Art for episode 1278

1278: Lockdown Face

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 15m
September 17th, 2020
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Executive Producers: Alexander Trebus, Sir Andrew the Polack Warrior, Phillip Veenstra, Neil Timmerman, Sir Humperdink Superdank Knight of the Happy Juice, Matt Whiffin, Toby Trichell, Sir Seminorwegian, Sir Cal of Lavender Blossoms

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Deeds of the Fox Valley, Michael Bernstein, Sir Jimmy James of the Flatlanders, Shyla Brown, Kwozo, Jenna Damico, Sir Skip Logic, Knight of the Saturn Parkway, Jason Mageau

Cover Artist: Korrekt Da Rekord

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16:59
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32:07
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34:33
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38:07
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Testing
Abbott Labs wil use results with app as passport
Since I haven't heard you talk about this I figured I should go ahead and send. Thought you would find it interesting. I'm a dude-named-Ben working at Abbott Labs (Network Ops), just north of Chicago. This came out a few weeks ago and we just went into production last weekend. The plan is to crank out 50 million of these test kits per month. Of real significance is the link to Adam's most favorite thing; an APP. Abbott figures this app on your phone which shows a negative (hopefully) test result can serve as a "passport" for you. In other words, you might need this to fly or travel abroad. Ugh.
Minnesota's broad COVID-19 testing under microscope | Star Tribune
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 01:34
See more of the storyMinnesota lab directors are defending their COVID-19 diagnostic tests amid criticism that they are too broad and find insignificant viral material in nasal and saliva samples from some people who aren't infectious.
Critics have questioned how all positive results can be treated the same when some require more rounds, called cycles, of testing and the amplifying of millions more copies of DNA to find genetic proof of the COVID-19 virus.
A Harvard University epidemiologist recently suggested that positives produced with more than 30 cycles are unlikely to find infectious patients, but a leader of Minnesota's public health lab said there is no convincing proof and that her lab is confident in the federally required cycle threshold (CT) of 38 for its COVID-19 test.
The state lab uses a CDC-derived test with a threshold of 38, while a test derived at Mayo Clinic has a threshold of 35. Thresholds vary from 40 to 45 for three commercial platforms used by HealthPartners' lab in Eden Prairie and by the private labs with which the health system has contracts.
''It's a qualitative test '-- it's positive or negative,'' said Sara Vetter, interim assistant division director of Minnesota's public health laboratory, which has processed 60,000 COVID-19 tests.
''A [higher or lower] cycle threshold can indicate how much virus is in your sample, but we really don't know enough about what that means for infectivity'' in patients.
PCR testing was a breakthrough three decades ago for its ultrasensitive detection of viruses such as measles and HIV by isolating and then replicating genetic material from patient samples. Among other things, it replaced the slow and even hazardous process of diagnosing infections by growing viral cultures themselves '-- which can happen only in high-security labs when dealing with more dangerous viruses such as SARS-CoV-2.
High-cycle thresholds and the potential detection of low virus levels in specimens has long been understood in PCR testing. Each cycle doubles the amplification of genetic material and increases the chance of finding low virus levels or even fragments of dead virus.
But the PCR test for COVID-19 has taken on heightened scrutiny because the screening of thousands of COVID-19 cases has resulted in financially crippling restrictions on businesses and lives.
Gov. Tim Walz ordered a 51-day state shutdown this spring in response to rising cases and deaths, followed by social distancing restrictions for businesses and an indoor mask-wearing mandate. The school reopening strategy this fall guided districts on whether to pursue online or in-class learning based on county case levels.
The state reported nine COVID-19 deaths and 929 newly confirmed infections on Saturday, bringing the total to 1,906 deaths and 83,588 infections. Seven of the newly reported deaths occurred in long-term care facilities. The count is based on nearly 1.7 million PCR tests of more than 1.2 million people.
The response to the pandemic may have been excessive if it turns out that many of Minnesota's lab-confirmed cases were never threats to spread the infection, wrote Kevin Roche, a former health care industry executive and blogger. ''People could reasonably disagree about trying to pick up every possible infectious case vs. being more cautious, given the consequences, for example in regard to closing a school.''
Threshold concerns
Criticism grew after Harvard's Dr. Michael Mina told the New York Times last month about his concerns over test results with cycle levels of 30 or more. He argued for lower cycle thresholds but increased and more rapid testing, including of asymptomatic people who can spread the virus without knowing it.
A Canadian study this spring underscored his concerns, because researchers for the most part could not grow viral cultures from samples in COVID-19 patients whose positive PCR tests required more than 25 cycles or whose symptoms had occurred more than seven days prior to testing.
The takeaway shouldn't be to reduce PCR testing or cycle thresholds, though, because all positive cases inform health officials as they conduct contact tracing and try to contain an outbreak, said Dr. Jared Bullard, a lead author and assistant medical director of the Cadham Provincial Laboratory in Winnipeg that conducts COVID-19 testing.
Cycle thresholds vary and are set by manufacturers based on the validated limits by which their tests are accurate.
The state lab uses a CDC-derived test with a threshold of 38, while a test derived at Mayo Clinic has a threshold of 35. Thresholds vary from 40 to 45 for three commercial platforms used by HealthPartners' lab in Eden Prairie and by the private labs with which the health system has contracts.
A threshold also is just a maximum, Vetter said. Among 300 positive tests over the past three months, the state lab found that roughly 47% required fewer than 30 cycles to find one of two required viral targets in samples, while 21% needed 30 to 35 cycles, and 24% needed 35 to 38 cycles.
Switching to a lower threshold raises the risk of false negative results and missing cases, which could then send infected people back into their communities to spread the virus. Lab directors also cited several reasons that tests might require more cycles to produce positives even in highly infectious patients, including that doctors or nurses might not acquire high quality specimens with high viral loads for analysis.
Samples taken by three nurses from one patient would likely result in different cycle levels to produce positives. A high cycle result also could reveal a patient at the beginning of a COVID-19 case who will become more infectious.
Adopting new cycle thresholds is premature considering that nobody knows how much virus is needed to cause infection, said Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.
The U center is part of a global effort to agree on a minimal viral load for SARS-CoV-2, which wasn't discovered until late 2019.
''You still want to know about people who are in those higher PCR levels because they are infected,'' he added. ''The question is, what do you do about them if you can find a substantial correlation between infectiousness and the CT level?''
PCR testing best
UpToDate, a source of medical practice recommendations, advises doctors not to use cycle threshold data because there is no proof that it can improve their clinical management of patients.
Doctors don't receive cycle thresholds with positive test results but can call labs to discuss how the data could affect complex cases, said Dr. Glen Hansen, medical director for clinical microbiology and molecular diagnostics at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis.
If a recovering patient is being denied access to an assisted-living facility based on a positive follow-up test, he said, it could help to show that the test was produced with a high cycle count.
Even if high cycle levels correlate to low infectiousness, they need to be considered in the context of patients' circumstances, said Dr. Bobbi Pritt, who leads Mayo's clinical microbiology division.
''Someone who has been sick for three days after going in to get tested, well, would you disregard a positive at that point?'' she said. ''Would you feel comfortable putting that patient in a room with an 85-year-old woman?''
Pritt said high-cycle positives are rarer in initial tests and more common in follow-up tests after prolonged illnesses '-- revealing evidence of persistent or old, dead virus. Some patients have recovered but still test positive as much as 120 days later.
Pritt led proficiency testing by the College of American Pathologists to ensure PCR tests in U.S. labs reached proper results for COVID-19. Sending equivalent specimens to labs, the college found that almost all reached the correct positive or negative findings '-- but that cycle levels varied even when labs used the same testing platforms.
Hansen said the existing level of PCR testing is guiding the state's pandemic response because sudden increases in cases or test positivity reveal local hot spots of virus activity.
The cycle thresholds of the test results don't matter as much for that purpose, he said. ''PCR testing, particularly when its done by hospital labs, remains the best weapon we have in the tracking of COVID.''
Jeremy Olson ' 612-673-7744
Madison Wisconsin PCR 45 cycles
The Madison lab has a link on the page to PCR assays.
Click this and scroll through the lab instructions to pg 26.
On page 26, note Steps 3f.
This gives instructions to set cycles to 45.
Of course better late than never:
It's all crap. Thanks Adam and John!
Rose
No Testing for three months rule
Data to date show that a person who has had and recovered from COVID-19 may have low levels of virus in their bodies for up to 3 months after diagnosis. This means that if the person who has recovered from COVID-19 is retested within 3 months of initial infection, they may continue to have a positive test result, even though they are not spreading COVID-19.
State-by-state breakdown of federal aid per COVID-19 case
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:48
HHS recently began distributing the first $30 billion of emergency funding designated for hospitals in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Some of the states hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic will receive less funding than states touched relatively lightly, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News.
The first round of grants will be distributed based on historical share Medicare revenue, not based on COVID-19 burden. Therefore, hard-hit states like New York will receive far less per COVID-19 case than most other states.
HHS said it doled out the first slice of funding based on Medicare revenue to get support to hospitals as quickly as possible. The agency said the next round of grants "will focus on providers in areas particularly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak," rural hospitals and other healthcare providers that receive much of their revenues from Medicaid.
Below is a breakdown of how much funding per COVID-19 case each state will receive from the first $30 billion in aid. Kaiser Health News used a state breakdown provided to the House Ways and Means Committee by HHS along with COVID-19 cases tabulated by The New York Times for its analysis.
Alabama$158,000 per COVID-19 case
Alaska$306,000
Arizona$23,000
Arkansas$285,000
California$145,000
Colorado$58,000
Connecticut$38,000
Delaware$127,000
District of Columbia$56,000
Florida$132,000
Georgia$73,000
Hawaii$301,000
Idaho$100,000
Illinois$73,000
Indiana$105,000
Iowa$235,000
Kansas$291,000
Kentucky$297,000
Louisiana$26,000
Maine$260,000
Maryland$120,000
Massachusetts$44,000
Michigan$44,000
Minnesota$380,000
Mississippi$166,000
Missouri$175,000
Montana$315,000
Nebraska$379,000
Nevada$98,000
New Hampshire$201,000
New Jersey$18,000
New Mexico$171,000
New York$12,000
North Carolina$252,000
North Dakota$339,000
Ohio$180,000
Oklahoma$291,000
Oregon$220,000
Pennsylvania$68,000
Rhode Island$52,000
South Carolina$186,000
South Dakota$241,000
Tennessee$166,000
Texas$184,000
Utah$94,000
Vermont$87,000
Virginia$201,000
Washington$58,000
West Virginia$471,000
Wisconsin$163,000
Wyoming$278,000
More articles on healthcare finance: Kansas hospital closes under pressure from COVID-19 CMS pitches 3 payment rules for 2021: 5 things to know Rural America braces for COVID-19 as more hospitals close
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Rona Down Under
Victoria BOTG from Mitch
The Parliament of Victoria sat today to hear a new bill from Daniel 'Mein Fuhrer' Andrews.
For the next 6 months it is proposed that
- Trials stand with out a jury. Only a judge
- These trials can be changed on the day if they want
- Any public health risk including 'conspiracy theorists (anyone who doesn't agree with dan) can be detained for 2 weeks with no supporting evidence
- Police can search your house without a warrant
& much much more!
Australian official under police guard over virus measures
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:20
(C) Provided by Associated Press Queensland state Chief Health officer Dr. Jeannette Young speaks during a press conference at Parliament House in Brisbane, Australia, on July 24, 2020. The Australian health official revealed Monday, Sept. 14, that she has been under police guard because of death threats and growing public anger over pandemic border restrictions. (Dan Peled/AAP Image via AP) CANBERRA, Australia (AP) '-- An Australian health official revealed Monday that she has been under police guard because of death threats and growing public anger over pandemic border restrictions.
Queensland state Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said she now travels with a police escort because of the threats.
''It has taken an enormous toll on me, but then this has taken an enormous toll on nearly every single person in our community,'' Young told reporters.
''Every single person in our community in Queensland has had to give up an awful lot and we can't see a clear end to this so we're going to all have to work this through together," she added.
The Queensland state government has been under mounting criticism for making travelers spend two weeks in hotel quarantine when they cross the state border from other parts of Australia. The restrictions have led to a number of high-profile incidents, including one last week in which a woman was not allowed out of quarantine to attend her father's funeral.
(C) Provided by Associated Press Queensland state Chief Health officer Dr. Jeannette Young speaks during a press conference at Parliament House in Brisbane, Australia, on July 24, 2020. Young revealed Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, that she travelled with a police escort because of death threats which had taken "an enormous toll." (Dan Peled/AAP Image via AP) Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk blamed Young for that case, which the national government used to ramp up pressure on the state government to relax its border restrictions.
The woman, Sarah Caisip, had wanted to see her father Bernard Prendergast but didn't get a permit to travel from her home in Canberra until two days after he died. Canberra has not had a coronavirus case in more than two months.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a Liberal Party member, made a personal appeal to Palaszczuk, a Labor Party member, on the day of the funeral for Caisip to be allowed to attend, an approach that the state premier described as ''intimidation'' and ''bullying.''
Caisip's stepsister, Alexandra Prendergast, on Monday accused Morrison of turning their father's funeral into a ''media circus'' to ''advance his political agenda.''
''Your politics and media campaign against the Queensland premier have made a devastating time for my family even harder,'' she wrote in an open letter to the prime minister.
Caisip, who was allowed a private viewing of her father's body before he was cremated, welcomed the condolences from strangers that followed the media attention.
''I came from virus-free Canberra, so the fact that I'm even in quarantine is beyond belief but the fact that I am being denied my basic human rights to care for my grief-stricken mother and little 11-year-old sister enrages, disgusts and devastates me at the same time,'' Caisip wrote in an open letter to Palaszczuk before the funeral.
Brisbane lawyer James Stevens took up the campaign again Palaszczuk on Sunday by paying for a plane to fly to the state capital, Brisbane, from neighboring Gold Coast towing a banner that said: ''SHE IS HEARTLESS.''
Stevens said he is prepared to fly the banner every week until Palaszczuk's government seeks re-election on Oct. 31.
''I'm not political,'' Stevens said from a Brisbane hotel room where he is in quarantine following a trip from Sydney. ''But this has got to stop.''
''She has exhibited a real callousness, a cold-hearted attitude to people's suffering and problems,'' Stevens said.
Public anger also focused last week on the case of Brisbane cancer patient Mark Kearns. His sister, Tamara Langborne, said the family had been told last week that only one of his four children would be allowed to cross the border from New South Wales to visit him.
His mother, Rhonda Langborne, said Queensland health authorities have since relented and allowed Kearns' children, their mother, his siblings and parents to cross the border next weekend.
