' of 2009'--which many researchers tie to GSK's Pandemrix vaccine'--counter any perceived benefits of these rushed vaccines. CHD's The Jab video documents the facts behind the unfolding pandemic drama and begs the question: Are we are being played'--again?
THE JAB: Featuring GlaxoSmithKlineThe winter of 2009 may feel like it was just yesterday, but the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed is betting more than two billion dollars that Americans have already forgotten about GlaxoSmithKline's elaborate scam that caused narcolepsy and cataplexy epidemics across Europe 11 years ago.
Act 1: The TrapAs the trustworthy stewards of global public health (wink, wink), in the years leading up to 2009, the World Health Organization worked to ensure that dozens of European and African nations executed agreements to protect their citizens in the event of an unforeseen global pandemic.
These ''sleeping contracts'' stipulated that the pharmaceutical companies would be called upon to produce flu vaccines'--and be paid billions of dollars for doing so. But there was no reason to fear any financial impropriety because the contracts could only be activated in the event that the W.H.O. declared a phase 6 influenza pandemic.
Unfortunately, the government officials who signed the contracts never suspected that GSK makes multimillion-dollar donations to the W.H.O. in return for control over decisions that result in GSK windfalls.
Act 2: The SwitchFor six years leading up to 2009, the W.H.O. displayed their definition of ''influenza pandemic'' on the top of their Pandemic Preparedness home page. It read, ''An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity, resulting in several, simultaneous epidemics worldwide with enormous numbers of deaths and illness.''
On June 11, 2009, the W.H.O. declared H1N1 swine flu to be a global influenza pandemic, phase 6. Curiously, at that point in time, there were only 144 swine flu deaths in the entire world. Nevertheless, the W.H.O.'s declaration triggered $18 billion in sleeping contracts to activate across the world, and production of hundreds of millions of H1N1 vaccine doses kicked into high gear'--including GlaxoSmithKline's Pandemrix.
Suspiciously, just 39 days before declaring the pandemic, the W.H.O. deleted the pandemic definition from their website. When confronted, they told the media that their definition ''painted a rather bleak picture and could be very scary.'' In the new definition, the W.H.O. no longer required that anyone die before they declare a pandemic. GSK's Pandemrix jab was an experimental vaccine that was never tested for safety or efficacy. It was given straight to hundreds of millions of Africans and Europeans.
This wasn't the time for red tape and formalities. By any definition'' rather, by the new definition, we were in a global pandemic.
Act 3: The PlantsThe W.H.O. did not declare the 2009 pandemic on its own. Before making the declaration, the W.H.O. Director General, Dr. Margaret Chan, sought guidance from an Emergency Committee drawn from a panel of 160 scientists on the W.H.O's International Health Regulations Review Committee.The W.H.O. describes these advisors as ''the world's leading experts in their respective fields,'' but their identities are still shrouded in secrecy, which the W.H.O. claimed was necessary to ''protect them from outside influences.'' But a shocking 2010 British Medical Journal investigation revealed that numerous Emergency Committee members who voted for the pandemic declaration had financial ties to flu vaccine and Tamiflu manufacturers, including GlaxoSmithKline.
Wolfgang Wodarg, a former delegate to the European Council, said, ''The W.H.O. officials have no idea about such things. They have to depend on scientists. And the scientists are allocated to them by the countries and by the organizations that finance the W.H.O. And many of them gave advice and made decisions that benefited the pharmaceutical industry.''
Act 4: The GetawayNarcolepsy is more than a minor inconvenience in an otherwise normal life. Narcoleptics suffer from the extreme tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxed surroundings. Cataplexy is a condition in which strong emotion or laughter causes a person to suffer sudden physical collapse.
GSK's adjuvanted Pandemrix vaccine caused both, devastating at least 1,300 children across Europe'' for life. In the media, GSK's AS03 adjuvant, added to stimulate a powerful immune response, shouldered the blame for amplifying these heinous reactions. Documents obtained by plaintiffs in a series of European lawsuits revealed that GSK knew about the mounting adverse events associated with Pandemrix in the winter of 2009''including a 5.4-fold increase in death. By December 2009, an injured person filed a report with GSK for every 12,500 doses of Pandemrix administered. Yet, they continued promoting their vaccine in order to move inventory.
As lawsuits began to pile up, the UK spent millions of pounds defending itself, ultimately settling for nine-figure sums after losing on appeal. After all, every country that signed a sleeping contract was required to grant GSK full legal indemnity for their fast-tracked pandemic vaccine, leaving taxpayers on the hook for defending and settling hundreds of lawsuits.
GSK never stood trial for destroying 1,300 young lives with narcolepsy and cataplexy and they never paid one dollar in fines for influencing the fake pandemic in what Wolfgang Wodard called, ''One of the greatest medical scandals of the century.''
Act 5: The EncoreRelying on the same attenuated definition of ''pandemic,'' on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic when its partner, the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, received 125 million-dollar commitments from the Gates Foundation and Mastercard just one day prior.
On July 31, 2020, GSK and Sanofi scored 2.1 billion US taxpayer dollars to partner on an experimental Covid-19 vaccine. Sanofi will provide the vaccine and GSK will provide'' you guessed it'' hundreds of millions of doses of their AS03 adjuvant from the 2009 narcolepsy epidemic.
Will they get away with it this time?
Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children's Health Defense. CHD is implementing many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD's successful mission.
Forget N95 Masks. These Space Helmets Are The Latest Pandemic Fashion Accessory
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:37
AIR by Microclimate provides social distance even in a crowd.
MicroclimateA year ago they would have called you crazy. Today, wearing a modified space helmet on an airplane or subway makes you the person to envy. Masks are everywhere but rocking mission-to-Mars-level protection during the pandemic adds glamour and sci-fi flair to social distancing.
Toronto-based company VYZR Technologies launched its $250 BioVYZR last April after raising nearly $800,000 on Indiegogo. The head-turning hazmat helmet features anti-fog windows, a low-volume, battery-powered cooling fan and hospital grade air-purifiers. The germ-fighting shield fits over a fitted neoprene vest with adjustable straps. The unit comes with reversible gloves that allow you to touch your face. And oh, the looks you'll get from small children and those who believe the virus is a hoax!
The BioVYZR from VYZR Technologies raised nearly $800,000 in an Indiegogo campaign. The fan-cooled ... [+] systems are out of stock until late September.
VYZR TechnologiesThe company says BioVYZR is perfect for ''crowded public spaces, school and university classrooms, work, meetings and the office,'' though it's unclear how, say, a Powerpoint presentation might go over with all that distracting gear. The helmets are currently sold out with new orders scheduled to ship at the end of September.
Microclimate's AIR may get you looks at the boarding gate but you'll be the safest person crammed ... [+] into the middle seat.
MicroclimateAIR by MicroClimate is an acrylic visor that lets users ''wear glasses without interference'' and also helps you look like an extra from Interstellar. AIR's acrylic visor enables ''an unobstructed view of the face,'' and the fabric around the neck is lightweight and washable.
MicroClimate founder Michael Hall tells me, ''MicroClimate has some unique technology that makes it feel like there is nothing in front of you while you are wearing it. This makes the experience of wearing it very comfortable,'' adding that early tests with airline travelers have been successful.
Designer Katya Lozanova's bonnet-style head shields strap into place over the shoulders.
Katya Lozanova via EtsyLeave it to the crafters at Etsy to make virus protection gorgeous. Artist Katya Lozanova makes face shields with hoods that provide 360° protection ''while shopping, traveling, or taking a walk.'' Lozanova's Etsy site says, ''Combined with a face mask or bandana, droplets and dust have little to no chance of reaching your mouth, face, hair, or neck. Also, you won't be able to touch your face by mistake and transfer pathogens or dirt.''
Bulgarian designer Aakasha makes elegant hoodie shields which zip into place and offer full-head ... [+] protection (when work with a bandana or scarf).
Aakasha via EtsyA designer from Sofia, Bulgaria, named Aakasha also makes hoodie shields that zipper into place and ''make you feel totally comfortable and secure whille going out.''
My favorite helmets might be the Plexiglas ''iSphere'' orbs from Plastique Fantastique. I don't know how efficient or protective they are but they certainly look cool. Created by Berlin-based artists Marco Canevacci, who goes by Dr. Trouble, and Yena Young, who goes by Ms. Bubble, the headpieces are part of a line of ''transparent, lightweight and mobile installations related to the notion of activating, creating and sharing public space and involving citizens in creative processes.''
After face coverings became mandatory in Berlin last April, the duo created the open-source project that ''everybody can produce, develop and improve.'' For instance, you can add a microphone and a speaker, or a snorkel.
The site says the design was inspired by the science fiction comics of the 1950s and the creations of the utopian movements of the 60s: ''The iSphere is a funny and serious object that stimulates how to approach this exceptional situation.''
''The Coronavirus is changing our relation to each other and affecting our perception of reality. In this time of lockdown, we wonder about the mutation of our social life and the effects of the deprivation of physical touch. iSphere represents the art installations of Plastique Fantastique on a smaller scale and the perspective into the post-pandemic world, beyond 2020.''
Ground control to Major Fauci!
China tightens tech export controls jeopardizing TikTok deal, reports say
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 03:31
Published Sat, Aug 29 2020 4:51 PM EDT
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An updated export rule from China could allow the country to complicate TikTok's sale in the U.S., according to multiple media reports. China updated its export control rules to incorporate technology that could include TikTok, a claim that was later reasserted by commentary published in China's Xinhua news agency on Saturday.CNBC reported Thursday that TikTok would announce the sale of its U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand operations in the coming days in a deal worth $20 billion to $30 billion.The TikTok app icon sits displayed on a smartphone in front the national flags of China and the U.S. in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020.
Hollie Adams | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An updated export rule from China could jeopardize the sale of TikTok's U.S. operations, according to reports published Saturday in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
According to the reports, China updated its export control rules to incorporate technology that could include TikTok, a claim later reasserted by commentary published in China's state-controlled Xinhua news agency on Saturday.Cui Fan, a professor of international trade in Beijing, told Xinhua that ByteDance would probably have to get approval from the Chinese government and suggested the company may have to suspend negotiations on TikTok's sale.
CNBC reported Thursday that TikTok would announce the sale of its U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand operations in the coming days in a deal worth $20 billion to $30 billion. ByteDance is considering offers from multiple companies, including Oracle and a joint bid from Walmart and Microsoft.
President Donald Trump issued an executive order earlier this month that would ban U.S. transactions with TikTok's parent company, ByteDance. The company filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the Trump administrations' efforts to block TikTok on Monday.
TikTok wasn't immediately available for comment regarding the reports.
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Chinese Communist Party Funds Washington Think Tanks
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:32
China's Communist Party is intensifying covert influence operations in the United States that include funding Washington think tanks and coercing Chinese Americans, according to a congressional commission report.
The influence operations are conducted by the United Front Work Department, a Central Committee organ that employs tens of thousands of operatives who seek to use both overt and covert operations to promote Communist Party policies.
The Party's United Front strategy includes paying several Washington think tanks with the goal influencing their actions and adopting positions that support Beijing's policies.
"The [Chinese Communist Party] has sought to influence academic discourse on China and in certain instances has infringed upon'--and potentially criminally violated'--rights to freedoms of speech and association that are guaranteed to Americans and those protected by U.S. laws," the report says.
"Despite the CCP's candid discussion of its United Front strategy, the breadth and depth of this issue remain relatively unknown to U.S. policymakers."
The report said the Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies, a major foreign policy education and analysis institute, has received funding from Tung Chee-hwa, a vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the party group that directs the United Front Work Department and includes a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the collective dictatorship that rules China.
The funding for Johns Hopkins came from Tung's non-profit group in Hong Kong, the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation, which is a registered Chinese agent.
In addition to Johns Hopkins, other think tanks linked to China and influential in American policy circles include the Brookings Institution, Atlantic Council, Center for American Progress, EastWest Institute, Carter Center, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
The Exchange Foundation is tied to Chinese government influence operations and uses the same public relations firm as the Chinese embassy.
A spokesman for the Center for American Progress (CAP) said the center has received no money from China. CAP cooperated with the U.S.-China Exchange Foundation in producing a joint report in 2014 but received no financial contribution from CUSEF.
According to the commission report, CUSEF "spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying for 'China-U.S. relations' as a registered foreign agent."
China's goal in funding think tanks is to attempt to change debates on China without Beijing having to use its own voice.
China Commission member Larry Wortzel, a former military intelligence officer once posted to China, said the report is important for exposing the activities of the United Front Work Department and the China People's Political Consultative Conference.
"Most Americans and many members of Congress have no idea of the range of activities undertaken by this Chinese Communist Party web," Wortzel said. "It is a form of activity by Communist parties that dates back to the days of Lenin."
Wortzel said now that Congress has been alerted to the Chinese influence operations, "Congress should consider legislation requiring anyone associated with the China People's Political Consultative Conference, CUSEF, or the United Front Work Department to register as a foreign agent," he said.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) has said the collusion between American groups and United Front Work Department operatives is the Chinese party using Americans to "unwittingly promote CCP ideology" in a "countering voice" in debates over China.
"Beijing seeks to outsource its messaging in part because it believes foreigners are more likely to accept propaganda if it appears to come from non-Chinese sources," the report said.
Chinese intelligence agents also work with the United Front Work Department to recruit students who are then called on to curtail universities' discussion of China.
China targets students through 142 Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSA) in the United States.
The associations "routinely coordinate with the Chinese government and '... have been involved in the suppression of free speech and the harassment, intimidation, and surveillance of Chinese student activists," the report said, noting "Chinese intelligence officers posted in diplomatic facilities are the primary point of contact for CSSA members."
United Front operations also are active in the Confucius Institutes'--Chinese government-funded centers that are used for influence and intelligence activities.
Confucius Institutes are located on hundreds of American campuses and are used to "advance Beijing's preferred narrative and subvert important academic principles such as institutional autonomy and academic freedom."
"Significantly, Confucius Institutes are funded by the CCP Propaganda Department'--formally affiliated with the [United Front Work Department] '--and are also overseen by personnel based in Chinese embassies and consulates," the report said.
According to the report, Chinese President Xi Jinping has elevated the role of the communist influence organs to promote Chinese communism worldwide.
Xi regards United Front work as a "magic weapon" for use in what he has called the rejuvenation of China.
Since becoming Party general secretary in 2012, Xi has added 40,000 more people to the ranks of the United Front Work Department, and added new departments.
"The goal of 'overseas Chinese work' is to use ethnic, cultural, economic, or political ties to mobilize sympathetic overseas Chinese communities'--ideally of their own accord'--to advocate for the interests of the CCP and marginalize its opponents," the report said.
"Chinese intelligence services have been known to coerce overseas Chinese to function as operatives targeting other overseas Chinese in both the United States and other countries, indicating that these agencies actively participate in overseas Chinese work that seeks to hide official connections."
Former Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin, who defected to Australia in 2005, said China uses both coercion and incentives to recruit Chinese students as informants.
In addition to the United Front Work Department, the report identified a Chinese military organization, the Liaison Department, that is engaged in propaganda operations, perception management activities, and intelligence collection.
"For example, the China Association for International Friendly Contact (CAIFC), a front organization for the former General Political Department, performs dual roles of intelligence collection and conducting propaganda and perception management campaigns, such as its work through the Sanya Initiative, a series of track two dialogues between retired senior flag officers of the U.S. and Chinese armed forces," the report said.
The Sanya Initiative is led by retired Adm. Bill Owens, a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has used the Sanya group to lobby Congress and the Pentagon against annual publication of the China Military Power report.
Another Communist Party front is the China Association for International Friendly Contact that is part of the Chinese military's Central Military Commission's Political Work Department.
The report concluded that the threat to the United States from United Front operations is "significant" but "the extent of its organization and influence is still relatively unknown among policymakers."
"To effectively counter CCP influence operations, continued research and investigation is needed to further bring to light the activities of the United Front, its role in the CCP, how it operates, and its links to other important CCP organs," the report said.
Chinese influence operations in the United States have been less visible and garnered less government scrutiny than Beijing's political interference in Australia.
Congress is considering legislation that would require all organizations that promote the political agendas of foreign governments to register as foreign agents, and would require universities to disclose certain donations and gifts from foreign sources.
The report said the Australian Security Intelligence Organization estimated that at least 10 recent Australian state and local government political candidates were connected to Chinese intelligence agencies.
Chen, the Chinese defector in Australia, said this week that he is being threatened by Chinese agents since Australia passed a law restricting Beijing influence operations.
"China's options to silence me most likely: 1. Kill me in an 'accident' hoping no evidences left behind. 2. Kidnap first, interrogate, execute and disappear. 3. Poison or shoot me. Then defame me if the kill exposed. Fake evidences could be given in details though I'm clean," Chen tweeted.
Against Taiwan, the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in aggressive influence operations against the rival island.
"The CCP is active in waging information warfare against Taiwan to suppress independence movements, undermine Taiwan's government, and recruit politicians in Taiwan and third countries to advocate for China's preferred cross-Strait outcome: unification of Taiwan with the Mainland," the report said.
The White House this week denounced China's interference in El Salvador, which switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.
"The United States will continue to oppose China's destabilization of the cross-strait relationship and political interference in the Western Hemisphere," Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.
The commission report was produced by Alexander Bowe, a policy analyst specializing in security and foreign affairs.
Click here for the mobile version of this story (with comments)
Green New Dill
Bill Gates' nuclear venture plans reactor to complement solar, wind power boom | One America News Network
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 13:48
August 28, 2020
By Timothy Gardner
WASHINGTON (Reuters) '' A nuclear energy venture founded by Bill Gates said Thursday it hopes to build small advanced nuclear power stations that can store electricity to supplement grids increasingly supplied by intermittent sources like solar and wind power.
The effort is part of the billionaire philanthropist's push to help fight climate change, and is targeted at helping utilities slash their emissions of planet-warming gases without undermining grid reliability.
TerraPower LLC, which Gates founded 14 years ago, and its partner GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, plan to commercialize stations called Natrium in the United States later this decade, TerraPower's President and Chief Executive Chris Levesque said.
The project has not previously been reported.
Levesque said the companies are seeking additional funding from private partners and the U.S. Energy Department, and that the project has the support of PacifiCorp, owned by billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, along with Energy Northwest and Duke Energy.
If successful, the plan is to build the plants in the United States and abroad, Levesque said.
By 2050 ''we would see hundreds of these reactors around the world, solving multiple different energy needs,'' Levesque said.
The 345-megawatt plants would be cooled by liquid sodium and cost about $1 billion each.
Nuclear power is a top source of virtually emissions-free electricity, but many plants are shutting in the United States because of high costs and competition from solar and wind. Critics of advanced nuclear have also warned that smaller nuclear is even more expensive than conventional.
The new plants, however, are designed to complement a renewable power because they will store the reactor power in tanks of molten salt during days when the grid is well supplied. The nuclear power could be used later when solar and wind power are low due to weather conditions.
Molten salt power storage has been used at thermal solar plants in the past, but leaks have plagued some of the projects.
Levesque said the Natrium design would provide more consistent temperatures than a solar plant, resulting in less wear and tear.
Gates, chairman of TerraPower's board, said in a statement that Natrium innovation was ''extremely difficult'' but its team had ''the expertise, commercial experience, and the resources necessary'' to develop viable reactors.
Levesque said Natrium plants would first be built in the United States and other developed countries, but could later spread to countries that do not have yet have nuclear power.
Nonproliferation experts have warned that advanced nuclear projects could become targets for attack because their uranium fuel would be more highly enriched and more easily converted to fissile material than conventional fuel.
Levesque said the plants would reduce proliferation risks because they reduce overall nuclear waste.
Gates had initially hoped to build an experimental nuclear plant near Beijing with state-owned China National Nuclear Corp. But last year, TerraPower was forced to seek new partners after the Trump administration restricted nuclear deals with China.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
The pandemic slashes commuting times, saving Americans billions - Business Insider
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:39
Back to Top A white circle with a black border surrounding a chevron pointing up. It indicates 'click here to go back to the top of the page.' Top Credit card reviews Best rewards credit cards Best cash back credit cards Best airline credit cards Best small business credit cards How to increase your credit score How to get your credit report for free What is an excellent credit score? What is a good credit score? Car insurance Life insurance Who needs disability insurance? How to shop for car insurance Best Cheap Car Insurance in California Best Cheap Car Insurance in New York Best high-yield savings accounts right now When to save money in a high-yield savings account How to save more money Are CDs a good investment? How to retire early How to figure out when you can retire How to open an IRA When you can retire with Social Security How to buy a house How to buy a house with no money down How to save money for a house How to choose a student loan How to pick financial aid How to pay off student loans faster How to file taxes for 2019 What tax bracket am I in? How to use TaxAct to file your taxes How to use H&R Block to file your taxes Credit Karma vs TurboTax H&R Block vs TurboTax Everything you need to know about financial planners Do I need a financial planner? How much does financial planning cost? Questions to ask a financial planner before you hire them Why you should hire a fee-only financial adviser Light traffic into downtown Atlanta during the coronavirus pandemic. AP Photo/John Bazemore Americans have likely saved millions of hours and billions of dollars in car commuting amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new UpWork study cited by Bloomberg on Thursday.Adam Ozimek, an economist at the freelancing platform, found that Americans have collectively saved $91 billion in car commuting '-- or individually saved $2,000 since mid-March.The study noted that in 2018, the average person spent 54.2 minutes commuting by car each day '-- or nine-and-a-half full days per year.It surveyed 1,000 people working from home due to the pandemic and found similar results. On average, respondents have saved 51 minutes per day, or four full days, of commuting since March.Ozimek then calculated direct costs and time value and found that Americans have collectively saved 32.9 million hours of car commuting per day amid the pandemic '-- along with roughly $758 million per day.Those savings only validate the decision that many companies have already made to continue remote work more permanently.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Loading Something is loading.
