Art for episode 1274

1274: Thugs on a plane

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 4m
September 3rd, 2020
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Executive Producers: Anonymous, Sir Otaku, Duke of NorthEast Texas and the Red River Valley, Sir Julian, Benjamin Naidus, CMike in Kansas City, Future Sir Psychobot, Dan Smith, Baron Hank Scorpio of the Ottawa Valley

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Gary of Moongate, Sir Nick of The Black Forest, Baron Foxbat, Sir Scampers, Sir Karl with a K, Derek Batenhorst, Shawna Benson, Christina Thomas

Cover Artist: Korrekt Da Rekord

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
1:24
Joe Rogan Report
Guest producer
10:08
Zephyr Report
Guest producer
17:58
Fed Now
Guest producer
32:42
Now the News
Guest producer
38:00
Scared for my kids
Guest producer
1:02:55
Schooling
Guest producer
1:47:10
Joe Biden Report
Guest producer
2:00:07
Thugs On a Plane Ref.
Guest producer
2:43:32
Hate in Media Supercut
Guest producer
Suggest a new chapter
QFS
QFS 2%
Symmetrical interest rates (2%) as per former NY banker
https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/former-central-banker-world-heading-towards-new-monetary-system-incorporates-gold
United States establishes a dozen AI and quantum information science research centers | Science | AAAS
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 22:25
One of the new U.S. artificial intelligence research centers will develop ways to apply the technology to storm and weather prediction.
petesphotography/iStock.com By Adrian ChoAug. 26, 2020 , 5:30 PM
The United States aims to invest $765 million over the next 5 years in a dozen scientific centers dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum information science (QIS), such as quantum computing, the White House announced today. Numerous private tech companies such as IBM, Google, and Intel will also contribute to the twin pushes, which call for a total of more than $1 billion in research investment.
''[T]hese institutes are a manifestation of the uniquely American free-market approach to technological advancement,'' write Michael Kratsios, the White House's chief technology officer, and Chris Liddell, the White House's deputy chief of staff for policy coordination in the announcement. ''Each institute brings together the federal government, industry, and academia, positioning us to leverage the full power and expertise of the United States' innovation ecosystem.''
Seven of the centers will be based at universities and focus on various applications of AI, which generally involves programming that enables a computer to learn to find useful patterns, such as the most effective moves in a board game. Each center will receive $20 million over 5 years, assuming Congress approves the funding, with a down payment coming out of funds already approved for this year. Five will receive support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and two from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Each AI center will focus on a particular application. For example, the University of Oklahoma, Norman, will host NSF's Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography. NSF envisions investing an additional $300 million in grants to support AI work.
The five other centers, to be funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and located at its national laboratories, will focus on myriad aspects of QIS, including developing testbeds for emerging quantum computers, technologies to establish an essentially unhackable quantum internet, and quantum sensors for various applications. DOE has proposed giving each of the five centers $125 million over 5 years. For instance, Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, will host a center called Q-NEXT, which will focus on quantum networks and materials for quantum technologies. In addition to the $625 million that DOE will invest in the centers, private partners and universities will contribute another $300 million to the centers, according to the White House.
Although the announcement brings into focus the locations and purviews of the various centers, the push to develop them isn't new and didn't necessarily originate in the White House. For example, in 2016 the previous administration called for a concerted effort to expand research in AI. And in December 2018, Congress passed the bipartisan National Quantum Initiative Act, which called for, among other things, establishing up to five DOE centers.
Ironically for some researchers, one lead sponsor of that act was former Representative Lamar Smith (R''TX), then-head of the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, who was the bªte noire of many scientists. Smith, who retired from Congress in 2019, raised hackles among some researchers and among Democrats on the committee by insisting, for example, that in reviewing proposals, NSF consider whether work served ''the national interest'' and for questioning the need for government action on climate change. Under his guidance, the science committee, which he led for 6 years, was considered by some observers among the most partisan congressional committees. And yet, he and a bipartisan team came together to craft the quantum initiative.
Now, a large part of that initiative is about to become a reality. Perhaps, following the long tradition of naming federally funded research centers after the lawmakers who made them possible, one of the new centers will bear Smith's name.
Stimulus Deal Getting Closer, But There's More Work To Be Done
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 11:36
Only in Washington can politicians slowly make progress toward a stimulus deal while pounding the table and accusing the other side of being unreasonable. Yet even with negotiations over the next stimulus package at a standstill, the two sides moved $500 billion closer to a deal last week.
Here's what happened and what's left to be done.
Getty Images
Stimulus Negotiations Update Last week the big news on a stimulus package was a telephone call between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Following the 25-minute call, both sides offered little hope. Speaker Pelosi said the parties were at a ''tragic impasse.'' Mr. Meadows said stalled negotiations were due to Speaker Pelosi's ''fantasy objections'' and that she wouldn't explain what her offer would fund.
Move past the sound bites, however, and one can see real progress toward a deal. Recall that the starting positions were $3.4 trillion in the Heroes Act passed by House Democrats and $1 trillion in the HEALS Act introduced by Senate Republicans. During negotiations in early August, Speaker Pelosi offered to come down to $2.4 trillion if Republicans would come up to $2 trillion. That offer was rejected.
At the same time, Republicans offered to come up on specific issues, such as unemployment benefits and aid to state and local governments. Democrats rejected this proposal.
Following the call last week, however, Speaker Pelosi reduced her proposal by $200 billion, down to $2.2 trillion.
''We have said again and again that we are willing to come down [and] meet them in the middle,'' Speaker Pelosi said to reporters. ''That would be $2.2 trillion. When they're ready to do that, we'll be ready to discuss and negotiate. I did not get that impression on that call.''
At the same time, Mr. Meadows came up $300 billion, saying the President would sign a $1.3 trillion package: ''The president right now is willing to sign something at $1.3 trillion,'' Meadows told reporters. He also said that this number had been offered to Democrats.
So while both sides continue to wage a war of words, they did make meaningful progress toward a deal last week.
Stimulus Deal Negotiations Going ForwardWhile $500 billion is significant progress, there is one fundamental disagreement over how to approach further negotiations. Republicans want to evaluate and negotiate each major piece of the stimulus package. This was evident in past negotiations where Republican negotiators made offers on specific pieces of the legislation, such as unemployment benefits and state and local government funding.
In contrast, Democrats want to focus on the top line number. They want to reach agreement on the total cost of the package and then fill in the details later. This was evident in their offer to compromise on the overall cost of the next stimulus package.
The different negotiating strategies bubbled to the surface this week. Mr. Meadows described this in an interview following his call with the Speaker. According to Mr. Meadows, he asked the Speaker during the call what was in her $2.2. trillion proposal, and she wouldn't tell him.
''I had a conversation with Speaker Pelosi. And even on her $2.2 trillion counter offer, she can't tell the American people, nor me, what is in that,'' Meadows said. As reported by The Hill, Meadows added: ''I said,'What does the $2.2 trillion represent?' You know what her response was? 'I'm not going to tell you. Let me fill in the blanks.' That's not a proper negotiation, [nor] is it anything that the American people accept.''
A representative for Speaker Pelosi responded saying that these comments mischaracterized their discussions. They also claimed that Mr. Meadows was unwilling to break down the costs of the Republican proposal.
Resolving the different approaches to further negotiations is critical. If they can get past this hurdle, there's one element of the stimulus bill that could go a long way to helping the parties reach a final agreement'--aid to state and local governments.
How to Bridge the $900 Billion GapAid to state and local governments represents $915 billion of the $3.4 trillion Heroes Act. In contrast, the Republicans have offered $150 billion. Thus, this issue alone represents $765 billion of the $900 billion divide. To date, Speaker Pelosi has been unwilling to reduce this figure, even while proposing that the overall package come down by more than $1 trillion. It's here, however, that potential compromise may be found. Here's why.
Simply put, state and local governments don't need $915 billion, or anything close to that figure. Moody's Analytics puts the budget shortfall at $500 billion. And that's not what state and local governments need now, it's their budget shortfall over the next two years. Even if the federal government covered this entire shortfall, it would close the gap by over $400 billion. An agreement to cover just the next year's state and local government budget shortfall would narrow the gap even further. Such a deal would require both sides to compromise.
Here it's worth noting that stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment benefits also help state and local governments. Stimulus checks bolster spending, which generates sales tax for most states. Unemployment benefits, in addition to increasing spending, also represent taxable income, benefiting those states that levy income tax. These benefits also help homeowners pay their mortgage, which in part goes to real estate taxes. And the federal government has already provided over $765 billion in federal coronavirus spending to state and local governments.
Related: $300 Unemployment Benefit Update
Some Democrats Getting ImpatientThe question remains what, if anything, will incentivize either side to compromise further. Some House Democrats have urged Speaker Pelosi to reach an agreement. More than 100 House Democrats have signed public letters imploring her to find a solution to the impasse and to move forward on certain components of a stimulus deal.
For the Republicans, a stimulus deal could help some Senators at risk of losing their seats. Some believe the Republicans could lose the Senate, and a continued stalemate on another round of stimulus wouldn't help their cause.
There's clearly more work to be done on both sides. The $500 billion progress we saw last week was a positive step toward a stimulus deal. It remains to be seen how and when the parties make further progress.
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4 takeaways from Senate grilling of Mnuchin, Powell on relief plans | American Banker
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 15:25
WASHINGTON '-- Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee urged Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to ensure companies receiving coronavirus relief loans use the funds to pay employees, while Republicans zeroed in on aspects of the Fed's emergency liquidity facilities.
The hearing Tuesday was Powell and Mnuchin's first quarterly update to Congress on the implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which was signed into law in March.
Senators grilled Powell and Mnuchin on the deployment of CARES Act funds, while also seeking feedback on potential future measures Congress could take to stabilize the economy in the midst of the pandemic. The hearing came less than a week after House Democrats passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act, without any Republican support.
Democrats on the Banking Committee emphasized the need for additional economic stimulus, while Republicans were hesitant to support more relief until the funds from the CARES Act were fully dispersed.
Here are takeaways from the hearing:
Democrats want corporations to be accountable for spending.
Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the top Democrat on the committee, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pushed Mnuchin to ensure that companies are accountable for how they use CARES Act funds.
''You've set up CARES act programs that will lend trillions of dollars to companies,'' Brown told Mnuchin. ''Am I right that you are not requiring companies to use the money they borrow to keep their workers on the payroll?"
The thresholds "are established at such a level that many of the small cities and counties across the United States cannot apply for individual loans,'' Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said of the Municipal Liquidity Facility.Bloomberg News
Without saying whether companies are required to keep workers on payroll, Mnuchin said the Treasury Department is implementing the CARES Act appropriately.
''I am following what was the exact letter and spirit of the law that we negotiated with you and others on a bipartisan basis,'' Mnuchin said. ''In some of these facilities, there are specific requirements and I assure you that [Powell] and I are absolutely enforcing those requirements as required in both the literal and spirit of the negotiations.''
Warren further pressed Mnuchin on whether corporations will be criminally charged for misusing CARES Act funds or providing false information on how they are using funds.
''Will you create a certification process that ensures that executives are held personally liable and are subject to criminal penalties if they provide false information or misuse bailout money?'' Warren said
Mnuchin said he will review certification processes and noted that programs, including relief to the airline industry ''had very specific requirements to keep jobs.''
Powell expects all Fed facilities will be "ready to go" by end of the month.
Powell also provided an update on the much-anticipated Main Street Lending Program, saying it is expected to be propped up before the end of May or early June.
Lawmakers have been pushing for the Fed to move quickly to make the program operational.
''So on Main Street, and frankly on all of the other facilities, we expect all of them to be stood up and ready to go by the end of this month,'' Powell said in response to Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who also sits on the CARES Act congressional oversight panel. ''I don't say that it won't be a day or two into June, but that's our expectation. And the funds should be flowing directly after that.''
While the Paycheck Protection Program was intended to help primarily small businesses, the MSLP will be focused on middle-market relief.
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said he was concerned that some businesses won't qualify for loans in any of the programs.
''I have a growing sense that we have a bit of a doughnut hole,'' Tillis said. ''Some businesses that are not quite right for the Paycheck Protection Program because of their size, they are not quite big enough '... to be eligible for the upcoming Main Street lending facilities.''
Mnuchin said the administration is focused on helping as many companies as possible.
''Our objective is to make sure that there are people that don't fall out in between,'' Mnuchin said. ''So between the PPP, the idle loans, and the Main Street program, it is our objective to try to cover as many of those companies as possible.''
Lawmakers worry certain localities will not have access to Municipal Liquidity Facility.
The Fed's Municipal Liquidity Facility has sparked bipartisan concerns. Both committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., said the population thresholds set by the Fed for cities to qualify have made certain communities ineligible to receive aid.
The thresholds "are established at such a level that many of the small cities and counties across the United States cannot apply for individual loans,'' Crapo said in questioning Powell. ''You have indicated that it would be contemplated that the states be able to apply for loans for these smaller cities and counties and there's a lot of concern out there about this.''
Cortez Masto echoed Crapo's sentiment, saying fiscal support for states and local governments is essential.
''That's why funding for our state and local governments is so important,'' Cortez Masto said. ''And I cannot stress that enough. Not only in the next fiscal package that needs to come in to state and local governments, but you also touched on it, the municipal lending facility. I would like to see more of that available to smaller populated states and local governments.''
Powell said that the Fed is willing to lend to states with the purpose of ''downstreaming'' the funds to cities and counties.
Senators are split along party lines on the need to provide additional relief.
Democrats argued that Congress must pass additional coronavirus relief. They cited comments Powell made last week in which he called for more fiscal measures and said ''the passage of time can turn liquidity problems into solvency problems."
''So Congress needs to think about more than just the national debt right now,'' Brown said. ''It's less costly to act today to help people than to pay for our failure to act in the future. Is that right, Mr. Chairman?''
But Powell tried to walk back his previous comments to some extent, saying, ''This is really a question for Congress to weigh.''
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., pressed Powell further, asking whether he would support a bipartisan proposal to provide ''$500 billion in direct support to our state and local governments.''
Powell would not comment on any specific congressional proposals, but pointed to the work the Fed is doing on the Municipal Liquidity Facility.
On the other hand, Toomey said Congress should wait for all of the funds in the CARES Act to be deployed before passing additional relief.
''While we authorized something on the scale of $3 trillion to round things off, of direct spending and lending and then authorized the Fed to complement that with another roughly $3 trillion, that could be $6 trillion,'' Toomey said. ''That's like 30% of our entire annual economic output. And in fact, actually more than half of it has not yet been spent or lent. So I think you can make a pretty strong case that before we rush out and do another spending bill, we actually let some of this stuff go to work and understand the consequences of what we've already done.''
Reporter, American Banker
Would Postal Banking Save the Post Office?
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 15:30
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Crapo Letter to OCC on Cryptocurrency, Payments | United States Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Thu, 03 Sep 2020 12:50
September 01, 2020WASHINGTON,D.C. '' U.S. SenatorMike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, todaysent a letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)encouraging it to develop rules of the road for the use of cryptocurrenciesand/or distributed ledger technology (DLT) in payments for national banks.
The OCC is seeking input on the digital activities of banks andfederal savings associations. ChairmanCrapo's letter requests an update on its findings and information regarding nextsteps the OCC intends to take with this technology.
Read the letter here or below.
September 1, 2020
Brian Brooks
Acting Comptroller of the Currency
Office of the Comptroller of theCurrency
400 7th St SW
Washington, DC 20219
Dear Acting Comptroller Brooks:
The Senate Banking Committee hasheld hearings on cryptocurrencies and digitalization in the payments system,including the impact of distributed ledger technology, blockchain andstablecoins. The Office of the Comptrollerof the Currency (OCC) has taken the lead in seeking input on the digitalactivities of banks and federal savings associations by issuing a June 4Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on a variety of areas importantto financial technology (fintech) and digital currency issuers, including:
What activities related to cryptocurrencies or cryptoassetsare financial services companies or bank customers engaged in and what are thebarriers or obstacles to further adoption of crypto-related activities in thebanking industry; How is distributed ledger technology used or potentiallyused in activities related to banking; What new payments technologies and processes should the OCCbe aware of and what are the potential implications of these technologies andprocesses for the banking industry; and What new or innovative tools do financial services companiesuse to comply with regulations and supervisory expectations (i.e., ''regtech'')? Please provide the committee with anupdate on its findings and the next steps the OCC intends to take with thistechnology.
The cryptocurrency ecosystem is asdiverse in its products and functions as the rest of financial services. These and similar innovations are inevitable,beneficial and the U.S. should lead in their development. Your office recently published a letter thatclarifies national banks' and federal savings associations' authority toprovide cryptocurrency custody services for customers. It would be prudent to provide similarclarity for payments. The U.S. shoulddevelop clear rules of the road that protect businesses and consumers withoutstifling futureinnovation.
Sincerely,
MikeCrapo
UnitedStates Senator
###
Previous Article
BLM
BLM rioters have a surprise coming: phone tracking
N.J. teen behind BLM rally Emily Gil receives bill for thousands of dollars for police overtime - CBS News
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 03:43
A New Jersey teen thought she was only exercising her First Amendment right when she organized a rally in support of Black Lives Matter. Not long after, she received a bill for thousands of dollars in the mail from the mayor, CBS New York reports.
The mayor has since said he is rescinding it.
Emily Gil, who is 18, was inspired to hold a rally in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, this summer after watching thousands of Americans show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
"It's an issue we care about. And we notice these issues in our own town, so we can do something about it," Gil said.
She also wanted to highlight a lack of affordable housing.
Gil said she notified local officials in June about the protest and even met with the police chief to iron out logistics. The protest went off without a hitch on July 25 and lasted about 90 minutes.
A few days later, Gil said she received a letter from Mayor Mario Kranjac, billing her for about $2,500 worth of police overtime used during the protest.
"I was shocked when I read that I had to pay to exercise my First Amendment right," said Gil. She thinks she was targeted for her take on affordable housing in the community.
The mayor said he is the first in decades to combat the housing issue and had no problem with the protest.
"And we made sure that we fulfilled and satisfied our obligation to make sure that they can exercise their freedom of speech and to peaceably assemble," said Kranjac.
Kranjac said the borough has an ordinance in place that allows it to bill for any expenses incurred for police services at private events. The bill sent to Gil was standard protocol, he said.
"We always bill ... the bicycle race or running race or any other event, where our police are used, including utility work, people pay for the overtime," said the mayor.
He later said, however, that he is rescinding the bill, which he said was issued pursuant to advice he received from the borough administrator who he understands consulted the borough attorney.
"I was told that all private events requiring police overtime should be paid for by the organizers. It was never intended as a fine, but rather as a fee," he said in a statement to Gil that was sent to CBS News.
"I have researched the issue further with my own counsel and I am hereby rescinding the bill, subject to our Council's ratification of my action," said Kranjac. "I always want to make certain that everyone's Constitutional Rights are fully respected. We will have to adjust the Borough's ordinances accordingly."
He said he was glad Gil was able to express her rights to freedom of speech and assembly and wished her success in her college career.
"I continue to work on resolving the Borough's affordable housing obligations and hope that this Council will adopt some form of the affordable housing plan that I introduced in 2018," he added.
Rod Dreher on Twitter: "Northwestern U. law school had a town hall meeting online recently. Everybody began w/ a ritual denunciation of themselves as racist. Reader: "Prof. Speta is not a racist. He is a wonderful man universally loved by students. It mak
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 12:14
Rod Dreher : Northwestern U. law school had a town hall meeting online recently. Everybody began w/ a ritual denunciation of the'... https://t.co/p1uTtgSeVI
Tue Sep 01 20:45:57 +0000 2020
julian nicholas : @roddreher ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚
Wed Sep 02 12:13:25 +0000 2020
Lance : @roddreher 1984
Wed Sep 02 12:13:25 +0000 2020
adamthm : @roddreher This is the kinda nonsese that makes you just see shit as a cult. This isn't normal human behavior this'... https://t.co/9w3UE4Z0EK
Wed Sep 02 12:13:20 +0000 2020
TurtlePower98 : @roddreher Victimization cult.
Wed Sep 02 12:12:42 +0000 2020
Tina Curry : @roddreher Affect them where it will truly be felt....alumni donations. This is shameful.
Wed Sep 02 12:11:18 +0000 2020
singularity_fan : @roddreher It's a ritual precursor to lining them and forcing them to dig their own graves at the end of a rifle
Wed Sep 02 12:10:46 +0000 2020
Alex Tornero 🇺🇸 : @roddreher https://t.co/qvBURDAGjA
Wed Sep 02 12:09:04 +0000 2020
TexasPharmD : @roddreher There's no way this is real
Wed Sep 02 12:08:41 +0000 2020
Mostly Peaceful Spider-Ken : @roddreher Kids - go to trade schools.
Wed Sep 02 12:08:39 +0000 2020
Katarina🇮🇹🇺🇸 : @roddreher Wtf @NorthwesternU
Wed Sep 02 12:06:58 +0000 2020
Techy Techo : @roddreher This is insane.
Wed Sep 02 12:06:25 +0000 2020
Adam Hibbert : @roddreher "Self-criticism"A ritual with a long 20th century pedigree.
Wed Sep 02 12:06:10 +0000 2020
Crystal : @roddreher Is this real
Wed Sep 02 12:04:52 +0000 2020
'Lovecraft Country' Evokes Freddie Gray Death in 1955 Chicago | Newsbusters
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 13:52
August 30th, 2020 11:29 PM
HBO's Lovecraft Country is probably the perfect show for this time. Namely, it's the perfect show to compliment the hateful racial breakdown that's happening all over the country. Like any given riot, Lovecraft Country is only happy to pour fuel on the fire of a false racial narrative.
The August 30 episode ''Holy Ghost'' follows Leti (Jurnee Smollett) as she purchases a house in a predominantly white North Side neighborhood of Chicago. Unfortunately for her, every white person in the 1950s is apparently a racist thug. The white neighbors burn a cross in her front lawn, harass her with their car horns, and at one point even break into her house for a potential beating.
Even the white cops are against her as they predictably arrest her for fighting back rather than discipline her neighbors. To prove their hatred, they toss her around their squad car as she's helplessly handcuffed.
Captain: Letitia Lewis. You have quite a record here. What group you with? The Monkey Urban League? No, wait, I know. The National Association for the Advancement of Cockroaches. I've gotten a lot of complaints from your neighbors about you.
Leti: Have you gotten the 21 reports I've filed about harassment from those same neighbors?
Captain: Burke, Crane, have we received any complaints?
Crane: Not that we can recall, Captain.
Captain: Anything strange happen in your new house? Hmm? A'ight, how about this? Did someone tell you to buy the Winthrop house? Gal like you can't afford that mortgage. Not even renting out rooms. You tell me who helped you buy the Winthrop house and this ends.
If the scene above seems ''familiar,'' then it's likely on purpose. Several viewers on Twitter as well as a couple of TV reviewers were quick to remark on the similarities between this interaction and the death of Freddie Gray. After all, both involved an arrested black suspect being erratically thrown around the back seat of a police car. Of course, the show neglects the fact that half of the cops involved around Freddie Gray's death were minorities as well as the fact that there was little to no evidence that concluded the officers deliberately harmed Gray. Sadly, as the recent riots proved, people never let facts get in the way of a good racial narrative.
Damn they doing the same thing they did to Freddie Gray. #LovecraftCountry
'-- M'BlockU (@rodimusprime) August 31, 2020The entire show is essentially a racial narrative in itself where the monsters seem to always be racist white men. Again, the 1950s were a difficult time for many black citizens, and some of the harshest actions in this show were indeed based on real events. However, the series is determined to link these things to the present at all costs. Whether it's by having anachronistic song cues or discussing representation in pulp fiction novels, we're supposed to act like the actions in fictional 1955 have any bearings in real-world 2020.
As usual, leftists seem more comfortable in fantasy than in the real world. Either way, they can't help but hate white people in both.
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Jurnee Smollett - Wikipedia
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 13:53
Jurnee Diana Smollett (born October 1, 1986) is an American actress and singer. Smollett began her career as a child actress appearing on television sitcoms, including On Our Own (1994''1995) and Full House (1992''1994). She received critical acclaim and Critic's Choice Award for playing Eve in the 1997 independent drama film Eve's Bayou.
As an adult, Smollett has starred in the films The Great Debaters (2007) and Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (2013). She also had starring roles in a number of TV series, including the NBC sports drama Friday Night Lights (2009''2011), and the HBO vampire drama True Blood (2013''2014). In 2016, Smollett began playing a leading role as Rosalee, the house slave, in the WGN America period drama Underground. Smollett has won three NAACP Image Awards. In 2018, Smollett was cast as DC Comics superheroine Black Canary in the DC Extended Universe, making her first appearance in Birds of Prey.
Early life Edit Jurnee Diana Smollett was born in New York City,[1][1] to Janet Harris and Joel Smollett. Her father was Jewish, with ancestors from Russia and Poland,[2][3][4] while her mother is African American.[5][6][7] She is the fourth of six siblings, all performers:[8] one sister, Jazz, and four brothers, Jussie, JoJo, Jake, and Jocqui.[9]
Career Edit Early works Edit Smollett began her acting career appearing on Martin in the Christmas episode and Out All Night in 1992. She then had recurring roles as Denise Frazer on the ABC family sitcoms Full House and Hangin' with Mr. Cooper.[10] From 1994 to 1995, she co-starred with her siblings in the short-lived ABC sitcom On Our Own. In 1996, she appeared in the Francis Ford Coppola film Jack, making her big-screen debut.[10]
Smollett received critical acclaim for her performance as 10-year-old Eve in the 1997 film Eve's Bayou opposite Lynn Whitfield, Samuel L. Jackson and Debbi Morgan.[11][12] In casting the role, writer-director Kasi Lemmons envisioned "a light-skinned black child who could convey the nuances of a Creole child in the 60s."[8] She received the Critic's Choice Award and was nominated for a NAACP Image Award.[13] The following year, she joined the cast of the CBS sitcom Cosby, for which she won two NAACP Image Awards.[13] In 1999, Smollett-Bell starred in the ABC TV film Selma, Lord, Selma. In 2000, she co-starred with Sharon Stone and Billy Connolly in the film Beautiful Joe. In 2001, she played the daughter of Angela Bassett in the television film Ruby's Bucket of Blood. In 2005, she co-starred with Bow Wow and Brandon T. Jackson in the roller skating film Roll Bounce. In 2006, she appeared in the drama film Gridiron Gang.[14]
2007''present Edit In 2007, Smollett portrayed Samantha Booke (loosely based on Henrietta Bell Wells), the sole female debater at Wiley College in the historical film The Great Debaters.[15] The film was produced by Oprah Winfrey and Harvey Weinstein and starred Denzel Washington, who also directed the feature. For her performance, Smollett received NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. The following year, she returned to television, appearing in two episodes of ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy. From 2009 to 2011, she was a regular cast member in the DirecTV drama series Friday Night Lights playing Jess Merriweather. From 2010 to 2011, she also co-starred with Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell on the short-lived CBS legal drama The Defenders. From 2013 to 2014, she was regular on HBO series True Blood.[16]
In 2013, Smollett played the leading role in the drama film Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor directed by Tyler Perry. The film received negative reviews from critics, but was a box-office hit, grossing $53,125,354. It is the highest-grossing Tyler Perry film which the writer-director did not star in and the highest-grossing Tyler Perry drama.[17] She later played Juanita Leonard, the wife of boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, in the 2016 biographical sport film Hands of Stone co-starring with Usher and Robert De Niro.[18][19]
In 2015, Smollett was cast as lead character in the WGN America period drama series Underground. Smollett played Rosalee, a shy house slave, working on a plantation in 1857.[20] She portrayed Black Canary in the 2020 film Birds of Prey,[21][22] and Letitia "Leti" Lewis in the 2020 HBO series Lovecraft Country[23].
Personal life Edit Smollett has been active in HIV/AIDS causes since she was 11. Her first encounter with the disease came at age seven when a crew member of On Our Own died of AIDS.[24] She was inspired by the HIV/AIDS survivor Hydeia Broadbent, with whom she eventually worked for HIV/AIDS awareness, including for the Black AIDS Institute and Red Cross. She spoke at the Ryan White Youth Conference, and is on the Board of Directors of Artists for a New South Africa, an organization dedicated to HIV/AIDS in Africa.[25] Smollett is also on the Board of Directors for the Children's Defense Fund.[26]
On October 24, 2010, she married musician Josiah Bell.[27] Their first child, a son named Hunter, was born on October 31, 2016.[28] In March 2020, Smollett filed for divorce after nearly a decade together.[29]
Filmography Edit Film Edit Television Edit Awards and nominations Edit References Edit ^ a b "Jurnee Smollett Bio". BET . Retrieved March 12, 2016 . ^ Ryzik, Melena (March 9, 2016). "The Smollett Family Business: Acting and Activism". The New York Times . Retrieved June 18, 2019 . ^ Shepard, Linda (January 21, 2015). "Actress aims to keep 'Dream' alive". C & G Newspapers . Retrieved June 24, 2019 . ^ Bloom, Nate (March 18, 2016). "Celebrity jews". J. The Jewish News of Northern California . Retrieved June 18, 2019 . ^ Garmel, Marion (1994-09-06). "You're never on your own in a big family". Indianapolis Star . Retrieved 2011-03-20 . ^ "What a nice Girl". Hot Sauce. April 1, 2008. Archived from the original on 2012-03-21 . Retrieved 2015-02-19 . ^ RandomTandem (2010-12-31). "New Artist Alert: Jussie Smollett". Random Tandem. Archived from the original on 2014-05-04 . Retrieved 2014-05-03 . ^ a b Lena Williams (November 2, 1997). "Up and Coming - Jurnee Smollett - Calm Child at the Center of an Adult Storm". The New York Times . Retrieved September 17, 2015 . ^ "Jazz Smollet, Troy Wharell Marry". Lipstick Alley. Archived from the original on 2013-06-01. ^ a b "Jurnee Smollett". Hollywood.com . Retrieved 9 May 2016 . ^ "Eve's Bayou". 1 June 1996 . Retrieved 9 May 2016 . ^ Roger Ebert (7 November 1997). "Eve's Bayou" . Retrieved 9 May 2016 . ^ a b "Jurnee Smollett". IMDb. ^ "Gridiron Gang". Sep 15, 2006 . Retrieved 15 May 2020 . ^ "The Great Debaters". 25 December 2007 . Retrieved 9 May 2016 . ^ EvanDickson. "Two Ladies Move Into Bon Temps For Some 'True Blood ' ". Bloody Disgusting . Retrieved 14 May 2013 . ^ "Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (2013)". Box Office Mojo . Retrieved 9 May 2016 . ^ "Usher & Jurnee Smollett gear up in Panama to film 'Hands of Stone ' ". MStarsNews . Retrieved 9 May 2016 . ^ "Hands of Stone trailer: Robert De Niro coaches Edgar Ramirez". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved 9 May 2016 . ^ Cynthia Littleton (February 27, 2015). "WGN America Gives Series Order to Slavery Drama 'Underground ' ". Variety. ^ Couch, Aaron; McMillan, Graeme (November 20, 2018). "Margot Robbie Reveals Full 'Birds of Prey' Title: 'The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn ' ". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2019-03-02 . Retrieved November 20, 2018 . ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 26, 2018). " ' Birds Of Prey' Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead Wins Role Of Huntress; Jurnee Smollett-Bell Is Black Canary". Deadline . Retrieved September 26, 2018 . ^ Yap, Audrey Cleo; Yap, Audrey Cleo (2020-08-16). " ' Lovecraft Country' Star Jurnee Smollett and Creator Misha Green on If They Would Reteam for a Black Canary Project". Variety . Retrieved 2020-08-19 . ^ "Cover Story". Art & Understanding Magazine. August 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-06-12. (AIDS-related issues magazine) ^ "Board of Directors". ANSA. Archived from the original on 2007-08-19. ^ "Board of Directors". Children's Defense Fund. Archived from the original on 2020-04-13 . Retrieved 2020-04-13 . ^ Zuckerman, Blaine (December 16, 2010). "See Friday Night Lights's Jurnee Smollett's Wedding Photo". People. ^ Mizoguchi, Karen. "Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Husband Josiah Welcome First Child, Son Hunter Zion". People. ^ Hearon, Sarah (March 27, 2020). "Jurnee Smollett Files for Divorce From Josiah Bell After Nearly 10 Years of Marriage". Us Weekly . Retrieved August 17, 2020 . External links Edit Jurnee Smollett on IMDb
Author Vicky Osterweil Talks 'In Defense of Looting' After Kenosha Uprising : Code Switch : NPR
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 13:56
A flag drapes across looted shelves in a hardware store during widespread unrest following the death of George Floyd on May 31, 2020 in Philadelphia, Penn. Mark Makela/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Mark Makela/Getty Images A flag drapes across looted shelves in a hardware store during widespread unrest following the death of George Floyd on May 31, 2020 in Philadelphia, Penn.
Mark Makela/Getty Images In the past months of demonstrations for Black lives, there has been a lot of hand-wringing about looting. Whether it was New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying that stealing purses and sneakers from high-end stores in Manhattan was "inexcusable," or St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter saying looters were "destroy[ing] our community," police officers, government officials and pundits alike have bemoaned the property damage and demanded an end to the riots. And just this week, rioters have burned buildings and looted stores in Kenosha, Wis., following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, to which Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has said: "Peaceful protesting is a constitutionally protected form of free speech. Rioting is not."
Writer Vicky Osterweil's book, In Defense of Looting, came out on Tuesday. When she finished it, back in April, she wrote (rather presciently) that "a new energy of resistance is building across the country." Now, as protests and riots continue to grip cities, she argues that looting is a powerful tool to bring about real, lasting change in society. The rioters who smash windows and take items from stores, she says, are engaging in a powerful tactic that questions the justice of "law and order," and the distribution of property and wealth in an unequal society.
I spoke with Osterweil about this summer's riots, the common narratives surrounding looting, and why "nonviolence" can be a misleading term. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
For people who haven't read your book, how do you define looting?
When I use the word looting, I mean the mass expropriation of property, mass shoplifting during a moment of upheaval or riot. That's the thing I'm defending. I'm not defending any situation in which property is stolen by force. It's not a home invasion, either. It's about a certain kind of action that's taken during protests and riots.
Looting is a highly racialized word from its very inception in the English language. It's taken from Hindi, lºt, which means "goods" or "spoils," and it appears in an English colonial officer's handbook [on "Indian Vocabulary"] in the 19th century.
During the uprisings of this past summer, rioting and looting have often gone hand in hand. Can you talk about the distinction you see between the two?
"Rioting" generally refers to any moment of mass unrest or upheaval.Riots are a space in which a mass of people has produced a situation in which the general laws that govern society no longer function, and people can act in different ways in the street and in public. I'd say that rioting is a broader category, in which looting appears as a tactic.
Often, looting is more common among movements that are coming from below. It tends to be an attack on a business, a commercial space, maybe a government building'--taking those things that would otherwise be commodified and controlled and sharing them for free.
Can you talk about rioting as a tactic? What are the reasons people deploy it as a strategy?
It does a number of important things. It gets people what they need for free immediately, which means that they are capable of living and reproducing their lives without having to rely on jobs or a wage'--which, during COVID times, is widely unreliable or, particularly in these communities is often not available, or it comes at great risk. That's looting's most basic tactical power as a political mode of action.
It also attacks the very way in which food and things are distributed. It attacks the idea of property, and it attacks the idea that in order for someone to have a roof over their head or have a meal ticket, they have to work for a boss, in order to buy things that people just like them somewhere else in the world had to make under the same conditions. It points to the way in which that's unjust. And the reason that the world is organized that way, obviously, is for the profit of the people who own the stores and the factories. So you get to the heart of that property relation, and demonstrate that without police and without state oppression, we can have things for free.
Importantly, I think especially when it's in the context of a Black uprising like the one we're living through now, it also attacks the history of whiteness and white supremacy. The very basis of property in the U.S. is derived through whiteness and through Black oppression, through the history of slavery and settler domination of the country. Looting strikes at the heart of property, of whiteness and of the police. It gets to the very root of the way those three things are interconnected. And also it provides people with an imaginative sense of freedom and pleasure and helps them imagine a world that could be. And I think that's a part of it that doesn't really get talked about'--that riots and looting are experienced as sort of joyous and liberatory.
What are some of the most common myths and tropes that you hear about looting?
One of the ones that's been very powerful, that's both been used by Donald Trump and Democrats, has been the outside agitator myth, that the people doing the riots are coming from the outside. This is a classic. This one goes back to slavery, when plantation owners would claim that it was Freedmen and Yankees coming South and giving the enslaved these crazy ideas'--that they were real human beings'--and that's why they revolted.
Another trope that's very common is that looters and rioters are not part of the protest, and they're not part of the movement. That has to do with the history of protesters trying to appear respectable and politically legible as a movement, and not wanting to be too frightening or threatening.
Another one is that looters are just acting as consumers: Why are they taking flat screen TVs instead of rice and beans? Like, if they were just surviving, it'd be one thing, but they're taking liquor. All these tropes come down to claiming that the rioters and the looters don't know what they're doing. They're acting, you know, in a disorganized way, maybe an "animalistic" way. But the history of the movement for liberation in America is full of looters and rioters. They've always been a part of our movement.
In your book, you note that a lot of people who consider themselves radical or progressive criticize looting. Why is this common?
I think a lot of that comes out of the civil rights movement. The popular understanding of the civil rights movement is that it was successful when it was nonviolent, and less successful when it was focused on Black power. It's a myth that we get taught over and over again from the first moment we learn about the civil rights movement: that it was a nonviolent movement, and that that's what matters about it. And it's just not true.
Nonviolence emerged in the '50s and '60s during the civil rights movement, [in part] as a way to appeal to Northern liberals. When it did work, like with the lunch counter sit-ins, it worked because Northern liberals could flatter themselves that racism was a Southern condition. This was also in the context of the Cold War and a mass anticolonial revolt going on all over Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. Suddenly all these new independent nations had just won liberation from Europe, and the U.S. had to compete with the Soviet Union for influence over them. So it was really in the U.S.'s interests to not be the country of Jim Crow, segregation and fascism, because they had to appeal to all these new Black and Brown nations all over the world.
Those two things combined to make nonviolence a relatively effective tactic. Even under those conditions, Freedom Riders and student protesters were often protected by armed guards. We remember the Birmingham struggle of '63, with the famous photos of Bull Connor releasing the police dogs and fire hoses on teenagers, as nonviolent. But that actually turned into the first urban riot in the movement. Kids got up, threw rocks and smashed police cars and storefront windows in that combat. There was fear that that kind of rioting would spread. That created the pressure for Robert F. Kennedy to write the Civil Rights bill and force JFK to sign it.
But there's also another factor, which is anti-Blackness and contempt for poor people who want to live a better life, which looting immediately provides. One thing about looting is it freaks people out. But in terms of potential crimes that people can commit against the state, it's basically nonviolent. You're mass shoplifting. Most stores are insured; it's just hurting insurance companies on some level. It's just money. It's just property. It's not actually hurting any people.
During recent riots, a sentiment I heard a lot was that looters in cities like Minneapolis were hurting their own cause by destroying small businesses in their own neighborhoods, stores owned by immigrants and people of color. What would you say to people who make that argument?
People who made that argument for Minneapolis weren't suddenly celebrating the looters in Chicago, who drove down to the richest part of Chicago, the Magnificent Mile, and attacked places like Tesla and Gucci'--because It's not really about that. It's a convenient way of positioning yourself as though you are sympathetic.
But looters and rioters don't attack private homes. They don't attack community centers. In Minneapolis, there was a small independent bookstore that was untouched. All the blocks around it were basically looted or even leveled, burned down. And that store just remained untouched through weeks of rioting.
To say you're attacking your own community is to say to rioters, you don't know what you're doing. But I disagree. I think people know. They might have worked in those shops. They might have shopped and been followed around by security guards or by the owner. You know, one of the causes of the L.A. riots was a Korean small-business owner murdering 15-year-old Latasha Harlins, who had come in to buy orange juice. And that was a family-owned, immigrant-owned business where anti-Blackness and white supremacist violence was being perpetrated.
What would you say to people who are concerned about essential places like grocery stores or pharmacies being attacked in those communities?
When it comes to small business, family owned business or locally owned business, they are no more likely to provide worker protections. They are no more likely to have to provide good stuff for the community than big businesses. It's actually a Republican myth that has, over the last 20 years, really crawled into even leftist discourse: that the small business owner must be respected, that the small business owner creates jobs and is part of the community. But that's actually a right-wing myth.
A business being attacked in the community is ultimately about attacking like modes of oppression that exist in the community. It is true and possible that there are instances historically when businesses have refused to reopen or to come back. But that is a part of the inequity of the society, that people live in places where there is only one place where they can get access to something [like food or medicine]. That question assumes well, what if you're in a food desert? But the food desert is already an incredibly unjust situation. There's this real tendency to try and blame people for fighting back, for revealing the inequity of the injustice that's already been formed by the time that they're fighting.
I have heard a lot of talk about white anarchists who weren't part of the movement, but they just came in to smash windows and make a ruckus.
It's a classic trope, because it jams up people who might otherwise be sort of sympathetic to looters. There's a reason that Trump has embraced the "white anarchist" line so intensely. It does a double service: It both creates a boogeyman around which you can stir up fear and potential repression, and it also totally erases the Black folks who are at the core of the protests. It makes invisible the Black people who are rising up and who are initiating this movement, who are at its core and its center, and who are doing its most important and valuable organizing and its most dangerous fighting.
One thing that you're really careful about in your book is how you talk about violence at riots. You make the distinction between violence against property, like smashing a window or stealing something, versus violence against a human body. And I'm wondering if you can talk a little bit about why making that distinction is important to you.
Obviously, we object to violence on some level. But it's an incredibly broad category. As you pointed out, it can mean both breaking a window, lighting a dumpster on fire, or it can mean the police murdering Tamir Rice. That word is not strategically helpful. The word that can mean both those things cannot be guiding me morally.
There's actually a police tactic for this, called controlled management. Police say, "We support peaceful, nonviolent protesters. We are out here to protect them and to protect them from the people who are being violent." That's a police strategy to divide the movement. So a nonviolent protest organizer will tell the police their march route. Police will stop traffic for them. So you've got a dozen heavily armed men standing here watching you march. That doesn't make me feel safe. What about that is nonviolent? Activists themselves are doing no violence, but there is so much potential violence all around them.
Ultimately, what nonviolence ends up meaning is that the activist doesn't do anything that makes them feel violent. And I think getting free is messier than that. We have to be willing to do things that scare us and that we wouldn't do in normal, "peaceful" times, because we need to get free.
Cops' lawyers make bombshell claims in George Floyd case: Bodycam shows Floyd ingesting fatal amount of drugs before arrest; he died of overdose - TheBlaze
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 16:25
Defense Attorney Eric J. Nelson '-- lawyer for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin '-- said the late George Floyd was the victim of a careless overdose rather than police homicide.
Authorities charged Chauvin with murder in connection with Floyd's May death, which stemmed from an altercation purportedly involving counterfeit money.
In light of the allegations, Nelson is requesting a judge to drop all charges against Chauvin, who has pleaded not guilty.
An attorney for one of the other officers involved in Floyd's death also says bodycam footage shows the moment Floyd reportedly ingested a lethal amount of drugs.
What are the details? According to a Monday report from ABC News, Nelson filed the motion in Hennepin County, Minnesota, District Court on Friday, alleging that the prosecution has not shown probable cause in charging Chauvin with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
In the motion, Chauvin's attorney insists the former police officer carried out Floyd's detainment by the book '-- including the use of a "Maximal Restraint Technique." Nelson said Chauvin believed the technique was necessary, out of concern that Floyd could harm himself or Chauvin and his fellow officers during the detainment.
Nelson has said that Chauvin and other responding officers were trying to help Floyd '-- who was clearly acting erratically during the detainment '-- out of concern for the man and the possibility that he might fall and strike his head, be hit by an oncoming vehicle in the road, and more.
Nelson insisted that the Minneapolis Police Department has approved training materials on such use of force, which shows an officer placing a knee on a subject's neck in order to subdue him.
The motion also noted that the autopsy on Floyd concluded that there was both fentanyl and methamphetamine in the late suspect's system '-- otherwise known as a "speedball."
Floyd, who suffered from hypertensive heart disease as well as arteriosclerosis and hypertension, also reportedly was positive for COVID-19 at the time of his death.
"Put simply, Mr. Floyd could not breathe because he had ingested a lethal dose of fentanyl and, possibly, a speedball," a portion of the motion read. "Combined with sickle cell trait, his pre-existing heart conditions, Mr. Floyd's use of fentanyl and methamphetamine most likely killed him. Adding fentanyl and methamphetamine to Mr. Floyd's existing health issues was tantamount to lighting a fuse on a bomb."
Further, Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker also added that if Floyd were found dead in any other circumstance '-- in this case, "home alone and no other apparent causes, this could be acceptable to call an [overdose]."
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office ruled Floyd's death a homicide, determining that he died because of "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."
However, the autopsy report found no apparent bruising or trauma to Floyd's neck, neck muscles, or back as a result of the restraint.
Judge Peter Cahill will address Nelson's motion in a Sept. 11 court hearing, the outlet reports.
What else?Three other officers were also charged with aiding and abetting murder following Floyd's death.
Attorney Earl Gray, who represents former officer Thomas Lane, said in a motion filed last week that Floyd intentionally swallowed fentanyl tablets while he and his fellow officers '-- including Chauvin '-- attempted to take Floyd into custody.
In the motion, Gray said that bodycam footage of the arrest shows a "white spot" on Floyd's tongue '-- which disappeared moments later. He also argued that Floyd, at the time, was in the process of swallowing "2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose" to avoid being caught with the drugs on his person.
"All [Floyd] had to do is sit in the police car, like every other defendant who is initially arrested. While attempting to avoid his arrest, all by himself, Mr. Floyd overdosed on Fentanyl," Gray wrote in the motion. "Given his intoxication level, breathing would have been difficult at best. Mr. Floyd's intentional failure to obey commands, coupled with his overdosing, contributed to his own death."
Gray is also maintaining that charges against his client should be dropped.
'Shoot On-Site': Chicago Gangs Form Pact To Execute Cops Who Draw Weapons On Suspects, Says FBI | Zero Hedge
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 14:34
The FBI has warned Chicago-area law enforcement that nearly three-dozen street gangs "have formed a pact to 'shoot on-site any cop that has a weapon drawn on any subject in public'," reports ABC7.
According to an August 26 'situation information report' from Chicago-based FBI officials, "members of these gang factions have been actively searching for, and filming, police officers in performance of their official duties. The purpose of which is to catch on film an officer drawing his/her weapon on any subject and the subsequent 'shoot on-site' of said officer, in order to garner national media attention."
Alerts based on police intelligence, no matter how unspecific, are frequently distributed to law enforcement agencies according to investigators, especially when they involve threats to officers. The FBI's "Potential Activity Alert" is from "a contact whose reporting is limited and whose reliability cannot be determined." That could mean the information came from a police street source, a cooperating witness in an ongoing case, or from discussions overheard on a wiretap or other surveillance recording. -ABC7
According to CPD Superintendent David Brown, there is an overall "sense of lawlessness" felt by local police, and the 'danger to police officers is real and increasing.'
"I think it's bigger than a suggestion," said Brown. "I think 51 officers being shot at or shot in one year, I think that quadruples any previous year in Chicago's history. So I think it's more than a suggestion that people are seeking to do harm to cops."
The alleged pact comes amid national protests over several high-profile incidents between black suspects and police officers which has resulted in arson, looting, murder and other violent acts in cities across the country sparked by the death of George Floyd - a black suspect who died in police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes.
As ABC7 notes, the warning comes after 54 people were shot in the windy city last weekend - including two Chicago PD officers who are expected to live, while 10 victims died according to the report. That said, there is no indication that the officers were targeted as part of the alleged gang assassination pact described in the FBI alert.
The FBI alert, headlined "Pact Made by People Nation Gang Factions to 'Shoot On-Site' Any Police Officer with a Weapon Drawn" lists street gangs that have become well-known in Chicago the past five decades, from the Latin Kings and Vice Lords to the El Rukns and Black P Stones.
Supt. Brown said on Monday the spike in attacks on police makes it clear to him that "people are seeking to do harm to cops."
"We need police officers and as community members we need to push back fervently against lawlessness," Brown said. -ABC7
Chicago PD told the outlet that they are aware of the gang threat, and take all threats to officers' safety seriously. Federal authorities have not provided additional information.
California bill to form reparations task force advances after 33-3 state Senate vote | Fox News
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 16:02
State senators in California overwhelmingly supported setting up a task force to study potential reparations for slavery in a bipartisan vote Saturday.
The panel would study the effects slavery had on California and recommend to the legislature no later than 2023 what type of compensation would be appropriate, how it might be dispersed and who could be eligible to receive it.
The task force could also recommend other forms of redress besides money.
US COMPANIES SHOULD CONSIDER SLAVERY REPARATIONS, VISTA EQUITY CEO SAYS
The 33-3 Senate vote came the same weekend as the 57th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s ''I Have a Dream'' speech and as protests against racial injustice continued across the country.
''Let's be clear: Chattel slavery, both in California and across our nation, birthed a legacy of racial harm and inequity that continues to impact the conditions of Black life in California,'' state Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, said, citing higher rates of incarceration, homelessness and unemployment for African-Americans.
California Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, calls on lawmakers to create a task force to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans, during an Assembly session in Sacramento, June 11, 2020. (Associated Press)
The proposal, AB-3121, titled ''Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans,'' would create the nine-member commission. Following Saturday's Senate vote, the measure returns to the Assembly for a final vote before lawmakers adjourn for the year Monday, FOX 11 in Los Angeles reported.
Assembly members overwhelmingly approved an earlier version of the bill.
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States like Texas, New York and Vermont have done similar studies in the last two years, finding that along with cash, reparations could mean housing assistance, lower tuition, forgiving student loans, job training, community investments, etc.