They are to be held in hotel quarantine except when they visit Kearns while wearing full personal protective equipment.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has argued that Queensland's tough restrictions are not based on medical advice but are aimed at making political gains for the state government ahead of next month's election.
He has been critical that Hollywood actor Tom Hanks has been allowed to quarantine in his resort of choice since he arrived in Queensland last week to shoot a movie at Gold Coast city.
Shooting of the Buz Luhrmann-directed movie about Elvis Presley was shut down in March when Hanks, who plays the singer's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Young wrote to the Australian government in June supporting the application for Hanks and 11 other cast and crew members from the United States, Britain and Italy to be allowed into the country.
''I have given exemptions for people in entertainment and film because that's bringing a lot of money into this state and, can I say, we need every single dollar in our state,'' she said last week, attracting criticism that her expertise was not economics.
Schools
Education officer urging Highland pupils to wear more clothes in class to combat coronavirus | Press and Journal
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:25
(C) ShutterstockHighland pupils are being encouraged to wear extra clothes in class as part of efforts to combat Covid-19.
The advice comes from Nicky Grant, Highland Council's interim executive chief officer for education and learning, in a letter to parents.
She said as the risk of transmission of the virus is greater indoors than outdoors, the Scottish Government currently advises settings should ensure adequate levels of ventilation and that re-circulatory systems should be adjusted to full fresh air.
In her letter, Ms Grant said: ''Therefore, to reduce the risk indoors, our schools are currently operating with windows open to allow as much fresh air into classrooms as possible. This is to ensure our school spaces are as safe as possible for our pupils and staff.
Nicky Grant''As there is a need to prioritise infection control over thermal comfort, we are encouraging children to wear an additional fleece or a jacket in the classroom if they wish to do so.
''We have relaxed dress codes in our schools as we try to make the learning environment as comfortable as possible while reducing the risk of infection in the school setting.''
She added: ''We will continue to work hard across the school estate to improve heating output at all our schools, but we realise this may not provide the expected levels of comfort.''
She said it is hoped the government will provide further guidance prior to the arrival of winter.
Vaccines and such
The list of retracted COVID-19 papers is up to 33 '' Retraction Watch
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:03
To the list of COVID-19 papers that have been retracted so far, add this:
The Korean Journal of Anesthesiology has retracted an article it published last month on ventilating COVID patients because it was nearly identical to one that had appeared in a different journal three months earlier.
The offending article, ''Noninvasive versus invasive ventilation: one modality cannot fit all during COVID-19 outbreak,'' was written by Abhishek Singh, an anesthesiologist at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.
Well, not really. The article '-- a letter to the editor '-- was in fact written by a group from the National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, part of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran. It was titled ''Noninvasive versus invasive ventilation in COVID-19: One size does not fit all!''
Singh evidently liked everything about the Iranian article except the exclamation point.
According to the retraction notice:
The following article from the Korean Journal of Anesthesiology (KJA), ''Noninvasive versus invasive ventilation: one modality cannot fit all during COVID-19 outbreak'' [1] published on August 2020 has been retracted from publication.
The authors violated the publication ethics by plagiarizing a paper (Online ahead of print; Non-invasive versus invasive ventilation in COVID-19: one size does not fit all!) published in Anesthesia and Analgesia [2]. The arrangement of titles and subtitles match, and there are clearly few changes or additions to the contents, or their expression in papers published in both the journals.
Therefore, the editorial board and publication ethics committee of the KJA decided to retract this paper from our journal. We apologize to readers and try the best to thoroughly screen any plagiarisms and ethics violations prior to the publications of papers submitted and accepted in our journal.
Singh told us that he disagreed with the decision:
They forced me to accept as they were not ready to accept that it was not plagiarised even after giving proper explanation.
That explanation? According to Singh:
Studies quoted by said article '... and quoted by me was totally different.
Only because of heading match, they have done so.
I have checked the manuscript on ithenticate, it showed only 11 percent matching.
The Singh article is, by our count, the 33rd paper on COVID-19 to be retracted so far. This one might soon be the 34th:
The Asian Journal of Psychiatry has issued an expression of concern for an article it published in June titled ''Chinese mental health burden during the COVID-19 pandemic.'' In this case, the authors appear to have double-dipped.
Here's the notice (which at the time of this writing was not linked to the original paper):
This article has reused significant parts of the article published by the authors in Psychiatry Research, volume 288 (2020) 112954 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112954 and is considered for retraction due to duplicate publication. We are currently investigating requests to reflect correct authorship and institutional affiliation of the authors. In the interim and for the benefit of our readers, we are publishing this Expression of Concern until the investigation process is closed and the permanent outcome will be implemented.
Like Retraction Watch? You can make a tax-deductible contribution to support our work, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, or subscribe to our daily digest. If you find a retraction that's not in our database, you can let us know here. For comments or feedback, email us at team@retractionwatch.com.
Producer flu shot gambit
I got my flu shot. 😉 Walked in, signed some paperwork and paid. They said go wait over there and I walked out and drove of with this paperwork. Every hospital has accepted it so far.
Want herd immunity? Pay people to take the vaccine
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:29
When I was a child, doctors giving vaccine shots used to hand out candy or a little toy to take the sting and fear out of the shot. A similar idea could rescue the U.S. economy when one or more COVID vaccines are approved by the FDA and widely available for mass uptake.
Infectious disease experts, such as Minnesota's Michael Osterholm, tell us that ''herd immunity'' '' or the point at which the virus will quit spreading like wildfire '' will be reached when at least 60 percent of the population is immune. A truly effective vaccine '' which even those who have survived the virus should take since no one knows now long their antibody immunity will last '' will avoid the tragedy of the million-plus deaths it otherwise could take for the country to reach herd immunity.
Provided enough people take the vaccine when they can. Since no vaccine will be perfectly effective '' Dr. Fauci has said he could live with a vaccine that was 75 percent effective, which could be optimistic '' that means that at least 80 percent of the U.S. population (60 percent divided by 75 percent) must be vaccinated if the virus is to be tamped down to the point where enough people will feel safe to patronize service establishments and travel so the country and the economy can return to some semblance of normal.
But now that seemingly everything about the virus '' its severity and whether to wear masks in public, to take two examples '' has become deeply politicized, is there any hope of reaching that 80 percent threshold?
Not according to a poll by NPR/PBS/Marist released on August 14, which reported that more than one third '' 35 percent to be precise '' of Americans won't take the vaccine when it is available, which means that the population take-up percentage would only be 65 percent, or well short of the 80 percent target. The take-up rates predictably differ by party, with 71 percent of Democrats saying they'll take the shot versus 48 percent for Republicans.
At this point, it doesn't appear that Presidential persuasion will change these results materially. Two thought experiments explain why.
Assume first that former Vice President Biden wins in November and takes office after months of President Trump's discrediting the legitimacy of the election itself. Even if all Biden voters and non-voting sympathizers '' say 55 percent of the population '' heed his call to take the vaccine, the nation still won't cross the 80 percent threshold without a majority of Trump's voters and non-voting sympathizers also doing the same thing. The NPR/PBS/Marist poll suggests that, at least at this point, this outcome is unlikely. Even among Democrats, the intended vaccination percentage in that poll is below 80 percent.
In principle, a President Biden could take executive actions or seek legislation '' assuming Democrats control both the House and Senate and the filibuster rule is abandoned '' penalizing those who don't take the shots (for example, by requiring vaccination certificates before entering most public spaces). But imposing any penalties on people who don't take the vaccine at the outset of his presidency '' even if the penalties were both effective and constitutional, which is not at all clear it would be '' would aggravate polarization, conceivably cause violence, and prevent any healing of the country that Biden has promised to usher in.
Alternatively, assume that President Trump wins reelection and then urges everyone to take the vaccine. Anti-vaxxers who otherwise support the President are unlikely to follow his advice. Two additional groups of people might not either. One group consists of those who are disposed to take the vaccine, but who will hold back for 6-12 months or longer until they have confidence that it truly is effective and safe. Another group would include many Democrats, who having listened to the President ignore or mock legitimate science during the pandemic, may not trust that the FDA's approval of any vaccine is truly on the up and up. People in these three groups combined could easily exceed 20 percent of the population, enough to defeat herd immunity.
The ''adult'' version of the doctor handing out candy to children, fortunately, points toward a solution: pay people who get the shot (or shots, since more than one may be required).
How much? I know of no hard science that can answer that question, but my strong hunch is that anything less than $1,000 per person won't do the trick. At that level, a family of four would get $4,000 (ideally not subject to income tax) '' a lot of money to a lot of families in these difficult times, and thus enough to assure that the country crosses the 80 percent vaccination threshold.
Economists will point out that any vaccine payment scheme will overcompensate, since most of those getting the shots and thus the money will take the vaccine in any event. Others will object that a vaccine payment scheme rewards people for being intransigent, for any number of reasons. Both those objections are valid, but also beside the point.
If the nation doesn't get to herd immunity once the vaccine becomes widely available and has been independently validated, we're all out of luck: the economy will continue to struggle with a weight on its chest, and American society won't get back to normal. Any overpayment is simply part of the price Americans would have to pay, given our deep political divisions, in order get all of our lives back. The alternative '' living with the fear of a virus that has not been sufficiently tamped down '' is much worse.
Admittedly, the price tag of about $275 billion '' $1,000 times 275 million, or about 80 percent of population '' at first blush looks high. But the vaccine reward would be a one-time payment. Compare it to the trillions of dollars in financial rescue packages that already have or will be legislated until the virus is brought under the control, as well as the ongoing trillions of dollars in cumulative lost output and incomes the economy will suffer if herd immunity is not reached. By these yardsticks, the $275 billion price tag, even if it is deficit-financed, is a bargain.
What if the $1,000 is not enough, getting us to, say, a take-up rate of 75 percent, but not 80 percent? We could live with that result and hope that enough other people wear masks and social distance in areas where the 80 percent threshold hasn't been crossed, or ultimately that advances in therapeutics will be sufficient to reduce the mortality rate to or below the level of the seasonal flu, thus removing the fear of catching the virus by venturing outside.
A potentially better idea is to hold back a substantial portion of the $1,000 '' say $800 of it '' until the 80 percent threshold is reached, ideally on a national basis, since people move around and can thus still spread the infection from the remaining hot spots. Because people who have taken the shot will get the balance, by check or wire, once the national vaccination threshold is crossed, they will have strong incentives to persuade their family members, neighbors, work colleagues, church members, and so on to get the shot so that everyone who does can collect the full $1,000 per person payment.
One thing should be clear the outset: Congress should make clear that the payment will not be increased to get the nation across the finish line '' which means it is better to start out high, rather than offering a lower payment and only later increasing it if needed. If the incremental strategy is followed, too many people could hold back, hoping to cash in and get even more if the payment in fact later is increased.
There are three qualifications to these suggestions, which may affect achievement of the herd immunity objective. The first could be good news, the other two less so.
First, the incentive payments are likely to be more effective with lower income people and families than those with higher incomes. Since Black and Latinx populations, on average, have lower incomes, and also have had much worse experience with the virus, greater vaccination rates among these minorities may reduce the required overall participation level to something short of the 80 percent.
Second, the population herd immunity threshold and vaccine effectiveness assumptions used above may be off, but even if that is true, it may not provide much comfort. For example, the herd immunity population threshold could be lower than 60 percent, even as low as 50 percent, as some researchers have speculated, which by itself would reduce the vaccination participation target. But the initially approved vaccines also may be much less effective than the assumed 70-75 percent effectiveness level '' say, 50-60 percent. The combination of these two alternative assumptions would require not 80 percent '' but closer to 100 percent '' of the population to be vaccinated, clearly an impossible goal. Yet even that worst case outcome can be mitigated through continued social distancing and mask wearing, while we wait for even more effective vaccines and therapeutics.
Another caution is that the immunity conferred by any vaccine may be short-lived, requiring repeat booster shots, maybe every year, or even more frequently. In that event, will it require the government to continue to pay people for every repeat shot? My hope, and that is all it is at this point, is that if the initial vaccine reward idea got the country initially to herd immunity, enough people would then have seen the economic benefits of getting to that point that future monetary incentives would not be needed for the repeat shots. But I could be wrong, in which case future reward payments, perhaps of a lesser amount, may be required '' again, as the price the country must pay to continue to have a normal economy and society.
The bottom line: It is not too early for policy makers to start thinking about paying for COVID vaccinations. All the discussions about how to prioritize who will be eligible for the vaccine pale next to the importance of getting enough people to take it to get to herd immunity. If we don't get there, we could face a future of continued economic malaise, at best, or far worse if the pandemic recession/depression drags on until the virus doesn't.
Robert Litan is a non-resident Senior Fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, a program he formerly directed.
The author did not receive financial support from any firm or person for this article or from any firm or person with a financial or political interest in this article. He is not currently an officer, director, or board member of any organization with a financial or political interest in this article.
Why Speaking English May Spread More Coronavirus Than Other Languages
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:43
Coronavirus particles spread through tiny droplets of liquid (aerosols) floating through the air.
gettyNew research suggests that English speakers put more droplets into the air when they talk, which may make them more likely to spread COVID-19. Since the novel coronavirus is spread by droplets, how spitty a language is may contribute to different rates of the disease. It all comes down to something called aspirated consonants, the sounds we make that spray more droplets of saliva into the air.
In college, everyone knew which professors spit the most when they lectured. The front rows of their classes were always empty after the first day of class, because the high achievers who sat there had been bathed with the lecturer's saliva. When a lecture was particularly boring, students might find themselves fascinated by the way the sunlight caught droplets of spit, hanging in the air around the professor.
Memories of teachers who were the loud talkers is one thing. Yet now we know that simply speaking English could mean we are all spitting on the people around us.
Coronavirus spreads by aerosol particlesWe all know the coughing or sneezing spreads germs, that's how we get colds and the flu every year. That spread occurs because coughing or sneezing projects high velocity droplets full of viruses from our nose and throat into the air around us. That's why we are told to cough into our elbows and wash our hands frequently prior to Covid-19.
We know that coughing and sneezing spread germs, but many of us still don't realize that talking ... [+] does too.
gettyThen the advent of the coronavirus pandemic led to the research finding that not only coughing and sneezing, but simply talking drives aerosolized viruses into the air. That's one of the biggest reasons for the recommendation that everyone wear a mask and stay six feet part. Now it looks like not all talking leads to the same amount of droplets in the air. Instead, it depends on which language the speaker is using.
One of the first hints that there might be a difference in how viruses spread based on language came from observations made in China. Remarkably, this happened not during the Covid-19 pandemic, but during the first SARS outbreak with the SARS-CoV-1in South China. That virus led to over 8,000 cases were recorded in 26 countries.