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Maccio concert at end of RNC speech
Biden Bernie Manifesto
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Trump speech - Biden sinking in the polls like a Rick because of peaceful protests
SURV: Post-Convention Survey | Progressive Turnout Project
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 14:18
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Trump International Hotel in Vancouver closes permanently | TheHill
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 14:25
The Trump International Hotel in Vancouver has closed permanently just three years after opening, and the management company that owns it has filed for bankruptcy.
Hotel operator TA Hotel Management Partnership Ltd. filed for bankruptcy on Thursday, according to documents obtained by CBC News.
The front entrance to the hotel has since been boarded up. Workers at the front concierge desk told the Canadian outlet that the hotel is empty and staff is gone.
A union representative for hotel staff told CBC the news came as a shock and staff learned of the closure from media reports.
The land and building is owned by TA Global Berhad, a multinational Malaysian property company headed by Tiah Joo Kim, who pays Trump's company to operate the hotel and license the Trump name.
The bankrupt filing showed TA Hotel Management had assets of $1.1 million and debts of $4.8 million. Grant Thornton Ltd. was named bankruptcy trustee.
TA Global has cited the pandemic for the shuttering of the hotel. More than 200 employees were laid off in April at the onset of the health crisis.
The $360-million complex featuring the 147-room hotel opened just weeks after Trump's inauguration. The February 2017 ribbon cutting featured three of the president's children '-- Donald Jr. Trump, Eric Trump Eric Frederick TrumpMary Trump reveals recordings of Trump's sister swiping at Ivanka, Eric Hillicon Valley: TikTok CEO resigns amid battle with White House | Walmart joins Microsoft in pursuing TikTok deal | Voting rights groups sue Trump over order targeting social media groups Twitter removes video Eric Trump posted over copyright complaint MORE and Tiffany Trump.
The Hill has reached out to TA Global and the Trump Organization, owned by the president but run day-to-day by his eldest sons, for comment.
The hotel was deeply unpopular among locals, and protesters often gathered outside, including on its opening day, The Vancouver Sun reported.
Gregor Robertson, who was Vancouver mayor at the time, asked for the name of the U.S. president to be removed, saying at the time that there was ''no more place on Vancouver's skyline than his ignorant ideas have in the modern world.''
This is the third Trump-branded hotel to have cut ties with the president's brand since he entered office, The Washington Post reported. The owners of the Trump hotels in Panama, Toronto and Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood have all since re-opened under new names.
8 juicy details from the new Melania Trump tell-all book - POLITICO
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:01
A person close to the White House confirmed that there have been tensions between the two and ''it was clear that the First Lady was not a fan of Ivanka trying to make the East Wing a family office.''
But a person familiar with how the West Wing worked at the time said: "There was never once discussion about an East Wing office. She always wanted to be in the policy office of the West Wing between the Domestic Policy Council and the National Economic Council."
Winston Wolkoff, a longtime Manhattan fashion and society party planner, was heavily involved in the planning of the president's inauguration before leaving the White House in Feb. 2018 after negative reporting about her inauguration role appeared in the New York Times. In her book, she describes how Melania didn't want to move to the White House right away in part because she didn't want to have to use the same shower and toilet as former First Lady Michelle Obama and was waiting for the bathroom to be renovated.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images
She also describes the difficulties of being first lady, including early on when Melania didn't even have access to her husband's schedule. Melania also faced an unrelenting media climate where she got mostly negative press for the first five months of being first lady because she had stayed in New York as Barron finished out his school year. But Winston Wolkoff also describes a fun side of Melania, who loves using emojis in text messages, and was her frequent lunchtime companion until they had a falling out two years ago. The two no longer speak, according to the book.
Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump's chief of staff and spokesperson, said in a statement: ''This book is not only wildly self-aggrandizing, it's just not truthful. It is an exercise in bizarre twisting of the truth and misguided blame for the sake of self-pity. It's unfortunate and concerning that she's overstated their friendship and her very brief role in the White House to this degree.''
An early copy of the book, which publishes Tuesday, was shared with POLITICO. Here are some of its most revelatory nuggets:
'-- Donald Trump wanted his inauguration to look like a North Korean military parade. When discussing the parade with Winston Wolkoff and Ivanka during the transition, Trump said: ''I want tanks and choppers. Make it look like North Korea,'' he told them. Winston Wolkoff wrote: ''He really wanted goose-stepping troops and armored tanks? That would break tradition and terrify half the country.''
When asked for comment, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement: ''The President loves our military but this is absolutely not true.''
For the inauguration, Mark Burnett, the creator of ''The Apprentice,'' the television show which paved the way for Trump's popularity, also wanted to ''light the sky with drones, and Donald and Melania loved the idea.'' No drones ended up being used to spice up the inauguration '-- they could have posed a safety risk.
'-- Inauguration officials, led by former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, briefly considered having Trump and his entourage drive across the country for two to three days right before the inauguration in a ''Sea to Shining Sea'' trip. ''Donald couldn't walk down Fifth Avenue and the PIC [Presidential Inaugural Committee] was proposing to have him travel three thousand miles on unsecure routes in three days? Was this a joke?'' she writes.
Gates, whose book "Wicked Game" is coming out this fall, told POLITICO that he "thought it was a fantastic idea" because the inauguration organizers wanted to make it "the people's inauguration." But he said it was actually going to be a "flying tour" with stops in three or four cities from West to East, but the tour didn't end up materializing.
Another idea that was briefly considered: the ''Ivanka Trump/Leo DiCaprio Environmental Ball'' that was going to be held at the National Portrait Gallery. ''Give me a break!'' Melania said about the proposed event, which never went anywhere.
'-- Kayleigh McEnany, who is now White House press secretary, was once interested in becoming Melania's chief of staff. Melania ''really liked'' McEnany and was especially impressed with her Harvard Law degree. Because vetting took a while, McEnany eventually instead took a job of national spokesperson for the RNC, which raised eyebrows with Melania. The first lady texted Winston Wolkoff saying: ''She prefer [sic] to do this than being [my] senior advisor? Seriously?'' McEnany told Winston Wolkoff that she had met with ''the family,'' and they preferred that she be their spokesperson on the outside. (Asked for comment, White House spokesperson Sarah Matthews said in a statement: ''Kayleigh would have been incredibly honored to work for the First Lady but had already accepted an opportunity with the RNC.'')
'-- Melania's team considered and then rejected a variety of names for her major initiative, which is aimed at helping children develop healthy habits. ''Children First,'' ''Shield Your Children,'' ''Be a Cyber Buddy,'' ''Protect Your Children'' and ''Speak Up'' were among the names that were floated internally but cast aside, although not before Winston Wolkoff bought domain names for them and others on GoDaddy with her own money.
The initiative eventually became ''Be Best,'' which Melania came up with herself, although Winston Wolkoff told her that the ''phrase sounded illiterate'' and should instead be ''Be the Best'' or ''Be Your Best.'' ''No,'' Winston Wolkoff writes. ''Melania, lover of Sharpies, drew the two-word logo with block letters and said, 'I drew it myself, so no one say I plagiarized it,'' a likely reference to how Melania's 2016 convention speech had plagiarized some of what Michelle Obama had said at a previous Democratic convention.
'-- Melania and Jared Kushner and Ivanka are big fans of the Kennedys and their Camelot myth. ''It's no coincidence that all three of their children'--Arabella, Joseph, and Theodore'--share names with Kennedy family members. Edward 'Ted' Kennedy and Joseph Kennedy you know; Arabella Kennedy was JFK and Jackie's stillborn daughter,'' Winston Wolkoff writes.
'-- Melania and Donald Trump are not fans of Valentine's Day or of being very sentimental towards each other. Winston Wolkoff said she never remembers Melania telling her that her husband had sent her flowers or taken her out for Valentine's Day. She also never mentioned planning a sweet surprise for Donald either. Melania once texted her, ''Don't like Valentine's Day. So commercial'' and later texted, ''Donald thinks the same way. We don't care about Valentine's Day.''
'-- Melania doesn't place a high importance on other people's wants and desires, according to the book. Winston Wolkoff says that she has sometimes said over the years: ''Pleasing anyone else is not my priority!'' The author said that she wished she had Melania's confidence and her ability to put herself first without thinking much of others.
'-- Michael Cohen, the ''slavishly devoted'' former Trump fixer who pleaded guilty to tax fraud, making false statements and campaign finance violations, helped get Barron Trump, the son of Donald and Melania, into a top Manhattan private school, Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, where two of Winston Wolkoff's kids went as well.
Winston Wolkoff said that Melania ''enlisted'' Cohen to help Barron get into schools, including Columbia Grammar, where he served on the board. Winston Wolkoff also writes about how even though most parents at the school were Democrats, Melania was ''inundated'' with requests for playdates with Barron after Trump won the presidency.
House Democrats announce contempt proceedings against Mike Pompeo
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:16
Published Fri, Aug 28 2020 12:06 PM EDT
Updated Fri, Aug 28 2020 4:12 PM EDT
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The Democrat-led House Foreign Affairs Committee announced that it will launch proceedings to hold Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in contempt.The contempt resolution against Pompeo is being drafted in response to the Cabinet official's "ongoing refusal to comply" with a congressional subpoena and "his transparently political misuse of Department resources," the committee said.Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said that Pompeo "has demonstrated alarming disregard for the laws and rules governing his own conduct and for the tools the constitution provides to prevent government corruption."Mike Pompeo, U.S. secretary of state, speaks during the Republican National Convention from Israel, August 25, 2020
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Democrat-led House Foreign Affairs Committee announced Friday that it will launch proceedings to hold Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in contempt.
The contempt resolution against Pompeo, President Donald Trump's second secretary of State, is being drafted in response to the Cabinet official's "ongoing refusal to comply" with a congressional subpoena and "his transparently political misuse of Department resources," the committee said.
Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said in a release that Pompeo "has demonstrated alarming disregard for the laws and rules governing his own conduct and for the tools the constitution provides to prevent government corruption."
"He seems to think the office he holds, the Department he runs, the personnel he oversees, and the taxpayer dollars that pay for all of it are there for his personal and political benefit," Engel said.
Engel cited Pompeo's alleged refusal to fully cooperate with the impeachment inquiry into Trump, as well as the top diplomat's speech to the Republican National Convention this week, which was recorded in Jerusalem. That speech is under investigation by the Foreign Affairs subpanel on oversight, led by Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas.
The chairman also slammed Pompeo's refusal to turn over documents to Democrats that the State Department had already given to a Republican-led Senate committee investigating allegations related to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
"I want no part of it. Under no circumstances will I amplify [Russia President Vladimir] Putin's debunked conspiracy theories or lend them credence. And I won't stand by and see the Committee or the House treated with such disdain by anyone," Engel said.
In a statement Friday afternoon, a State Department spokesperson blasted the House panel's announcement as "political theatrics" and "an unfortunate waste of taxpayer resources."
"We have previously offered to provide copies of these documents to Chairman Engel, with the only condition being that he send a letter explaining what foreign policy issue he is investigating that requires these documents. Once this letter is received, the Department will produce the documents," the spokesperson said.
Democrats have been quick to criticize the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's commitment to investigating allegations related to Biden's son Hunter, who sat on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings while his father was vice president.
Joe Biden, while serving as Barack Obama's veep, pressured Ukraine's government to fire one of its prosecutors because of concerns that the prosecutor was not doing enough to fight corruption. His stance was in line with that of European governments concerned about corruption in Ukraine.
But Trump and his allies have accused the ex-vice president of acting out of concern that the prosecutor was investigating Burisma.
Engel, as well as Biden's campaign, have called the Senate's probe a politically motivated "smear."
Hunter Biden and his connection to Burisma played a major role in the impeachment proceedings against Trump. The president was impeached in the House in December on articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He was later acquitted by the Republican-majority Senate.
-- CNBC's Amanda Macias contributed to this report.
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U.S. Marshals Find DOZENS of Missing Children in Georgia - Breaking911
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 12:50
Photo by: Shane T. McCoy / US MarshalsWashington, DC '' The U.S. Marshals Service Missing Child Unit, in conjunction with the agency's Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Georgia state and local agencies, led a two-week operation in August in Atlanta and Macon, Georgia, to rescue endangered missing children.
''Operation Not Forgotten'' resulted in the rescue of 26 children, the safe location of 13 children and the arrest of nine criminal associates. Additionally, investigators cleared 26 arrest warrants and filed additional charges for alleged crimes related to sex trafficking, parental kidnapping, registered sex offender violations, drugs and weapons possession, and custodial interference. The 26 warrants cleared included 19 arrest warrants for a total of nine individuals arrested, some of whom had multiple warrants.
Photo by: Shane T. McCoy / US MarshalsPhoto by: Shane T. McCoy / US MarshalsPhoto by: Shane T. McCoy / US MarshalsPhoto by: Shane T. McCoy / US MarshalsPhoto by: Shane T. McCoy / US Marshals''The U.S. Marshals Service is fully committed to assisting federal, state, and local agencies with locating and recovering endangered missing children, in addition to their primary fugitive apprehension mission,'' said Director of the Marshals Service Donald Washington. ''The message to missing children and their families is that we will never stop looking for you.''
These missing children were considered to be some of the most at-risk and challenging recovery cases in the area, based on indications of high-risk factors such as victimization of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical or mental health conditions. Other children were located at the request of law enforcement to ensure their wellbeing. USMS investigators were able to confirm each child's location in person and assure their safety and welfare.
The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 enhanced the U.S. Marshals' authority to assist federal, state, and local law enforcement with the recovery of missing, endangered or abducted children, regardless of whether a fugitive or sex offender was involved. The Marshals established a Missing Child Unit to oversee and manage the implementation of its enhanced authority under the act.
In 2019, the USMS helped recover 295 missing children based on requests for assistance from law enforcement and has contributed to the recovery of a missing child in 75 percent of cases received. Additionally, of the missing children recovered, 66 percent were recovered within seven days of the USMS assisting with the case. Since its partnership with NCMEC began in 2005, the agency has recovered more than 1,800 missing children.
''When we track down fugitives, it's a good feeling to know that we're putting the bad guy behind bars. But that sense of accomplishment is nothing compared to finding a missing child,'' said Darby Kirby, Chief of the Missing Child Unit. ''It's hard to put into words what we feel when we rescue a missing child, but I can tell you that this operation has impacted every single one of us out here. We are working to protect them and get them the help they need.''
This initiative was the culmination of several months of planning and coordination between the USMS, NCMEC, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Office of the Attorney General, Georgia Department of Family and Children Services, Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
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U.S. Marshals find 39 missing children - CBS News
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:30
The U.S. Marshals Service says it found 39 missing children in Georgia over two weeks in a mission known as "Operation Not Forgotten." The agency announced in a press release that the operation led to the rescue of 26 children and the safe location of 13 others.
Sundance Film Festival Co-Founder Gets Sentenced For Child Abuse
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 15:54
This just in, a filmmaker who is known for producing a movie whose lead actress won an Oscar in the mid-1980s and who also happens to be the co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival was sentenced to at least six-years imprisonment after he pledged guilty to child sexual abuse.
Sterling Van Wagenen came into the limelight last Tuesday after his sentence became public. The judge who delivered the sentencing said that he hopes the parole board will keep the guilty in prison longer than the minimum sentence for such heinous crime.
The sentence was delivered by judge Robert Griffin, who said that the young victim who reported the crime should be commended for her courage and encouraged victims to come forward with their stories.
According to the prosecutors, Sterling Van Wagenen touched a young girl on different occasions between 2013 and 2015.
Judge Griffin applauded the victim who came forward and put influence on the fact that a victim shouldn't be ashamed of anything because she didn't do anything wrong. Instead, she should be proud of herself for speaking up against people who abuse their power.
The hearing was held at the South of Lake City where the preparations of the Sundance Film Festival 2020 have already begun. The sister of the victim whose name we cannot disclose because she is the victim of sexual abuse herself read a letter on her sister's behalf during the hearing.
She blasted Sterling Van Wagenen for being a coward and said, ''I strongly believe the only thing you were actually torn up about is the fact that you got caught''.
After pleading guilty to the jury, Sterling Van Wagenen declined to apologize to the victim and the family. ''It's clear that any kind of apology I can make is meaningless at this point,'' he said. ''So I am not even going to attempt one. I want you all to know I feel the consequences of what I've done. I feel them deeply.''
Van Wagenen pleaded guilty twice earlier this year to two counts of sexual abuse with the same victim.
Sterling Van Wagenen was a global name because he founded the Sundance Film Festival with Robert Redford in Utah City. He was also the founding executive director of the Sundance Institute but has been attached to the organization for over 20-years.
He was the producer of 1985 film, ''The Trip To Bountiful'' which was a story about an elderly woman who longed to get back to her home that was played by Geraldine Page. The actress won an Academy Award for her brilliant performance in the movie.
Sterling Van Wagenen has worked for the past several years as a film instructor at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University and as a director and producer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on a variety of projects, including temple videos.
According to the spokesman of the University of Utah, Sterling Van Wagenen resigned from his position as the film instructor back on February 15, 2019.
Sterling Van Wagenen's resignation came after a man accused him of molestation back in 1993 when he was just a boy. The man didn't press charges in that case but the story was made public by a website that serves as the watchdog of The Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon Church.
Van Wagenen thanked the man that it was a blessing for him that he brought everything to light in the courtroom.
For more scoop on the Sundance Festival, stay tuned with us.
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Robert DeNiro - The Pedophile Connection
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 16:01
By Rick Gordon
Make believe Tough Guy Robert De Niro has been involved in a number of scandals and trysts involving under age girls/ sex slaves and prostitutes over the years. As a child, he was the son of a Gay father [1], which could help explain some of his sexual problems later in life. The first wiff of something rotten comes from an independent journalist named John Lichfield who discovered that an International prostitution agency routinely sent little girls to service the Hollywood elite.
Girls later freed from servitude stated that they were coerced, tricked and at times physically forced to work as sex slaves and prostitutes. Among the list of the agency clients was none other than pretty boy ... uh I mean 'tough guy' Robert De Niro. It was never established beyond a shadow of a doubt that De Niro was involved with any of the kids turned prostitutes, it was however proven that he was a client of the agency that provided child sex labor, he admitted using their services. Well Goll---lee, when you buy food from a hot dog peddler it is assumed you are buying wieners, and when you buy sex from a juvenile sex service - whatcha think you're getting ... not a wiener , unless of course you're gay. No Rocket Science here, Colombo would've had the case closed in half an episode. Unfortunately Colombo, like DeNiros onscreen persona are purely fictional characters. The real Robert DeNiro is a sniveling pervert who cowers without his bodyguards. De Niro was interrogated by French police but was never actually charged or convicted.
Lichfield uncovered court documents that mentioned high-profile clients of the prostitution service that supposedly included ruling class elite and stars in sports and entertainment on both sides of the Atlantic as well as wealthy Arab oil barons and French officials.
De Niro is a longtime friend of convicted pedophile rapist Roman Polanski as well as womanizer Harvey Weinstein. Court records clearly show that Polanski went to see De Niro after raping the child, possibly to gloat about his latest conquest. In 1977, Polanski was charged with five counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, he fled to France where he couldn't be extradited and it is believed that he may have hooked his butt-buddy Robert Deniro up with the kiddy sex ring.
DeNiro seems to have a number of perverted friends, while it's true that perverts are a dime a dozen in tinseltown, Bobby D seems to have procured more than a dimes worth. In addition to Weinstein, Polanski, and Clinton[s], another buddy of DeNiro's was a Pennsylvania man who asked DeNiro to be an alibi witness. Bruce Wishnefsky, was charged with 133 counts of sexual assault against underage girls, he is currently serving out his sentence in Pennsylvania. Attorneys for Wishnefsky contended the girls in question could not have been raped by his client in Pennsylvania because they were with De Niro at the time he filmed a "Bronx Tale". Egan Kafka who worked on the set as an extra was also called as a witness, Kafka was also the subject of an investigation by police regarding child rape. Brian J. O'Neill who taught De Niro to drive a bus for his role as his own father in a Bronx tale [as a bus driver] was found guilty of more than 230 counts of molesting 7 different children.
De Niro and the other actors were in the company of the victims during the 1992 filming of "Bronx Tale" according to Kurtz, Wishnefsky's lawyer.
Liz Crokin, is a women who some consider a rabid conspiracy theorist and others consider a muffled voice of "One crying in the wilderness". Crokin has dedicated her career to exposing leading government, entertainment and business leaders involved in satanic pedophilia cults, she stated the following ''I would say Robert DeNiro needs to be looked at very closely,'' Crokin said. ''I would say Alec Baldwin needs to be looked at very closely, I would say Stephen Colbert needs to be looked at very closely, I would say Michael Moore needs to be looked at very closely. You'll find that these elite pedophiles, they're very close friends and they all hang out and they're all marked members of the same club and they're all doing the same stuff.''
1. Robert De Niro: Me & My Gay Dad
Perhaps the pedophilia tendencies of so very many Hollywood elitists would explain why so many Childhood Stars have died young and lived confused and troubled lives. Hollywood which is jealously presided over by Socialists and Gay Mafioso has a dark, sinister and hideous face , masked from the public view at all costs.
Recent revelations of Forrest Gump aka Tom Hanks being a pedophile have been whirling about in the cyber winds recently. Most claims are focused on 'signaling', while one from Sarah Ruth Ashcraft is more straight forward in its allegations that Hanks raped her when she was 13 . ... Read More @ Tom Hanks The Pedophile Impeachment
Shinzo Abe: Japan's Prime Minister resigns due to health reasons - CNN
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 11:42
By Kaori Enjoji and James Griffiths, CNN
Updated 5:14 AM EDT, Fri August 28, 2020
Tokyo(CNN) Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving Japanese prime minister in history, has resigned, citing health reasons.
"Even though there is one year to go in my tenure and there are challenges to be met, I have decided to stand down as prime minister," said Abe at a press conference in Tokyo on Friday, adding that he would like to apologize to the people of Japan for being unable to fulfill his duties during the coronavirus pandemic.