''If the 40-acres-and-a-mule that was promised to free slaves were delivered to the descendants of those slaves today, we would all be billionaires,'' state Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, said. ''I hear far too many people say, 'Well, I didn't own slaves, that was so long ago.' Well, you inherit wealth '-- you can inherit the debt that you owe to African-Americans."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Man under investigation in fatal shooting of right-wing demonstrator in Portland was outside mayor's condo night before with daughter
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 16:05
Michael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/StaffMichael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/Staff
Michael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/StaffMichael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/Staff
Michael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/StaffMichael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/Staff
Michael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/StaffMichael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/Staff
Michael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/StaffMichael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/Staff
Michael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/StaffMichael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/Staff
Michael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/StaffMichael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Ted Wheeler's residence, August 28, 2020 Beth Nakamura/Staff
Michael Forest Reinoehl, the 48-year-old man under investigation in the fatal shooting Saturday night of a right-wing demonstrator in downtown Portland, attended a Black Lives Matter protest the night before outside the mayor's home.
Reinoehl brought his daughter, who was carrying a baseball bat, according to photos by an Oregonian/OregonLive photographer and others present Friday night at Mayor Ted Wheeler's condominium building.
Reinoehl was dressed in the same light-colored vest that videos and photos show him wearing at the scene of the deadly shooting about 9 p.m. Saturday on Southwest Third Avenue.
Sources familiar with the case but not authorized to speak said police are investigating Reinoehl in connection with the death of Aaron ''Jay'' Danielson, a supporter of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer. Danielson was shot in the chest and died soon after most cars in a caravan of backers of President Donald Trump drove through downtown and left.
A family member also identified Reinoehl as a man captured in photos and video leaving the shooting scene.
Police have made no arrests in the shooting.
The Friday night protest had the feeling of an evening block party with a DJ and other musicians playing in the street as people danced, while about a dozen demonstrators sat inside the lobby of Wheeler's residence in the Pearl District, locking arms with a list of demands for the city to address systemic police violence and racism.
One protest participant helping to direct traffic said he noticed Reinoehl, who was not wearing a mask, show up with his daughter. The girl carried a dark baseball bat, photos show.
They walked through the event and then left, walking back to the North Park Blocks. Some people followed, photographing him as he left the area.
Michael Forest Reinoehl, with his daughter holding a bat, on Northwest Glisan Street on Fri. night, Aug. 28, 2020.
Reinoehl calls himself an anti-fascist and wrote in mid-June on his Instagram page, ''I am 100 % ANTIFA all the way! I am willing to fight for my brothers and sisters!'' He said in a Bloomberg news video interview this summer that he has provided security for other protesters. The video, posted online July 27, showed Reinoehl standing across the street from the Justice Center, and his daughter stepping out of a car parked nearby. ''I have my daughter here with me because I'm trying to give her an education,'' he said on the video.
He's posted videos and photos of demonstrations that he's attended in Portland since late June, accompanied by the hashtags #blacklivesmatter, #anewnation and #breonnataylor.
Reinoehl also was accused of carrying a loaded gun at an earlier protest in Portland. He was cited around 2 a.m. on July 5, accused of illegally possessing a loaded gun in a public place, resisting arrest and interfering with police in the 700 block of Southwest Main Street. The allegations were dropped on July 30, and he spent no time in custody.
He's wanted on a failure to appear warrant stemming from a June 8 Baker County arrest in a speed racing case that involved his 17-year-old son in eastern Oregon. Reinoehl faces allegations including driving under the influence of a controlled substance, recklessly endangering another, unlawful possession of a gun and driving while suspended and uninsured. His daughter, then 11, was with him in his speeding Cadillac at the time, state police reported.
Reinoehl was raised in Sandy and has had recent addresses in Northeast Portland, Gresham and Clackamas. He described himself on social media and in the Bloomberg video as a professional snowboarder and contractor who has former military experience but ''hated'' his time in the army.
-- Maxine Bernstein
Email at mbernstein@oregonian.com; 503-221-8212
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Let Us Out!
Covid-2 PCR testing only 44% effective
Iceland (control group)
CONCLUSIONS
Our results indicate that antiviral antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 did not decline within 4 months after diagnosis. We estimate that the risk of death from infection was 0.3% and that 44% of persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Iceland were not diagnosed by qPCR.
So much of your info about the quality of the PCR testing, and general potency of a COVID virus is. I know that COVID-19 is a different virus, but when the most recent CDC data which shows only 9% or 6% of the 150k were deaths from exclusively COVID and no other comorbidity condition.
I know it is an echo chamber of what you already knew. But I thought you might want the link to the full text from NEJM ... it's a bit of a dry read. but you might like the first 3 sections which set up the data pools and testing methods used. It nicely said that once you have covid antibodies, that in their testing (4-6 months) the levels of antibodies did not decrease.
covid tracking Loek
I am taking one for the NA team as well and installed it. It uses the Apple/Google covid tracking framework.
It seems Finns might set a world speed record "installing corona tracking apps".
https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/coronavirus_app_downloads_quickly_reach_1_million/11521081
Dutch Banker and EU Money
Did China instigate global panic through Wuhan's COVID-19 'zombieland' stories? - The Mass Illusion
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 17:45
At the turn of 2020, the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China took to the global stage, and it wasn't because people suddenly became more concerned for the wellbeing of the people of Hubei Province. Instigating this process were the breathtaking, horrifying photos and videos coming out of Wuhan. What we were seeing through the lens of social media appeared to be an Ebola-like plague. Victims of the virus were often seen in regular attire, out and about, seemingly going about their day, when suddenly, they were captured on video dropping like flies. It was ''like Walking Dead'' in the way that the virus supposedly struck its victims.
One particular photo, which The Guardian described as the image that ''captures the Wuhan coronavirus crisis,'' took the world by storm.
From The Guardian:
''It is an image that captures the chilling reality of the coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan: a grey-haired man wearing a face mask lies dead on the pavement, a plastic shopping bag in one hand, as police and medical staff in full protective suits and masks prepare to take him away.''
Notably, the AFP photographer who snapped the infamous photo ''could not determine how the man, who appeared to be aged in his 60s, had died,'' according to the report.
The photo of the well-dressed man, who appeared to be going about his standard business when he suddenly dropped dead in the streets, was just one of the many images and videos coming out of China presenting the narrative of a virus so deadly it would strike down its victims without warning.
Newspapers from around the world ate up the ''dead in streets'' and ''zombieland'' narrative.
Strangely, photos and videos of people collapsing in the streets continued to emerge via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites that are blocked in China.
Shortly thereafter, Chinese authorities reported announced a sweeping lockdown in an attempt to ''stop the virus.'' A few months later, Beijing announced that it had successfully stopped the virus dead in its tracks, but only through brutal suppression measures taken to ''stop the spread.'' The message from the Chinese Communist Party was crystal-clear: countries around the world must lockdown immediately, and indefinitely, in an attempt to stop this deadly plague from infecting your nation's population. The scare tactic worked. In a state of total panic, the overwhelming majority of the world followed the CCP's ''advice'' on handling the virus, which I documented in my piece, ''the origin story of COVID-19 lockdowns.''
Now back to the ''zombieland'' phenomenon.
On top of the fact that the ''zombieland'' situation was not seen in any other country, the idea that someone infected with COVID-19 could be walking around one moment, seemingly perfectly fine with no symptoms, and then suddenly, without notice, collapse to the ground, is not supported by any of the data on the virus. Looking back to January, none of the ''walking dead'' stuff that came out Wuhan seems to make any sense. Even the most vulnerable individuals still present gradually declining symptoms, which worsen over time, before their passing. We have now had many months to study the process of COVID-19 infections. The images that came out of Wuhan are not at all representative of how the novel coronavirus impacts infected human beings.
Don't take my word for it. Take it from the CDC.
The incubation period for someone infected for COVID-19 takes an average of 4-5 days. From there, the median time from onset of symptoms to ICU admission ranges from 10-12 days (shorter for general hospitalization). On average, people who tragically pass away with COVID-19 do so after around 2 weeks of the onset of the disease.
I've copied the age-based charts posted below directly from the CDC website:
The ''Wuhan zombieland'' stories don't make any sense, and they are not supported by any biological evidence related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It leaves us with many more questions than answers. We still don't know the source for many, if not all of the chaotic images and videos (which, again somehow originated and arrived on U.S. social media platforms even though they are banned in China) that appeared on global media platforms. We do know that China has launched several disinformation campaigns related to the novel coronavirus, having employed armies of real and fake social media accounts to promote particular policy objectives. The January ''Wuhan zombieland'' narrative deserves much more scrutiny. Was it a deliberate messaging campaign, with the Western world as its target audience?
[Thanks for reading! I would be honored if you are willing to support my work and subscribe to The Mass Illusion, my newsletter for people concerned about our ''new normal.'']
Behind China's Twitter Campaign, a Murky Supporting Chorus - The New York Times
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 17:50
Swarms of accounts are amplifying Beijing's brash new messaging as the country tries to shape the global narrative about the coronavirus and much else.
Credit... Yifan Wu Published June 8, 2020Updated June 10, 2020
As the Trump administration lashes out at China over a range of grievances, Beijing's top diplomats and representatives are using the president's favorite online megaphone '-- Twitter '-- to slap back with a pugnaciousness that is best described as Trumpian.
Behind China's combative new messengers, a murky hallelujah chorus of sympathetic accounts has emerged to repost them and cheer them on. Many are new to the platform. Some do little else but amplify the Beijing line.
No doubt some of these accounts are run by patriotic, tech-savvy Chinese people who get around their government's ban on Twitter and other Western platforms. But an analysis by The New York Times found that many of the accounts behaved with a single-mindedness that could suggest a coordinated campaign of the type that nation states have carried out on Twitter in the past.
Of the roughly 4,600 accounts that reposted China's leading envoys and state-run news outlets during a recent week, many acted suspiciously, The Times found. One in six tweeted with extremely high frequency despite having few followers, as if they were being used as loudspeakers, not as sharing platforms.
Nearly one in seven tweeted almost nothing of their own, instead filling their feeds with reposts of the official Chinese accounts and others.
In all, one third of the accounts had been created in the last three months, as the war of words with the Trump administration heated up. One in seven had zero followers.
The United States and China are battling to dominate the global narrative. China was criticized for its early mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak, but it has regained confidence as other countries have made their own stumbles. With the United States in turmoil, upended first by the epidemic and now by protests, Beijing sees a chance to define itself as a global leader, one unafraid to press its interests in Hong Kong and the region.
Image China was criticized for its early cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak, but it has regained confidence as other countries have made their own stumbles. Credit... Getty Images It is far from clear that the Chinese government is behind the swarms of accounts helping to spread its gospel on Twitter. Online information campaigns are becoming increasingly sophisticated as malicious actors get better at disguising their digital activity, security experts say. They now rarely make telltale mistakes such as using social media accounts that were all created on the same day, follow one another and post the same material.
Campaigns are often uncovered one small piece at a time. Twitter has declared operations to be state-backed after identifying as few as six accounts.
Much is unknown about China's covert influence activities in particular. Twitter last year suspended more than 200,000 accounts that it called a Chinese state-backed operation aimed at discrediting Hong Kong's protesters, though it said little about how it came to that conclusion.
Still, The Times's findings add to other recent evidence suggesting that Twitter is being manipulated to amplify pro-Beijing messages. Next Dim, a data firm in Israel, discovered two mundane-looking tweets praising China's coronavirus response that were liked and reposted hundreds of thousands of times in March, possibly with the help of strategically placed influencer accounts.
The U.S. State Department found inauthentic-seeming accounts that in April cited a Cambridge University study to raise doubts that the coronavirus originated in China. The most active of these accounts referred to the study in scores of tweets, even though the study's lead author dismissed that interpretation of its findings.
Neither Next Dim's findings nor the State Department's have been previously reported.
''Improving the health of the public conversation is a priority for our company,'' Twitter said in a statement. ''Platform manipulation, including spam and other attempts to undermine the public conversation, is a violation of the Twitter Rules.''
The State Department has denounced China's efforts to burnish its image and drown out criticism during the pandemic, comparing them to Russia's disinformation campaigns. Both countries are using a range of tools to ''shape and tilt any given information environment in their favor,'' said Lea Gabrielle, coordinator of the department's Global Engagement Center.
''I think the Chinese Communist Party is still trying to define its relationship with Twitter,'' said Kristine Lee, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security. ''But the Covid-19 pandemic has served as an important period of experimentation.''
The U.S.-China tongue-lashing adds to the questions vexing Twitter about how it treats inflammatory or misleading remarks from world leaders. Mr. Trump has accused the company of censoring him and other Republicans while ignoring questionable posts by Democrats and the Chinese government.
Beijing's Twitter brigade includes Hua Chunying, the head of the foreign ministry's information department. Since joining the platform in October, Ms. Hua has attracted more than half a million followers with her feisty put-downs of the United States.
In a Communist Party journal last year, Ms. Hua wrote that China had to find a voice in international affairs that was commensurate with its economic strength. ''We have walked closer to the center of the world stage than ever before, but we still do not grasp the microphone completely in our hands,'' she wrote.
One reason, she wrote: a lack of ''fighting spirit.''
Another foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, became notorious after tweeting that the U.S. military might have brought the coronavirus to China. Twitter later added a fact-checking label to Mr. Zhao's post.
The Times analyzed all of the tweets that Ms. Hua, Mr. Zhao and 12 other Twitter users linked to the Chinese government posted between May 18 and May 25.
The other users included the foreign ministry's main account, as well as the accounts of China's ambassadors to the United States and Britain. They also included nine accounts run by state news outlets.
That week, Beijing moved to tighten its control over Hong Kong. Mr. Trump threatened to cut off funding to the World Health Organization. American officials congratulated Taiwan's president on the start of her second term. China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, was furious.
Ms. Hua mused about whether the coronavirus actually originated in the United States: ''Scientists at the US NIH began developing a #COVID19 vaccine on January 11. There were reports of cases as early as November last year. Any explanation or investigation?'' Her post, which refers to the National Institutes of Health, was liked 4,600 times.
The Times's analysis found that hundreds of the 4,600 accounts that reposted the Chinese government mouthpieces that week behaved suspiciously. Many were incessant tweeters despite having limited followings. After excluding accounts that had zero followers and had tweeted five times or fewer, over a sixth of the accounts had posted 100 or more times for every follower.
A few accounts repeatedly retweeted at set lengths of time after the original post '-- 9 hours and 49 minutes after, 19 hours and 34 minutes after '-- suggesting that software had been used to schedule their tweets. Twitter has since suspended some of the accounts for violating its policies.
When contacted by The Times, several pro-China Twitter users denied being part of a government campaign but acknowledged that they joined the platform specifically to follow the foreign ministry representatives. The ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
Image Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, has gained notoriety for his pugnacious tweets. Credit... Wu Hong/EPA, via Shutterstock Others said they were either curious about Mr. Trump's tweets about China or felt demonized by them.
''He has done so many shameless things for re-election,'' one user, @beautifullady76, said in a Twitter message. ''Countless Chinese people are angry and everyone has the right to the truth. We just want to say a fair word for China!''
Public records show that Beijing is trying to expand its influence on the Western internet. China's internet regulator has sought out contractors to help it ''make use of overseas social media platforms to develop online propaganda on major themes,'' procurement documents show.
Much of this kind of activity may not appear in official documents, however. The regulator did not respond to a request for comment.
''There's no reason to think that the parts of the Chinese government that are formally in charge of conducting information operations are not able to conduct operations that are as sophisticated as others','' said Camille Fran§ois of the network analysis company Graphika. ''They just haven't been publicly exposed and dissected yet.''
Researchers remain on the lookout. ProPublica tracked 10,000 fishy accounts that posted about the coronavirus and the Hong Kong protests. Alkemy, an Italian digital marketing firm, found that inauthentic-looking users were behind many posts celebrating Chinese medical aid to Italy.
In March, two tweets lauding China's handling of the outbreak were liked and reposted hundreds of thousands of times. The posts were not shocking, funny or newsworthy, and originated from users with modest followings.
That caught the attention of Next Dim, an Israeli company that uses network analytics to identify and prevent financial crime.
''While scanning Twitter, our systems automatically discovered a huge irregularity,'' said Next Dim's chief executive, Netta Marrom. Too huge, he believes, to be the result of chance.
On March 12, the first user, @manisha_kataki, posted a video showing workers disinfecting streets in China. ''At this rate, China will be back in action very soon, may be much faster than the world expects,'' the user wrote.
The next day, another user, @Ejiketion, retweeted the post, marveling at how China had locked down cities and built coronavirus hospitals. In the West, by contrast, ''We washing our hands LOL,'' @Ejiketion wrote. The account has since been deleted.
The two posts together received more than 382,000 retweets and 1.1 million likes, many of them within the first two days. That made them roughly as popular as Elon Musk's tweet, also from March, in which the head of Tesla called the coronavirus panic ''dumb.''
Two other posts that also retweeted @manisha_kataki but translated @Ejiketion's comment into Spanish and French received a combined 67,000 retweets and 181,000 likes.
Next Dim identified around 20 Twitter users whose followers accounted for thousands of the retweets of @manisha_kataki's and @Ejiketion's posts. Some of these users had immense followings but rarely tweeted about China.
Image Tiananmen Square in Beijing during the annual meeting of China's legislature last month. Credit... Roman Pilipey/EPA, via Shutterstock Next Dim's analysis uncovered other signs that the two tweets' popularity may not have been organic. Few of the first users to retweet @manisha_kataki's post were followers of the account, which means they were unlikely to have seen the tweet in their timelines. Thousands of accounts reposted both tweets, even though @Ejiketion's tweet was itself a repost of @manisha_kataki's.
Neither @manisha_kataki nor @Ejiketion responded to requests for comment.
Wang Yiwei and Lin Qiqing contributed research.
Twitter Removes Claim About CDC And Covid-19 Coronavirus Deaths That Trump Retweeted
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 12:03
Brooklyn Bridge on August 21, a person holds a sign with a death count of those who have died from the COVID-19 coronavirus to protest the Trump administration's handling of the pandemic, on August 21, 2020 in New York. (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP via Getty Images
When you see ''only 6%'' trending on Twitter, the next obvious question is ''only 6% of what?'' Only 6% of dogs wear shoes? Only 6% of cats are plotting to stage a coup d'(C)tat in your house? Only 6% of what Tinder profiles say is true?
Nope. Various Tweets were pulling the 6% number from the following passage on the ''Provisional Death Counts for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)'' page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:
''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 example, a Twitter account named Mel Q (not to be mistaken as a sixth member of the Spice Girls along with Mel B and Mel C) tweeted out the following:
From Twitter
Twitter
Yeah, the Q doesn't stand for ''quahog'' or ''quick, say Yosemite.'' It seems to stand for QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory that claims among other things that a network of Satan-worshiping pedophiles are running a global child sex-trafficking ring and are trying to take down U.S. President Donald J. Trump.
Speaking of Trump, is that the Donald J. Trump that retweeted the Mel Q tweet? Looks that way because the account is called @realDonaldTrump as opposed to @notreallyDonaldTrump. So if the President retweeted the Mel Q statements then it's got to be credible, right?
One itty bitty problem with the @littellmel Tweet though: it does not accurately portray what the CDC said on it's web site. That's why if you search for the original Tweet now, you will get a message that says, ''This Tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter Rules.'' Umm, whatcha doing Mr. President?
If you want to know why the original Tweet was inaccurate or misleading, just read the rest of what the CDC indicated after the 6%: ''For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.'' Take a gander at what these additional conditions or causes are. They include things such as adult pneumonia, respiratory distress syndrome, respiratory failure, respiratory arrest, other diseases of the respiratory system, and sepsis. Hmmm, these sound very much like the things that Covid-19 can lead to and what can ultimately kill people with severe Covid-19.
So, for example, say a person gets a Covid-19 coronavirus infection, which eventually progresses to pneumonia, ARDS, respiratory distress, and death. Then there's a decent chance doctors will indicate more than one of these conditions as a cause of death. After all, when you go to the grocery store, come back with a bunch of food and 5,000 rolls of toilet paper, and are asked, ''where have you been and what have you been doing,'' you don't tend to just say, ''I got into the car.''
This is a reminder that the virus can trigger a series of events that can ultimately take a person's life. In fact, with Covid-19 leading to all sorts of problems in the body, the probability is high (say over 90%) that something else will then be recorded as a cause of death in addition to Covid-19. It would actually be unusual to simply put Covid-19 as a cause of death without specifying what led to the patient's demise.
Thus, the 6% did not mean that ''only 6%'' of the 161,392 deaths (as of August 26) recorded by the CDC were actually from Covid-19 as Mel Q suggested.
Nevertheless, a flurry of Twitter activity ensued, as @mollyhc pointed out:
This activity included Tweets like the following that suggested that only 6% of those who died from Covid-19 didn't have pre-existing conditions:
As you can see, @drdavidsamadi mentioned that ''many men have been affected by Covid-19,'' just in case you didn't know that, and that he's a ''men's health expert.'' It's probably better than someone else saying ''as a clothing expert, many people wearing clothes have been affected by Covid-19,'' and then rendering an opinion about the CDC data. Nevertheless, what the CDC said on its website did not necessarily mean that ''94% of the deaths were in cases with pre-existing conditions.''
Other people (or Twitter accounts in case they were not real people) suggested that people no longer need take recommended public health precautions such as this Tweet:
Now is @TheDamaniFelder (versus @ADaminiFelder) implying that anyone who has worn a mask is a sheep? Wouldn't that include Trump, who has worn a mask at least once during his visit Walter Reed? Lone Ranger Sheep doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.
Then there was this Tweet:
No, that's not what CDC said. Plus, if you think this means masks off and schools open, then, in the words of Judas Priest, you've got another thing coming. Others tried to use this opportunity to bash, surprise, surprise, the media and scientists:
Even the actor who played Hercules in the television series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys jumped into the fray:
Not exactly a legen, wait for it, dary Tweet.
This was only a small fraction, oh say, less than 6%, of the Tweets on Sunday about the topic.
At the same time, others tried to clarify what the CDC really meant, because misrepresented information could be kind of bad for your health:
Misrepresentation of CDC statements and statistics? Tweets telling you to disregard public health recommendations? Someone bashing the media and scientists? The President retweeting something said by a QAnon supporter? Sigh, just another 2020 day in the Twittersphere. And only less than 6% of it.
Follow me on
Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website. I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. Currently, I am
'... Read More I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. Currently, I am a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Public Health, Executive Director of PHICOR (@PHICORteam), Professor By Courtesy at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and founder and CEO of Symsilico. My previous positions include serving as Executive Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at Johns Hopkins University, Associate Professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, and Senior Manager at Quintiles Transnational, working in biotechnology equity research at Montgomery Securities, and co-founding a biotechnology/bioinformatics company. My work has included developing computational approaches, models, and tools to help health and healthcare decision makers in all continents (except for Antarctica) and has been supported by a wide variety of sponsors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the NIH, AHRQ, CDC, UNICEF, USAID and the Global Fund. I have authored over 200 scientific publications and three books. Follow me on Twitter (@bruce_y_lee) but don't ask me if I know martial arts.
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How 'Flatten the Curve' Turned into 'Shut Down Forever' Here in California
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 16:42
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
On Friday, California Governor Gavin Newsom did something which, if anyone had predicted it five months ago, they would have been mercilessly mocked. Acting almost exactly as would a monarch, he outlined brand-new statistical standards for counties in the state to finally ''reopen'' which are impossible to reach, are based on a metric that isn't reliable, and purposely do not include a theoretical category for things to ever return to ''normal.''
Essentially, Newsom officially announced that the initial stated strategy of ''flatten the curve'' in order to get hospitals prepared has now evolved, five months later, into ''fascism forever,'' or at least until he were to leave office (assuming he still recognizes term limits). This may sound like hyperbolic alarmism coming from someone who has been among his harshest critics since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, but it is not a slight exaggeration.
For context, let's go back to the beginning. In March, Newsom was the first governor to shut his state down (which had an enormous impact on all other governors, especially Democrats), he did so based on a projection, which he laid out in a letter to President Donald Trump, that 25 million Californians would get infected in the next eight weeks. I said at the time that this prediction was overtly ludicrous and that has turned out to be true as, 22 weeks later, 700,000 Californians have tested positive (obviously far more had it, whether they knew or not, and never got tested, but no one seriously believes now that anything close to 25 million Californians could have ever been infected in 8 weeks, even if we somehow tried to make that happen).
At the time, it appeared that Newsom was painting the worst possible scenario in order to justify a short shutdown to ''flatten the curve'' so that our hospitals might not be totally overwhelmed (it should be noted that the emergency hospital ship he requested from Trump in that letter was never even used). Even those, like me, who expressed skepticism about whether this was the correct path, were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt in order to achieve that understandable goal, but his announcement on Friday made it very clear that everything he has done in this situation should be seen through a far more cynical prism, and that this all has the makings of a bait and switch.
It is impossible to overstate just how dramatically Newsom's newest edict has moved the goalposts. Seemingly concerned that some of the many diverse counties in California may be able to finally make the 55-yard field goal he forced them to achieve to escape his grip, he has arbitrarily now turned it into a physically impossible 85-yard kick for most of the state.
As an example, a county could, for three weeks, average just ONE COVID-19 CASE per day for every 100,000 residents and still only be granted the ''Orange/Moderate'' level where ''some business operations are open with modifications.'' Not deaths, not hospitalizations, but CASES.
One per day!
This standard, which, again, is just for some meager level of reopening, is absurd on multiple levels. Based on his original projection that 56% of the state (or 56,000 out of every 100,000 people) would be infected in 56 days, he once thought that averaging 1,000 new cases per day per 100,000 residents would be commonplace.
Now, even if a county somehow magically achieves 1/1,000th of that original Newsom projection, they are still under the control of a governor who has granted himself extraordinary and seemingly permanent ''emergency'' powers. But that is only part of this tyrannical recklessness, which would have been totally unthinkable in the United States of America at the start of this nightmarish year.
It isn't just the numeric standards which are totally unreasonable (for comparison, the state of Minnesota is recommending elementary schools open in counties averaging below 36 cases per day, per 100,000 residents). It is the use of the ''new case'' metric which is, at best, nonsensical, and at worst, scandalous.
We now know that that the majority of Covid cases are not life-threatening and are very often asymptomatic. In those situations, assuming immunity and a quarantine, a ''known case'' can be seen as a positive development, especially if we are ever going to create herd immunity.
But even more troubling than that, huge real-life decisions will be totally dependent on the data point which is not only the least relevant, but also completely unreliable. We now know, thanks to a shocking story in Saturday's New York Times (which the news media, in an act of abject malpractice is largely ignoring) that the typical test for Covid is prone to providing false-positive results.
Even before this new information, expected false-positive results alone would make it effectively unmanageable for a large California county reach Newsom's laughably tight standards. Now that we know that the test itself is under scrutiny (which, by the way, should bring into question the reported death and hospitalization rates as well), it is now a sick joke that this is the metric controlling the lives of many millions of people both here, and around the country.
As if this couldn't get any more preposterous, it all comes on the heels of California's health director resigning because of massive errors in our data. And, just in case Newsom has not already scored enough woke points with all this nuttiness, on Tuesday he is expected to announce that he is adding a health inequity provision to the COVID reopening standards so that counties where the virus is particularly ''racist'' will have an even tougher time making their way up Newsom's slippery ladder of insanity.
Enabling all of this is a perfect storm of circumstances. California's mostly liberal population is spread over a huge geographic area, is incredibly diverse, speaks many different languages, and is hardly served at all by the national media. Meanwhile, the incompetent local media is far more in the tank for Newsom on the virus lockdown than even Fox News normally is for Trump. My educated guess is that at least 90% of Californians have no real idea what Newsom is even doing here.
Add to this that the Republican Party is no longer a legitimate force in this state, and, thanks to his ''emergency'' powers (which were clearly never intended for this type of circumstance, over this extended period of time), Newsom can act like a dictator without any repercussions. Newsom and California are becoming a case study of the horrors of what happens, even in what is supposed to be America, when you have genuine one-party rule.
How Trump is not constantly using what is happening here as a warning to the rest of the country of what will occur if Democrats take total control in Washington is mystifying.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.
Thousands of Swedes Got False Positive COVID-19 Result Due to Test Kit Fault - The New York Times
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 13:41
Europe | Thousands of Swedes Got False Positive COVID-19 Result Due to Test Kit FaultSTOCKHOLM '-- About 3,700 people in Sweden were told in error that they had the coronavirus due to a fault in a COVID-19 testing kit from China, the Public Health Agency said on Tuesday.
The kit from BGI Genomics could not distinguish between very low levels of the virus and a negative result, the agency said.
"The supplier must adjust the performance that is required for this test to be used," Karin Tegmark Wisell, the head of its microbiology department, said.
The test kit has been widely exported to other countries, she added, but could not give further details.
BGI Genomics, two of whose subsidiaries are on a U.S. economic blacklist of companies implicated in human rights violations regarding China's treatment of Uighurs, could not immediately be reached for comment.
It received emergency use authorization from U.S. authorities for its coronavirus testing kits in March and got an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization in May.
The Swedish labs that evaluate the tests have adjusted their methodology. The agency could not say how many tests had been done using the kit but only a minority of cases appeared to be involved, when the virus is at very low levels.
Sweden said the false results had only marginally affected statistics on infections.
On Tuesday, the agency reported that since the first case of COVID-19 was identified, there had been 86,891 confirmed infections in Sweden and 5,814 deaths.
Cases, intensive care admissions and deaths have been falling in recent weeks. The agency will present its strategy for easing some remaining restrictions on public events, such as football matches, next Tuesday.
(Reporting by Simon Johnson)
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Tue, 01 Sep 2020 15:37
á´á´á´Êá´'á´…á´‡Ê ÉªÉ´á´ : This *is* the rabbithole. PCR-testing proves *nothing*. Industry weaponized PCR by sanctioning unverified RNA-seque'... https://t.co/kYed0XYY4F
Thu Aug 13 08:33:07 +0000 2020
Coronavirus app downloads quickly reach 1 million | Yle Uutiset | yle.fi
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 15:39
The coronavirus app is so far only available in Finnish and Swedish. Image: Silja Viitala / YleA mobile phone application developed by health officials to help curtail the spread of Covid-19 has been quickly adopted by people in Finland.
The free contact tracing app was released on Monday by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). So far it is available only in Finnish and Swedish. THL says an English version will be released this autumn.
As of early Tuesday morning, the app had been downloaded 880,000 times, according to the institute's Director of Information Services, Aleksi Yrttiaho. By 8am, the number had exceeded one million. That corresponds to nearly one fifth of Finland's population of 5.52 million.
Article continues after photo
THL Director of Information Services Aleksi Yrttiaho unveiled the app on Monday. Image:Petteri B¼low / YleYrttiaho said that at the current rate, Finland may set a world record for adoption of a pandemic app. The more people use the app, the more effective it will be in tracing and notifying of possible exposures, he said.
"Even 880,000 downloads lowers the risk of infections," Yrttiaho told Yle on Tuesday morning.
Public health authorities had set a target of one million users within the first month. Now that was reached within the first 24 hours or so.
The target was based on levels in other countries where similar apps have been introduced. So far about one fifth of the populations of these countries have taken the applications into use.
Yrttiaho says it would be ideal if half of the population would use the app.
"Particularly in Uusimaa, it would be really good if half of the population would use the app," said deputy chief physician Eeva Ruotsalainen, who is in charge of Covid-19 tracing in the densely-populated Helsinki-Uusimaa healthcare district (HUS).
"Far too much close contact at the moment"Ruotsalainen says that within the past two weeks, as many cases have been confirmed in Uusimaa as during the peak period of last spring. She says that people are having far too much close contact at the moment.
The app asks anyone who has a confirmed case of Covid-19 to input this information, which is then anonymously relayed to anyone who has been in close contact with them within the preceding 14 days, based on phone location data.
"The app brings additional support for the measures that are already in place. If you get a notification, make your own analysis of the situation and immediately seek treatment if you have symptoms," Ruotsalainen said.
If someone gets a notification but does not feel any symptoms, she recommends they go into self-imposed quarantine and avoid close contact with others or at least wear a mask.
12.49: Updated with latest figure and other details.
15.29: Updated with timing and other details.
iOS 13.7 Now Available With Support for Exposure Notifications Express - MacRumors
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 21:47
Apple today released iOS 13.7, a major update that comes more than a month after the release of iOS 13.6. iOS 13.7 is an update that's being introduced to roll out a new Exposure Notifications System that does not require an app to be downloaded for the feature to be turned on.
The iOS 13.7 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Apple has also released a new version of iPadOS 13.7, but as Exposure Notifications don't work on the iPad, the 'ŒiPad'Œ update focuses on bug fixes.
With iOS 13.7, Apple is adding Exposure Notifications Express, a feature that lets states that choose to participate provide an Exposure Notification system without having to do the work to develop an app.
After updating, iOS 13.7 users will see a new 'ŒExposure Notification'Œ section in the Settings app (it used to be in the Privacy settings) where there's a toggle to "Turn on Exposure Notifications."
Activating Exposure Notifications lets you know if the feature is available in your country, state, or region through a contact tracing app. In areas that are participating in the Exposure Notifications Express program, users will be able to turn on Exposure Notifications without the need to download an app.
Apple this morning said that Maryland, Nevada, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. will soon be adopting Exposure Notifications Express, and more states could follow in the future. Using Exposure Notifications Express will require iOS 13.7, and even though it works without an app in some areas, it is still entirely opt-in.
In areas that do not participate in Exposure Notifications Express, attempting to toggle on Exposure Notifications will direct users to an app created by a public health authority in their state if one is available, or it will let them know that Exposure Notifications are not yet available in their area.
iOS 13.7 is likely to be one of the final updates to the iOS 13 operating system as Apple shifts its focus to iOS 14. We could see 'ŒiOS 14'Œ released in the coming weeks if the update is decoupled from new iPhones, or in October when the new iPhones are expected to debut.
Pelosi Caught On Video Breaking San Francisco Hair Salon Ban
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 23:37
Video footage appears to show Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a shuttered San Francisco hair salon, despite local orders shuttering salons. You'll also notice that while the stylist on camera is wearing a mask, Speaker Pelosi is not.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited a San Francisco hair salon on Monday afternoon for a wash and blow-out, despite local ordinances keeping salons closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, Fox News had learned.
In security footage obtained by Fox News, and timestamped Monday at 3:08 p.m. Pacific Time, the California powerhouse is seen walking through eSalon in San Francisco with wet hair, and without a mask over her mouth or nose.
The stylist doing her hair can be seen following her wearing a black face mask.
Salons in San Francisco had been closed since March and were only notified they could reopen on Sept. 1 for outdoor hairstyling services only.
Salon owner Erica Kious, in a phone interview with Fox News on Tuesday, shared details of Pelosi's visit. Kious explained she has independent stylists working for her who rent chairs in her salon.
''One of the stylists who rents a chair from me contacted me Sunday night,'' Kious said.
A screengrab of the text message she received from one of her stylists, and obtained by Fox News, said: ''I'll be there at 2:45 tomorrow. Pelosi assistant just messaged me to do her hair.''
Kious replied: ''Pelosi?''
''I was like, are you kidding me right now? Do I let this happen? What do I do?'' Kious told Fox News, while noting that she ''can't control'' what her stylists do if they rent chairs from her, as ''they're not paying'' at this time.
Kious cast Pelosi's visit as a double standard.
''It was a slap in the face that she went in, you know, that she feels that she can just go and get her stuff done while no one else can go in, and I can't work,'' Kious told Fox News, adding that she ''can't believe'' the speaker didn't have a mask on. (From the footage, it appears Pelosi had some kind of covering around her neck.)
''We're supposed to look up to this woman, right?'' Kious said. ''It is just disturbing.''
Asked for comment, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill maintained that the speaker was following the rules.
''The speaker always wears a mask and complies with local COVID requirements,'' he said.
But the owner pushed back.
Kious said Pelosi received a wash and a blow-dry, but told Fox News that ''you're not supposed to blow dry hair'' according to coronavirus safety precautions for hair salons.
''We have been shut down for so long, not just me, but most of the small businesses and I just can't '' it's a feeling '' a feeling of being deflated, helpless and honestly beaten down,'' Kious said.
''I have been fighting for six months for a business that took me 12 years to build to reopen,'' she explained. ''I am a single mom, I have two small children, and I have no income.''
She added: ''The fact that they did this, and she came in, it's like a slap in the face.''
Kious told Fox News that she had expected to be able to reopen her salon in July, and prepared her space in accordance with local guidelines.
''There were rules and regulations to go by to safely reopen, which I did, but I was still not allowed to open my business,'' she said, noting that she installed plexiglass partitions between sinks and seating areas, and ensured that all salon chairs were six feet apart, along with proper air circulation from open windows.
''They never let us open,'' she said, while adding that she is unable to reopen outside because her salon specializes in hair color, and using chemicals outside is prohibited.
Pelosi is claiming she was mislead on the lockdown:
NEW: per @SpeakerPelosi spokesman Drew Hammill: pic.twitter.com/QMyXt2mKNM
'-- Brooke Singman (@BrookeSingman) September 1, 2020
Sure.
Reactions
The CDC has failed: Ex-health officials urge states to abandon agency '' Ars Technica
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 11:26
Enlarge / A security guard walks on the grounds of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Saturday, March 14, 2020.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is promoting policies that will prolong the COVID-19 pandemic and, as such, states and local leaders should disregard the agency and strike out on their own. That's according to Harold Varmus, the Nobel-prize-winning scientist and former director of the National Institutes of Health, and Rajiv Shah, the former administrator of the United States Agency for International Development and current president of the Rockefeller Foundation.
The two laid out their argument against the CDC in a searing opinion piece in The New York Times Monday, titled: ''It Has Come to This: Ignore the CDC.''
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Varmus and Shah's dramatic disavowal of the country's leading public health agency was spurred by its abrupt changes last week to COVID-19 testing guidance, which now discourages testing of people who have been exposed to the pandemic coronavirus but do not have symptoms.
Doctors, public health practitioners, and infectious disease experts roundly decried the changes, noting that evidence clearly indicates that people without symptoms play a significant role in spreading the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. The president of the American Medical Association called the change ''a recipe for community spread and more spikes in coronavirus.'' The Infectious Disease Society of America called for ''the immediate reversal'' of the change.
Amid the outcry, cases of COVID-19 in the US exceeded 6 million, and recorded deaths are nearing 184,000.
''Like other scientists and public health experts, we have argued that more asymptomatic people, not fewer, need to be tested to bring the pandemic under control,'' Varmus and Shah write in their opinion piece. ''Now, in the face of a dysfunctional CDC, it's up to states, other institutions and individuals to act.''
The pair lays out three actions the country should take to fill the void of ''sensible guidance from the CDC.''
State and local leaders ''should be emboldened to act independently of the federal government and do more testing.''Insurance companies, city and state governments, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services should recognize the importance of testing asymptomatic people and ''provide reasonable reimbursement" for those tests.Americans everywhere should do their part to help prevent transmission with ''mask-wearing, hand-washing, quarantining, and use of personal protective equipment."So far, it seems the majority of US states have already decided to reject the CDC's new guidance. At least 33 states will continue to recommend testing for asymptomatic people exposed to SARS-CoV-2, according to an investigation by Reuters. Experts who spoke with the news organization said the rebellion was unprecedented in its size and yet another sign of distrust of the Trump administration and its handling of the pandemic.
Digital 'ID cards' lead the Dominic Cummings data revolution | News | The Times
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 12:49
No 10 plans to create online ''ID cards'' for British citizens as Dominic Cummings tries to revolutionise the use of data across government.
Under proposals announced yesterday each person will be assigned a unique digital identity to help them with such tasks as registering with a new GP.
The details have yet to be finalised but it is understood that legislation could be amended to remove the need for landlords to check tenants' immigration documents. Witnesses would no longer have to attend signings on property deals in person, and bar owners would be able to digitally verify drinkers' ages.
Emergency measures in response to coronavirus, such as the self-employment income support scheme, exposed difficulties in identifying people. When the pandemic started the government's databases had
Coronavirus: Infection rate in Texas a 'perfect storm' | US News | Sky News
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 13:47
In the Rio Grande Valley, it's hard to find anyone who hasn't been touched by COVID-19.
The pandemic ravaged the region - an overwhelmingly Hispanic area, where poverty, poor health and close-knit families put them on a collision course.
Dr Ivan Melendez, from Hidalgo County Health Authority, describes how obesity and diabetes have contributed to the crisis.
Almost a third of residents are also uninsured, many are undocumented too, afraid to seek medical help.
"I hate cliches, but this was the perfect storm," he said.
He's spent months rushing around trying to co-ordinate the coronavirus response.
We start the day with him in a rare moment of quiet - his morning prayer at home.
But he's soon off to visit Edinburg Regional Medical Centre, a hospital that's skilfully and thankfully turned a corner.
Image: Dr Ivan Melendez, from Hidalgo County Health Authority, says people have started to take the virus more seriouslyThey had to adapt when Texas opened up faster than many other states and a surge in infections followed.
We're taken to what used to be a conference room and has been converted into an intensive care unit.
There's little more than a handful of patients being intubated, but Dr Melendez said just weeks ago "it was filled to the brim with people everywhere".
He believes the close-knit community has started to take the virus more seriously, wearing masks and social distancing.
Patient numbers have reduced significantly. But he's conscious too, that may in part be because some of the most fragile people in the area "who were barely holding on, have just gone".
Gustavo Ortiz is 55 and has pneumonia from COVID-19. But he's also terrified his business will fall apart.
So many here are under intense financial pressure. It is a stark reminder of the health and wealth gap that pervades this country.
Another challenge that's hit this area is the process of transporting the dead - the grim responsibility of Juan Lopez.
Like the doctors in the hospital, he's seen a reduction in numbers. But he's still shocked by the volume.
He said he's still moving up to 20 bodies a day. "For the last six months, I've dealt with 1,000 bodies. I've lost count," he said.
Image: Juan Lopez says he has lost count of the bodies he's had to moveSome have lost more than most of us could imagine.
Both of Priscilla Garcia's parents died - just four days apart. She hasn't been able to have a funeral for them yet.
"It's really sad because it's not normal to go through that. To mourn our parents and not be able to say goodbye to them," she said.
Image: Priscilla Garcia's parents died four days apartFuneral Director Tim Brown is doing all he can to support bereaved families. But they must mourn at a distance.
Two weeks ago he had 106 COVID-19 victims. Today, he has 69. It's a decline, but he still feels overwhelmed.
"We went from normal business one day to knocking down walls. It's taken a huge personal toll," he said.
"I didn't sign up to run bodies through homes. I wanted to care for my community... People are talking about first responders. But there's a big movement of last responders."
Image: Funeral director Tim Brown says he is overwhelmed by the number of victims:: Subscribe to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
Recently he's been arranging the funeral for his friend, Jorge Cabrera, a celebrated police officer who died with COVID-19.
Colleagues and friends have to drive by the casket in their patrol cars, waving at his family to pay their respects.
It is deeply moving and deeply sobering.
Jorge is now one of more than 148,000 dead in this country.
More than six million have been infected. It is not a nation or a region out of the woods yet.
Coronavirus: California faces backlash over new tiered reopening plan
Thu, 03 Sep 2020 12:30
LOS ANGELES '' As it became the first state to cross the sad milestone of 700,000 cases of COVID-19, California has embarked on a new tiered plan for reopening businesses that has some crying foul.
Critics say the system doesn't take into account that some businesses can operate safely even in counties with relatively high numbers of COVID-cases. And it hits some businesses harder than others, even when it appears they perform similar services.
"While certain businesses are allowed to open ... many others continue to be greatly limited, hampered or even closed," said San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond, who held a news conference on the issue Monday. "The state continues to change the targets and move the goal posts."
Gyms remain closed in the most restrictive category, but smaller operations could operate safely and enforce social distancing, Desmond said. Legoland, classified as a theme park, must stay shut while 30 miles south, SeaWorld San Diego can reopen under the "Zoos and Museums" category. It began hosting its "Zoo Days" last weekend.
Then there is the issue of manicurists, who still can't work indoors, while hair salons can.
"It makes no sense to us," said Mike Vo, board chairman of the Pro Nails Association, an industry group.
The new guidelines, announced late last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom, create a four-tier, color-coded system based on the rates of coronavirus cases in each of California's 58 counties. Counties in most of the state, including metropolitan Los Angeles and part of the San Francisco Bay Area, remain in the most severe category. Counties aren't allowed to move to a less restrictive tier for 21 days, to make sure their COVID-19 case trend isn't worsening.
California has been hit harder than any other state by the coronavirus when it comes to number of COVID-19 cases. But with its number of new cases on the decline lately, the new plan allows even counties in the most severe category, purple, to reopen shopping malls, barbershops and hair salons with limited capacity.
In Redding, in the northern part of the state, one restaurant was able to reopen indoors this week at 50% capacity under the new rules since it is in Shasta County, which falls into the "moderate," or orange, category.
The patio at C.R. Gibbs American Grille in Redding was full, while diners were also eating inside for the first time in weeks, said Ed Rullman, a managing partner.
''We're doing the mask thing, we're doing sanitation, we're washing our hands, we're distancing the tables six feet (apart) and sometimes even more,'' Rullman said. But reopening at half-capacity is still far from ideal, he said.
Many cities have let restaurants open outdoors, even creating seating areas in streets, but it hasn't always worked. Diners in Visalia, for instance, have been deterred by the San Joaquin Valley's scorching heat and recently, wildfire smoke, so indoor dining is a blessing.
Visalia Vice Mayor Steve Nelsen said customers should be able to decide whether there is a risk of contracting the coronavirus.
''As an individual, I can decide whether I feel safe to enter or not,'' he said.
To some, the state's guidelines look arbitrary, unrelated to the degree of risk. Some casinos on tribal land have reopened with precautions such as mask requirements and plastic partitions, while those fully under state or local jurisdiction remain closed.
"I think it's devastating," said Kyle Kirkland, president of the California Gaming Association. "The governor's office looks like they are playing with colors."
And the latest attempt at reopening plan seems chaotic to some. The state has had four different reopening plans in six months, Jessica Patterson, chairwoman of the California Republican Party, told USA TODAY. "The back and forth, it's driving people insane."
Besides having to navigate the new state rules, some counties are more restrictive. On Monday, Los Angeles still wasn't permitting indoor hair cutting, even though it was allowed at limited capacity under state rules.
"It's absolutely horrifying," said Dani Lyn, owner of Trim a salon in the Studio City section of Los Angeles. "They allow you to open to cut hair, but not in L.A. County."
Her stylists have been working outdoors on a patio where she can't perform some critical services, such as coloring. It's galling, she said, because she knows her employees can work safely indoors.
Nail salon co-owner Christie Nguyen, co-owner of the Studio 18 Nail Bar in Tustin, south of Los Angeles, said her manicurists, similarly, would put safety first if her business were allowed to open. They would be separated from customers by a clear plastic shield as they work on their hands and feet, leaving extra space between chairs and wearing masks.
But it's a race against time. She said the salon is thousands of dollars behind on rent, and with the state's requirement of 21 days to move to the next category, it's a matter of trying to hang on.
"It's really a mess," Nguyen said.
Contributing: Michele Chandler, Redding Record Searchlight; Josh Yeager, Visalia Times-Delta
Vaccines and Such
Coronavirus live updates: CDC asks states to prepare to distribute vaccine as early as Nov. 1 - The Washington Post
Thu, 03 Sep 2020 11:14
Please NoteThe Washington Post is providing this important information about the coronavirus for free. For more free coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter where all stories are free to read.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling state health officials to be ready to distribute a coronavirus vaccine to health-care workers and other high-priority groups as soon as Nov. 1, heightening fears that the agency is under pressure to approve a vaccine before Election Day. Some scientists warn that granting emergency authorization to a vaccine before clinical trials are complete could pose safety dangers and inflame anti-vaccination sentiment '-- but others say that doing so could save thousands of lives.
Here are some significant developments:
A Minnesota biker who attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has died of covid-19 '-- the first fatality traced to the 10-day event that drew more than 400,000 to South Dakota. At least 260 cases in 11 states have been linked to the rally. By the end of 2020, the amount of debt owed by the United States will roughly equal the nation's gross domestic product '-- reaching its highest level since the end of World War II, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Cheap, widely available steroids reduced the number of deaths in patients with severe cases of covid-19, according to three newly published clinical trials. United Airlines will furlough more than 16,000 employees once a federal payroll support program expires at the end of September. After facing criticism for visiting a San Francisco hair salon that was not cleared to reopen, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) maintained that she had been ''set up.'' More than 6,073,000 coronavirus infections and 182,000 fatalities have been reported in the United States since February. Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter | Mapping the spread of the coronavirus: Across the U.S. | Worldwide | Vaccine tracker | Where states reopened and cases spiked | Has someone close to you died of covid-19? Share your story with The Washington Post.
September 3, 2020 at 7:11 AM EDT
What the country is reading during the pandemic: Dystopias, social justice and steamy romanceThis year, perhaps as never before, our reading habits reflect our precarious reality. As the country has muddled through a deadly pandemic and a racial reckoning under a cloud of exhaustion and dread, we've used books to escape the present, inform our beliefs and educate our homebound children. We've found catharsis in apocalyptic science fiction and comfort in romance; advice in self-help guides and a moment of peace, thanks to children's activity books. Most strikingly, since the death of George Floyd in May, we've flocked to books about race and social justice.
Data collected from publishers, libraries, associations, data firms and readers of our website provide a snapshot of book trends during the spring and summer of 2020. Together, these literary choices mirror our collective mood.
The Washington Post asked readers in early May and mid-August about the books that resonated with them. What follows comes from more than 1,600 submissions.
Read the full story here.
By Stephanie Merry and Steven Johnson
September 3, 2020 at 6:41 AM EDT
Love or hate them, pandemic learning pods are here to stay '-- and could disrupt American educationSome love them. Some hate them.
But nobody working in education today can escape pandemic learning pods: the increasingly popular phenomenon in which families band together and hire a private tutor to offer in-person learning to a small group of children.