At that time there were far more Japanese tourist than American ones in South China, yet Americans accounted for 70 cases of SARS-CoV-1 and Japan had no cases at all. How could that be? At the time, one explanation by scientists had to do with language. Since the staff of Chinese stores were generally multilingual, they typically spoke to US shoppers in English while they spoke to Japanese tourists in Japanese. And that matters because English is full of aspirated consonants while Japanese has few of them.
Aspirated consonants throw spit into the air. While Japanese has few aspirated consonants leading speakers to produce little spit while talking, English has three of them. Specifically, the consonants [p] [t] and [k] are aspirated in English. Making those sounds throws myriad tiny droplets from the speaker's respiratory tract into the air, creating a cloud of spit. If that person is carrying a virus, the air is now full of viral particles.
According to a linguist from RUDN University, the number of COVID-19 cases in a country might be ... [+] related to the existence of aspirated consonants in its main language of communication. This data can help create more accurate models to describe the spread of COVID-19.
RUDNUp until now the prospect of a spitty talker might be disgusting, but we never considered that it could put us at risk for a deadly disease. Covid-19 has changed all that, which is why researchers at RUDN University studied whether people who speak languages with aspirated continents have a higher rate of the novel coronavirus infection.
The study looked at data from 26 countries with more than 1000 Covid-19 cases as of March 23, 2020. That's a useful window of time because that would be before mask-wearing was widespread. The countries were grouped by whether the languages predominantly spoken contained aspirated consonants or not.
There were indeed more cases of coronavirus infection in countries that spoke languages with aspirated consonants. These countries showed 255 cases of Covid-19 per 1 million residents, while the countries where the languages had few aspirated consonants had 206 cases of Covid-19 per 1 million residents. Technically these numbers did not achieve statistical significance, but the observation is interesting nonetheless.
The study cited experimental limitations, such as making assumptions about the linguistic background of the speakers (which could impact how much they aspirate their consonants). The institution of social distancing measures at different rates could also have impacted these findings. They refer to their paper as a hypothesis, but a strong one and call for further studies.
The take home? Wearing masks is a practical way to mitigate this issue. When we talk in masks, we keep our droplets to ourselves.
Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus
Rona Fallout and Destruction
Lockdown Face - Why plastic-surgery demand is booming amid lockdown - BBC Worklife
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 04:42
Why plastic-surgery demand is booming amid lockdown
(Credit: Alamy)
Lockdown and remote work have meant hours of staring at our own faces on video calls '' and prompted interest in going under the knife.
A
As much as we may now be trained to sit on video calls and stare at our colleagues through a computer screen, many of us find ourselves constantly distracted during our daily huddles and meetings. It's not the dog barking in the background, or the roommate making lunch over someone's shoulder '' it's the sight of our own faces.
And the longer that video thumbnail stares back at us, the more we start to notice things. Were those crow's feet there before lockdown? Did my nose suddenly get bigger? Is one eyebrow higher than the other?
It's little surprise that after months of conducting conversations via video call, many of us have started to analyse '' and criticize '' our appearances more. Cosmetic doctors and plastic surgeons around the world '' Australia, the US, the UK, Japan, South Korea '' have reported surges in bookings for surgical and non-surgical treatments following lockdown. It's being referred to as the 'Zoom Boom'.
'''Lockdown Face' has become a thing,'' says Ashton Collins, director of Save Face, a UK government-approved register of accredited cosmetic practitioners. ''We were inundated with queries saying, 'I've noticed that my frown line is terrible, that my lips need doing, or my nose is crooked'.'' Since the UK lockdown began in March, Save Face has seen a surge of 40% more traffic to its website, with people researching treatments, then going onto the register to find local practitioners.
What is it about pandemic video calls that have us scrutinising our every feature '' and just how rational is it?
Long days spent in front of video calls have prompted many '' including men '' to consider cosmetic surgery procedures (Credit: Alamy)
'Perceptual distortion'
'Cosmetic' plastic surgery, in which someone changes their appearance for aesthetic rather than medical reasons, ranges from non-invasive procedures, such as Botox or skin fillers, to invasive procedures, such as facelifts and rhinoplasty.
And these procedures are pricey. Americans spent more than $16.6bn (£12.76bn) on cosmetic plastic surgery in 2018, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, with an average facelift costing almost $8,000 (£6,151). So, when the pandemic hit, some cosmetic doctors felt extreme uncertainty about what lockdown would mean for their industry, especially with disposable household income falling as well as the inability for patients to see doctors in person.
However, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) says its doctors were reporting up to 70% increases in requests for virtual consultations during this period, as patients continued to consider treatments they'd be able to get once they could see their surgeon face to face again. Similarly, a recent survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons showed that 64% of its doctors had seen an increase in their virtual consultations since the start of Covid-19.
Injectables were the most-asked-for treatments, followed by more invasive procedures, such as breast augmentation and liposuction. By and large, UK-based practitioners say that the Zoom Boom is driving interest in non-invasive facial procedures, like Botox, fillers or skin resurfacing that correct lines caused by the facial expressions we notice on video calls as well as to tackle wrinkles. There's also a surge in demand for 'neck rejuvenation' and 'jawline contouring', as people spend more time looking down into their computer's camera and focussing on those areas of their body.
And although women historically account for a far larger proportion of cosmetic procedures than men, the Zoom Boom isn't just for women. Dr Munir Somji, a cosmetic doctor who works at London's Dr MediSpa Clinic, says he's received an increase in men requesting hair transplants, due to the time they've spent looking at their hair on video calls. ''When you're looking at a Zoom call and you're in a well-lit room, your hair's going to look thinner no matter what you do. And for men during lockdown, if they weren't able to cut their hair, then it also looks thinner when it's slightly longer,'' he says.
But Dr Jill Owen, a psychologist from The British Psychological Society, warns the version of ourselves we see on our screens can be deceiving and distort reality. ''The angle, lighting and limitations of the camera on many devices can lead to distortions of features '' meaning, the image can be unfamiliar to the video caller, and very different to the picture they are used to each time they look in a mirror,'' she explains.
During lockdown, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons says its doctors reported a 70% increase in requests for virtual consultations (Credit: Alamy)
Obsessing over our own image can lead to ''perceptual distortion'', she says, which occurs when we ''highlight a fault, then focus disproportionately on this until it becomes magnified'' in our perception. Owen adds that devices such as smartphones can further alter body image, due to the angles at which we hold them.
Seeing oneself on-screen over and over again encourages people to obsess over body image and perceived flaws. It's a common refrain from actors who see themselves on TV and in films for years, and who must conform to the industry's unrealistic beauty standards. Now, the rise of social media and selfie culture means the phenomenon isn't limited to stars; for instance, look to 'Snapchat dysmorphia', which, like the Zoom Boom, also sparked an increased demand in plastic surgery. Many studies in the last few years have linked selfie-taking and social media with body dysmorphia and negative self-esteem and self-image.
In that way, the Zoom Boom is just a continuation of a trend that's been happening for years. ''Essentially, it's the same problem,'' says Collins of Save Face. ''Before it was 'Selfie Dysmorphia', and I think now it's less about photos, and more about video calls. You see yourself in a certain way, and you scrutinise that and become obsessed with certain things.''
And with Zoom calls, not only are you staring at your face at a particular angle for hours on end, but you're also looking at other people's faces and comparing yours side-by-side in real time, says Gordon Lee, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Stanford University in California. ''Celebrities have to look good in front of people,'' he says. And now, for many amid the Zoom Boom, ''so do regular people''.
The 'pressure cooker' of quarantine
The specific environment of pandemic-induced lockdown also contributes to the cosmetic-surgery Zoom Boom. For example, lockdown has given people more time to think and research treatments '' especially if they had been considering getting a procedure done regardless of the pandemic. Lockdown makes it easy for people to stay at home as they heal, and they can also conceal their face behind a mask when in public. Some have reported an urgency to get treatments done more quickly in case we go into lockdown again.
But there are additional psychological factors, too. ''Lockdown video calls have been occurring in contexts that, for many, have lacked other forms of social interaction and stimulation. The impact of the calls and subsequent negative thoughts can assume more significance than they might during a busy, active life,'' says Owen. ''In addition, if Covid and lockdown issues have led to lowered mood for some people, they may then be more prone to negative thinking or less favourable evaluations of themselves.''
London-based therapist Jodie Cariss is the Founder of Self Space, a private mental-health service where people can self-refer for sessions with qualified therapists. She says when working with clients with self-image issues who may be considering cosmetic surgery, she asks questions about what else is going on in their life, as it may be a symptom of a deeper underlying issue.
The Zoom Boom is driving interest in non-invasive facial procedures that correct lines caused by the facial expressions we notice on video calls (Credit: Alamy)
''I wonder about this experience [lockdown] highlighting people's distress and unhappiness. So, I wonder if it might have been a bit of a pressure cooker for people and so we might see symptomatic behaviour coming out the other side,'' she says. ''I think things that we felt we had control over before suddenly might feel out of control, which brings to the surface other neuroses that we might have used as a kind of defence method before.''
Zoom bust?
Although it's impossible to know if the Zoom Boom will go bust after Covid-19, there's still a timelessness to plastic surgery's appeal that is likely to go endure. ''Plastic surgery is such a big part of our culture,'' says Stanford's Lee, who stresses the importance of going to qualified professionals and being responsible with why people choose to opt into having work down.
''The concept of beauty has been so invasive. It's on TV, and we admire celebrities and social media stars, many of whom who have had cosmetic surgery,'' he says. ''It's not realistic to look at the supermodel in a magazine '' but all of us look at it, we admire it. We envy it. We want to be that.''
Even, it seems, on Zoom.
Pennsylvania lock-down ruling deconstruction
Matt Sernell
Here is the link to the court ruling : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1taeOd5nFGb00w113ryQzoZ-2D-1ndZ0Y/view?fbclid=IwAR2GDx3IPFrotiMFxrF53Jpq_jSEZHPUokbUf7XDQ0cLHp7Ku_n-2Rum2Ps
Notes for the Court ruling I made during my time reading the ruling:
Page 2 - Court Says well intentioned efforts are not enough to uphold unconstitutional issues.
Page 5: The Governor never attended any meeting but did participate in calls.
Page 7: The Governor's office testified that the approach was not aggressive, the court found that PA residents were cited for violating stay at home orders
Page 8: Three groups in the lawsuit - counties, businesses, and some elected officals
Page 13: The Court determines that public health orders MAY violate the constitution.
Page 17/18 - The Court determines that the Governor's orders are "ongoing and indefinite" and has concerns that they could be reinstated at a later time and that the State has no end date for 'emergency measures' and that the State plans to have ongoing restrictions.
Page 19 - From the Court: There is no question, as Justice Alito resigned in Calvary Chapel, that courts may provide state and local officials greater deference when making time-sensitive decisions in the maelstrom of an emerge. Bu that deference cannot go on forever. It is no longer March. It is now September and the record makes clear that the Defendants (Wolf) have no anticipated end-date to their emergency interventions. Courts surely may be willing to give in a fleeting crisis. But here, the duration of the crisis - in which days have turned into weeks and weeks into months - already exceeds natural disasters or other episodic emergencies and its length remains uncertain. Faced with ongoing interventions of indeterminate length, suspension of normal constitutional levels of scrutiny may ultimately lead to the suspension of constitutional liberties themselves.
On Gatherings being limited:
Page 22: Definition of a gather and a issue by the court on the order having no end-date.
Page 23: Language does not preclude protests: From the Court: The plain language of the orders makes no exception for protests, which seemingly run directly contrary to the plain language of the may 27, 2020 order. However, the record unequivocally shows that Defendants (Wolf) have permitted protests and the Governor participated in a protest which exceeded the limitation set forth in his order and did not comply with other restrictions mandating social distancing and mask wearing.
Page 24: Details on allowing the Spring Carlisle car show
Page 28: State argues that their orders are amended by press statements protecting protests and the court says no based on the issues of business occupancy requirements.
Page 30: Court highlights that gatherings restrictions must be narrow and allow other methods of connectivity and they find that the State did not do that.
Page 31: Court details that the State did not provide evidence that restrictions on gatherings would prevent the spread of Covid and the State has to highlight that no significant spread of Covid happened due to protest gatherings.
Page 38: The State admits that we are still under a stay-at-home order that could be reinstated at any time.
Page 41: The Court determines that the stay-at-home orders are not a quarantine based on the legal definition.
Page 42/43/44: The Court reviews the State claim that everything is in line with the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic. They find that the limitations only lasted for 1 month in 1918 and NO lockdowns were imposed. "There are no recommendations in the document that even approximate the imposition of statewide or community wide stay-at-home orders or the closure of all "Non-life-sustaining" businesses." "The fact is that the lockdowns imposed across the United States in early 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented in the history of our Commonwealth and our Country. They have never been used in response to any other disease in our history. They were not recommendations made by the CDC. They were unheard of by the people this nation until this year. It appears as though the imposition of lockdowns in Wuhan and other areas of China - a nation unconstrained by concern for civil liberties and constitutional norms - started a domino effect where one country, and state, and another imposed draconian and hitherto untried measures on their citizens. The lockdowns are, therefore, truly unprecedented from a legal perspective."
Page 47: "The stay-at-home orders far exceed any reasonable claim to be narrowly tailored. Defendants (Wolf) orders subjected every Pennsylvanian to a lockdown where he or she was involuntarily committed to stay-at-home unless he or she was going about an activity approved as an exception by the orders."
Page 48: Court determines the stay-at-home orders are not revoked by just suspended.
Page 48: "The Court declares, therefore, that the stay-at-home components of the Defendants (Wolf) orders were and are unconstitutional."
Page 49: The court determines that the State never determined a legal definition of "life sustaining" or "non-life sustaining" businesses.
Page 50: "Never before has the government taken a direct action which uttered so many businesses and sidelined so many employees and rendered their ability to operate, and to work, solely dependent on government discretion."
Page 56: The court found that the state team closed businesses with "no set policy as to the designation and, indeed, without even formulating a set definition for "life-sustaining" and, conversely "non-life-sustaining". Also, "The terms "life-sustaining" and "non-life-sustaining" relative to businesses are not defined in any Pennsylvania statute or regulation."
Page 58: The list of life sustaining businesses has changed 10 times.
Page 59: Businesses had no way of being allowed to be classified as "Life Sustaining" or safe to open even if they had the "best plan that the CDC has ever seen" once the waiver list was shut down.
Page 60/61: Breakdown on why small businesses were a danger to people but larger stores like Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, and Target were allowed to be open.
Page 66: Conclusion: "The Constitution cannot accept the concept of a "new normal" where the basic liberties of the people can be subordinated to open-ended emergency mitigation measures. Rather, the Constitution sets certain lines that may not be crossed, even in an emergency. Actions taken by the Defendants (Wolf) crossed those lines. It is the duty of the Court to declare those actions unconstitutional. Thus, consistent with the reasons set forth above, the Court will enter judgment in favor of the Plaintiffs (PA Counties, businesses, and elected officials who filed the suit).
Democrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise | TheHill
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 10:47
House Democratic leaders scrambled Wednesday for a cohesive legislative and political strategy on emergency coronavirus aid.
The Democrats are seeking a bill that can provide broad-based relief to struggling Americans, energize the party's progressive base ahead of November and appease the various factions of the caucus now feuding over the right path forward.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi Nancy PelosiPowell warns failure to reach COVID-19 deal could 'scar and damage' economy Overnight Defense: House to vote on military justice bill spurred by Vanessa Guill(C)n death | Biden courts veterans after Trump's military controversies Intelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings MORE (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer Steny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Pence lauds Harris as 'experienced debater'; Trump, Biden diverge over debate prep Coons beats back progressive Senate primary challenger in Delaware MORE (D-Md.) huddled in Pelosi's office in the Capitol. Afterward, Pelosi spoke by phone with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Steven Terner MnuchinDemocrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise American Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid Trump undercuts GOP, calls for bigger COVID-19 relief package MORE , who has led the stimulus negotiations for the administration, revealing that gears are moving even as the impasse persists.
Hoyer emerged from the earlier meeting promoting Pelosi's preferred strategy: negotiate with the White House and bring a bill to the floor only when a bipartisan deal has been reached.
Yet that design is sure to rattle the Democrats who want assurances of a fresh vote on some version of coronavirus aid this month even absent an agreement with Republicans '-- a promise leadership has declined to make.
Centrist Democrats are leading that charge, but even some liberals are piling on, calling for a vote on legislation in the range of $2.2 trillion '-- Pelosi's latest offer to the White House '-- to send the message to voters that Democrats aren't sitting idle while the pandemic ravages the economy and continues to kill more than 1,000 Americans a day.
''That, to me, is a compromise that addresses the needs that we have at the scale that it needs to be addressed,'' progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar Ilhan OmarDemocrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise Larry Kudlow defends response to coronavirus: Trump 'led wisely' The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Woodward book revelations rock Washington MORE (D-Minn.) told reporters outside the Capitol.
Stirring the debate, President Trump Donald John TrumpBarr criticizes DOJ in speech declaring all agency power 'is invested in the attorney general' Military leaders asked about using heat ray on protesters outside White House: report Powell warns failure to reach COVID-19 deal could 'scar and damage' economy MORE stunned Washington Wednesday morning when he pressed Republicans on Capitol Hill to seek ''much higher'' levels of funding in the next emergency package '-- a message that Pelosi reiterated to Mnuchin during their phone call a few hours later.
Senate Republicans had initially offered a $1.1 trillion package in emergency aid, but subsequently voted on a proposal providing just $650 billion '-- including just $350 billion in new funding. Trump, joining the Democrats, said it wasn't enough.
''Go for the much higher numbers, Republicans, it all comes back to the USA anyway (one way or another!),'' Trump tweeted.
It was unclear what higher number the president is ready to accept, but his shifting position quickly energized Democrats, who have hammered the Republicans for pushing ''emaciated'' proposals they deem insufficient to address the health and economic crises caused by the pandemic.
''We look forward to hearing from the President's negotiators that they will finally meet us halfway with a bill that is equal to the massive health and economic crises gripping our nation,'' Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer Chuck SchumerDemocrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise Pelosi, Schumer 'encouraged' by Trump call for bigger coronavirus relief package Schumer, Sanders call for Senate panel to address election security MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement.
GOP leaders, meanwhile, were pushing back, warning that a funding package in the $1.5 trillion range would likely lose support from a significant number of Republicans.
''We'd have to see what's in it, but I think it's difficult,'' said Rep. Kevin McCarthy Kevin Owen McCarthyDemocrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise House GOP slated to unveil agenda ahead of election How Trump's false attacks on mail-in voting could backfire on him MORE (R-Calif.), the minority leader.
Sen. John Thune John Randolph ThunePowell warns failure to reach COVID-19 deal could 'scar and damage' economy Senate Republicans signal openness to working with Biden Democrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise MORE (R-S.D.), the majority whip, also saw red flags.
''If the number gets too high, anything that got passed in the Senate will be passed mostly with Democrat votes and a handful of Republicans,'' Thune told reporters in the Capitol. ''So it's going to have to stay in a, sort of, realistic range if ... we want to maximize, optimize the number of Republican senators that will vote for it.''
Pelosi, meanwhile, is sticking with her last offer: $2.2 trillion, noting that that figure represents a $1.2 trillion reduction in the HEROES Act, which the House passed in May. She added that she has no intention of staging a vote on legislation if it lacks the bipartisan support to win Trump's signature.
''We could put a bill on the floor, but we want to put a bill on the floor that will become law,'' Pelosi said in an appearance on MSNBC's ''Morning Joe'' program.
Front-line Democrats, those facing the toughest reelections this fall, have been begging leadership to get back to the negotiating table and strike a deal with the White House or pass a smaller package that would be more palatable to Senate Republicans.
The leader of the moderate Blue Dog Democrats, Rep. Stephanie Murphy Stephanie MurphyDemocrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise Bank lobbying group launches ad backing Collins reelection bid House Democrats call on State Department for information on Uighur prisoner Ekpar Asat MORE (D-Fla.), voiced frustration with leadership's inaction and pointed to the ''anxiousness'' of vulnerable members.
''I am hopeful that as leadership registers the anxiousness of the members, both Democrats and Republicans to get something done, that they will be responsive to that,'' she said.
''We can argue about what the specifics of a plan should look like,'' she added. ''But the important thing is that we get back to the negotiating table and hammer out a deal that can be passed into law.''
Banyon
Li-Meng Yan backgrounder
I thought you might find this paper interesting.
https://zenodo.org/record/4028830 (direct PDF link: https://zenodo.org/record/4028830/files/The_Yan_Report.pdf?download=1)
notable:
1) The institution(s) behind the paper are the "Rule of Law Society" (Rule of Law Society IV, Inc.., a 501(c)(4) ) (https://rolsociety.org/) & "Rule of Law Foundation" (Rule of Law Foundation III, Inc., a 501(c)(3))(https://rolfoundation.org/), which appear to be very anti-CCP/PRC. Upon visiting that first link you'll probably get the impression, as I did, that Steve Bannon is balls deep in this somehow (Doesn't make what these scientists are saying any less interesting, but is annoying IMO)
...interesting. BUT!
2) The primary author, Li-Meng Yan doesn't appear to be a slouch. Here's what the Book of Knowledge has on her: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li-Meng_Yan
Oddly, a quick search for her co-authors didn't seem to turn up any published work; odd for a bunch of PhD's (maybe I'm missing something, it's late and I didn't intend on rabbitholing tonight, but this popped up and I had to check it out)
How former Trump adviser Steve Bannon joined forces with a Chinese billionaire who has divided the president's allies - The Washington Post
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 05:19
But it has been Bannon's partnership with Chinese businessman Guo Wengui, on whose yacht Bannon had told friends he had been living in recent months, that has come to dominate his post-White House career '-- a partnership that is now also under scrutiny. A company linked to both is a focus of a separate federal investigation, according to multiple people familiar with the probe.
Guo, who fled China after he was accused of bribery and other crimes there, forged a relationship with Bannon after he left the White House in 2017. About the same time, Guo began a vociferous campaign attacking corruption in Beijing and what he says is a politically motivated prosecution against him.
In the past several years, a company linked to the billionaire, who also goes by Miles Kwok and Miles Guo, has given Bannon a consulting contract. Guo has also publicly pledged to donate $100 million to a Bannon-led charity. Most recently, the month before Bannon's arrest, Guo announced that Bannon would serve as chairman of a new social media company he was launching.
Bannon, in turn, has emerged as one of the biggest champions of Guo, who casts himself as an anti-communist dissident in dozens of fiery videos posted online. Even as other critics of the Chinese government have grown skeptical of Guo's claims that he is a political victim of Beijing, Bannon has said Guo has valuable insider information that could help take down China's Communist Party, or CCP, and says he has been prescient about China's crackdown on Hong Kong and its handling of the novel coronavirus.
''Miles Guo has been the toughest Chinese opponent the CCP has ever encountered,'' Bannon said in a statement to The Washington Post. ''He has been the world's leading fighter exposing the lies, the infiltration, and the malevolence of the CCP.''
Bannon added that he thinks the United States owes Guo ''a debt of gratitude for his relentless mission against the Chinese Communist Party '-- the existential threat against the United States.''
But there are now signs that federal investigators are scrutinizing Guo's financial activities in the United States and GTV Media Group, a social media company that Guo said raised $300 million from investors, according to people familiar with the investigation.
Some of those investors now say they think they were defrauded by the company and have been interviewed repeatedly by the FBI in recent months, according to three people with knowledge of the case. The Wall Street Journal first reported the existence of the inquiry.
The FBI declined to comment.
In a statement, Guo said the company followed U.S. securities laws and was guided by legal counsel as it raised money. He said the ''overwhelming majority of investors are fully satisfied'' and alleged that the CCP had ''proxies infiltrate the offering and file politically motivated complaints.''
Bannon, who until his arrest served as a director at the company, declined to comment on the investigation. A person close to him, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the probe, said he, too, views the allegations against GTV as being driven by the Chinese government, which he thinks sees the independent media enterprise as a threat.
Separately, Bannon has pleaded not guilty to the charges related to the wall charity. The person close to him said Bannon's work with Guo had no connection to that effort.
Meanwhile, another long-running federal investigation involving Guo is gaining steam. In that case, the billionaire has been described as the target of a failed attempt to lobby the Trump administration to extradite him to China, a complex campaign that allegedly involved two prominent GOP fundraisers, a former member of the Fugees hip-hop group and a fugitive Malaysian financier.
Late last month, a consultant pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting an unregistered agent for China as part of the case. Prosecutors are also prepared to file charges against investor Elliott Broidy, a former top fundraiser for the Republican National Committee, accusing him of taking part in the effort, The Post has reported. They also might reach a plea deal with him, people familiar with the matter have said.
Justice Department zeroing in on longtime GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy
An attorney for Broidy declined to comment. Broidy has previously called claims about his role ''a fabrication.''
The parallel cases spotlight how figures in the president's circle have sought to influence the administration's China policies on behalf of foreign interests.
Bannon's alliance with Guo meshes with his long-standing nationalist message and hawkish views on China. But people familiar with his relationship with the billionaire said they also came to think that Bannon '-- one of the chief promoters of Trump's ''drain the swamp'' message '-- was driven by the lucrative aspects of the partnership.
''Bannon didn't care about clothing or appearance '-- but that's small money,'' said Sasha Gong, a Chinese American writer and journalist who briefly served on the board of an anti-Communist Party charity launched in 2018 by Bannon and Guo.
But, she added, ''if you want to change the world, that kind of money, you have endless needs.''
Bannon, who said he parted ways with Gong after losing trust in her, said his partnership with Guo is driven by a strong belief that his work is essential.
'A pretty valuable hombre'
A real estate developer and investor, Guo for a time thrived in Communist China, at one point ranking as the country's 73rd-richest person. He built one of the premier skyscrapers in Beijing, next to the Bird's Nest stadium, entertaining the city's business and political elite there.
He has acknowledged in videos he posted on YouTube that he maintained a relationship with officials in the state security apparatus. At one point, Guo said, he traveled to India on behalf of the Chinese government to convey messages to the Dalai Lama, who posed for a photo with Guo that he posted to social media.
Guo's downfall came soon after President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive in 2014 netted one of Guo's close allies, senior intelligence official Ma Jian, who in a 20-minute video released by the government confessed to taking millions in bribes from the developer and described an ''alliance of shared interests'' with him.
Guo denied the charges and fled China, resurfacing dramatically in 2017 in New York, settling in at a $67 million penthouse apartment at the Sherry-Netherland hotel overlooking Central Park.
From New York, he has used a YouTube channel to tell sensational tales of money, violence and sex among the Communist Party elite that he claimed to have gleaned from his time as an insider. Many of the allegations, often centered on Xi's confidant and anti-corruption czar, Wang ­Qishan, cannot be substantiated.
''If they weren't so corrupt, they wouldn't be scared of me,'' Guo told the New York Times in 2017 as he began to speak out.
Guo, who said he joined Trump's private Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida in 2015, can be Trump-like in his boasts about his wealth and power to take down his enemies, said people who have encountered him.
Trump turns Mar-a-Lago Club terrace into open-air situation room
One guest who visited his New York penthouse and spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid attracting Guo's ire said Guo served a rare tea he claimed was worth $1 million a kilogram and gave an impromptu fashion show in which he modeled bright red and yellow alligator-skin jackets. The centerpiece of Guo's ornate living room, the person said, was a giant model of London's Tower Bridge constructed out of Legos.
As Guo became more vocal, Interpol issued a ''red notice'' in April 2017 declaring him a fugitive wanted on charges of bribery, kidnapping, money laundering, fraud and rape and pressed to have him returned to Beijing.
Guo denied the charges. That September, he formally applied for asylum in the United States.
In a statement to The Post, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment on Bannon or Guo other than to note Interpol's filing of the notice against ''the criminal suspect Guo Wengui.''
China made it clear to the United States that it wanted Guo turned over. People familiar with the efforts who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal government discussions said top Chinese officials personally lobbied then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other U.S. officials.
Behind the scenes, the Chinese government was working other avenues, as well, according to court documents filed in connection with the guilty plea of consultant Nickie Mali Lum Davis.
In her guilty plea, Davis acknowledged that she met with a Chinese government minister to discuss Guo in May 2017. According to a charging document filed in her case, Davis admitted she aided and abetted the efforts of two others involved in the influence campaigns, identified only as Person A and Person B. People familiar with the matter identified them as former Fugees rapper Pras Michel and Broidy, then serving as deputy finance chairman of the RNC.
Michel has denied wrongdoing. His attorney has declined to comment.
According to court documents, Broidy allegedly lobbied to have Guo removed from the United States at the request of a Chinese government official and Low Taek Jho, a Malaysian financier who has since been indicted on separate charges of conspiring to launder money and bribe foreign officials.
As part of the effort, prosecutors say in court filings, the person identified as Broidy contacted several top Trump aides and enlisted RNC Finance Chairman Steve Wynn, who operated a casino in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macao.
In text messages quoted in court filings, Broidy described how Wynn assured him that he had taken the issue straight to Trump.
In a private meeting around June 2017, Wynn told Trump why Xi felt so strongly about the United States returning Guo to China, handing the president two pictures of Guo, The Post previously reported.
Reid Weingarten, an attorney for Wynn, has declined to comment but said his client has been cooperating with investigators.