Abe suffers from colitis, a non-curable inflammatory bowel disease, which was also a factor in his sudden resignation as prime minister in 2007, ending his first term after just over a year in office. On Monday morning, Abe visited Keio University Hospital in Tokyo for what was his second hospital visit in a week.
"For almost eight years I controlled my chronic disease, however, this year in June I had a regular check-up and there was a sign of the disease," he added. "I made a judgment that I should not continue my job as prime minister" said Abe. "I need to fight the disease and need to be treated."
Markets reacted negatively to the announcement. Japan's benchmark Nikkei index closed down 1.4% Friday after the news broke. It initially tumbled more than 2% before paring losses. The Japanese yen, a traditional safe currency haven, rose 0.3% against the US dollar.
Following his previous resignation in 2007, Abe was reelected in 2012. Since then he has been the dominant force in Japanese politics, winning a landslide third term in 2017 and a fourth in 2019, despite multiple scandals and plummeting popularity.
Under Abe, his right-leaning Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has also seen major success, benefiting from the fracturing of its long-term rival Democratic Party, which split in two in 2017. Abe leaves the LDP in control of both houses of parliament, with a large majority in the lower House of Representatives.
That success should guarantee an LDP successor to Abe. Japan is not a presidential system, instead the country's leader is chosen by parliamentarians, so the next LDP leader, whoever that is, should have an easy path to becoming prime minister. Abe said he will remain in office until a successor is chosen.
AbenomicsWhen Abe was elected to a second term in 2012, Japan was in the economic doldrums following decades of stagnation. He soon launched a grand experiment popularly known as "Abenomics," which included three so-called arrows -- massive monetary stimulus, increased government spending, and structural reforms -- that his allies credited for reviving the country's economy and boosting consumer and investor confidence.
"Japan is no longer the Japan of the past," Abe said in January 2020. "We have succeeded in completely breaking through the 'wall of resignation'."
But any success of Abenomics was largely in avoiding continued decline than prompting a major boom, and the world's third-largest economy remained vulnerable throughout his time in office. Japan tipped deeper into recession as the coronavirus hit this year.
A major factor that has dogged Abe during his time in office was the country's rapidly aging population.
More than a third of the Japanese population is over 65, and the country marked a new record low birth rate in 2019. The country's demographic decline means a shrinking cohort of workers is left supporting an increasingly elderly population in need of healthcare and pensions.
Despite this, Abe's Japan largely avoided relaxing the country's tight controls on immigration, which could have boosted the workforce. Plans to restore the country's fiscal health have not addressed the fact Japan's debt-to-GDP ratio remains the highest among industrialized nations.
Abe touted the need for workstyle reforms, calling women the country's "most underutilized resource" and vowing to improve gender representation and closing gaps in the workforce with "womenomics." Critics say Abe did not manage to address the country's gender gap or resolve issues that prevent women from greater participation in the economy.
Mixed results on diplomacyOn the diplomatic front, too, Abe's achievements were mixed. He cultivated strong ties with Washington -- Tokyo's traditional ally -- and attempted to build a personal relationship with United States President Donald Trump, traveling to New York to meet him while Barack Obama was still in office.
During that "unofficial" meeting, Trump's first with any world leader, Abe hailed the US-Japan alliance and said he wanted to "build trust" with the new President. He strongly supported Trump's initial hard line on North Korea, which matched Abe's own hawkish tendencies. His ability to cultivate personal ties with Trump are often credited as one of the biggest reasons why Japan has be able to avoid a trade war with the US.
But as Washington's relationship with Pyongyang tipped towards diplomacy, with both Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in holding historic summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Abe appeared to be left out in the cold, scrambling for his own meeting with Kim.
The legacy of World War II, during which the Imperial Japanese army invaded multiple neighbors and committed war crimes and atrocities, has long poisoned relations in East Asia, with suspicion of Japan remaining strong in China and the Koreas.
Many in the region -- as well as some in Japan -- were hostile to Abe's desire to rewrite the country's post-war pacifist constitution to allow Tokyo greater leeway to build up the Japanese military and engage in overseas operations.
Early in his second term, Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, igniting a firestorm of criticism and condemnation among neighboring countries. The Yasukuni Shrine is regarded by China and the Koreas as a symbol of Japan's imperial military past.
Throughout his time in office, a slow-burning dispute over sovereignty of islands in the East China Sea -- called the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China -- threatened to boil over, though Abe also held a historic phone call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2018, a major step forward in relations between the two nations.
However, ties with a traditional ally have been less healthy, with a major diplomatic spat between Japan and South Korea last year. That dispute, in which trade and military intelligence deals were scrapped, was partly inspired by the legacy of World War II.
Olympic success and setbackOne of Abe's major domestic achievements was securing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a success that was ultimately undone by the coronavirus, which forced the competition to be postponed to 2021.
An initial unwillingness to put the Games off was partly credited for Japan's lackluster response to the coronavirus pandemic, which hit the country early in 2020 and continues to cause major issues, with much of the aged population particularly at risk.
On Friday, Abe said that as the host country, Japan would need to fulfill its responsibility. "My successor will continue to fulfill that responsibility by closely cooperating with organizers. There are various matters that we need to address," said Abe.
More successful was Abe's handling of the abdication of Emperor Akihito, the first Japanese monarch to step down in two centuries. He was succeeded by his son, Emperor Naruhito, in October 2019, starting the Reiwa era.
"Like the flowers of the plum tree blooming proudly in spring after the cold winter, we wish the Japanese people to bloom like individual flowers with the (promise of the) future. With such a wish for Japan, we decided upon 'Reiwa'," Abe said on announcing the new era.
Personal lifeAbe was born on September 21, 1954, in Tokyo to a prominent political family. Both his grandfather and great uncle served as prime minister, and his father was a former secretary general of the LDP.
He studied politics at Tokyo's Seiki University and the University of Southern California, but initially entered business, taking a position with Kobe Steel in 1979.
Three years later however, he became an assistant to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and in 1993 Abe was first elected to the House of Representatives, aged 38. He was reelected seven times, and held a number of cabinet positions throughout the 2000s.
In 2003, Abe became secretary general of the LDP, and four years later the party's president and prime minister of Japan.
His first term was marred by controversies and worsening health, and he stepped down as party leader and prime minister in 2007, eventually returning to both positions in 2012.
Abe married Akie Abe, n(C)e Matsuzaki, in 1987. The couple have no children. As first lady, Akie Abe was highly involved in politics, occasionally attracting scandal and prominently disagreeing with her husband, particularly on social issues.
Kaori Enjoji reported from Tokyo. James Griffiths reported from Hong Kong.
Black Lives Matter pushes Japan to confront racism - BBC News
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 11:45
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Japan traditionally sees itself as a very homogenous society To many Japanese, racism towards black people has long been considered something that happens in the US or Europe, not at home.
But when the death of George Floyd in the US sparked a wave of protests demanding that Black Lives Matter, people in Japan joined in too.
The protests and marches in major cities pushed a debate about racism in the country, and whether enough was being done to confront and change things.
'Paper cuts of racism'In June, public broadcaster NHK aired a segment to explain to Japanese audiences what was happening in the US, with the protests over George Floyd's death.
The report, in a news show aimed at younger audiences, featured an animated video depicting the protesters as grotesque stereotypes, deeply steeped in racist imagery: caricatures with exaggerated muscles and angry faces, and with looters in the background.
The reaction was largely negative - the US embassy called the segment "offensive and insensitive".
One particularly vocal critic was Baye McNeil, an African-American teacher, author, columnist and long-time Japan resident.
He tweeted that it was an "offensive racist commentary" and it was time for Japan to stop the "lame excuses" on handling of black issues.
NHK later apologised, and following the widespread attention Mr McNeil's articles received, invited him in to discuss the problem.
He soon found himself giving a talk to the entire NHK staff, which he said was an "extremely interesting" experience.
"There were a lot of great questions that showed that a lot of people did not know there were problems with blackface or white washing. It was really important that someone came in and was able to explain it."
How BLM went from Facebook post to global movement Controversy over Japan blackface comedy Black Lives Matter in the UK: 'We're still not being heard' Brazil protesters: 'Black lives matter here, too'Mr McNeil has both praise and criticism for the country he has lived in for 16 years. He says that in his immediate surrounding of friends and students, people have been very welcoming and open - and often curious and receptive to learn about his outside view on the Japanese experience.
At the same time, he points to a level of everyday casual racism he experiences.
"I'm safer here than in the US, no question," he says. "I haven't experienced police brutality like you would in the US, but yet there are paper cuts of racism every day and those also add up. Being other-ised on a daily basis means you still live through some tough stuff."
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ariana Miyamoto was considered by some not Japanese enough to be Miss Japan It's an experience he says, that's not unlike that of the many so-called "hafu", people who are biracial - with one parent from Japan and one from another ethnic group. And it proves wrong the idea that there simply is one general kind of xenophobia, equally directed at all non-Japanese groups in the country.
"Bi-racial Japanese have a different experience according to what they are mixed with," Mr McNeil explains. "The ones mixed with whites are the ones who get the modelling contracts and are put on a pedestal - but it's a very different story if you're half Korean or half black."
For example, when a half black Japanese woman was crowned Miss Japan in 2015, she was berated in online comments as unfit to represent the country.
Tennis champion Naomi Osaka has a Japanese mother and a Haitian father. In an advertising campaign, her skin was made lighter and comedians were joking she maybe should get some bleach to change her skin colour.
Osaka has herself been very vocal against racism both in Japan and in the US. This week, she withdrew from a top US tournament in protest against police violence against black people in the US, after which the entire match day was postponed.
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Commentators joked Naomi Osaka needed some bleach for her skin "All of these are examples that show that perhaps the Japanese public is not quite ready to embrace their biracial population," Mr McNeil says.
Official statistics in fact count biracial citizens simply as Japanese, he points out, reinforcing how people see their country as largely homogenous, unaware that many of their neighbours don't fit in that easily.
John Russell, anthropology professor at Gifu University, told the BBC that anti-black racism is evident in "a whole wealth of images that permeate Japanese society".
Japan for most of its history had been largely closed to foreigners but when in the 19th Century, the United States forced Japan to open to international trade, the US military mission treated their Japanese hosts to a minstrel show: a set of skits and musical performances by white crew members in blackface.
Jump to the 1930s and Tokyo's nightlife featured vaudeville shows of Japanese actors in blackface. In fact, one of the country's most famous comedians, Enomoto Kenichi, or Enoken, used blackface in several instances in the 1920s and 30s.
"It's in fact a tradition going back almost as far as in the United States," Mr Russell says. Although on a smaller scale than in the US and without the American social memory, the stereotypical depiction of black people has been there all along, he explains.
Social media has helped to challenge some of the views in conventional media, he says, but that is "a mixed bag".
"It has both elevated the discourse on racism but also elevates racism itself, creating a platform where vitriol can come to the surface." The abuse which for instance Naomi Osaka receives online is a case in point.
"I'm hoping that the situation is changing" he says. "But I tamper whatever optimism I have with an amount of caution."
'Change is still a long way off'"Discussing racism is taboo. But it's the 21st Century and we do need to talk about these things," says Mutsuko Betchaku, who attended one of McNeil's classes.
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Despite a growing awareness, change will likely take time While she feels many people around her share the same level of awareness, "there are others who don't want to even think about it, or those who aren't aware at all - people who feel it has nothing to do with them."
She says she herself had been aware of racism against black people before the events of the recent months, but that racism is usually only discussed in relation to xenophobia against Chinese and Koreans.
Fellow student Hitomi Hideshima agrees: "I also knew for a long time that there is discrimination especially against Chinese and Koreans in Japan."
The other names we're hearing after George Floyd's death 'Black people have been through a lot this year' Why did statues become targets at anti-racism protests?Both say that the information that average Japanese get on the issue from the media is very superficial, lacking in depth, background and history.
"The Japanese media presented Black Lives Matter as just an American problem," Ms Hideshima says. And while recent events might have brought about a beginning of change, the optimism is somewhat muted.
"There might be a slight change in consciousness now, but visible change is still a long way off."
Rorschach test watchmen from Kevin
Just a note based on Thursday's show. There was mention of something being a "Rorschach Test". Obviously there is the ink blot test that they may be referring to but there could be some additional messaging.
HBO has a series based on the watchmen graphic novel, long story short there is a white supremacist group that wears a Rorschach ink blot mask, they go by the name seventh cavalry (basically the kkk). The mask the group wears was used by the hero Rorschach in the novel/movie which is a prequel to the tv series.
The TV series came out at the end of 2019 so it may be worth listening for the use of Rorschach. It may be a pop culture reference used to paint something as racist.
Hope this info is useful.
Thank you for your courage!
'Luxury beliefs' are latest status symbol for rich Americans
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:46
A former classmate from Yale recently told me ''monogamy is kind of outdated'' and not good for society. So I asked her what her background is and if she planned to marry.
She said she comes from an affluent family and works at a well-known technology company. Yes, she personally intends to have a monogamous marriage '-- but quickly added that marriage shouldn't have to be for everyone.
She was raised by a traditional family. She planned on having a traditional family. But she maintained that traditional families are old-fashioned and society should ''evolve'' beyond them.
What could explain this?
In the past, upper-class Americans used to display their social status with luxury goods. Today, they do it with luxury beliefs.
People care a lot about social status. In fact, research indicates that respect and admiration from our peers are even more important than money for our sense of well-being.
We feel pressure to display our status in new ways. This is why fashionable clothing always changes. But as trendy clothes and other products become more accessible and affordable, there is increasingly less status attached to luxury goods.
The upper classes have found a clever solution to this problem: luxury beliefs. These are ideas and opinions that confer status on the rich at very little cost, while taking a toll on the lower class.
One example of luxury belief is that all family structures are equal. This is not true. Evidence is clear that families with two married parents are the most beneficial for young children. And yet, affluent, educated people raised by two married parents are more likely than others to believe monogamy is outdated, marriage is a sham or that all families are the same.
'Upper-class people don a luxury belief to separate themselves from the lower class'
Relaxed attitudes about marriage trickle down to the working class and the poor. In the 1960s, marriage rates between upper-class and lower-class Americans were nearly identical. But during this time, affluent Americans loosened social norms, expressing skepticism about marriage and monogamy.
This luxury belief contributed to the erosion of the family. Today, the marriage rates of affluent Americans are nearly the same as they were in the 1960s. But working-class people are far less likely to get married. Furthermore, out-of-wedlock birthrates are more than 10 times higher than they were in 1960, mostly among the poor and working class. Affluent people seldom have kids out of wedlock but are more likely than others to express the luxury belief that doing so is of no consequence.
Another luxury belief is that religion is irrational or harmful. Members of the upper class are most likely to be atheists or non-religious. But they have the resources and access to thrive without the unifying social edifice of religion.
Places of worship are often essential for the social fabric of poor communities. Denigrating the importance of religion harms the poor. While affluent people often find meaning in their work, most Americans do not have the luxury of a ''profession.'' They have jobs. They clock in, they clock out. Without a family or community to care for, such a job can feel meaningless.
Then there's the luxury belief that individual decisions don't matter much compared to random social forces, including luck. This belief is more common among many of my peers at Yale and Cambridge than the kids I grew up with in foster care or the women and men I served with in the military. The key message is that the outcomes of your life are beyond your control. This idea works to the benefit of the upper class and harms ordinary people.
It is common to see students at prestigious universities work ceaselessly and then downplay the importance of tenacity. They perform an ''aw, shucks'' routine to suggest they just got lucky rather than accept credit for their efforts. This message is damaging. If disadvantaged people believe random chance is the key factor for success, they will be less likely to strive.
'The key message is that the outcomes of your life are beyond your control'
White privilege is the luxury belief that took me the longest to understand, because I grew up around poor whites. Often members of the upper-class claim that racial disparities stem from inherent advantages held by whites. Yet Asian Americans are more educated, have higher earnings and live longer than whites. Affluent whites are the most enthusiastic about the idea of white privilege, yet they are the least likely to incur any costs for promoting that belief. Rather, they raise their social standing by talking about their privilege.
In other words, upper-class whites gain status by talking about their high status. When laws are enacted to combat white privilege, it won't be the privileged whites who are harmed. Poor whites will bear the brunt.
It's possible that affluent whites don't always agree with their own luxury beliefs, or at least have doubts. Maybe they don't like the ideological fur coat they're wearing. But if their peers punish them for not sporting it all over town, they will never leave the house without it again.
Because, like with diamond rings or designer clothes of old, upper-class people don a luxury belief to separate themselves from the lower class. These beliefs, in turn, produce real, tangible consequences for disadvantaged people, further widening the divide. Just as fashionable clothing will soon be outdated, so will today's fashionable beliefs. In the future, expect the upper class to defame even more values '-- including ones they hold dear '-- in their quest to gain top-dog status.
Rob Henderson (@robkhenderson), who served in the Air Force, is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cambridge.
Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class'--A Status Update - Quillette
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:48
I was bewildered when I encountered a new social class at Yale four years ago: the luxury belief class. My confusion wasn't surprising given my unusual background. When I was two years old, my mother was addicted to drugs and my father abandoned us. I grew up in multiple foster homes, was then adopted into a series of broken homes, and then experienced a series of family tragedies. Later, after a few years in the military, I went to Yale on the GI Bill. On campus, I realized that luxury beliefs have become fashionable status symbols. Luxury beliefs are ideas and opinions that confer status on the rich at very little cost, while taking a toll on the lower class.
In the past, people displayed their membership of the upper class with their material accoutrements. But today, luxury goods are more affordable than before. And people are less likely to receive validation for the material items they display. This is a problem for the affluent, who still want to broadcast their high social position. But they have come up with a clever solution. The affluent have decoupled social status from goods, and re-attached it to beliefs.
Human beings become more preoccupied with social status once our physical needs are met. In fact, research reveals that sociometric status (respect and admiration from peers) is more important for well-being than socioeconomic status. Furthermore, studies have shown that negative social judgment is associated with a spike in cortisol (hormone linked to stress) that is three times higher than non-social stressful situations. We feel pressure to build and maintain social status, and fear losing it.
It seems reasonable to think that the downtrodden might be most interested in obtaining status and money. But this is not the case. Inhabitants of prestigious institutions are even more interested than others in prestige and wealth. For many of them, that drive is how they reached their lofty positions in the first place. Fueling this interest, they're surrounded by people just like them'--their peers and competitors are also intelligent status-seekers. They persistently look for new ways to move upward and avoid moving downward. The French sociologist ‰mile Durkheim understood this when he wrote, ''The more one has, the more one wants, since satisfactions received only stimulate instead of filling needs.'' And indeed, a recent piece of research supports this: it is the upper class who are the most preoccupied with gaining wealth and status. In their paper, the researchers conclude, ''relative to lower-class individuals, upper-class individuals have a greater desire for wealth and status' is those who have more to start with (i.e., upper-class individuals) who also strive to acquire more wealth and status.'' Plainly, high-status people desire status more than anyone else.
Furthermore, other research has found that absolute income does not have much effect on general life satisfaction. An increase in relative income, on the other hand, has a positive effect. Put differently, making more money isn't important. What's important is making more than others. As the researchers put it:
Increasing an individual's income will increase his or her utility only if ranked position also increases and will necessarily reduce the utility of others who will lose rank'...[which] may explain why increasing the incomes of all may not raise the happiness of all, even though wealth and happiness are correlated within a society at a given point in time.
Baby Millionaires
You might think that, for example, rich kids at elite universities would be happy because their parents are in the top one per cent of income earners. And they will soon join their parents in this elite guild. But remember, they're surrounded by other members of the one per cent. Their social circle, their Dunbar number, consists of 150 baby millionaires. Jordan Peterson has discussed this phenomenon. Citing figures from his experience teaching at Harvard in the 1990s, Peterson noted that a substantial proportion of Ivy League graduates go on to obtain a net worth of a million dollars or more by age 40. And yet, he observes, this isn't enough for them. Not only do top university graduates want to be millionaires-in-the-making; they also want the image of moral righteousness. Peterson underlines that elite graduates desire high status not only financially, but morally as well. For these affluent social strivers, luxury beliefs offer them a new way to gain status.
Thorstein Veblen's famous ''leisure class'' has evolved into the ''luxury belief class.'' Veblen, an economist and sociologist, made his observations about social class in the late nineteenth century. He compiled his observations in his classic work, The Theory of the Leisure Class. A key idea is that because we can't be certain of the financial standing of other people, a good way to size up their means is to see whether they can afford to waste money on goods and leisure. This explains why status symbols are so often difficult to obtain and costly to purchase. These include goods such as delicate and restrictive clothing like tuxedos and evening gowns, or expensive and time-consuming hobbies like golf or beagling. Such goods and leisurely activities could only be purchased or performed by those who did not live the life of a manual laborer and could spend time learning something with no practical utility. Veblen even goes so far as to say, ''The chief use of servants is the evidence they afford of the master's ability to pay.'' For Veblen, Butlers are status symbols, too.
Building on these sociological observations, the biologist Amotz Zahavi proposed that animals evolve certain displays because they are so costly. The most famous example is the peacock's tail. Only a healthy bird is capable of growing such plumage while managing to evade predators. This idea might extend to humans, too. More recently, the anthropologist and historian Jared Diamond has suggested that one reason humans engage in displays such as drinking, smoking, drug use, and other physically costly behaviors is because they serve as fitness indicators. The message is: ''I'm so healthy that I can afford to poison my body and continue to function.'' Get hammered while playing a round of golf with your butler, and you will be the highest status person around.
Conspicuous Convictions
Veblen proposed that the wealthy flaunt these symbols not because they are useful, but because they are so pricey or wasteful that only the wealthy can afford them, which is why they're high-status indicators. And this still goes on. A couple of winters ago it was common to see students at Yale and Harvard wearing Canada Goose jackets. Is it necessary to spend $900 to stay warm in New England? No. But kids weren't spending their parents' money just for the warmth. They were spending the equivalent of the typical American's weekly income ($865) for the logo. Likewise, are students spending $250,000 at prestigious universities for the education? Maybe. But they are also spending it for the logo.