Teachers throughout the nation are sketching out schedules and pondering whether they can squeeze in pod tutoring after virtual school. They are weighing health risks, deciding on ground rules '-- should all pod students wear masks? '-- and asking parents how much they will pay (a lot, it turns out). Sometimes, they are quitting their jobs to lead pods instead.
Read the full story here.
By Hannah Natanson
September 3, 2020 at 6:01 AM EDT
Fauci: Sending college students home after outbreak erupts is 'the worst thing you could do' Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a July hearing in Washington. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool/AP)
Sending college students home after an outbreak erupts on campus is ''the worst thing you could do,'' Anthony S. Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, said Wednesday, as universities continued to be plagued by alarming infection rates.
Many colleges that welcomed students back just a few weeks ago have already switched to online instruction, and in some cases told students that they must move out of their dorms and return home. Fauci told NBC's ''Today'' show that it was important to ensure that infected students are placed in isolation, ''but don't have them go home, because they could be spreading it in their home state.''
The decision to resume in-person instruction at many residential colleges this fall '-- only to reverse course when social gatherings predictably led to large clusters of cases '-- has been widely panned, with critics pointing out that students returning to their hometowns once their campus becomes a hot spot could easily end up spreading the virus in their communities. Some schools with a surge in cases are now opting to keep dorms open while temporarily halting face-to-face classes '-- such as San Diego State University, which put sports and in-person classes on hold Wednesday after reporting 64 infections in the first week of classes.
At the University of Illinois, where more than 700 students have tested positive in less than two weeks, administrators announced a ban on ''gathering in small or large groups under any circumstances.'' Students will effectively be subject to the equivalent of stay-at-home orders and banned from leaving their rooms for anything besides essential activities '-- attending class, purchasing groceries, solo outdoor exercise, religious services and medical visits. The college also plans to aggressively crack down on parties.
''We have been encouraged that the vast majority of our students have been compliant, and we believe this effort will require noncompliant students to make the choice to either comply or leave campus,'' Chancellor Robert Jones said in a statement.
By Antonia Farzan
September 3, 2020 at 5:26 AM EDT
Photo shows students jammed together at Florida high schoolThis tweet was posted on Monday, the first day of the 2020-2021 school year in many school districts in Florida, where the administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) ordered most districts in the state to open or lose state funding.
Kelly J. Schulz, spokeswoman for Volusia County public schools, confirmed that the photo was taken Monday at Spruce Creek High School.
Health experts have urged school districts to reopen with appropriate measures, such as social distancing and the wearing of masks at all times, to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Some districts in the state, however, are only recommending the use of masks, not requiring them.
Read the full story here.
By Valerie Strauss
September 3, 2020 at 5:01 AM EDT
British government insists testing regime is working well despite some traveling 100 miles to be swabbedBritish Health Secretary Matt Hancock leaves 10 Downing Street in London on Sept. 2, 2020. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock insisted Thursday that the country's coronavirus testing system is working ''well'' despite British media reporting that people are being forced to travel up to 100 miles to visit a test center because of shortages or lack of access locally.
''At the moment, the system works well. Of course there are operational challenges from time to time, but it works well,'' Hancock told Sky News as he promised more widespread testing.
One doctor told the BBC that she was concerned patients would not be able to travel long distances to be tested at designated drive-through centers, especially if they felt unwell and were suffering from symptoms of the coronavirus such as a fever or cough.
The government defended its approach, saying high-risk areas where more cases of the virus have been recorded are given priority. Hancock expressed hope that a new a 500 million pound ($665 million) fund to conduct trials of a saliva test that provides results in 20 minutes could help with testing issues.
The government has ramped up testing in recent months to slow the rate of transmission, but critics have frequently accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being too slow to implement lockdown measures and provide easy access to testing and adequate protective wear for key workers earlier in the health crisis.
Britain remains the worst-hit country in Europe, with more than 41,602 lives lost amid the pandemic.
By Jennifer Hassan
September 3, 2020 at 4:47 AM EDT
New clusters pop up in Singapore migrant dormitories after hundreds of thousands tested and clearedMigrant workers who recovered from covid-19 in May were housed in tightly packed dormitories. (Edgar Su/Reuters)
Less than a month ago, Singapore said that hundreds of thousands of workers living in migrant dormitories had been tested and declared coronavirus-free. But new clusters are surfacing once again '-- with 43 new cases in three dormitories reported Wednesday, according to Reuters.
Coronavirus cases exploded in the overcrowded dormitories that house Singapore's low-paid foreign workers this spring, even as the country was lauded for its success in containing the pandemic. Migrant laborers make up the majority of the 56,908 infections that Singapore has reported to date, while constituting a third of the labor force.
In mid-August, Singapore's Ministry of Manpower announced that it had tested more than 300,000 migrant workers, many of them living in dormitories, and quarantined 22,500 people while clearing the rest to return to work. The agency pledged to monitor sewage for signs of a new outbreak and said that workers would have to report their temperatures to the government twice a day.
Some of the new safety protocols appear to have helped authorities discover the new clusters before the outbreak got any worse: The country's Ministry of Health said Wednesday that 14 of the people to test positive were already being quarantined because of potential exposure, while the other 29 were detected through the routine testing that is conducted biweekly for workers in dormitories.
''This allows us to pick up cases early, including asymptomatic ones, so that we are able to ring-fence them quickly to prevent further transmission, by aggressively containing, tracing and isolating the close contacts,'' the agency said.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Wednesday that the government would ''have acted more aggressively and sooner on the migrant worker dormitories'' during the initial outbreak if there had been greater awareness that people without symptoms could transmit the virus, Reuters reported.
By Antonia Farzan
September 3, 2020 at 4:22 AM EDT
Video of Australian police arresting pregnant woman for inciting anti-lockdown protest goes viralA viral video of police officers in Australia arresting a pregnant woman in front of her partner and two children at home has sparked controversy after being shared to Facebook on Wednesday.
Zoe-Lee Buhler, 28, was at home in her pajamas when officers wearing masks entered with a search warrant and said they were arresting her for incitement in relation to a Facebook event she had created to promote an anti-lockdown protest in the city of Ballarat in Victoria on Saturday.
The protest's information page asked attendees to wear masks and abide by social distancing measures but to challenge the government on its stringent lockdown policies and alleged police misconduct as authorities grapple to contain the coronavirus in the state.
''Excuse me, incitement for what?'' Buhler can be heard saying in the video. ''I didn't realize I was doing anything wrong.''
Buhler then offers to delete the post, calling the arrest ''ridiculous'' as officers say they will be seizing computers and mobile devices at the property.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Buhler said she had planned the protest because she was concerned about the impact lockdown measures were having on the economy and the mental health of others.
''Now is not the time to protest about anything. Because to do so is not safe,'' State Premier Daniel Andrews said Thursday.
''Arresting people preemptively for the act of organizing peaceful protests or for social media posts is something that happens all too often under authoritarian regimes, and it should not be happening in a democracy like Australia,'' Elaine Pearson of Human Rights Watch tweeted, as many on social media also expressed concern about the arrest.
Victoria has been under stringent lockdown measures since July following a second wave of infections. At present, it is recording about 100 new cases most days, compared with over 700 during last month, with authorities saying the lockdown is working.
By Jennifer Hassan
September 3, 2020 at 3:49 AM EDT
Britain is promoting strict coronavirus quarantines but has issued hardly any finesPassengers arrive at Heathrow Airport in London on Aug. 21. (Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
LONDON '-- The British government has made a big show this summer about its coronavirus quarantine list '-- and generated lots of drama.
The ever-growing list of countries identified as novel coronavirus hot spots has prompted diplomatic outrage from British allies, who threaten reciprocal travel restrictions. It has stirred travel and airline industry leaders to complain that Britain is killing their sectors by hanging up a ''closed'' sign. And it has set off panicky scrambles of British holidaymakers trying to rush home before mandatory 14-day quarantines take effect.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain must be ''absolutely ruthless about this, even with our closest and dearest friends and partners around the world.''
But the enforcement numbers don't suggest ruthlessness. Since June, when Britain began requiring self-isolation for people traveling from countries where the virus is spreading at a rapid rate, police have fined only three people for ignoring the rules in England and Wales.
Read the full story here.
By William Booth and Karla Adam
September 3, 2020 at 3:25 AM EDT
Mexico has world's highest number of health worker deaths, new report saysA health-care worker is seen outside a hospital in Mexico City last month. (Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images)
At least 1,320 health-care workers in Mexico have died after contracting covid-19 '-- the highest total of any nation, according to a new Amnesty International report.
The human rights organization found that at least 7,000 health-care workers worldwide have died from the virus, with the United States, Britain and Brazil following Mexico for the highest number of deaths. Rising numbers of fatalities have also been reported in countries such as India and South Africa that have witnessed their outbreaks worsen in recent months.
At least 97,632 coronavirus infections have been reported among health-care workers in Mexico, according to Amnesty. The organization notes that Mexico is among the only countries keeping an anonymized tally of health-care worker fatalities, which also contains information about the workers' ages, gender and job role. That transparency, while commendable, ''may also go some way to explaining the disturbing figures from Mexico relative to other countries,'' the report states.
Mexico's understaffed and under-resourced hospitals have come under increasing strain since cases began surging this spring. The country ranks eighth globally for the number of reported cases but has the fourth-highest total of deaths. According to Amnesty, cleaners at hospitals are particularly vulnerable to infection, in part because their work tends to be outsourced.
''For over seven thousand people to die while trying to save others is a crisis on a staggering scale,'' Steve Cockburn, Amnesty's head of economic and social justice, said in a statement. ''There must be global cooperation to ensure all health workers are provided with adequate protective equipment, so they can continue their vital work without risking their own lives.''
By Antonia Farzan
September 3, 2020 at 2:56 AM EDT
Tactics of fiery White House trade adviser draw new scrutiny as some of his pandemic moves unravelAmid the Trump administration's troubled response to the coronavirus pandemic, senior White House aide Peter Navarro has refashioned himself as a powerful government purchasing chief, operating far beyond his original role as an adviser on trade policy.
But U.S. officials say the abrasive figure's shortcomings as a manager could influence how well prepared the United States is for a second wave of coronavirus infections expected this fall.
Navarro's harsh manner and disregard for protocol have alienated numerous colleagues, corporate executives and prominent Republicans. In a previously undisclosed incident, the White House Counsel's Office in 2018 investigated Navarro's behavior in response to repeated complaints and found he routinely had been verbally abusive toward others. Navarro narrowly avoided losing his job, but the abuse has continued as the White House has grappled with the pandemic, multiple administration officials said.
Read the full story here.
By David Lynch, Carol D. Leonnig, Jeff Stein and Josh Dawsey
September 3, 2020 at 2:37 AM EDT
Immigrant parents in Sweden to lose their children for locking them home during pandemic, court rulesPedestrians walk through a public square in Sweden, where the government has taken a relatively hands-off approach to the pandemic. (Erika Gerdemark/Bloomberg)
Swedish authorities have ruled that three children whose immigrant parents locked them indoors over fears of the coronavirus should remain in protective custody and not go home.
Ranging in age from 10 to 17, the children ''were prohibited from leaving the apartment'' from March to early July, their legal representative, Mikael Svegfors, told Agence France-Presse.
He said that the parents ''come from another part of the world'' and are not fluent in Swedish, which led to confusion and a clash of cultures. Unable to understand the local news in Sweden, where the government took a more hands-off approach to the pandemic and did not impose a hard lockdown, the parents instead followed updates from their home country, where much more stringent restrictions were in place.
The ruling from the administrative court in the southern Sweden city of Jonkoping said that the children were kept isolated from one another, and ate meals while locked in their separate rooms. The court also said that the front door had been nailed shut with wood planks, something the parents deny.
Swedish radio reported that the parents plan to appeal the ruling, according to the Guardian. They argue that the children were free to leave at any time, but were being home-schooled while schools remained open and attendance remained mandatory for students under 16.
Sweden has reported a relatively high number of coronavirus cases for its size, and 57.2 deaths for every 100,000 people '-- giving it a slightly higher per capita fatality rate than the United States. But the number of new infections has been slowing steadily over the course of the summer, as has the number of deaths reported each day.
By Antonia Farzan
September 3, 2020 at 2:05 AM EDT
Housing industry groups eye potential lawsuits challenging Trump's eviction orderBronx residents protest evictions outside a housing court Aug. 10. (Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)
Landlords, home builders and other housing industry groups are weighing how to respond to the Trump administration's new policy protecting renters from eviction, with some even considering lawsuits and other legal actions challenging the moratorium as soon as it takes effect.
The mounting opposition stems from the fact that the federal government has not put aside any new aid to reimburse landlords at a time when their tenants are at risk of falling behind on their rent. Such money probably must come from Capitol Hill, where lawmakers for months have been at odds over another round of coronavirus aid '-- leaving housing industry advocates fearful about their future finances under the moratorium.
Read the full story here.
By Tony Romm
September 3, 2020 at 1:34 AM EDT
Over 1,000 students at the University of South Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirusThe University of South Carolina allowed students to return to campus on Aug. 9 and resumed classes on Aug. 20. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
More than 1,000 students at the University of South Carolina tested positive for the coronavirus in the month of August, bringing the positivity rate for the most recent reporting period to nearly 28 percent, according to the university's data dashboard.
By comparison, the World Health Organization has advised countries against reopening when positivity rates are higher than 5 percent.
That total is nearly double the 553 cases that had been detected when the university last updated its data a week ago, WLTX reported.
Over the weekend, a crowded pool party in an apartment complex near campus raised concerns after the fire chief described a scene that was ''like Mardi Gras,'' with about 200 mask-free revelers. On Tuesday, USC President Bob Caslen said that students' off-campus behavior had been ''both disappointing and unacceptable,'' and that the number of active infections was ''larger than we expected at this point.''
Nine sorority and fraternity houses have been placed under quarantine, and 15 students have been suspended for throwing off-campus parties, Caslen said.
As the Charleston Post and Courier reported, the university has reported more coronavirus cases than the Universities of Florida, Mississippi, Virginia and Washington combined. The only college that appears to have reported a higher tally of infections is the University of Alabama, which had logged 1,201 cases by Aug. 27, compared with 1,192 at USC as of Aug. 31.
There are no plans for USC to close down, Caslen said at a Wednesday town hall, according to the paper. He expressed hope that the alarming case count would serve as a wake-up call and help the school get the outbreak under control.
''If I don't test, I don't have any positives,'' he said. ''If I don't have any positives, you don't make them news and no one pays attention.''
By Antonia Farzan
September 3, 2020 at 12:54 AM EDT
Analysis: Why vaccine nationalism is winningGovernments have failed to unite in the fight against covid-19. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the race to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus. Rather than consolidate efforts, many countries are striking out on their own.
The fragmented forces of vaccine nationalism won another victory this week: U.S. officials told The Washington Post that the United States would not participate in the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) Facility, a global effort to help develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine backed by the World Health Organization.
The U.S. absence is a major blow for a project seeking to overcome unequal access to immunization. More than 170 countries are in talks to participate in Covax. But America is not alone in going it alone. Following the U.S. example, many other countries are pursuing unilateral plans, focused on producing a vaccine for priority use or buying up potential vaccines from other nations.
Read the full story here.
By Adam Taylor
September 3, 2020 at 12:26 AM EDT
Universities can't use privacy laws to withhold data on coronavirus outbreaks, experts sayMatthew Claflin and Sara Norton hang out on the quad at the University of Alabama in mid-August in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Vasha Hunt/AP)
University of Alabama faculty members were threatened by department leaders Aug. 24 with ''serious consequences'' if they shared news of coronavirus infections on campus.
Arizona State University, which boasts one of the largest student enrollment numbers in the country, divulged its first case count in the past week amid public pressure after the school's president refused to.
With coronavirus clusters popping up around campus in August, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill told its student newspaper it would not reveal the number of people infected in the outbreaks.
As students file onto campuses across the country for in-person classes, these universities and others tightened transparency, wielding one or a combination of two significant federal laws: FERPA, a federal law protecting the privacy of student education records, and HIPAA, a federal health privacy rule.
But these laws do not apply to withholding overall coronavirus campus data, three legal experts told The Washington Post.
Read the full story here.
By Meryl Kornfield
The NIH Vaccine - Public Citizen
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 16:19
T he U.S. government may jointly own a potential coronavirus vaccine. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has played a critical role in coronavirus research for years.[1] Building off this work, federal scientists have helped design and test mRNA-1274'--a vaccine candidate developed in partnership with Moderna.[2]
The federal government has filed multiple patents covering mRNA-1274. In this report, we describe two patent applications that list federal scientists as co-inventors.[3] If the government successfully pursued its patent filings, the resulting patents would likely confer significant rights. We also review recently disclosed contracts between NIH and Moderna. The agreements suggest that NIH has not transferred its rights, but instead maintains a joint stake.
The federal government should use this authority to expand affordable access around the world. Moderna so far has committed publicly to supplying 500 million doses per year, potentially up to one billion.[4] With two doses required per person, this could be enough for 250 million to 500 million people.[5] Moderna's CEO reportedly has acknowledged that ''We won't have enough supply at the global level.''[6] He also has pledged to set a price in line with other respiratory vaccines'--which cost up to $800.[7] If the vaccine proves safe and effective, nobody should be left behind. The U.S. government must take responsibility for timely access to mRNA-1274.
MethodsMany scientific publications require authors to disclose conflicts of interest, including relevant patent ownership and applications. On June 15th, 2020, we searched the scientific literature for terms related to mRNA-1274. We collected information about disclosures that appeared relevant to the vaccine and, where possible, searched for full patent applications. Assessing whether the applications met patentability requirements was beyond the scope of this report.
We also reviewed the NIH-Moderna agreements disclosed by Axios to supplement our analysis. We selected documents based on their relevance to mRNA-1274 and assessed terms related to ownership.
Findings: The Case For OwnershipPatent ApplicationsWe found two patent application disclosures by federal scientists that appear relevant to a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. One application is provisional and remains unpublished. The other is nonprovisional and has been published. Provisional applications are easier to file and represent an initial step towards seeking patent protection.[8] Nonprovisional applications serve as the basis for patent examination.
''2019-nCoV Vaccine.''[9]
U.S. Application no. 62/972,886
A provisional application has been filed for a patent that appears to claim the vaccine.[10] From publicly available documents, it appears that the list of inventors at least includes several federal scientists, along with academic researchers based at University of Texas, Austin.[11] Notably, the scientific paper that disclosed this patent included Moderna scientists, but they were not named as co-inventors.[12] If the patent is granted and covers the vaccine, then the NIH has an ownership stake.
''Prefusion Coronavirus Spike Proteins and Their Use.''[13]
U.S. Application No. 16/344,774
In 2016, federal scientists in partnership with academic researchers developed a new way to stabilize coronavirus spike proteins. The approach required substituting two amino acids, known as prolines, between the central helix and heptad repeat 1 (''the 2P approach'').[14] The stabilized spike protein for an earlier coronavirus produced a stronger immune response at lower doses than the naturally occurring protein.[15] The scientists filed a patent application. The patent application, in relevant part, claims:
Stabilized proteins produced using the 2P approach across a group of coronaviruses (Claims 1 and 5);Nucleic acid molecules (e.g., RNA) encoding those proteins (Claims 39-41); andMethods for generating an immune response and inhibiting infection with the coronavirus (Claims 45-49). [16]Moderna describes mRNA-1274 as an ''mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 encoding for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein.''[17] The vaccine uses the 2P approach to produce stabilized spike proteins.[18] If the '744 patent is granted, we believe it likely would cover mRNA-1274. This means the patent owners could exclude Moderna from using the invention. The application lists several inventors at the National Institutes of Health, along with other researchers.[19] The application states that it is owned by the U.S. government, Dartmouth College, and the Scripps Research Institute.[20] If the patent is granted, then the NIH likely has an ownership stake.
NIH-Moderna AgreementsWe found two agreements that appear relevant to a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Both had some information redacted.
''Research Collaboration Agreement 2017-1179''[21]
In May 2019, NIH and Moderna entered into a ''research collaboration agreement'' to develop vaccine candidates against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Nipah virus.[22] The project was focused on evaluating candidates in animal models.[23] NIH signed an amendment to the document on January 13, 2020'--the day the agency and Moderna finalized the design of their novel coronavirus vaccine.[24] The amendment is significantly redacted and does not mention the new coronavirus. However, the close proximity suggests the terms of the contract may have been expanded to apply to this new project. At the very least, the terms may have been instructive for the mRNA-1274 project.
The document notes that ownership of inventions in the performance of the research project will ''follow inventorship'' in accordance with U.S. law.[25] It provides that ''inventions made in the performance of the Research Project that are invented jointly by employees of both Parties will be owned jointly.''[26] It does not contain a requirement to license the technology developed to the private collaborator, suggesting the government maintains its full rights '' including the right to use the technology as it sees fit.
''Material Transfer Agreement''[27]
NIH and Moderna agreed to transfer materials to a coronavirus scientist at the University of North Carolina for animal testing in an agreement executed December 16, 2019.[28] Notably, the materials were described as ''mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidates developed and jointly-owned by [NIH] and Moderna.''[29] This likely refers to work done on an earlier coronavirus, MERS-CoV. It nonetheless provides further evidence that the federal government was developing coronavirus candidates with Moderna that it jointly owned.[30]
In addition to potentially sharing the same collaboration agreement, the nature of the MERS and new coronavirus collaborations appear similar. In both cases, the NIH worked with Moderna to develop a coronavirus vaccine that expressed a stabilized spike protein.[31]
AnalysisThe U.S. government may jointly own a potential COVID-19 vaccine. At least two patent applications that appear essential to the vaccine name federal scientists as inventors, giving the U.S. government ownership if the patents are granted. Collaboration agreements also support the government's ownership stake in mRNA-1274.
Co-ownership provides significant rights.[32] For example, assuming there were no other monopolies, the government could make, use, or sell the technology without the consent of Moderna.[33] It could also license the technology to others, including other vaccine manufacturers or the World Health Organization, without the consent of Moderna.[34]
Our analysis is limited by a lack of transparency. We do not have the provisional patent application. We do not know whether the U.S. government will continue to pursue its patent applications, or if the disclosed agreements between Moderna and NIH capture all terms related to their collaboration. Nor do we know if other applications exist that may cover the vaccine and potentially block production, or if the U.S. government has ownership interests beyond what is outlined in this report.
Moderna has benefited significantly from federal support. As we described in The People's Vaccine, the U.S. government provided millions of dollars to Moderna as early as 2013 to help develop its mRNA technology.[35] The NIH meanwhile was also developing new methods to target coronavirus spike proteins. When the new coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, the NIH worked with Moderna to design and test a vaccine.[36] The U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority has provided Moderna an additional $483 million to further develop the vaccine and scale-up manufacturing.
In general, the federal government has the authority to use any patent (not only those it owns), in exchange for reasonable compensation, under existing law.[37] Yet another set of rights attach to many federally-funded and federally-supported technologies.[38] In some cases, federal scientists working on a project meet the requirements of inventorship, resulting in U.S. government ownership of the patents.[39] This case appears to support the claim of public ownership.
The federal government should use its authority to ensure the vaccine, if proven safe and effective, is available to everyone in the U.S. and around the world. Domestically, this includes:
In cases where the federal government has ownership rights but Moderna does not, it should nonexclusively license the rights and condition use of its technologies on ensuring reasonable pricing and sufficient supply;[40]In cases where there is joint ownership, the government should license the technologies to competitors; andIf there are patented technologies the U.S. government does not own needed to produce the vaccine, then the government should exercise its general, preexisting authority to use any patented invention in exchange for appropriate royalty payments to the patent holder. [41]Globally, the government should share its intellectual property and know-how with the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Technology Access Pool.[42] This would allow manufacturers from around the world to help scale-up production and prevent rationing. If the vaccine proves safe and effective, it should be available to everyone as quickly as possible.
AppendixTable 1: Axios Disclosures of NIH-Moderna AgreementsTitleYearDisease TargetPage NumberConfidential Disclosure Agreement 2015-334482015Multiple, including HIV, hPIV, Nipah virus influenza, Ebola, Zika virus, MERS-CoV1 to 18Cooperative Research and Development Agreement 2016-0005 and 2016-02622016HIV-119 to 43Material Transfer Agreement 2016-12282017Zika virus44 to 47Research Collaboration Agreement 2016-14242017Zika virus47 to 57Confidential Disclosure Agreement 2017-04922017EBV and Herpes Simplex virus58 to 60Material Transfer Agreement 2017-09932017Zika virus61 to 71Research Collaboration Agreement 2017-11792019MERS-CoV and Nipah virus72 to 82Amendment to Research Collaboration Agreement 2017-11792020MERS-CoV and Nipah virus83 to 85Material Transfer Agreement 2017-12102017Zika virus86 to 96Confidential Disclosure Agreement2017N/A97 to 100Material Transfer Agreement 2018-06642018Zika virus101 to 104Material Transfer Agreement 2019-11772019Coronavirus105 to 109Non-Exclusive Patent License Agreement for Internal Research Use and Biological Materials License Agreement L-044-20182018hMPV110 to 128Public Health Service L-44-20182019hMPV129 to 136Non-Exclusive Patent License Agreement for Internal Research Use and Biological Materials License Agreement A-261-20182018Zika virus137 to 153Source: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6935295-NIH-Moderna-Confidential-Agreements.html
Header image: ''Coronavirus'' by danielfoster437 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
[1] Public Citizen, Blind Spot (2020), available at https://www.citizen.org/article/blind-spot/ (noting that NIH alone had spent nearly $700 million on coronavirus research between the SARS outbreak and February 2020)
[2] NIH Clinical Trial of Investigational Vaccine for COVID-19 Begins (March 16, 2020), https://tinyurl.com/wcyl27j (''Scientists at [NIH] and Moderna were able to quickly develop mRNA-1274 because of prior studies of related coronaviruses that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Coronaviruses are spherical and have spikes protruding from their surface, giving the particles a crown-like appearance. The spike binds to human cells, allowing the virus to gain entry. VRC and Moderna scientists already were working on an investigational MERS vaccine targeting the spike, which provided a head start for developing a vaccine candidate to protect against COVID-19.'')
[3] One application is provisional, and one application is nonprovisional.
[4] Moderna Advances Late-Stage Development of its Vaccine (mRNA-1274) Against COVID-19 (June 11, 2020), https://tinyurl.com/y7cyg3vq
[5] The Phase II trial is currently administering two vaccinations 28 days apart. Id.
[6] https://twitter.com/ZacharyBrennan/status/1260264559492960256 (tweet from Politico reporter at media event)
[7] Evi Fordham, Coronavirus vaccine will be affordable, Moderna CEO says (March 5 2020), https://tinyurl.com/y9hbcxye and CDC, Vaccine Price List, https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/awardees/vaccine-management/price-list/index.html (the standard 4-dose course of treatment with the pneumococcal vaccine costs up to $800)
[8] To obtain a patent, inventors must convert provisional applications into nonprovisional applications. US Patent and Trademark Office, Provisional Application for Patent, https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/patent-basics/types-patent-applications/provisional-application-patent
[9] Corbett et al., SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine Development Enabled by Prototype Pathogen Preparedness, bioRxiv (preprint) (2020), https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.11.145920v1.full
[10] Due to a lack of publicly available information, it is not possible to discern with more precision the particular technology claimed. It may overlap with the second patent application described.
[11] The list may not be exhaustive. It includes Kizzmekia Corbett (NIAID), Olubukola Abiona (NIAID), Geoffrey B. Hutchinson (NIAID), Barney Graham (NIAID), Nianshuang Wang (UT Austin), Jason McLellan (UT Austin), Daniel Wrapp (UT Austin). For the role of University of Texas researchers, see Francis Collins, Structural Biology Points Way to Coronavirus Vaccine (March 3, 2020), https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2020/03/03/structural-biology-points-way-to-coronavirus-vaccine/
[12] See Corbett et al. (2020).
[13] Application US16/344,774, Prefusion coronavirus spike proteins and their use, https://tinyurl.com/y9n4azwx
[14] Corbett et al., SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine Development Enabled by Prototype Pathogen Preparedness, bioRxiv (preprint) (2020) (''Subsequently, we identified 2 proline substitutions (2P) at the apex of the central helix and heptad repeat 1 that effectively stabilized MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and HCoV-HKU1 S proteins in the prefusion conformation.'')
[15] Id. (''Similar to other prefusion-stabilized fusion proteins, MERS S-2P protein is more immunogenic at lower doses than wild-type S protein.'')
[16] Claim 1, Claim 5, Claims 39-41 and Claims 45-49 appear relevant. The patent application references the betacoronavirus genera, which includes SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Application US16/344,774, Claim 5.
[17] Moderna Announces Positive Interim Phase 1 Data for its mRNA Vaccine (May 18, 2020), https://tinyurl.com/y7j7hs2g
[18] Corbett et al., SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine Development Enabled by Prototype Pathogen Preparedness, bioRxiv (preprint) (2020). (''[T]he 2P mutations were substituted into S positions aa986 and 987 to produce prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 S (S-2P) protein for structural analysis and serological assay development in silico without additional experimental validation. Within 5 days of sequence release, current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) production of mRNA/LNP expressing the SARS-CoV-2 S-2P as a transmembrane-anchored protein with the native furin cleavage site (mRNA-1274) was initiated in parallel with preclinical evaluation.'') Positions aa986 and 987 are near the end of heptad repeat 1. See Xia et al., Fusion mechanism of 2019-nCoV and fusion inhibitors targeting HR1 domain in spike protein, Nature (2020).
[19] The co-inventors include Hadi Yassine (NIAID), Barney Graham (NIAID), Masaru Kanekiyo (NIAID), M. Gordon Joyce (NIAID), Kizzmekia Corbett (NIAID), Jason McLellan (previously at Dartmouth, now UT Austin), Andrew Ward (Scripps), Robert Kirchdoefer (Scripps), Christopher Cottrell (Scripps), Jesper Pallesen (Scripps), Hannah Turner (Scripps). See NIH, Prefusion Coronavirus Spike Proteins and Their Use, https://www.ott.nih.gov/technology/e-234-2016
[20] Application US16/344,774, Prefusion coronavirus spike proteins and their use, https://tinyurl.com/y9n4azwx.
[21] Corbett et al., SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine Development Enabled by Prototype Pathogen Preparedness, bioRxiv (preprint) (2020).
[22] Research Collaboration Agreement 2017-1179, Pg. 72 of Axios disclosures, https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6935295-NIH-Moderna-Confidential-Agreements.html
[23] Research Collaboration Agreement 2017-1179, Pg. 83 of Axios disclosures, https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6935295-NIH-Moderna-Confidential-Agreements.html
[24] Moderna's Work on a COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate, https://www.modernatx.com/modernas-work-potential-vaccine-against-covid-19
[25] The Federal Circuit has held that ''Making the invention requires conception and reduction to practice. While conception is the 'formation, in the mind of the inventor, of a definite and permanent idea of a complete and operative invention,' reduction to practice 'requires that the claimed invention work for its intended purpose.''' Solvay S.A. v. Honeywell International Inc., 742 F.3d 998 (2014). Although publicly available information is limited, federal scientists played a critical role in designing and testing the vaccine, and likely meet this test. Indeed, NIH scientists are named as inventors on a patent application that appears essential to the vaccine. U.S. Application no. 62/972,886.
[26] Research Collaboration Agreement 2017-1179, Pg. 75 of Axios disclosures, https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6935295-NIH-Moderna-Confidential-Agreements.html
[27] Material Transfer Agreement, Pg. 105 of Axios disclosures, https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6935295-NIH-Moderna-Confidential-Agreements.html
[28] The timing of the transfer may be a coincidence, or it may represent an earlier than previously reported effort to prepare for the new coronavirus. The outbreak was publicly reported in late December. But U.S. intelligence officials were reportedly warning of the outbreak in late November. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/intelligence-report-warned-coronavirus-crisis-early-november-sources/story?id=70031274
[29] The agreement states the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the institutes that comprises the NIH.
[30] The vaccine candidate relies on the genetic sequence of the virus, which was not publicly disclosed until January 11. Moderna's Work on a COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate, https://www.modernatx.com/modernas-work-potential-vaccine-against-covid-19
[31] Moderna, Form 10-K, pg. 60-61. (compare ''in collaboration with the VRC, we have selected the viral Spike protein as the antigen for our SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (mRNA-1274)'' and ''in an existing collaboration with the VRC to develop a vaccine against MERS, we designed an mRNA-based vaccine targeting the prefusion-stabilized Spike protein.'') https://investors.modernatx.com/node/8346/html
[32] 35 U.S.C. § 262 (''In the absence of any agreement to the contrary, each of the joint owners of a patent may make, use, offer to sell, or sell the patented invention within the United States, or import the patented invention into the United States, without the consent of and without accounting to the other owners.''). These rights would complement the existing authority the U.S. government has to use patents that it does not own. See e.g., 28 U.S.C. § 1498.
[33] The government could eliminate other patent barriers by using its existing patent use authority. This would allow the government to license technologies in exchange for reasonable compensation. The government would not need to use the patent use authority'--or provide compensation'--for technologies it co-owned. See 28 U.S.C. § 1498. Brennan et al., A Prescription for Excessive Drug Pricing: Leveraging Government Patent Use for Health, Yale Journal of Law & Technology (2017).
[34] Notably, the U.S. government appears to have nonexclusively licensed the coronavirus spike protein technology. Form 8-K Oragenics Inc (2020), https://sec.report/Document/0001493152-20-008008/
[35] Public Citizen, The People's Vaccine (2020), https://www.citizen.org/article/the-peoples-vaccine/ (''Many investors initially considered the [mRNA] idea too speculative. But the Department of Defense took significant risk early-on. In 2013, the agency awarded the corporation $25 million to test the approach. In 2016, BARDA awarded Moderna $125 million to develop a Zika vaccine, which helped increase confidence in the new technology.'')
[36] Moderna Announces Funding Award from CEPI to Accelerate Development of Messenger RNA (mRNA) Vaccine Against Novel Coronavirus (Jan. 23 2020), https://tinyurl.com/v6g65mo.
[37] Brennan et al., A Prescription for Excessive Drug Pricing: Leveraging Government Patent Use for Health, Yale Journal of Law & Technology (2017).
[38] See e.g., 35 U.S.C. §'¯202 (royalty free rights for government-funded inventions), 35 U.S.C. §'¯203 (march-in rights for government-funded inventions), 15 U.S.C. § 3710a (royalty free rights for federally-supported inventions). Because the disclosed research collaboration agreement between Moderna and NIH was explicitly described as not a funding agreement under 35 U.S.C. §'¯201(b) nor a cooperative research development agreement under 15 U.S.C. § 3710a, it is not immediately clear whether any of these rights would attach.
[39] 37 C.F.R. 501.6 (a)(1) (''The Government shall obtain, except as herein otherwise provided, the entire right, title and interest in and to any invention made by any Government employee . . .'').
[40] The U.S. government appears to have nonexclusively licensed the coronavirus spike protein technology so far without any reasonable pricing and supply conditions. Form 8-K Oragenics Inc (2020), https://sec.report/Document/0001493152-20-008008/.
[41] See 28 U.S.C. § 1498 (''Whenever an invention described in and covered by a patent of the United States is used or manufactured by or for the United States without license of the owner thereof or lawful right to use or manufacture the same, the owner's remedy shall be by action against the United States in the United States Court of Federal Claims for the recovery of his reasonable and entire compensation for such use and manufacture.'')
[42] World Health Organization, COVID-19 Technology Access Pool, https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/global-research-on-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov/covid-19-technology-access-pool
Moderna failed to disclose federal funding for patent applications, advocates say
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 16:19
A n advocacy group has asked the Department of Defense to investigate what it called ''an apparent failure'' by Moderna (MRNA) to disclose millions of dollars in awards received from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in patent applications the company filed for vaccines.
In a letter to the agency, Knowledge Ecology International explained that a review of dozens of patent applications found the company received approximately $20 million from the federal government in grants several years ago and the funds ''likely'' led to the creation of its vaccine technology. This was used to develop vaccines to combat different viruses, such as Zika and, later, the virus that causes Covid-19.
In arguing for an investigation, the advocacy group maintained Moderna is obligated under federal law to disclose the grants that led to nearly a dozen specific patent applications and explained the financial support means the U.S. government would have certain rights over the patents. In other words, U.S. taxpayers would have an ownership stake in vaccines developed by the company.
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''This clarifies the public's right in the inventions,'' said Jamie Love, who heads Knowledge Ecology International, a nonprofit that tracks patents and access to medicines issues. ''The disclosure (also) changes the narrative about who has financed the inventive activity, often the most risky part of development.''
One particular patent assigned to Moderna concerns methods and compositions that can be used specifically against coronaviruses, including COVID-19. The patent names a Moderna scientist and a former Moderna scientist as inventors, both of which acknowledged performing work under the DARPA awards in two academic papers, according to the report by the advocacy group.
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The group examined the 126 patents assigned to Moderna or ModernaTx as well as 154 patent applications. ''Despite the evidence that multiple inventions were conceived in the course of research supported by the DARPA awards, not a single one of the patents or applications assigned to Moderna disclose U.S. federal government funding,'' the report stated.
[UPDATE: A DARPA spokesman sent us this over the weekend: ''It appears that all past and present DARPA awards to Moderna include the requirement to report the role of government funding for related inventions. Further, DARPA is actively researching agency awards to Moderna to identify which patents and pending patents, if any at all, may be associated with DARPA support. This effort is ongoing.'']
We asked Moderna for comment and will update you accordingly.
The missive to the Department of Defense follows a recent analysis by Public Citizen, another advocacy group, indicating the National Institutes of Health may own mRNA-1274, the Moderna vaccine candidate for Covid-19. The advocacy group noted the federal government filed multiple patents covering the vaccine and two patent applications, in particular, list federal scientists as co-inventors.
The analyses are part of a larger campaign among advocacy groups and others in the U.S. and elsewhere to ensure that Covid-19 medical products are available to poor populations around the world. The concern reflects the unprecedented global demand for therapies and vaccines, and a race among wealthy nations to snap up supplies from vaccine makers.
In the U.S., the effort has focused on the extent to which the federal government has provided taxpayer dollars to different companies to help fund their discoveries. In some cases, advocates argue that federal funding matters because it clarifies the rights that the U.S. government has to ensure a therapy or vaccine is available to Americans on reasonable terms.
One example has been remdesivir, the Gilead Sciences (GILD) treatment being given to hospitalized Covid-19 patients. The role played by the U.S. government in developing remdesivir to combat coronaviruses involved contributions from government personnel at such agencies as the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.
As for the Moderna vaccine, earlier this month, the company was awarded a $1.525 billion contract by the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services to manufacture and deliver 100 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine. The agreement also includes an option to purchase another 400 million doses, although the terms were not disclosed.
In announcing the agreement, the government said it would ensure Americans receive the Covid-19 vaccine at no cost, although they may be charged by health care providers for administering a shot.
In this instance, however, Love said the ''letter is not about price or profits. It's about (Moderna) not owning up to DARPA funding inventions. If the U.S. wants to pay for all of the development of Moderna's vaccine, as Moderna now acknowledges, and throw in a few more billion now, and an option to spend billions more, it's not unreasonable to have some transparency over who paid for their inventions.''
This is not the first time Moderna has been accused of insufficient disclosure. Earlier this month, Knowledge Ecology International and Public Citizen maintained the company failed to disclose development costs in a $955 million contract awarded by BARDA for its Covid-19 vaccine. In all, the federal government has awarded the company approximately $2.5 billion to develop the vaccine.
U.S. Won't Join Global Coronavirus Vaccine Effort Because It's Led By The WHO
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 11:22
Breaking | | Sep 1, 2020, 04:41pm EDT TOPLINEThe U.S. announced Tuesday that it would not join an international coalition to find and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine worldwide due to the group's association with the World Health Organization, the latest sign of the Trump administration withdrawing the country from the international health community's response to the pandemic over political concerns.
2019-nCoV. Close-up shot of a scientist preparing glass slide.
getty
KEY FACTSCovax is co-led by the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, which aims to purchase 2 billion doses of potential Covid-19 shots from several vaccine makers by the end of 2021 and distribute them worldwide.
The WHO announced last week that Covax plans to work with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, once they are licensed and approved, and that 172 countries are engaged in discussions to potentially participate.
On Monday, the European Commission confirmed it would contribute 400 million euros ($478 million) to the initiative, and the WHO said Germany had joined the pact as well.
''The United States will continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat this virus, but we will not be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China,'' said Judd Deere, a spokesman for the White House.
According to the Washington Post, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar had ''interest in exploring some type of role in Covax'... but there was resistance in some corners of the government and a belief that the U.S. has enough coronavirus vaccine candidates in advanced clinical trials that it can go it alone.''
The World Health Organization has warned against ''vaccine nationalism,'' with WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stating, ''for the world to recover faster, it has to recover together, because it's a globalized world: the economies are intertwined.''
Key Background:After initially praising both China and the WHO at the pandemic's outset, President Donald Trump sharply reversed course. In early April, Trump blasted the World Health Organization, saying they ''called it wrong'' on the virus, that the WHO was ''very China-centric'' in its approach, and froze U.S. funding to the organization. '' They should have known and they probably did know,'' Trump said of World Health Organization officials, suggesting the group had gone along with China's efforts to downplay the severity of the outbreak. In July, the administration sent a letter signaling its intent to withdraw from the WHO. ''When the U.S. says it is not going to participate in any sort of multilateral effort to secure vaccines, it's a real blow,'' said Suerie Moon, co-director of the Global Health Center at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. ''The behavior of countries when it comes to vaccines in this pandemic will have political repercussions beyond public health.''
Crucial Quote:''Equal access to a COVID-19 vaccine is the key to beating the virus and paving the way for recovery from the pandemic,'' said Stefan L¶fven, the prime minister of Sweden. ''This cannot be a race with a few winners, and the COVAX Facility is an important part of the solution '' making sure all countries can benefit from access to the world's largest portfolio of candidates and fair and equitable distribution of vaccine doses.''
Further Reading:U.S. says it won't join WHO-linked effort to develop, distribute coronavirus vaccine (WaPo)
EU offers 400 million euros to WHO-led COVID-19 vaccine initiative (Reuters)
Global report: WHO warns against dangers of 'vaccine nationalism' (The Guardian)
Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus
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'... Read More I'm a New York-based news desk reporter for Forbes covering sports, politics and business. Please feel free to contact me via email (tsbeer7 [@] gmail.com) or Twitter (@TommyBeer).
Read Less
Schools
Education is being unmasked as indoctrination and parents are catching on to it
UK School kids shut up slaves!
Please enjoy the following! This is a school in Hasting, East Sussex, on
the South East coast of England...
*Coronavirus: Pupils may be sent home for 'joke' coughing or sneezing or
'inappropriate Covid humour'*
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/coronavirus-school-pupil-joke-cough-sneeze-exclude-sent-home-ark-alexandra-byron-academy-a9697131.html
*
**Ark Alexandra Academy - Letter to Parents*
https://arkalexandra.org/sites/default/files/Letter%20to%20parents%20for%20September%20start%20%5B14%20Aug%202020%5D.pdf
"The following behaviours may lead to the student receiving an immediate
Fixed Term Exclusion. Any student that needs to have a Fixed Term
Exclusion during the pandemic, will not return to main circulation until
a risk assessment and we can be assured that the student will adhere to
all our expectations. The following behaviours may result in a Fixed
Term Exclusion:
1.Deliberate or malicious coughs/sneezes at anypoint
2.Humorous, inappropriate comments or statements related to the coronavirus
3.Purposeful physical contact with any other person
4.Repeated failure to follow instructions within an appropriate
timeframe resulting in the student needing to be removed from lesson;
5.Deliberate or malicious undermining of protective measures including
infringing on the allocated staff zone.
Current Red Lines are still applicable:
▪No swearing at staff
▪No shouting or aggressive behaviour
▪No answering back or challenging staff
▪No making contact with staff
As a family, please discuss the importance of following all our rules
and expectations so that we can keep each other safe. It is important
that you also explain the serious implications should your child present
these behaviours."
ITM
The Kids Are Alt-Right: When Your Star Pupil Gets Red-Pilled
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 14:39
Olivia, a 34-year-old teacher in Kentucky, had the ''great displeasure'' of watching one of her 14-year-old students become radicalized online. ''[He went] from a sweet kid to a year later tweeting that if homosexuals weren't willing to change their ways, they should be killed,'' she says. ''He then started tweeting about Black Lives Matter, immigrants, liberals, feminism and anything else he could get his hands on. This was a kid that was generally kind and quiet, but he began following far right figures on Twitter and the rest is history.''
Jennifer, a 30-year-old teacher in Arizona, had a similar experience. She had one student in the third grade who was a flat-earther, and he'd raise this and other conspiracy theories about vaccines and the Illuminati at school. ''He'd tell my class the earth is flat during our gravity lessons, and it was so difficult to explain to him that it can't be true,'' she says. ''He'd repeatedly tell me that I'm wrong and try to derail the class. He questioned me a lot in front of the kids as if he was testing my authority as a teacher.'' He continued his mission outside of the classroom, too, sharing conspiracy videos from YouTube with other students during recess.
The prospect of red-pilling, in which a person becomes radicalized by far-right spaces online, has attracted a lot of media attention in the Trump era, amid rising concern about political polarization and the ascent of far-right figures on platforms like YouTube. Often, the entry point for awkward or disgruntled men is the ''manosphere'' '-- a misogynistic online subculture that includes incels, men's rights activists, pick-up artists and Men Going Their Own Way '-- but this tends to be a gateway to other far-right talking points.
''Grievances related to lack of sexual and romantic partners are located in the same spaces as right-wing propaganda around the refugee crisis and trans issues,'' Annie Kelly, a PhD student at the University of East Anglia who researches the impact of digital culture on the far right, told MEL in January 2019. ''When they're reinforced in these groups, as well as by mainstream media outlets on Facebook and YouTube, people end up buying into some of the maxims without realizing it.''
Generally, though, the focus tends to be on an adult individual who has been radicalized or the impact on their partners or parents. There's been less attention paid to the unique position of teachers who find themselves faced with radicalizing students, even though they're often the first witnesses of the early warning signs of red-pilling among a younger cohort. ''I have totally noticed the radicalization of students with MRA stuff,'' says Kira-Lynn Ferderber, a sexual violence prevention educator in Florida. ''I teach kids of all ages but I notice it most in middle school and high school boys, and it's getting worse and worse.''
Often, it's hard for teachers to tell whether a student is being truly red-pilled in the sense that they're being radicalized online, or whether they're parroting views that they've grown up with in their conservative households. Tessa, a 29-year-old in the Midwest who teaches 14- to 18-year-olds at a private school for students with learning impairments, says that while many of her students ''simply take on the talking points and politics of their conservative parents,'' this can make them especially ripe targets for full-blown radicalization and infatuation with far-right figures. ''A few started listening to Joe Rogan's podcast, which led to them reading Jordan Peterson's books,'' she says. ''I think that Joe Rogan's ideology is the biggest threat to critical thinking in the last decade.''
There are some obvious warning signs that a student is being red-pilled, though, like when they have a sudden and noticeable rightward shift in their views; when they specifically mention figures like Ben Shapiro and Peterson, who Olivia says her student ''loved''; and when they use language that makes the online influence obvious, like ''Chad'' and ''cuck.''
''There's always been boys who ask, 'Don't girls just lie [about rape], though?,' and we do want to take those questions seriously,'' Ferderber says. ''But increasingly they're using language that sounds straight from Reddit, and they aren't satisfied with an answer or a statistic I can cite. These are teenage boys who have MRA talking points. They're extremely fixated on the idea of false accusations and they talk a lot about women getting a lot of money by accusing men of rape, but when pressed, they don't really know how that would happen.''
When teachers notice the warning signs of radicalization, difficult questions arise: Where is the line between shutting down these arguments and allowing kids to explore new ideas? And when is the right moment to intervene?
Jacob, a 28-year-old teacher in Texas, says that this can be a very delicate balance. ''I would never want to 'convert' someone to being liberal, because you shouldn't be converting anybody to political ideologies,'' he says. Nonetheless, he's had success convincing even the ''alt-right kids you can spot a mile away'' to consider alternative points of view. ''I'll tell my students that it's always better to err on the side of compassion than aggression, that the root of our problems is fear, and that getting to understand how other people live makes your life better,'' he explains. ''I tell the kids that I don't care what they think, as long as they think for themselves.''
The trouble, Jacob says, is that when he discusses ideas with his students that pose even the mildest challenge to the conservative orthodoxy that prevails in his region, he faces backlash from parents. Once, he was reported by a parent for teaching students the secular Common Era notation system, and another time he got phone calls for telling his class about religions other than Christianity. ''I just informed them, that's it,'' he says. ''It's like just exposing them to knowledge is threatening, and even when I toe the line, I still get in trouble.'' He says it becomes a difficult game of bothsidesism, in which secular and scientific ideas are treated as some kind of left-wing radicalization on his part. ''I've had to accept that from time to time I will teach tolerance, and it will be seen as brainwashing,'' he tells me.
Tessa says that students often take on this conspiratorial mindset, too. ''A lot of the conspiracies these students believe, like superior white genetics or that being LGBTQ+ is a mental illness, take root for them specifically because they think it's a hidden truth I'm keeping from them as a teacher,'' she explains. ''They think I'm brainwashed by liberal narratives and that I'm compelled to lie to them.''
Jacob and Tessa's experiences seem to be especially typical for teachers based in areas where deep conservatism is the norm. Here, the problem of students radicalizing online is often compounded at a social and institutional level, with far-right views being encouraged by parents and even other teachers. Jennifer's flat-earther student transferred to her class in the middle of the year, so she wasn't sure how quickly the radicalization had taken place. But after he was so disruptive during lessons that she ended up scheduling a meeting with his father, it became apparent that both he and the internet had a role to play.
''His dad just brushed [my concerns] off and implied that I was teaching the wrong things and trying to indoctrinate his son with my 'liberal agenda,''' she explains. ''I learned that he didn't regard education as something worthwhile because he said he can teach his kid better with the videos that are on YouTube.''