Trump initially appeared persuaded, telling aides in an Oval Office meeting that he supported the plan, according to a former administration official familiar with his views.
But the Justice Department, the National Security Council and then-White House Counsel Donald McGahn did not think the move was appropriate, people familiar with the discussions said.
A White House spokesman referred questions about the episode to the NSC. An NSC spokesman declined to comment and referred questions to the Justice Department, which also declined to comment.
In a statement, Guo said he helped the FBI expose the scheme and called it ''only the tip of a far-ranging campaign the CCP has undertaken utilizing corrupt lawyers, prominent U.S. businessmen, government officials, and so-called lobbyists and political consultants to influence the U.S. government at the highest levels to take action against me.''
The FBI declined to comment.
Bannon has told others that he personally shielded the billionaire in his role as chief White House strategist.
''I was the protector,'' he told the Wire China in an interview conducted with the publication before his arrest. ''When I was inside the White House, I took the files and put them in my office and said, 'Whoever wants this guy, this guy is a pretty valuable hombre.' ''
A shared ideology
Since his ouster from the White House in August 2017, Bannon has been focused intensely on what he describes as the rising threat from China.
Bannon told the Wire China that a visit to Beijing during the 2008 Olympics deeply shaped his view of the country. ''It was very obvious that these guys want to be a hegemonic power,'' he said. ''They need total control.''
During his trip, Bannon said, he also noticed the Guo-constructed hotel across from the Olympic stadium. ''Miles was the man,'' Bannon said. ''He was the Donald Trump of China at the time.''
By the fall of 2017, Bannon was lunching with Guo at the Hay-Adams hotel in Washington, introduced by a mutual acquaintance.
Bannon has said in interviews that he began meeting frequently with Guo to discuss their shared dim views of the Chinese government. This year, he began featuring the billionaire regularly on his ''War Room'' podcast.
Their relationship, Guo said, was rooted in their shared ideology.
''While my pairing with Mr. Bannon may seem a bit odd, an enemy of my enemy is my friend,'' he told The Post in his statement. ''I believe he has been effective in raising America's understanding of the severity of the CCP threat.''
Bannon's financial relationship with Guo began about the same time. According to an internal memo obtained by The Post, sometime before the end of 2017, a company linked to Guo loaned Bannon $150,000.
A spokesman for Guo told the New York Times, which first reported the loan, that it related to a film project critical of the CCP. Guo told The Post it was part of a now-concluded consulting agreement.
Bannon charged with defrauding donors in private effort to raise money for Trump's border wall
In 2018, Bannon invited Hudson Institute scholar Michael Pillsbury to dine with him and Guo in a suite at the Hay-Adams.
Over a feast of steak, lobster, crab and an array of desserts, Pillsbury, who shares Bannon's hard-line views on China, said the two men worked to convince him that Guo had valuable information he could offer the United States and should be embraced by American scholars and advocates.
''Bannon wanted me to vouch for him to others,'' Pillsbury said. ''It's as if he was obligated to Mr. Guo to deliver people who were influential.''
Pillsbury said he came away with the impression that Guo was a knowledgeable businessman but did not necessarily have access to internal secrets of the Chinese government. He said he later came to regret attending the meeting, especially after he was given a ''friendly warning'' by a Chinese Communist official during a visit to Beijing that the Chinese government had heard about the dinner.
''There's a cost to poking around about Mr. Guo,'' he said. ''Whatever he is is complicated.''
Growing partnership
In August 2018, Bannon signed a one-year deal to consult for Guo Media, owned by a company incorporated in Delaware, for $1 million. Bannon's contract was first reported and posted online by Axios.
By then, Guo and Bannon both began appearing frequently on Guo Media's G News website.
Bannon was also given an office at Guo Media's New York headquarters, which was co-located with Guo's offices for other business interests in the United States, Gong said in a deposition for a lawsuit related to a Guo business dispute.
Guo ''pointed out an office .'‰.'‰. on the top floors. That was Mr. Bannon's office,'' said Gong, the former board member at Bannon and Guo's charity.
Bannon also began flying frequently on Guo's private plane. In a 2019 documentary, Bannon was shown aboard the jet flying to campaign events, where he endorsed and promoted Republican candidates in the midterm elections. (Guo said he ''occasionally'' invited Bannon to join him when they were traveling to a similar destination.)
At a news conference in November 2018, Bannon and Guo announced they were launching two charities that would investigate Chinese corruption and financially support victims of the regime. Bannon would lead the nonprofit Rule of Law Society, they said, which would be backed by a $100 million donation from Guo. Bannon told the New York Times that he would take no pay.
Gong, who had interviewed Guo the previous year as a reporter for Voice of America, was invited to join the charity's board the following year, she said.
But she said she was growing concerned that the Chinese businessman had not been honest about his personal and business history.
''I'm a China hawk, and my fear is that [Guo] will harm the entire hawk argument,'' Gong said.
She said she got involved with the group to try to guide and protect Bannon from getting into trouble.
''Steve Bannon has a lot of influence in media and the Republican Party,'' she said. ''I thought it was my duty to keep reminding him what is wrong.''
Bannon said he came to believe Gong was not supportive of the protests in Hong Kong and was ''troubled she lacked the sense of urgency'' in taking on the Chinese Communist Party.
She remained on the board for only a few months before resigning in September 2019. In her deposition, Gong said that she had seen the group's internal financial information and became concerned it was not being transparent with donors. ''I realized whatever money they promised never exist,'' she testified.
Guo said the organization was formed ''to help Chinese people stand up to the criminal regime of the CCP and educate the Western world on how truly evil the CCP is.'' He said that he has supported the project financially and remains committed to doing so.
Guo said Gong turned on him after he declined to give $5 million to help produce a documentary she was filming and called her complaints ''a case of sour grapes.''
Gong disputes that, saying she never asked Guo for funding for her documentary, which cost less than $600,000 and is nearly complete.
'The only one'
Online, Guo's influence was growing, particularly with Chinese dissidents and Chinese Americans appalled at the country's crackdown on Hong Kong and China's handling of the virus.
In April, he began soliciting funds for a new company called GTV Media, a social media platform that he said in online videos would be free from Chinese or American control and a safe place to invest should the Chinese currency collapse. Guo told The Post he is ''advisor to and sponsor of'' GTV, which his lawyer said is a new version of Guo Media.
Jiamei Lu, a Chinese American pastry chef and Web designer living in Hawaii, said she and her mother, visiting from China, became entranced as they watched Guo online.
''His word is very attractive,'' Lu said. ''He said he's the only one who can save the world.''
Lu said she briefly got a job at GTV, working for one week as a Web designer before being terminated as a result of disputes with Guo. She went on to send a total of $40,000 of her mother's pension savings from China to a Guo associate, thinking she was investing in the new company. She said she grew concerned when no one from the company countersigned a document she sent to reflect her investment.
She said she has been interviewed by the FBI and agents for the Securities and Exchange Commission three times since June and knows of others who have been in touch with U.S. investigators, as well.
Among them is real estate developer Gao Yuan, who said his father, a former developer in China who worships Guo as an anti-Communist Party figure, invested $1.1 million of their family savings into GTV. Gao said he was so concerned that he reached out to U.S. authorities.
Gao, speaking from Thailand, where he lives with his parents, said he ''strongly objected and pleaded'' with his father not to invest.
But his father, he said, has become a Guo devotee. ''He can't fall asleep without listening to Guo first,'' he said of his father.
He said his father was impressed by Bannon's involvement, too, which he said was the subject of ''incessant advertising'' on Guo's videos. ''My dad thought Bannon had an enormous influence on President Trump and his administration,'' he said. ''He was convinced that these guys basically had influence over all U.S. policy related to China.''
In a separate interview, Gao's father, Gao Baolin, said he thinks his investment in GTV is money that was well spent. Guo ''is the only one in the world who descended from heaven to eliminate the demon that is the party,'' he said.
Guo said in his statement that all of the funds raised for the company are ''intact,'' adding that most of GTV's investors are satisfied and that the company followed SEC rules.
He described Lu as a disgruntled former employee. She said her complaints were unrelated to her employment, noting that after it ended, she continued to volunteer for Guo and invested additional money.
Guo has touted Bannon's role in GTV, saying in Chinese in a video posted online in July that the former Trump adviser had been elected chairman of the company. In the recording, filmed on the deck of his yacht, Guo is wearing a sharply tailored business suit and aviator sunglasses. Bannon can be seen lounging on a banquette behind him, wearing cargo shorts and a polo shirt, tapping on his phone and periodically tipping his head back to bask in the sunshine.
Guo told The Post that Bannon had been removed from his role as chairman of the board after his arrest and played no part in raising funds for the company.
However, the men's partnership has continued. Bannon was released from custody last month on a $5 million bond while he awaits a trial scheduled for May.
On Tuesday, Guo appeared for nearly 30 minutes on Bannon's podcast, broadcasting live from his living room to discuss their joint goal of overthrowing the Chinese government.
The men debuted a rock song targeting the Chinese regime, with the chorus: ''Follow me, and I'mma set us free! Take! Down! The CCP!''
Bannon termed the new song ''an incredible cultural assault on the Chinese Communist Party.'' It featured, he explained to viewers, ''the voice of the one and only, Miles Guo.''
Shih reported from Taipei. Carol D. Leonnig, Alice Crites, Felicia Sonmez and David A. Fahrenthold in Washington contributed to this report.
'Rogue' Chinese Virologist Joins Twitter, Publishes "Smoking Gun" Evidence COVID-19 Created In Lab | Zero Hedge
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:33
On Saturday we reported that Dr. Li-Meng Yan - a Chinese virologist (MD, PhD) who fled the country, leaving her job at a prestigious Hong Kong university - appeared last week on British television where she claimed SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, was created by Chinese scientists in a lab.
On Sunday, Li-Meng joined Twitter - and on Monday, just hours ago, she tweeted a link to a paper she co-authored with three other Chinese scientists titled:
Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route
https://t.co/g9uPdcRIew
'-- Dr. Li-Meng YAN (@LiMengYAN119) September 14, 2020She also posted a link to her credentials on ResearchGate, revealing her (prior?) affiliation with The University of Hong Kong and 13 publications which have been cited 557 times.
https://t.co/u6SbFcR3IS
'-- Dr. Li-Meng YAN (@LiMengYAN119) September 14, 2020Cutting to the chase:
"The evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 should be a laboratory product created by using bat coronaviruses ZC45 and/or ZXC21 as a template and/or backbone. Building upon the evidence, we further postulate a synthetic route for SARS-CoV-2, demonstrating that the laboratory-creation of this coronavirus is convenient and can be accomplished in approximately six months.
Here is the extended punchline:
The receptor-binding motif of SARS-CoV-2 Spike cannot be born from nature and should have been created through genetic engineering.
The Spike proteins decorate the exterior of the coronavirus particles. They play an important role in infection as they mediate the interaction with host cell receptors and thereby help determine the host range and tissue tropism of the virus. The Spike protein is split into two halves (Figure 3). The front or N-terminal half is named S1, which is fully responsible for binding the host receptor. In both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 infections, the host cell receptor is hACE2. Within S1, a segment of around 70 amino acids makes direct contacts with hACE2 and is correspondingly named the receptor-binding motif (RBM) (Figure 3C). In SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, the RBM fully determines the interaction with hACE2. The C-terminal half of the Spike protein is named S2. The main function of S2 includes maintaining trimer formation and, upon successive protease cleavages at the S1/S2 junction and a downstream S2' position, mediating membrane fusion to enable cellular entry of the virus.
Similar to what is observed for other viral proteins, S2 of SARS-CoV-2 shares a high sequence identity (95%) with S2 of ZC45/ZXC21. In stark contrast, between SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21, the S1 protein, which dictates which host (human or bat) the virus can infect, is much less conserved with the amino acid sequence identity being only 69%.
Figure 4 shows the sequence alignment of the Spike proteins from six β coronaviruses. Two are viruses isolated from the current pandemic (Wuhan-Hu-1, 2019-nCoV_USA-AZ1); two are the suspected template viruses (Bat_CoV_ZC45, Bat_CoV_ZXC21); two are SARS coronaviruses (SARS_GZ02, SARS). The RBM is highlighted in between two orange lines. Clearly, despite the high sequence identity for the overall genomes, the RBM of SARS-CoV-2 differs significantly from those of ZC45 and ZXC21. Intriguingly, the RBM of SARS-CoV-2 resembles, on a great deal, the RBM of SARS Spike. Although this is not an exact ''copy and paste'', careful examination of the Spike-hACE2 structures37,38 reveals that all residues essential for either hACE2 binding or protein folding (orange sticks in Figure 3C and what is highlighted by red short lines in Figure 4) are ''kept''.
Most of these essential residues are precisely preserved, including those involved in disulfide bond formation (C467, C474) and electrostatic interactions (R444, E452, R453, D454), which are pivotal for the structural integrity of the RBM (Figure 3C and 4). The few changes within the group of essential residues are almost exclusively hydrophobic ''substitutions'' (I428 L, L443 F, F460 Y, L472 F, Y484 Q), which should not affect either protein folding or the hACE2-interaction. At the same time, majority of the amino acid residues that are non-essential have ''mutated'' (Figure 4, RBM residues not labeled with short red lines). Judging from this sequence analysis alone, we were convinced early on that not only would the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein bind hACE2 but also the binding would resemble, precisely, that between the original SARS Spike protein and hACE223. Recent structural work has confirmed our prediction.
As elaborated below, the way that SARS-CoV-2 RBM resembles SARS-CoV RBM and the overall sequence conservation pattern between SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21 are highly unusual. Collectively, this suggests that portions of the SARS-CoV-2 genome have not been derived from natural quasi-species viral particle evolution.
The paper then makes two critical observations for those who claim that SARS-CoV-2 has a natural origin: its RBM could have only been acquired in one of the two possible routes: 1) an ancient recombination event followed by convergent evolution or 2) a natural recombination event that occurred fairly recently.
She first dismisses option 1:
"this convergent evolution process would also result in the accumulation of a large amount of mutations in other parts of the genome, rendering the overall sequence identity relatively low. The high sequence identity between SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21 on various proteins (94-100% identity) do not support this scenario and, therefore, clearly indicates that SARS-CoV- 2 carrying such an RBM cannot come from a ZC45/ZXC21-like bat coronavirus through this convergent evolutionary route."
She then dismisses option 2:
In the second scenario, the ZC45/ZXC21-like coronavirus would have to have recently recombined and swapped its RBM with another coronavirus that had successfully adapted to bind an animal ACE2 highly homologous to hACE2. The likelihood of such an event depends, in part, on the general requirements of natural recombination: 1) that the two different viruses share significant sequence similarity; 2) that they must co-infect and be present in the same cell of the same animal; 3) that the recombinant virus would not be cleared by the host or make the host extinct; 4) that the recombinant virus eventually would have to become stable and transmissible within the host species.