This is not to say that elite colleges don't educate their students, or that Canada Goose jackets don't keep their wearers warm. But top universities are also crucial for induction into the luxury belief class. Take vocabulary. Your typical middle-class American could not tell you what ''heteronormative'' or ''cisgender'' means. But if you visit Harvard, you'll find plenty of rich 19-year-olds who will eagerly explain them to you. When someone uses the phrase ''cultural appropriation,'' what they are really saying is ''I was educated at a top college.'' Consider the Veblen quote, ''Refined tastes, manners, habits of life are a useful evidence of gentility, because good breeding requires time, application and expense, and can therefore not be compassed by those whose time and energy are taken up with work.'' Only the affluent can afford to learn strange vocabulary because ordinary people have real problems to worry about.
The chief purpose of luxury beliefs is to indicate evidence of the believer's social class and education. Only academics educated at elite institutions could have conjured up a coherent and reasonable-sounding argument for why parents should not be allowed to raise their kids, and should hold baby lotteries instead. When an affluent person advocates for drug legalization, or anti-vaccination policies, or open borders, or loose sexual norms, or uses the term ''white privilege,'' they are engaging in a status display. They are trying to tell you, ''I am a member of the upper class.''
Affluent people promote open borders or the decriminalization of drugs because it advances their social standing, not least because they know that the adoption of those policies will cost them less than others. The logic is akin to conspicuous consumption'--if you're a student who has a large subsidy from your parents and I do not, you can afford to waste $900 and I can't, so wearing a Canada Goose jacket is a good way of advertising your superior wealth and status. Proposing policies that will cost you as a member of the upper class less than they would cost me serve the same function. Advocating for open borders and drug experimentation are good ways of advertising your membership of the elite because, thanks to your wealth and social connections, they will cost you less than me.
Unfortunately, the luxury beliefs of the upper class often trickle down and are adopted by people lower down the food chain, which means many of these beliefs end up causing social harm. Take polyamory. I had a revealing conversation recently with a student at an elite university. He said that when he sets his Tinder radius to five miles, about half of the women, mostly other students, said they were ''polyamorous'' in their bios. Then, when he extended the radius to 15 miles to include the rest of the city and its outskirts, about half of the women were single mothers. The costs created by the luxury beliefs of the former are borne by the latter. Polyamory is the latest expression of sexual freedom championed by the affluent. They are in a better position to manage the complications of novel relationship arrangements. And if these relationships don't work out, they can recover thanks to their financial capability and social capital. The less fortunate suffer by adopting the beliefs of the upper class.
This is well-illustrated by the finding that in 1960 the percentage of American children living with both biological parents was identical for affluent and working-class families'--95 percent. By 2005, 85 percent of affluent families were still intact, but for working-class families the figure had plummeted to 30 percent.
Children living with both biological parents
Affluent families in 1960: 95%Working class families in 1960: 95%
Affluent families in 2005: 85%Working class families in 2005: 30%
'-- Rob Henderson (@robkhenderson) September 29, 2019
The Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam at a Senate hearing said, ''Rich kids and poor kids now grow up in separate Americas'...Growing up with two parents is now unusual in the working class, while two-parent families are normal and becoming more common among the upper middle class.'' Upper-class people, particularly in the 1960s, championed sexual freedom. Loose sexual norms spread throughout the rest of society. The upper class, though, still have intact families. They experiment in college and then settle down later. The families of the lower class fell apart. Today, the affluent are among the most likely to display the luxury belief that sexual freedom is great, though they are the most likely to get married and least likely to get divorced.
The Rabble and the Rich
This aspect of luxury beliefs is worrisome. As I noted in my original luxury beliefs essay, material goods have become more affordable and, thus, less reliable indicators of social class. Status has shifted to the beliefs we express. And beliefs are less expensive than goods because anyone can adopt them. They are not financially costly. And according to Veblen, along with other social observers like Paul Fussell, ordinary people try to emulate the upper classes. The elite want to differentiate themselves from the rabble with their visible badges of luxury. But then then the class below tries to emulate the elite, and the stratum below that as well, until the style has trickled down to the rest of society. And because luxury beliefs don't have any financial costs, the 'fashion' in beliefs trickles down more quickly.
Over time, luxury beliefs are embraced down the social ladder'--at which point, the upper class abandons its old luxury beliefs and embraces new ones. Which explains why the beliefs of the upper class are constantly changing. It's easy to see how this works if we look at actual fashion. The author Quentin Bell, in On Human Finery, wrote ''Try to look like the people above you; if you're at the top, try to look different from the people below you.'' The elite's conspicuous display of their luxury beliefs falls into this pattern. Their beliefs are emulated by others, sending them off in search of new beliefs to display. The affluent can't risk looking like hoi polloi, after all.
Or consider art. The psychologist Steven Pinker in How the Mind Works writes, ''In an age when any Joe can buy CDs, paintings, and novels, artists make their careers by finding ways to avoid the hackneyed, to challenge jaded tastes, to differentiate the cognoscenti from the dilettantes.'' Artists want to differentiate themselves from what's been done before and what others are currently doing. And so do the affluent. Moral fashions change over time for the same reason. Moral fashions can quickly spiral as more and more members of the chattering classes adopt a certain view. Once the view becomes pass(C), the upper class, aiming to separate themselves, then update their moral inventories. Veblen still reigns supreme, but in a different way.
As he puts it, ''What is common is within the (pecuniary) reach of many people'...Hence the consumption, or even the sight of such goods, is inseparable from an odious suggestion of the lower levels of human life.'' The affluent do not want to be seen with ''common'' goods. They view them as distasteful. Today, it's not just common goods they view as distasteful'--it's beliefs too. The affluent, dreading an ''odious'' designation, resist displaying commonplace beliefs. Those beliefs are for the little people. Instead, the upper class want to be seen displaying luxury beliefs.
Modern neuroscience did not exist in the nineteenth century. But Veblen might have been amused to learn that the same regions of the brain involved in rewards such as eating chocolate or winning money also activate when we receive compliments from strangers or learn that people we will never meet find us attractive. Veblen wrote, ''Immaterial evidences of past leisure are quasi-scholarly or quasi-artistic accomplishments and a knowledge of processes and incidents which do not conduce directly to the furtherance of human life.'' In his day, the leisure class spent a lot of time accruing useless knowledge and partaking in activities that have the appearance of intellect and artistry, but had no functional utility. These activities didn't help anyone, but they did make their enthusiasts look good. What might Veblen have made of Twitter, given these observations?
Status Spirals
The economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell once said that activism is ''a way for useless people to feel important, even if the consequences of their activism are counterproductive for those they claim to be helping and damaging to the fabric of society as a whole.'' The same could be said for luxury beliefs. They are similar to luxury goods, but present new problems. Attaching status to luxury goods or financial standing meant there were limits to how much harm the leisure class could do when it came to their conspicuous displays. For example, fashion is constrained by the speed with which people could adopt a new look. But with beliefs, this status cycle accelerates. A rich person flaunts her new belief. It then becomes fashionable among her peers, so she abandons it. Then a new stylish belief arises, while the old luxury belief trickles down the social hierarchy and wreaks havoc.
Rob Henderson is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge. He obtained a BS in Psychology from Yale University and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. You can follow him on Twitter @robkhenderson
Feature photo: District Of Columbia, United States. 01st Aug, 2018. Activists from across the county converged in Washington DC for an action dubbed ''Say No to Kavanaugh.'' Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/Alamy Live News.
George Floyd's Autopsy and the Structural Gaslighting of America - Scientific American Blog Network
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:24
The weaponization of medical language emboldened white supremacy with the authority of the white coat. How will we stop it from happening again?
A mural of George Floyd painted by the artists Donkeeboy and Donkeemom on the side of Scott Food Mart in Houston, Texas. Credit: Sergio Flores Getty Images The world was gaslit by misreporting about George Floyd's initial autopsy report. As concerned physicians, we write to deconstruct the misinformation and condemn the ways this weaponization of medical language reinforced white supremacy at the torment of Black Americans.
Gaslighting is a method of psychological manipulation employed to make a victim question their own sanity, particularly in scenarios where they are mistreated. The term comes from a 1938 play and, later, a popular film, wherein a predatory husband abuses his wife in a plot to have her committed to a mental institution. He dims the gas lights in their home; then, when she comments on the darkness, knowingly rejects her observation and uses it as evidence that she's gone insane. It's a torturous tactic employed to destroy a person's trust in their own perception of reality. It's a devastating distraction from oppression. It's insidious. And it happened recently when millions of people who had seen nine agonizing minutes of murder were told by an autopsy report that they hadn't.
In America, widespread anti-Black violence is often paired with structural gaslighting. Racism, after all, thrives when blame for its outcomes are misattributed. When Black families are refused loans in criminally discriminatory housing schemes, their credit is blamed. When youth of color are disproportionately stopped and frisked, they are told the process is random, and for their safety.
And when Black people are killed by police, their character and even their anatomy is turned into justification for their killer's exoneration. It's a well-honed tactic. One analysis of the national database of state-level death certificate data found that fewer than half of law enforcement''related deaths were reported. In addition to this undercounting, police actions were further minimized by the use of diagnostic codes that incorrectly labeled the cause of death as ''accidental'' or ''undetermined'' rather than police-related. For centuries, our systems have relied on this psychological torture'--a host of mental gymnastics'--to deny the truth of what Black people have always known. The cause of death is racism.
On May 29, the country was told that the autopsy of George Floyd ''revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxiation,'' and that ''potential intoxicants'' and preexisting cardiovascular disease ''likely contributed to his death.'' This requires clarification. Importantly, these commonly quoted phrases did not come from a physician, but were taken from a charging document that utilized politicized interpretations of medical information. As doctors, we wish to highlight for the public that this framing of the circumstances surrounding Floyd's death was at best, a misinterpretation, and at worst, a deliberate obfuscation.
A timeline of events illustrates how a series of omissions and commissions regarding Mr. Floyd's initial autopsy results deceptively fractured the truth. On May 28, a statement released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office reported ongoing investigations and acknowledgement from the forensic pathologist that an ''autopsy '... must be interpreted in the context of the pertinent investigative information.'' As per standardized medical examination, Floyd's underlying health conditions and toxicology screen were documented. These are ordinary findings that do not suggest causation of death, yet headlines and the May 29 charging document falsely overstated the role of Floyd's coronary artery disease and hypertension, which increase the risk of stroke and heart attack over years, not minutes. Asphyxia'--suffocation'--does not always demonstrate physical signs, as other physician groups have noted.
Without this important medical context, however, the public was left to reconcile manipulated medical language with the evidence they had personally witnessed. Ultimately, the initial report overstated and misrepresented the role of chronic medical conditions, inappropriately alluded to intoxicants, and failed to acknowledge the stark reality that but for the defendant's knee on George Floyd's neck, he would not be dead today.
By Monday, June 1, in the context of widespread political pressure, the public received two reports: the preliminary autopsy report commissioned by Floyd's family by private doctors, and'--shortly thereafter'--a summary of the preliminary autopsy from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office. Both reports stated that the cause of Floyd's death was homicide: death at the hands of another.
By inaccurately portraying the medical findings from the autopsy of George Floyd, the legal system and media emboldened white supremacy, all under the cloak of authoritative scientific rhetoric. They took standard components of a preliminary autopsy report to cast doubt, to sow uncertainty; to gaslight America into thinking we didn't see what we know we saw. In doing so, they perpetuated stereotypes about disease, risky behavior and intoxication in Black bodies to discredit a victim of murder. This state of affairs is not an outlier'--it is part of a patterned and tactical distortion of facts wherein autopsy reports are manipulated to bury police violence and uphold white supremacy. As Ida B. Wells said, ''Those who commit the murders write the reports.'' A similar conflict of interest between police departments and medical examiners offices continues today.
As physicians, we will not be complicit in the ongoing manipulation of medical expertise to erase government-sanctioned violence. Though we are relieved that two independent examinations invalidated the preliminary findings in the charging document and the headlines that deceitfully undermined Chauvin's culpability in Floyd's murder, our initial incense is not replaced by celebration.
For three days, Black Americans sat'--and still sit'--with the all-too-familiar pangs of being told that the truth is not true. Of fearing that the law would believe a physician's report over the reality they saw with their own eyes, and have lived with their own lives. It's a miscarriage of justice that deepens the cut; not only can Black people be killed with impunity; a physician's autopsy report can be twisted to replace the truth.
Medical science has long been used for the consolidation of power rather than for solidarity with the oppressed. We see how Black mothers are blamed for their own mortality in childbirth and how starkly high rates of COVID death in Black communities are preposterously misattributed to differences in hormone receptors or clotting factors; all the while letting racism off the hook.
We wish to remind fellow physicians that medical science has never been objective. It has never existed in a vacuum; there have and will always be social, political and legal ramifications of our work. Our assessments may be employed in criminal justice cases; our toxicology screens may have profound effects on the livelihood of patients; our diagnoses may perpetuate sexist and racist stereotypes. Our lack of ill intent cannot be our alibi'--we must be accountable for not just our work but also how it is used, lest our medicine becomes the very weapon that harms. Medicine requires inclusion of the social context of disease in order to uphold its sacred oath of doing no harm. If we focus only on molecular pathways and neglect to articulate the role of structural inequities'--of racism'--in our country, our reports on the causes of death and injury in our patients will erase the roles of their oppressors.
We also write to remind our physician colleagues that the medical field is a place ripe for gaslighting. Bolstered by the perceived strength and legitimacy of a white coat and a stethoscope, our diagnoses and conclusions'--about physical or psychological ''abnormalities,'' about causes of illness and death'--have the power to eclipse reality, as we've seen in the case of George Floyd. Often, we stand by while other agents co-opt our frameworks, obscure our research and weaponize our language in the service of oppression.
The declarations, the truths, the realities of Black people in America are too often disregarded. Across the nation, Black people are suffocating under the weight of anti-Black hatred. They cannot breathe. And even as they gasp for air, structural gaslighting operates to deny the truths of the causes of their suffocation.
We write as physicians to denounce this psychological manipulation. We write to apologize for the discrimination our patients of color have received in the hospital under our watch, we write in gratitude for the tireless labor of Black activists, and we write to condemn how medicine has been weaponized in the service of white supremacy. We write to validate what Black people already know'--have always known'--that racism is a most pressing public health crisis. We pledge to fight this crisis as if our own breath depended on it.
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)Ann Crawford-RobertsAnn Crawford-Roberts, M.D., M.P.H., is a psychiatrist in Los Angeles.
Sonya ShadravanSonya Shadravan, M.D., is a forensic psychiatrist in Los Angeles., California.
Jennifer TsaiJennifer Tsai, M.D., M.Ed., is an emergency medicine physician in New Haven, Connecticut.
Nicols E. Barcel"Nicols E. Barcel", M.D., is a psychiatrist in Los Angeles, California.
Allie GipsAllie Gips, M.D., is an emergency medicine and palliative care physician in Denver, Colorado.
Michael MensahMichael Mensah, M.D., M.P.H., is a psychiatrist in Los Angeles, California.
Nichole RoxasNichole Roxas, M.D., M.P.H., is a psychiatrist in New Haven, Connecticut.
Alina KungAlina Kung, M.D., M.S., is an internal medicine physician in Los Angeles, California.
Anna DarbyAnna Darby, M.D., M.P.H., is an emergency medicine physician in Los Angeles, California.
Naya MisaNaya Misa, M.D., M.P.H., is an emergency medicine physician in Oakland, California.
Isabella MortonIsabella Morton, M.D., M.P.H., is a psychiatrist in Los Angeles, California.
Alice ShenAlice Shen, M.D., is a psychiatrist in New Haven, Connecticut.
Lakers, Clippers vote to boycott season as LeBron James leaves meeting - Insider
Thu, 27 Aug 2020 20:25
After boycotting playoff games on Wednesday to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake, NBA players held a tense meeting said to have ended "ugly."According to reports, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers voted to end the season early, though one ESPN report painted it as "polling" rather than a formal vote.One report said LeBron James called for action from team owners toward social-justice reform and left the meeting early.Other teams still in the NBA bubble reportedly voted to continue playing the season, but discussions are ongoing.Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.The NBA season is on the brink of ending early after a meeting Wednesday involving players, coaches, and referees that David Aldridge of The Athletic described as ending "ugly."
The remaining teams in the Disney World bubble held a meeting after all six NBA teams scheduled to play on Wednesday boycotted games to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The boycotts began when the Milwaukee Bucks did not take the floor for Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic.
Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported '-- and it has since been reported by other NBA insiders '-- that both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers voted to boycott the remainder of the season. According to Charania, LeBron James left the meeting early and was followed by the remainder of the Lakers and the Clippers.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski described the vote as "more of a polling" than a final vote and said there hadn't been a final decision.
Charania reported that the other remaining teams voted to continue playing.
During the meeting, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported that players felt sitting out one game was "meaningless." Additionally, players '-- including James '-- demanded to see action from owners, according to Mannix, who added that some believed the season might be over if action couldn't be agreed on.
According to Marc Spears of ESPN, Jaylen Brown, of the Boston Celtics, challenged players on what they would do if they left the bubble.
"If you leave, are you going to leave and hang out with your families?" Brown said, according to Spears on ESPN. "Are you going to be in the trenches? Are you going to be in the streets?"
The NBA reporter Jeff Goodman tweeted that one NBA player called the meeting "emotional" and "heated" but hoped cooler heads would prevail Thursday.
'--Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) August 27, 2020'--Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) August 27, 2020The players are expected to meet again on Thursday. According to Wojnarowski, players continued to discuss the situation well into the night and there's some "optimism" of finishing the season.
"Several key members of Lakers '-- and some peers around league '-- stayed up until early AM hours talking through issues in The Bubble," Wojnarowski wrote on Twitter. "Among key players in league heading into 11 AM meeting, there's optimism about a majority of players wanting to continue playoffs."
Read more:Chris Webber fought back tears while offering his support to NBA players and explaining why it was important to fight for justice even when change feels a long way awayThe Milwaukee Bucks demanded justice for Jacob Blake and action from the Wisconsin State Legislature after being the first team to boycott games in protest of police shootingsWNBA players have forced the league to postpone Wednesday night's games: 'We stand in solidarity with our brothers in the NBA' against police brutalityNaomi Osaka was 2 matches away from winning a tournament but dropped out at the last minute in protest of police violence
BLM 101: Career Politicians Who Created Systemic Unfairness Are Playing LeBron And His Disciples For Suckers '' OutKick
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 13:58
Today's edition of BLM 101, Volume 5 will focus on the sports world's reaction to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. BLM 101 is dedicated to educating athletes on the true agenda and negative consequences of the Black Lives Matter movement. BLM 101 tries to avoid snark and ridicule. We ask that you share the link of this article with your favorite athlete.
Tuesday the sports world reacted strongly to the shooting of Jacob Blake.
The Detroit Lions canceled football practice, choosing instead to hold a mass press conference to discuss the shooting. Members of the Toronto Raptors threatened to boycott games inside the NBA Bubble. Clippers coach Doc Rivers launched a political attack on President Donald Trump. Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone expressed frustration that the Disney World Bubble limits what basketball players can do to fight what they believe to be police brutality.
A day after LeBron James declared that black people live in daily fear of police violence and that black men are targeted for death by police, his disciples backed him up en masse.
James is the Al Sharpton of sports, an agent of chaos working closely with politicians who use racial division to rally voter support. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and black ministers can no longer deliver black voters to polling booths. The task has now been handed to James, Colin Kaepernick and black athletes. It's their job to inflame the emotions of black people and get us to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depended on it.
As you know, I don't vote. I reject the pervasive dishonesty in politics. As it relates to BLM, the man or woman sitting in the White House has absolutely nothing to do with how police engage with a resisting suspect. President Barack Obama was in office when Michael Brown tussled with officer Darren Wilson.
The politicization of Jacob Blake is a byproduct of political dishonesty. The prevailing sentiment propagandized by BLM that police are intentionally targeting black men is a political ploy.
Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Eric Garner and Rayshard Brooks are not examples of ''systemic racism.'' If anything, they're examples of ''systemic resisting arrest.''
The police, even bigoted police, are not nearly as dumb as BLM supporters would have you believe. LeBron James has foolishly suggested that police officers are intentionally hunting, targeting and killing black men. When discussing the actions of Kenosha police, James said:
''Or maybe he just left the house saying that, 'Today is going to be the end for one of these black people.' That's what it feels like. It just hurts. It hurts.''
Police are not that stupid. Killing a criminal suspect complicates and jeopardizes the life of the police officer, even if he's not convicted of a crime. You think Darren Wilson is somewhere happy he was involved in the death of Michael Brown?
The goal of a good police officer is to lock up bad guys. The goal of a white racist cop is to lock up black people. Good and bad police officers want to put handcuffs on and politely escort people to jail. That's the payoff. That's the goal. They leave their houses hoping to put people in handcuffs and escort them inside the belly of the beast '-- the criminal justice system created by career politicians such as Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Bill Clinton.
I'm referencing Democratic politicians because LeBron James and his disciples seem to believe the Democratic Party is going to save black people from the ''systemic racism'' found within the criminal justice system.
It's a joke. The architects of the system are using LeBron James and athletes to point black people at the wrong target. The athletes are useful idiots. They've been talked into dedicating themselves to ensuring that career criminals are unharmed while resisting arrest and refusing to comply with police instructions.
The Detroit Lions canceled practice so they could speak out on behalf of a man wanted for sexual assault. The city of Kenosha is being burned to the ground on behalf of a man who wrestled with police and wouldn't comply with instructions at gunpoint.
Across the country, police kill roughly 250 to 300 black people a year. The overwhelming majority of those killed are armed and violently resisting arrest. Thousands of black people are killed by black people every year. In Detroit alone roughly 250 black people are murdered annually. The majority of the murders go unsolved.
The Detroit Lions do not care.
An unarmed black man is a million times more likely to be killed by another black man than the police. But LeBron is terrified of police? If all it takes is a handful of high-profile anecdotes to justify living in fear of a group of people, can black, brown and white people say they live in fear of black men?