Another problem when students are red-pilled is that they then attempt to convert other classmates. Red-pilled students become highly argumentative and confrontational during lessons to sway the class toward their ideas, which puts teachers in a bind. On one hand, they want to encourage the exploration of ideas in the classroom, but on the other, they don't want class time to be endlessly derailed with debates about long-settled science and ethical norms, like racism being bad and LGBTQ+ people deserving rights.
''It's hard because if I disregard [the manosphere students' questions], I sometimes feel like it makes other students think, 'Huh, she doesn't have a good answer for that, it must be true!''' Ferderber explains. ''So it doesn't work to say, 'I won't dignify that with a response,' but if you go down the rabbit hole with them, is it serving the needs of the other students?''
Of course, teachers are human too, and the emotional impact of being constantly challenged in the classroom can take a toll. ''It was so frustrating,'' Jennifer says about her flat-earth student perpetually derailing the classroom with his conspiracies. ''He literally made me feel like I was a fraud, and it didn't help that I was a new teacher at the time. When he'd tell me I was wrong and that these are the 'alternative facts,' I could feel my class lose their trust in me. It was a crazy power struggle for sure.''
It can also be devastating for teachers to realize that, despite their best efforts, some of their students might end up holding hateful beliefs long term, and many of them take it personally. ''My biggest worry is that they'll be stuck in their thinking forever, and that they'll join the Proud Boys or something,'' Tessa says. ''I feel like I should be able to do a better job at teaching critical-thinking skills and they should have enough trust in me to believe that I'm telling them the truth.''
''Honestly,'' she adds, ''it makes me feel like I've failed at my job.''
Madeleine Holden Madeleine Holden is a lawyer and freelance writer based between Berlin and New Zealand. She writes about relationships, sex, gender and whatever the hell else she feels like for MEL.
In Denmark, the Rarest of Sights: Classrooms Full of Students - The New York Times
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 16:40
LOGUMKLOSTER, Denmark '-- The cluster of red brick buildings in a remote part of southern Denmark looks unremarkable from the outside, but this week, its classrooms housed some of the rarest people during the pandemic in today's Europe.
Schoolchildren.
On Wednesday, 350 pupils returned to classes at the Logumkloster District School for the first time in a month, as Denmark became the first country in the Western world to reopen its elementary schools since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. It has turned the Danish education system into a laboratory for whether and how schools can function in an age of contagion.
''It is a new world,'' said Tanja Linnet, the school's head teacher, as pupils arrived early on Thursday morning. ''We used to make plans for if there was a terrorist attack here '-- but never this kind of attack.''
Image Leaving Logumkloster District School at the end of lessons. Some parents in Facebook groups are protesting the reopening, fearing their children were being sacrificed to save the Danish economy.Other European countries have also gently eased restrictions on certain businesses and sporting activities in recent days.
But by allowing hundreds of children to congregate once again at thousands of schools across Denmark, the government has taken the boldest step toward something resembling normal life, in a measure that will be watched carefully around the world.
''That's the dilemma of the whole world,'' said Finn Christensen, the school's deputy head. ''When to open up?''
Denmark's approach contrasts with that of Spain, where most children have not been outside in five weeks. With more coronavirus infections than any other country in Europe, Spain forbids children to even take a short walk on the street or exercise near their homes.
For the children at the Logumkloster District School, their return was often simply an exciting experience, after a month cooped up at home.
''It is so nice to see my best friend again!'' said Maja Petersen, a 7-year-old first grader coloring the red bits of the Danish flag.
But things were also a bit bewildering.
Image For now, the library remains closed.To stop the spread of infection, parents weren't allowed inside. Teachers couldn't gather in the staff room. The children each now had their own desks, marooned two yards away from their nearest neighbor. During recess, they could play only in small groups. And by the time the school shut again at 2 p.m., they had all washed their hands at least once an hour for the past six hours.
''We usually jump and hug and fight and give each other high fives,'' said Zakarias Al-Tibi, 10, pointing dolefully at his best friend, Jannik. ''But we can't do that any more.''
From an economic perspective, the argument for reopening schools is straightforward. It allows parents who are employed to focus more on their work, said Carl-Johan Dalsgaard, a professor of economics who is one of the four leaders of an independent body that provides economic advice to Danish policymakers.
''You are dramatically less efficient when you have to home-school your children and take care of them every day,'' Professor Dalsgaard said.
But the medical reasoning is more contested.
Image Washing hands while others line up at a safe distance.The World Health Organization has cautioned countries like Denmark against reopening their societies too quickly for fear of reviving the pandemic before it is properly stamped out. The number of active cases in Denmark has dipped in recent days (it has recorded more than 6,870, with 321 deaths), and it has a far lower reported death rate than many countries in Europe. But death statistics can be incomplete during an outbreak, and disease experts warn the pace of new cases can easily pick up again.
Elsewhere in Denmark, these concerns led some parents to create Facebook groups protesting the reopening of schools, fearing their children were being sacrificed to save the Danish economy.
In the village of Logumkloster, where there have been no known victims of the virus, only a few parents decided against sending their children back to school. But several were conflicted about it.
''Our first reaction was: Isn't it too early?'' said Cynthia Paulsen, a cleaner whose 14-year-old son, Arthur, was among those requested to return this week. ''Is this the right thing?''
Jesper Hansen initially opted against returning his 6-year-old, Noah Bendig, who uses his mother's surname. Mr. Hansen had no work to return to, having lost his job as a recovery driver at the start of the crisis. What if Noah passed the virus to his younger brother, who has kidney problems?
Image During recess, children could play only in small groups.But by and large, parents at Logumkloster have been won over by the careful way that Ms. Linnet, the head teacher, and her staff have refitted the school at just a few frantic days' notice.
The school's floors have been covered with new markings, showing pupils how far apart they have to stand. Hand-washing has become a part of the school routine '-- the first stop for all pupils at the start of every day, and then on the hour thereafter. Tea ladies have the new task of touring the school with disinfectant, cleaning each door handle at least twice during school hours.
These changes have been guided by the government, but the government's instructions have sometimes changed on an hourly basis. ''Sometimes, we get an order at 9, and then at 10 we get a new one,'' said Mr. Christensen, the deputy head.
Schools Reopening 'ºBack to SchoolUpdated Aug. 31, 2020
The latest on how schools are reopening amid the pandemic.
Cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus have increased at a faster rate in children and teenagers than among the general public, data compiled by the American Academy of Pediatrics from the summer show.Universities that are trying to reopen with in-person classes are pioneering Covid tests and tracking apps that could help society combat the pandemic.Privately owned bus companies, which carry nearly 10 million children to school a year, are facing an unparalleled threat to their survival.Resident advisers in college dorms have been drafted to enforce mask wearing and social distancing rules, and to report on fellow students who violate those rules.And it's unclear how long these emergency measures will last. ''Is it for a week or two, or a month or two?'' Ms. Linnet asked. ''We don't know.''
For now, the library has been closed. Teachers aim to do as much teaching as possible outdoors. And instead of arriving through a single entrance, pupils must enter through several side doors, depending on the location of their classroom.
Image Checking the distance before re-entering school after recess.The only time on Thursday that the students gathered was to sing ''Happy Birthday'' to the Danish queen, Margrethe II, who turned 80. But even then they were all outside, standing at two-yard intervals on the grass.
One of them was Noah Bendig. After keeping him home on Wednesday, Mr. Hansen decided to take his son to school on Thursday, reassured by how smoothly the opening day had gone.
''I think the school has control over everything,'' he said.
For some parents, the most comforting change has been the division of the school's population into small, independent silos. Classes have been divided into two or three subgroups, with each new grouping given its own room and designated teacher.
Those teachers now work with only one small group throughout the day, rather than several bigger ones, and their students play only with children from their own class.
For Maja Petersen, the first grader, that makes the return to school bittersweet. On the one hand, Maja can see her best friend, Melanie, again. But they can really only do just that '-- see each other. They've barely been able to chat, since they were divided into separate classes.
Image Lena Thorup, a first-grade teacher, with her class. Teachers aim to do as much teaching as possible outdoors. ''It's a new situation in a known environment,'' said Maja's teacher, Lene Thorup. ''Comforting but also a challenge.''
That applies as much to the teachers as it does the children.
The increase in the number of classes means teachers have more to do and fewer assistants to help them do it. If they need a brief break, they can call on a small three-person team to mind their classrooms for a few minutes. But they can no longer rely on a teaching assistant to shoulder their burden for longer periods, since the assistants are often now teaching their own classes.
''We've been told to have as few teachers per pupil as possible,'' said Mr. Christensen.
Stressful though these measures are for the teachers, they have won over wavering parents.
Despite her earlier misgivings, Ms. Paulsen sent Arthur to school on Wednesday, after being persuaded by a phone call from Arthur's teacher and a conversation with Arthur himself.
''He's happy to be back,'' she said. ''We're happy he's back.''
''Things have to start somewhere,'' she added. ''And we have to trust in the government and the school.''
Image Logumkloster. The economic argument for reopening schools is straightforward: It allows employed parents to focus more on their work. The medical reason is more contested.
Rod Dreher on Twitter: "Northwestern U. law school had a town hall meeting online recently. Everybody began w/ a ritual denunciation of themselves as racist. Reader: "Prof. Speta is not a racist. He is a wonderful man universally loved by students. It mak
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 12:14
Rod Dreher : Northwestern U. law school had a town hall meeting online recently. Everybody began w/ a ritual denunciation of the'... https://t.co/p1uTtgSeVI
Tue Sep 01 20:45:57 +0000 2020
julian nicholas : @roddreher ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚
Wed Sep 02 12:13:25 +0000 2020
Lance : @roddreher 1984
Wed Sep 02 12:13:25 +0000 2020
adamthm : @roddreher This is the kinda nonsese that makes you just see shit as a cult. This isn't normal human behavior this'... https://t.co/9w3UE4Z0EK
Wed Sep 02 12:13:20 +0000 2020
TurtlePower98 : @roddreher Victimization cult.
Wed Sep 02 12:12:42 +0000 2020
Tina Curry : @roddreher Affect them where it will truly be felt....alumni donations. This is shameful.
Wed Sep 02 12:11:18 +0000 2020
singularity_fan : @roddreher It's a ritual precursor to lining them and forcing them to dig their own graves at the end of a rifle
Wed Sep 02 12:10:46 +0000 2020
Alex Tornero 🇺🇸 : @roddreher https://t.co/qvBURDAGjA
Wed Sep 02 12:09:04 +0000 2020
TexasPharmD : @roddreher There's no way this is real
Wed Sep 02 12:08:41 +0000 2020
Mostly Peaceful Spider-Ken : @roddreher Kids - go to trade schools.
Wed Sep 02 12:08:39 +0000 2020
Katarina🇮🇹🇺🇸 : @roddreher Wtf @NorthwesternU
Wed Sep 02 12:06:58 +0000 2020
Techy Techo : @roddreher This is insane.
Wed Sep 02 12:06:25 +0000 2020
Adam Hibbert : @roddreher "Self-criticism"A ritual with a long 20th century pedigree.
Wed Sep 02 12:06:10 +0000 2020
Crystal : @roddreher Is this real
Wed Sep 02 12:04:52 +0000 2020
2020
Most Disagree With Biden's False Memory of Trump's Charlottesville Remarks - Rasmussen Reports®
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 03:54
Most voters don't remember President Trump's remarks about the 2017 racial melee in Charlottesville, Va. the way Joe Biden does. But the false narrative embraced by the president's opponents has become fact for a sizable number.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 52% of Likely U.S. Voters correctly believe that the president was critical of radical protesters on both sides of the incident but added that there were also ''very fine people'' on both sides who were present that day. Thirty-nine percent (39%) say instead that Trump just praised white supremacists in the incident as ''very fine people.'' (To see survey question wording, click here.)
(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted August 20 and 23, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.
Exclusive: Bloomberg group warns Trump will appear to win big on election night - Axios
Thu, 03 Sep 2020 12:00
A top Democratic data and analytics firm told "Axios on HBO" it's highly likely that President Trump will appear to have won '-- potentially in a landslide '-- on election night, even if he ultimately loses when all the votes are counted.
Why this matters: Way more Democrats will vote by mail than Republicans, due to fears of the coronavirus, and it will take days if not weeks to tally these. This means Trump, thanks to Republicans doing almost all of their voting in person, could hold big electoral college and popular vote leads on election night.
Imagine America, with its polarization and misinformation, if the vote tally swings wildly toward Joe Biden and Trump loses days later as the mail ballots are counted.That is what this group, Hawkfish, which is funded by Michael Bloomberg and also does work for the Democratic National Committee and pro-Biden Super PACs, is warning is a very real, if not foreordained, outcome.What they're saying: Hawkfish CEO Josh Mendelsohn calls the scenario a "red mirage."
"We are sounding an alarm and saying that this is a very real possibility, that the data is going to show on election night an incredible victory for Donald Trump," he said."When every legitimate vote is tallied and we get to that final day, which will be some day after Election Day, it will in fact show that what happened on election night was exactly that, a mirage," Mendelsohn said. "It looked like Donald Trump was in the lead and he fundamentally was not when every ballot gets counted."Data: Hawkfish; Graphic: Axios VisualsBy the numbers: Under one of the group's modeling scenarios, Trump could hold a projected lead of 408-130 electoral votes on election night, if only 15% of the vote by mail (VBM) ballots had been counted.
Once 75% of mail ballots were counted, perhaps four days later, the lead could flip to Biden's favor.This particular modeling scenario portrays Biden as ultimately winning a massive victory, 334-204.The methodology, described in detail below, was based in part on polling from FiveThirtyEight in August. The ultimate results may well sit somewhere between these low-end and high-end scenarios and will also be impacted by who actually votes, and how voters' views about their options change over the coming weeks.The other side: ''The news media should get out of the business of predicting the future,'' Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in response.
Between the lines: Hawkfish is not just trying to educate the public about the possibility that Trump could prematurely declare victory, or try to delegitimize a Biden victory if it took days or weeks to determine.
The group is also trying to sensitize state and county elections officials, news and social media organizations, and the courts to the perils of premature results '-- and to the possibility of Trump and his team applying challenges and political pressure to reject a high share of mailed-in ballots counted after election day.And the group is warning voters that rejection rates for mail ballots are higher than in-person voting.To avoid having their votes thrown out, Hawkfish is advising voters to be extra careful about voting early enough and following all the instructions to the letter '-- or, potentially, putting on masks and gloves and going early either to safely vote in person or return the mail ballot in person.Methodology: Hawkfish surveyed 17,263 registered voters in 50 states and DC, July 1-Aug. 16, 2020, to assess who people planned to vote for and whether they intend to vote by mail or in person at a polling place.
Responses were filtered for those described as definitely voting or likely to vote and weighted for state and national registered voter demographics.The scenarios assumed votes at polls would be counted on election day itself (Nov. 3). A scenario taking a week to count mail ballots would translate to approximately 15% per day on average.In another scenario, mail ballot counts took four days at 25% per day. For states that have had high vote-by-mail participation rates, Hawkfish assumed they would take two days.
Trump campaign asks Joe Biden for debate 'confirmation'
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 04:52
News
By Steven Nelson
August 31, 2020 | 2:41pm
Joe Biden (from left), President Trump and Nancy Pelosi Getty Images
President Trump's campaign on Monday requested ''written confirmation'' from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden that he will debate Trump before the election.
Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, writing on behalf of the campaign, cited House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's call last week for Biden to skip the debates. Biden quickly rejected that idea.
''While he may verbally give vague assertions of his intentions, there is no way of knowing what his handlers truly have planned for him,'' Giuliani, the former New York mayor, wrote in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates.
Giuliani wrote that the remarks from Pelosi (D-Calif.) are ''especially alarming'' and that ''Pelosi became the highest-ranking Democrat official to urge Biden to cancel debates, adding her voice to other prominent Democrats advising the same.''
Biden campaign spokesmen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Giuliani also asked for information on alternate debate sites in case sponsors pull out due to the coronavirus pandemic, and again raised complaints that the debates are scheduled after many mail-in ballots are distributed.
''The very first ballots in the nation will be in voters' hands in North Carolina on September 4 [and] eight million Americans in 16 states will have the opportunity to vote before the first scheduled debate arrives on September 29,'' he wrote.
Trump recently blasted the Commission on Presidential Debates after he unsuccessfully sought to reschedule a debate with Biden to early September, so voters could tune in before casting mail-in ballots.
Biden's campaign refused Trump's request for more debates, but the former vice president also rejected Pelosi's call for him to drop out of the debates.
Biden told MSNBC on Thursday that ''as long as the Commission [on Presidential Debates] continues down the straight and narrow as they have, I'm going to debate him.''
''I'm gonna be a fact-checker on the floor, while I'm debating him,'' Biden said.
Trump senses an opportunity against Biden after using debating forums to crush a series of competitors in 2016. Trump often claims Biden, 77, is senile, and on Wednesday suggested that Biden be drug-tested before the debates to make sure he doesn't use performance-enhancing drugs.
The first debate is scheduled for Sept. 29 in Cleveland, Ohio, followed by an Oct. 15 debate in Miami, Florida, and an Oct. 22 debate in Nashville, Tennessee.
Political insider explains voter fraud with mail-in ballots
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 14:50
A top Democratic operative says voter fraud, especially with mail-in ballots, is no myth. And he knows this because he's been doing it, on a grand scale, for decades.
Mail-in ballots have become the latest flashpoint in the 2020 elections. While President Trump and the GOP warn of widespread manipulation of the absentee vote that will swell with COVID polling restrictions, many Democrats and their media allies have dismissed such concerns as unfounded.
But the political insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he fears prosecution, said fraud is more the rule than the exception. His dirty work has taken him through the weeds of municipal and federal elections in Paterson, Atlantic City, Camden, Newark, Hoboken and Hudson County and his fingerprints can be found in local legislative, mayoral and congressional races across the Garden State. Some of the biggest names and highest office holders in New Jersey have benefited from his tricks, according to campaign records The Post reviewed.
''An election that is swayed by 500 votes, 1,000 votes '-- it can make a difference,'' the tipster said. ''It could be enough to flip states.''
The whisteblower '-- whose identity, rap sheet and long history working as a consultant to various campaigns were confirmed by The Post '-- says he not only changed ballots himself over the years, but led teams of fraudsters and mentored at least 20 operatives in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania '-- a critical 2020 swing state.
''There is no race in New Jersey '-- from city council to United States Senate '-- that we haven't worked on,'' the tipster said. ''I worked on a fire commissioner's race in Burlington County. The smaller the race, the easier it is to do.''
A Bernie Sanders die-hard with no horse in the presidential race, he said he felt compelled to come forward in the hope that states would act now to fix the glaring security problems present in mail-in ballots.
''This is a real thing,'' he said. ''And there is going to be a f''king war coming November 3rd over this stuff '... If they knew how the sausage was made, they could fix it.''
Mail-in voting can be complicated '-- tough enough that 84,000 New Yorkers had their mailed votes thrown out in the June 23 Democratic presidential primary for incorrectly filling them out.
But for political pros, they're a piece of cake. In New Jersey, for example, it begins with a blank mail-in ballot delivered to a registered voter in a large envelope. Inside the packet is a return envelope, a ''certificate of mail in voter'' which the voter must sign, and the ballot itself.
That's when the election-rigger springs into action.
Phony ballots
The ballot has no specific security features '-- like a stamp or a watermark '-- so the insider said he would just make his own ballots.
''I just put [the ballot] through the copy machine and it comes out the same way,'' the insider said.
But the return envelopes are ''more secure than the ballot. You could never recreate the envelope,'' he said. So they had to be collected from real voters.
He would have his operatives fan out, going house to house, convincing voters to let them mail completed ballots on their behalf as a public service. The fraudster and his minions would then take the sealed envelopes home and hold them over boiling water.
''You have to steam it to loosen the glue,'' said the insider.
He then would remove the real ballot, place the counterfeit ballot inside the signed certificate, and reseal the envelope.
''Five minutes per ballot tops,'' said the insider.
The insider said he took care not to stuff the fake ballots into just a few public mailboxes, but sprinkle them around town. That way he avoided the attention that foiled a sloppy voter-fraud operation in a Paterson, NJ, city council race this year, where 900 ballots were found in just three mailboxes.
''If they had spread them in all different mailboxes, nothing would have happened,'' the insider said.
Inside jobs
The tipster said sometimes postal employees are in on the scam.
''You have a postman who is a rabid anti-Trump guy and he's working in Bedminster or some Republican stronghold '... He can take those [filled-out] ballots, and knowing 95% are going to a Republican, he can just throw those in the garbage.''
In some cases, mail carriers were members of his ''work crew,'' and would sift ballots from the mail and hand them over to the operative.
In 2017, more than 500 mail-in ballots in New York City never arrived to the Board of Elections for races that November '-- leaving hundreds disenfranchised. They eventually were discovered in April 2018. ''For some undetermined reason, some baskets of mail that were bound to the New York City Board of Elections were put off to the side at the Brooklyn processing facility,'' city elections boss Michael Ryan said at the time of discovery.
Nursing homes
Hitting up assisted-living facilities and ''helping'' the elderly fill out their absentee ballots was a gold mine of votes, the insider said.
''There are nursing homes where the nurse is actually a paid operative. And they go room by room by room to these old people who still want to feel like they're relevant,'' said the whistleblower. ''[They] literally fill it out for them.''
The insider pointed to former Jersey City Mayor Gerald McCann, who was sued in 2007 after a razor-thin victory for a local school board seat for allegedly tricking ''incompetent '... and ill'' residents of nursing homes into casting ballots for him. McCann denied it, though he did admit to assisting some nursing home residents with absentee ballot applications.
Voter impersonation
When all else failed, the insider would send operatives to vote live in polling stations, particularly in states like New Jersey and New York that do not require voter ID. Pennsylvania, also for the most part, does not.
The best targets were registered voters who routinely skip presidential or municipal elections '-- information which is publicly available.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Up NextOpposing rallies in Portland, Ore., Saturday drew large crowds who...
''You fill out these index cards with that person's name and district and you go around the city and say, 'You're going to be him, you're going to be him,''' the insider said of how he dispatched his teams of dirty-tricksters.
At the polling place, the fake voter would sign in, ''get on line and '... vote,'' the insider said. The impostors would simply recreate the signature that already appears in the voter roll as best they could. In the rare instance that a real voter had already signed in and cast a ballot, the impersonator would just chalk it up to an innocent mistake and bolt.
Bribing voters
The tipster said New Jersey homeless shelters offered a nearly inexhaustible pool of reliable '-- buyable '-- voters.
''They get to register where they live in and they go to the polls and vote,'' he said, laughing at the roughly $174 per vote Mike Bloomberg spent to win his third mayoral term. He said he could have delivered the same result at a 70 percent discount '-- like when Frank ''Pupie'' Raia, a real estate developer and Hoboken nabob, was convicted last year on federal charges for paying low-income residents 50 bucks a pop to vote how he wanted during a 2013 municipal election.
Organizationally, the tipster said, his voter-fraud schemes in the Garden State and elsewhere resembled Mafia organizations, with a boss (usually the campaign manager) handing off the day-to-day managing of the mob soldiers to the underboss (him). The actual candidate was usually kept in the dark deliberately so they could maintain ''plausible deniability.''
With mail-in ballots, partisans from both parties hash out and count ballots at the local board of elections '-- debating which ballots make the cut and which need to be thrown out because of irregularities.
First lady Michelle Obama prepares her absentee ballot in Washington, DC, in 2012.
Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com
Up NextOpposing rallies in Portland, Ore., Saturday drew large crowds who...
The insider said any ballots offered up by him or his operation would come with a bent corner along the voter certificate '-- which contains the voter signature '-- so Democratic Board of Election counters would know the fix was in and not to object.
''It doesn't stay bent, but you can tell it's been bent,'' the tipster said. ''Until the [certificate] is approved, the ballot doesn't matter. They don't get to see the ballot unless they approve the [certificate.]''
''I invented bending corners,'' the insider boasted, saying once the fixed ballots were mixed in with the normal ones, the bed was made. ''Once a ballot is opened, it's an anonymous ballot.''
While federal law warns of prison sentences of up to five years, busted voter frauds have seen far less punishment. While in 2018 a Texas woman was sentenced to five years, an Arizona man busted for voting twice in the mail was given just three years' probation. A study by the conservative Heritage Foundation found more than 1,000 instances of documented voter fraud in the United States, almost all of which occurred over the last 20 years.
''There is nothing new about these techniques,'' said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at Heritage who manages their election law reform initiative. ''Everything he's talking about is perfectly possible.''
The city Board of Elections declined to answer Post questions on ballot security.
Dems outline strategy to take presidential race '' AFTER Election Day!
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 11:43
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020 (RNC video screenshot)
By Andrew TrunskyDaily Caller News Foundation
The electoral map could show a victory for President Donald Trump on Nov. 3, even if he ultimately loses the election, according to Hawkfish, a Democratic analytics firm.
The twist could occur as millions of voters, the majority of whom are Democratic, will likely choose to vote by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Hawkfish's research. These votes, the firm says, may not be counted by Nov. 3, likely giving Trump an early lead over Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
TRENDING: CDC now says 94% of COVID deaths had an underlying condition, only 6% were COVID alone
''We are sounding an alarm and saying that this is a very real possibility, that the data is going to show on election night an incredible victory for Donald Trump,'' Hawkfish CEO Josh Mendelsohn said in an interview with Axios.
Mendelsohn called the scenario a ''red mirage'' in an interview with Axios, referring to a map that shows a Trump landslide on Nov. 3 and then turns blue in the days following.
''When every legitimate vote is tallied and we get to that final day, which will be some day after Election Day, it will in fact show what happened on election night was exactly that, a mirage. It looked like Donald Trump was in the lead and he fundamentally was not when every ballot gets counted.''
The scenario could risk exacerbating the polarization and misinformation that has infiltrated American politics, Mendelsohn said.
Do you think Democrats will use phony ballots to try to oust President Trump in this 2020 election?
99% (84 Votes)
1% (1 Votes)
As mail-in ballots are counted in the days after the election, any lead that Trump may have will narrow, and possibly disappear, making Biden the president-elect, Axios reported.
Hawkfish based the models for the final election result on FiveThirtyEight's polling, which gives Biden a 7.1 point lead over Trump nationwide. Hawkfish, which was started by former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, works with the Democratic National Committee and some Biden PACs, according to Axios.
NEW: A top Democratic data firm Hawkfish warns that it's highly likely that Trump will appear to be way ahead on election night, but could ultimately lose when all the votes are counted in the ensuing days and weeks. https://t.co/YVfhOycHNf
'-- Axios (@axios) September 1, 2020
One of Hawkfish's models shows that Trump could appear to have maximum of 408 electoral votes on Nov. 3 if only 15% of all mail-in ballots had been counted on election. Once 75% of the ballots are counted, however, Biden could win with 334 electoral votes to Trump's 204, according to the Hawkfish model.
Hawkfish also warned that voters need to be prepared for an election that may not be decided on Nov. 3, even if Trump declares victory.
''Any change from that result on election night, [Trump] is signaling they will say means fraud,'' Mendelsohn said of the Trump campaign.
''You're then setting up the American presidency for even more failure. Even if you ultimately get to the end result, which is that Joe Biden would be president of the United States'... You would find yourself in this deeply polarized situation where a real portion of the American electorate feels that injustice was done,'' he said.
In constructing its model, Hawkfish surveyed over 17,000 registered voters across the country from July 1-Aug. 16, asking their party affiliation and whether they would vote in-person or by mail.
WATCH:
This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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Green New Dill
Climate breakdown 'intensifies gender-based violence'
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 16:44
'We believe in including women in the creation of policies and strategies around environmental protection including disaster response.'
Global warming isn't simply going to destroy our communities '' it is also going to be a serious intensifier of violence against women and girls.
I am a feminist, an African feminist to be exact. African feminism acknowledges Africa's historical colonial realities. Hence, our battle is twofold: to dismantle patriarchal capitalism and to dismantle neoliberalism.
This article was first published at People & Nature.
I grew up in an environment that normalised the oppression of women. I only realised later in life that I, like so many black women in my country, fell into the demographic that unfortunately suffers the most '' because the reality is that global capitalism has placed women, especially black women, at the bottom of the economic system.
Shortage
Climate breakdown is a direct product of the patriarchal capitalist economic model, which is built on the destruction and exploitation of human and natural resources. The oppression of women through control of women's bodies, minds, and labour is part and parcel of this system.
As Africa still bears the horrifying scars of gender-based violence, alongside Covid-19, climate change has placed African women in the eye of the storm.
Gender-based violence continues to dominate the news. It seems difficult to add the weight of forced marriage and climate change to the daily horrors of violence against women and girls.
When I was growing up, child brides were a norm in my community. It was a tradition for older men to marry young girls. Often the phrase ''women mature faster than men'' was used to justify the tradition.
This practice is called ukuthwala/ Ho shobediswa. The act involves a man abducting a girl or young woman for the purposes of conducting a forced marriage.
Stress
This is something that happened to my friend. She was only 12 years old when she got married against her will. She told me that she was sent to get married ''because of a shortage of food in the house.'' Her parents used to have a small piece of land, but floods wiped out their harvest.
My friend tried to negotiate, to tell her parents that she wasn't ready, but they told her that it had to be done because it would save the family from poverty.
As climate breakdown intensifies, more girls are being married young. Many families are struggling to afford to feed and house their own children.
Climate change is recognised by researchers as a serious intensifier of gender-based violence. More especially in Africa, climate change-induced crises have also been shown to worsen domestic violence, whether in relation to sexual and reproductive health, or discrimination against indigenous women.
As environmental degradation and stress on ecosystems increases, that, in turn, creates scarcity and stress on people. Also, human trafficking rises in areas where the natural environment is under stress.
Survive
A study by Save the Children, the charity, showed that 420 million children '' nearly one-fifth of children worldwide '' live in conflict areas. Many millions of these are girls at risk of exploitation and human trafficking. Climate change exacerbates many of these conflicts.
According to Brides of the Sun, an independent investigative project funded by the European Journalism Centre, after Cyclone Idai hit Malawi in March last year, about 1.5 million girls were put at risk of getting married before adulthood because of climate change.
A World Meteorological Organisation report recognised Cyclone Idai as an impact of climate change. In Malawi, after Cyclone Idai, there was an alarming increase in child brides recorded. While marriage before age 18 was outlawed in Malawi last year, nearly 50 per cent of girls in the country got married earlier.
This is simply a survival strategy for most families: to get rid of their young girls through early marriage to relieve the pressure on families, and also to generate income.
This is a lived reality for the majority of young women in the global south. Malawi and South Africa are not is the only places where minors are being married against their will to help their families survive climate disasters.
Unsafe
In Ethiopia and South Sudan, too, young girls are also being sold off into marriage during extreme droughts, in exchange for cattle.
Violence against women is not limited to developing countries. Research conducted into natural disasters, such as bushfires and droughts, in one developed country, found that they have increased the risk of domestic violence in rural regions.
One of the reasons for this is the social and psychological pressure arising from the loss of income resulting from the growing impact of climate change on the agricultural sector.
Currently, Africa's rate of sexual violence is among the highest in the world. Women, girls, LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex), and gender-non-conforming people were among the hardest hit in the climate change fallout.
These groups are facing increased sexual violence, unsafe labour, and an inability to reach medical centres.
Policymaking
We are living in times where sexual violence is used as a weapon of war against women and young girls, especially when climate-related disasters occur.
Let's just look at what has been happening in Democratic Republic of Congo, as a result of civil war.
Women and girls were held as sexual slaves for up to 18 months, often subjected to repeated rape by multiple men. Girls as young as 12 years suffered physical injury and illness, including HIV, because of rape, as well as the loss of livelihoods and access to education.
This is a clear indication of what would soon be our lived reality globally because of climate change.
Climate action is an essential component in the ongoing fight to eliminate violence against women and girls. We need greater involvement of women in climate action, by putting an emphasis on gender exclusivity in the policymaking process.
Indigenous
Unfortunately the best policy ideas in the world are not worth much if we don't have activists fighting for change.
We play a very critical role, not only in educating communities about climate change, but also in holding government and companies accountable, in response to the climate crisis, by organising community awareness campaigns, protests, marches and pickets.
When women have secure rights and land access, they utilise resources sustainably.
Also having women involved in climate change mitigation,will help guarantee enough clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food, and secure shelter for future generations.
We need to ensure female involvement, including indigenous women and grassroots groups, in climate change negotiations and resource management.
Injustices
We rally behind policies that recognise gender-sensitive impacts, provide women with access to resources, and give them opportunities to participate in mitigation and adaptation processes.
Our community campaigns ensures that communities understand why it is important to make key decision-makers understand how environmental degradation and climate change affect women differently than men.
We believe in including women in the creation of policies and strategies around environmental protection including disaster response; building resilience; securing land and inheritance rights, food, and resources; and ending poverty.
Patriarchal capitalism has undeniably brought us climate change inequalities and injustices. The fight against climate change should, therefore, be an anti-capitalist fight, and a feminist one, for that matter.
This Author
Orthalia Kunene is a South African writer and grass-roots activist in her community with Extinction Rebellion (XR) South Africa. This article is based on a talk she gave at a zoom session last month, organised by Extinction Rebellion Greenwich (UK).
Big Tech
California's Not A Tech State, It's A Big Labor State. The Two Are At War
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 14:21
We needed some groceries. Caring for my 95-year-old father-in-law at home, complicated by COVID-19 concerns, led us to do what we have increasingly done over the past few months: we ordered online for at-home delivery. At the appointed time, Billy, the driver, showed up with the groceries, driving his own car.
From a respectful distance, I asked Billy what he did for a living before the pandemic. He said he used to drive Uber in Houston, Texas. With the arrival of COVID-19, however, the number of people needing a ride dropped. He started delivering groceries to earn a living, but the business in Houston started to get sparse. Then, through his motorcycle club, Billy heard the greater Austin area had stronger demand.
So, for the past two weeks, he's been delivering groceries Monday through Friday, living out of his car, grabbing showers at a truck stop, then heading home for the weekends.
In California, Billy likely wouldn't have a job because Assembly Bill 5, passed late last year, would classify Billy as an employee rather than an independent contractor. So, instead of getting paid via an app like Lyft in cooperation with the grocery store chain, the grocery chain would be required to hire Billy.
As a result, Billy would be paid the minimum wage, would pay workers comp and unemployment taxes, and receive paid sick and family leave and health insurance. Of course, as a traditional employer, the grocery store would likely demand certain hours and other standards from Billy. Billy didn't seem to be a man who would enjoy such regimentation.
In California, Big Labor Still Calls the ShotsAs with much of what passes into law in California of late, AB 5 is a labor union bill. Its unstated intent is simple: force the millions of Californians in the gig economy to unionize, providing hundreds of millions of dollars in dues money that unions can use to further consolidate control over the state, and still have millions left over to establish strongholds in other states like Texas.
As with any intense battle, there is collateral damage. While AB 5's main target is the burgeoning app-based gig economy '-- Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Postmates '-- the law also covered freelance writers while excluding another 50 professions, including attorneys and real estate agents. One of the more immediate ironies of freelancers no longer being able to ply their trade in California '-- writers, cartoonists, or photographers who exceed 35 paid submissions per year to the same company must be converted to employees '-- were the mass layoffs over at Vox last December.
Vox writers had been enthusiastically backing the new law, likely thinking it ''stuck it to the Man.'' Then Vox Media, based in New York, terminated hundreds of freelance writers and editors in California two weeks before the law was due to go into effect on Jan. 1. In place of the 200 freelancers who covered sports for SB Nation, including out-of-state writers who covered teams based in California, Vox planned to set up a group of 20 full and part-time staffers. Due to Vox Media's earlier unionization, these new employees will likely be members of the Writers Guild of America, East.
So, rather than 200 people able to set their own schedules and largely determine their own compensation from a variety of sources (something especially valuable in the uncertain time of COVID-19), there are now 20 unionized employees. Other writers were harmed as well. Over at Forbes, film critic Mark Hughes hung up his keyboard in an August 21 tweet:
Sadly, due to @LorenaSGonzalez's & @GavinNewsom's awful California's #AB5 law limiting freelance journos to just 35 articles per year at an outlet, this weekend will be my final @Forbes articles of 2020.I can't review #Mulan, #BlackWidow, #WonderWoman1984, #Tenet etc b/c of it.
'-- Mark Hughes (@markhughesfilms) August 21, 2020
The Growing Alliance Against Proposition 22With billions in revenue at stake in the nation's largest state '-- as well as the likelihood of copycat legislation rippling out first into the farther left states '-- Uber, Lyft, and Doordash each contributed $30 million to overturn AB 5 via a ballot initiative this November. They were later joined for $10 million each by Instacart and Postmates, for more than $110 million in support of Proposition 22 so far.
By California standards, this is a larger-than-average effort. When the opposition starts to engage and the app-industry responds, the campaign will escalate quickly.
By comparison, in 2008, California's major American Indian casino interests sought to expand the number of casinos they could operate via four separate initiatives. Las Vegas opposed the effort. The two sides spent $172 million to fight it out. The American Indians won.
In the last election cycle in 2018, one of the more hard-fought California propositions would have allowed local rent control. Prop. 10 failed, but not before about $86 million was spent for and against it.
Now, the app lobby has attracted a broad range of allies for the fight, including the California Peace Officers Association, California Police Chiefs Association, and the California State Sheriffs Association, (who likely approve of the idea of fewer drunk drivers on the road), as well as the California NAACP State Conference, the California Chamber of Commerce, the CalAsian Chamber of Commerce, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. In most normal states, this and $150 million would be sufficient for victory. California isn't a normal state.
All the Usual SuspectsArrayed in opposition to Prop. 22 is the California Teachers Association '-- the state's most powerful union '-- the California Labor Federation (AFL-CIO), the California State Council of Laborers, the SEIU, California State Council, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, and Unite HERE. Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, are also opposed '-- showing that in a choice between the NAACP and Silicon Valley versus Big Labor, Democrats will always choose the latter.
Unfortunately for the app lobby, its access to endless piles of cash combined with being locked in an elite San Francisco Bay Area cultural bubble will likely spell the effort's doom at the ballot box. This was previewed in Austin, Texas in 2015 and played out over a year as the city's increasingly progressive city council voted to outlaw Uber and Lyft's business model at the urging of the local taxi companies.
The rideshare app companies countered with what became Austin's most costly ballot measure, spending $8.6 million in a city of 940,000 to overturn the council's ordinance in May 2016. Texas voters responded poorly to the Californian onslaught and rejected the measure by 12 points, in spite (or because) of it, spending more than seven times as much as Austin's previously most-expensive campaign.
Uber and Lyft immediately left town in response, calling Austin's bluff. For a time, Austin made do with locally crafted apps that complied with the City Council's regulations (along with illegal workarounds). But eight months later, the new Texas legislative session convened in Austin and the rideshare firms bought in Texas' best lobbyists, spending a few million dollars to do what almost $9 million couldn't in Austin: change the law by preempting local rideshare restrictions.
Lawmakers answered, agreeing with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) that a ''patchwork quilt of compliance complexities are forcing businesses out of the Lone Star State,'' citing not only Austin's actions but similar moves against Uber and Lyft in Houston and San Antonio. The new Texas law did apply some regulation to the rideshare apps, but it was uniform and still allowed them to operate. Uber and Lyft's lobbying effort managed to pass state preemption laws in all but a handful of states in the aftermath.
Worth The FightBack in California, a state appeals court granted a stay of AB 5 for the rideshare firms on Aug. 20, pending the results of the November ballot initiative. Polling earlier in the month showed voters inclined to support Prop. 22 by a margin of 41 percent to 26 percent. But the rule of thumb in California propositions is that you want to be comfortably above 50 percent approval if there is organized opposition.
If Uber, Lyft, and other app firms spend as much in California on a per-capita basis as they did in Austin, they'd deploy a staggering sum of $365 million to pass the initiative (with $35 million or more spent in opposition). For the app firms, it would be worth it. If California turns against their business model, their only recourse would be to seek relief at the federal level '-- where labor unions' hold on the national Democrats is just as strong as it is in California.
Unfortunately, the app firms missed a huge chance to expand their coalition by excluding hundreds of thousands of freelancers and other independent contractors from their initiative. A simple referendum to overturn AB 5 in its entirety would have done this.
If Prop. 22 does go down in flames, look for an acceleration of driverless car technology to displace human-piloted taxis and rideshares '-- and look for California's union-controlled Luddite lawmakers to outlaw those as well.
Chuck DeVore is vice president of national initiatives at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and served in the California State Assembly from 2004 to 2010.
Copyright (C) 2020 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.
China
Did China instigate global panic through Wuhan's COVID-19 'zombieland' stories? - The Mass Illusion
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 17:45
At the turn of 2020, the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China took to the global stage, and it wasn't because people suddenly became more concerned for the wellbeing of the people of Hubei Province. Instigating this process were the breathtaking, horrifying photos and videos coming out of Wuhan. What we were seeing through the lens of social media appeared to be an Ebola-like plague. Victims of the virus were often seen in regular attire, out and about, seemingly going about their day, when suddenly, they were captured on video dropping like flies. It was ''like Walking Dead'' in the way that the virus supposedly struck its victims.
One particular photo, which The Guardian described as the image that ''captures the Wuhan coronavirus crisis,'' took the world by storm.
From The Guardian:
''It is an image that captures the chilling reality of the coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan: a grey-haired man wearing a face mask lies dead on the pavement, a plastic shopping bag in one hand, as police and medical staff in full protective suits and masks prepare to take him away.''
Notably, the AFP photographer who snapped the infamous photo ''could not determine how the man, who appeared to be aged in his 60s, had died,'' according to the report.
The photo of the well-dressed man, who appeared to be going about his standard business when he suddenly dropped dead in the streets, was just one of the many images and videos coming out of China presenting the narrative of a virus so deadly it would strike down its victims without warning.
Newspapers from around the world ate up the ''dead in streets'' and ''zombieland'' narrative.
Strangely, photos and videos of people collapsing in the streets continued to emerge via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites that are blocked in China.
Shortly thereafter, Chinese authorities reported announced a sweeping lockdown in an attempt to ''stop the virus.'' A few months later, Beijing announced that it had successfully stopped the virus dead in its tracks, but only through brutal suppression measures taken to ''stop the spread.'' The message from the Chinese Communist Party was crystal-clear: countries around the world must lockdown immediately, and indefinitely, in an attempt to stop this deadly plague from infecting your nation's population. The scare tactic worked. In a state of total panic, the overwhelming majority of the world followed the CCP's ''advice'' on handling the virus, which I documented in my piece, ''the origin story of COVID-19 lockdowns.''
Now back to the ''zombieland'' phenomenon.
On top of the fact that the ''zombieland'' situation was not seen in any other country, the idea that someone infected with COVID-19 could be walking around one moment, seemingly perfectly fine with no symptoms, and then suddenly, without notice, collapse to the ground, is not supported by any of the data on the virus. Looking back to January, none of the ''walking dead'' stuff that came out Wuhan seems to make any sense. Even the most vulnerable individuals still present gradually declining symptoms, which worsen over time, before their passing. We have now had many months to study the process of COVID-19 infections. The images that came out of Wuhan are not at all representative of how the novel coronavirus impacts infected human beings.
Don't take my word for it. Take it from the CDC.
The incubation period for someone infected for COVID-19 takes an average of 4-5 days. From there, the median time from onset of symptoms to ICU admission ranges from 10-12 days (shorter for general hospitalization). On average, people who tragically pass away with COVID-19 do so after around 2 weeks of the onset of the disease.
I've copied the age-based charts posted below directly from the CDC website:
The ''Wuhan zombieland'' stories don't make any sense, and they are not supported by any biological evidence related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It leaves us with many more questions than answers. We still don't know the source for many, if not all of the chaotic images and videos (which, again somehow originated and arrived on U.S. social media platforms even though they are banned in China) that appeared on global media platforms. We do know that China has launched several disinformation campaigns related to the novel coronavirus, having employed armies of real and fake social media accounts to promote particular policy objectives. The January ''Wuhan zombieland'' narrative deserves much more scrutiny. Was it a deliberate messaging campaign, with the Western world as its target audience?
[Thanks for reading! I would be honored if you are willing to support my work and subscribe to The Mass Illusion, my newsletter for people concerned about our ''new normal.'']
Behind China's Twitter Campaign, a Murky Supporting Chorus - The New York Times
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 17:50
Swarms of accounts are amplifying Beijing's brash new messaging as the country tries to shape the global narrative about the coronavirus and much else.
Credit... Yifan Wu Published June 8, 2020Updated June 10, 2020
As the Trump administration lashes out at China over a range of grievances, Beijing's top diplomats and representatives are using the president's favorite online megaphone '-- Twitter '-- to slap back with a pugnaciousness that is best described as Trumpian.
Behind China's combative new messengers, a murky hallelujah chorus of sympathetic accounts has emerged to repost them and cheer them on. Many are new to the platform. Some do little else but amplify the Beijing line.
No doubt some of these accounts are run by patriotic, tech-savvy Chinese people who get around their government's ban on Twitter and other Western platforms. But an analysis by The New York Times found that many of the accounts behaved with a single-mindedness that could suggest a coordinated campaign of the type that nation states have carried out on Twitter in the past.
Of the roughly 4,600 accounts that reposted China's leading envoys and state-run news outlets during a recent week, many acted suspiciously, The Times found. One in six tweeted with extremely high frequency despite having few followers, as if they were being used as loudspeakers, not as sharing platforms.
Nearly one in seven tweeted almost nothing of their own, instead filling their feeds with reposts of the official Chinese accounts and others.
In all, one third of the accounts had been created in the last three months, as the war of words with the Trump administration heated up. One in seven had zero followers.
The United States and China are battling to dominate the global narrative. China was criticized for its early mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak, but it has regained confidence as other countries have made their own stumbles. With the United States in turmoil, upended first by the epidemic and now by protests, Beijing sees a chance to define itself as a global leader, one unafraid to press its interests in Hong Kong and the region.
Image China was criticized for its early cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak, but it has regained confidence as other countries have made their own stumbles. Credit... Getty Images It is far from clear that the Chinese government is behind the swarms of accounts helping to spread its gospel on Twitter. Online information campaigns are becoming increasingly sophisticated as malicious actors get better at disguising their digital activity, security experts say. They now rarely make telltale mistakes such as using social media accounts that were all created on the same day, follow one another and post the same material.
Campaigns are often uncovered one small piece at a time. Twitter has declared operations to be state-backed after identifying as few as six accounts.
Much is unknown about China's covert influence activities in particular. Twitter last year suspended more than 200,000 accounts that it called a Chinese state-backed operation aimed at discrediting Hong Kong's protesters, though it said little about how it came to that conclusion.
Still, The Times's findings add to other recent evidence suggesting that Twitter is being manipulated to amplify pro-Beijing messages. Next Dim, a data firm in Israel, discovered two mundane-looking tweets praising China's coronavirus response that were liked and reposted hundreds of thousands of times in March, possibly with the help of strategically placed influencer accounts.
The U.S. State Department found inauthentic-seeming accounts that in April cited a Cambridge University study to raise doubts that the coronavirus originated in China. The most active of these accounts referred to the study in scores of tweets, even though the study's lead author dismissed that interpretation of its findings.
Neither Next Dim's findings nor the State Department's have been previously reported.
''Improving the health of the public conversation is a priority for our company,'' Twitter said in a statement. ''Platform manipulation, including spam and other attempts to undermine the public conversation, is a violation of the Twitter Rules.''
The State Department has denounced China's efforts to burnish its image and drown out criticism during the pandemic, comparing them to Russia's disinformation campaigns. Both countries are using a range of tools to ''shape and tilt any given information environment in their favor,'' said Lea Gabrielle, coordinator of the department's Global Engagement Center.
''I think the Chinese Communist Party is still trying to define its relationship with Twitter,'' said Kristine Lee, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security. ''But the Covid-19 pandemic has served as an important period of experimentation.''
The U.S.-China tongue-lashing adds to the questions vexing Twitter about how it treats inflammatory or misleading remarks from world leaders. Mr. Trump has accused the company of censoring him and other Republicans while ignoring questionable posts by Democrats and the Chinese government.
Beijing's Twitter brigade includes Hua Chunying, the head of the foreign ministry's information department. Since joining the platform in October, Ms. Hua has attracted more than half a million followers with her feisty put-downs of the United States.
In a Communist Party journal last year, Ms. Hua wrote that China had to find a voice in international affairs that was commensurate with its economic strength. ''We have walked closer to the center of the world stage than ever before, but we still do not grasp the microphone completely in our hands,'' she wrote.
One reason, she wrote: a lack of ''fighting spirit.''
Another foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, became notorious after tweeting that the U.S. military might have brought the coronavirus to China. Twitter later added a fact-checking label to Mr. Zhao's post.
The Times analyzed all of the tweets that Ms. Hua, Mr. Zhao and 12 other Twitter users linked to the Chinese government posted between May 18 and May 25.
The other users included the foreign ministry's main account, as well as the accounts of China's ambassadors to the United States and Britain. They also included nine accounts run by state news outlets.
That week, Beijing moved to tighten its control over Hong Kong. Mr. Trump threatened to cut off funding to the World Health Organization. American officials congratulated Taiwan's president on the start of her second term. China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, was furious.
Ms. Hua mused about whether the coronavirus actually originated in the United States: ''Scientists at the US NIH began developing a #COVID19 vaccine on January 11. There were reports of cases as early as November last year. Any explanation or investigation?'' Her post, which refers to the National Institutes of Health, was liked 4,600 times.
The Times's analysis found that hundreds of the 4,600 accounts that reposted the Chinese government mouthpieces that week behaved suspiciously. Many were incessant tweeters despite having limited followings. After excluding accounts that had zero followers and had tweeted five times or fewer, over a sixth of the accounts had posted 100 or more times for every follower.
A few accounts repeatedly retweeted at set lengths of time after the original post '-- 9 hours and 49 minutes after, 19 hours and 34 minutes after '-- suggesting that software had been used to schedule their tweets. Twitter has since suspended some of the accounts for violating its policies.