In regard to this recent recombination scenario, the animal reservoir could not be bats because the ACE2 proteins in bats are not homologous enough to hACE2 and therefore the adaption would not be able to yield an RBM sequence as seen in SARS-CoV-2. This animal reservoir also could not be humans as the ZC45/ZXC21-like coronavirus would not be able to infect humans. In addition, there has been no evidence of any SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-CoV-2-like virus circulating in the human population prior to late 2019. Intriguingly, according to a recent bioinformatics study, SARS-CoV-2 was well-adapted for humans since the start of the outbreak.
Which leaves just one option:
Only one other possibility of natural evolution remains, which is that the ZC45/ZXC21-like virus and a coronavirus containing a SARS-like RBM could have recombined in an intermediate host where the ACE2 protein is homologous to hACE2. Several laboratories have reported that some of the Sunda pangolins smuggled into China from Malaysia carried coronaviruses, the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of which is almost identical to that of SARS-CoV-227-29,31. They then went on to suggest that pangolins are the likely intermediate host for SARS-CoV-227-29,31. However, recent independent reports have found significant flaws in this data40-42. Furthermore, contrary to these reports27-29,31, no coronaviruses have been detected in Sunda pangolin samples collected for over a decade in Malaysia and Sabah between 2009 and 201943. A recent study also showed that the RBD, which is shared between SARS-CoV-2 and the reported pangolin coronaviruses, binds to hACE2 ten times stronger than to the pangolin ACE22, further dismissing pangolins as the possible intermediate host. Finally, an in silico study, while echoing the notion that pangolins are not likely an intermediate host, also indicated that none of the animal ACE2 proteins examined in their study exhibited more favorable binding potential to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein than hACE2 did. This last study virtually exempted all animals from their suspected roles as an intermediate host, which is consistent with the observation that SARS-CoV-2 was well-adapted for humans from the start of the outbreak. This is significant because these findings collectively suggest that no intermediate host seems to exist for SARS-CoV-2, which at the very least diminishes the possibility of a recombinant event occurring in an intermediate host.
Fast-forwarding to the smoking gun:
Given that RBM fully dictates hACE2-binding and that the SARS RBM-hACE2 binding was fully characterized by high-resolution structures (Figure 3)37,38, this RBM-only swap would not be any riskier than the full Spike swap. In fact, the feasibility of this RBM-swap strategy has been proven. In 2008, Dr. Zhengli Shi's group swapped a SARS RBM into the Spike proteins of several SARS-like bat coronaviruses after introducing a restriction site into a codon-optimized spike gene (Figure 5C). They then validated the binding of the resulted chimeric Spike proteins with hACE2. Furthermore, in a recent publication, the RBM of SARS-CoV-2 was swapped into the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARSCoV, resulting in a chimeric RBD fully functional in binding hACE2 (Figure 5C)39. Strikingly, in both cases, the manipulated RBM segments resemble almost exactly the RBM defined by the positions of the EcoRI and BstEII sites (Figure 5C). Although cloning details are lacking in both publications39,47, it is conceivable that the actual restriction sites may vary depending on the spike gene receiving the RBM insertion as well as the convenience in introducing unique restriction site(s) in regions of interest. It is noteworthy that the corresponding author of this recent publication, Dr. Fang Li, has been an active collaborator of Dr. Zhengli Shi since 201049-53. Dr. Li was the first person in the world to have structurally elucidated the binding between SARS-CoV RBD and hACE238 and has been the leading expert in the structural understanding of Spike-ACE2 interactions. The striking finding of EcoRI and BstEII restriction sites at either end of the SARS-CoV-2 RBM, respectively, and the fact that the same RBM region has been swapped both by Dr. Shi and by her long-term collaborator, respectively, using restriction enzyme digestion methods are unlikely a coincidence. Rather, it is the smoking gun proving that the RBM/Spike of SARS-CoV-2 is a product of genetic manipulation."
It gets better, because the Chinese scientists then presciently tried to cover their tracks:
Although it may be convenient to copy the exact sequence of SARS RBM, it would be too clear a sign of artificial design and manipulation. The more deceiving approach would be to change a few nonessential residues, while preserving the ones critical for binding. This design could be well-guided by the high-resolution structures (Figure 3)37,38. This way, when the overall sequence of the RBM would appear to be more distinct from that of the SARS RBM, the hACE2-binding ability would be well-preserved. We believe that all of the crucial residues (residues labeled with red sticks in Figure 4, which are the same residues shown in sticks in Figure 3C) should have been ''kept''. As described earlier, while some should be direct preservation, some should have been switched to residues with similar properties, which would not disrupt hACE2-binding and may even strengthen the association further [ZH: i.e., the virus was weaponized and enchanced]. Importantly, changes might have been made intentionally at non-essential sites, making it less like a ''copy and paste'' of the SARS RBM.
Yan also discusses the infamous furin-cleavage site:
... a close examination of the nucleotide sequence of the furin-cleavage site in SARS-CoV-2 spike has revealed that the two consecutive Arg residues within the inserted sequence (- PRRA-) are both coded by the rare codon CGG (least used codon for Arg in SARS-CoV-2) (Figure 7).
In fact, this CGGCGG arrangement is the only instance found in the SARS-CoV-2 genome where this rare codon is used in tandem. This observation strongly suggests that this furin-cleavage site should be a result of genetic engineering. Adding to the suspicion, a FauI restriction site is formulated by the codon choices here, suggesting the possibility that the restriction fragment length polymorphism, a technique that a WIV lab is proficient at, could have been involved. There, the fragmentation pattern resulted from FauI digestion could be used to monitor the preservation of the furin-cleavage site in Spike as this furin-cleavage site is prone to deletions in vitro. Specifically, RT-PCR on the spike gene of the recovered viruses from cell cultures or laboratory animals could be carried out, the product of which would be subjected to FauI digestion. Viruses retaining or losing the furin-cleavage site would then yield distinct patterns, allowing convenient tracking of the virus(es) of interest.
And another critical allegation: once again, the Wuhan Researchers were doing everything in their power to weaponize and boost the "enhancement of the infectivity and pathogenicity of the laboratory-made coronavirus":
The evidence collectively suggests that the furin-cleavage site in the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein may not have come from nature and could be the result of genetic manipulation. The purpose of this manipulation could have been to assess any potential enhancement of the infectivity and pathogenicity of the laboratory-made coronavirus.
Summarizing the above:
Evidence presented in this part reveals that certain aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 genome are extremely difficult to reconcile to being a result of natural evolution. The alternative theory we suggest is that the virus may have been created by using ZC45/ZXC21 bat coronavirus(es) as the backbone and/or template. The Spike protein, especially the RBM within it, should have been artificially manipulated, upon which the virus has acquired the ability to bind hACE2 and infect humans. This is supported by the finding of a unique restriction enzyme digestion site at either end of the RBM. An unusual furin-cleavage site may have been introduced and inserted at the S1/S2 junction of the Spike protein, which contributes to the increased virulence and pathogenicity of the virus.
These transformations have then staged the SARS CoV-2 virus to eventually become a highly-transmissible, onset-hidden, lethal, sequelae-unclear, and massively disruptive pathogen.
Evidently, the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 could have been created through gain-of-function manipulations at the WIV is significant and should be investigated thoroughly and independently.
Finally, those curious how the virus could have been created synthetically in Wuhan, here is a diagram proposed by Dr. Yan explaining all the required steps:
Her full paper is below:
And for those who missed it, here's Li-Meng's interview on UK television:
As a reminder, Zero Hedge was banned from Twitter on Jan 31 for making just this allegation, following a hit-piece written by an alleged pedophile (who was later fired for plagiarism) and countless so-called "scientists" screaming that our take was fake news and nothing but propaganda. Five months later Twitter admitted it had made a mistake, stating "we made an error in our enforcement action in this case."
Li-Meng Yan report | Covid-19 "genetically engineered to target humans" - AS.com
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 05:21
Li-Meng Yan, the Chinese virologist who has been in hiding in the US after claiming that the Chinese authorities not only knew about the novel coronavirus long before the first cases were officially reported in Wuhan last December but who has also suggested Covid-19 was created in a Chinese military laboratory has published with her team of researchers a 26-page document laying out her theory that the pandemic sweeping the world is not of natural origin.
Dr Yan and her team published their findings on Zenodo in a report entitled ''Unusual Features of the SARS CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route.''
The text is co-authored by Chinese scientists Shu Kang, Jie Guan and Shanchang Hu and published under the observation of the Rule of Law Society & Rule of Law Foundation in New York, an organization founded by Chinese magnate Guo Wengui, who has been in exile in the US for several years after being accused of crimes including corruption and sexual abuse in China. The Society's stated mission is to ''expose corruption, obstruction, illegality, brutality, false imprisonment, excessive sentencing, harassment, and inhumanity pervasive in the political, legal, business and financial systems of China.''
Covid-19 "adapted from already indetified bat coronavirus"In its summary, the report says that ''the genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2 has likely undergone genetic engineering, "through which the virus has gained the ability to target humans with enhanced virulence and infectivity.''
The report also claims that the novel coronavirus has been adapted by already-identified naturally occurring coronaviruses in bats by the Chinese military.
The research follows ''three lines of evidence'' that Yan and her team say demonstrate Covid-19 is a lab-based virus.
Covid-19 "suspiciously resembles 2003 SARS epidemic"Employees wear protective clothing to disinfect a cinema in Wuhan on July 20, 2020Getty Images
The first of these states: ''The genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 is suspiciously similar to that of a bat coronavirus discovered by military laboratories in the Third Military Medical University (Chongqing, China) and the Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command (Nanjing, China.''
The second line of evidence presented goes on to say: ''The receptor-binding motif (RBM) within the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which determines the host specificity of the virus, resembles that of SARS-CoV from the 2003 epidemic in a suspicious manner. Genomic evidence suggests that the RBM has been genetically manipulated.''
The third finding laid out by Yan and her team states: ''SARS-CoV-2 contains a unique furin-cleavage site in its Spike protein, which is known to greatly enhance viral infectivity and cell tropism. Yet, this cleavage site is completely absent in this particular class of coronaviruses found in nature. In addition, rare codons associated with this additional sequence suggest the strong possibility that this furin-cleavage site is not the product of natural evolution and could have been inserted into the SARS-CoV-2 genome artificially by techniques other than simple serial passage or multi-strain recombination events inside co-infected tissue cultures or animals.''
Covid-19 "a laboratory product created by using bat coronaviruses" In summary, Yan and her team suggest that the novel coronavirus was developed ''as a laboratory product created by using bat coronaviruses ZC45 and/or ZXC21 as a template and/or backbone.''
The report states that ''ZC45 and ZXC21 were discovered between July 2015 and February 2017 and isolated and characterized by the aforementioned military research laboratories.'' It also says that when a non-military lab, the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre, published a Nature article reporting ''a conflicting close phylogenetic relationship between SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC2 rather than with RaTG13, was quickly shut down for 'rectification.'''
The report also accuses several publications of bowing to political pressure or of experiencing ''conflicts of interest'' so as not to publish findings that differ from the natural origin theory. ''The existing scientific publications supporting a natural origin theory rely heavily on a single piece of evidence '' a previously discovered bat coronavirus named RaTG13, which shares a 96% nucleotide sequence identity with SARS-CoV-2,'' the report states.
Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route | Zenodo
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 05:23
Zenodo DOI Badge DOI 10.5281/zenodo.4028830 Markdown [![DOI](https://zenodo.org/badge/DOI/10.5281/zenodo.4028830.svg)](https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4028830) reStructedText .. image:: https://zenodo.org/badge/DOI/10.5281/zenodo.4028830.svg   :target: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4028830 HTML <a href="https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4028830"><img src="https://zenodo.org/badge/DOI/10.5281/zenodo.4028830.svg" alt="DOI"></a> Image URL https://zenodo.org/badge/DOI/10.5281/zenodo.4028830.svg Target URL https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4028830
The Yan Report | Antiviral Drug | Virus
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 14:20
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26 pages Description:The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has led to over 910,000 deaths worldwide and unprecedented decimation of the global economy. Despite its tremendous impact, the origin of SARS-CoV-2 has remained mysterious and controversial. The natural origin theory, although widely accepted, lacks substantial support. The alternative theory that the virus may have come from a research laboratory is, however, strictly censored on peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Date uploadedSep 14, 2020
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TikTok: Oracle confirms deal to become 'trusted technology provider'
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:22
Oracle on Monday confirmed it has struck a deal with ByteDance, the Chinese owner of popular video-sharing app TikTok, weeks after the Trump administration ordered a TikTok divestiture in the United States.
The deal still needs U.S. government approval.
"Oracle confirms Secretary Mnuchin's statement that it is part of the proposal submitted by ByteDance to the Treasury Department over the weekend in which Oracle will serve as the trusted technology provider," Oracle said Monday.
Earlier on CNBC, Mnuchin said the U.S. government plans to review the deal this week. "I will just say from our standpoint, we'll need to make sure that the code is, one, secure, Americans' data is secure, that the phones are secure and we'll be looking to have discussions with Oracle over the next few days with our technical teams," he said on "Squawk Box."
Depending on how the deal works out, it could boost Oracle's cloud business. It might make Oracle more visible to young consumers and give it control over a prominent advertising venue.
Microsoft, which competes with Oracle in cloud computing and database software, was also interested in TikTok's U.S. operations. But Microsoft's bid was rejected, and the company announced Sunday it had withdrawn from the process. Microsoft said on Aug. 2 that it had been in talks to acquire TikTok in the U.S. Walmart had also been interested in TikTok for its e-commerce potential, and joined forces with Microsoft last week after a consortium with Softbank and Google parent company Alphabet fell apart. On Sunday, Walmart said it still wants to invest in TikTok.
TikTok has said it has over 100 million monthly active users in the U.S. Many millions of users are in their teens, The New York Times reported in August. The largest age bracket among TikTok users in the United Kingdom in December was 18-24, according to industry research company Comscore.
As an app that entertains people, TikTok stands out from the rest of Oracle, which sells software to large businesses, schools and government institutions. Oracle and TikTok share an interest in marketing, though. TikTok derives revenue by showing users ads, and Oracle offers software that marketers can use to manage the distribution of ads on Facebook and other channels. TikTok has been adding users quickly, while Oracle's revenue has declined in four of the eight most recent quarters.
Serving as a technology provider to TikTok might mean Oracle will offer its cloud infrastructure for the app to use. That would give Oracle another popular property for its executives to boast about as a cloud client, and it could attract additional cloud business. Last week on Oracle's earnings conference call with analysts, Chairman Larry Ellison made several references to video-calling service Zoom's use of the Oracle public cloud. Oracle was not among the top five cloud infrastructure providers by revenue in 2019, according to technology research company Gartner.