Can the Detroit Tigers cancel practice the next time a black man kills a Detroit citizen?
Let me return to my main point. Putting people behind bars is the goal of good and bad police. Prisons are hell on earth. The prison industrial complex is the beast. It's the system that crushes the poor and financially exploits all who enter its gates.
If you have had a loved one or family member incarcerated, you know the financial burden placed on the prisoner's family. It's a racket of exploitation that would make Tony Soprano envious. Politicians know exactly what they created. These same politicians are using athletes and the media to focus all negative attention on $60,000-a-year cops who occasionally make deadly mistakes during millions of encounters with dangerous criminals.
Black Lives Matter is a smokescreen to divert attention away from the architects of the systemic unfairness in our criminal justice system. Twitter race-baiter and BLM activist Shaun King is demanding Kenosha police release the name of the police officer who shot Jacob Blake. Another Kenosha officer is in hiding because he's been wrongly identified as the shooter.
King, LeBron, Doc Rivers, Michael Malone, the Toronto Raptors, the Detroit Lions, the NBA, the NFL and the woke sports media have all been incentivized to keep the focus on the lowest-hanging fruit '-- working-class cops.
This is what passes for speaking truth to power in the age of social media.
Blame the cops. Work to elect the career politicians who created the system.
If you want Jason Whitlock for your TV or radio show or podcast, contact
US President Donald Trump SLAMS NBA protests: 'What they're doing is gonna DESTROY basketball' '-- RT Sport News
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 11:55
United States President Donald Trump took aim at the player protests actioned by the stars of the NBA following the shooting of Jacob Blake, saying their actions would ''destroy basketball.''
Trump criticized the actions of the NBA players, after their team-by-team decision to stop play for three days following the shooting of Blake, a black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
He was shot in the back multiple times by police officers, leading him to be paralyzed from the waist down.
READ MORE: Trump says NBA acting 'like a political organization' as ANOTHER day of games is canceled
Reacting to the incident, NBA players in their respective teams took the collective decision to not play their NBA Playoff games. The decision hasn't gone down well with Trump, who criticized the NBA.
Speaking on Air Force One, Trump told reporters that the actions would be ''threatening'' to the NBA, stating, "I think what they're doing, in particular, is gonna destroy basketball."
The league and players association confirmed Friday that the NBA Playoffs would resume on Saturday in a deal that includes increased access to voting in the U.S. presidential election.
Trump, however, said the public would not want to deal with political messaging when watching sport.
''It's very bad for the NBA, and it's gonna prove to be very bad for football," he said.
Also on Boycott over: NBA playoffs to resume on Saturday after suspension over Jacob Blake shooting
Charlie Baker activates 1,000 members of the National GuardCharlie Baker activates 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:17
Gov. Charlie Baker has activated up to 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard, ''in the event that municipal leaders'' need the backup, public safety officials said as protests rage elsewhere in the nation.
Baker signed the order activating members of the Guard Friday evening as reaction to the latest police shooting '-- this time in Kenosha, Wis. '-- spread from the heartland to professional sports.
''Governor Baker today signed an order activating up to 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard in the event that municipal leaders require their assistance. National Guard personnel are deployed only at the request of, and in coordination with, the communities seeking support,'' said a state public safety spokesman.
The Herald has also learned that a protest is planned for Sunday before noon outside the State House over Baker's order that all schoolchildren must have taken a flu vaccination by the end of the year.
The Department of Public Health announced last week students of all ages are now required to get a flu vaccine by Dec. 31 in order to attend school, unless medically or religiously exempt.
A Facebook page has been posted promoting that event, reportedly sponsored by ''No Mandatory Flu Shot MA.'' A pastor is also calling for prayer around 10 a.m. in a show of ''peaceful'' protest.
This weekend's Caribbean Festival in Boston has also been called off, due to continued concerns about the coronavirus.
The Guard was last called in earlier this summer after protests in late May turned violent, with businesses in Boston being looted and a police cruiser torched. The soldiers left about a week later after protests over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer cooled.
A 15-year-old has been charged with lighting a Boston Police cruiser on fire the night of the May 31 protest in the city, police report.
Members of the Guard also helped hand out food in hard-it Chelsea during the pandemic in the late spring to help local officials who were trying to keep up with demand.
The scene is Wisconsin raged into the middle of this past week. A 17-year-old who says he went to protests in Kenosha to protect businesses and people is now charged in the killing of two protesters and the wounding of a third.
Those protests came after a Black father was shot multiple times Sunday during a domestic call. His family says he's paralyzed and may never walk again.
That shooting compelled NBA players to postpone playoff games until this weekend. Major League Baseball and the NHL and WNBA also took part in boycotting games.
Boston police keep protesters and press back as a BPD cruiser burns near the intersection of Tremont and Bosworth streets Sunday, May 31, as a day of protests turned violent downtown. (Herald staff photo by Erin Tiernan.)
Ireland has among highest rates of hate crime against people of African background and transgender people in the EU, but no laws to address it - Irish Council for Civil Liberties
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 12:17
Dublin, 4 July 2018
In a report launched today by Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, Ireland is shown to be seriously deficient in addressing hate crime. The Lifecycle of a Hate Crime: Country Report for Ireland shows that from the point at which a victim reports a crime to An Garda S­ochna to the point at which a judge sentences an offender, the hate element of a crime is filtered out of the criminal justice process. This report was funded by the European Commission and is the product of a two year international research project involving five EU states, coordinated by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL). The Irish research was conducted by the Hate and Hostility Research Group at the University of Limerick.
The National Steering Group Against Hate Crime, a coalition of civil society organisations, has called for the introduction of hate crime legislation for a number of years. The authors of the Lifecycle Report highlight that the absence of any laws against hate crime has led to a ''policy vacuum'' in relation to crimes motivated by prejudice in Ireland.
EU FRA research into physical attacks against people of sub-Saharan African background
Launching the report, Emily Logan said:
''Hate Crime has a real-world, oppressive and damaging effect on those who fall victim to it. Hate Crime can cause people to withdraw from society and avoid expressing their identity. When unchallenged, hate crime carries consequences well beyond the immediate victim. It has the power to act as a 'message crime' '' the ability to send out a message to an entire community '' to warn off those who stray from the norm. It can also cause people to alter their daily lives to avoid further victimisation, including moving neighbourhood or job. It is not the responsibility of victims to avoid being targets of hate crime: the State, as the principal duty bearer '' has a responsibility to send a clear message to society that hate crime is not tolerated.''
Author of the report, Dr Amanda Haynes, said at the launch:
''From the moment of reporting a hate crime, to the moment where the judge sentences an offender, the hate element of a crime is progressively filtered out of the criminal justice system in Ireland. The criminal justice process is not responsive to victims' experiences of targeted hostility against their identity. There is no certainty that a hate motivation will be presented in court. There is no way of recording that an offender has committed a hate crime, meaning that is no way of addressing this type of offending behaviour and no way of recognising recidivists. 'Hate crime' simply is not part of the language of the Irish criminal justice process. ''
Author of the report, Jennifer Schweppe, said at the launch:
''The EU Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia requires member states to ensure that a racist motivation is taken into account at sentencing. The European Court of Human Rights has also made clear that states are under an obligation to ensure that a hate element is properly investigated in all cases. Unfortunately, the criminal justice process in Ireland does not provide those working in the system with the tools to ensure that these two obligations are met. People experience hate crime every single day in our country, and it is time that politicians recognised this, and send a clear message through legislation that it is not acceptable.''
Liam Herrick, Executive Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties who were the lead partner on this European Commission funded study which was carried out across five jurisdictions, said:
''This report identifies significant gaps in Irish law, policy and criminal justice practice around how we respond to the problem of hate crime. This project has also afforded us the opportunity to benefit for the experience of other countries who have grappled with this issue and points to how balanced and effective responses to hate crime can be developed. ICCL has been proud to be part of this important initiative.''
REPORT LAUNCH will be held at 1pm on 4 July at IHREC buildings. Speakers will include all above-named persons, alongside Professor Barbara Perry of the University of Ontario. Media welcome.
LINK TO REPORT '' ''Lifecycle of a Hate Crime '' Irish National Report
This report was part of a two-year EU funded research project across five EU member states '' Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Lithuania and the Czech Republic. The full details of the project and the other national reports and the project's comparative report are available at
In a report published in December 2017 by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), Ireland ranked highest among the EU Member States in which respondents from a sub-Saharan background experienced 6 or more physical attacks due to their ethnic or immigrant background in the 5 years preceding the survey (21% of respondents compared to the EU group average of 9%). 8% of respondents in Ireland reported having experienced 6 or more physical attacks due to their ethnic or immigrant background in the 12 months prior to the survey, compared to an EU group average of 2%. In an earlier FRA study, published in 2014, Ireland recorded the second highest rate of hate-motivated violence against transgender people in Europe: In the 12 months prior to the survey, 13% of trans respondents in Ireland reported having been physically or sexually assaulted or threatened with violence, in attacks either wholly or partly motivated by transphobia, compared to the EU average of 8%.
The National Steering Group Against Hate Crime is a coalition of civil society organisations, which aims to promote meaningful reform of law, policy and practice as it relates to hate crime in Ireland including, but not limited to, hate crime legislation; reporting and recording of hate crime and hate incidents; education; training and awareness raising activities; hate speech; cyber hate crime.
Black Lives Matter pushes Japan to confront racism - BBC News
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 11:45
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Japan traditionally sees itself as a very homogenous society To many Japanese, racism towards black people has long been considered something that happens in the US or Europe, not at home.
But when the death of George Floyd in the US sparked a wave of protests demanding that Black Lives Matter, people in Japan joined in too.
The protests and marches in major cities pushed a debate about racism in the country, and whether enough was being done to confront and change things.
'Paper cuts of racism'In June, public broadcaster NHK aired a segment to explain to Japanese audiences what was happening in the US, with the protests over George Floyd's death.
The report, in a news show aimed at younger audiences, featured an animated video depicting the protesters as grotesque stereotypes, deeply steeped in racist imagery: caricatures with exaggerated muscles and angry faces, and with looters in the background.
The reaction was largely negative - the US embassy called the segment "offensive and insensitive".
One particularly vocal critic was Baye McNeil, an African-American teacher, author, columnist and long-time Japan resident.
He tweeted that it was an "offensive racist commentary" and it was time for Japan to stop the "lame excuses" on handling of black issues.
NHK later apologised, and following the widespread attention Mr McNeil's articles received, invited him in to discuss the problem.
He soon found himself giving a talk to the entire NHK staff, which he said was an "extremely interesting" experience.
"There were a lot of great questions that showed that a lot of people did not know there were problems with blackface or white washing. It was really important that someone came in and was able to explain it."
How BLM went from Facebook post to global movement Controversy over Japan blackface comedy Black Lives Matter in the UK: 'We're still not being heard' Brazil protesters: 'Black lives matter here, too'Mr McNeil has both praise and criticism for the country he has lived in for 16 years. He says that in his immediate surrounding of friends and students, people have been very welcoming and open - and often curious and receptive to learn about his outside view on the Japanese experience.
At the same time, he points to a level of everyday casual racism he experiences.
"I'm safer here than in the US, no question," he says. "I haven't experienced police brutality like you would in the US, but yet there are paper cuts of racism every day and those also add up. Being other-ised on a daily basis means you still live through some tough stuff."
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ariana Miyamoto was considered by some not Japanese enough to be Miss Japan It's an experience he says, that's not unlike that of the many so-called "hafu", people who are biracial - with one parent from Japan and one from another ethnic group. And it proves wrong the idea that there simply is one general kind of xenophobia, equally directed at all non-Japanese groups in the country.
"Bi-racial Japanese have a different experience according to what they are mixed with," Mr McNeil explains. "The ones mixed with whites are the ones who get the modelling contracts and are put on a pedestal - but it's a very different story if you're half Korean or half black."
For example, when a half black Japanese woman was crowned Miss Japan in 2015, she was berated in online comments as unfit to represent the country.
Tennis champion Naomi Osaka has a Japanese mother and a Haitian father. In an advertising campaign, her skin was made lighter and comedians were joking she maybe should get some bleach to change her skin colour.
Osaka has herself been very vocal against racism both in Japan and in the US. This week, she withdrew from a top US tournament in protest against police violence against black people in the US, after which the entire match day was postponed.
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Commentators joked Naomi Osaka needed some bleach for her skin "All of these are examples that show that perhaps the Japanese public is not quite ready to embrace their biracial population," Mr McNeil says.
Official statistics in fact count biracial citizens simply as Japanese, he points out, reinforcing how people see their country as largely homogenous, unaware that many of their neighbours don't fit in that easily.
John Russell, anthropology professor at Gifu University, told the BBC that anti-black racism is evident in "a whole wealth of images that permeate Japanese society".
Japan for most of its history had been largely closed to foreigners but when in the 19th Century, the United States forced Japan to open to international trade, the US military mission treated their Japanese hosts to a minstrel show: a set of skits and musical performances by white crew members in blackface.
Jump to the 1930s and Tokyo's nightlife featured vaudeville shows of Japanese actors in blackface. In fact, one of the country's most famous comedians, Enomoto Kenichi, or Enoken, used blackface in several instances in the 1920s and 30s.
"It's in fact a tradition going back almost as far as in the United States," Mr Russell says. Although on a smaller scale than in the US and without the American social memory, the stereotypical depiction of black people has been there all along, he explains.
Social media has helped to challenge some of the views in conventional media, he says, but that is "a mixed bag".
"It has both elevated the discourse on racism but also elevates racism itself, creating a platform where vitriol can come to the surface." The abuse which for instance Naomi Osaka receives online is a case in point.
"I'm hoping that the situation is changing" he says. "But I tamper whatever optimism I have with an amount of caution."
'Change is still a long way off'"Discussing racism is taboo. But it's the 21st Century and we do need to talk about these things," says Mutsuko Betchaku, who attended one of McNeil's classes.
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Despite a growing awareness, change will likely take time While she feels many people around her share the same level of awareness, "there are others who don't want to even think about it, or those who aren't aware at all - people who feel it has nothing to do with them."
She says she herself had been aware of racism against black people before the events of the recent months, but that racism is usually only discussed in relation to xenophobia against Chinese and Koreans.
Fellow student Hitomi Hideshima agrees: "I also knew for a long time that there is discrimination especially against Chinese and Koreans in Japan."
The other names we're hearing after George Floyd's death 'Black people have been through a lot this year' Why did statues become targets at anti-racism protests?Both say that the information that average Japanese get on the issue from the media is very superficial, lacking in depth, background and history.
"The Japanese media presented Black Lives Matter as just an American problem," Ms Hideshima says. And while recent events might have brought about a beginning of change, the optimism is somewhat muted.
"There might be a slight change in consciousness now, but visible change is still a long way off."
Wokal Distance on Twitter: "1/ Kenosha Shootings: The same event The same set of pictures The same set of videos The same available audio The same timeline The same available set of facts.... Two completely different conclusions. Let's talk about why. A t
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 13:56
Wokal Distance : 1/Kenosha Shootings:The same eventThe same set of picturesThe same set of videosThe same available audioThe'...
Thu Aug 27 10:01:46 +0000 2020
Alo, Diogenes 🏺 Andrei Tarnovski : @wokal_distance @alexgurdila recomand
Fri Aug 28 13:36:03 +0000 2020
alex255 : @wokal_distance Great thread, thanks for putting this together
Fri Aug 28 10:01:14 +0000 2020
Chiara Durant ðŸ'' : @wokal_distance You do realize you cherry picked what you were going to use, because even you have a bias as to eve'...
Fri Aug 28 09:46:56 +0000 2020
Dustin Dettmer : @wokal_distance Awesome analysis
Fri Aug 28 07:14:35 +0000 2020
PalHachi : @wokal_distance @VirtualMatt6626 So has it been released yet who he called or tried calling after the first shooting?
Fri Aug 28 07:13:04 +0000 2020
Nicolas Ortiz : @wokal_distance If it wasnt for the riots none of this would have happened its all blms antifas fault for radicaliz'...
Fri Aug 28 06:50:02 +0000 2020
Cooper Hill : @wokal_distance Lets pretend to be a narrator with access to objective truth and narrate the lefts perspective:"Me'...
Fri Aug 28 06:19:08 +0000 2020
Head of police union demands Mayor de Blasio resign by sunset
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 21:22
August 28, 2020 | 2:14pm | Updated August 28, 2020 | 3:38pm
As Mayor de Blasio prepared to get out of Dodge for the weekend, a police union boss issued a very ''High Noon''-like ultimatum for him to quit by sundown.
''We need to hear you RESIGNED as Mayor of NYC,'' Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins wrote on Twitter Friday in response to a post by de Blasio that trashed the 2020 Republican National Convention and the president on Twitter.
''We are WAITING. Only a few hours left until sundown. Give 8 million people a gift & quit. You ruined NYC, Save the City and step down,'' Mullins wrote.
Earlier Friday, de Blasio '-- who was skewered at the closing night of the RNC Thursday by public housing residents, former mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch '-- had tweeted his thoughts about the convention.
''What did we need to hear this week? Plans to fight COVID-19 and get Americans back to work. What did we hear? Lies about the greatest city in the world and one of the most diverse places on Earth.
''Because @realDonaldTrump is afraid of diversity. He's afraid of true greatness,'' de Blasio tweeted.
Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins William FarringtonMayoral press secretary Bill Neidhardt hit back on Twitter against the police union bosses.
''Ed Mullins and RNC speaker Pat Lynch do not represent the views of most New Yorkers, let alone rank-and-file,'' Neidhardt tweeted.
''They're a disgrace to the labor movement. Their embrace of a racist President shows how ill-equipped they are to serve a diverse city and a majority-minority force,'' Neidhardt added.
De Blasio and Mullins are famous foes.
The mayor called the union chief a ''liar'' during a City Hall press conference last month after Mullins criticized him for his handling of the George Floyd protests and the increase in shootings.
De Blasio also called for an investigation of the SBA for tweeting out his daughter Chiara's arrest record after the First Daughter was nabbed for allegedly blocking traffic during one of the demonstrations.
Kenosha police union gives its version of Blake shooting
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 04:36
August 28, 2020 6:58 PM
Associated Press
Posted: August 28, 2020 6:58 PM
Updated: August 28, 2020 11:19 PM
KENOSHA, Wis. '-- The Kenosha police union has offered the most detailed accounting to date on officers' perspective about what happened prior to Jacob Blake being shot seven times in the back.
Blake's shooting sparked nationwide protests and civil unrest after a video of the incident circulated throughout social media.
The footage captured from a bystander shows an officer with a gun drawn while walking behind Blake as he walks around a parked SUV, with a second officer closely behind the two.
The state Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation later identified the officer who shot Blake as Rusten Sheskey, who has served with Kenosha police for seven years. Officers Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek were also at the scene, but only Sheskey fired at Blake.
DCI said Sheskey and the other officers were originally sent to a home on the 2800 block of 40th Street after a woman reported that her boyfriend was there when he was not supposed to be on the premises.
An attorney for the Kenosha Professional Police Association says DCI's public accounting of the event to date is ''riddled with incomplete information and omits important details.''
The attorney said the caller told officials Blake tried to steal her keys and vehicle, which would mean the SUV in the video was not Blake's. The statement said officers were also made aware of Blake's open warrant for felony sexual assault prior to arriving.
The statement claimed Blake was not breaking up a fight between two women when police arrived, which is what bystanders had told police.
The police union's statement said that Blake was armed with a knife before reaching the vehicle and fought with officers, putting one of them in a headlock.
Prior to the incident being recorded on a cell phone, the statement said the officers attempted to de-escalate the situation by giving Blake multiple commands to drop the knife but he was uncooperative. The police union also said the two attempts at using tasers were unsuccessful.
In the video, Blake opens the driver's side door and leans in as the first officer grabs Blake's shirt and shoots him seven times in the back.
The police union's statement stopped short of the shooting and did not include anything about the seven shots being fired into Blake's back.
DCI conducted an investigation after the shooting and said Blake admitted he was possessing a knife, which was recovered from the driver's side floorboard of his vehicle. No other weapons were found in the car.
Blake was immediately taken to Froedtert Hospital hospital in Wauwatosa. His family and attorneys say he's paralyzed from the waist down.
This is why Jacob Blake had a warrant out for his arrest
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 04:38
By Gabrielle Fonrouge
August 28, 2020 | 6:19pm
The cops involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake '-- which touched off a fresh wave of angry, anti-police sentiment across the country '-- were attempting to arrest him for violating a restraining order stemming from an alleged sexual assault, The Post has learned.
Blake, 29, was forbidden from going to the Kenosha home of his alleged victim from the May 3 incident, and police were dispatched Sunday following a 911 call saying he was there. The officers were aware he had an open warrant, according to dispatch records, though it's not clear if they knew the specific allegations of violence.
Blake, who was paralyzed in the shooting, had been handcuffed to his hospital bed due to the warrant, which was vacated Friday, according to a statement released by his lawyer, Benjamin Crump. His restraints were removed, but he is still facing the criminal charges, Crump said.
Blake is accused in the criminal complaint, which was obtained by The Post, of breaking into the home of a woman he knew and sexually assaulting her.
The victim, who is only identified by her initials in the paperwork, told police she was asleep in bed with one of her children when Blake came into the room around 6 a.m. and allegedly said ''I want my sh-t,'' the record states.
She told cops Blake then used his finger to sexually assault her, sniffed it and said, ''Smells like you've been with other men,'' the criminal complaint alleges.
The officer who took her statement said she ''had a very difficult time telling him this and cried as she told how the defendant assaulted her.''
The alleged victim said Blake ''penetrating her digitally caused her pain and humiliation and was done without her consent'' and she was ''very humiliated and upset by the sexual assault,'' the record states.
She told police she ''was upset but collected herself'' and then allegedly ran out the front door after Blake, the complaint says. She then realized her car was missing, checked her purse and saw the keys were missing and then ''immediately called 911,'' the complaint alleges.