When contacted by The Times, several pro-China Twitter users denied being part of a government campaign but acknowledged that they joined the platform specifically to follow the foreign ministry representatives. The ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
Image Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, has gained notoriety for his pugnacious tweets. Credit... Wu Hong/EPA, via Shutterstock Others said they were either curious about Mr. Trump's tweets about China or felt demonized by them.
''He has done so many shameless things for re-election,'' one user, @beautifullady76, said in a Twitter message. ''Countless Chinese people are angry and everyone has the right to the truth. We just want to say a fair word for China!''
Public records show that Beijing is trying to expand its influence on the Western internet. China's internet regulator has sought out contractors to help it ''make use of overseas social media platforms to develop online propaganda on major themes,'' procurement documents show.
Much of this kind of activity may not appear in official documents, however. The regulator did not respond to a request for comment.
''There's no reason to think that the parts of the Chinese government that are formally in charge of conducting information operations are not able to conduct operations that are as sophisticated as others','' said Camille Fran§ois of the network analysis company Graphika. ''They just haven't been publicly exposed and dissected yet.''
Researchers remain on the lookout. ProPublica tracked 10,000 fishy accounts that posted about the coronavirus and the Hong Kong protests. Alkemy, an Italian digital marketing firm, found that inauthentic-looking users were behind many posts celebrating Chinese medical aid to Italy.
In March, two tweets lauding China's handling of the outbreak were liked and reposted hundreds of thousands of times. The posts were not shocking, funny or newsworthy, and originated from users with modest followings.
That caught the attention of Next Dim, an Israeli company that uses network analytics to identify and prevent financial crime.
''While scanning Twitter, our systems automatically discovered a huge irregularity,'' said Next Dim's chief executive, Netta Marrom. Too huge, he believes, to be the result of chance.
On March 12, the first user, @manisha_kataki, posted a video showing workers disinfecting streets in China. ''At this rate, China will be back in action very soon, may be much faster than the world expects,'' the user wrote.
The next day, another user, @Ejiketion, retweeted the post, marveling at how China had locked down cities and built coronavirus hospitals. In the West, by contrast, ''We washing our hands LOL,'' @Ejiketion wrote. The account has since been deleted.
The two posts together received more than 382,000 retweets and 1.1 million likes, many of them within the first two days. That made them roughly as popular as Elon Musk's tweet, also from March, in which the head of Tesla called the coronavirus panic ''dumb.''
Two other posts that also retweeted @manisha_kataki but translated @Ejiketion's comment into Spanish and French received a combined 67,000 retweets and 181,000 likes.
Next Dim identified around 20 Twitter users whose followers accounted for thousands of the retweets of @manisha_kataki's and @Ejiketion's posts. Some of these users had immense followings but rarely tweeted about China.
Image Tiananmen Square in Beijing during the annual meeting of China's legislature last month. Credit... Roman Pilipey/EPA, via Shutterstock Next Dim's analysis uncovered other signs that the two tweets' popularity may not have been organic. Few of the first users to retweet @manisha_kataki's post were followers of the account, which means they were unlikely to have seen the tweet in their timelines. Thousands of accounts reposted both tweets, even though @Ejiketion's tweet was itself a repost of @manisha_kataki's.
Neither @manisha_kataki nor @Ejiketion responded to requests for comment.
Wang Yiwei and Lin Qiqing contributed research.
China threatened to harm Czech companies over Taiwan visit: letter - Reuters
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 21:47
(Reuters) - Beijing threatened to retaliate against Czech companies with operations in China if a senior Czech lawmaker went ahead with a planned visit to Taiwan, according to a diplomatic letter seen by Reuters.
FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping leaves after a news conference at Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, March 29, 2016. REUTERS/David W Cerny/File Photo
The Jan. 10 letter, which was sent by China's embassy in Prague to the Czech president's office, suggested that Czech companies operating in mainland China, such as Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE ) subsidiary Skoda Auto or lender Home Credit Group, would suffer if Senate speaker Jaroslav Kubera visited the self-ruled island.
Kubera died unexpectedly on Jan. 20, before his trip had been due to take place, but the letter, written in Czech, reveals how explicit Beijing was about the possible consequences if the visit had gone ahead.
''Czech companies whose representatives visit Taiwan with Chairman Kubera will not be welcome in China or with the Chinese people,'' the letter said.
''Czech companies who have economic interests in China will have to pay for the visit to Taiwan by Chairman Kubera,'' the letter added, noting, ''China is the largest foreign market for many Czech companies like Skoda Auto, Home Credit Group, Klaviry Petrof and others''.
The Czech president's spokesman confirmed the letter had been received but did not comment on its content.
Asked about the letter, China's foreign ministry said it did not know where the information had come from.
''I want to emphasize that China resolutely opposes a country that has established diplomatic relations with China having official exchanges with Taiwan authorities in any form. This stance has been consistent and clear,'' a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a fax.
The Foreign Ministry in Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province, criticized China's warning to Prague.
''China's business pressure on the Czech Republic proves that 'one belt one road' is a predatory policy tool, bringing only counter-effects to the global business order,'' Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said.
'SERIOUS BREACH' As speaker of the Czech Republic's Senate, Kubera was the country's second-most senior official after President Milos Zeman.
Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babis had expressed concern that Kubera's plans to visit Taiwan would lead China to retaliate against the Central European country's business community.
The Senate's office said Kubera had been aware of the letter and its content after receiving a copy at a regular meeting of top Czech foreign policy officials.
The Chinese letter warns that Kubera's trip would be seen as a ''serious breach'' of the so-called one China policy on Taiwan, under which Beijing insists it is the sole representative of China.
Babis's government, which has the main say on foreign policy, has repeatedly said it adheres to the one China policy.
However, diplomatic ties cooled last year when city authorities in Prague showed support for Tibet and demanded changes to an intercity partnership agreement with Beijing over a reference to China's policy on Taiwan.
The agreement was eventually canceled, and Prague instead signed a cooperation deal with Taiwan's Taipei, further infuriating Beijing.
Another dent in bilateral relations came in December 2018 when the Czech cyber-security watchdog warned about the risks of using network technology provided by Chinese telecoms equipment makers Huawei and ZTE .
A Home Credit spokesman said he had not been aware of the letter, while Skoda could not be reached immediately for comment.
Czech senators elected a replacement for Kubera as speaker on Wednesday.
Additional reporting by Robert Muller, Jan Lopatka and Tom Daly; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Helen Popper
China threatens Czech Senate Speaker Vystrcil over Taiwan visit
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 12:09
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Milos Vystrcil will "pay a heavy price" for making an official trip to Taiwan, and China will not sit idly by, the Chinese government's top diplomat said on Monday.Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi gave no details on how exactly Beijing would react.Vystrcil arrived in Taipei on Sunday on a visit to promote business links with Taiwan.The Czech senate's Milos Vystrcil and his wife wave to salute the press in Taipei, Taiwan, on August 30, 2020.
Jose Lopes Amaral | NurPhoto | Getty Images
Czech Senate speaker Milos Vystrcil will "pay a heavy price" for making an official trip to Taiwan and China will not sit idly by, the Chinese government's top diplomat said on Monday, in a warning brushed off by Taiwan's government.
Vystrcil arrived in Taipei on Sunday on a visit to promote business links with Taiwan, saying the Czech Republic would not bow to Beijing's objections.
Speaking while in Germany, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi said there would be retribution.
"The Chinese government and Chinese people won't take a laissez-faire attitude or sit idly by, and will make him pay a heavy price for his short-sighted behaviour and political opportunism," China's Foreign Ministry cited Wang as saying.
We have the same values as the Czechs.
Wang Mei-hua
Taiwan Economics Minister
Wang said the Chinese government and people will not tolerate such "open provocation" by Vystrcil and the anti-China forces behind him, though gave no details of how exactly Beijing would react.
Speaking in Taipei, Taiwan Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua brushed off the criticism, though declined direct comment on China's attack on Vystrcil.
"The Czech Republic and Taiwan are free and democratic countries which put great store on human rights. We have the same values as the Czechs," she told reporters, speaking before a joint business forum.
Meeting with President Tsai Ing-wenVystrcil did not directly address China's criticism of his visit in a brief speech at the same event, talking instead about how he was aiming to boost business relations.
"Freedom and democracy are the main basis of prosperity," he said, speaking through an interpreter.
Vystrcil is due to meet Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen later in his trip and will address Taiwan's parliament before leaving on Friday.
China considers Taiwan a breakaway province ineligible for state-to-state relations.
Czech President Milos Zeman has sought closer business and political ties with China since taking office in 2013, but his efforts have been hit by failed investment plans and Czech wavering about allowing China's Huawei Technologies to play a role in developing next-generation telecoms networks.
WATCH: A 'big price' that China's paying for Hong Kong is Taiwan, says strategist
Pocket Casts on Twitter: "Pocket Casts has been removed from the Chinese App store by Apple, at the request of the Cyberspace Administration of China. We believe podcasting is and should remain an open medium, free of government censorship. As such we won
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 14:24
Pocket Casts : Pocket Casts has been removed from the Chinese App store by Apple, at the request of the Cyberspace Administration'... https://t.co/ZeM9lYyVJv
Thu Jun 11 00:28:10 +0000 2020
OTG
Google Play says No to Mastodon
I saw this on my corner of the fediverse and don't know how widely it's spread.
Apparently some Mastodon apps are now being targeted by Google Play because they allow access to uncensored content.
https://toot.fedilab.app/@fedilab/104765191594914330
It has been picked up as a story by some sites:
https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/google-is-removing-fediverse-apps-from-the-play-store-because-they-can-be-used-to-access-hate-speech/
https://www.engadget.com/google-pulls-fediverse-android-apps-160433088.html
GDPR compliant version:
http://web.archive.org/web/20200831022508/https://www.engadget.com/google-pulls-fediverse-android-apps-160433088.html
"Holy crap, google is apparently taking down all/m'..." - Qoto Mastodon
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 14:22
FollowHoly crap, google is apparently taking down all/most fediverse apps from google play on the grounds that that some servers in the fediverse engage in hate speech. At least three apps I know of anyway and I'd imagine the others will follow soon under the exact same reasoning.} Seems to be the case with Husky, Fedilab, and "subway" tooter.
this is a scary precedent if google play is going to ban any apps that can in any way be used to access content with hate speech. So what about a forum client, do they take that down just because there is a forum somewhere on the internet posting hate speech?
This is particularly worrisome because for most people Google Play is the only way they understand to install apps at all.
Picture attached of one of the notices received by fedilab.
https:// toot.fedilab.app/@fedilab/1047 61140268193772
https:// mastodon.social/@Gargron/10476 3960269049818
@fedilab @tateisu # fediverse # mastoadmin # freespeech # censorship
@ khird Gab isnt even part of the fediverse and hasnt been for some time now.
@ freemo Gab doesn't federate (i.e. they broke server-to-server communication) but as far as I'm aware you can still use Husky to log in (i.e. client-to-server communication still works). Tusky has a "feature" that I think directs you to a deradicalisation page if you try to log into an account on Gab, but the Husky derivative removed that block.
@ khird ahh yes, that may be true.. but there is plenty of hate speech on other servers too, some just as bad or worse than gab... how far will they take this, do app maintainers really need to be int he business of maintaining a mile long block list?
@ freemo The only reasonable model I see if Google takes a hard line on this is for apps to maintain a whitelist of known well-moderated instances, given how easy it is to set up a cheap instance to troll from. And if the app developer is supposed to be personally responsible for the content accessible through the app, then he'll probably only whitelist an instance he has control over. So you'll have a QOTO app, Gargron will have a Mastodon Social app, &c. If Google doesn't like some instance's moderation policy they ban its app.
@ khird haha that would be a mess, there would be thousands of mastodon apps all virtually identical forks of eachother on google play at that point.
@ freemo Yup. Google's starting assumption is that the app and the service are controlled by the same organisation (and this is actually a valid assumption in most proprietary, and even several FOSS, apps). So consequently they can punish you for mismanagement of your service by interdicting your app. Now we come along with our federated peg and it doesn't fit neatly into their hole for siloed apps, and their assumption breaks down.
@ khird Yupits the slippery slope of censorship.. Censorship never works so you have to get more and more drastic in the hopes of silencing the unwanted material. Eventually you have as more collateral damage than productive censorship.
@ khird @ freemo Yet they can't see the connection that basically any stock android email app lets you login to "hate email services"...
@ khird It is in a valid assumption because they turned it into one. To me, it is a perversion. @ freemo
@ freemo @ khird That's exactly what caused a lot of turmoil in the not so distant past when some fedi users called a boycott on Fedilab, who refused to disallow access to Gab and the like.
@ freemo @ khird A lot of hate and aggression is on random websites... So is this the time to ban all browsers? Or shut down the internet as a whole, problems would dissappear. Or create something like Great Chinese Firewall... is this direction world want to choose?
@ madargon @ freemo @ khird probably not google's intent. their policies are probably designed to handle the case of browsers, but i am assuming that, unlike browsers, many of these fedi apps provide a list of instances, and as numerous lawsuits have set a precedence for, you're responsible for what you link to. in the case of an in-app list, this can give the appearance that the app maintainer is endorsing all the instances listed.
@ thor @ madargon @ freemo @ khird Most likely by going directly to servers that are majority populated by groups, races, or nationalities of people they don't like. Guilt by association is a big thing at Google. Look at how they censor YouTube. All they believe they need to do to justify unpersoning app creators is attempt to access gab on their apps and if it's possible then they're automatically a # Nazi ' and don't deserve due process or free speech.
@ freemo Did they ban twitter clients for hate speech? Because there's a lot'...
It's not the clients/dev job to block stupid fucks' instances. It's the admin job. By the way, it's not even effective, it's either a FLOSS client and you can remove the block or a proprietary client and you trust it, and it's an open door for shitload of abuses (No way to make sure it won't block other instances on whatever arbitrary criteria they choose, for political reasons, money, or something else'... ).
@ khird
@ khird @ freemo
I've never heard a Rick roll video described as a deradicalization page before.
@ Feddylain
Not sure at the moment.. fedilab used to very briefly a while ago but then reverted that change.. as far as I know they never added the block back.
@ khird
@ kline funny how they dont apply that same logic to their own apps. If they were to truly be fair they would have to take down Chrome from play store on the grounds that it can be used to access 4chan.
@ freemo to be fair, I suspect this could be a time of reckoning for the fediverse. The willingness of people to draw instant parallels between software ("FOR ANY PURPOSE") and the beliefs and moral values of the users.
In the past, large swathes of the fediverse have written off pleroma and pleroma users as undesirable, regardless of whether that was true or not, because of a small element who were.
Google has now decided that fediverse apps, it seems, are likewise undesirable because of a small number of non-representative users. First we have sown, now we reap.
@ kline Yea, what goes around comes around.. for many this will be a taste of their own medicine...
@ izarella Yup it is, and people wonder why I'm so pro free speech, this right here is a prime example! The ironic thing is I have received a lot of hate and blocks from voicing my pro free speech stance, the very stance that would oppose this sort of injustice that effects them in the first place.
@ freemo Lol everyone has me blocked already I think
@ izarella In that case I'm tempted to follow you, if you are truly blocked by **both** sides (liberals and conservatives) that must mean you must actually have your own unique opinions :)
@ freemo @ izarella I kinda like that getting blocked by idiots already works as some kind of seal of quality
@ freemo @ izarella I've decided to follow you both. Whether I agree with them or not, I love diverse opinions. Some of my opinions have also been censored a lot, though I usually do not post them on Mastodon or Twitter.
@ happysmash27
Welcome to the club. As long as people are respectful I find a difference of opinion to be some of the most exciting and education conversations I can have. Echo chambers are so boring, and often toxic.
@ izarella
@ kline @ freemo Or, Google has sown and now they will reap. The Fediverse and its future incarnations, are the future of social networking which has become a huge part of the internet and how people get their news. With this kind of pressure solutions will be produced. War time always brings with it great innovations.
@ freemo ... or Fediverse. Considering all of the "kill white people" posts that can be readily found on Twitter, maybe it's time to start reporting that app as well.
@ master honestly if this rule were universally applied then any app with a social element would pretty much have to get axed at that point.
@ freemo Which is why no open forum should be banned.
At the same time, Twitter actively censors one type of hate speech, but allows another. It's interesting because this means Twitter actively supports, and therefore publishes hate speech.
@ master @ freemo twitter is an interesting example. on the other hand, twitter has, afaik, never officially permitted hate speech. it probably also helps that they're big, and their ToS likely contains a section on hate speech, whereas with fedi, it depends entirely on the instance.
@ freemo @ kline except chrome doesn't provide a list of websites (which i believe many if not all of these apps do) and if they did, 4chan wouldn't be on it
@ freemo @ kline Literally all of that "offensive" content--fedi instances--can be viewed by # Chrome anyways. Unless you're going to ban the # Fediverse from the browser, there isn't any consistent logic here.
@ realcaseyrollins
Yea its absurd logic.. the only difference between chrome and a mastodon client is that chrome gives you access to hate speech servers through http protocol and mastodon client gives you access to hate speech servers through the ActivityPub protocol
@ kline
@ kline @ freemo ...which is quite funny if you believe that bullshit some people say about "4chan being owned by Google".
I mean, yeah, there is a Google Analytics thing on it. I mean, yeah, moot works for Google now. But I feel like it's all cum hoc ergo propter hoc and nothing else.
Pocket Casts on Twitter: "Pocket Casts has been removed from the Chinese App store by Apple, at the request of the Cyberspace Administration of China. We believe podcasting is and should remain an open medium, free of government censorship. As such we won
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 14:24
Pocket Casts : Pocket Casts has been removed from the Chinese App store by Apple, at the request of the Cyberspace Administration'... https://t.co/ZeM9lYyVJv
Thu Jun 11 00:28:10 +0000 2020
iOS 13.7 Now Available With Support for Exposure Notifications Express - MacRumors
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 21:47
Apple today released iOS 13.7, a major update that comes more than a month after the release of iOS 13.6. iOS 13.7 is an update that's being introduced to roll out a new Exposure Notifications System that does not require an app to be downloaded for the feature to be turned on.
The iOS 13.7 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Apple has also released a new version of iPadOS 13.7, but as Exposure Notifications don't work on the iPad, the 'ŒiPad'Œ update focuses on bug fixes.
With iOS 13.7, Apple is adding Exposure Notifications Express, a feature that lets states that choose to participate provide an Exposure Notification system without having to do the work to develop an app.
After updating, iOS 13.7 users will see a new 'ŒExposure Notification'Œ section in the Settings app (it used to be in the Privacy settings) where there's a toggle to "Turn on Exposure Notifications."
Activating Exposure Notifications lets you know if the feature is available in your country, state, or region through a contact tracing app. In areas that are participating in the Exposure Notifications Express program, users will be able to turn on Exposure Notifications without the need to download an app.
Apple this morning said that Maryland, Nevada, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. will soon be adopting Exposure Notifications Express, and more states could follow in the future. Using Exposure Notifications Express will require iOS 13.7, and even though it works without an app in some areas, it is still entirely opt-in.
In areas that do not participate in Exposure Notifications Express, attempting to toggle on Exposure Notifications will direct users to an app created by a public health authority in their state if one is available, or it will let them know that Exposure Notifications are not yet available in their area.
iOS 13.7 is likely to be one of the final updates to the iOS 13 operating system as Apple shifts its focus to iOS 14. We could see 'ŒiOS 14'Œ released in the coming weeks if the update is decoupled from new iPhones, or in October when the new iPhones are expected to debut.
FBI: Ring Smart Doorbells Could Sabotage Cops | Threatpost
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 21:57
While privacy advocates have warned against Ring's partnerships with police, newly unearthed documents reveal FBI concerns about 'new challenges' smart doorbell footage could create for cops.
The FBI is worried that Ring doorbell owners can use footage collected from their smart devices to keep tabs on police, newly uncovered documents show.
The documents '' a 2019 Technical Analysis Bulletin from the FBI '' was spotted by The Intercept in the BlueLeaks database, a trove of 270 gigabytes of data reportedly leaked from 200 police departments, which was released publicly in June. While unclassified, the document is ''law-enforcement (LE) sensitive'' according to the Feds, meaning that it has been distributed internally within the federal government and among law enforcement units, and is prohibited to those ''without FBI authorization.''
The FBI document outlines how Ring surveillance footage could present new ''challenges'' for law enforcement. Ring owners can get an early alert if police officers are approaching their house, for instance, or the footage could give away officer locations in a standoff.
''The FBI assesses IoT devices are likely to pose new challenges to LE personnel, negatively affecting LE effectiveness and pose security challenges for LE personnel,'' according to the 2019 document uncovered by The Intercept. ''Most IoT devices contain sensors and cameras, which generate an alert or can be remotely accessed by the owner to identify activity in and around an owner's property. If used during the execution of a search, potential subjects could learn of LE's presence nearby, and LE personnel could have their images captured, thereby presenting risk to their present and future safety.''
In one 2017 incident, the FBI approached a home to issue a search warrant. The warrant subject was able to see the FBI's presence through his smart-video doorbell, and contacted his neighbor and landlord regarding the law enforcement's presence, the FBI said.
Access to home security camera footage could also allow users to bypass law enforcement altogether, as seen in an August 2018 incident, warned the FBI. There, homeowners posted images collected from their smart security system on social media, posting public accusations against subjects in the footage about ''possible crimes'' '' without contacting the cops first.
The concerns of the FBI pose an ironic contrast from previous worries from privacy advocates around Amazon-owned Ring's police partnership and what that means for surveillance and racial bias. Over the years, more than 30 consumer advocacy groups in 2019 have urged local legislators to intervene in Ring's partnerships with law enforcement. And in 2019, Jason Kelley and Matthew Guariglia with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) also put Ring on blast, calling for the company ''to immediately end the partnerships it holds'' with law enforcement agencies.
Beyond Ring's relationship with law enforcement, privacy advocates have concerns around how the smart doorbell collects and shares information. A 2020 EFF investigation found that Amazon's Ring Doorbell app for Android is a nexus for data-harvesting, with privacy advocates alleging Ring goes so far as to silently deliver updates on Ring customer usage to Facebook, even if the Ring owner doesn't have a Facebook account.
The FBI for its part noted that IoT devices in general have been paramount in helping assist law-enforcement efforts. For instance, last October, a Colorado man shared footage from his smart car's motion-detecting cameras of a woman keying his car, allowing local law enforcement to identify the woman on social media.
''The FBI assesses that IoT devices very likely can be used to identify subjects of LE investigations by providing a new digital trail of evidence leading to subjects, resulting in more timely arrests,'' according to the FBI document.
On Wed Sept. 16 @ 2 PM ET: Learn the secrets to running a successful Bug Bounty Program. Resister today for this FREE Threatpost webinar ''Five Essentials for Running a Successful Bug Bounty Program''. Hear from top Bug Bounty Program experts how to juggle public versus private programs and how to navigate the tricky terrain of managing Bug Hunters, disclosure policies and budgets. Join us Wednesday Sept. 16, 2-3 PM ET for this LIVE webinar.
Is Google Docs HIPAA Compliant?
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 01:15
Posted By HIPAA Journal on Jan 23, 2018
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Is Google Docs HIPAA compliant? Is it permitted to upload documents containing protected health information to Google Docs, or would that violate HIPAA Rules? In this post we will assess Google Docs and determine whether Google is a HIPAA compliant and whether it can be used safely and securely by HIPAA-covered entities and business associates for sharing PHI.
Does Google Docs Encrypt Data?In order for Google Docs to be HIPAA compliant, stored data must be encrypted. Data must also be encrypted during uploading and downloading. We can confirm that Google uses 128-bit or stronger Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to protect data in transit to the platform, and between and in its data centers.
Is Google Considered a Conduit?The Department of Health and Human Services has made it clear in recent guidance that cloud service providers are not '' in the vast majority of cases '' considered conduits, so the HIPAA Conduit Exception Rule does not apply. Instead, cloud service providers are classed as business associates, even if the service provider does not access data stored in customer accounts.
Will Google Sign a BAA for Google Docs?As a business associate, prior to the use of Google Docs for sharing or storing documents containing PHI, a business associate agreement must be obtained from Google. Many cloud companies offer BAA's to covered entities, but it is important to check that a particular product is listed as covered by the BAA prior to use.
Google is willing to sign a BAA with G Suite enterprise customers. We have checked the terms of the BAA and Google Docs is specifically mentioned as part of Google Drive, and is covered by its BAA.
Google clearly states that healthcare organizations covered by HIPAA Rules must not use G Suite in connection with PHI until a business associate agreement has been obtained. Once that BAA has been obtained, Google is not liable for misuse of its service. It is the responsibility of the covered entity or business associate using the service to ensure that HIPAA Rules are followed. That means configuring access controls, amendment, and accounting in accordance with HIPAA Rules. Google offers a useful guide for HIPAA covered entities to help them configure G Suite correctly.
Our opinion is no software or cloud platform can be called HIPAA compliant. HIPAA compliance depends on how a service is used. That said, it is possible to use Google Docs without violating HIPAA Rules.
Before any documents containing PHI are uploaded to Google Docs, the covered entity or business associate must first obtain a signed business associate agreement from Google. Once that BAA has been obtained, staff that are required to use Google Docs must receive training on its use and should be made aware of the restrictions in place with respect to PHI.
Documents containing PHI must only be uploaded to accounts that are not publicly accessible, and permissions must be set to ensure only authorized individuals can access the documents/account. Any PHI included in files uploaded to Google Docs must be in the document itself, and not used in the file name.
Provided these precautions are taken, Google Docs is HIPAA compliant.
Belarus
MoA - Belarus - NATO Lobby Acknowledges That Its Color Revolution Failed
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 15:49
August 26, 2020
Belarus - NATO Lobby Acknowledges That Its Color Revolution FailedOn August 15 we explained why the color revolution in Belarus would fail. Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko had offered President Vladimir Putin of Russia to finally implement the long delayed Union State that will unite Belarus with Russia. In exchange he wanted full Russian backing for shutting down the U.S. led color revolution against him. Putin accepted the deal. In consequence:
Lukashenko, and his police, will not hang from a pole. Russia will take care of the problem and the Union State will finally be established.That does not mean that the color revolution attempt is over. The U.S. and its lackey Poland will not just pack up and leave. But with the full backing from Russia assured, Lukashenko can take the necessary steps to end the riots.
And that is what he did. Lukashenko continued to allow demonstrations but when on Sunday the demonstrators were directed to storm the presidential palace they saw a theatrical but strong response:
[T]he Polish-run Nexta Telagram channel (which is the main medium used by the Empire to overthrow Lukashenko) initially called for a peaceful protest, but at the end of the day a call was made to try to take over the main Presidential building. When the rioters (at this point we are dealing with an illegal, violent, attempt to overthrow the state '' so I don't call these people demonstrators) got to the building they were faced with a real ''wall'' of riot cops in full gear: this (really scary) sight was enough to stop the rioters who stood for a while, and then had to leave.Second, Lukashenko did something rather weird, but which makes perfectly good sense in the Belarusian context: he dressed himself in full combat gear, grabbed an AKSU-74 assault rife, dressed his (15 year old!) son also in full combat gear (helmet included) and flew in his helicopter over Minsk and then landed in the Presidential building. They then walked to the riot cops, where Lukashenko warmly thanked them and which resulted in the full police force giving him a standing ovation. To most of us this behavior might look rather outlandish if not outright silly. But in the context of the Belarusian crisis, which is a crisis primarily fought in the informational realm, it makes perfectly good sense.
The protesters, which police had earlier identified as "rich city kids, the children of rich parents who are fed up with the well-fed life", did not have the stomach to attack a well armed and motivated police force.
The NATO lobby shop Atlantic Council has also recognized that fact and bemoans it:
The protesters are generally very sweet, polite, and peaceful. Many are young, middle class Belarusians who work in the country's booming IT industry and come to rallies dressed in form-fitting hipster ensembles. Unlike events in Kyiv in 2013-14, there is no militant edge to the demonstrations. Indeed, this revolution is so velvet that at times it feels positively sleepy. For better or worse, there is a marked absence of the rough and stalwart young men capable of making liberals uncomfortable or leading the resistance if and when the authoritarian state decides to deploy force.Without Nazi stormtroopers like the U.S. used during the 2014 Maidan riots in Ukraine there is no chance to overthrow Lukashenko. With such troops the fight would end in a massacre and Lukashenko would still be the winner. The author rightly concludes:
[T]he resistance of the Lukashenka regime is strengthening by the day. With Russia now seemingly standing firmly behind Lukashenka, photogenic rallies and patchy strike action will not be enough to bring about historic change.It is over. The 'patchy strikes' were never real industrial actions. A few journalist of the Belarus state TV went on a strike. They were unceremoniously fired and replaced with Russian journalists. A few hundred workers at the MTZ Minsk Tractor Works did a walk out. But MTZ has 17,000 employees and the 16,500+ who did not walk out know very well why they still have their jobs. Should Lukashenko fall it is highly likely that their state owned company will be sold off for pennies and immediately 'right sized' meaning that most of them would be out of work. During the last 30 years they have seen that happen in every country around Belarus. There have no urge to experience that themselves.
On Monday the leader of the earlier MTZ walk out, one Sergei Dylevsky, was arrested while he agitated for more strikes. Dylevsky is a member of the self-proclaimed Coordination Council of the opposition which demands negotiations over the presidency. Other members of the council have been called in for questioning by state investigators over a criminal case against the council.
Meanwhile the rather hapless opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who falsely claimed to have won the election, is in Lithuania. She is supposed to be an English teacher but has difficulties reading the English text begging (vid) for 'western' support. She has already met various 'western' politicians including the General Secretary of the German Christian Democratic Union party of chancellor Angela Merkel, Peter Zeimiag, and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. Neither will be able to help her.
With Russia's backing the military, political and economic stability of Belarus is for now guaranteed. Lukashenko will at some point be ousted but that will be at a time and in a way that is convenient for Russia and not because some hapless NED financed IT hipsters try to stage a revolution.
Posted by b on August 26, 2020 at 17:13 UTC | Permalink
Those of us who have done it know that protests and demonstrations are completely useless. They only serve the government in "look how democratic and forgiving we are."
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 26 2020 17:44 utc | 2
According to the American unconventional warfare manual, a color revolution can only be successful if the target government (TG) is divided, i.e. there's at lest one powerful elite faction awaiting to do the coup at the same time the protests are on the streets, and when there's the military component to "give it a spine".
A color revolution is, therefore, a military coup with a popular protest fa§ade. But it is never the protesters per se who topple the government, but those two behind-the-scenes elements. That's why color revolutions are not revolutions, but regime change operations or, if you will, coup d'‰tats.
The Belarus "shoe revolution" failed because, although they had the protesting element (the "colored" element) it lacked the other two ends of the process: a powerful militia and a faction of the Belarusian elite willing to topple Lukashenko. Instead, they had to improvise with a housewife who had (with all the NGO machine) 10% of the valid votes.
And we can argue the military element is the most important. In Venezuela, for example, the USA had the elite (including Capriles, who had 49% of the votes against Maduro, losing by a hair) and some of the colored element (the middle class from the Maracaibo Lake/Caracas area). Maduro held them out almost exclusively because he had the FANB united on his side and the vast majority of the people, many of them organized in militias (one fisherman dominating and arresting a Jack Ryan the other day).
On the other side, the Brazilian color revolution was a monumental success because:
1) The Brazilian Armed Forces already were in American hands (they are since 1957);2) The entire Brazilian elite already is pro-American (including most of the Legislative and all of the Judiciary);3) Most of the Brazilian people indeed is ideologically pro-capitalist (i.e. liberal, pro-USA).
In fact, the Workers' Party situation since taking the Presidential Office in 2003 was so frail that one can argue it wasn't even a color revolution, but a pro-USA society expelling a alien element.
--//--
Second, Lukashenko did something rather weird, but which makes perfectly good sense in the Belarusian context: he dressed himself in full combat gear, grabbed an AKSU-74 assault rife, dressed his (15 year old!) son also in full combat gear (helmet included) and flew in his helicopter over Minsk and then landed in the Presidential building. They then walked to the riot cops, where Lukashenko warmly thanked them and which resulted in the full police force giving him a standing ovation. To most of us this behavior might look rather outlandish if not outright silly. But in the context of the Belarusian crisis, which is a crisis primarily fought in the informational realm, it makes perfectly good sense.It harks back to the Bolshevik tradition, which demands that a communist leader must always lead by example and, in case of hot war, in the front lines. That's why it wasn't weird in the Belarusian context.
The Bolsheviks themselves lost most of their leadership in the Civil War merely because they led in the front. Trotsky himself led in the front a charge in a desperate attack to defend Petrograd from falling to the Whites. Fidel Castro led his army in the front line during the Bay of Pigs invasion. Stalin lost his son (I think he was a lieutenant) in a Nazi concentration camp. Not to mention all the leaders of the first generation of the CCP, who were all war-forged (yes, even Deng Xiaoping).
Posted by: vk | Aug 26 2020 18:05 utc | 3
I sent the earlier MOA article on this to Ben Aris at BNE Intellinews and bet him 100 euros MOA's reporting was more prescient than his. Too bad he didn't reply.
Posted by: Ingrian | Aug 26 2020 18:09 utc | 4
Tsikhanouskaya haser BHL photo op as the zenith of her "revolution". Of course, it took place in a foreign country haven, which makes it doubly comical.
The entire Belarusian Color Revolution is fodder for, and seemingly product of, the Onion and John Cleese.
If a movie is done, Cleese can interject Guido, a truly comic character.
This fail in Minsk sadly lacks the personal handiwork of Eliot Abrams, but contains all his masterly failings. Must be a protege in the State Dept. and henchmen in the CIA who crafted this debacle for "democracy".
Succor for the bozos who ran this show for the US is the Navalny medical emergency. They will ride that donkey for all its worth. And hope everyone will forget Belarus 2020.
Posted by: Red Ryder | Aug 26 2020 18:10 utc | 5
I knew it was over once the shills stopped spamming every thread imaginable. The incessant calls for "Democracy and Freedom" were turned off all at once, just like a light switch.
Posted by: One Too Many | Aug 26 2020 18:14 utc | 6
When I opened the posting from the Saker cited above, my attention was caught by the picture of Lukushenko carrying an assault rifle, and I immediately thought of the famous picture of Salvador Allende carrying an AK-47 on the day he died.
Then I read the caption below the picture:
"Last week Lukashenko said that no other elections, nevermind a coup, will happen as long as he is alive. This time Lukashenko decided to show, symbolically, that he is in charge and that he will die fighting along his son if needed. The message here is clear: ''I am no Ianukovich and, if needed, I will die just like Allende died''.
Posted by: Who Er | Aug 26 2020 18:33 utc | 7
The degree to which 24/7 Putin-hatred drives greedy Christian Colonial Satanists batshit crazy is hilarious.Stupid is as greedy does...?
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 26 2020 18:37 utc | 8
"The New York Post" published a report on the kilometer-long queues for free food in Queens.https://nypost.com/2020/08/22/hungry-new-yorkers-line-up-around-the-block-for-free-food/They write that the record queue length a couple of months ago was about 28 blocks !!!! INSANE !!!!What's wrong with you MOA ??!! "Endles" posting about the latest Western "Poison"/Belarus Kasperle-Theater of absurdly ruminant nature (and by the way to get a better understanding of Russia/Putin & Co. - while using English - read less the Saker or John Helmer but far more 'Reminiscence of the Future'aka Smoothiex12.blogspot.com & StalkerZone.org)... while in the meantime in your very own country "THINGS" really are falling apart...Theoretical, practically, politically & REAL economically with enormous consequences for squillions of very REAL HUMAN BEINGS all across the USA... and yet the whole THEME seems on the sideline concerning your bloging... for whatever rreason ??!!Invisible Peoplehttps://www.youtube.com/user/invisiblepeopletv/videos
https://www.ahla.com/covid-19s-impact-hotel-industryHotel industry survival & millions of jobs lost during covid-19, 2020
Since the public health issue began escalating in mid-February in the U.S., hotels have already lost more than $46 billion in room revenue. This figure is devastating with hotels currently on pace to lose up to $400 million in room revenue per day based on current occupancy rates and revenue trends.
STR and Tourism Economics are projecting revenue losses of 50% for the year. Last week, revenues were 45% of what they were last year per STR.The human toll is equally devastating with major hotel managers already reporting significant layoffs and furloughs.The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4.8M hospitality and leisure jobs have been lostsince February.With more than half of direct hotel employees laid off or furloughed, hotel workers are losing more than $1.7B in earnings each week.
Individual hotels and major operators are projecting occupancies below 20%. At an occupancy rate of 35% or lower, hotels may simply close their doors, putting 33,000 small business at immediate risk.STR reported that in May, U.S. hotel operating profits fell by 105% compared to last year, meaning that hoteliers simply have no revenue to pay their costs.
https://www.ahla.com/sites/default/files/2020-04/compiled_state_job_loss_impact-covid.pdfStudy Showcases Potential Negative Impact Of Coronavirus Pandemic on Hotel Industry EmploymentThe hotel industry supports nearly 8.3 million jobs total (direct hotel operations, guest spending, indirect supply-chain and induced), but drastic declines in occupancy rates will lead to massive job losses. Nearly 4 Million Employees Who Work In Or For The Hotel Industry Are Projected To Lose Their Jobs In The Coming Weeks, Or Have Already Been Furloughed.
https://www.eturbonews.com/579827/hotel-industry-facing-massive-wave-of-foreclosures/A new national report shows that the hotel industry is facing a historic wave of foreclosures as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate small business hotel owners and its workforce
https://www.ustravel.org/toolkit/covid-19-travel-industry-researchCOVID-19 Travel Industry Research"Alice" in Disaster-Land.....
U.S. restaurant industry facing "mass extinction" due to covid-19 !!How many may survive ??https://pjmedia.com/vodkapundit/2020/08/13/on-the-brink-of-economic-collapse-covid-19-response-is-killing-the-restaurant-industry-n786677'On the Brink' of Economic Collapse: COVID-19 Response Is Killing the Restaurant Industry
It's not too far of a stretch. The restaurant industry is currently leading all other sectors in terms of closures nationwide, according to data released last month by the customer review platform Yelp. It's ahead of retail stores, beauty salons, bars and fitness studios.
https://www.eatthis.com/restaurant-staff-coronavirus/According to the National Restaurant Association, 15.6 million people in the U.S. are restaurant industry employees. 10 million people filed for unemployment insurance in the past two weeks, according to the Labor Department'--at least half of which are likely those who formerly held jobs in the restaurant industry.Restaurant Industry Expects the Loss of 5 to 7 Million Jobs Due to Coronavirus.
https://eu.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/2020/08/13/restaurants-coronavirus-outback-steakhouse-ihop-applebees-cheesecake-factory-dennys/3368062001/6 national restaurant chains in deepest trouble amid COVID-19 include Outback Steakhouse, IHOP and Denny'sRemember... R.I.P. Pizza-Hut already !
Posted by: Ashino | Aug 26 2020 18:37 utc | 9
Posted by: Ashino | Aug 26 2020 18:37 utc | 9
Oh, bad shit happening to Americans.
As a non-American, excuse me while I play my smallest violin of the karma kind.
Posted by: J W | Aug 26 2020 18:49 utc | 10
Ashino-- The S&P is trading at all time highs today.
" while in the meantime in your very own country "THINGS" really are falling apart..."
PS; b lives in Germany
Posted by: arby | Aug 26 2020 18:51 utc | 11
Posted by: Ashino | Aug 26 2020 18:37 utc | 9
Thanks for the reams of Off Topic drivel :-)There are 67 Open Threads for irrelevant tosh.b and the regulars here are ALL aware that AmeriKKKa is in terminal decline.How come you only noticed today?
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 26 2020 18:56 utc | 12
Don Bacon - 2Yeah, I guess every generation, every person has to go through this to see it. I've come to the conclusion that pretty much any protest that requires more than 2 demonstrations is doomed and is a sucker's game. If you have to keep on protesting, then you're not taken seriously and never will be, and you just waste your time. If something is massively important enough, the first protest is there to demonstrate your numbers and record your demands; the second protest is a show of force and a warning that either there's some negotiation and deal going on soon, or the next demonstration won't be a nice one. If you have to protest a third time, you should come with guns and rush the parliament or seat of government.With hindsight, I've also, alas, come to the conclusion that the Gilets Jaunes were doomed after their first big day; after that, the government was prepared and they were contained; their only non-losing move would've been to raid the Elysee on the very first day, when police didn't know what it would be like and security was low, and come out with Macron's head on a pike. I'm not advocating it, just stating that it was the only single way for them to have anything else than a defeat.
Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 26 2020 19:00 utc | 13
The lies are failing. Good, very good..
Posted by: Lozion | Aug 26 2020 19:03 utc | 14
Tom Luongo massively stubbed his big toe on Belarus in his latest assessment of Outlaw US Empire policy. But just because he got Belarus so wrong, should we dismiss the other content? Luongo puts forth the hypothesis that Trump has unleashed his own version of a Color Revolution on his own State Department:
"Trump has a bigger problem on his hands, however. The chaos he's unleashed in his quest to remake European and U.S. relations is something his State Dept. under Pompeo can't control either. And he won't be in any position to do anything more than what he's doing now, win short-term victories and lose the long-term war while global capital abandons the U.S. and moves [E]ast."
IMO, Luongo should've kept to that thesis and its accompanying idea that Trump is attempting to undermine the UN, or perhaps get the Empire to quit the UN.
Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 26 2020 19:34 utc | 15
@ Ashino -
Yah think? If it wasn't COVID-19 it would have been something else. Everyone here already knows that Amerikkan late-stage capitalism is in deep decline and unsustainable in its present form. Furthermore, have a look at Wall Street - they seem to be doing just fine as the result of all the funny money injections. Maybe some of that cash should have gone to your restaurant and hotel industry, eh? Instead the already rich were bailed out and got even richer.
Besides, what exactly do you want b to say about it that he hasn't already? Why don't you start your own blog if you have such strong feelings about the content here and insist on polluting threads with off-topic whining?
Posted by: _K_C_ | Aug 26 2020 19:41 utc | 16
6
I thought it was over the moment Putin brushed the dust off the Union State agreement.
Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 26 2020 19:44 utc | 17
And that's what you get when you take short cuts
Step 1. Destroy a country economically to depopulate it and create a sub-population of OrcsStep 2. Hire snipers.Step 3. THEN you declare your sock puppet the winner of an election in the Color revolution, make them a member of NATO of your now vacant country, install missile bases, drones and Chechen terrorists.
Covid must be taking a toll on the A-Team of Neocons.
Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Aug 26 2020 19:44 utc | 18
A few journalist of the Belarus state TV went on a strike. They were unceremoniously fired and replaced with Russian journalists.Hmm, I've heard otherwise. There is information that, on the contrary, Lukashenko forgives(!) those Belarusian journalists who rebelled against him, and takes them back to work (it is difficult to imagine a more stupid step).
The odious Minister Makei, like other pro-Westerners (who in fact organized the Maidan attempt in Belarus), retained their posts. Lukashenko did not purge personnel and did not identify traitors. Consequently, they will continue their subversive activities and will interfere with the implementation of the Union State.
Western (primarily Polish) NGOs and mass media have not been liquidated (or at least limited).
So far, there are no signs that Lukashenko is going to change his favorite (and so fatal both for him and for Belarus) "multi-vector policy". I do not think that we will see real shifts towards the implementation of the Union State. Rather the opposite.
Posted by: alaff | Aug 26 2020 19:52 utc | 19
As b said, it was never likely that Belarus was going to go to the west. The question is whether it's going to remain independent, or be integrated into Russia.
Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 26 2020 20:02 utc | 20
Posted by: Ashino | Aug 26 2020 18:37 utc | 9
Have you ever heard of the side effects of capitalism? You should have known that the social drain is always downward ... because you see there will be no rich who will suffer in this situation while many normal people will be left without a job ... but don't worry , what's important in all this is to blame the communists.
Posted by: LuBa | Aug 26 2020 20:13 utc | 21
Laguerre
there's a bit on the Union State agreement at wikipedia.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_State
This is what Russia and Belarus are using at the moment along with other agreements. It was signed back in the late nineties so perhaps they will make a few changes to it.
https://tass.com/world/1192339"Union State Parliamentary Assembly denounces meddling in Belarus's internal affairsIt underscores that Alexander Lukashenko is the president-elect and that the vote took place in compliance with the country's Constitution"
Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 26 2020 20:22 utc | 22
Laguerre @20--
Here's the Union State Portal whose Russian version is current while the English version lags about 3 weeks behind. It's difficult to get English language info on this topic that isn't massaged by the CIA or MI6, thus the need to read both Russian and Belarus sources. One Union model is the USA which is a federal, not unitary, construct, with states having a small amount of independence but don't have overall control of federal policies--security, monetary, fiscal, foreign, etc. I understand this version between Russia and Belarus to be similar--as I wrote earlier, Belarus would return to the SSR status it had within the USSR, although it was awarded a spot in the UN after WW2. The potential exists for other states to join. For example, the Donbass could become integrated, which makes sense to me.
Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 26 2020 20:30 utc | 23
Without Nazi stormtroopers like the U.S. used during the 2014 Maidan riots in Ukraine there is no chance to overthrow Lukashenko.
Posted by b on August 26, 2020 at 17:13 UTC | Permalink
Let me fix that for you, B:
Without organized militant elements like [insert every freaking revolution in history] there is no chance for the people to overthrow the state.
At some point, this sort of partisan cheerleaing cum "analysis" will crumble under the weight of its own contradictions.
Posted by: conspiracy-theorist | Aug 26 2020 20:31 utc | 24
Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 26 2020 20:22 utc | 22
Everyone agrees Lukashenko's regime is reaching its end. The question is what happens next.
The West doesn't seem to have the power to impose a colour revolution as happened in Ukraine. Belarus are Russians in most views. Will it end with integration, or a new "independent" state. I have no idea.
Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 26 2020 20:42 utc | 26
@ Posted by: alaff | Aug 26 2020 19:52 utc | 19
Your article from Vesti is likely a chimera.
First, it mentions a bunch of journalists (400 in total) from the State Media have received death threats are coming back to work or are resuming work (I machine translated the article, so I'm not sure of the precise meaning). It never states which political position said journalists defended (they could be pro-Lukashenko/government journalists, receiving death threats from the color revolutionaries).
Then, it makes a quantum leap and spits out the information that 40 Belarusian unionized journalists have applied to leave the country (the data comes from the Journalists' Union). It is heavily implied they are anti-Lukashenko journalists.
Then, it makes another quantum leap, quoting the chairman of the union, who stated that some journalists wrote letters of resignation, stating they are exiting because they are anti-Lukashenko. It never states those are the same 40 journalists who applied to leave the country (or how many of them, for that matter), or that those are the same Belarusian journalists who have been receiving death threats (but obviously didn't resume work in their previous jobs, as they resigned).
Then... another quantum leap. The article then suddenly mentions some "reports" (from whom? By whom?) stating that "they" (the journalists) made "the decision" (which one?) on an emotional state and are reconsidering their resignations after cooling off their heads. Presumably, they are referring to the journalists who wrote the letters of resignation, but this is not clear.
All those information apparently came from the same person, Andrei Krivosheev, chairman of the Journalists' Union. It all indicates they came from a single speech or report of his authorship. But it is clipped in the Vesti article in a way that is confusing, but tending to a pro-protests bias, as if they were trying to twist his statement in order to force a "journalists being persecuted by the State" narrative.
Posted by: vk | Aug 26 2020 20:46 utc | 27
Laguerre
From what I understand, the Union state agreement merges a number of things, but Belarus and Russia retained independent governments and foreign policies.
My thought is Belarus would have to join the Russian federation at some stage, losing independent foreign policy but retaining reasonable independence in domestic affairs. Something along the lines of Chechnya.
Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 26 2020 20:49 utc | 28
ashino #9
Nothing wrong with MoA ! You do understand that this is a global blog and our host is German. So comments like "meanwhile in your very own country" etc are puerile and many of us have no interest in the dieing wheezes of the USA.
The funeral process underway in the USA is minor compared to millions of funerals CAUSED BY THE USA throughout the world in the past 80 years. You are welcome to stay fixated on that one funeral.
We don't follow and many don't even read an occasional link to the WAPO or NYT or any of the USA gutter press. b will reliably report and save us the agony of reading tosh.
If you care about your country try bogging down some other blog with your navel gazing - it won't distract most of us here at the bar of infinite wisdom.
There is the rest of the world to consider.
Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 26 2020 20:51 utc | 29
Belarus has been turned into a focal point of geopolitics, the outcome of this latest U.S. mis-adventure I'm sure will have profound ramifications. Thanks b for your sharp and insightful analysis, on par with your most excellent Syria, Skripal and other reporting that won me over to MoA as a regular.
It would be interesting to know if the failing Outlaw Empire (thanks karlof1 for that term) had reasons to hope for a different outcome of that gamble. On the face of it it looks either desperate or ignorant - to think that Russia which has foiled coups in places as far and surrounded by US stooges such as Venezuela and Syria (and possibly more), would not intervene successfully next door in a Russian-speaking country.
Posted by: Leser | Aug 26 2020 20:55 utc | 30
Further indications that indeed western colour revolution plans have fizzled. Note the tonal change absent the threats and belligerence in this Canadian communique:
Aug 26, 2020: Joint Statement by European Union High Representative/VP Josep Borrell and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Francois-Philippe Champagne
https://twitter.com/CanadaFP/status/1298682679324545027
"...It is now urgent to launch an open and constructive national dialogue to find a way forward in Belarus."
Posted by: John Gilberts | Aug 26 2020 21:00 utc | 31
karlof1 23
Thanks for putting up the Union State website link.
Laguerre This is the webpage showing the Union State agreement. I would guess this governs how they are operating together at the moment.https://soyuz.by/dogovor-o-sozdanii-soyuznogo-gosudarstva
Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 26 2020 21:02 utc | 32
@Red Ryder #5:
If a movie is done, Cleese can interject Guido, a truly comic character.No, no, no. Guaid" must be played by Adriano Celentano.
Posted by: S | Aug 26 2020 21:12 utc | 34
@Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 26 2020 20:51 utc | 29: The people suffering in the US are generally working and lower class, and frequently immigrants and/or people of color, not 'The Masters of the Universe'.I guess "The funeral process underway in the USA is minor compared to millions of funerals CAUSED BY THE USA throughout the world in the past 80 years" is how statements of solidarity read when they come from sociopaths.