Acquisitions have helped Oracle expand its portfolio. The 2010 Sun deal made Oracle a notable seller of servers for data centers, and it entered the market for point-of-sale retail equipment with the 2014 purchase of Micros. Oracle's $9.1 billion acquisition of cloud software company NetSuite in 2016 is the largest transaction in its 43-year history.
Oracle maintains ties to the U.S. government. CEO Safra Catz was part of Trump's transition team, and Ellison hosted a fundraising event for Trump's election campaign at one of his California homes earlier this year. It also has ties with Democrats: Leon Panetta, a former director of the CIA and secretary of the Defense Department under President Barack Obama, is on Oracle's board.
ByteDance was founded in 2012, and that year it launched the news app Toutiao. It came out with TikTok for people outside China in 2017, after bringing out a similar app for people in China called Douyin. Also in 2017, ByteDance acquired a separate video sharing app called Musical.ly that had gained a following in the United States. Last year, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. contacted ByteDance about the Musical.ly deal because of concerns about the Chinese government's ability to access user data.
ByteDance said it would adhere to the Chinese government's updated restrictions on exports, which now touch on "recommendation of personalized information services based on data analysis," among other things. TikTok relies on recommendation systems to determine which videos it should show to users.
Louis Vuitton Launches $961 Covid Face Shields | Vanity Fair
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 13:16
Now that face masks and shields are officially a part of our everyday outfits for the foreseeable future, it makes sense that luxury designers would want to cash-in on the biggest accessory trend to come out of the pandemic. A number of brands have already made the foray into fancy masks, but Louis Vuitton is the first to offer a high-fashion face shield, with the price tag to match.
The French fashion house announced this week that it will be releasing its elegant $961 take on PPE as part of the label's 2021 Cruise collection, available in stores worldwide on October 30th. The shield is composed of an elastic monogrammed strap that goes around the wearer's head with a moveable shield attached by golden studs engraved with the LV logo. The shield itself also comes trimmed in Vuitton's signature monogram print, can be flipped upwards to be worn as a peaked hat, and also comes with transition lens technology so it can go from clear to dark depending on the level of sunlight.
A press release announcing the shield describes it as ''an eye-catching headpiece, both stylish and protective.'' And once cities are allowed to safely have in-person runway shows again, these LV Shields are almost guaranteed to be the must-have accessory of fashion week. But if the brand really wants to kick their luxury PPE offerings up a notch, maybe they should also consider consulting the Indian man who made a $4,000 solid gold face mask for their Spring/Summer 2021 line.
More Great Stories From Vanity Fair
'-- Jesmyn Ward Writes Through Grief Amid Protests and Pandemic'-- Melania Trump's Clothes Really Don't Care, and Neither Should You'-- How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Paid Off the Frogmore Cottage Renovations'-- Poetry: COVID-19 and Racism Collide in Mississippi'-- 11 of Fall's Best Coffee-Table Books'-- Is This the End of In-Person Awards Shows?'-- From the Archive: The Precarious Future of Stately Aristocratic Homes
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China's LGBT community expresses disappointment after Shanghai Pride cancelled indefinitely - ABC News
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 05:09
Amy Yang always wanted to travel outside of China, but she didn't expect her life to change as much as it did.
Key points: Political developments in China has made life harder for LGBT people Traditional notions of family mean many in China's LGBT community feel pressured into heterosexual marriage Taiwan's pride march went ahead because authorities were able to control the spread of the coronavirusHaving now completed her studies, the 27-year-old owns her own accessory business and says her current life, living with her girlfriend in Melbourne's CBD, is beyond her wildest dreams.
"When I was in China I didn't really realise my sexuality," she said.
"I didn't know there was any possibility for me to live a different life, to be able to live with another woman."
Life as a gay man in China Shanghai businessman Rongfeng Duan shares his experience of being in a gay relationship in China and recalls how three different weddings became landmarks in his life.
Read more
Homosexuality was officially declassified as a mental disorder in China in 2001 and is no longer considered illegal, but there remain significant obstacles for China's LGBT community.
Last month, organisers of China's largest LGBT festival, Shanghai Pride, said they would cancel the annual event indefinitely.
In a blog post on their website, the organisers gave no explanation for their decision, stating: "We love our community, and we are grateful for the experiences we've shared together. No matter what, we will always be proud '-- and you should be, too."
One of the main organisers, Charlene Liu, said in a statement posted on Facebook that "the decision was difficult to make but we have to protect the safety of all involved", without elaborating.
Shanghai Pride declined the ABC's request to comment on why it cancelled the event.
Coming from the north-western city of Xi'an, Ms Yang said it was expected of young people to marry and have a traditional family just like their parents, which made living her current lifestyle impossible in China.
"If we go back to China, we would need to pretend we're friends," she said.
"I may need to hide my sexuality and that would be difficult."
'Now is not the best moment' Shanghai Pride is also one of China's longest running LGBT events.(Reuters: Aly Song)Professor Hongwei Bao from the University of Nottingham has been studying queer identity in China for decades.
He said traditional family ideals and a lack of civic space created a difficult environment for China's LGBT community.
"The biggest obstacle for [people] in China is really this pressure from their families for them to get married heterosexually," he said.
"LGBT people can live quite happily if they don't ask for their rights, but for people who want their unique voices heard and to be visible, now is not the best moment."
Decades of enforced social norms in the wake of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 70s gave way to a period of relative social freedom in the late 1990s, Professor Bao said.
After the 2008 Olympics, however, the Chinese Communist Party sought to regain some of that control, with policy changes such as the Foreign NGO Law giving the government more discretion in allowing civil society organisations to grow.
These changes had direct implications for China's LGBT community, as many organisations dependent on foreign funding were wiped out.
Shanghai Pride ran its first volunteer-run event in 2009, and grew over the next decade to become renowned for its queer film festival and art exhibits.
Informal cultural learning is a key source of sexual education in China.(Flickr: Kris Kr¼g)Professor Bao said a high-profile cancellation such as this was symbolic of a shrinking civic space in China, particularly under President Xi Jinping.
"It illustrates the changes that we are seeing now," he said.
"It basically passes on the information to other groups, that if you don't want to obey our rules, this is what will happen."
'I can be myself in Melbourne'Just like Ms Yang, Blair, who only wants to be known by his first name, was certain he wanted to go abroad, but admits that the decision to study a Masters of Media wasn't out of any great passion for the field.
"My dream to study abroad was really not for study at all, it was more for my own lifestyle," he said.
"I wanted to experience little things like holding hands in public, because I can't do that in China."
In Melbourne, Blair said he was able to experience freedom for the first time, wearing as much makeup as he liked without feeling like people were staring.
"I can be myself in Melbourne," he said.
Blair says moments like the shutdown of Shanghai Pride are demoralising for China's LGBT community.(Supplied)Now working as a freelance journalist in China, Blair has been able to find his crowd and is openly gay to his friends and workplace, but like Ms Yang, doesn't feel comfortable sharing that part of his life with his parents.
Having experienced life in Melbourne, Blair can see that he has less freedom in China and hopes to be able to move back overseas in the future.
Blair said moments like the shutdown of Shanghai Pride were a constant source of frustration, demonstrating a cruel irony where in theory he was accepted, but in practice he was not.
"It's sad for the LGBT community because at times it feels like there is progress, but in other ways they shut us down," he said.
"Even on television sometimes, even basic things cannot be aired, even though we have seen it elsewhere."
Informal cultural learning is a key source of sexual education in China, as Blair said he would find queer films to fill the gaps in his education.
A recent survey conducted by the China Family Planning Association, Tsinghua University and China Youth Network involving more than 50,000 Chinese university students found that only 15 per cent said they were 'very satisfied' with their experience of sexual education in high school.
Cultural activism has been one space where the LGBT community has made some inroads over the years, with art, clubs and film with queer characteristics becoming more common.
Nevertheless, China's state-owned television networks remain heavily censored.
Professor Bao said recent directives suggesting gay romance should be replaced with friendship send a clear message to the Chinese audience.
"In other words, gay people cannot live happily together after all, they cannot have sex, they have to be friends."
Putting Taiwan on the map Andy Liu has been involved in organising LGBT events, including this year's pride march.(Supplied)Across the strait it's a different story for Andy Liu.
Growing up in Taiwan, he said his family was supportive of him and he could turn on his TV and see gay celebrities.
"I feel like general public support for the LGBT community in Taiwan has been mostly relatively high," he said.
"Also, there was an openly gay man hosting one of the most popular talk shows in Taiwan, so I feel like that also helped push the dialogue forward a lot."
Operating under de facto independence from mainland China, Taiwan's democratic political system has created an oasis of LGBT acceptance in Asia, with the island nation legalising same-sex marriage last year.
Although he doesn't believe in the institution of marriage, Mr Liu said it was important for him to contribute to the campaign.
"I believe in the abolition of marriage, but I will fight for marriage equality because I feel like if this discrimination is written into law, it will add to the discrimination that queer people already face in their everyday lives."
Taiwan legalised same-sex marriage last year.(Reuters: Tyrone Siu)Mr Liu, who has been involved in organising LGBT events, said a pride march in June was able to go ahead due to Taiwan's ability to stop the spread of the coronavirus, unlike other parts of Asia, which mostly had to cancel or move their pride events online.
"There was a political aim, we wanted to put Taiwan on the map," he said.
"And it started pouring heavily with rain, Lady Gaga's new album had just come out so we played Rain On Me on a speaker while dancing in the rain."
With no prospect of same-sex marriage in China, Ms Yang hopes to become a permanent resident in Australia and settle down with her partner.
And after hearing the story of a close friend whose parents refused to accept their child's non-heterosexuality, Ms Yang said she was likely to keep her life in Australia a secret from her family.
"That story made me really worried, one day if I decide to tell my parents, what will they think of me?"
Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Partners With Pro-Communist China Group
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:56
Imagine that far-right demonstrators were laying siege to American cities for months, led by activists explicitly calling for an ''ethno-state,'' and that one of their groups was funded by an outfit involved with Vladimir Putin's Russia. It would lead the news every day and there would be congressional hearings, right?
And rightly so. The threat of foreign interference in our domestic affairs is a serious matter, whether the suspects are rivals such as Russia or friendlies such as Mexico. This is especially the case if a foreign power were abetting unrest that aims to topple our constitutional order.
Well, the scenario described above is happening, though not with Russia or the far right, but with China and the leftist disturbances upending America and seeking to transform it.
Yet, there has not been a peep from the media or Congress about China's support of the riots.
Go to the website for the Black Futures Lab, a venture of Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza, and click on the ''Donate'' button. It will ask you to send your money to an obscure organization, the Chinese Progressive Association, explaining that ''Black Futures Lab is a fiscally sponsored project of the Chinese Progressive Association.''
History of Chinese Progressive AssociationThe CPA was founded in San Francisco in 1972 during the heady days of the Marxist-oriented Asian American Movement, and today it also has a very active chapter in Boston. From its start, it has been a promoter of the People's Republic of China.
According to an authoritative 2009 Stanford University paper tracing its early days to the present, and which can be found on Marxist.org, ''The CPA began as a Leftist, pro-People's Republic of China organization, promoting awareness of mainland China's revolutionary thought and workers' rights, and dedicated to self-determination, community control, and 'serving the people.'''
The CPA, continued the paper, ''worked with other pro-PRC groups within the U.S. and San Francisco Bay Area '... Support for the PRC was based on the inspiration the members drew from what they saw as a successful grassroots model that presented a viable alternative to Western capitalism.''
One of the ways it did this was by holding ''film screenings that were open to the public, sometimes showing Chinese films as well to facilitate understanding of the country's revolutionary ideas. '... CPA also took the lead with groups such as the U.S.-China People's Friendship Organization to celebrate China's National Day on Oct. 1.''
To this day, the CPA continues to be a partner of the PRC in the United States. Three years ago, the Boston chapter teamed up with China's Consulate General in New York to offer Chinese nationals the opportunity to renew their passports, getting praise from China's official mouthpiece, China Daily.
Last year, the CPA sponsored the raising of the PRC's flag for the first time ever over Boston's City Hall to honor the takeover of China by the Chinese Communist Party, just as the Stanford paper says has been its practice from the beginning, but this time drawing protesters. The event was organized, again, with the Chinese Consulate. Consul General Sun Guoxiang was on hand to say that, ''The common interests are far more important than differences between U.S. and China.''
CPA co-founder Lydia Lowe also spoke at the event, reminding her audience that ''McCarthyism is behind us. The Cold War is behind us.'' In an essay she authored with other people on the Marxist revolutionary site LeftRoots last year, Lowe sounded as though she wanted to start another Cold War, writing that she wanted Asians to play a role in creating a ''revolutionary strategy'' that would achieve a ''fundamentally different society.''
And CPA drew praise from China's mouthpiece China Daily just a few weeks ago, for taking part again in Black Lives Matter demonstrations in San Francisco.
Black Lives Matter Opposes CapitalismIt is clear, then, that CPA works with China's communist government, pushes its agenda here in the United States, and is regularly praised by China's state-owned mouthpieces. It is clear, too, from, this perspective, why the CPA would sponsor a new enterprise by Garza: They espouse the same desire for world communism.
Garza sits atop a worldwide revolutionary empire, starting with the Black Lives Matter Global Network she founded, which now has 15 chapters in the U.S. and several more all over Canada, Australia, and Europe. As Foreign Affairs wrote in its September/October issue, ''Today, BLM has a global network of dozens of chapters. This number will likely grow exponentially in the coming years.''
>>> Learn the truth about Black Lives Matter:
Garza is also behind the Movement for Black Lives, with its 50 domestic organizations. In July she said, ''We helped to also pull together an ecosystem that was much broader than the organization that we founded, and that ecosystem is called the Movement for Black Lives and it is taking the world by storm.''
Movement for Black Lives is unabashedly anti-capitalist, saying on its website, ''We are anti-capitalist. We believe and understand that Black people will never achieve liberation under the current global racialized capitalist system.''
So is Garza, and she means to use her international platform to end world capitalism. In 2015, she told an important gathering of global Marxists, ''It's not possible for a world to emerge where black lives matter if it's under capitalism, and it's not possible to abolish capitalism without a struggle against national oppression.''
There, she portrayed BLM as an offshoot of the Black Liberation Movement, the Marxist pan-Africanist Movement. ''BLM, BLM,'' she said coyly.
Last year, Garza told a roomful of Maine progressives, ''We're talking about changing how we've organized this country, so that we actually can achieve the justice that we are fighting for. I believe we all have work to do to keep dismantling the organizing principle of this society, which creates inequities for everyone.''