The alleged victim told cops she has known him for eight years and claims that he physically assaults her ''around twice a year when he drinks heavily.''
Police filed charges against him for felony sexual assault, trespassing and domestic abuse in July when a warrant was issued for his arrest.
On Sunday, within three minutes of responding to the 911 call, Blake was shot 7 times in the back as he attempted to get into his car.
Calls to Blake's fiance, Crump and the Kenosha Police Department have gone unreturned.
Christopher F. Rufo on Twitter: "There is a civil war erupting at @SandiaLabs. Following my investigation, a dissident electrical engineer named Casey Peterson emailed all 16,000 employees denouncing critical race theory in the lab and hoping to spark a r
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 13:29
Christopher F. Rufo : There is a civil war erupting at @SandiaLabs.Following my investigation, a dissident electrical engineer named Ca'...
Thu Aug 27 15:39:55 +0000 2020
War on Cash
Visa Unveils More Powerful AI Tool That Approves or Denies Card Transactions - WSJ
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 14:05
Visa Inc. said Wednesday it has developed a more advanced artificial intelligence system that can approve or decline credit and debit transactions on behalf of banks whose own networks are down.
The decision to approve or deny a transaction typically is made by the bank. But bank networks can crash because of natural disasters, buggy software or other reasons. Visa said its backup system will be available to banks who sign up for the service starting in October.
The technology is ''an incredible first step in helping us reduce the impact of an outage,'' said Rajat Taneja, president of technology for Visa. The financial services company is the largest U.S. card network, as measured both by the number of cards in circulation and by transactions.
The new service reflects the growing use of AI in banking. Banks are expected to spend $7.1 billion on AI in 2020, growing to $14.5 billion by 2024, on initiatives such as fraud analysis and investigation, according to market research firm International Data Corp.
The service, Smarter Stand-In Processing, uses a branch of AI called deep learning that roughly mimics neurons in the human brain and is an underlying technology powering self-driving cars, voice-enabled digital assistants and facial recognition.
It was built with Visa's in-house data scientists and software engineers and the company has three patents related to the technology, two of which are pending.
Network disruptions and outages affect several million credit and debit card transactions annually, often causing transactions to be unnecessarily declined, Mr. Taneja said. When that happens, cardholders may have to call their bank for assistance. Merchants and banks could lose revenue if sales aren't completed.
''There's a business impact because of the transactions flowing through, but our motivating driver was consumer experience,'' Mr. Taneja said.
Smarter STIP kicks in automatically if Visa's network detects that the bank's network is offline or unavailable.
The older version of STIP uses a rules-based machine learning model as the backup method to manage transactions for banks in the event of a network disruption. In this approach, Visa's product team and the financial institution define the rules for the model to be able to determine whether a particular transaction should be approved.
''Although it was customized for different users, it was still not very precise,'' said Carolina Barcenas, senior vice president and head of Visa Research.
Technologists don't define rules for the Smarter STIP AI model. The new deep-learning model is more advanced because it is trained to sift through billions of data points of cardholder activity to define correlations on its own. For example, it could automatically learn that a particular cardholder transaction was normal and should be approved based on historical data about that person, such as the location of the merchant in relation to the cardholder and the time of day they are shopping.
''The model finds a lot of those relationships, and it's creating that intelligence that in the past, the analysts had to do,'' Ms. Barcenas said. ''It also outperforms.''
In tests, the deep-learning AI model was 95% accurate in mimicking the bank's decision on whether to approve or decline a transaction, she said. The technology more than doubled the accuracy of the old method, according to the company. The two versions will continue to exist but the more advanced version will be available as a premium service for clients.
UBS Card Center AG, a subsidiary of Swiss bank UBS Group AG, has been working with Visa since 2018 to design and test the technology and is expected to be one of its first users.
Disruptions on UBS Card Center's network sometimes occur because of telecommunications failures or natural disasters, said Anindya Mukherjee, executive director and head of strategic initiatives at UBS Card Center. Visa's technology is an innovative stopgap measure for approving transactions during such outages, he said.
''Each of these has the potential to disrupt our business,'' he said. ''Even the most robust systems actually benefit from redundant layers of backup technology.''
Write to Sara Castellanos at
QFS is Live
Just a heads up, I have confirmation from the Maryland lawyer. QFS went live last night shortly after Trump's speech. I am told the reasoning behind the August 27th date is that Trump wanted it to be symbolic on a night where he accepted the nomination and wanted to show those who deal with the money that he is changing the world.
I asked what the impact for the average person would be and was told that the normal person would not notice unless they are moving money in transactions over $10k. Those people will notice immediately because the transactions will go near instantaneously instead of taking the normal 10-12 day banking path through clearing and settlement.
I'll follow up if I hear anything else.
5G New spec
I've been hearing for years how 5G was necessary for self driving cars and smart highways, but I never understood how a cell network would do that. Well, it looks like the 5G specification is continually evolving, and there's a new release.
- Devices will connect peer to peer, as well as to towers. Phones, cars, cameras, traffic lights, IoT will talk peer to peer, and to towers.
- Single towers will be able to provide location. 5G will implement beam forming, so towers will determine location by angle, and signal round trip time, similar to air traffic control rotating radar.
- Since unlicensed spectrum, like 2.4GHz and 5GHz are free to use, 5G is going to use that when available.
Google is removing Fediverse apps from the Play Store because they can be used to access hate speech
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 11:42
A growing number of mobile apps meant to access the Fediverse are being removed from the Google Play Store. According to user reports, recently removed apps include Husky, Subway Tooter, and Fedilab. In a nutshell, a Fediverse is any combination of interconnected servers that can be used for web publishing and can manifest in something like Mastodon. Apps like Subway Tooter allow users to access Mastodon content which is hosted on individual servers in the Fediverse. The operators of the servers in the Fediverse (and often in the Internet at large) are responsible for moderating hate speech, not the operators of the apps used to access said servers.
Despite this established web browser model, The official reason given by Google for the removal of Fediverse apps is that these apps can be used to access servers which have microblogs or other content which are dedicated to hate speech. Newsflash: Mobile apps like Google Chrome can be used to access the exact same hate speech. That is the web browser model. Even out of the browser world that can take you to servers located in unknown corners of the world, such speech can be found on other front and center social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
Google is now deciding which browsers encourage hate speech and which ones don'tGoogle is now deciding which apps are doing enough to combat hate speech and which ones aren't. On the list of apps that are allowed to remain in the Google Play Store are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and other big name browsers which can be used to access the free (for now) internet. On the other hand, dedicated Fediverse apps such as are now officially off the list. The technical differences between the apps are negligible, one type of browser is allowed while another is being removed. If there is blanket rule following happening here, it needs to be better explained by Google.
As Mastodon develop Eugen explains:
''A Mastodon app does not host or promote any content. The user types the address to connect to. The responsibility of moderating resides with that server. So unless Google is going to drop Chrome, Firefox and Opera from its platform, this is completely out of line.''
Google's censorship actions are, however, in line with the continuing erosion of free speech by big tech companies and the continued descent down the slippery slope of censorship which starts with hate speech but ends with doublethink. Looks like we're picking up speed.
Facebook Threatens to Censor Conservative Hodgetwins on Same Day NYT Laments Their Success
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 11:52
Facebook has threatened to blacklist the page of conservative comedy duo Kevin Hodge and Keith Hodge, better known as the Hodgetwins, on the same day that The New York Times identified them among the most successful conservative content creators on the platform.
The duo rose to fame on YouTube, where they amassed 1.4 million subscribers with viral videos. In 2018, they set up a second channel, ''Conservative Twins,'' focused on political content, which has accumulated over a million subscribers.
Their Facebook page is also enormously successful, with over 5.8 million followers and over 3.3 million likes.
Earlier today, the New York Times published an article lamenting the success of conservative content creators on Facebook, with the Hodgetwins featured as a prominent example.
The NYT complains that the two most popular posts about Black Lives Matter on the platform are videos from the Hodgetwins critiquing the movement:
The most-shared Facebook post containing the term ''Black Lives Matter'' over the past six months is a June video by the right-wing commentators The Hodgetwins, which calls the racial justice movement a ''damn lie.'' The second most-shared Black Lives Matter post? A different viral video from The Hodgetwins, this one calling the movement a ''leftist lie.'' (The Hodgetwins also have the 4th, 6th, and 12th most shared posts.)
On the same day that the article was published, the Hodgetwins reported on Twitter that Facebook threatened to unpublish their page.
''They are interfering with the election!'' said the Hodgetwins. ''Conservatives are being censored on FB.''
Facebook's action was condemned by the President's son, Donald Trump Jr.
''How is it that the social media masters allow some of the most vile people on the left to say and do anything without threat of censure or deplatforming, but conservative comedians are going to be thrown off platforms for being funny while speaking the truth?'' asked Don Jr.
Former Army national guardsman Mark Lutchman, whose video was shared by the Hodgetwins and used to issue a community standards violation against them, said his video was also taken down.
Although the video was removed from the Hodgetwins' page, Lutchman noted that it is still available on his own page, The Lutchman Report. In the video, Lutchman discusses the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, defending Rittenhouse's actions in Wisconsin as acts of self-defense.
''I'm praying for Kyle,'' said Lutchman in the video.
A Hodgetwins video called ''AOC: You Crazy'' was also removed by Facebook and used to issue a community guidelines violation against the page. The video is still available on YouTube:
Conservative nonprofit PragerU noted that their Facebook page of over 4 million followers is also at risk of being unpublished.
''Why is Facebook only targeting conservatives?'' asked PragerU.
In a comment to Breitbart News, the Hodgetwins said that Facebook's attempt to censor them would not cripple their business. ''Luckily our main revenue stream, our store ( is unimpeded by this election interference.''
Breitbart News has reached out to Facebook for comment.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News, where he has published material from whistleblowers inside Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
Bokhari's upcoming book, #DELETED: Big Tech's Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election is currently available for preoder at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.
Facebook Says Apple Blocked It From Informing About App Store 30% Fee | Nasdaq
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 12:47
Aug 28, 2020 3:55PM EDTFacebook (NASDAQ: FB) is accusing Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) of effectively censoring a notice it tried to impart to its users. On Friday, the social media giant claimed that Apple rejected the inclusion of a warning that the latter company would take 30% of sales in a paid-online events feature Facebook is rolling out in an update of its app.
According to Facebook, Apple cited a provision in its App Store rule prohibiting developers from conveying "irrelevant" information.
Facebook was launching the feature within its latest update for its app on Apple's iOS mobile operating system. The feature allows users to create for-pay online events, and is intended to help businesses and people recoup some revenue lost from activities now limited by the coronavirus pandemic. According to Facebook, it asked Apple to waive its fee for these users, but the company refused.
Image source: Getty Images.
"Now more than ever, we should have the option to help people understand where money they intend for small businesses actually goes," Facebook said in a statement that was disseminated in various media. "Unfortunately Apple rejected our transparency notice around their 30% tax but we are still working to make that information available inside the app experience."
Reuters, which originally broke the story, said that Facebook had originally planned to publish a similar message for its update on Alphabet's Google Play store. That message did not appear in the update that ultimately appeared on the store. However, Facebook has not made any public statements about that situation, nor has Alphabet.
Similarly, Apple has not offered comment on Facebook's accusations.
In mid-afternoon trading on Friday, neither company was keeping pace with the gains of the broader stock market. Apple was a laggard with its modest 0.2% gain, while Facebook was trading down 0.4%.
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Trending Topics Markets US Markets IPOs Technology Trending Articles Why Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian Cruise Line Stocks Roared Back to Life This Morning 1 day ago 2 Top Tech Stocks Under $20 Per Share Aug 14, 2020 7 Explosive Cryptocurrencies to Buy for the Bitcoin Halvening Feb 21, 2020 Oppenheimer Says These 2 Stocks Could Surge Over 100% From Current Levels Aug 21, 2020 In This Story AAPL FB GOOGL GOOG The Motley Fool Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.
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Apple doubles down on app store commissions policy - Business Insider
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 13:14
Apple is locked in an escalating standoff with app developers who are upset that Apple takes a commission of up to 30% from all in-app purchases.This week, the creators of a new email app called Hey publicly slammed Apple as "gangsters" after Apple rejected Hey from the App Store. Hey creators said Apple was forcing it to recategorize its $99 annual subscription fee as an in-app purchase in order to take a cut of the profits.Apple doubled down in an email to Hey creators Thursday, saying the app would remain banned from the App Store until Hey reclassifies its $99 subscription fee as an in-app purchase. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Despite a public backlash from app developers, Apple isn't backing down on its controversial policy of siphoning up to 30% of revenue from apps that appear in Apple's App Store.
The tech giant was the target of heated criticism this week from Basecamp, an app maker that just released a new email app called Hey. Users of Hey must pay a $99 subscription fee, but the app initially guided users to make that payment outside the app to avoid Apple taking a commission. Apple banned Hey from its App Store as a result.
On Thursday, Apple doubled down on its policy. The company said in an email to Hey's creators that it would have to retool the app to let people buy subscriptions in-app before Apple would let it back into the App Store. The email was first reported by NBC News.
"We understand that Basecamp has developed a number of apps and many subsequent versions for the App Store for many years, and that the App Store has distributed millions of these apps to iOS users," the email reads.
Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson criticized Apple's decision in a tweet Thursday, calling the email "just more edicts from the monopoly king."
'--DHH (@dhh) June 18, 2020An Apple spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple's App Store has drawn scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers, who have criticized it as a monopoly where Apple can punish competitors without retribution. Rep. David Cicilline, chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee, told The Verge Thursday that Apple's commission amounts to "highway robbery." Apple is the defendant in a lawsuit filed by two app developers over its App Store policy enforcement.
Apple Terminates Fortnite Creator Epic Games' Dev Account
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 14:16
Well, hopefully you didn't delete Fortnite this summer in a vain attempt to stop it from consuming your household's every waking moment. Because, as of Friday, you can no longer download it, or any other Epic Games product, from Apple's App Store. According to Variety, the tech giant has terminated the company's developer account entirely, in the midst of an ongoing legal battle.
What legal battle, you might ask? Well, while it's been building for a while, on August 13, Epic sued Apple and Google, alleging they are effectively operating an ''unlawful monopoly'' by taking a 30% ''tax'' from all digital purchases. The developer had been kicked off Apple's App Store and Google Play after offering users a 20% discount if they made in-game purchases from Epic directly, a feature they incorporated into a software update earlier this month. On Monday, August 24, a judge denied Epic's attempt to gain a temporary restraining order to keep Fortnite available, while granting one to protect Epic Games' game development platform Unreal Engine, which brings us to today.
''We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store,'' Apple said in a statement Friday. ''We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases. The court recommended that Epic comply with the App Store guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they've followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused. Instead, they repeatedly submit Fortnite updates designed to violate the guidelines of the App Store. This is not fair to all other developers on the App Store and is putting customers in the middle of their fight. We hope that we can work together again in the future, but unfortunately that is not possible today.''
''Seeing a billion-user company go Keyser S¶ze is disturbing,'' Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted Thursday about the legal battle. ''Apple could've just disputed Epic direct payment in court. Instead, they blocked Fortnite updates on iOS, and threatened Unreal Engine - imperiling millions of game developers, and 100,000,000's of their customers.''
While new potential players, or those who had previously deleted their games, currently cannot download Fortnite, Infinity War, or any other Epic game, users who already have the games downloaded to their Apple device can play them as they normally would, but will no longer be able to receive updates.
Ministry of Truthiness
Rivals plan Fox News-style opinionated TV station in UK | Media | The Guardian
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 11:52
Rival efforts are under way to launch a Fox News-style opinionated current affairs TV station in Britain to counter the BBC.
One group is promising a news channel ''distinctly different from the out-of-touch incumbents'' and has already been awarded a licence to broadcast by the media regulator, Ofcom, under the name ''GB News''. Its founder has said the BBC is a ''disgrace'' that ''is bad for Britain on so many levels'' and ''needs to be broken up''.
A rival project is being devised in the headquarters of Rupert Murdoch's British media empire by the former Fox News executive David Rhodes, although it is unclear whether it will result in a traditional TV channel or be online-only.
Both are pitching to a perceived gap in the market for opinionated video output fuelled by growing distrust of the BBC among some parts of its audience, especially on the political right over culture war issues such as Brexit and whether Rule, Britannia! should be sung at the Last Night of the Proms.
The prize is twofold: the political influence that would come with breaking the BBC and Sky's control of British rolling news, along with the potential profits if it is possible to replicate some of the enormous audiences that tune in to watch opinionated talkshow hosts in the US, where Fox News is hugely profitable.
GB News is the work of a company called All Perspectives, controlled by two British-American executives who are associated with the US billionaire John Malone. Known as the ''cable cowboy'', Malone chairs Liberty Global, the owner of Virgin Media, as well as the parent company of the Discovery television network.
Andrew Cole, one of the co-founders of GB News, also sits on the board of Liberty Global. He told the Guardian he hoped to be able to discuss the project in September, but he has previously made clear his views on the broadcasting landscape.
He told his LinkedIn followers that the BBC was ''possibly the most biased propaganda machine in the world'' and to ''watch out for announcements of famous presenters and the launch of a completely new TV news channel for the UK '' one that will be distinctly different from the out-of-touch incumbents''. He added: ''The people need and want this new perspective.''
Sources with knowledge of the project suggested GB News was in discussions with Discovery about a tie-up, with the potential for an announcement in September. It has a licence in place and while this does not guarantee the channel will make it to air '' or that it will be called GB News '' it means Ofcom has been provided with the outline business case, distribution plans and intended audience. Discovery declined to comment.
The challenge both projects face is the UK's strict broadcast rules on due impartiality, enforced by the media regulator. One possible route around them is to follow the lead of the radio station LBC, which has achieved record audiences by realising that the rules can be interpreted to allow strongly opinionated presenters, so long as they are balanced out elsewhere in the schedule with alternative viewpoints.
A similar model has been followed by Piers Morgan's outbursts on ITV's Good Morning Britain, which regularly become talking points online and drive substantial traffic to tabloid newspapers. News UK's TalkRadio has pushed this tactic further, with regular debates on culture war hot topics rapidly turned into clips shared on social media.
Rhodes, who was hired by News UK in the spring and most recently served as president of CBS News, is said by sources at the company to have the backing of Lachlan Murdoch, the heir apparent to the business empire. He has been seen taking an interest in the TalkRadio model. A News UK spokesperson declined to comment on the suggestion that a fully fledged news channel was in the works but confirmed he was continuing to work on ''video projects''.
One of the great unknowns of any such project is the role of Nigel Farage. The former Ukip leader left LBC amid staff anger over his comments on migrants crossing the Channel, but he has the potential to deliver a ready-made anti-BBC, pro-Brexit audience. He has recently appeared on the Sun's YouTube channel and TalkRadio, both owned by News UK.
Big Pharma
Iloperidone - Wikipedia
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 14:43
Iloperidone, commonly known as Fanapt and previously known as Zomaril, is an atypical antipsychotic for the treatment of schizophrenia.
Medical uses Edit Iloperidone is indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia. In a 2013 study in a comparison of 15 antipsychotic drugs in effectivity in treating schizophrenic symptoms, iloperidone demonstrated mild effectiveness. As effective as lurasidone, and 13 to 15% less effective than ziprasidone, chlorpromazine, and asenapine.[1]
It generally appears to work better than placebo.[2]
Side effects Edit Examination of the safety and tolerability of iloperidone have shown that at a 5 mg/day dose in healthy male volunteers, the drug was fairly well tolerated, although hypotension, dizziness, and somnolence were very common side effects ranging from mild to moderate in severity. A second study showed that co administration of food decreased the severity of these effects. This study also indicated that repeat administration of iloperidone could decrease the effects of hypotension.[3]
The approved dose is 12''24 mg not 5 mg. However, claims of better tolerance have been reported.
In some cases (prevalence unknown), it can greatly increase agitation and aggressivity like all antipsychotics drugs.[citation needed ]
Discontinuation Edit The British National Formulary recommends a gradual withdrawal when discontinuing antipsychotics to avoid acute withdrawal syndrome or rapid relapse.[4] Symptoms of withdrawal commonly include nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.[5] Other symptoms may include restlessness, increased sweating, and trouble sleeping.[5] Less commonly there may be a feeling of the world spinning, numbness, or muscle pains.[5] Symptoms generally resolve after a short period of time.[5]
There is tentative evidence that discontinuation of antipsychotics can result in psychosis.[6] It may also result in reoccurrence of the condition that is being treated.[7] Rarely tardive dyskinesia can occur when the medication is stopped.[5]
Pharmacology Edit Iloperidone is a monoamine directed towards acting upon and antagonizing specific neurotransmitters, particularly multiple dopamine and serotonin receptor subtypes. It is considered an 'atypical' antipsychotic because it displays serotonin receptor antagonism, similar to other atypical antipsychotics. The older typical antipsychotics are primarily dopamine antagonists.
Iloperidone has been shown to act as an antagonist at all tested receptors. It exhibits high (nM) affinity to serotonin 5HT2A (Ki value of 5.6 nM), dopamine D2 (6.3 nM) and D3 (7.1 nM) and noradrenaline α1 receptors (0.36 nM)[8], moderate affinity for dopamine D4 (25 nM), serotonin 5HT6 (43 nM), 5HT7 (22 nM), and low affinity for the serotonin 5HT1A (168 nM), dopamine D1 and histamine H1 receptors. In addition, pharmacogenomic studies identified single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with an enhanced response to iloperidone during acute treatment of schizophrenia.[9][10]
Regulatory approval Edit It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States on May 6, 2009.