Posted by: Sidney Caesar | Aug 26 2020 21:34 utc | 35
"Without Nazi stormtroopers like the U.S. used during the 2014 Maidan riots in Ukraine there is no chance to overthrow Lukashenko."So why didn't the Nazis and the snipers show up? Did the FSB and KGB intercept them.
Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Aug 26 2020 21:48 utc | 37
The Belarus color revolution was an after thought, not a plan. It can't really have been said to have failed.Venezuela again not Ukraine.Madam Guaido's wikipedia entry was created after she stood for President. Even Random Guaido in Venezuela had a wikipedia entry 2 weeks before Trump named him president (though he still hasn't stood for it).
Posted by: M Droy | Aug 26 2020 21:52 utc | 38
@VK, Compare those socialists leading from the front to Trump, the great saviour of western civilization, according to the dupes at the RNC. You gotta be special kind of brainwashed to believe an anthropologically inferior personality type like Trump would do anything but continue destruction of material conditions for everyday americans. The notion of Trump's paradise lost, a fantastic Never-Never land of economic prosperity and good health - that never was neither on land or sea. Trump's globalist tax scam kept the Wall Street bubble going for two years with record ballooning deficits and no public benefit for masses of deplorables. The repo crisis of September 2019 already signaled collapsing of his bubble, but (after over ultimatums and pressure from Trump) fed countered with $1 Trillion per week in overnight loans for his financial parasite friends. The United States was in freefall even before pandemic began. A Dorian Gray individual like Trump is not saving anything or waging war on the front to save american republic against deep state actors. Trump is their best double agent, openly negociating access to chinese financial markets for globalist firms (see article). To top it off, his administration just socialized 3 to 4 trillions dollars to Wall Street with no oversight in latest pandemic bailout. He's basically destroying your country and children future economic position by giving a free endowment to financial parasites who will reengineer the whole of society at expense of hoi polloi. How that worked out for Weimar Germany ? We know what followed. Maybe I'm just stupid, but I don't see how destroying pre-requisite material conditions of freedom, make him suitable to lead anything ? Is this how one saves middle class deplorables, by paying it forward and scheming with his ''friends'' to steal pension funds from working class americans ? Nowadays conservatives have shown their true colours, sadly they don't believe in anything...Hating niggers, hispanics and antifa won't make them more competitive vis a vis marxist China and collectivist Russia. Can't fix cultish and stupid, derp.
http://www.williamengdahl.com/englishNEO1Jun2018.phphttps://www.citizen.org/article/the-trade-deficit-is-up-under-trump/His real friends: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/02/trump-says-he-cut-wall-street-reform-because-his-friends-need-moneyhttps://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/retirement-private-equity-trump-administration-wall-street-1047576/Trump's friend already investing the looted 3 trillions overseas in Chinese equities: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-15/u-s-china-sign-phase-one-of-trade-deal-trump-calls-remarkablehttps://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-01-16/u-s-investors-should-beware-china-trade-deal-access-to-bad-debt
Posted by: Horatio | Aug 26 2020 22:14 utc | 39
One Too Many @ 6
I knew it was over ....To be honest it never really started. Looking at the protests there were never the numbers required to bring about change. Mostly, the protesters were in the thousands and one that I saw pictures of was probably in the tens of thousands but never in the hundreds of thousand and that is what you need to bring about the possibility of changes in a compact city of 2 million like Minsk.
Also, I think most people are wise to the various methods used to make a crowd look larger than it is and I noticed this time that many of the videos of protests on Twitter, etc. were taken while quickly scanning from side to side and not allowing time for viewers to make a decent estimate of the numbers present.
Posted by: Ghost Ship | Aug 26 2020 22:53 utc | 40
thanks b... good read....
i think cia - ned and the state dept just need to fancy up the wikpedia page for Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya... maybe they can organize a special round table with random guaido and whoever abrams and etc are working on and call it the 2021 puppet round table group..sell it to the western msm - maybe even see if crystia freeland is available to be one of the main speakers at the event... maybe trump or biden - which ever one wins - can be a guest of honour at this special round table meet and greet too!
Posted by: james | Aug 26 2020 22:55 utc | 41
@VK 3, Compare those socialists leading from the front to Trump. You gotta be special kind of brainwashed to believe an anthropologically inferior personality type like Trump would do anything but continue destruction of material conditions for everyday americans. The notion of Trump's paradise lost, a fantastic Never-Never land of economic prosperity and good health - that never was either on land or sea. Trump's globalist tax scam kept the Wall Street bubble going for two years with record ballooning deficits and no public benefit for masses of deplorables. The repo crisis of September 2019 already signaled collapsing of his bubble, but (after over ultimatums and pressure from Trump) fed countered with $1 Trillion per week in overnight loans for his financial parasite friends. The United States was in freefall even before pandemic began. A Dorian Gray individual is not saving western civilization or waging war against globalist deep state to save the american republic. Trump is probably their best double agent, openly negociating access to chinese financial markets for globalist firms (see article). To top it off, his administration just socialized 3 to 4 trillions dollars to Wall Street with no oversight in latest pandemic bailout. He's basically destroying your country and children future economic position by giving a free endowment to financial parasites who will reengineer the whole of society at expense of hoi polloi. How that worked out for Weimar Germany ? We know what followed. Maybe I'm just stupid, but I don't see how destroying pre-requisite material conditions for freedom, make him suitable to lead anything ? Is this how one saves middle class deplorables, by paying it forward and scheming with his ''friends'' to steal pension funds from working class americans ? Nowadays conservatives have shown their true colours, sadly they don't believe in anything... Hating blacks, hispanics and boogeyman antifa won't make them more competitive vis a vis marxist China and Collectivist Russia. Can't fix cultish and stupid.
Posted by: Horatio | Aug 26 2020 22:57 utc | 42
The enforcement of the Union Treaty means the dismantling of the state property left in Balrus; the maximum feasible termination of the social wage left; the absorption of any or all state assets into Moscow's central government; the replacement of most personnel with either oligarch's men or Putin loyalists; the incidental termination of Lukashenko; the possible partition of Belarus with the rabid reactionaries in Poland and Lithuania, if Putin tries vainly to avoid yet another endless war to match the Donbass and Syria. Putin is neither so smart nor so brave as his press would say.
If Lukashenko sticks to what principles he's operated by, he will resist the Yeltsinization of Belarus by Yelstin's loyal heir Putin, and will likely be abandoned to the newly reforming movement, already being revamped with new pro-fascist element who will not much appreciate invocations of Allende.
Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 26 2020 23:00 utc | 43
yelstins loyal heir putin..... and little stevie is elliot abrams loyal heir... the transition team just hasn't announced it yet... you can take that to the donkey bank too!
Posted by: james | Aug 26 2020 23:09 utc | 44
"She has already met various 'western' politicians including the General Secretary of the German Christian Democratic Union party of chancellor Angela Merkel, Peter Zeimiag, and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. Neither will be able to help her."
Biegun is currently Deputy State Secretary, but he met with Russian Foreign Minister when he 'came' to Moscow on 25 August.
https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4299276
Biegun made the claim, as reported by Lavrov "We heard the US confirm its position that it is not interested in creating an artificial crisis around the situation in Belarus."
He drew Biegun's attention to "...initiative of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko...of implementing Constitutional reform as a foundation for consolidating society and the holding of subsequent elections for president, parliament and local government authority. I believe a hand has been extended to all those who are interested in a stable and united Belarus. Of course, this should be considered by the opposition, and our Western partners, that are leading the opposition now."
Lavrov structured the last sentence so it could be read two ways, deliberately, I suspect, to allow the interpretation that Western 'partners' should pay attention to Lukasheko's concessions.
These concessions include constitutional reform, and we can be sure such changes will be modelled on the Russian constitutional changes, incorporating the US system or requiring foreign NGOs to report extensively on their holdings,financing, property etc. Those attempting to interfere in Govt are thrown out, quite rightly (altho in USA Saudi Arabia and Israel are functionally exempt, it appears).
His final remarks were the most important:
"We appealed to these countries, primarily the US and the EU, to pay attention to those circles, such as in Poland and Lithuania, that are emphatically expressing their discontent with normalisation in Belarus and are trying to provoke violent actions in order to cause a respective response from law enforcement.
We consider such actions dangerous, and I think Mr Biegun heard our serious warnings."
This last recalls Pres. Putins comment on unveiling hypersonic missiles in response to USA seeking nuclear 'first strike' ability against Russia by deploying anti missile systems to block any Russian retaliatory resonse. He said along the lines 'they didn't listen to us then. Maybe they will listen now'.
So Lavrov is NOT saying USA is 'taking on board' Russias warnings. He is saying that USA HAS BEEN TOLD very clearly there will be a geopolitical blocking response that will not suits USA ambitions to surround Russia's land borders with an extreme close proximity ring of nuclear weapons.
Posted by: powerandpeople | Aug 26 2020 23:14 utc | 45
@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 26 2020 23:00 utc | 42
That's why the Union State is not a reality yet. That's why Lukashenko risked everything by opening up to the West. It can only be because of the voracity of the Russian oligarchs.
But there's a tiny ray of hope: China. If Russia can settle on a Chinese model of socialism, then Belarus can open up (albeit gradually, very slowly). It's different when you have the system ready, as a palpable reality, where you just need to copy - you don't need to be like Lenin, trying desperately to educate and convince millions of illiterate peasants in the 1910s. It's much easier when the formula is ready and in the showcase, for everybody to see.
Posted by: vk | Aug 26 2020 23:19 utc | 46
to Horsewhisperer a 12
"b and the regulars here are ALL aware that AmeriKKKa is in terminal decline.How come you only noticed today?"
Decline: the top layer of power is collapsing, but Am is a multi-layered federation. Illinois' (Chicago etc) bonds are rated "junk", but the SF Bay Area is a power house. the terms of federation are the next issue. track the state level, and Paul Jay and Larry Wilkerson. foreign policy is a wreck, so is the culture.
Posted by: bogdan | Aug 26 2020 23:29 utc | 47
powerandpeople @44--
I tend to agree with your parsing of Lavrov. It's been several months now that the Outlaw US Empire's been read the riot act by both China and Russia, who are now both engaging in pushback. Note the change in attitude in Syria where the Outlaw US Empire is in violation of the law--of course, it's an Outlaw--and Outlaw troops are now being pushed around by all, not just Russians. China's launch of two carrier killer missiles in response to continual provocations is also new. Clearly, the two Strategic Partners are acting in concert. And their message is directed to those behind Trump, who are also those behind Biden: Things are going to change and you're going to be the one doing the changing is the message.
Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 26 2020 23:29 utc | 48
I just came to leave this link > https://www.ned.org/region/central-and-eastern-europe/belarus-2019/
NED donations to Belarus for....
"Increase local and regional civic engagement","expand an online depository of publications not readily accessible in the country, including works on politics, civil society, history, human rights, and independent culture","To defend and support independent journalists and media","To foster youth civic engagement","training democratic parties and movements in effective advocacy campaigns"
Posted by: Chico | Aug 26 2020 23:31 utc | 49
b: "Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who falsely claimed to have won the election, is in Lithuania. She is supposed to be an English teacher but has difficulties to read the English text during her begging (vid) for 'western' support."
S.T. has some trouble making speeches in Russian too, with unnatural pauses etc. If her English is similar, then slow speaking with numerous pauses and avoiding complicated terms may be OK in teaching foreign language with weird grammar and difficult phonetics. I recall my increasingly dispirited English teacher in high school: Teacher: "think", girl: "sink", teacher: "think", girl "tink", and that repeated like 10 times.
-----
steven t johnson: "The enforcement of the Union Treaty means the dismantling of the state property left in Balarus; the maximum feasible termination of the social wage left; the absorption of any or all state assets into Moscow's central government; ..." I would need a credible link for that. EU has anti-subsidy rules etc., but state owned manufacturing companies exist in Russia, say, Rosatom (nuclear reactor and related products), United Aircraft Corporation, Gazprom, and quite a few other. Moreover, I seriously doubt if Union Treaty is anywhere as prescriptive as EU rules imposed on members and non-members like Ukraine. Putin is near fanatical about fiscal discipline, and lax about minimal wage (like Germany, if I recall, convenient if many workers are foreign), and was eliminating subsidies for Belarus. If anything, with Belarus more formally following Russia, the fiscal pressure from Moscow would relax. For example, Crimea does not pay for its infrastructure projects like the bridge, railroad and new highways.
On the other hand, economic and social consequences of incorporating Belarus to EU and NATO would be very severe.
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 26 2020 23:36 utc | 50
sorry for the oversize. plus, the Russian KGB map is v useful. Am decline is a work in progress.
Posted by: bogdan | Aug 26 2020 23:44 utc | 51
Piotr Berman @ 49:
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya may be having trouble with a teleprompter going too quickly or placed too far for her to read.
Posted by: Jen | Aug 27 2020 0:12 utc | 52
The failure of the Color Revolution in Belarus demonstrates that such actions can never be done on the cheap.
Color Revolutions require at least US$5 billion or whatever the current equivalent would be in today's money after being adjusted for inflation and other effects of incessant money-printing by the US Treasury. Plus you probably need someone of the calibre and menace of Victoria Nuland to carry it out properly, actually going to the place where the Color Revolution is occurring with loads of cookies and pastries to hand out to people and yakking to the US Ambassador in Minsk on the phone about who's going to be Prime Minister and who's going to be Foreign Minister, and so on and so forth.
As VK @3 says, it would have helped also if the US had cultivated a bunch of oligarchs like Khodorkovsky in Russia, Timoshenko in Ukraine and Leopoldo L"pez Mendoza in Venezuela to meddle in national politics and pose as Belarus' legitimate political opposition. Instead the US and the EU thought they could woo Alexander Lukashenko to their side. As long as he appeared to be making all the right moves, they got lazy and neglected to nurture potential faux opposition candidates and groups until too late.
The result is that Lukashenko can point to nearly 30 years of political, economic and social stability as his record as President of Belarus, and that is a record that will be very hard for any political opposition to overcome.
Posted by: Jen | Aug 27 2020 0:25 utc | 53
At the linke that Chico @ 48 posted (thanks, Chico!), I found this:
Increasing Party Capacity In Citizen Outreach And Issue Advocacy
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)
$300,000
To enable a broad, diverse group of political activists representing democratic political parties and movements to conduct effective and systematic citizen outreach. The institute will assist political leaders in utilizing important pre- and post-election periods to carry out constructive citizen outreach by training democratic parties and movements in effective advocacy campaigns.
$300,000 is the largest single donation made by the NED in Belarus in 2019. Does anyone else think this is actually quite a small amount to spend on what presumably should be a medium-large group of political activists (say at least 15 individuals)? Some if not most of that grant money must represent their salaries and living expenses, not to mention also rent money and money for office equipment if they need a place to gather and work together.
Posted by: Jen | Aug 27 2020 0:38 utc | 54
B's celebration of the dictator Lukashenko's victory is a tawdry and shallow pseudo-journalistic exercise. It's disappointing. A dictatorship back-stopped by a clever Russian oligarch is nothing to celebrate. Democracy is a universal human value. I don't think you value democracy very highly, b. Disappointing.
Posted by: jadan | Aug 27 2020 1:48 utc | 55
@jadan -
Where do you see "celebration"? I think you're projecting a little bit there; too used to the actual celebrations in the US and UK corporate media for any blatant or disguised coup attempts (or refusing to call a coup a coup). This day's entry on Belarus was merely pointing out that the author predicted correctly that the phony color revolution would fizzle out. He gave several reasons and they all seem to have been correct. So if anything, maybe there is some celebration that the author was correct but that's not at all what you're accusing here.
Besides, what was democratic about the way that Maidan happened? How about Chile? Seriously you might as well just take the next logical step that you're already thinking but not yet writing out for us to see. You think that "democracy" means US CIA and globalist western billionaire funded NGOs prying open new markets and swooping in to privatize all of the centralized, people-owned health care systwms, education, utilities and resources so that a few people can get very rich and the people of those countries eventually succumb to austerity measures so that their new "democratically" implemented government leaders who took IMF money can pay it back, always at the peoples' expense, never the western oligarchs or their puppets.
Posted by: _K_C_ | Aug 27 2020 2:04 utc | 56
Posted by: jadan | Aug 27 2020 1:48 utc | 54
At least 1.23 billion Chinese would rather have improving standards of living as a human right than weasel words than don't put food on the table. After all, they are all too familiar with Taiwan which has real wages stagnated for the past 20 years under glorious vote-based democracy.
Posted by: J W | Aug 27 2020 2:24 utc | 57
Jadan #54
A dictatorship by two captive political parties owned by the same pack of oligarchs is not a Democracy.
Look within and you will discover your masters.
Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 27 2020 2:40 utc | 58
Those of us who have done it know that protests and demonstrations are completely useless. They only serve the government in "look how democratic and forgiving we are."Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 26 2020 17:44 utc | 2
Demonstrations have no effect in the fake-"democratic" oligarchies of the West because the entire Western system is constructed on subterfuge and fakery. In China demonstrations are highly effective, and thousands of demonstrations and protests take place all the time, having such an important part in moulding state policy that they are almost a part of the governing process - that is what happens when the State fully accredits the power of the people.
Posted by: BM | Aug 27 2020 2:50 utc | 59
@58 BM and others
Indeed, and as someone here said I think, it's far better to have a Party you can't change enacting policies that you can change, than Parties you can change enacting policies you can't change.
China is vastly more democratic than the west. The voice of the people carries.
Posted by: Grieved | Aug 27 2020 3:06 utc | 60
@ 58 & 59 In China demonstrations are highly effective. . .The voice of the people carries.Okay, I'm open to new knowledge. Evidence?
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 27 2020 3:46 utc | 61
Democracy is a universal human value. I don't think you value democracy very highly, b. Disappointing.
Posted by: jadan | Aug 27 2020 1:48 utc | 54
For starters, it is good to read "Ochlocracy" in Wikipedia, and ponder a bit about ochlocracy today. If you are lazy, it means "rule of mob", where changes of the government are violent and often lead to regression. Wikipedia is under many pressures, so the historical examples end in 19-th century, but there is a wealth of examples in 21-st century.
It is also worth to note that it used to be a "common wisdom" that democracy as a system cannot work in most of countries. Jeane Kirkpatrick, a professor and a diplomat, earned her diplomatic position (ambassador to UN?) writing "Dictatorships and Double Standards", published in Commentary in November 1979.
In that piece, Kirkpatrick mentioned what she saw as a difference between authoritarian regimes and the totalitarian regimes such as the Soviet Union; sometimes, it was necessary to work with authoritarian regimes if it suited American purposes: "No idea holds greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime and anywhere, under any circumstances ... Decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary disciplines and habits. In Britain, the road [to democratic government] took seven centuries to traverse ...
Many guiding ideas for "color revolutions" come from that background. There is Goodness ("we") and Badness ("evil they"), and to transition from Goodness to Badness, a few centuries of autocracy may be exactly what is needed. One can view it as democracy with a few necessary correction. In the context of east-central Europe, the correction include:
waves of purges under "de-Communization", and "removing Russian influence"elimination of people who speak Russian from public life (Baltics, Ukraine, proposed for Belorus)censorship of everything which smacks Communism, sympathy to Russia, advocacy of the right to education in Russian etc.innovative uses of law enforcement (allow some people to be killed or beaten up to various degree by ardent "democrats", allow some parties to collect black money while unleashing huge search for the most picayune transgression for opposition partiessomewhat novel re-definition of "social activism", a combination of fascism and pro-NATO workshops paid by oligarchs and bureaucrats of the West
Not a full list, but it seems to be to be the less advertised part of Belarussian "democratic program".
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 27 2020 4:26 utc | 62
Don Bacon @ 60:
China Labour Bulletin (published in Hong Kong) monitors strike activity and other forms of industrial action in China daily. See here: CLB Strikes Map
Having said that, I should advise everyone including CLB has a different interpretation of what all this industrial action actually means. Some like CLB (and also WSWS.org) interpret the information to suggest that there is significant worker opposition against the CCP and all this strike activity is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of incipient revolution. But others may interpret the information differently, that the CCP actually encourages industrial action as one way of finding out what people want and then responding to it.
Posted by: Jen | Aug 27 2020 4:50 utc | 63
@ jadan | Aug 27 2020 1:48 utc | 54.. you are very young and naive by the sounds of it.. you might come around if you keep reading moa..
Posted by: james | Aug 27 2020 5:22 utc | 64
Lukashenko has spent his whole time in power - a quarter of a century - prevnting the union with Russia. Now he is supposed to implement it only in order to be ousted later on with the tacit support of Russia?
Where exactly is the Russian interference here? What specifically did Putin do beyond having a phone call with Lukashenko?
To me it seems Lukashenko has weathered the storm on his own, at least temporary. Meanwhile the Belorusian economy keeps declining, the political stagnation keeps going on, the geopolitical questions haven't be answered. This isn't over yet, just suspended, at best for a few years. Lukashenko can't rule forever.
Posted by: m | Aug 27 2020 5:43 utc | 65
m
b and others think Putin will remove Lukashenko at a future date. Putin is not into revenge. Lukashenko has put his country first and I think that means more to Putin than small time get backs for past slights.
Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 27 2020 5:47 utc | 66
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 27 2020 3:46 utc | 60 -- "Okay, I'm open to new knowledge. Evidence?"
For non-Mandarin readers, start with Jeff Brown, Godfrey Roberts, Ramin Mazaheri on Chinese governance over the last 70 years.
Ignore the condescending Western "experts" who write to disparage China. Ignore the Chinese "scholars", who write to seek approval from said Western experts. Listen to the viewpoint of the common people, the deplorables, the 1,000,000,000 Chinese lifted up from 1949 world-class poverty to 2020 world-class middle income status. Mao's revolutionaries serve the billion citizens, who consequently speak well of the CCP. The Chinese elite before Mao lost family fortunes, and speak poorly about the CCP until this day, but the West read their "history books", and pertinently, cultivate the children of these people as useful idiots.
Democracy is not just about voting every 4 years. It is not even about the voice of people being HEARD. It is about their voice being heard, and then FOLLOWED. That is what happens in China. That is what separates China from the supposed "largest democracy in the world".
Changing parties, per se, is not democracy. Actually, that is less useful than changing underwear if the lot of Main Streeters is not changed anyway.
Posted by: kiwiklown | Aug 27 2020 6:28 utc | 67
@Peter AU1I agree that Putin is not the type who is carried away by his emotions. However, the assessment that the Russia-Belarus Union will lead to the ouster of Lukashenko is well founded.
Putin has mase clear what he wants, already in 1999: The union of Russia and Belarus. Read: Belarus becoming an autonomous part of Russia and remaining an independent state in name only.
Lukashenko has also made clear what he wants: He has build his whole presidency on Belarus remaining an independent country. Independent both from the West and from Russia.
I don´t see how it is possible to reconcile the two positions.
Posted by: m | Aug 27 2020 6:31 utc | 68
Re the democracy debate : I have come to consider that what makes the democracy illusion so effective in the collective West is its hope factor. The value proposition is actually exactly the same as the lottery or horse races ; millions of people are playing everyday, just for the hope of catching that 1-in-a-60 million big prize. It doesn't matter if, in reality, you will never win it - or, in electoral terms, if the policy or party you're longing for will never in a million years be enacted. What's important is this illusion that it may still happen.
So the most important aspect for a political system is to maintain this dream for ordinary people that their voice may be heard, even if in reality entrenched elites remain solidly in charge.
Apart from that we have to recognize that generally Western democracies (at least in Europe) work reasonably well for local policies and low-level issues. It's only for the big strategic and transnational decisions that we don't have any say in the matter. That's maybe where governments like Belarus or Russia have to progress : democratize more the local institutions, give people more control in matters directly affecting their lives. But as for foreign policy or strategic planning most people won't have a clue, it's too complex for them.
Posted by: Micron | Aug 27 2020 7:16 utc | 69
m 67
The way I see it is that Lukashenko is simply not in the running when it comes to Geo-politics, perhaps hemmed in by the size and position of his country. He is loyal to his country, and has been a good manager - especially when compared to other former soviet block states.This color revolution I would think has given him a bit more of an understanding of where Belarus needs to go. As bush said - you are either for or against, and that remains unchanged.
If another that Russia thinks has better skills than Lukashenko appears, then they may well back that person, but at the moment I don't see Putin swapping Lukashenko out in a palace coup because of what has gone before.
Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 27 2020 7:47 utc | 70
Sidney Caesar #35
"The funeral process underway in the USA is minor compared to millions of funerals CAUSED BY THE USA throughout the world in the past 80 years" That is what I said and it is in reference to the solidarity I share with all people on this earth. Including those in the USA.
The nuance that you so readily obscure or eludes you is that all those millions in other countries that have died at the hands or design of the USA had no access to democratic mechanisms IN THE USA to alter their fate. They were attacked and killed by the USA and their running dogs.
The working class and poor in the USA have some access to the democratic election process and can organise to change their fate.
Not so Libyans, Vietnamese, Chileans, Syrians, Venezuelans, Koreans, Iraqis, Cubans, Afghanis, Bolivians, Iranians, St Georgians, etc, etc,.
The people of the USA are in the throes of another of their faux democratic ejaculations that will likely deliver them nought but misery yet again and misery for this planet as a result. They have my sympathy to the extent that each of them is part of a solution NOT part of the problem.
Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 27 2020 8:29 utc | 71
NEXTA and the Belarus games has me somewhat intrigued especially as it appears from an earlier thread that it was hacked and the demonstrators sent on wild goose chase after wild goose chase.
Was that when the western meddlers finally realised they were stymied? Has Telegram been hacked by the Belarus security?
Euronews spoke to Roman Potasetich, Nexta's Editor in chief, to find out more about the blog.
Some interesting details emerge and the extent of the network of spies and informants claimed by Potasetich would, if he were in the UK, land him in Belmarsh as a prisoner under the UK Official Secrets Act. Or if he were USA perhaps Gitmo, in Australia probably Manus Island rotting alongside refugees and waiting for malaria to finish him off.
Some extracts from the interview:-
Potasetich: Our channel is called "Nexta," which means "somebody" in Belarusian. That's our specialty. Telegram is an anonymous platform, it's a place for the secure transmission of information, and "Nexta" is a network of thousands of Belarusians who are sharing information, who send it to us and thus share the information with the whole country.We have people in each sphere, verified sources with whom we have been communicating for a long time. These are the people who provide information that is always 100% accurate. These are the people who send us internal documents from various agencies, including the security service.
In terms of mass protests, first of all, we observe the situation because we receive hundreds, sometimes thousands, of messages per hour. We are able to see the bigger picture and we immediately see when something corresponds to reality, and where there is an obvious provocation, exaggeration, or disinformation '-- including by the special services, which also throws us information quite regularly.
We have a lot of exclusive information, we have many government insiders, a lot of documents from some small government agencies or enterprises. We also have a lot of documents and classified information from high-ranking officials, including the president's administration, as well as law enforcement agencies. People know that they can read what will never be said anywhere else, simply because if ordinary, independent mass media in Belarus wrote it, they would be subject to controls immediately, pressure from special services would start, warnings would be issued and the publication could be closed down.
And then this interesting comment that indicates Telegram was safe and handy for the Belarus security establishment:
Euronews: Were you ready for the fact that the internet would be cut off across the whole country? How did you work under these conditions?Potasetich: The good thing about Telegram is that it's the only platform that worked somehow. Even when no media downloads, at least it worked a bit. Most people in Belarus saw only a text version of messages, but at least this way they got information about what was going on.
A large number of subscribers from abroad also came to us and everything worked perfectly well. This news really spread all over the world. I think it's great, because even most government sites in Belarus still aren't working. At the moment, it's even impossible to enter the site of the Belarusian CEC (Central Election Commission of Belarus), because the internet has been blocked to such an extent.
This is the beauty of this new media format '-- when there's no centralised site, when it's impossible to block or ban in any way, because everyone has access to it and this access is unconditional.
Did you advise your readers on how to get around the block?
Yes, we actively advised our subscribers to use proxies, VPN, Tor, and other ways to bypass the total blockage of the internet, which continues in Belarus for a second day. But the proxy-servers were so in demand that the addresses we gave immediately went down.
Ah yes - Tor - safe as a bank of course. Given the run around the demonstrators got it appears that someone outside of the core operators had admin rights to the NEXTA channel. Which likely gave them peek-a-boo rights to every subscriber.
I can imagine the Maxwell Smart cone of silence descending on the channel for a while. Can any barflies expand on this at all?
Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 27 2020 9:44 utc | 72
Gizmodo offered this advice regarding Telegram in 2016 !!
Telegram, the supposedly secure messaging app, has over 100 million users. You might even be one of them. If you are, you should probably stop using it right now. Here's the unfortunate truth about Telegram: it's not as secure as the company's marketing campaigns might lead you to believe.According to interviews with leading encryption and security experts, Telegram has a wide range of security issues and doesn't live up to its proclamations as a safe and secure messaging application.
Take note Belarus activists, NEXTA has just set you all up for a big fall. That is how much they 'care for your revolution'.
Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 27 2020 10:02 utc | 73
Jadan@54 "A dictatorship back-stopped by a clever Russian oligarch is nothing to celebrate."
Are you saying that there is a clever Russian oligarch supporting Lukashenko, or that Lukashenko is a clever Russian oligarch?
If the first, I would be really interested to know who you are referring to and this is the only reason I react to your post.
If the second, you should know that Lukashenko is not Russian..
Posted by: montreal | Aug 27 2020 10:33 utc | 74
It appears world war three has been averted '' for now. For Belarus could have been the flashpoint that triggered the series of events leading to global conflagration; it still could be. There are numerous international hotspots where it could begin. Governments need to heed the warnings of history, and be very careful about any unwise actions they might take. https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
Posted by: peter mcloughlin | Aug 27 2020 10:50 utc | 75
RE Future of Belarus:
1.) I would assume that one of Lukashenko's foremost concerns at this point is the preservations of his work, so to speak, that Belarus keep it's "soviet" economy.
2.) I would think Putin/Russia could accomodate that, if they wanted to. It will be very interesting to see how that works out.
I think we have to give Lukashenko some credit at this point, at least he does not seem to be the usual gold toilet and bimbos dictator we have become so used to.
Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 27 2020 11:48 utc | 76
montreal | Aug 27 2020 10:33 utc | 74
The clever Russian oligarch is V. Putin, though I am sure lesser Russian oligarchs also support Lukashenko. Lukashenko is the posturing dictator,in case you are confused about this, the subhuman creature threatening to murder his fellow citizens so that he can stay in power. B is happy to see that Lukashenko remains in power because he's (b is)so much opposed to US interference in the internal affairs of other countries. The fact that Lukashenko, the blood thirsty posturing dictator who fancies himself such a manly defender of the state, who has remained in power for 26 years by hook or by crook, may be disliked by the majority of people he attempts to dominate, is of no concern to b. B denies that a majority of Belarussians may be sick and tired of this creepy Lukashenko and his militarist band of ass-lickers. Heroes, armed to the teeth willing to murder unarmed civilians! Heroes, like cops in this country who shoot black people in the back! B has a certain fondness for authoritarian leaders. Have you noticed? I do believe if Trump were as clever and self-disciplined as Putin, B would be a Trumpster. I, too, admire Putin, by the way, and I don't think he would sanction the poisoning of Navalny. Putin is a point of stability in our world, a counterbalance to the divisive irredeemable lunatic Trump, but Putin is no democrat. He calls for a multipolar world and arms control, but he does not call for democracy because he is an authoritarian and an oligarch and he does not believe in democracy. I'm not sure b believes in democracy either. The founders of this USA that b seems to have adopted, most of them, did not believe in democracy either.
Posted by: jadan | Aug 27 2020 12:27 utc | 77
jadan @55
What is disappointing is foolish people like yourself bemoaning the lack of Democracy' when you don't even have the foggiest notion of what democracy is. I will give you a hint: Wherever you are doing your moaning from does not have democracy.
Advice: Straighten out your own house before you start moaning about the condition of others' houses. Stop imagining that the "Democracy Show'" that your local oligarchs put on, along with their bread stolen from the Global South to go with that circus in order to keep you fat and distracted, is real democracy.
Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2020 12:38 utc | 78
Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 27 2020 11:48 utc | 76
If Lukashenka has to stop labour emigration Belorussian economy is in trouble.
Posted by: somebody | Aug 27 2020 12:39 utc | 79
Posted by: jadan | Aug 27 2020 1:48 utc | 55
I must have spoken too soon about the incessant calls for "Democracy and Freedom" from shills.
Posted by: One Too Many | Aug 27 2020 12:58 utc | 80
Posted by: somebody | Aug 27 2020 12:39 utc | 79
Yes, probably not "innovative" enough too, but mainly too small of a country. That's why they will wind up part of Russia. I see something like 80-90% of those working abroad are working in Russia, so not a problem unless you want to join the EU or some such. But still the problem of being "small" and located on geopolitically sensitive terrain will force them to join somebody. The main problem seems to be that Lukashenko likes his gig there.
Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 27 2020 13:11 utc | 81
@uncle tungsten | Aug 27 2020 8:29 utc | 71:
"many of us have no interest in the dieing wheezes of the USA" =/= "That is what I said and it is in reference to the solidarity I share with all people on this earth. Including those in the USA."
"The working class and poor in the USA have some access to the democratic election process" =/= "The people of the USA are in the throes of another of their faux democratic ejaculations".
Make up your mind, Uncle 'Man-of-the-people'.
Posted by: Sidney Caesar | Aug 27 2020 13:29 utc | 82
Who is this "jadan" poster? Jaded more likely.
Instead of busting balls about your superior democratic credentials, feel free to educate yourself on the actual course of the Belarussian economy and society. But you won't do this. Like most creepy crypto-fascist "champions of freedom and democracy", you are spewing vague accusations without backing them with hard data. Like the fact that Belarus does NOT have oligarchs and the fact that Lukashenko bemoaned the presence of such in neighboring Russia. Even your NATO overlords grudgingly acknowledged that.
Or you may take a good hard look on every "democracy promotion" by the Anglo-American empire the last thirty years and inform the regulars here where exactly there has been established an actual democratic government. Did you enjoy the Nazification of Ukraine, touted as some sort of advance of democratic values? How about Libya, Syria, Hondura, Bolivia, Iraq or the neoliberal sewer of eastern Europe?
And no, this horror show did NOT start with Trump, although he has proudly coninued the policies of his predecessors. Did Trump establish the militarization of the police, the fascistc glorification of war, the mass surveillance of the population, the total unaccountability of the elites and their minions or the doctrine of extreme ethno-supremacism and messianic chauvinism? Because all these aspects constitute a highly authoritarian regime and existed before Trump who is a product of this system.
So, instead of trashing b, you might look on your own vomit-inducing levels of hypocrisy when you claim with a straight face that the events in Belarus have anything to do with democracy of any kind.
Posted by: Constantine | Aug 27 2020 13:30 utc | 83
@ Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 27 2020 13:12 utc | 82
Lukashenko won the election.
The Belarusian Constitution allows multiple reelections.
Is it too hard for you to understand?
Posted by: vk | Aug 27 2020 13:33 utc | 84
vk @3
What you say about the color revolution attempt in Belarus is correct. The State Department/CIA and their toadies in the mass media failed to do the necessary groundwork to give it a chance at success. This means that the empire "pulled the trigger" on that color revolution much too early. This despite the fact that their own color revolution manual clearly indicates that conditions in Belarus are not ready for color revolution.
In other words, the empire knew they were trying to pick fruit that wasn't ripe yet. Why get so ahead of themselves?
This decision reeks of desperation, but for Trump's election? It would be highly unlikely that Trump could order the premature execution of the color revolution. The empire's "Deep State" would drag their feet on such squandering of their resources just for their domestic "Democracy Show'". Biden would make just as good a figurehead of the empire for a delayed color revolution, so they wouldn't waste their ammunition for Trump. This means that the empire is acting out of desperation for the empire itself.
This desperation from the empire is both encouraging and a little bit frightening. It suggests that the empire's final act might be on cue.
Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2020 13:52 utc | 85
It took ten years to flip Ukraine to western side. I think it will take less to flip Belarus but this won't happen after one round of demonstrations and nobody sane believed it will. The pressure will be increased and at some point it will become unbearable. I acknowledge Lukashenko skill, he managed to lead his country for 25 year without major bumps. If Lukashenko wanted to make union with Russia he already had enough time to do it. IMHO it is more likely there will be an agreement with the west to hand over government while keeping wealth and some influence, similar to scenario played in Poland around 1989, where communist elites prepared to hand over for several years, quite possibly since 1985 and where they stayed a part of the political system for at least next 20 years. They are still around today but their significance is next to zero. Similar scenarios were played in Czechoslovakia and Hungary. Ceausescu did not play along so he got bloody treatment.I expect Lukashenko to swap sides and align with west within 3 to 5 years from now.
Don't hope for the fall of the west. It's just with technical progress, people there became less useful so some of them can be disposed of, be it violent or non-violent way. It's up to you if you allow to be disposed of.
Posted by: pppp | Aug 27 2020 14:02 utc | 86
@ Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2020 13:52 utc | 86
There are many factors to consider:
1) elections in the USA;
2) the fact that the Belarusian election would happen this year, and not, say, next year;
3) Germany's (i.e. EU's) own geopolitical interests;
4) time not being in the West's favor in the greater scheme of things (pandemic, late capitalism's structural crisis, rise of socialist China, fall of prestige of the West among the Third World countries, etc. etc.).
Posted by: vk | Aug 27 2020 14:09 utc | 87
vk @88
Those first three factors are of interest to the empire, but they are not at all decisive. For instance, the winner of the US election is not so important to the empire so long as that individual represents the empire. A Biden victory might repair some of the empire's image in the world, but would pose no threats to the empire's color revolution schemes. Also, while the empire will certainly try for regime change again in the next Belarus election, they now have to start from scratch building up the opposition for that try, and the Belarus state is fully warned this time.
I think it is the fourth point you raise that is decisive in this. The empire seems to believe that it no longer has the time to wait for these regime change opportunities to mature properly.
Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2020 14:24 utc | 88
@ Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2020 14:24 utc | 89
It (1) doesn't matter for the USA, but it matters for the incumbent POTUS individually (in this case, Trump). The USA has a history of inexplicable foreign policy decisions in election years, which can only be reasonably explained by the POTUS's individual vanity and will to be reelected/elect his successor.
But yes, (4) is definitely de decisive factor here.
Posted by: vk | Aug 27 2020 14:32 utc | 89
donkeytale | Aug 27 2020 13:12 utc | 82.
You write good donkeytale! Some commentators here might be a better fit at unz.com where racism, libertarianism, pure bullshit, and crotch rot are concentrated. b is ok, overall, even if he's a tad authoritarian. We're not haunted by the ghost of Adolf Hitler and goose-stepping zombies so we don't know what it's like to be b. I thought I might ask Gruff to explain to me what democracy is, but I don't believe I could bear the halitosis. James can just fuck himself, which he probably does anyway without invitation.
Posted by: jadan | Aug 27 2020 15:01 utc | 90
re Democracy
I'm sure I read it here first, but what we call "Democracy" in the west is a system that from its inception was never expected to yield good representative governance. It was a scam from the beginning, says a certain viewpoint, and there's at least a small body of work illustrating this, but I can't find it currently.
Perhaps others know, and could share, this concept that elected government was intended as a sop from the beginning and was never seen as a very large grant of representation?
~~
In my local town politics and fights with my city council, I have often used the concept of "representative government" to argue for respecting, listening to and acting in accordance with the wishes of the townspeople, who are the stakeholders in any issue that comes before the dais.
At the local level, you can do this with some success. At the federal level of the US, it's obvious that the elected officers of government represent several interests but very rarely those of the people who elect them.
So if we're discussing successful government it seems crucial to use the equation of how well overall, and in how many fine-grained particulars, the system of governance succeeds in representing the views of the people it governs.
And this is where China's system has something to show all the countries of the world.
Let me find some links...
Posted by: Grieved | Aug 27 2020 15:01 utc | 91
Democracy = Shamocracy in the West
The West is ruled by the dictatorship of global private finance. All other claims to representative government are subservient to the "rule-based-order" of the cult behind global private finance.
And many are too ignorant to understand this perspective and keep spewing this and that "ism" myth they think is reality as brainwashed tools for the elite.
Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 27 2020 15:15 utc | 92
Godfree Roberts is the go-to source for statistics about China, while, as offered above, Jeff J. Brown is one of the best overall sources to understand what makes China great. Try this link for a minor meditation on the meaning and true value of democracy, combining intimate understanding of both China and the US with the kind of data that you want to make points stick:
Selling Democracy to China
Today, Chinese democracy resembles Proctor and Gamble more than Pericles. There are more than a thousand polling firms in China and its government spends prolifically on surveys, as author Jeff J. Brown says, ''My Beijing neighborhood committee and town hall are constantly putting up announcements, inviting groups of people''renters, homeowners, over seventies, women under forty, those with or without medical insurance, retirees''to answer surveys. The CPC is the world's biggest pollster for a reason: China's democratic 'dictatorship of the people' is highly engaged at the day-to-day, citizen-on-the-street level. I know, because I live in a middle class Chinese community and I question them all the time. I find their government much more responsive and democratic than the dog-and-pony shows back home, and I mean that seriously." Even the imperious Mao would remind colleagues, ''If we don't investigate public opinion we have no right to voice our own opinion. Public opinion is our guideline for action,'' which is why Five Year Plans are the results of intensive polling. ~~
It's clear from Roberts's article that we're talking about representative government, rather than the mere ability to vote "representatives" in or out of office.
It should be clear from our many grievances in the west that this one token gift of "the vote" is not enough to satisfy us. It has not yielded good, representative governance.
And so it becomes a very substantial argument to say that being able as a people to change government policy is more important than being able to change the temporary parties holding power over those policies, if those parties are not responsive to the wishes of the people.
It can be argued that a more stable system of government is one that does not change its elected representation, and the Chinese Communist Party shows us many things to ponder. Godfree Roberts again has a detailed view of how well and how fairly this system of leadership, made up of almost 100 million people, works: The Chinese Communist Party
~~
For those struggling to hang on to the benefits of multiple political parties rather than one party, the very erudite Chinese academician, Zhang Weiwei explains how the parties in the US are designed to represent only part the people - and how thereby, only a portion of the populace have "Democracy" at any one time - while the Communist Party in China is designed to represent all of the people:
Why is the one-party system right for China? Political scientist Zhang Weiwei explains the CPC bears no similarity with western political parties. It aims at representing the interests of the vast majority of the population, whereas political parties of the West by definition work for the benefit of a small minority.-- The CPC is not a "party"~~
ps..I hope this isn't too off-topic. But since the discussion of events on Belarus keeps using the poorly defined notion of western "democracy", and since we are discussing this notion, it seems useful to offer the Chinese experiment as something that actually can afford to look the words "representative government" squarely in the face without flinching, indeed with pride rather than with the corrupt shame of the western leaders.
Posted by: Grieved | Aug 27 2020 15:34 utc | 93
Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2020 13:52 utc | 86
This means that the empire "pulled the trigger" on that color revolution much too early.Not at all. This is called "priming".
It doesn't matter if the process is set in motion "too early", or "too late".The empire is always in motion. If the 'revolution' fails today, it will try again tomorrow.The next time it decides to trigger the process, the remnants of the last one will be ready to add to the mix and amplify the effect.
All part of the plan.
Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 27 2020 15:42 utc | 94
Putin an oligarch? No... That would be Biden, Trump, Clinton, Bush, Obama. Get the picture?
Posted by: obammamamma | Aug 27 2020 15:46 utc | 95
okay - 2 trolls talking to one another... hopefully folks will make note of that and not bother with them here forward - jadan and donkey..
Posted by: james | Aug 27 2020 16:17 utc | 96
could be the same person for all i know... b can figure it out..
Posted by: james | Aug 27 2020 16:18 utc | 97
Putin interview today, about corona, a second vaccine. Concerning Belarus, a reserve force made after Lukashenko's request, to be deployed only if the situation goes out of control, the request is legally based on the United State Agreement between Russia and Belarus and the CSTO treaty.In russian:
https://tass.ru/politika/9304671
Peter AU1 @32Thanks for the link, Article 2 of the agreement calls for a common agreed upon foreign and defense policy.I took some notes of the agreement, but I think whoever is interested in its contents can read it with a mechanical translation.
Posted by: Paco | Aug 27 2020 16:26 utc | 98
One more detail in the interview, the operation to trap the supposedly Wagner mercenaries was designed by Kiev together with the USA, no surprises there, but now publicly announced.
Posted by: Paco | Aug 27 2020 16:32 utc | 99
@ Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 27 2020 16:01 utc | 97
And what does it have to do with Belarus?
By the way, there's absolutely no evidence the results of this Belarusian presidential election aren't precise. Many Russian journalists and "experts" took the bait an immediately accepted Lukashenko doesn't have 80% of support, instead having "three thirds" (i.e. 66,66%).
The problem is the only material basis for this is the results in Minsk, where Lukashenko got "only" 64% of the votes. But even then you're assuming the official results are true.
Tikhanovskaya stated, citing her own particular sources, that it was actually she, and not Lukashenko, who received 80% of the vote. She equally stated Lukashenko actually got not more than 7% of the vote (!!). Either way, Lukashenko put her theory to test and proved her wrong.
Minsk is not Belarus. It is perfectly possible for a man to have received two thirds of the vote in the city which hates him the most to have received 90-99% in the interior. 80% of the vote is perfectly possible, and I think they are near the truth (but not exactly, as you have to take into account the people who voted "none" or didn't vote).
The fact that the pro-Lukashenko rallies flopped is not surprising. One of the main problems with late Soviet-style democracy is the profound castration of the masses in terms of political mobilization and organization. They grow up and expect the issue to be solved by the corresponding organ of the central party/State, so they don't bother to go out to the streets and do propaganda warfare. In fact, Lukashenko's call for his supporters to hit the streets must've sound very strange for them: he should simply deploy the police and, if it isn't enough, the army and get over it as quickly as possible.
Posted by: vk | Aug 27 2020 16:45 utc | 100
Middle East Peace Deal
Netanyahu: 'Many more' secret talks with Arab nations after US-brokered UAE agreement | Fox News
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 20:53
Published August 30, 2020
Last Update 5 hrs ago
'Our two nations have never been closer,' says US National Security Adviser Robert O'BrienIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that there are "many more unpublicized meetings with Arab and Muslim leaders to normalize relations with the state of Israel" following its historic peace agreement with the United Arab Emirates brokered by the United States earlier this month.
The comment comes on the heels of a formal decree by the ruler of the UAE on Saturday ending the country's boycott of Israel, which has opened trade and commerce between the two nations. The decree formally eliminates a 1972 law on the UAE's books since just after the country's formation, which mirrored the widely held stance by Arab nations at the time that recognition of Israel would only come after the Palestinians had an independent state of their own.
Netanyahu said the UAE's decision opens the door for "unbridled trade, tourism, investments and exchanges between the Middle East's two most advanced economies" and thanked the Trump administration for their support in brokering the historic deal.
Netanyahu and White House adviser Jared Kushner make statements to the press about the Israeli-United Arab Emirates peace accords, in Jerusalem, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. (Debbie Hill/Pool Photo via AP)
"We could not seal this historic peace with the Emirates and with others that are in line without the tremendous support of our great and loyal friends from the United States of America," Netanyahu said.
SEE IT: PAIR OF RUSSIAN JETS GET WITHIN 100 FEET OF US AIR FORCE PLANE
The UAE is the third Arab nation, after Egypt and Jordan, to currently have diplomatic relations with Israel.
In recent years, the UAE has held quiet talks with Israel and allowed Israelis with second passports into the country for trade and talks. Opening ties may also help the Emirates access advanced American weaponry, like the F-35 fighter jet that right now only Israel flies in the Mideast.
"Israel continues to be strengthened and is one of our highest priorities of the Trump administration," U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien said. "Our two nations have never been closer."
O'Brien, left, Netanyahu, center, and White House adviser Jared Kushner make joint statements to the press about the Israeli-United Arab Emirates peace accords, in Jerusalem, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. (Debbie Hill/Pool Photo via AP)
Israel is set for its first commercial passenger flight to the United Arab Emirates on Monday.
The plane will carry U.S. and Israeli officials, including President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, Mideast envoy Avi Berkowitz and envoy for Iran Brian Hook.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Watch: 'A new era is commencing today' - Foreign Affairs - Israel National News
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 16:39
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a joint statement together with US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien and Senior US Presidential Adviser Jared Kushner Sunday afternoon.
''For far too long Palestinians had veto on peace between Israel and the Arab world. If we have to wait for them we will wait forever," said Netanyahu at the opening of the press conference.
The Israeli premier went on to predict that the new peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates will provide dividends not only to the two countries and the region, but to the world.
"We also stand ready to till the fields of peace and bring its fruits to our people and the world."
There are "many more" secret talks currently underway with moderate Arab states towards additional peace deals modeled after the upcoming UAE-Israel treaty. "There are others that are in line."
"There are many more unpublished meetings with Arab and Muslim leaders to normalize relations with the state of Israel."
US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien also touted the deal between Israel and the UAE, calling it the "most significant" step to peace in the region in a quarter of a century.
"The Abraham Accords represent the most significant step towards peace in the Middle East in 25 years. The UAE is the first major Arab state to recognize Israel since Jordan did so in 1994."
"Soon these two powers in the region will exchange ambassadors and begin cooperation on a broad range of deals, including education, health care, trade, security and finance. Combining Israel's innovation and creativity with the UAE's financial centers and capital is going to establish something that is truly incredible for the Middle East."
"On the religious and cultural front, Muslims who wish to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque will be able to fly from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv, where they will be welcomed. Israel's security continues to be strengthened."
"We believe that other Arab countries will soon follow the United Arab Emirate's lead and normalize relations with Israel."
"A new era is commencing today. Tomorrow we will take off on an El Al flight from Ben Gurion and land at Abu Dhabi International Airport. This will be the first-ever commercial flight between these new partner nations."
O'Brien mentioned the Trump administration's moves over the past three years vis-a-vis Israel, including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and reversing the Obama-era policy of viewing Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria as being illegal under international law.
"The Trump administration concluded that the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law, notwithstanding what the United Nations' claims."
President Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner said the president has been "writing a script for a new Middle East, has been standing strongly with America's friends... he has reversed 20 years of bad outcomes in the Middle East."
"Today we celebrate a historic breakthrough for peace, and it has been a long and winding road to get here."
"This is an accomplishment that does not happen often and does not happen easily."
Like O'Brien, Kushner highlighted Trump's pro-Israel bona fides, and emphasized the administration's efforts to block Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
"President Trump immediately stood up for Israel at the United Nations against the rampant anti-Semitism by injecting common sense and pragmatism into the debate and really pushing things forward."
"Just two weeks ago, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the snap-back of all United Nations sanctions against Iran."
"President Trump kept his promise and recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and quickly moved his embassy here in Jerusalem."
"President Trump then recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights."
"On January 28th of this year, we released President Trump's vision for peace, which is a pragmatic and realistic blueprint of how we can have peace in this region. It is based on the facts as they exist. It shows that the United States understands Israel's security needs."
"This shows the world that Israel was ready to make peace. And the offer that's been made to the Palestinians is a very gracious, realistic offer. And when they are ready to make peace, they now have the opportunity to do so."
Ministry of Truthiness
Sarah Palin can sue New York Times for defamation -court ...
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 14:04
(Adds comments from New York Times and lawyers for Palin, decision details, background, case citation, byline)
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday rejected the New York Times' bid to dismiss Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit over a 2017 editorial she said falsely linked her to a mass shooting.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said that while much of Palin's case was circumstantial, it was strong enough for a jury to find the Times and former editorial page editor James Bennet acted with "actual malice by clear and convincing evidence." in publishing the editorial.
Rakoff scheduled a Feb. 1, 2021 trial.
"We're disappointed in the ruling but are confident we will prevail at trial when a jury hears the facts," Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades-Ha said in an email.
Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor, sued over a June 14, 2017 editorial published after an Alexandria, Virginia, shooting that wounded four people, including then-House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
The editorial referred to a January 2011 shooting where six people died and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was seriously wounded, and said Palin's political action committee had before that shooting circulated a map that put 20 Democrats including Giffords under "stylized cross hairs."
It also contrasted the shootings, saying the Scalise attack had "no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack."
The Times later corrected the editorial, saying there was no link between "political rhetoric" and the Giffords shooting, and Bennet has said he had not intended to blame Palin.
But Rakoff said Bennet's having substantially rewritten an earlier draft, and admission he was aware "incitement" could mean a call to violence, could suggest actual malice.
The judge also said evidence Bennet may have ignored materials inconsistent with his "angle" for the editorial could suggest his reckless disregard for the truth.
Palin's lawyers, Shane Vogt and Ken Turkel, in an email said she appreciated Rakoff's "careful consideration of the merits."
The case is Palin v New York Times Co et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 17-04853. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler and Tom Brown)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
War on Religion
God Is Dead. So Is the Office. These People Want to Save Both - The New York Times
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 16:41
In the beginning there was Covid-19, and the tribe of the white collars rent their garments, for their workdays were a formless void, and all their rituals were gone. New routines came to replace the old, but the routines were scattered, and there was chaos around how best to exit a Zoom, onboard an intern, end a workweek.
The adrift may yet find purpose, for a new corporate clergy has arisen to formalize the remote work life. They go by different names: ritual consultants, sacred designers, soul-centered advertisers. They have degrees from divinity schools. Their business is borrowing from religious tradition to bring spiritual richness to corporate America.
In simpler times, divinity schools sent their graduates out to lead congregations or conduct academic research. Now there is a more office-bound calling: the spiritual consultant. Those who have chosen this path have founded agencies '-- some for-profit, some not '-- with similar-sounding names: Sacred Design Lab, Ritual Design Lab, Ritualist. They blend the obscure language of the sacred with the also obscure language of management consulting to provide clients with a range of spiritually inflected services, from architecture to employee training to ritual design.
Their larger goal is to soften cruel capitalism, making space for the soul, and to encourage employees to ask if what they are doing is good in a higher sense. Having watched social justice get readily absorbed into corporate culture, they want to see if more American businesses are ready for faith.
''We've seen brands enter the political space,'' said Casper ter Kuile, a co-founder of Sacred Design Lab. Citing a Vice report, he added: ''The next white space in advertising and brands is spirituality.''
Image Casper ter Kuile is a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School and a co-founder of Sacred Design Lab. Credit... September Dawn Bottoms/The New York Times Before the pandemic, these agencies got their footing helping companies with design '-- refining their products, physical spaces and branding. They also consulted on strategy, workflow and staff management. With digital workers stuck at home since March, a new opportunity has emerged. Employers are finding their workers atomized and agitated, and are looking for guidance to bring them back together. Now the sacred consultants are helping to usher in new rituals for shapeless workdays, and trying to give employees routines that are imbued with meaning.
Ezra Bookman founded Ritualist, which describes itself as ''a boutique consultancy transforming companies and communities through the art of ritual,'' last year in Brooklyn. He has come up with rituals for small firms for events like the successful completion of a project '-- or, if one fails, a funeral.
''How do we help people process the grief when a project fails and help them to move on from it?'' Mr. Bookman said.
Messages on the start-up's Instagram feed read like a kind of menu for companies who want to buy operational rites a la carte: ''A ritual for purchasing your domain name (aka your little plot of virtual land up in the clouds).'' ''A ritual for when you get the email from LegalZoom that you've been officially registered as an LLC.''
'People would cite SoulCycle'The sacred consultant trend might be led by the co-founders of Sacred Design Lab '-- Mr. ter Kuile, Angie Thurston and Sue Phillips. They met at Harvard Divinity School, where they remain affiliated as inaugural Ministry Innovation Fellows, and founded their organization as a nonprofit in 2019.
Their backgrounds vary. Mr. ter Kuile, who lives in Brooklyn and co-hosts a popular Harry Potter podcast, wrote a book on how to ''transform common, everyday practices '-- yoga, reading, walking the dog '-- into sacred rituals.'' Ms. Thurston, who lives in Alexandria, Va., had worked at finding spiritual connection between people from different faiths. Ms. Phillips, of Tacoma, Wash., is an ordained minister in the Unitarian Universalist tradition.
What they have in common is an agreement that traditional religious institutions are not working and that corporate culture is largely soulless.
At Harvard Divinity School, scholars have been studying the trend away from organized religion for decades. Their consensus is that while attendance at formal services is at a historic low, people are still looking for meaning and spirituality. Dudley Rose, the associate dean for ministry studies, noted that secular spaces were doing a surprisingly good job of fulfilling this desire.
''People were meeting what they identified as spiritual needs, but doing them in organizations that had no apparent spiritual connection,'' Mr. Rose said in an interview. ''Like SoulCycle. People would cite SoulCycle.''
Mr. ter Kuile, Ms. Thurston and Ms. Phillips saw it like this: If part of religious work is finding people in need wherever they are, then spiritual innovators should go toward the workplace.
''Regardless of what you and I might think about it, the fact is that people are showing up in the workplace with these big deficits in themselves when it comes to belonging and connection to the beyond,'' Ms. Thurston said.
Image Maceo Paisley, left, an experience designer, presents a prototype for a grief ritual at an event hosted by Sacred Design Lab. Credit... Suzanne Tennant The Sacred Design Lab trio use the language of faith and church to talk about their efforts. They talk about organized religion as a technology for delivering meaning.
''The question we ask is: 'How do you translate the ancient traditions that have given people access to meaning-making practices, but in a context that is not centered around the congregation?''' Mr. ter Kuile said.
The nonprofit says it has been thinking of sacred designs for companies like Pinterest, IDEO and the Obama Foundation.
Ms. Phillips doesn't see corporations replacing organized religion '-- but, she said, she does see an opportunity for companies to bring people some of the meaning that they used to derive from churches, temples, mosques and the like.
She talks about her work like a pastor would. ''We spend a lot of time doing witness and accompaniment of our clients,'' she said. ''We listen to their stories. We want to understand their lives. We want to understand their passion and their longing.''
Evan Sharp, the co-founder of Pinterest, hired Sacred Design Lab to categorize all major religious practices and think of ways to apply them to the office. They made him a spreadsheet.
''We pulled together hundreds of practices from all these different religions and cultural practices and put them in a spreadsheet and just tried to categorize them by emotional state: which ones are relevant when you're happy, which are relevant when you're angry, and a couple other pieces of metadata,'' Mr. Sharp said.
When he had the data, he said, he took a few days and read it all. ''This sounds embarrassingly basic,'' he said, ''but it really reframed parts of religion for me.''
It made him realize how many useful tools existed inside something as old-fashioned as his childhood church. ''Some of the rituals I grew up with in Protestantism really have emotional utility,'' he said. And Mr. Sharp saw that it was good.
'It's still an office'There are perils, of course, with bringing elements of spirituality into the office.
The mixture of corporate and religious language can be odd. For example, here is how Mr. ter Kuile described his work for a tech company he declined to name: ''We researched and authored a concept paper on The Soul of Work to stimulate bold ideas about how soul-centeredness will continue to grow as a core element of the future of work.''
Another challenge is that many workers are already devout on their own terms, on their own time, and are not at all hungry for soul-based activities between 9 and 5.
Image Angie Thurston, a co-founder of Sacred Design Lab. ''People are showing up in the workplace with these big deficits in themselves when it comes to belonging and connection to the beyond,'' she said. Credit... Rosie Brock for The New York Times And: It's hard to exhort workers to give their professional activities transcendental meaning when, at the same time, those workers can be terminated. ''It can be done badly, and when done badly it can cause harm,'' Ms. Thurston said. ''For example, 'How can we be in deep community if I can fire you?'''
Ms. Thurston cited a host of possible problems to grapple with: creating a workplace religion, mixing management and soulfulness, getting paid for spirituality. ''Even if this is all done well and a workplace becomes really soul-centered, it's still an office,'' Ms. Thurston said. ''These are the challenges.''
Companies hiring ritual consultants may think they are bringing workers a small perk. But those behind the movement are hoping for a bigger revolution.
Workers have achieved measured success recently in pressuring employers to address systemic racism '-- some companies are making Juneteenth a paid holiday, for example, and investing in Black- and minority-owned ventures '-- and the sacred design consultants are wondering if employees might also begin to demand spiritual goodness.
This possibility is what drew Bob Boisture to the divinity consultants. He is the chief executive of the Fetzer Institute, a Michigan nonprofit foundation that says its mission is ''helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world,'' and which helps fund Sacred Design Lab. Mr. Boisture said he hopes the group's work could eventually allow corporate employees to articulate complaints and stop projects or practices that they see as lucrative but immoral.
''We today pay attention to a business's profits; the deeper question is whether the business ennobles or debases human existence,'' Mr. Boisture said. ''We encourage employees to bring moral concerns into the business conversation.''
And so the consultants find rituals and religious language and pull them out from their religious context, the better '-- in theory '-- to keep workers from feeling alienated. But rituals without religion can go haywire.
Tara Isabella Burton, the author of ''Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World,'' calls it the bespoke-ification of religion, or the unbundling of rituals '-- a reference to how cable TV packages split apart after the advent of streaming services. In the unbundled world, people pick what they want from different faiths and incorporate it into their lives '-- a little Buddhism here, a little kabbalah there. It is consumer-driven religiosity.
''The idea is that what we want, what feels good to us, what we desire, that all of this is constitutive of who we are, rather than community,'' Ms. Burton said. ''We risk seeing spirituality as something we can consume, something for us, something for our brand.''
Deepening one's Zoom practiceIn a workday spent at home, standing in front of a computer while meetings come and go, projects are received and filed, there is no differentiation. Every activity is, physically, the same.
I'm hungry for ritual. Every day, I get dressed, put on shoes, make coffee, pour it in a mug and tell my two housemates that I'm heading to work and will see 'em later. Then I walk in a few circles and settle in at a desk in the corner of our living room, just a couple feet away. This is my deranged coronavirus commute and it's how I help my bleary mind realize that the workday has begun.
If my boss said we would be instituting a one-minute group breathing exercise in the evenings to mark the closing of our laptops, or beginning each meeting by all smelling a clove together, would I like it? I would.
It's easy to blur the line between routine and ritual. Which category is it, for example, to have a habit of taking a shower and staring at the ceiling for five minutes after accomplishing my day's main task? Does the label matter, if the action feels essential?
To be technical, though, Kathleen McTigue, a Unitarian Universalist minister and a mentor to Mr. ter Kuile, offers a definition. She describes rituals as elevated routines, with set intention, attention and repetition.
Kursat Ozenc has been in the corporate ritual game for a while, as a product designer at the software giant SAP. He wrote ''Rituals for Work'' last year, and in January will publish a follow-up of sorts, ''Rituals for Virtual Meetings.'' I called him for recommendations on how to deepen my Zoom practice.
Mr. Ozenc advised incorporating thoughtful interruptions. He suggested beginning conference calls with a moment of silence. He recently heard about a smelling ritual, where everyone in a meeting retrieves a common kitchen spice, maybe cinnamon, and smells it at the same time to get a co-sensory experience. He is hoping to incorporate this into his guidance, as a way to bind people together.
''In the physical world, we experience the same senses together, the same temperature, the same smell of food heating up,'' Mr. Ozenc said.
Image Sue Phillips, a co-founder of the Sacred Design Lab, talks about her work like a pastor would. ''We spend a lot of time doing witness and accompaniment of our clients,'' she said. Credit... Ruth Fremson/The New York Times Ms. Phillips, the minister, had a few other ideas. She suggested using a repetitive meeting structure, which can be calming for participants. This might take the form of starting each team meeting with the same words, a sort of corporate incantation.
Others suggested workers each light a candle at the start of a meeting, or pick up a common object that everyone is likely to have in their homes.
Glenn Fajardo, a teaching fellow and lecturer at Stanford's design school who is researching rituals for virtual work, said to think of the workday like a movie, with structure and cuts and suspense, based on predictable arcs.
''Say to the group, 'During this part of the conversation, everybody's going to turn off our video,''' Mr. Fajardo said. ''Or, 'While we're doing this activity, I want you to look at your notebook.'''
''Part of what you're doing with ritual is creating these chunks people can remember, creating this element of something familiar and something new.''
Jeffrey D. Lee, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, helped organize a three day retreat last year with Mr. ter Kuile and others. The purpose of the retreat was to allow spiritual entrepreneurs to brainstorm with traditional religious leaders. He described one participant as ''an experience designer creating potent rituals for executives.''
Bishop Lee said he was happy to find the religious impulse at play, even if it was in places where the ultimate calling was profit. ''We're really aware of being on the shadow side of religious observance, a truly historic decline,'' he said, ''so there's some good news in here for how people are hungry for ritual.''
Gitmo Lowlands
[SPOEDWET IN JIP & JANNEKE TAAL] - Burgerfront
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 14:22
'' 17 miljoen mensen op dit hele kleine stukje aarde
Die schrijf je niet de wetten voor..
Die laat je in hun waarde'.... ''
En zo leefden we lang en gelukkig.
Dachten we'....
Maar helaas niet meer voor lang'...
De spoedwet die eraan zit te komen.
Daar kun je gewoon n""it voor zijn.
Echt NIET'....
Of je nu v""r of t(C)gen de maatregelen bent.
Of je nu een complotdenker bent.
Of doodsbang voor het virus.
Of het allemaal wel prima vindt zoals nu het gaat.
4 september komt de regering bijeen.
Om de SPOEDWET te bespreken.
De spoedwet die alles wat we normaal vinden in Nederland voorgoed gaat veranderen.
Maar waarom nu nog een spoedwet?
Toen de crisis in maart begon, traden de noodverordeningen in werking.
In deze noodverordeningen werden de drastische maatregelen vastgelegd.
In iedere veiligheidsregio een eigen noodverordening.
Hierdoor kregen de 25 voorzitters van die veiligheidsregio het voor het zeggen.
Superburgemeesters, die wij niet zelfgekozen hebben.
Superburgemeesters, die niet langer worden gecontroleerd door de gemeenteraad.
Superburgemeesters, die in direct contact staan met het kabinet en de Tweede Kamer buiten werking zetten.
Een noodverordening wordt normaal gebruikt als er ernstige vrees bestaat voor ernstige wanordelijkheden.
Zoals bij rampen, zware ongelukken en rellen.
Een noodverordening wordt normaal gebruikt voor een lokale functie, daar waar nodig is.
Een noodverordening wordt normaal gebruikt voor een vooraf bepaalde tijdelijke periode.
Dat alles klopt nu niets meer van.
Er is geen ernstige vrees meer voor ernstige wanordelijkheden.
Ze worden niet meer lokaal gebruikt waar nodig maar voor de hele veiligheidsregio.
Ze gelden nu al sinds half maart, dus inmiddels 5 maanden en er is nog geen einde in zicht.
De noodverordeningen rammelen dus behoorlijk.
De maatregelen zijn in strijd met de grondwet.
De maatregelen zijn dus eigenlijk illegaal'...
De maatregelen schenden ook de Universele Verklaring van de Rechten van de Mens.
Die mensenrechten zijn in 1948 opgesteld, zodat 'het nooit meer zou gebeuren'.
Die mensenrechten zijn er niet voor niets'...
Om de anderhalvemetersamenleving juridisch waterdicht te kunnen timmeren.
Moet dus de grondwet worden aangepast.
En dat willen onze machthebbers regelen met het gedrocht: de 'spoedwet'.
Inmiddels hebben al diverse hoogleraren, specialisten en experts hun mening hierover gegeven.
Zoals de Nederlandse orde van Advocaten, Raad van State, Vereniging van Raadsleden, Vereniging Nederlandse Gemeenten en de Nationale Ombudsman.
Om er maar even een paar te noemen.
En toch niet de minste geringste'.....
En toch is het kabinet vastbesloten om dit erdoor te drukken.
Hij is een beetje aangepast nadat de eerste versie teruggestuurd werd naar de tekentafel.
Maar het overgrote deel staat er nog steeds in, ondanks de protesten.
Zo is het 'achter de voordeur ingrijpen' eruit gehaald.
Want dat bleek ook gemakkelijk te regelen via de Wet Publieke Gezondheid.
Onder het mom van acuut en direct levensgevaar mogen burgemeesters gewoon je huis in.
En de duur is van 1 jaar naar 6 maanden gegaan.
Maar ook dat is een sigaar uit eigen doos.
Want hij mag verlengd worden.
De spoedwet moet er dus komen, precies gezegd:
Een tijdelijke wet in verband met maatregelen ter bestrijding van de C19 epidemie voor de langere termijn.
Om de anderhalvemetersamenleving te kunnen verankeren.
Tijdelijk betekent in onze politiek meestal levenslang.
Herinnert U zich het 'Kwartje van Kok' nog?
Of de tijdelijke BTW verhoging?
En h(C)'...'...
Epidemie'...
Het was toch een Pandemie?
Dat betekent dus dat deze spoedwet, ook al in werking gaat bij een epidemie. Iedere keer weer.
Nu heb ik even opgezocht wat een epidemie precies inhoudt.
En dit zegt Wikipedia ervan:
''Een epidemie (Grieks: epid(C)mios, wat betekent: ''over de (gehele) bevolking'') is een verschijnsel dat meestal in ongunstige zin optreedt in een kleiner of groter gebied van mens of dier. Het begrip wordt in het bijzonder gebruikt wanneer een ziekte in een grotere frequentie dan normaal voorkomt. In eerste instantie werd het begrip uitsluitend voor besmettelijke ziekten gebruikt, maar later ook voor niet-besmettelijke aandoeningen zoals bronchitis, maagzweren, hart- en vaatziekten en allerlei (kwaadaardige) gezwellen, en in overdrachtelijke zin voor verschijnselen als alcoholisme, zelfdoding en jeugdcriminaliteit.''
Laat vooral de laatste zin even tot je doordringen:
Epidemie een begrip voor o.a. bronchitis, maagzweren, hart- en vaat ziekten maar ook alcoholisme'.....
Dat betekent dus dat deze spoedwet eigenlijk altijd in werking kan treden.
Een borreltje teveel op kan al snel veranderen naar alcoholisme. Want onze machthebbers houden van goochelen met woorden zoals we gezien hebben met:
positief getest naar ''>> besmettingen naar ''>> patinten
Maar wat betekent de spoedwet nu precies voor jou en mij?
De minister van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport krijgt het voor het zeggen in Nederland.
In dit geval dus Hugo de Jonge.
Maar ook zijn opvolger, wie dat dan ook mag zijn'...
''ΠHugo krijgt dan volledige vrijheid om ons iedere willekeurige maatregel wettelijk op te leggen. Onder het mom van een epidemie en denk dan even terug naar die beschrijving van een epidemie'....
Als hij vindt dat een besmettelijke of niet-besmettelijke ziekte of zelfs het gebruiken van alcohol gevaarlijk is, dan is zijn wil, wet.
''ΠHugo kan deze tijdelijke wet, die 6 maanden geldig is, steeds weer verlengen.
Zonder tussenkomst van de eerste en tweede kamer.
Iedere keer weer voor 2 maanden.
Als hij vindt dat het weer verlengd moet worden, dan is zijn wil, wet.
''ΠHugo bepaalt dan zelf welke afstand en hygine maatregelen hij nodig acht.
Nu is dat 1,5 meter maar hij kan er net zo gemakkelijk 8 meter van maken.
Nu worden er experimenten met niet-werkende mondkapjes gedaan maar hij kan ons ook verplichten om allemaal in witte maanmannetjes-pakken te gaan rondlopen.
Als hij vindt dat onze huidschilfers een gevaar voor de volksgezondheid zijn, dan is zijn wil, wet.
''ΠHugo heeft hiervoor torenhoge boetes en zelfs een paar maanden hechtenis in gedachten.
Op deze manier durft niemand meer tegen de meest bizarre maatregelen in te gaan.
En hij kan ze ook op ieder moment wijzigen.
Als hij vindt dat boetes hoger moeten worden of celstraffen langer, dan is zijn wil, wet.
''ΠHugo mag zonder toestemming van het parlement besluiten om complete bedrijfssectoren, scholen, gebouwen, verpleeghuizen, openbare plaatsen en gebieden te sluiten.
Als hij vindt dat een restaurant bezoeken levensgevaarlijk is, dan is zijn wil, wet.
Als hij vindt dat een bibliotheek levensgevaarlijk is, dan is zijn wil, wet.
Als hij vindt dat het strand of bos levensgevaarlijk is, dan is zijn wil, wet.
''ΠHugo mag demonstraties, vergaderingen en samenscholingen verbieden.
Dat kan ook een gezellig samen zijn met je vrienden of familie.
Of een onschuldig kinderfeestje in je eigen huis.
Als hij vindt dat 3 mensen bij elkaar levensgevaarlijk zijn voor onze samenleving, dan is zijn wil, wet.
''ΠHugo kan onze kwetsbaren eenzaam de laatste levensfase in laten gaan en eenzaam laten sterven.
Hij kan complete verzorgingshuizen en bejaardentehuizen laten afsluiten.
Als hij vindt dat er een risico is bij bezoek, dan is zijn wil, wet.
''ΠHugo kan kinderen uit huis laten plaatsen.
En in een, volgens hem betere situatie, zoals een quarantainelocatie plaatsen.
Denk aan die beschrijving van de epidemie en je ziet hoe gemakkelijk dit kan.
Als hij vindt dat jouw kind zich bevindt in een gevaarlijke omgeving, dan is zijn wil, wet.
''ΠHugo kan ons verplicht te laten testen, vaccineren en in quarantaine laten plaatsen.
Binnenshuisof buitenshuis.
Goedschiks of kwaadschiks.
Hij kan ons dit zelfs onder dwang laten toe dienen.
Als hij vindt dat mensen dagelijks gevaccineerd moeten worden tegen schimmeltenen, dan is zijn wil, wet.
''ΠHugo kan ons opsluiten in onze eigen regio.
Hij kan ons verbieden om te reizen naar andere landen, regio's of zelfs andere steden.
Hij kan steden volledig in lockdown zetten als er een te hoge criminaliteit is of teveel mensen met maagzweren.
Als hij vindt dat Rotterdammers niet meer hun stad uit mogen, dan is zijn wil, wet.
''ΠHugo kan de verkiezingen uitstellen.
Onder het mom van de besmettelijke epidemie en de anderhalve meter afstand die het niet mogelijk maken om naar het stemlokaal te gaan. En het CDA heeft ook al laten zien dat digitaal stemmen te gemakkelijk te be¯nvloeden is.
Als hij vindt dat verkiezingen niet plaats kunnen vinden, dan is zijn wil, wet.
De spoedwet geeft hem namelijk het recht om alles wat niet in deze wet benoemd staat naar eigen inzicht uit te voeren.
En dan kun jij wel zeggen:
''Ik ben de baas in mijn eigen huis.''
''Ik laat mijn kinderen niet afpakken.''
''Ik ga mij niet laten inspuiten met stoffen waarvan ik niet weet wat ze doen.''
Doordat dit wet is, heeft Hugo handige machtsmiddelen zoals boetes, celstraffen en de inzet van politie en zelfs leger om dit te kunnen afdwingen.
Inmiddels weten we hoe onze rechtstaat er totaal geen problemen mee heeft om onze mensenrechten een beetje te schenden voor een experimentje.
Inmiddels weten we hoe onze machthebbers zelf de maatregelen, die ze op ons toepassen, aan de laars lappen omdat het onmenselijk is en ze onnodig zijn.
Inmiddels weten we hoe de machthebbers een tegengeluid met geweld de kop indrukken.
Dit is wat ons te wachten staat.
En het overgrote deel van de Nederlanders weet niet eens dat ze hier mee bezig zijn.
De afgelopen 5 maanden zijn er vooral angst, verwarring en verdeeldheid gecreerd.
Mensen zijn voorgelogen door de media, die ons bewust hebben gemanipuleerd in opdracht van de machthebbers. Sensationele koppen zorgde voor een bewuste verdraaiing van de feiten en cijfers.
Mensen werden nieuws-moe en sloten zich af.
Van de oppositie moeten we het ook al niet hebben.
De politiek laat ons in de steek, maar doen ze dat niet vaker'.....
Waar waren ze bij de stemming over de salarisverhoging voor de zorg?
Waar waren ze toen het aantal IC bedden werden afgeschaald?
Waar zijn ze nu, nu wij ze nodig hebben?
Het is stil in Den Haag'....
Maar wij zijn het volk.
En zolang wij nog een democratie hebben, hebben wij het voor het zeggen.
Nog wel'....
Deze spoedwet is onnodig.
Deze spoedwet is niet menswaardig.
Deze spoedwet maakt van de minister van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport een dictator.
Deze spoedwet betekent het einde van onze democratie.
Deze spoedwet betekent dat wij ons gaan onderwerpen aan een dictator.
Deze spoedwet maakt van Nederland een dictatuur'.....
Het is nu 1 voor 12.
Met de komst van deze spoedwet bepaalt Hugo alles wat jij doet in jouw dagelijks leven.
Dat kan en mag toch niet gebeuren.
Vertel de mensen om jou heen over de spoedwet.
We moeten nº onze stem massaal laten horen.
Nu het nog kan.
Of je nu voor of tegen de maatregelen bent.
Of je nu liever je kop in het zand steekt.
Deze spoedwet raakt iedereen.
Kom vrijdag 4 september 10 uur naar Den Haag.
En laat jouw stem over de spoedwet horen.
Dit kan wel eens de laatste keer zijn dat jij zelf over jouw toekomst beslist.
Samen kunnen wij onze toekomst bepalen.
Zie ik je vrijdag daar?
P.S. En vind je dit te lang om te lezen?
Sorry, maar iets wat zo belangrijk is voor onze toekomst, kun je nu eenmaal niet in een paar korte zinnen goed uitleggen.
Realiseer je dat dit om j"uw toekomst gaat'.....
En die van de generaties na ons.
Het zou toch zonde zijn als jij later aan je kinderen of kleinkinderen moet zeggen dat je er niet vanaf wist.
Omdat jij het teveel moeite vond om er een paar minuten van je tijd in te stoppen.
P.S.2
Deel dit bericht.
Of kopieer het en zet het op je eigen tijdlijn (graag met mijn tag erbij)
Praat erover met de mensen om jou heen.
Print het uit.
Maar zorg er vooral voor dat zoveel mogelijk mensen weten wat ons te wachten staat.
'...
Mk-ultra
Chapter Five: Colors, Metals and Jewel Programming - DeprogramWiki
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 16:52
Color coding
by:
SvaliOne form of programming that is quite common in the Illuminati is color programming. Why is it done? The answer is that trainers are human, and also quite lazy. Color programming is a simple way to organize systems, and allows the trainer to call up alters easily within a system. With the thousands of fragments that many multiples in the cult have, colors is a way of organizing them into an easily accessible group.
Also, young children recognize colors before they can read, so this training can occur quite early. It is begun at about age two in most children.
How it is done:
The child is taken into a room with either white, beige, or colored walls. If the room is a neutral color, the lights in the room will be changed, so they color the room with the light's color. If ''blue'' is the color being imprinted, or put in, the trainer will call up a young child alter, either a controller or core split for a system. They will tell the child that they will learn how to become blue, and what blue means. The room will be bathed in blue light, as mentioned, or has been painted blue for use in this kind of programming. The trainer will be dressed in blue clothing, and may even have a blue mask on. Blue objects will be placed around the room. The alter inside the child is called up, drugged, hypnotized, and traumatized on the table. As they are awakening from the trauma, still in trance, they are told that blue is good, and that they are blue. That blue is important. That blue will protect them from harm. That blue people don't get hurt. This will go on for awhile.
They then ask the child if they want to be ''blue'', like the trainers. If the child says yes, they will continue on. If the child says no, it will be re-traumatized until it says yes. The child is often naked, and told it cannot wear clothing until it ''earns'' the right to wear beautiful blue clothing. Over and over the ''safety of being blue'' (ie freedom from harm) and danger of not having a color is emphasized. The children really wants to be blue after a while of going through this. They may be given blue candy as a reward for choosing to become the color. They may be given blue sunglasses or tinted lenses to wear. They are allowed to wear blue robes once they identify with the color chosen for them.
Once the child completely identifies with the color (or rather, the main alter or template for the system accepts this color), then they are taught in progressive stages, over many training sessions, what the color blue means. They are in set ups, or dramas with other blue children, where they act out the role of a ''blue''. They are drugged, hypnotized, traumatized, while the meaning of blue is ground in over and over. They are forced to act in ''blue'' ways. Different trainers and regions will assign different meanings to different colors. Many military systems are coded blue, or protective. The military alters all are called up periodically to reinforce blue training. If the trainer at a later date wants to access a blue system, they may call them up by color, or wear a piece of clothing or a scarf in the color they want to reach.
This becomes an unconscious trigger for this color to come forward. Color coding is one of the first methods that is inlayed over systems. An entire system may be color coded one color; or two or more colors may be coded in , with each system controller (most systems have three) being given a different color over its part of the system.
Metals programming:
Metals programming is a type of programming that many Illuminati children are given. Because it is so similar to jewels programming, I will discuss how it is done under jewels. Metals can be from bronze (lowest) to platinum (highest).
Jewels programming:
Many Illuminati children will go through either metals or jewels programming, and occasionally will go through both. Jewels is considered higher than metals, and more difficult to obtain. Which is put in and when, is dependent on the child's status, its parents status, the region it is born in, the group it is born into, and the trainers that work with it.
Basically, either metals or jewels is a form of reward based programming.
Here is how it works:
The child is shown a piece of jewelry such as a ring, or else a large example of the jewel (or metal) being put in. They are asked: ''isn't this Amethyst, or Ruby, Emerald, Diamond) beautiful?'' The child will be eager to look at it, touch it, and is encouraged to by a trainer with a soft kind voice. The trainer will ask the child, ''wouldn't you like to be beautiful, like this jewel? (or metal jewelry)''. The child is usually eager to be. Here is a sparkling gemstone, placed in their small hands (the training often begins between age two and three). Of course they want to be beautiful, sparkly, valued. The trainer will extol the beauty of the gem (or metal), will tell the child how special, valued, wanted gems are, and basically build up the idea of becoming like a jewel.
The child is then told that in order to become a jewel, they must ''earn the right''. This involves:
a.) passing through steps of discipline (see chapter three)
b.) passing ''special tests''
c.) being rewarded for special achievement
Becoming a jewel (or precious metal) is dangled before the small child, like a carrot, as the reward for doing well in training sessions. The earning of one is linked to going through the rungs of the long, arduous training process expected of Illuminati children; having a jewel or metal involves stepping up in status and being praised. But the price is enduring hours of abuse called ''
training'' but in reality is organized, systemic abuse to make the child do what the trainer wants them to become.
Over time, with the help of drugs, hypnosis, shock, and other trauma, as the child goes through it's training process, it will begin earning its jewels and/or metals, one by one. These will become full alters inside.
Amethyst is usually the first one earned, and is linked to keeping secrets, never telling, and passing the first step of discipline. Each step is linked to receiving either a jewel or precious metal.
Ruby will often be next, and is linked to sexual abuse and sexual alters inside. As the child is repeatedly sexually traumatized and survives, or creates sexual alters to please adults, they are ''rewarded'' by being allowed to become a ruby.
Emerald will often come later (ages 12 to 15). This is considered very precious, and is linked to family loyalty, witchcraft, and spiritual achievement. Emeralds will often have a black cat, or ''familiar'' linked to them.
Diamond is the highest gemstone, and not all children will earn it. It is considered a high achievement. and may not be earned until adulthood, after passing rigorous tasks. It will be the controlling alter in a gemstone system. A diamond has passed all twelve steps of discipline, plus passed unusual tests and will have highest family loyalty.
''Family jewels'' are often passed down internally during training sessions with trainers and family members. All high Illuminati families will have jewels hidden in secret vaults (real, outside jewels) which have been passed down for generations.
The children will often be given jewelry to wear in the daytime, as a reminder or reward, once they pass their programming. A child may be given a ruby ring or garnet pin to wear; in fact, a grandparent or parent may insist the child wear it. On ritual occasions, the child will be allowed to wear jewelry from the family's vault, once they reach a certain status. They may be allowed to wear a ruby pendant or emerald bracelet during high rituals, and will be quite proud of the fact, since the cult is first, foremost and always an extremely status conscious group. The children pick up on this, and the adults will make a big fuss over the children who have earned the right to wear jewels. This gives them a huge incentive to earn them.
Suggestions that may help with these forms of programming :
Color programming: it is important to have good internal communication with both internal alters and an outside therapist while working on color programming. If an individual finds that certain parts believe that they are a certain color, or if this comes up in therapy, they will want to find out if possible how they came to have this belief system. Slowly discovering how the colors were put in will help. Grieving for the vast amount of deception, the amount of abuse heaped on the child, and the very young alters who were the original templates may occur. These parts may be barely verbal, and may want to draw their experiences, or use colors in collages (with the help of older parts inside), to describe to a safe outside person what their reality has been. Validating to them that they are NOT just a color, that they are part of a whole person, may help. The survivor may see colored overlays for awhile, as they are undoing this programming, as parts inside share their memories. This is normal, although it may feel uncomfortable to see objects as yellow or green, for example. Grounding oneself, having cognitives do reality orientation, and patience will help the survivor work through this time.
Jewel programming and metals may be more complex, since the child's sense of special ness, pride and status may be bound up in these alters. Rubies, emeralds and diamonds are considered ''high alters'' inside and are used to leadership roles, both internally and externally. Acknowledging their importance to the system; listening to them grieve at leaving the cult, which meant giving up their status externally, and giving them new positions inside that are important can help. They can become system leaders in helping the person stay safe, once they make the decision to leave the cult, and become strong allies. But they will often be among the most resistant, and even hostile, to the idea of leaving the cult at first, since they have only known and remembered being rewarded for jobs well done, and have learned to ''pass down'' the traumas to ''lower parts'' inside. They will often honestly not believe they have been abused, and will only remember being petted or allowed to lead, or being told they were special, valued. Listening to how they feel; acknowledging that leaving means giving up things that were important to them, finding out what needs motivated them, and trying to find healthy outlets for them to get their needs met outside of cult meetings will help. Letting a jewel have leadership within, or chair internal meetings may make up for loss of external leadership when the survivor leaves the cult.
Acknowledging their importance to the survivor is also important.
Recognize that these parts are EXTREMELY dissociated from their own abuse/trauma, and are in no hurry to remember. But both the survivor and a good therapist can bring reality gently to them, as they let them know that they were abused; that they are actually part of the ''lower emotional parts'' who were abused, and will eventually need to acknowledge this. This task takes time and good outside support to accomplish. Allow them to vent their feelings. They will often be highly cognitive at first, but feelings will come, especially grieving, then pain at having been deceived by the cult, then the anguish of realizing that the abuse they passed down to others inside was actually happening to them. They may become quite depressed at this stage, but will also lend tremendous stability and strength to the system, in staying safe and cult free, once they have reached this stage.
These are some thoughts on color, metals, and jewel programming. Other types of programming will be addressed in the next chapter.
Gina Phillips on Twitter: "1. I got a bunch of new followers after that last HRC decode. Some folks don't seem familiar with what color programming is. I'm posting a brief explanation by former victim and MC Programmer Svali. Colors are used as a foundati
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 16:53
Gina Phillips : 1. I got a bunch of new followers after that last HRC decode. Some folks don't seem familiar with what color progr'... https://t.co/JpBFejEAnl
Sat Aug 29 13:51:16 +0000 2020
Its Going To Be Biblical : @GinaPhi94724925 Wow! Am I ever glad to find you....from @RedPill78 . New follower...looks like I have a lot to learn!
Mon Aug 31 16:19:28 +0000 2020
Gina Phillips on Twitter: "9.injustices. Look for a " purity" or holy edge to how this program is carried out(white). Just like BLM movement is wrapped in the " justice for racism" package, look for women's rights to be next. You anons can watch for the w
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 17:05
Gina Phillips : 9.injustices. Look for a " purity" or holy edge to how this program is carried out(white). Just like BLM movement i'... https://t.co/y7YMyEcLqH
Fri Aug 28 00:20:37 +0000 2020
Epstein
New California bill would lower penalties for adults who have sexual relations with a minor
Thu, 03 Sep 2020 11:12
Credit: National Sex Offender Public Website
LOS ANGELES - A new bill headed to Governor Gavin Newsom's desk would lower penalties for adults who have consensual sex with a minor if the offender is within 10 years of age with the victim.
SB 145 passed in both houses of the State Legislature late Monday evening.
"If signed into law, a 24-year-old could have sexual relations with a 15-year-old child without being required to register as a sex offender," State Senator Shannon Grove wrote in a tweet.
Under current law, while it is illegal for an adult to have consensual sex with a teenager between 14 and 17 years old, who cannot legally give consent, vaginal intercourse between the two does not require the offender to be listed on the state's sex offender registry, as long as the offender is within 10 years of age of the minor. Instead, the judge has the discretion to decide, based on the facts of the case, whether the sex offender registration is warranted.
Other forms of intercourse such as oral and anal intercourse require sex offender registration.
State Senator Scott Wiener, who presented the bill, said the existing law ''disproportionately targets LGBT young people for mandatory sex offender registration since LGBT people usually cannot engage in vaginal intercourse."
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.
''California's sex offender registry continues to draw that distinction '-- an antiquated, outdated, leftover distinction '-- that somehow oral sex is worse than vaginal sex,'' Wiener said.
The bill was sponsored by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. During an August press conference, Deputy District Attorney Bradley McCartt recounted a case in which a mother was upset that her 17-year-old daughter was in a relationship with a high school basketball teammate and pressed charges against her daughter's 18-year-old girlfriend, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. McCartt was able to prevent the prosecution. However, he said that if others were more willing to prosecute the case, the girlfriend would have been placed on the sex offender registry for life if convicted.
According to the bill's language, the goal of SB 145 is to ''exempt from mandatory registration under the act a person convicted of certain offenses involving minors if the person is not more than 10 years older than the minor and if that offense is the only one requiring the person to register.''
Critics of the bill argue that rather than amending existing law to include vaginal intercourse with a minor as an act that requires mandatory sex offender registration, the bill aims to make all criminal sex acts with a minor over 14 equal by providing offenders with an opportunity to evade mandatory registration.
"Any sex is sex," argued Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. "I don't care who it is between or what sex act it is. That being said, I cannot in my mind as a mother understand how sex between a 24-year-old and a 14-year-old could ever be consensual."
According to Wiener, the bill would not change the potential sentence for having sex with an underage minor. Instead, the bill would give judges the ability to evaluate whether the accused be required to register as a sex offender.
Obama Gate
Brennan Transmits His Durham Briefing to the Crew'... '' The Last Refuge
Thu, 03 Sep 2020 11:38
When you know the process, you know the methods and purposes. Remember: CIA messaging is transmitted through the Washington Post; FBI messaging is transmitted through the New York Times; and State Dept. messaging is transmitted through CNN. This flow is the one constant in the narrative engineering process.
Ten days ago former CIA Director John Brennan was interviewed by the investigative unit led by John Durham.
Two days ago Brennan told the ''small group'' of politicians and corrupt Obama officials what his official line to those Durham investigators was.
Brennan tells his allies this through an Op-Ed published in the Washington Post.
The motive, intent and purpose is the same as Dianne Feinstein's leak of the Glenn Simpson testimony'... get all messaging on the same page.
Here's the Brennan narrative to assist the ''by the book'' justification:
[Washington Post '' John Brennan] '' ['...] President Barack Obama already knew the Russians were hacking into the networks of U.S. presidential campaigns, but on the afternoon of July 28, 2016, I informed him in a hurriedly scheduled meeting that Russian President Vladimir Putin had authorized his intelligence services to carry out activities to hurt Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and boost the election prospects of Donald Trump.
''Mr. President,'' I said, ''it appears that the Russian effort to undermine the integrity of the November election is much more intense, determined, and insidious than any we have seen before.''
My reference to the unprecedented scale and scope of Moscow's efforts to harm the integrity of the election quickly riveted the president's attention. It also triggered the immediate concern of the others in the room '-- including Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, who asked, after I was done speaking, ''What are you planning to do on the congressional front?''
I thought for a brief moment and then recommended that the most sensitive intelligence be limited initially only to the ''Gang of Eight'' '-- the bipartisan leadership of both houses of Congress as well as the chairs and ranking minority-party members of the Intelligence Committees. I was concerned that briefing Congress more broadly on fragile intelligence sources and methods could lead to damaging leaks, harming our ability to learn more about Russian plans and capabilities.
Moreover, some U.S. persons affiliated with the Trump campaign appeared to be caught up, wittingly or unwittingly, in the Russian scheme, and I knew that the politically volatile nature of such information could have been used by Democrats to harm the Trump campaign.
In my more than 30 years of government service, I had witnessed some members of both political parties engage in unethical behavior by misusing intelligence, and I wanted to avoid that happening on the eve of a closely contested presidential election. Obama understood my concerns, but he said he wanted Congress briefed as appropriate and as required.
Congress was already on summer recess at the time, but three members of the Gang of Eight '-- Democrats Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.) and Sen. Harry M. Reid (Nev.) '-- made arrangements to receive the briefing in August in person or by secure phone. The other five '-- one Democrat and four Republicans '-- were briefed individually in secure congressional conference rooms on Sept. 6.
To underscore the sensitivity of the intelligence, I personally conducted all the briefings. Most of the eight immediately recognized the gravity of Russian efforts. A notable exception was Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who insinuated that the CIA was working with the Obama administration to prevent Trump from getting elected.
We conducted many subsequent briefings for members and staff in the run-up to the Nov. 8 presidential election. (more)
Smart move by Brennan to bring in President Obama; although this is the first time Brennan admits to briefing the White House on the Steele Dossier information specifically on July 28th 2016. Not accidentally three days before the official opening of FBI operation Crossfire Hurricane.
Yes, that timeline contradicts with other information provided by Lisa Page and various FBI officials in their depositions, but that can be reconciled internally, safely, based on obtuse distinctions around the actual content of the briefing itself.
Start by remembering the sworn testimony of John Brennan to congress on May 23rd, 2017. Listen carefully to the opening statement from former the former CIA director and pay close attention to the segment at 13:35 of this video [transcribed below]:
Brennan: [13:35] ''Third, through the so-called Gang-of-Eight process we kept congress apprised of these issues as we identified them.''
''Again, in consultation with the White House, I PERSONALLY briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to congressional leadership; specifically: Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr; and to representatives Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff between 11th August and 6th September [2016], I provided the same briefing to each of the gang of eight members.''
''Given the highly sensitive nature of what was an active counter-intelligence case [that means the FBI], involving an ongoing Russian effort, to interfere in our presidential election, the full details of what we knew at the time were shared only with those members of congress; each of whom was accompanied by one senior staff member.'''...
Notice a few things from this testimony. First, where Brennan says ''in consultation with the White House''. This was the first direct connection between Brennan's activity and President Obama, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Chief-of-Staff Denis McDonough, each of whom would have held knowledge of what Brennan was briefing to the Go8; Brennan confirms this in his August 31, 2020, Op-ed.
Secondly, Brennan is describing raw intelligence (obviously gathered prior to the Carter Page FISA Application/Warrant '' October 21st, 2016) that he went on to brief the Gang-of-Eight (pictured below). Notice Brennan said he did briefings ''individually''.
Brennan also says in his testimony that he began the briefings on August 11th, 2016. This is a key point because former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sent a letter to James Comey on August 27th, 2016, as an outcome of his briefing by John Brennan. But it is the content of Reid's letter that really matters.
In the last paragraph of Reid's letter to Comey he notes something that is only cited within the Christopher Steele Dossier [full letter pdf here]:
This letter is August 27th, 2016. The Trump advisor in the letter is Carter Page. The source of the information is Christopher Steele in his dossier. Two months later (October 21st, 2016) the FBI filed a FISA application against Carter Page using the Steele Dossier.
So what we are seeing here is CIA Director John Brennan briefing Harry Reid on the Steele dossier in August 2016, even before the dossier reached the FBI. However, John Brennan has denied seeing the dossier until December of 2016. A transparent lie.
Listen from 03:00 to 04:36:
Clips
VIDEO-User Clip: Joe Biden Says Trump's Top Priority Is 'Reducing the Number of People Who Are in Real Trouble Economically' | C-SPAN.org
Thu, 03 Sep 2020 12:24
September 2, 2020 | Clip Of Joe Biden Remarks on Reopening Schools During COVID-19 This clip, title, and description were not created by C-SPAN. User-Created ClipSeptember 2, 2020 2020-09-02T14:02:20-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/d1c/20200902140231012_hd.jpg Joe Biden Says Trump's Top Priority Is 'Reducing the Number of People Who Are in Real Trouble Economically'Joe Biden Says Trump's Top Priority Is 'Reducing the Number of People Who Are in Real Trouble Economically'
Report Video Issue";// $('div#video-embed').html(cookieMsg);// return;// }});
*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
User Created Clips from This Video View all clips from this video
VIDEO-Doctor fact-checks claims on COVID-19 deaths - YouTube
Thu, 03 Sep 2020 11:50
VIDEO-Reporter Confronts Pelosi On Her Hypocritical Hair Salon Visit - Her Response Says IT ALL - YouTube
Thu, 03 Sep 2020 11:30
VIDEO-Palm Beach County put on notice for TREASON
Thu, 03 Sep 2020 11:29
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policies. The content posted to the platform is not reflective or representative of the views of Bit Chute Limited, its staff or owners. (C) 2017-2020 Bit Chute Limited, Oxford House, 12-20 Oxford Street, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1JB. United Kingdom. Company number 10637289.
VIDEO-BLMis Hamas
Thu, 03 Sep 2020 10:56
BLM - Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood
A video that shows how Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood uses BLM to further an agenda. Don't be fooled by Black Lives Matter.
Keywords
Black Lives Matter BLM Democrats
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VIDEO-Joe Biden Reacts To Pelosi's Comments On Debating With Trump | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBC - YouTube
Thu, 03 Sep 2020 04:04
VIDEO-Lynette Zang: The Currency Reset is Here - YouTube
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 13:51
VIDEO-BenTallmadge on Twitter: "Nazis from Chinese People's Liberation army are among the Antifa terrorists attacking the White House: Check this video, they are not civilians! https://t.co/sX6dH1nWU9" / Twitter
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 12:13
BenTallmadge : Nazis from Chinese People's Liberation army are among the Antifa terrorists attacking the White House:Check this'... https://t.co/E0MsCCnQnX
Tue Jun 02 01:25:39 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Los Angeles shooting: Fatal police shooting of Black man Dijon Kizzee sparks protests - CNN
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 11:51
By Claire Colbert, Topher Gauk-Roger and Cheri Mossburg, CNN
Updated 12:35 AM EDT, Wed September 02, 2020
(CNN) Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies fatally shot Dijon Kizzee, a 29-year-old Black man, during a confrontation Monday afternoon in South LA, sparking protests at the scene.
The sheriff's department says that at about 3:15 p.m. local time two deputies tried to stop Kizzee, who was riding a bicycle "in violation of vehicle codes." When they approached him, he got off the bicycle and ran.
Sheriff's Lt. Brandon Dean told reporters that deputies caught up to the suspect about a block away, and when they approached him, the man punched one of the deputies in the face and dropped items of clothing he had been carrying.
It was at that point deputies "noticed that inside the clothing items he dropped was a black semiautomatic handgun," and that's when both deputies opened fire, shooting the man several times, Dean said. Investigators recovered a handgun from the scene.
The man, later identified by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office as Kizzee, was pronounced dead at the scene; an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. Neither deputy was injured, Dean said.
Activist Najee Ali, who is representing the family as is attorney Ben Crump, denies that Kizzee was a threat at the time of the shooting. "Being in possession of a gun, but actually using a gun, having it in your hands are two different things," Ali said, adding "he did not point the gun" at officers.
An undated photo of Dijon Kizzee, provided by his family.
The family is calling for Sheriff Alex Villanueva to release names of the deputies and for their "arrest and criminal prosecution," as well as body cameras to be implemented throughout the force.