Hoechst Marion Roussel Inc. made initial inquiries into the drug; however, in May 1996, they discontinued research, and in June 1997 gave research rights to Titan Pharmaceuticals. Titan then handed over worldwide development, manufacturing and marketing rights to Novartis in August 1998. On June 9, 2004, Titan Pharmaceuticals announced that the Phase III development rights have been acquired by Vanda Pharmaceuticals. The original launch date was scheduled for 2002. On November 27, 2007, Vanda Pharmaceuticals announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had accepted their New Drug Application for iloperidone, confirming the application is ready for FDA review and approval.[11] On July 28, 2008, the FDA issued a not-approvable letter to Vanda Pharmaceuticals concerning the drug, stating that further trials are required before a decision can be made concerning marketed usage of iloperidone.[12]
Iloperidone was approved by the FDA for the treatment of schizophrenia in the United States on May 6, 2009.[13]
See also Edit List of investigational anxiolyticsReferences Edit ^ Leucht S, Cipriani A, Spineli L, Mavridis D, Orey D, Richter F, Samara M, Barbui C, Engel RR, Geddes JR, Kissling W, Stapf MP, L¤ssig B, Salanti G, Davis JM (September 2013). "Comparative efficacy and tolerability of 15 antipsychotic drugs in schizophrenia: a multiple-treatments meta-analysis". Lancet. 382 (9896): 951''62. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60733-3. PMID 23810019. ^ Scott, LJ (October 2009). "Iloperidone: in schizophrenia". CNS Drugs. 23 (10): 867''80. doi:10.2165/10489070-000000000-00000. PMID 19739696. ^ Sainati SM, Hubbard JW, Chi E, Grasing K, Brecher MB (July 1995). "Safety, tolerability, and effect of food on the pharmacokinetics of iloperidone (HP 873), a potential atypical antipsychotic". Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 35 (7): 713''20. doi:10.1002/j.1552-4604.1995.tb04112.x. PMID 7560252. ^ Joint Formulary Committee, BMJ, ed. (March 2009). "4.2.1". British National Formulary (57 ed.). United Kingdom: Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-85369-845-6. Withdrawal of antipsychotic drugs after long-term therapy should always be gradual and closely monitored to avoid the risk of acute withdrawal syndromes or rapid relapse. ^ a b c d e Haddad, Peter; Haddad, Peter M.; Dursun, Serdar; Deakin, Bill (2004). Adverse Syndromes and Psychiatric Drugs: A Clinical Guide. OUP Oxford. p. 207''216. ISBN 9780198527480. ^ Moncrieff J (July 2006). "Does antipsychotic withdrawal provoke psychosis? Review of the literature on rapid onset psychosis (supersensitivity psychosis) and withdrawal-related relapse". Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. 114 (1): 3''13. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.2006.00787.x. PMID 16774655. ^ Sacchetti, Emilio; Vita, Antonio; Siracusano, Alberto; Fleischhacker, Wolfgang (2013). Adherence to Antipsychotics in Schizophrenia. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 85. ISBN 9788847026797. ^ Mauri MC, Paletta S, Maffini M, Colasanti A, Dragogna F, Di Pace C, Altamura AC (2014-10-13). "Clinical pharmacology of atypical antipsychotics: an update". EXCLI Journal. 13: 1163''91. PMC 4464358 . PMID 26417330. ^ Scott L.Iloperidone: In Schizophrenia Archived 2011-10-08 at the Wayback Machine. CNSDrugs 2009; 23(10):867-880. doi:10.2165/10489070-000000000-00000. ^ Brunton, LL (2010). Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Twelfth Edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Medical. ISBN 9780071769396. ^ "Vanda Pharmaceuticals Receives FDA Acceptance of Iloperidone New Drug Application" (Press release). Vanda Pharmaceuticals. November 27, 2007 . Retrieved 2007-11-27 . ^ "FDA Issues Not Approvable Letter for Iloperidone to Vanda Pharmaceuticals" (Press release). Vanda Pharmaceuticals. July 28, 2008 . Retrieved 2008-08-08 . ^ "Vanda's Schizophrenia Drug Wins Approval From U.S. Regulators" (Press release). Bloomberg. May 6, 2009 . Retrieved 2009-05-06 . External links Edit Fanapt Prescribing Information
Obama Gate
SHOCK! The list of arrests and executions of famous deep state ~ July 10, 2020 | Rose Rambles...
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:08
Editor's Note: The news for America is so filtered, that the truth is often unavailable for Americans. So'...I was exceedingly glad to have this article from a Greek newspaper sent to me (Thanks Alice'...!), and I will share with you.
Please read, learn our world is indeed corrupt on a global basis which is being cleaned up NOW, and then BE in '...
Quantum Joy!
Sooo overy much is going on ''behind the scenes'' which we, the public do not see and this Greek article is presented as a sign and signal that, in our reality'...all is well NOW with daily improvement for the introduction of Light (knowledge, truth, information) into our world.
Hold on, the best is yet to BE, use your Magnificent Hearts to find, hold and BE the Quantum LOVE which you ARE, and then BE in'...
Quantum Joy!
Arrests and executions of famous people.The list of the first 81 celebrities who have been arrested or executed.
We present to you the list of the 81 names of famous, political, actors, singers who served the Deep State, but many of them have been arrested and have already been executed.
We have told you in previous articles, but also in videos, that many of those who committed horrific crimes against humanity will be arrested.
Of course, many of you thought we were writing and saying inaccuracies by spreading false news.
Because this issue of arrests is serious and we know that there is a ''war'' against Trump by the systemic media, which has taken a lot of money to intimidate people with issues such as covid-19, vaccines, fines and all the negatives now to keep the world in a negative, we also take care to give you the right information.
Today, Thursday, June 4, 2020, in ''Slaughter'', we publish a long list of 81 names of celebrities, some of whom have been arrested and others have been executed.
This is because you need to know exactly what is going on and understand who is making fun of you.
Already many in the world have been exposed to their big lies, such as politicians, journalists, actors and others, trying to convince us of a virus that kills, about how necessary vaccines and other such nonsense are, which turned out to be a big lie.
Of course, in all this mockery of the mockery, they have mixed the President of the United States, Donald Trump, who, of course, has been fighting the deep state for 3 years and on the occasion of the corona, he started arresting all those who have committed crimes against her. of humanity.
As we told you, the Coroner was the cover for the mass arrests. The lock downs are made so that there is no unnecessary traffic on the streets and the work of the international police is facilitated.
Before you read the names, we need to explain a few things.How the arrests are made.
The arrests are being made by special police teams in plain political clothes. We saw the arrest of Obama. The arrest was made simply and quickly, so as not to be noticed by the public.READ: THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM OF THE PERSON IS UNACCEPTABLE
Watch this video:
All these arrests were made in this way. If convicted of child trafficking, pedophilia, or crimes against humanity, he will be executed. If convicted, they will be executed. Before the trial, if the person has proof of someone else to help the business, or is willing to help Trump and they want to work together and do things to get Trump to leave a possible life sentence, then they are allowed to do so if they have serious evidence.
When a negotiation is completed, the defendant must present what he has to mitigate his sentence. This information is provided to the prosecution, the defense and the judge. If accepted, the plea agreement is presented, and then they must make a written statement and admit guilt for the crime with a video confession and a written statement. This is how all processes work.
All the people arrested were traitors or involved in satanic worship ceremonies, which involved torturing children and then killing them as a sacrifice. Then they drank their blood, which contained adrenoceptor chromium. These are called crimes against humanity and demand death as punishment. Trump has signed an executive order calling for the death penalty for those involved in crimes against humanity or treason to be brought to justice and sentenced to death.How betrayal is characterized.
If the detainees took orders from the ''deep state'' and carried out those orders. This is called betrayal.
Obama said, ''I just followed orders.'' Yes, that made him a traitor. He made a deal and was released for a while to help Trump, but during that time, he violated the waiver agreement and reappeared so that he could be executed by shooting him in the back of the head.
Big Mike's wife was executed shortly afterwards. We will find out next year when all this will be released. Obama, of course, also betrayed Big Mike to make a deal.
All those arrested made a confessional video to negotiate, even if it was a mere death by lethal injection instead of being shot by a group or hanged. Deadly injections are a preferred way to die. You just sleep and don't wake up. It is painless and peaceful. Big Mike chose the lethal injection.Î--Î
Clones and lifebuoys.Some who have been executed have life jackets or clones.
They are placed by the ''good'' ones, to make people believe that they are still in worship. This means that people who are not awake will not be angry or upset to start rioting against the government to execute someone they loved. Like Madonna, Tom Hanks, or another celebrity.
Or get so upset that they have to go to the hospital. Many will not be able to accept that they have been lied to throughout their lives.
Believe it or not, there are many Democrats out there who still love Obama and Michelle. Michelle was recently at PBS reading books to children, and Obama appeared with her at a meeting. These are videos made with CGI. They are fake. Both are dead.
Even on Greek channels, we saw a card with statements by Rita Wilson, who commented on the alleged death of George Froyd.
The C.G.I.If you watch a video of a person arrested and executed on television, this is done using the CGI (Computer Generated Imaginary) method. That is, with image production technology using a computer. If the person makes a personal appearance, it will be a lifeline or a clone. Mike Pence, who you've seen on TV with Trump, is a clone. He was arrested long after the coup against Paul Ryan
If they announce that a person has died of a coronavirus '' covid-19, they will not have a lifeline or a clone, because people will officially know that he has died.
Harvey Weinstein was said to have died of coronavirus-19.
John McCain was executed and his daughter admitted it. Watch the relevant video.
The arrest of Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Rodham Clinton died the day she spoke at the 9/11 event and crashed into the SUV when she was told she was under arrest. She was rushed to her daughter's house because she had a medical facility for her. A lifeguard came out and said it was okay. At this medical facility at Chelsea's daughter's home, she used adrenochromium to rejuvenate her, having a special medical lab there to extract it from babies and blood. Her body was transported to Greenland and put on ice, where you keep it in plant condition. He became a special court and was sentenced
Hillary Rodham Clinton died the day she spoke at the 9/11 event and crashed into the SUV when she was told she was under arrest. She was rushed to her daughter's house because she had a medical facility for her. A lifeguard came out and said it was okay. At this medical facility at Chelsea's daughter's home, she used adrenochromium to rejuvenate her, having a special medical lab there to extract it from babies and blood. Her body was transported to Greenland and put on ice, where you keep it in plant condition. He was tried in a special court and sentenced to death by hanging. All this is recorded by analog video. All video confessions were made in analog video.READ: Sorry for Boris Johnson, who couldn't stand the corona.By the way, Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) prisons are full. Some of those arrested are under house arrest or in GITMO, litigation is still ongoing, and a better conviction is being negotiated.
Bill Gates, for example, will not be able to negotiate a more favorable sentence because the same information he uses will not help him. It will go for execution.
There are many who have been arrested and are not on this list because they were simply not famous enough. Thousands of arrests were made.
And they continue'...
We do not give you dates for arrests or executions, because we simply do not have that information. Most of these people have been charged with crimes against humanity. Some have been accused of treason. Some were charged with both.Below is a list of the 81 names of celebrities. Editor's Note: Those listed in red are to have already been executed, those names in white have been arrested.)
VIDEO-Ronald Reagan Triggers Leftists by Being Prominently Featured in Highly Anticipated 'Call of Duty'
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:52
A conservative icon may have just infiltrated the mainstream culture '-- and American progressives are incensed.
Triple-A video game studio Activision Publishing, Inc. has revealed, in partnership with developers Treyarch and Raven Software, that former President Ronald Reagan will play a feature role in the latest highly anticipated installment of its blockbuster series ''Call of Duty.''
The development came Wednesday, as the companies involved gave fans a taste of the debut narrative trailer for ''Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War'' by way of an interactive in-game event conducted in the series' most recent installment, ''Call of Duty: Warzone.''
The trailer not only featured all the explosive war montage cinematics that have grown synonymous with ''Call of Duty'' over the course of the game's roughly 17-year life span, but also a glimpse at the new installment's plot, which will center around previously introduced series protagonists engaged in a spy thriller spanning the Cold War's most notable conflicts.
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive:
TRENDING: Skateboarder in Biden's Backyard Hits Nominee's 'You Ain't Black' Comment, Explains Why He's on the Trump Train
It was also revealed, however, that an uncanny computer-generated likeness of Reagan will be a major shot-caller in the new game, briefing and encouraging the main characters on their globetrotting mission to track down a Soviet operative and, you know, save the ''free world.''
This was apparently enough to poison the well with progressive consumers and video game journalists, many of whom expressed their disappointment and disgust on social media or in the pages of prominent technology blogs.
In no time at all, The Verge had published a response, accusing the computerized ''Gipper'' of sending players overseas to ''do war crimes'' throughout the game, which is set to be released Nov. 14.
Ronald Reagan sends you to do war crimes in the latest Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War trailer
'-- The Verge (@verge) August 27, 2020
''Incorporating a real-life historical and political figure '-- one whose tenure still has controversial effects on modern-day politics, including the imminent 2020 election '-- is definitely a move,'' reporter Nick Statt wrote.
''It's an even weirder one when you consider what the trailer has Reagan doing: ordering you, the player, and your fellow clandestine operatives to essentially break the law and commit potential war crimes in order to save the 'free world.'''
''It's a good thing Reagan is here to reassure us, the players, that what we're doing is in fact Good, or else Call of Duty fans everywhere might get the wrong impression about America's role in geopolitical conflicts around the globe. Can't have that happening!'' Statt added.
The Verge was not the only outlet with with an author seemingly opposed to Reagan's inclusion in the game.
RELATED: Fortnite Erases Police Cars from Wildly Popular Kids Video Game
Bryant Francis, contributing editor to prominent community video game blog Gamasutra, also chimed in on the controversy, writing in a more than 1,500-word blog post that he worries Reagan's inclusion indicates ''the more noxious elements of his legacy are again being whitewashed in favor of reviving the myth of Reagan as a Cold War hero.''
Call of Duty giving us the Reagan propaganda we apparently need in 2020
'-- Carli Velocci 'ž 🛌 (@velocciraptor) August 27, 2020
''It isn't so much that I'm saying Ronald Reagan shouldn't be portrayed in the Call of Duty series, it's that his inclusion, especially as a mission briefer, creates a set of values that are informed by his legacy,'' Francis wrote. ''The violence of Call of Duty, which has always struggled to contextualize less 'moral,' post World War II conflicts, now is ordained by conservatism's patron saint.''
Now Francis is, of course, one of many left-wing video game journalists to advocate for the politicization of the industry in recent years. The author admitted as much in his post, noting that he has often ''egged developers on'' to introduce social justice themes and modern political issues to their games.
The inclusion of modern conservatism's most prominent and beloved founding father, however, was apparently a bridge too far.
From his escalation of anti-Communist proxy wars and increased regulation of American welfare to his handling of the AIDS crisis, Ronald Reagan's policies supposedly served to tear ''apart the lives of real people.''
If ''Call of Duty'' was going to include the man, Francis argued, the game could at least show audiences the ''values he stood for were a fig leaf for awful, often race-driven violence, and the America he was defending was not necessarily a country all Americans have gotten to live in.''
I was glib here on Twitter yesterday but Ronald Reagan being ''your briefer'' in Call of Duty kind of sucks! Here's why:
'-- Bryant Francis is isolating on Ahch-To (@RBryant2012) August 27, 2020
Forget a video game, I guess. Let's just have a left-wing history lessons instead, shall we?
How ridiculous. Not to mention none of this even begins to account for the numerous blue checkmark and average Joe social media users who spouted off at the mouth when Reagan's computer-generated likeness stepped into the frame.
Do you support the inclusion of more conservative icons in modern media?
96% (408 Votes)
4% (18 Votes)
If you listen closely enough, you can almost hear the pathetic conversations carried out behind closed doors in left-wing households and newsrooms nationwide the moment it happened.
''Wait '... Ronald Reagan is in the game '... and they aren't even making him a caricature of an evil or senile old man? I guess I'm not playing.''
Well, good riddance. I'll take two copies.
It isn't every day Republican icons gets a fair shake in a widely acclaimed pop culture mainstay.
In fact, quite the opposite. Conservatives who pay attention to this sort of thing find themselves disappointed more often than not '-- forced to watch as their favorite films, television programs and video games are injected with all manner of anti-conservative propaganda and praise for progressive social justice.
Heck, when was the last time you watched a modern movie or television show through to its conclusion without being subjected to a joke or one-off line at the expense of President Donald Trump and his Republican supporters?
It's probably been a while.
So, by all weights and measures, this is a step in the right direction '-- an opportunity for countless young people to see conservative leadership faithfully represented on the screen for what may be the first time.
''Call of Duty'' is the quintessential video game of the early 21st century.
According to Forbes, the franchise sold at least 15 million units for each of its annual releases between 2007 and 2015, and saw its 2019 iteration, ''Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,'' pull in roughly $600 million in sell-through revenue in its first 72 hours on the market.
Such data leaves little up to the imagination.
Whether progressives like it or not, independent and irresolute right-wing video game audiences are about to come face to face with the compassionate and charismatic conservatism of old.
Let's hope the introduction leaves a lasting impact.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
VIDEO-Gov. Newsom Provides Update On State's Response To Wildfires, COVID-19 - YouTube
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:40
VIDEO-Disney guest hits security guard and threatens to kill him over mask mandate - NBC2 News
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:37
ORLANDO, Fla.(WESH) '' A man visiting Disney World was not happy when a security guard reminded him and his family to wear a mask that fit Disney's requirements.
Enrico Toro, 35, was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge after he allegedly hit a Disney security guard in the head and threatened to kill him for enforcing Disney's face mask requirement, NBC2's affiliate WESH reports.
Toro and his family, reportedly, arrived to Disney without meeting Disney's mask requirements that started when Disney opened on July 11 and tightened just a week later.
WESH reports, one child's mask was not properly fitted to his face.
Disney requires guests to wear masks that cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly under the chin. The mask must fit snugly against the sides of the face and be secured with ear loops or secured around the head, the policy reads.
Face coverings with exhalation valves, or are made of a mesh-like material with holes are not allowed, according to Disney's face mask requirement.
VIDEO-Turning Coronavirus from Pathogen to Profit London Real Interview David E. Martin Financial Analyst - YouTube
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:27
VIDEO-'Take off the mask!' Thousands gather in London for 'Unite for Freedom' rally, demanding 'back to normal now' (VIDEOS) '-- RT UK News
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:19
Crowds of lockdown-weary Brits gathered in London at a 'Unite for Freedom' rally to protest the Covid-19 measures, an event quickly dubbed a gathering of ''conspiracy loons'' for its strong message against restrictions and mandates.
People began gathering in London's Trafalgar Square around noon and then marched to the Houses of Parliament to show opposition to the ongoing shutdowns, introduced as part of the UK's response to the pandemic.
The rally, called under the slogans of ''No More Lockdowns '' No Social Distancing '' No Masks,'' among others, attracted more than 10,000 people aghast at the looming prospect of another lockdown being introduced, as talk of pandemic's ''second wave'' dominates the media.
One woman told The Guardian's Jason Rodrigues that the government's reactions to the outbreak was ''completely out of proportion,'' lamenting how ''people's liberties have been taken away'' and arguing that it's only going to get ''worse and worse'' '' a common sentiment at the rally.
''People's liberties have been taken away'' Helen, who has travelled from Somerset, explains why she is at today's anti-lockdown rally in Trafalgar Square, London.
'-- Jason Rodrigues (@RodriguesJasonL) August 29, 2020As the crowds grew, they started chanting slogans like ''freedom!'' and ''save our rights.''
Footage showed demonstrators, many of whom did not wear masks, holding signs saying ''No 'New Normal''' and ''Covid-1984,'' while others outright blasted the virus as a ''hoax.''
It is the latter that the media coverage focused on, with some headlines blasting the demonstration as a gathering of ''anti-vaxxers'' and ''conspiracy theorists.''
What didn't help the rally's reputation were the invited controversial speakers like David Icke, who gave a fiery speech proclaiming Covid-19 an ''illusion pandemic'' and praising the rally as an ''island of sanity in a world of madness.'' Social media savored the quotes.
''If you find yourself at a rally in Trafalgar Square arguing against the World Health Organisation ... listening to and agreeing with David Icke ... then you should seek professional advice,'' musician John Spiers tweeted.
I see thousands of people are protesting in Trafalgar Square against the wearing of facemasks and "protesting against a second wave" as if a virus can be reasoned with. Good luck with that...
'-- Jody Thompson (@jodythompson) August 29, 2020If you're wondering how stupid Britain is right now, a group of people who refuse to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are gathering in trafalgar square to protest a second wave of coronavirus
'-- TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) August 29, 2020Another speaker, Kate Shemirani, encouraged everyone in the crowd to give each other a hug and then exclaimed, ''If this was a real virus, technically all of you lot should be sick.''
The gathering has received plenty of media backlash for not adhering to social distancing rules and not wearing masks '' in fact, ''take off the mask'' became its rallying cry at one stage. Ironically, such worries have not been as widely expressed over the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, which have also drawn massive attendance, with many ignoring Covid-19 guidances in the name of social justice.
''How many people calling today's Trafalgar Square anti-lockdown protesters 'covidiots' said the same about the Black Lives Matter protests during the actual lockdown?'' commenter Martin Daubney pointed out on Twitter.
London's rally was just one in a series of recent anti-lockdown events in Europe, where increasingly many people are finding it hard to keep up with the ever-changing Covid-19 regulations and are sceptical of the difference such pandemic attributes as masks make.
Also on Evidence that masks protect from Covid 'not very strong in either direction,' says UK's deputy chief medical officer Even Britain's deputy chief medical officer said this week that evidence that masks protect from Covid-19 is ''not very strong,'' despite the mandates in place.
A similar protest in Berlin was disbanded by police on Saturday after they deemed demonstrators were failing to adhere to social distancing measures. Around 3,000 officers were deployed to police the crowd of 18,000.