"I'm sad and mad at the same time," Kizzee's aunt Fletcher Fair said in a news conference. "This is not America. This is ridiculous. I don't know what, what kind of society ... We are human. I don't give a damn what race you are. We are human beings."
The District Attorney's Office and Office of the Inspector General are assisting in the investigation.
Kizzee's death comes amid public protests over the August 23 police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the May death of George Floyd in Minneapolis after an officer knelt on his neck.
Police not wearing body camerasDean said the deputies have yet to be interviewed and were not wearing body cameras, which are not set to be rolled out until the fall, according to CNN affiliate KABC. The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved $25 million to the sheriff's department for body cameras.
Villanueva has estimated that it will take about 18 months to fully implement them.
Following the shooting, activist group Black Lives Matter L.A. tweeted a call for protesters to gather in the area. CNN affiliate KCBS/KCAL estimated as many as 100 demonstrators were at the scene Monday evening, chanting demands for justice.
Protesters gather in front of Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies on Monday night.
"How many more times do we have to gather out here, mourning the loss of our brothers and sisters," one protester told KCBS/KCAL.
LA sheriff's department under fire in another deputy-involved shooting this summerMonday's shooting comes two and a half months after another Los Angeles shooting under scrutiny.
The FBI is reviewing the death of 18-year-old Andres Guardado, who was shot by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy on June 18 near an auto body shop in Gardena.
Tuesday, Guardado's parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the department and deputies, claiming the men used excessive force against their son.
His parents allege that Guardado never posed a risk to deputies or anyone else. The sheriff's department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sheriff's Capt. Kurt Wegener said at the time that Guardado "reportedly looked toward the deputies" and "produced a handgun" before running down the driveway of the business. The deputies pursued Guardado and caught up to him at the rear of the business, where one deputy fired six bullets, Wegener said.
An independent autopsy ordered by Guardado's family found the teen was shot five times in the back; the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office came to the same conclusion, and Guardado's manner of death was certified a homicide.
Sheriff's investigators said last month that the investigation is ongoing, but it's competing with another investigation at the same location, where a person was shot multiple times. The department said that Guardado was not involved in that shooting, but the two deputies involved in Guardado's shooting also responded to that incident.
CNN's Braden Walker and Jenn Selva contributed to this report.
VIDEO-🇺🇸 вяα'‚ ѕтσηÑ--у ðŸ'Š on Twitter: "OOPS! Freudian Slip ðŸ¤...ðŸ>>''‚¸ https://t.co/RpEEgqoDJ8" / Twitter
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 11:47
🇺🇸 вяα'‚ ѕтσηÑ--у ðŸ'Š : OOPS! Freudian Slip ðŸ¤...ðŸ>>''‚¸ https://t.co/RpEEgqoDJ8
Tue Sep 01 22:50:22 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Tucker uncovers new audio of CNN's Chris Cuomo confiding in Michael Cohen - YouTube
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 11:42
VIDEO-Avi Yemini ðŸ‡...🇺🇮🇱 on Twitter: "#BREAKING: Victoria Police execute a warrant and ARREST pregnant woman in front of her children for a Facebook post. It's heartbreaking to watch the young mother beg for mercy. RT it for the world to see what
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 11:39
Avi Yemini ðŸ‡...🇺🇮🇱 : #BREAKING: Victoria Police execute a warrant and ARREST pregnant woman in front of her children for a Facebook post'... https://t.co/BPGNMRDfuU
Wed Sep 02 07:09:38 +0000 2020
Zack Wright : @OzraeliAvi This really is beyond belief, arrested for a Facebook post... https://t.co/7p7ie9Tyoz
Wed Sep 02 11:39:14 +0000 2020
Trump Supporter : @OzraeliAvi The Australians gave up their rights when they gave up their guns. A disarmed society is always subjected to government Tyranny.
Wed Sep 02 11:31:02 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Protesters in Montreal topple John A. Macdonald statue, demand police defunding - Montreal | Globalnews.ca
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 18:00
Protesters in Montreal toppled and defaced a statue of John A. Macdonald on Sunday as rallies were held in several cities to demand that police services be defunded and reformed.
A spokesman for the Montreal police confirmed the statue of Canada's first prime minister was unbolted, pulled down and sprayed with graffiti at around 2:45 p.m. The statue's head was disconnected from its body during the incident.
0:39 Sir John A. Macdonald statue toppled in Montreal during defund the police rally Sir John A. Macdonald statue toppled in Montreal during defund the police rallyJean-Pierre Brabant said police were on hand but did not intervene other than to ask the crowd to disperse on a loudspeaker.
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He said no arrests were made.
Montreal Mayor Val(C)rie Plante said she condemns the vandalism that took place on Saturday.
''Some historical monuments, here as elsewhere, are at the heart of current emotional debates. I reiterate that it's better to put them in context rather than remove them. I am also in favour of adding monuments that are more representative of the society to which we aspire.''
She added that the city's public art office will secure the perimeter and coordinate the conservation of the statue in consultation with the city's heritage experts.
The incident came at the end of a peaceful protest in which police estimate some 200 people marched to call for police defunding as part of what they called a nationwide day of action.
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According to a flyer obtained by Global News, the movement to remove the statue was organized separately from the group calling for police defunding.
''Today, inspired by a summer of rebellion and anti-racist protest, a diverse coalition of young activists take it upon themselves to act where the city has failed,'' read the flyer.
2:54 Canada-wide protests held calling for defunding of police Canada-wide protests held calling for defunding of police''We offer this action in solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of Tio'tia:ke, Turtle Island and across the globe, and all those fighting against colonialism and anti-blackness in the struggle for a better world.''
Images from the event show a crowd of protesters marching in the rain under umbrellas and carrying signs bearing slogans such as ''We demand change.''
The organizers, who call themselves the Coalition for BIPOC Liberation, are asking cities to reduce their police budgets by 50 per cent.
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They said the diverted funds could be used to invest in alternatives to policing such as better mental health treatment, civilian conflict resolution services, and trauma-based emergency services.
Calls to withdraw funding from police forces have multiplied in both Canada and the United States in the months after George Floyd, a Black man in Minnesota, was killed when a police officer pressed a knee against his neck for nearly nine minutes.
This set of protests follow a week that has seen major-league athletes strike over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot in the back seven times by a police officer. The 29-year-old was left paralyzed.
READ MORE: Police watchdog probes 45 year old man's jail cell death in northern Quebec
This week also saw Ontario's police watchdog clear officers who were in the Toronto home of Regis Korchinski-Paquet when she fell to her death from a 24th-floor balcony in May. The Special Investigations Unit said officers didn't commit any crimes, but the woman's family said that if officers hadn't been there, she would still be alive.
Rallies were also held in Toronto and London, Ont. Others were scheduled in Fredericton, Moncton and Halifax, according to organizers.
0:49 Jacob Blake protests: Kenosha mayor says national guard deployed, police working to protect public safety Jacob Blake protests: Kenosha mayor says national guard deployed, police working to protect public safetyThe John A. Macdonald statue, which sits in Montreal Place du Canada, has been repeatedly targeted by vandals who see it as a symbol of racism and colonialism.
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The statue has regularly been doused in paint by critics who cite Macdonald's role at the head of a government that created the Indian Act and established the residential school system, as well as his racist comments about Indigenous Peoples as reasons to target the monument.
Macdonald statues in other Canadian cities have been vandalized in a similar fashion.
''with files from Global News' Alessia Maratta
(C) 2020 The Canadian Press
VIDEO-Trudeau condemns toppling of Montreal's Sir John A. Macdonald statue - YouTube
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 18:00
VIDEO-Meghan Markle 'used to work for US embassy': Watch video to know more about Duchess
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 17:43
Meghan Markle, during her appearance at 'Rachael Ray Show' in 2018, made startling revelations about herself, including her job and showbiz life. She even shared the truth about her real name which also stunned the host of the show.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have become one of the most popular public figures around the world ever since they tied the knot.
And after they severed ties with the royal family, the royal fans started to know more about the couple who have been 'loving' a 'fantastic' life in the US.
Speaking with the host of the show, Meghan revealed that she used to work in the US embassy. She even spoke about her interest in politics and other fields.
Meghan appeared to be a blessed lady during the show and admitted that all her dreams came true at the same time.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex - who stepped down as senior royals earlier this year - recently moved from Los Angeles' Hidden Hills to a mansion in Santa Barbara.
Before starring in hit TV show Suits, 35-year-old Meghan Markle worked with US diplomats in Argentina. She also gained an International Relations degree at university.
After marriage, the Duchess of Sussex has gotten herself involved in a number of charities and projects working towards societal betterment which has therein sparked conversation about her future political plans.
VIDEO-Come On Man - Joe Is 0-1 - Brain Freeze On First Speech, Says Trump Is 'Stroking Violence' in U.S. Cities - David Harris Jr.
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 16:51
Biden Brain Freeze On First Speech, Says Trump Is 'Stroking Violence'
Finally, Joe Biden, the Democratic Presidential nominee came out of his basement.
Off to Pennsylvania to meet a raucous crowd, right?
Nope, only a few dozen people showed up.
How could this happen you ask?
Those attending knew Joe Biden is physically and mentally unfit for the Presidency, the odds were really high Joe would not take questions and that he would make a gaff or two during his short speech.
Well the 24 or so people, got exactly what they were not looking for.
Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden suffered yet another brain freeze Monday afternoon, accusing President Donald Trump of ''stroking'' violence in cities across the United States.
''In the recent days, we've had a lot of talk of who is going where, and how I've decided to come to Pittsburgh to talk a little bit about what's going right now,'' Biden began in his remarks at a Carnegie Mellon University facility outside of Pittsburgh.
''In the early days of World War II, Franklin Roosevelt, and I quote, 'the news is going to get worse and worse before it gets better and better, and the American people deserve to have it straight from the shoulder.'''
''The incumbent president is incapable of telling the truth, incapable of telling the facts, and incapable of healing,'' the former vice president continued.
''He doesn't want to shed light, he wants to generate heat, and he's stroking violence in our cities,'' he added, flubbing the common expression ''stoking violence.''
Joe Biden slams President Trump: "He's stroking violence in our cities." pic.twitter.com/HNuXSoqpdH
'-- The Hill (@thehill) August 31, 2020
You can expect to see this added to Joe's blooper reel.
How in the world will Joe be able to do the 3 debates with President Trump?
I have no idea and not convinced he will actually show up when the bell is rung, each time.
If not, it will compound the shame for anyone who votes for him anyway.
VIDEO-Should we compare ourselves to other countries like Sweden? WHO special envoy Dr David Nabarro discusses this with Ryan
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 16:24
On the show today Ryan had an amazing interview with Dr David Nabarro, a special envoy of The World Health Organisation (one of six) specializing in COVID-19.
Dr Nabarro had plenty of praise for the New Zealand Government and the NZ people for reacting quickly and without hesitation to the initial threat of COVID-19, but says that now we should be looking to alternative methods of moving forward in our response to COVID-19.
Listen to the full interview above with Ryan Bridge, 4-7pm weekdays on Magic Talk.
VIDEO-The attorneys for Derek Chauvin are filing for a dismissal of charges in the case of George Floyd - YouTube
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 16:08
VIDEO-Pilot landing at LAX reports 'guy in a jetpack' flying near American Airlines plane - ABC7 Los Angeles
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 15:44
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A pilot landing an American Airlines jet at Los Angeles International Airport reported a bizarre and close encounter Sunday night.
The pilot called air traffic control to report a man wearing a jetpack flying near the plane.
Tower tapes released detail the pilot's exchange.
Pilot: "Tower, American 1997, we just passed a guy in a jetpack."Tower: "American 1997, OK, thank you. Were they off to your left or right side?"
Pilot: "Off the left side, maybe 300 yards or so, about our altitude."
The jet was flying at an altitude of 3,000 feet at the time of the encounter.
The tower then warned other approaching flights to be on the lookout for a man in the jetpack.
The incident is under investigation.
VIDEO: FedEx plane makes emergency landing at LAX
Copyright (C) 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-New Rule: #FreeUpTheMail | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) - YouTube
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 15:28
VIDEO-Watch As Democrats Spend Four Years Fantasizing About Riots, Assassination And Violent Chaos | Zero Hedge
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 14:31
As Joe Biden and the rest of the Democrats attempt to place blame for the ongoing riots on President Trump, here's a two-minute clip of prominent Democrats, pundits, and actors calling for civil unrest, assassination, and violence against conservatives.
They got what they very clearly asked for:
How did you think it would end? pic.twitter.com/AcQVu1NdsF
'-- Caldron Pool (@CaldronPool) August 31, 2020Except, it's gone too far.
As we noted earlier today, JP Morgan's Marko Kolanovic nailed it when he highlighted the 'Wasow effect' - named after Omar Wasow, who noted after studying historical impacts of various demonstration that peaceful protests by the left typically help Democrats by 2-3%, "while violent pro-Democrat demonstrations helped Republicans by 2-8%."
Kolanovic continues:
We believe that momentum related to the Wasow effect will continue in favor of Trump, unless Democrats pivot away from their stance regarding demonstrations. This may not be easy however, given that top Democrats have called for daily demonstrations (e.g. Kamala Harris) and rallied their base around the theme of defunding police and would need to effectively adopt Trump's policy after 3 months as a reaction to polls. Some party officials already rationalized or promoted the behavior (see here, here). Moreover, turnout strongly depends on the left wing of the party ('Bernie bros', Marxist elements, etc.), which would be alienated by such a shift.
Wasow effect is basically who is helped by protesting: if peaceful, it's Dems, if violent, it's Republicans.
It should come as no surprise that Democrats and associated media outlets portray protests as mostly peaceful, while Republicans highlight the violent aspects of demonstrations.
However, there is an important difference between the current environment and historical results, in that social media plays a significant transmission role: voters can see for themselves if the protests are peaceful or violent. It is highly likely that social media distribution of videos of looting in Chicago, L.A. and NYC, arson in Minneapolis, Wisconsin, Portland, Seattle, etc. have led to a significant shift in election odds in favor of Republicans. Furthermore, by doing statistical simulation of the 1968 election, the author concluded that 1968 demonstrations directly resulted in the election of a Republican president. The impact of protest violence on the 2020 elections may be even larger. The reason is the broad online availability of violent footage (everyone can record and share in real time), but also the ability to influence social media to amplify this message (e.g. similar to the social media spread of Wikileaks emails in 2016). While it may be hard to compare the impact on 1968 elections vs. now, a number of indicators suggest it should be bigger now (e.g. record purchase of firearms, migration from large cities like NYC, etc
Good job Nancy and crew. You played yourselves, and now at least 30 people are dead.
VIDEO-1m50-stroking-Joe Biden Delivers Remarks on Public Safety and Law Enforcement | C-SPAN.org
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 13:01
August 31, 2020 2020-08-31T18:14:59-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/da7/20200831134132001_hd.jpg 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden delivered remarks on public safety and law enforcement during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He condemned the rioting and looting taking place around the country and blamed President Trump for the increase in violence.2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden delivered remarks on public safety and law enforcement during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh,'... read more
2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden delivered remarks on public safety and law enforcement during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He condemned the rioting and looting taking place around the country and blamed President Trump for the increase in violence. close
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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People in this videoJoe Biden Jr. U.S. Vice President (Former) United States Hosting OrganizationBiden Presidential CampaignBiden Presidential Campaign SeriesCampaign 2020 Featured Clips from This Video 2:00 PM Joe Biden Criticizes President Trump's Campaign RhetoricDuring Remarks in Pittsburgh on public safety and law enforcement, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden'...
3 minutes943 views Related Video November 4, 2016 Campaign CoverageAn update on campaign activities was given, including tweets.
November 4, 2016 Campaign CoverageAn update on campaign activities was given from tweets.
January 26, 2011 House Debate on Public Election FundingRepresentatives Van Hollen (D-MD) and Lungren (R-CA) debated a measure to end public financing of presidential'...
December 14, 2000 U.S. Election ReactionA portion of a Canadian broadcast was shown regarding the conclusion of the U.S. Presidential election and the'...
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VIDEO-Critickill Thinker - Mypass normalizing tracking devices - YouTube
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 04:43
VIDEO-Katharine Birbalsingh on Twitter: "I need to tweet this about 10 times to reach its value. 7 mins of pure gold. If only America would listen to him. Indeed if only all of us would. 🥰 https://t.co/CGdq31zxUB" / Twitter
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 04:41
Katharine Birbalsingh : I need to tweet this about 10 times to reach its value. 7 mins of pure gold. If only America would listen to hi'... https://t.co/12MllgWrio
Sat Aug 29 09:24:03 +0000 2020
Jimmy Dolittlle : @Miss_Snuffy @WigginsMargie Bravo, Excellent 👏👏👏
Tue Sep 01 01:53:58 +0000 2020
Wesley Knox Ramsay : @Miss_Snuffy Ms Birbalsingh! Thanks for sharing this. As a native Tennessean, it does my heart good to be reminded'... https://t.co/Y2bPC7mBSP
Tue Sep 01 01:30:10 +0000 2020
john cooney : @Miss_Snuffy @ggreenwald @DrBiden @TimRunsHisMouth @CillizzaCNN clizzia @donlemon
Mon Aug 31 20:33:14 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Watch Governor Brainard's August 6 announcement
Tue, 01 Sep 2020 04:08
Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard marked a milestone on August 6 when she announced the FedNowSM Service's features and functionality. Brainard was accompanied by Kansas City Fed President Esther George and FedNow Program Executive Ken Montgomery for the livestreamed webinar, reflecting the Federal Reserve's efforts toward establishing an infrastructure that will support instant payments in the United States.
Watch the webinar below or read Brainard's written remarks (Off-site).
Visit these links to learn more:
FedNow launch timing and service designBoard of Governors' press release (Off-site)Frequently asked questions (Off-site) Top of Page
VIDEO-Darren on Twitter: "@adamcurry https://t.co/YnrHOltYfl time code 18:14. Justin Trudeau "Build Back Better"" / Twitter
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 19:42
Darren : @adamcurry https://t.co/YnrHOltYfl time code 18:14. Justin Trudeau "Build Back Better"
Mon Aug 31 15:45:31 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Robert F Kennedy Jr in Berlin 28 aug 2020 - YouTube
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 19:13
VIDEO-Mind Control And The Deep State Ploy To Destroy America-Special Guest Gina Phillips - YouTube
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 17:59
VIDEO-Comfy Sunday Ep. - 31 RIP Praying Patriot, Mark Taylor Election Special - YouTube
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 16:55
VIDEO-Election Week Cold Open - SNL - YouTube
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 14:27
VIDEO-Daily Caller on Twitter: "Portland Mayor @tedwheeler blames President Trump for the violence in his city: "Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence? It's you who hav
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 14:17
Daily Caller : Portland Mayor @tedwheeler blames President Trump for the violence in his city:"Do you seriously wonder, Mr. Pres'... https://t.co/LjhbeWYZUl
Sun Aug 30 20:22:28 +0000 2020
ðŸ´ó §ó ó ¥ó ®ó §ó  NoMaskNoShoesNoBra : @DailyCaller @tedwheeler https://t.co/bdOB6lUzf9
Mon Aug 31 14:16:09 +0000 2020
GBa;) : @DailyCaller @tedwheeler Elections are coming the Mayor has to go and bring someone that can solve problems!!! The'... https://t.co/rPmtZn2SXB
Mon Aug 31 14:15:56 +0000 2020
Roy Scott : @DailyCaller @tedwheeler Using rule 13 from the radical rules book
Mon Aug 31 14:15:35 +0000 2020
Wag The Dog 🃠: @DailyCaller @tedwheeler ahhh the agenda is getting exposed, so they really are trying hard to change the narrative'... https://t.co/zN6ap0FuoH
Mon Aug 31 14:15:28 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Has New Orleans been built back better since Katrina? - YouTube
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 14:11
VIDEO-Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "New never before seen footage of the shooting of the Trump supporter in Portland, Oregon on August 29. https://t.co/6QQzZOjWJq" / Twitter
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 14:10
Ian Miles Cheong : New never before seen footage of the shooting of the Trump supporter in Portland, Oregon on August 29. https://t.co/6QQzZOjWJq
Sun Aug 30 15:57:19 +0000 2020
VIDEO-WATCH: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Stands Up To Bill Gates In Berlin - National File
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 14:07
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. stood up to vaccine oligarch Bill Gates in Berlin Saturday, leading a rally that spoke truth against the plague of globalist oligarchs. Kennedy Jr. railed against 5G being brought into our communities, and against the shift toward ''digital currency, which is the beginning of slavery.'' Kennedy said that 5G is for data harvesting for ''Bill Gates'' and Zuckerberg and other globalist elites. His extremely righteous speech can be viewed below. Kennedy Jr. has bravely used his influence to stand up against the globalist vaccine agenda over the years, taking the side of the people against the spiritually bankrupt power brokers that have broken the world.
Vaccine oligarch Bill Gates expressed apathy in a CBS interview about the fact that his Moderna Coronavirus vaccine, which National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a financial stake in, is testing horribly in vaccine trials, with at least 80 percent of trial subjects reportedly suffering side effects. This news comes on the heels of a major protest in Africa against Coronavirus vaccines being tested on black people on the continent.Military insurer Tricare admitted that it wrongly told more than 600,000 U.S. military members that they had the virus. Hospitals in Florida are showing massive problems with testing accuracy, with Orlando Health admitting that its 98 percent positive rate was actually 9.4 percent. The CDC admitted that it is mixing antibody and viral test results to derive its case numbers and you can test positive on an antibody test if you have antibodies from a family of viruses that cause the common cold. Here is Gates responding to vaccine side effects:
Even CBS pressures Bill Gates on the topic that almost everyone had side effects. He doesn't seem to care. pic.twitter.com/2SiBmowJo3
'-- An0maly (@LegendaryEnergy) July 26, 2020
No wonder people in Africa are protesting the vaccine tests.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) own a financial stake in the Bill Gates-funded Moderna Coronavirus vaccine, raising big questions about the supposed impartiality of the federal government's policy decisions during the Coronavirus outbreak. NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci, a financial ally of Bill Gates whose institute partnered on the Moderna vaccine and is part of NIH, has been critical of Hydroxychloroquine and the FBI even raided a health spa serving intravenous vitamin C, which are competitors to a vaccine.
''We do have some particular stake in the intellectual property'' for the Moderna vaccine stated Francis Collins, the director of NIH, in a revelatory recent Economic Club panel discussion. ''One of the vaccines'' the one that's furthest along'' what started, actually, at the federal government in our own Vaccine Research Center at NIH'' then worked with a biotechnology company called Moderna to get to where we are now, with very impressive Phase I results and getting ready to go into a large-scale trial as early as July. That one, of course, we do have some particular stake in the intellectual property. Others, though, come from companies who've invested their efforts into getting them to the point where they might now be ready for a trial,'' Collins stated.
Newly published documents from Public Citizen have massive implications. Public Citizen states:
''The U.S. government may jointly own a potential coronavirus vaccine. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has played a critical role in coronavirus research for years. Building off this work, federal scientists have helped design and test mRNA-1274'--a vaccine candidate developed in partnership with Moderna.[2] The federal government has filed multiple patents covering mRNA-1274. In this report, we describe two patent applications that list federal scientists as co-inventors.[3] If the government successfully pursued its patent filings, the resulting patents would likely confer significant rights. We also review recently disclosed contracts between NIH and Moderna. The agreements suggest that NIH has not transferred its rights, but instead maintains a joint stake.''
Eight members of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) expert COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel disclosed recent financial relationships with Gilead, the drugmaker that is introducing an expensive Coronavirus competitor to Hydroxychloroquine, the inexpensive anti-malarial drug that President Trump has promoted which many people claim has helped them. This financial relationship between NIH experts and Gilead is especially concerning in light of revelations that NIH has a financial stake in the Bill Gates-funded Moderna vaccine, another competitor to Hydroxychloroquine. Chloroquine critic Dr. Anthony Fauci's NIAID, which funded the Bat Coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology believed to be the source of the outbreak, is part of NIH.
HERE IS THE FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LIST FOR THE NIH EXPERT CORONAVIRUS TREATMENT PANEL. The experts with disclosed ties to Gilead include consultants, people who provided Gilead research support, and honoraria. Members of the panel also disclosed ties to Merck and INOVIO Pharmaceuticals, which took $9 million from a Gates-backed company to develop a Coronavirus vaccine.
Gilead is driving up their prices from what was previously expected (as the company has done in the past, sparking bipartisan condemnation from Senators Grassley and Wyden). No wonder, then, VA study.
President Donald Trump is now officially vindicated with facts on his support for the anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine.
''Treatment with hydroxychloroquine cut the death rate significantly in sick patients hospitalized with COVID-19 '' and without heart-related side-effects, according to a new study published by Henry Ford Health System. In a large-scale retrospective analysis'...
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
''What we're finding clinically with our patients is that it really only works in conjunction with Zinc,'' stated Los Angeles emergency room specialist Dr. Anthony Cardillo. ''So the hydroxychloroquine opens a zinc channel, zinc goes into the cell, it then blocks the replication of the cellular machinery'....Every patient I've prescribed it to has been very very ill and within 8 to 12 hours they were basically symptom free.''
Bill Gates Is Already Looking Forward to The 'Next' Pandemic
Bill Gates says " Prepare for the Next One" https://t.co/35tNYqQGU3 via @YouTube
'-- Johann (@JOHANNURL) July 26, 2020
Fauci Does Not Bother To Wear A Mask In Public, As Evidenced By His Pitiful First-Pitch Showing At Baseball's Opening Day
Fauci Also Took Off His Mask After He Testified In A Washington Hearing
Why did the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation fund research at MIT on how to implant people's vaccination history under their skin? Why did Fauci meet with Bill Gates' father, George Soros, and other globalist heavyweights all the way back in 2001? Why did the Stephen King-created television series The Dead Zone predict the Coronavirus outbreak '-- and a Chloroquine cure for it '-- back in 2003?
Why did Dr. Anthony Fauci's NIAID fund the Coronavirus bat research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo and others have identified as the source of the worldwide outbreak?
WOW: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding for this research into storing patient medical information within a person's skin using a vaccine.
WAKE UP, AMERICA! 🚨🚨🚨🚨https://t.co/JOEq4F59eE
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) April 7, 2020
WOW: A high-level source just sent me this photo, says that it shows Dr. FAUCI with George SOROS and Bill Gates' father among others. Source says it's from 2001. Fauci identified as man third from the left pic.twitter.com/l1NYyqHSAq
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) April 6, 2020
HERE'S THE REAL STORY OF CONTACT TRACING
VIDEO-Victoria records 73 new coronavirus cases, roadmap out of stage 4 restrictions to be announced on Sunday - ABC News
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 13:47
The Victorian Government says it will announce a plan for easing restrictions on Sunday, after the state recorded 73 new coronavirus infections and eight new deaths overnight.
Key points: Premier Daniel Andrews says the "reopening roadmap" will cover industries affected by stage 3 and 4 lockdowns The total number of active infections in the state has dropped by more than 200 overnight A data reconciliation process is behind the large increase in aged care death figures, the Chief Health Officer saidHowever the total number of deaths has increased by 41 on Monday, because 33 historical deaths linked to aged care were added to the figures.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the 33 historical aged care deaths reported on Monday occurred over several weeks.
"There is a reconciliation that we've needed to go through '... there are Commonwealth reporting obligations, there are state reporting processes, and we need to reconcile those cases, so that whatever the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre is reporting is absolutely consistent," he said.
Mr Andrews said the Victorian Government would announce its "reopening roadmap" on Sunday.
For the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic read our coronavirus live blog.Victoria COVID-19 snapshot Confirmed cases so far: 19,080 Confirmed active cases: 2,620 Deaths: 565 Suspected cases of community transmission where the source is unknown: 4,338 Cases in hospital: 453 Intensive care patients: 21 Active cases in regional Victoria: 154 Active cases in healthcare workers: 378 Active cases linked to aged care outbreaks: 1,225 Tests since pandemic began: More than 2.24 millionUpdated Monday August 31
Latest information from the Victorian Government"I know that Victorians also want the clearest picture possible of what the next phase looks like. We cannot provide that certainty today," he said.
"We cannot provide a detailed roadmap today, but we will provide that on Sunday '-- another week's data is almost invaluable."
'Traffic light system' to move out of restrictionsThe Federal Government and some business community leaders have been calling on the State Government to give Victorians more clarity around what restrictions would look like after September 13, when stage 4 in Melbourne and stage 3 in regional Victoria are due to expire.
The Premier said more analysis and consultation would take place before detailed announcements were made on Sunday.
However, he did say the roadmap would include rules for industries that were forced to close during the stage 4 lockdown, including cafes, bars, restaurants, retail and personal care industries.
Read more about coronavirus: Australia pushed for a WHO probe into coronavirus' origins - here's where the investigation is at Oxford University v UQ vaccine: Both may win in COVID-19 race"This will be a traffic light system and we will move through different phases," he said.
Mr Andrews said the Government did not want to make commitments it could not keep, but the roadmap would be the "plan that we intend to put in place".
"Everything has to have that asterisk next to it," he said.
Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. Earlier on Monday, Josh Frydenberg said the State Government needed to give Victorians more clarity.Earlier, Victorian MP and Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg criticised Mr Andrews for not offering businesses a detailed roadmap out of lockdown.
"I'm not here to argue with Josh Frydenberg. I haven't got time to have an argument with him, or a debate, or even a discussion. I'm very focused on getting the job done," Mr Andrews said.
"None of us have the luxury to be playing politics with these things. I'm just not going to do that."
CHO hopes for daily figures below 50 by the end of the weekMonday's daily case total of 73 is the state's lowest since early July.
It is also the second time the daily number of new infections has dipped below 100 since Friday.
Professor Sutton said there had been a "steady but gradual" decrease in cases over the past week and that was expected to continue.
"Certainly, 73 new cases and an actual overall increase of 65 is good news, but it is not better or worse than has been modelled. It is more or less on track," he said.
Professor Sutton said he hoped the daily case numbers would decrease to about 40 or 50 by the end of the week.
Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says Victoria's coronavirus figures are "on track".But the Chief Health Officer also said there was a "great deal of uncertainty around the tail of any epidemic" and urged people to keep following public health recommendations.
"The pain that is happening every day now, we are all fed up with it, absolutely fed up with it," Professor Sutton said.
"But holding the course, even as we get down to these very low numbers, is absolutely critical to get that control that we can be confident that we will maintain."
Contact tracing performance data releasedContact tracing figures released by the Government state that 88 per cent of positive cases had been interviewed within 24 hours of the health department being notified of their result.
It said reasons why the remaining 12 per cent were not contacted within that window included not answering the phone or a doorknock, "incorrect details or next of kin required".
The figures represent the seven-day average between August 22 and 28.
Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak Download the ABC News app and subscribe to our range of news alerts for the latest on how the pandemic is impacting the worldIt states that less than 1 per cent of known contacts were "awaiting notification" 48 hours after the initial case had been notified to the department and suggested "incorrect details" was the reason in those cases.
It states the contact tracing team made a daily average of 1,845 calls and 6,040 text messages to positive cases and close contacts.
Cases with unknown transmission are droppingThe total number of active infections in Victoria dropped by more than 200 cases overnight, from 2,830 to 2,620.
The number of new cases where authorities cannot trace the source of the infection in Melbourne is declining.(ABC News: Simon Winter)The number of active infections among healthcare workers decreased from 406 on Sunday to 378 to Monday, the Premier said.
Active infections in regional Victoria also dropped overnight, from 166 to 154.
Professor Sutton said the daily number of "mystery cases" was also decreasing, with the total number since the pandemic began sitting at 4,338.
Victoria Police fine almost 200 peopleVictoria Police issued 195 fines in the past 24 hours for alleged breaches of the Chief Health Officer's directions.
Sixty fines were issued for curfew breaches, while 21 were for failing to wear a face mask and a further 21 were issued at vehicle checkpoints.
In one instance, a vehicle pulled over at the Little River checkpoint was carrying four passengers from different houses in the Wyndham area, who said they were going to visit a friend in Newcomb, about 50 kilometres away in Geelong.
Police also found a group of five friends gathered at a home in Bendigo, but only two could prove they lived there.
They also fined a woman in Melbourne's Bayside City Council area who was outside the 5-kilometre radius from her home.
"She stated she was not aware of the 5-kilometre restriction and was getting a coffee as there was 'no good coffee in her area'," Victoria Police said in a statement.
What you need to know about coronavirus: When and how to wear a face mask The symptoms The number of cases in Australia Global cases, deaths and testing rates
VIDEO-Trump says he's taking hydroxychloroquine - YouTube
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 13:03
VIDEO-Fr. Altman: God Gave Us A Brain, Let Us Use It - YouTube
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 12:58
VIDEO-David Goldberg (Disturbing Content) - YouTube
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 12:40
VIDEO-David Goldberg NWO
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 12:38
VIDEO-One shot of coronavirus vaccine likely won't be enough'¯ - CNN
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 22:14
By John Bonifield, Elizabeth Cohen and Dana Vigue, CNN
Updated 3:21 PM EDT, Sun August 30, 2020
(CNN) When a coronavirus vaccine comes on the market, people will likely need two doses, not just one -- and that could cause real problems.
Some of the potential problems are logistical. Difficulties procuring test kits and protective gear throughout the pandemic point to supply chain issues that could also plague distributing double doses of vaccines for an entire country.
Other potential concerns are more human. Convincing people to show up to get a vaccine not once, but twice, could be a formidable undertaking.
"There's no question that this is going to be the most complicated, largest vaccination program in human history, and that's going to take a level of effort, a level of sophistication, that we've never tried before," said Dr. Kelly Moore, a health policy professor at Vanderbilt University.
A double dose for a one-two punch So far, Operation Warp Speed, the federal government's effort to get a vaccine on the market, has given money to six pharmaceutical companies.
Two of those companies, Moderna and Pfizer, are now in Phase 3, large-scale clinical trials. The 30,000 volunteers in each of the trials are getting two doses, with Moderna spacing their shots out 28 days apart and Pfizer spacing theirs out by 21 days.
AstraZeneca is expected to start Phase 3 trials this month. Their Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials used two doses given 28 days apart.
Novavax also has yet to begin Phase 3 trials but used two doses in their earlier trials.
In Johnson & Johnson's upcoming Phase 3 trials, some participants will take one dose and others will take two doses.
Sanofi hasn't made announcements about whether their vaccine will be in one or two doses.
It's not surprising that the coronavirus vaccine will likely need two doses. Many vaccines -- including childhood vaccines for chickenpox and Hepatitis A and an adult vaccine for shingles -- require two doses.
Some require even more -- children get five doses of the DTaP vaccine, which protects them against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis.
There's also a precedent for developing mass vaccination programs on short notice. In the spring of 2009, when a new strain of flu emerged, a vaccine program vaccinated 161 million Americans within months, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That means the upcoming coronavirus vaccine program will be difficult -- but not impossible -- to pull off.
"I have faith we can do it, but it is a big ask and we have to work with people to make it work," Moore said.
Logistical issuesFirst, making 660 million doses for 330 million Americans is a tough feat.
"We're looking at'¯double shots. That's twice the amount," said'¯Nada Sanders, a professor of supply'¯chain management at Northeastern University.'¯ "Doubling is a huge supply chain issue."'¯
It's not just producing the vaccines itself.
"You have to double everything in the supply chain," Sanders said. "The syringes, can they'¯double up? Can the vials double up? Can the stoppers double up? Can the needles double up?'¯Everybody has to double up, and then they all have to get it in time at the various entities along the supply chain."'¯
Sanders says she's worried, given the history of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US thus far has been rife with logistical problems, including delays in getting tests out on the market, and difficulties supplying health care workers with protective gear.
Starting even before the pandemic, there have been shortages of Shingrix, a vaccine for shingles.
"We're talking about such exactness, and we couldn't get PPE right, so I'm concerned," Sanders said. "There are many weaknesses across this supply chain -- many. If we don't address this now, the probability of failure is very high."
Human issues It looks like it's going to be tough to get a majority of Americans to show up just once for a vaccine, let alone twice.
According to CNN poll conducted this month, 40% of Americans say they won't get the vaccine, even if it's free and easy to get.
Even for people who do want the vaccine, it's still a bigger ask to get them to show up twice.
People will have to remember to come in the second time. They might have to take time off work - twice. They may have to wait in long lines -- twice. And possibly experience unpleasant side effects, like fever -- twice.'¯
There are ways to address these hurdles, such as mobile clinics to bring vaccines to people rather than the other way around.
"These are the sorts of things that I think we need to think about, to make sure that we can incentivize people to come back'¯to make it as easy as possible for them to adhere to a two shot regimen," said'¯Dr.'¯Nelson Michael, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, who has been assigned to work with Operation Warp Speed.'¯
Michael, who has worked on vaccine campaigns before, said even so, the challenges are real.
"I think if you give the public health community that remit, they will find a way," he said. "But the task will be very difficult."
VIDEO-U.S. Marshals recover 39 missing children in Georgia operation
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 22:10
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ATLANTA - Law enforcement officers describe them as some of the most challenging recovery cases in the state, but Thursday the U.S. Marshals Service announced the rescue of 39 missing children from all over Georgia.
During a two-week-long effort, dubbed "Operation Not Forgotten," the Marshals Service worked with state and local law enforcement to rescue 26 children and safely locate another 13.
According to investigators, the children ranged in age from 17 to just 3-years-old.
The Marshals Service identified 15 of the kids as being victims of sex trafficking.
"I have children. I'm sure many of you do as well. These are not my kids and these are not your kids, but actually they are our kids when it's all said and done," said Donald Washington, director of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Locating missing children is a relatively new mission for the U.S. Marshals Service.
The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act in 2015 gave them the authority to help law enforcement agencies to recover missing children. They established the U.S. Marshals Service Missing Child Unit a year later.
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"We're really good and what we do. You know, they've called us manhunters. Well, we're not just man hunters anymore," explained Darby Kirby, chief inspector of the U.S. Marshals Service Missing Child Unit. "We also help save and rescue children as well."
According to the Marshals Service, there are more than 420,000 children currently missing in the U.S. Of those about 91 percent are runaways believed to be in danger.
"There are times when we rescue children that don't want to be rescued, but when you understand the background and where they've come from--growing up in broken homes and you really understand that it's heroic work," said Kirby.
As part of "Operation Not Forgotten," law enforcement officials arrested nine adults, including Zachary Bailey, Stanson Causey, Trevontae Shareef, and Kirk Water.
Stanson Causey was arrested on probation violation charges.
Stanson Causey (United States Marshals Service)
Shareef faces charges for interference with custody and willful obstruction of law enforcement.
Trevontae Shareef (United States Marshals Service)
Water was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Kirk Water (United States Marshals Service)
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation assisted in the investigation.
"We will never stop looking for you. That's [the] message," said Director Washington. "There is no more meaningful work that law enforcement does than rescuing children. Our children are not for sale and they are not ever forgotten."
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.
VIDEO-Dangerous Marxist leaders call for 'The Great Reset' to destroy capitalism | Sky News Australia
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 22:08
Analysis | Digital Editor Jack Houghton | 05/08/2020 | 4min
A disturbing movement to reform capitalism is gaining traction by those using the coronavirus tragedy to call for ''The Great Reset''.These are not the ramblings of a few disgruntled teenagers or a wacky sociology professor from inner-city Sydney.The body pushing The Great Reset happens to be the World Economic Forum and its charismatic German leader Klaus Schwab who is calling for a return to Marxist principles, claiming that capitalism has empirically failed.Professor Schwab has just released a book titled The Great Reset and has dedicated a large portion of the official WEF website to such articles as ''Does capitalism need some Marxism to survive the Fourth Industrial Revolution?''.It is truly a terrifying notion that a man as educated and powerful as Schwab would use his supposedly independent economic organisation to push for a return of the deadliest social experiments of the 20th century.And how does he justify putting an end to capitalism?''There is an urgent need for global stakeholders to cooperate in simultaneously managing the direct consequences of the COVID-19 crisis,'' Schwab says''To improve the state of the world, the World Economic Forum is starting The Great Reset initiative.''Drawing from the vision and vast expertise of the leaders engaged across the Forum's communities, the Great Reset initiative has a set of dimensions to build a new social contract that honours the dignity of every human being.''A new social contract. Decided by who? Well Schwab himself, of course.Schwab promises a new world. A better world. A fairer world. You see Mao and Stalin, they were not true Marxists. They didn't have the best intentions. A Utopia is indeed possible.And what evidence does Schwab present to support his new world order?Well, let's quote Schwab's organisation in full so that we can fully understand his point of view.''Capitalism as we know it needs to be reformed,'' the WEF writes.''The growing discontent at the ideology that has created so much wealth and progress on the one hand, and yet so much inequality and instability on the other hand, is causing increasingly frequent social disruptions across the world. ''The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare most of these dysfunctions, ranging from uneven access to healthcare, education, economic opportunities, and social progress, to growing inequality among and within nations and racial and ethnic groups. At the centre of these multiple crises lies the tension between privilege and meritocracy.''There's a lot to unpack in the above but the general theme relates to the existence of inequality being evidence capitalism has failed.It is of course true to an extent that not all systems create inequality. But this is actually a case for capitalism.Even the most junior economist will study the four primary economic systems and even the most ideologically possessed of those students will come across the system favoured by the USSR, North Korea and Maoist's China.The Command Economist System.A system which eliminates inequality because citizens all live equally in tragedy.Those living in Ukraine discovered this in the early 1930s when the Holodomor '' or The great Famine '' struck.Somewhere between 3 million and 12 million people starved to death after the Soviets convinced people to turn on their village's farmers. Marxist logic dictates that if someone profits from a sale, they have robbed you.If there is inequality, a crime has been committed.That notion has prompted much horror over the years and left many people equal in poverty.Capitalism indeed creates inequality, but it is also the only system known to man which also creates equality.This is because wealth creation is not a zero-sum game. There is not a finite amount of money or wealth.Money can be created, jobs can be created and people can be pulled out of tragedy and despair by capitalism itself.In the last few decades, according to our friends at the World Economic Forum, more than 1.1 billion people have been pulled out of extreme poverty.The world was on track to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030 '' a timeline which will undoubtedly be side-tracked by COVID-19 but that is hardly the fault of our economic system.The evidence for capitalism in the form of humanity's rapidly improving way of life is enormous.But the Marxist principles Schwab endorses are stained with blood.Or as Karl Marx would say: ''History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce''.
VIDEO-San Francisco's Mass EXODUS | Over HALF of SF's Storefronts CLOSED Forever Including My Wife's - YouTube
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 22:01
VIDEO-Patton Spotting '­¸'­¸'­¸ (Parler: @PattonSpotting) on Twitter: "You can stick your New World Order up your 🍑 https://t.co/93wo1rgbUZ" / Twitter
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 20:48
Patton Spotting '­¸'­¸'­¸ (Parler: @PattonSpotting) : You can stick your New World Order up your 🍑 https://t.co/93wo1rgbUZ
Sat Aug 29 18:59:28 +0000 2020
Damo#KBF : @pattonspotting Brilliant 👏
Sun Aug 30 20:47:55 +0000 2020
missySue : @pattonspotting This is hilarious ðŸ‚
Sun Aug 30 20:46:55 +0000 2020
Pete. 30/30-150 remembers🏆'š½¸ 🥃ðŸŽðŸ¤ : @pattonspotting @meganne121 Proper protest singing .ðŸ‹
Sun Aug 30 20:46:12 +0000 2020
PdBallerina : @pattonspotting @buckeye36 Thanks for the smile ðŸŠ
Sun Aug 30 20:44:54 +0000 2020
Big J : @pattonspotting Pretty much... https://t.co/2kqSw4DGA1
Sun Aug 30 20:44:32 +0000 2020
Zeus Struman : @pattonspotting Amazing ... typically British .. Bring that song out now !!
Sun Aug 30 20:43:23 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Joe Biden Takes A Nap on Live TV - YouTube
Sun, 30 Aug 2020 20:38

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All Clips

Election Week Cold Open - SNL.mp3
Joe Biden Reacts To Pelosi's Comments On Debating With Trump.mp3
Trump Ingaham -1- People in the dark shadows.mp3
Trump Ingaham -2- Women voters and standing among violent people.mp3
Biden Says Trump's Top Priority Is 'Reducing the Number of People Who Are in Real Trouble Economically'.mp3
Biden trump stroking.mp3
Leader of CAIR in USA at Nihad Awards.mp3
Supercuts of dems and media calling for uprisings and unrest.mp3
Fatal police shooting of Black man sparks protests in Los Angeles.mp3
Biden on Covid 100 years.mp3
Biden straaight from shoulder.mp3
Birx slips up and mentions Gates.mp3
Book about hospital visit by Trump DN.mp3
Canadians bitching about Chinese hostage takers.mp3
Covid whipsaw on plasma DN.mp3
Covis India new epicenter.mp3
Dystopian nightmare ISO.mp3
Extintion rebellion back to work DN.mp3
Joes after the girls again.mp3
Kayleigh tireade of the week.mp3
McDalalds sued by black owners DN.mp3
NBC Weds rundown.mp3
New immigration ideas DN.mp3
New York Schools reopening DN.mp3
Oil is Over DN.mp3
Pelosi takes responsibility for trusting.mp3
Piss poor Bike report LA DN.mp3
qanon Thugs on a plane DN.mp3
Quest Diagnostic Florida numbers DN.mp3
something special ISO.mp3
substance abuse 1.mp3
substance abuse 2 voice.mp3
substance abuse 3.mp3
substance abuse 4.mp3
Amy Kenosha report whipsaw DN.mp3
Biden BURN ISO.mp3
Biden in Pitts Doubles down ONE.mp3
Biden in Pitts Doubles down TWO.mp3
Victoria Police execute a warrant and ARREST pregnant woman.mp3
Victoria SoE amendments.mp3
Victoria Virus Stats Nine News.mp3
Daniel Andrews of Victoria on Covid normal for MONTHS before opening up.mp3
Robert F Kennedy Jr in Berlin 28 aug 2020 - GAte and Fauci tell you its science.mp3
Federal Reserve Board Governor Brainard -1- COVID CASH -kicks off FedNow.mp3
Federal Reserve Board Governor Brainard -2- Instant payments and gig workers YAY.mp3
Lynette Zang -1- The August 6th launch of FedNow.mp3
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Libby Emmons - Post Millennial Senior Editor -Teachers want PRIVACY.mp3
Trump Hydroxy redux did he have the rona.mp3
One shot of coronavirus vaccine likely won't be enough - FOLLOW UP.mp3
  • 0:00
    you'll be scarred for life adam curry
  • 0:03
    john c devorah it's thursday september
  • 0:05
    3rd 2020 this is your award-winning
  • 0:07
    giveaway nation media assassination
  • 0:09
    episode 1274.
  • 0:11
    this is no agenda celebrating
  • 0:14
    56 revolutions and broadcasting live
  • 0:17
    from opportunity zone 33 here in the
  • 0:18
    frontier of austin texas capital of the
  • 0:20
    drone star
  • 0:21
    states in the morning everybody i'm adam
  • 0:23
    curry and from northern silicon valley
  • 0:26
    where we're smoking the good stuff
  • 0:28
    furs oak pine i'm john cena
  • 0:35
    they got me excited there for a second i
  • 0:38
    thought oh
  • 0:39
    john's finally becoming a colleague he's
  • 0:41
    smoking the good stuff
  • 0:42
    yeah yeah redwoods too so what does that
  • 0:45
    mean you
  • 0:46
    you just smoking that outside there but
  • 0:48
    this place is smoked up are you guys on
  • 0:50
    fire still
  • 0:51
    you know that's kind of dropped out of
  • 0:52
    the news well it's because it's not as
  • 0:55
    crazy
  • 0:56
    it's under control okay what's what's
  • 0:58
    the containment uh
  • 0:59
    percentage yeah 80 the big three fires
  • 1:02
    up here is 80 80 and about 50. oh okay
  • 1:05
    well that went pretty quick
  • 1:07
    yeah yeah we're good on those fires like
  • 1:10
    a big win
  • 1:10
    if there's a windstorm this would have
  • 1:12
    been bad yeah oh yeah
  • 1:14
    yeah especially with the with that
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    temperature and then oh yeah we have
  • 1:17
    those dangers here too you get a perfect
  • 1:20
    day
  • 1:21
    with a little bit of wind one spark can
  • 1:23
    set it off
  • 1:25
    speaking of sparks uh i had a full-on
  • 1:29
    12-hour joe rogan experience yesterday
  • 1:32
    you were on the show for 12 hours no
  • 1:36
    no maybe i should go back to tuesday i
  • 1:39
    got my first
  • 1:40
    uh coven test oh
  • 1:43
    which one to go on the rogan show yeah
  • 1:45
    mr rogan
  • 1:46
    provided that so i went to this turns
  • 1:48
    out his studio is not far from where i
  • 1:50
    live
  • 1:51
    you walk there not quite uh so went to
  • 1:55
    the studio
  • 1:55
    uh met everybody there you know they're
  • 1:57
    still putting the studio together it was
  • 1:59
    after the covid test no no i went this
  • 2:02
    is on tuesday i went there to get the
  • 2:04
    covet test
  • 2:06
    so joe's there and his you know some of
  • 2:08
    his guys and they're just
  • 2:09
    the studio is still being wired and you
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    know it's a lot of stuff going on
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    and he has two doctors there and i get
  • 2:16
    two tests
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    i get the pcr swab in your nose test
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    which is
  • 2:22
    you know not the one that goes into your
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    cheek
  • 2:25
    which joe said he's had that eight times
  • 2:27
    he says that's really
  • 2:28
    really shit it's not a fun uh not a fun
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    test
  • 2:34
    and and i even was talking to the
  • 2:36
    doctors is this one of these pcr where
  • 2:38
    they spin it up
  • 2:39
    37 to 40 times and it has a high
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    likelihood of giving a
  • 2:43
    false positive they say yeah that's the
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    one so they put that into a fedex send
  • 2:47
    it off
  • 2:48
    and then i get the antibody test which
  • 2:51
    is a
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