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VIDEO-More House Republicans Head For The Exits | The Last Word | MSNBC - YouTube
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 12:09
VIDEO-Trudeau government creating racialized 'inventory' of hires; "That's racist!" says Ezra Levant - YouTube
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 11:56
VIDEO-Bill Gates: I thank the people of Wuhan for their sacrifices - YouTube
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 11:48
VIDEO-Bill Gates responds to vaccine conspiracy theories on CCTV - YouTube
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 11:46
VIDEO-Robert F. Kennedy Jr - Historic Speech in Berlin - 29.8.2020!! - YouTube
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 11:37
VIDEO-Keque🌽 on Twitter: "***🚨NUCLEAR CRINGE ALERT🚨***" / Twitter
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 03:55
Sat Aug 29 05:03:49 +0000 2020
Nnelgy G (short for G) : @Keque_Mage Interviewer: I'm pathetic. Guest: Yes, obviously. Do you have a question?
Sun Aug 30 01:14:11 +0000 2020
🍹 : @Keque_Mage
Sun Aug 30 00:59:34 +0000 2020
David D : @Keque_Mage 'I Hate Brussel Sprouts'Gematria translations : Two Thousand TwentyAnother One Bites The DustPolice Are Looking For You
Sat Aug 29 23:52:09 +0000 2020
Strange Radical : @Keque_Mage I other words, people say a lot of shot. Doesn't make it true.
Sat Aug 29 23:22:20 +0000 2020
steven planck : @Keque_Mage Give that man credit for sticking it up the ''ask'' me another dumb question of CNN. LMAO
Sat Aug 29 21:15:33 +0000 2020
Lynx : @Keque_Mage When you start to realize IQ differences are real.
Sat Aug 29 20:58:40 +0000 2020
dspdrew : @Keque_Mage Until these BLM types start accepting responsibility for some of their problems, they will never get a'...
Sat Aug 29 20:47:56 +0000 2020
Byron Lowbrau : @Keque_Mage *brussels sprouts stupid
Sat Aug 29 18:49:08 +0000 2020
Cool a FLðŸ' : @Keque_Mage @Nova153 ???
Sat Aug 29 18:43:40 +0000 2020
Satoshi Macamoto ðŸš'👨'ðŸŒ¾ : @Keque_Mage Like father, like son - what a pair! 🥴
Sat Aug 29 18:34:01 +0000 2020
MartyMeatball : @Keque_Mage CNN is the laughing stock of the media world and they don't even know it.
Sat Aug 29 18:21:06 +0000 2020
GT : @Keque_Mage A subtle way of saying his son is now a vegetable. Sad.
Sat Aug 29 18:17:49 +0000 2020
Crypto Memes : @Keque_Mage because he didn't want to talk about the truth
Sat Aug 29 18:06:52 +0000 2020
Crypto Memes : @Keque_Mage
Sat Aug 29 17:59:27 +0000 2020
in search of intelligent signs on the internet : @Keque_Mage I get the reference, Mr. Vanderbilt.
Sat Aug 29 17:50:25 +0000 2020
streetmoney21 : @Keque_Mage Sad the democratic party uses @CNN to exploit black people. This is a classic example & why the black c'...
Sat Aug 29 17:38:32 +0000 2020
TheeePalmer : @Keque_Mage I have no further questions on how this happened.
Sat Aug 29 17:20:43 +0000 2020
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UruTrad : @Keque_Mage #brusselsproutsmatter
Sat Aug 29 17:03:20 +0000 2020
UruTrad : @Keque_Mage
Sat Aug 29 17:02:06 +0000 2020
Shiba : @Keque_Mage The CIA didn't program that response pattern into CooperBot v0.12.1. We're very sorry, v0.13 will be out soon.
Sat Aug 29 17:01:37 +0000 2020
á''--á''šŒ'µ : @Keque_Mage @ShirtlessPundit Facts Dont Matter FDM
Sat Aug 29 16:55:20 +0000 2020
fred johansen : @Keque_Mage He had a knife. Just comply and this would not happen
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Mark Cox : @Keque_Mage
Sat Aug 29 16:28:19 +0000 2020
A. Weaver : @Keque_Mage @RealBasedMAGA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sat Aug 29 16:19:31 +0000 2020
david major : @Keque_Mage I love Brussel sprouts with salt and butter!
Sat Aug 29 16:13:44 +0000 2020
Mistermachonacho : @Keque_Mage Brussel sprouts are better wrapped in bacon
Sat Aug 29 15:42:30 +0000 2020
Sissi : @Keque_Mage Sorry I don't get it-Brussels Sprouts??
Sat Aug 29 15:27:18 +0000 2020
jimmygiles : @Keque_Mage @MaybeAmes
Sat Aug 29 15:21:46 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Robert F. Kennedy Junior Berlin 29.08.2020 [ganze Rede]!!! - YouTube
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 03:42
VIDEO-Berlin police halt 'anti-COVID' rally as European cities protest virus curbs | Euronews
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 23:31
Police in Berlin broke up a protest against coronavirus curbs on Saturday and arrested 300 people after demonstrators failed to social distance and wear masks, as other European cities held similar "anti-COVID" marches.
Police in the German capital disbanded the mass protest against COVID-19 curbs just several hours after it started.
"Unfortunately, we have no other option," Berlin police said on Twitter. "All the measures taken so far have not led to compliance with the conditions."
Around 38,000 coronavirus sceptics marched in Berlin after a court initially gave the go-ahead for the demonstration.
"We're here to say: we have to be careful! Coronavirus crisis or not, we must defend our freedoms," Christina Holz, a 22-year-old student, told AFP.
With new coronavirus cases rising since lockdown measures were lifted several months ago, European countries have implemented tighter regulations to contain the outbreak that has killed more than 800,000 globally.
In London, around 1,000 demonstrators calling for an "end to medical tyranny" gathered in Trafalgar Square.
In Paris, up to 300 protesters marched against the government decision to make mask wearing compulsory in all public areas.
"I am simply a citizen angry against the freedom restricting measures which have no medical justification," said Sophie, a Parisian who took part in the protest.
Protesters in the French capital, some waving placards stating "Stop the lies", were quickly surrounded by police who handed out 135 euro fines to those not wearing masks.
Some 1,000 people in the Swiss city of Zurich also called for a "return to freedom".
Berlin authorities previously banned the demonstration, fearing protesters would not carry out social distancing requirements or wear face masks.
Protest organisers and supporters were outraged by the move and flooded social media with messages they would protest anyway, with some calling for violence.
But on Friday evening, Berlin's administrative court sided with the demonstrators, saying there was no indication that organisers would "deliberately ignore" social distancing rules and endanger public health.
The far-right welcomed Friday's court ruling. Leif-Erik Holm, a lawmaker for the anti-migrant AfD party, called the decision to overturn the protest ban "a victory for freedom".
"I am not a far-right sympathiser, I'm here to defend our fundamental freedoms," said Stefan, a 43-year-old protester at the start of the demonstration.
Counter-protestsBut several groups held counter-protests against the main demonstration.
"There must be no tolerance towards racists, anti-Semites, right-wing extremists and Nazis," said left-wing MP Anne Helm.
"That is why I call on all Berliners to take part in the counter-events."
'Take it seriously'The "anti-corona" rally comes as Chancellor Angela Merkel announced tougher coronavirus measures as the country reports an uptick in cases since April.
On Friday, Germany announced a minimum '‚¬50 fine for people caught not wearing face masks where it is compulsory.
"We will have to live with this virus for a long time to come. It is still serious. Please continue to take it seriously," Merkel said.
Meanwhile France said on Friday there had been an "exponential" rise in coronavirus cases with more than 7,000 new infections in 24 hours.
VIDEO-Jacob Blake's father says his conversation with Biden and Harris was like 'speaking to my uncle and one of my sisters' - CNNPolitics
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 14:06
Washington(CNN) The father of Jacob Blake said Friday that his hourlong conversation earlier this week with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris was akin to "speaking to my uncle and one of my sisters."
"They were so comforting that you almost forgot how the situation was really playing out," Jacob Blake Sr. told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day," referring to Biden and Harris. "It was like I was speaking to my uncle and one of my sisters -- literally, literally."
"Biden kept telling me his own issues with his family. That he identifies with what I'm going through. I didn't have to keep telling him. He knew. It felt like he knew," Blake added. "It felt like they knew what was going on. And they didn't act like they were in a hurry to go anywhere. They spent time with us. And the tears that came from (Jacob Blake's) mother in this talk with the Bidens, that was important."
Asked later in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper if he wanted to hear from President Donald Trump, Blake said, "It is too late. He should have called four days ago." He added, "It is too late now."
When asked earlier Friday if Trump had tried to reach out, Blake had replied: "That's a negative."
A video captured by a witness shows a police officer shooting the younger Blake, 29, multiple times in the back in close range. Blake survived the shooting, but his father said Blake is paralyzed from the waist down, although he is unsure if the paralysis is permanent. Blake's three young children were in the car when he was shot, a family attorney says.
CNN reported Wednesday that Biden and Harris had spoken with Blake's parents, sister and other members of the family.
"I told them: Justice must and will be done. You know, our hearts are with his family, especially his children. It's horrible what they saw, watching their father get shot," Biden said of the call in a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday.
Harris, who represents California in the US Senate, called Blake's shooting "tragic" and said it "represents the two systems of justice in America" during an event on Wednesday.
Trump, when asked in an interview Friday night if he thought the officer who shot Blake was justified, said, "I'm looking into it very strongly. I'll be getting reports and I'll certainly let you know pretty soon."
"It was not a good sight. I didn't like the sight of it, certainly, and I think most people would agree with that," the President said during an interview with CNN affiliate WMUR in New Hampshire, in his first comments about the shooting after days of "law and order" messaging during the Republican National Convention.
Two Kenosha police officers have been placed on administrative leave, and the shooting is being investigated by Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley's office and the Wisconsin Justice Department's division of criminal investigation.
CORRECTION: This story has been corrected to reflect that Blake did not say he has spoken with President Trump. It also has been updated with Trump's comments late Friday about the shooting.
CNN's Kate Sullivan, Jason Hoffman, Paul LeBlanc and Sarah Mucha contributed to this report.
VIDEO-LIVE: Protest against coronavirus lockdown measures takes place in London - YouTube
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 13:51
VIDEO-Pushing Back on the Narrative of Modern Systemic Racism & White Privilege by Casey Petersen - YouTube
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 13:29
VIDEO-Kyle Rittenhouse - Let's talk facts in the Kenosha Wisconsin shooting from a Lawyer's standpoint - YouTube
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 12:09
VIDEO-"Human 2.0"? A Wake-Up Call To The World - YouTube
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 02:20
VIDEO-THIS Montage Shows Exactly How The Media Covers Up For Biden - YouTube
Sat, 29 Aug 2020 02:15
VIDEO-Trump pardons Alice Johnson, whose cause was backed by Kim Kardashian | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 20:14
Fri Aug 28, 2020 / 2:45 PM EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump granted a full pardon on Friday to Alice Marie Johnson, a Tennessee woman who received a life sentence for a first-time drug offense and whose cause was taken up by the celebrity Kim Kardashian West.
Trump, who commuted Johnson's sentence in 2018 after she had served more than 20 years in prison, signed the pardon during a meeting with Johnson in the Oval Office.
"We're taking Alice Johnson from a commutation to a full pardon," Trump said. "Alice has done an incredible job since she's been out, recommending other people" who may deserve clemency or a pardon.
Johnson, who spoke at the Republican National Convention this week about her initial commutation, wiped away tears after Trump's announcement.
Kardashian West personally lobbied Trump about Johnson's case.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Leslie Adler)
VIDEO-TikTok interim CEO: We already have synergies with Walmart e-commerce
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 15:15
Published Fri, Aug 28 2020 9:50 AM EDT
Updated 22 min ago
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Though many saw Walmart as an unusual potential buyer for TikTok, the social media app's interim CEO Vanessa Pappas said there are synergies between the two companies.TikTok began testing new social commerce features last year by allowing some users to add links to their profiles and videos.TikTok is under pressure to sell to an American company before Sept. 20 when an executive order banning U.S. entities from transactions with the app would go into effect.Though many saw Walmart as an unusual potential buyer for TikTok, the social media app's interim CEO Vanessa Pappas said the two companies already have a common interest.
"For us, we've been really focused recently on rolling out some e-commerce features. We've been providing that for our creator community as another way for them to earn a livelihood," Pappas said in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Friday. "I think there's a lot of different synergies there."
TikTok began testing new social commerce features last year by allowing some users to add links to their profiles and videos. Levi's was among the first retail brands to use TikTok's new "Shop Now" feature to direct users to merchandise. The company partnered with influencers to spread their message and reported high engagement and traffic to its website in early tests as of April, according to TechCrunch.
TikTok is under pressure to sell to an American company before Sept. 20 when an executive order banning U.S. entities from transactions with the app would go into effect. The Trump administration has raised national security concerns with TikTok due to its Chinese parent company, ByteDance. Members of both parties in Congress have shared fears over the potential for ByteDance to be compelled by the Chinese Communist Party to share American user data.
TikTok has repeatedly disputed that it would share data with Chinese officials, saying TikTok is not offered in China and data for the app is not stored in the country.
Microsoft was the first to emerge as a potential buyer for TikTok as pressure mounted. Though it has had a mixed record on consumer offerings, Microsoft would be able to offer TikTok a strong cloud infrastructure at a well-resourced company. Oracle, another cloud provider, has also emerged as a potential buyer. On Thursday, CNBC reported that Walmart was teaming up with Microsoft on its bid.
Pappas said she's not directly involved in deal talks but saw strengths in both Microsoft and Oracle as technology providers.
"I think if you look at the various players and the partners that we're hearing from, I think they're amazing tech companies," she said. "Oracle has its strengths in terms of being a leading data infrastructure company and focused on security, Microsoft as well, great security and privacy platform as well as everything they're doing with cloud."
Pappas took the helm of TikTok after former CEO Kevin Mayer announced his resignation in a letter leaked to the Financial Times this week. Mayer, a former Disney executive who was thought to be in contention for that CEO job before it was filled by Bob Chapek, said he had been looking forward to running a global company. That the actions of the U.S. government seemed to have changed the role he signed up for.
A deal to buy TikTok's U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand operations could be announced as soon as next week, sources told CNBC. The deal is likely to be valued at $20 billion to $30 billion, according to the sources.
Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.
WATCH: TikTok is growing rapidly, even as it fights a U.S. government ban
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VIDEO-Schools deal with inappropriate content during online learning | KXAN Austin
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 15:13
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- Two Central Texas school districts have reported students being exposed to inappropriate content while meeting and learning online.
On Thursday, Leander ISD confirmed some students heard audible ''moaning sounds'' as they were being let in one by one to a Glenn High School sophomore class meeting. Seconds after hearing the sounds, the meeting was ended.
There were 17 teachers in the meeting monitoring students.
''The incident is under investigation to find the source of the audio (unsure if it was a student) and follow up,'' LISD said.
Earlier this week, Eanes ISD also had an issue where West Ridge Middle School students saw an icon for an inappropriate website on a teacher's desktop. The icon itself wasn't inappropriate, but according to a screenshot referenced ''free porn videos.''
''The district is investigating and will take appropriate action,'' the district said.
VIDEO-Coronavirus stimulus update: Pelosi, Meadows phone call makes no progress
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 15:11
Published Thu, Aug 27 2020 3:57 PM EDT
Updated 4 hours ago
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats and the White House are at a "tragic impasse" on coronavirus relief after a 25-minute phone call between the California Democrat and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. They spoke at length for the first time in weeks after aid talks collapsed earlier this month. Republicans are considering a more narrow, $500 billion proposal to address unemployment insurance and small business loans, among other issues. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows failed to crack a stalemate over coronavirus relief Thursday when they spoke at length for the first time in weeks.
After a 25-minute phone call between the pair, Pelosi issued a statement saying "this conversation made clear that the White House continues to disregard the needs of the American people as the coronavirus crisis devastates lives and livelihoods."
She said the sides stood at a "tragic impasse" after the Trump administration again did not meet her demand to roughly double the price of its aid proposal to $2.2 trillion.
"Democrats are willing to resume negotiations once Republicans start to take this process seriously. Lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy are at stake," the California Democrat said in the statement.
A spokesman for Meadows did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the call.
Negotiations between Democrats, led by Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and the White House, led by Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, collapsed earlier this month amid disagreements on unemployment aid, state and local government relief, and school funding, among other issues. Congress has failed to pass a fifth package to try to combat health and economic crises created by the pandemic even after a $600 per week extra jobless benefit, a federal eviction moratorium and the chance to apply for a small business loan program expired.
As Pelosi pushes for a broader approach to stimulus, Republicans are crafting a more narrow bill that they could soon distribute in Congress, sources told CNBC. The plan, which would cost roughly $500 billion, would address unemployment insurance, a new authorization for small business loans, school funding, and Covid-19 testing, treatment and vaccines.
As Democrats control the House, the bill likely would not get through both chambers of Congress.
Throughout the talks, Democrats and the White House have cited broad differences in how much federal money they want to spend to contain the virus and lift a damaged economy. Democrats in May passed a more than $3 trillion relief bill.
Republicans then in late July released a counterproposal worth about $1 trillion. The sides have made little progress toward crafting a bill that could become law since the GOP unveiled its plan.
After talks broke down, Trump took a series of limited, potentially unconstitutional executive actions to address parts of the crisis. Among other things, they allowed states to offer enhanced unemployment benefits of at least $300 per week for several weeks.
In pushing for a sweeping approach to more coronavirus aid, Democrats have cited comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and others who have warned a lack of fiscal stimulus could jeopardize the U.S. economic recovery.
The House returned from its August recess over the weekend to pass a bill to inject money into the cash-crunched U.S. Postal Service. But Pelosi rejected calls from about half of her caucus to pass stand-alone legislation to reinstate the $600 per week unemployment benefit.
When all of Congress returns in September, it will not only have to consider coronavirus relief plans, but also funding measures to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month.
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VIDEO-13mins-Why Ford Dominates The Market For Police Vehicles - YouTube
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 14:23
VIDEO-13mins-Urgent Information About Your Future
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 13:44
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VIDEO-Media briefing on COVID-19 - YouTube
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 13:31
VIDEO-Pacific Unite: Saving Lives Together - Concert to unite Pacific region in the fight against COVID-19 - YouTube
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 13:16
VIDEO-Kamala Harris on Support for BLM Riots: 'They're Not Gonna Stop' and 'Beware' - YouTube
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 13:07
VIDEO-The Comey Rule (2020) Official Trailer | SHOWTIME Limited Series - YouTube
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 12:11
VIDEO-Class Action Park | Official Trailer | HBO Max - YouTube
Fri, 28 Aug 2020 05:02
VIDEO-blitzed: "" - No Agenda Social
Thu, 27 Aug 2020 20:38
@ blitzed I see the democrats are following the example of breadtube. No open discussions, no back and forth. We'll put forward our propaganda, and you can put forward whatever you want.
Also that human shitstain is STILL lying about Trump calling him a stalker for standing in front of his podium, in the line of sight of one of the cameras following Hillary, who was also in front of her podium. What a vile and vindictive woman.
Thu, 27 Aug 2020 20:28
VIDEO-Remy: Fed Asst'd Printing (WAP Parody) - YouTube
Thu, 27 Aug 2020 20:22
VIDEO-3mins10-08 27 2020 12 55 17 - YouTube
Thu, 27 Aug 2020 20:19

Clips & Documents

All Clips
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AllPages2020ActivityBook (work of Caryn Davidson).zip
Amy ludicrous Trump tease.mp3
belt annd road issues ET.mp3
Berlin protests.mp3
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claudia conways reaction mom speech.mp3
CNN's Daniel Dale fact checks President Donald Trump's RNC speech FAST.mp3
CNN's Daniel Dale fact checks President Donald Trump's RNC speech.mp3
Coronavirus stimulus update - Pelosi, Meadows phone call makes no progress.mp3
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dream come true ISO.mp3
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Gates - CCTV interview April -Thanks Wuhan for their Safrifice.mp3
Gates - CCTV interview April -Thanks Wuhan for their Safrifice.mp3
Gates Bloomberg -1- Hydrixy bumbling stumbling.mp3
Gates Bloomberg -2- Conspiracies.mp3
Gates Bloomberg -3- INFORMATION over innovation.mp3
Gates Bloomberg -4- Climate problem linked to covid kinda.mp3
guiliani speech One.mp3
guiliani speech Three.mp3
guiliani speech Two.mp3
heat ray story.mp3
Jacob Blake's father says his conversation with Biden and Harris was like speaking to my uncle and one of my sisters.mp3
Kamala Harris on Support for BLM Riots - They’re Not Gonna Stop and 'Beware.mp3
KCBS radio's Bob Butler explains Black Bloc.mp3
Kellyanne turns her story into Trump promo FOX.mp3
LeBron James on Blake shooting.mp3
March on Washington redux.mp3
New California Ron PSA intro by Newsom.mp3
new Dutch podcast on slavery NPR.mp3
Obama was architect of NBA walkout.m4a
Pooper with Blake father - Brussel sprouts to police version of the incident.mp3
Rand Paul commentary on his being attacked by mob in DC after RNC.m4a
rando cbc podcast with buzz words.mp3
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Republic invite odd speakers.mp3
Robert F. Kennedy Junior Berlin -2- Digital Money.mp3
Robert F. Kennedy Junior Berlin 1-1 5 thousand Nazis.mp3
Robin Maynard on Abolish police OPPO.mp3
Robin Maynard on Abolish TWO OPPO.mp3
Schools deal with inappropriate content during online learning.mp3
Showtime The Comey Rule Trailer Jeff Daniels and other actors from political shows.mp3
substance abuse 1.mp3
substance abuse 2 voice.mp3
substance abuse 3.mp3
substance abuse 4.mp3
TikTok's interum CEO explains how Walmart fits into its recent e-commerce push.mp3
Trump event rundown by DN.mp3
Trump RNC Speech - Jobs saved or supported.wav
trumps ass.mp3
UN Video Event - Pacific Unite with Final Song WE WILL RISE about covid With Aunty Tala.mp3
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Woman D.C. Mob.wav
write it dont say it.mp3
Yamiche REDUX with Judy not so objective and upgraded fine people lie TRUTH COMES OUT.mp3
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