The Role of Black Futures LabTwo years ago, Garza created the Black Futures Lab, the organization that the Chinese Progressive Association funds, as yet another asset in the vast Garza empire. By the looks of it, it acts as a sort of a lobbying arm of this empire.
As Colorlines put it when it was launched on Sept. 26, 2018, Black Futures Lab ''seeks to engage advocacy organizations and legislators to advance local-, state- and federal-level policies that make Black communities stronger. It will also craft strategies that harness Black political power to bring those policies to fruition.''
''Today, we are launching the Black Futures Lab as a way to mobilize around our needs, hopes, and dreams,'' Garza told Colorlines in an emailed statement. ''For too long, people have spoken for us and perpetuated false representations of the issues that drive our votes.''
This legislative clout adds to the organizing muscle that the Black Lives Matters Global Network and the Movement for Black Lives organizations already bring.
As I wrote at City Journal last month, the BLM organizations have been the nerve center of this year's protests: ''They have been laying the groundwork for years, carefully cultivating a network of groups that could organize protests when the moment came and amplify the message through social media.''
Communist China has put its vast propaganda apparatus to work in support of the mayhem that has wreaked havoc in American cities this year. China is, after all, a rival of the United States, and would see weakening of U.S. society and the country in general as advantageous.
The involvement of an outfit as closely associated with the Chinese government in the funding of one of Garza's ventures is something else entirely, however.
Maybe journalists and congressmen have not seen it till now (I myself hadn't until Jenny Nguyen, a graduate of The Heritage Foundation's Young Leaders Program, alerted me to it).
But now they have.
'Tenet' box office stumble has Hollywood rethinking movie release schedule
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:05
September 16, 2020 | 7:21pm
Enlarge Image Gal Gadot in "Wonder Woman 1984," whose release date was pushed from Oct. 2 to Christmas Day. AP
The disastrous debut of Warner Bros' spy thriller ''Tenet'' at movie theaters has Hollywood studios fingering the panic button.
''Tenet'' '-- a $200 million Christopher Nolan production which has amassed less than $30 million in ticket sales since it hit US theaters on Sept. 3 '-- has given Tinseltown a wakeup call, with studios grappling with whether to release their remaining blockbusters this year or hold them until the coronavirus crisis wanes.
''Studios are making decisions based on what's happening with 'Tenet,''' said MKM partners analyst Eric Handler. ''What I think you're going to see is more movies get pushed back until we see major markets reopen again.''
Last week, Warner Bros. postponed ''Wonder Woman 1984,'' starring Gal Gadot, to Christmas Day from Oct. 2, and Universal pushed ''Candyman'' to an undetermined date next year from Oct. 16. There's also buzz that Disney will delay the Nov. 6 release of its Marvel movie ''Black Widow,'' starring Scarlett Johansson, as well as Pixar adventure ''Soul'' on Nov. 20. Disney did not comment on the speculation.
''If 'Black Widow' moves, we really don't have a big film for quite a while,'' Handler said. ''There's the James Bond 'No Time to Die' film at Thanksgiving, then 'Dune' [on Dec. 18] and 'Wonder Woman.' We could have a couple big-event films but in terms of depth that's it.''
The analyst said the push back of films is setting up a circular problem, in which movie theaters ''want customers to show up but they won't show up if there's no new movies.''
The reluctance to return to theaters is due in large part to the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus pandemic, which caused cinemas to go dark in the US for five months.
But ''Tenet,'' which pre-pandemic was projected to garner around $850 million in global ticket sales, was at least expected to jolt the industry back to life. Instead, it arrived at the box office with a whimper, grossing $178 million internationally, and $29.5 million in North America, bringing its current global box office tally to $207 million, Box Office Mojo said.
Critics blamed the tepid results on the fact that only 60 percent, or 3,500 of North America's 6,000 theaters are open. Also adding to the sales woes is the fact that major markets like New York and Los Angeles remain closed.
Still, the ''Tenet'' debacle has sent shockwaves through Hollywood. At a Bank of America investors conference last week, Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra jolted insiders with what looked like a thinly veiled reference to the flop.
''What we won't want to do is make the mistake of putting a very, very expensive $200 million movie on the market unless we're sure theaters are open and operating at a significant capacity,'' he said.
Comscore media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said Hollywood will have to be patient for the return of theatergoers, predicting that 2021 will be an important year for the recovery.
''The fact that movie theaters are just doing business, that is a good sign,'' the analyst said. ''Right now, I just think it's a win that people want to go back. It's a daunting thing to go back indoors and into those venues after six months.''
BLM
Poof! The Portland Riots Just Stopped. Why?
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:04
Have Portland's Professional Protesters' been smoked out? Since May 29th, Portland has been the back drop of more than 100 nights of antifa, anarchist and Black Lives Matter, Inc' terroristic riots. They set fires, looted, and intimidated people by threatening to burn them alive in their homes.
But after the millions of dollars of destruction, criminality and thuggery it stopped last week. Poof!
Why?
I certainly don't want to tempt these thugs, but it can't go without saying that Portland's 100 plus days of riots appeared to end after Wednesday, September 9th.
Oregon Says Reports of Antifa Firesetters Are Nuts, So Why Did This County Call for Curfew Because of Them?That was the last time the Portland Police Bureau warned about protests.
SW Jefferson to SW Salmon from SW 1st to SW Broadway is closed to pedestrians but open for vehicular traffic. All people must leave the area to the west now. Champman and Lownsdale Squares are now closed.
'-- Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) September 9, 2020
The usual live-streamers decamped to other riots and fires.
By September 10th, the overworked cops from Portland Police Bureau were offered out to assist other agencies. Suddenly, instead of being required to work the riots lines, they were free.
I have offered @ClackCoSheriff and @ORStatePolice PPB officers to assist with emergencies related to fires. PPB recognizes the need for us all to come together as a state to assist one another in this time of need.
'-- Chief Chuck Lovell (@ChiefCLovell) September 10, 2020
Why?
On September 7th to the morning of the 8th, the Pacific Northwest experienced a major ''wind event.'' Winds gusted through Oregon and Washington at more than 60 miles per hour. Fires that had been allowed to crackle along, such as the Beachie fire, flared up. Power lines were downed. The fires kicked up.
Oregon Wildfires: One Family's Acts of Heroism, Including Duke the Dog's, Are Absolutely HumblingAnd then came the reports. Clackamas County Sheriff's officials reported that people had seen antifa protester types reportedly stashing gas cans, looting, and looking ridiculously out of place. They were taking pictures and giving locals grief for trying to keep them out of closed neighborhoods. Locals wondered if there was a connection between the fires and the sightings of these folks.
BLM was seen there. The original BLM, the Bureau of Land Management, not the group that borrowed the acronym.
Preventable wildfires threaten lives, property, & precious resources every year. During the #COVID19 pandemic, firefighters are needed more than ever to keep Americans safe, so please, do your part to prevent human-caused wildfires. #WildfirePrevention pic.twitter.com/POm4nfr3W1
'-- Bureau of Land Management Fire and Aviation (@BLMFire) September 14, 2020
And just as suddenly, such sightings and reports were dismissed as rumors and lies. Myriad law enforcement agencies begged people to stop sharing such stories, as I reported on PJMedia.
I reached out to the Portland Police Bureau for a comment on the lag in riots, but didn't receive a reply before publication.
Oregon Sheriff's Deputy Investigating Fires Pays Price for Saying Unkind Words About AntifaRiot-weary Oregonians aren't necessarily mollified by the concerted effort to shut down these reports. Until last Wednesday night, they'd seen the antifa rioters and arsonists in action on the news every night in Portland. And now some of them swore they saw those people in Estacada, Sandy, Molalla and other parts of the burning Clackamas County.
Indeed, documents from the Department of Homeland Security show that whatever antifa rioters are doing, they're doing in concert, organizing with other like-minded people.
are organized and show up night after night, and share common TTPs (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures)..''
"Threat actors who are motivated by Anarchists or ANTIFA (or a combination of both) ideologies to carry out acts of violence against State, Local and Federal authorities..''
'-- Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) September 14, 2020
The internal document leaked yesterday from the Department of Homeland Security reads:
According to this @DHSgov internal email, obtained @CBSNews, former Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence & Analysis Brian Murphy wrote colleagues on July 25th that the Portland violence was not ''opportunistic'' but ''organized'' citing ''Anarchists or Antifa''
''We can't say any longer that this violent situation is opportunistic. Additionally, we have overwhelmingly(sic) intelligence regarding the ideologies driving individuals toward violence + why the violence has continued.
A core set of Threat actors are organized and show up night after night, and share common TTPs (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures).. Threat actors who are motivated by Anarchists or ANTIFA (or a combination of both) ideologies to carry out acts of violence against State, Local and Federal authorities..''
They're organized, share the same tactics and talk to each other. Why are they so quiet right now?
Oregonians might well wonder that these ''threat actors'' are doing their arsons in the tinder dry woodlands of the state instead of nearby downtown Portland.
The riots have stopped. Did they go to San Francisco or Lancaster, Pennsylvania to raise hell? Did they stop because of the smokey skies and air quality numbers that are off the charts? It seems unlikely that a group that spawned a murderer, multiple arsonists and police assaulters would be dissuaded by smoky quality air. Is it because the media are busy covering the wildfires and there's nothing in rioting for the terrorists? Or is it because of something else?
The riots are over for now. Why?
Editor's Note: Want to support PJ Media so we can keep telling the truth about the riots and attacks on law enforcement? Join PJ Media VIP and use the promo code LAWANDORDER for 25% off your VIP membership.
Oregon Sheriff's Deputy Investigating Fires Pays Price for Saying Unkind Words About Antifa
Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Partners With Pro-Communist China Group
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:56
Imagine that far-right demonstrators were laying siege to American cities for months, led by activists explicitly calling for an ''ethno-state,'' and that one of their groups was funded by an outfit involved with Vladimir Putin's Russia. It would lead the news every day and there would be congressional hearings, right?
And rightly so. The threat of foreign interference in our domestic affairs is a serious matter, whether the suspects are rivals such as Russia or friendlies such as Mexico. This is especially the case if a foreign power were abetting unrest that aims to topple our constitutional order.
Well, the scenario described above is happening, though not with Russia or the far right, but with China and the leftist disturbances upending America and seeking to transform it.
Yet, there has not been a peep from the media or Congress about China's support of the riots.
Go to the website for the Black Futures Lab, a venture of Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza, and click on the ''Donate'' button. It will ask you to send your money to an obscure organization, the Chinese Progressive Association, explaining that ''Black Futures Lab is a fiscally sponsored project of the Chinese Progressive Association.''
History of Chinese Progressive AssociationThe CPA was founded in San Francisco in 1972 during the heady days of the Marxist-oriented Asian American Movement, and today it also has a very active chapter in Boston. From its start, it has been a promoter of the People's Republic of China.
According to an authoritative 2009 Stanford University paper tracing its early days to the present, and which can be found on Marxist.org, ''The CPA began as a Leftist, pro-People's Republic of China organization, promoting awareness of mainland China's revolutionary thought and workers' rights, and dedicated to self-determination, community control, and 'serving the people.'''
The CPA, continued the paper, ''worked with other pro-PRC groups within the U.S. and San Francisco Bay Area '... Support for the PRC was based on the inspiration the members drew from what they saw as a successful grassroots model that presented a viable alternative to Western capitalism.''
One of the ways it did this was by holding ''film screenings that were open to the public, sometimes showing Chinese films as well to facilitate understanding of the country's revolutionary ideas. '... CPA also took the lead with groups such as the U.S.-China People's Friendship Organization to celebrate China's National Day on Oct. 1.''
To this day, the CPA continues to be a partner of the PRC in the United States. Three years ago, the Boston chapter teamed up with China's Consulate General in New York to offer Chinese nationals the opportunity to renew their passports, getting praise from China's official mouthpiece, China Daily.
Last year, the CPA sponsored the raising of the PRC's flag for the first time ever over Boston's City Hall to honor the takeover of China by the Chinese Communist Party, just as the Stanford paper says has been its practice from the beginning, but this time drawing protesters. The event was organized, again, with the Chinese Consulate. Consul General Sun Guoxiang was on hand to say that, ''The common interests are far more important than differences between U.S. and China.''
CPA co-founder Lydia Lowe also spoke at the event, reminding her audience that ''McCarthyism is behind us. The Cold War is behind us.'' In an essay she authored with other people on the Marxist revolutionary site LeftRoots last year, Lowe sounded as though she wanted to start another Cold War, writing that she wanted Asians to play a role in creating a ''revolutionary strategy'' that would achieve a ''fundamentally different society.''
And CPA drew praise from China's mouthpiece China Daily just a few weeks ago, for taking part again in Black Lives Matter demonstrations in San Francisco.
Black Lives Matter Opposes CapitalismIt is clear, then, that CPA works with China's communist government, pushes its agenda here in the United States, and is regularly praised by China's state-owned mouthpieces. It is clear, too, from, this perspective, why the CPA would sponsor a new enterprise by Garza: They espouse the same desire for world communism.
Garza sits atop a worldwide revolutionary empire, starting with the Black Lives Matter Global Network she founded, which now has 15 chapters in the U.S. and several more all over Canada, Australia, and Europe. As Foreign Affairs wrote in its September/October issue, ''Today, BLM has a global network of dozens of chapters. This number will likely grow exponentially in the coming years.''
>>> Learn the truth about Black Lives Matter:
Garza is also behind the Movement for Black Lives, with its 50 domestic organizations. In July she said, ''We helped to also pull together an ecosystem that was much broader than the organization that we founded, and that ecosystem is called the Movement for Black Lives and it is taking the world by storm.''
Movement for Black Lives is unabashedly anti-capitalist, saying on its website, ''We are anti-capitalist. We believe and understand that Black people will never achieve liberation under the current global racialized capitalist system.''
So is Garza, and she means to use her international platform to end world capitalism. In 2015, she told an important gathering of global Marxists, ''It's not possible for a world to emerge where black lives matter if it's under capitalism, and it's not possible to abolish capitalism without a struggle against national oppression.''
There, she portrayed BLM as an offshoot of the Black Liberation Movement, the Marxist pan-Africanist Movement. ''BLM, BLM,'' she said coyly.
Last year, Garza told a roomful of Maine progressives, ''We're talking about changing how we've organized this country, so that we actually can achieve the justice that we are fighting for. I believe we all have work to do to keep dismantling the organizing principle of this society, which creates inequities for everyone.''
The Role of Black Futures LabTwo years ago, Garza created the Black Futures Lab, the organization that the Chinese Progressive Association funds, as yet another asset in the vast Garza empire. By the looks of it, it acts as a sort of a lobbying arm of this empire.
As Colorlines put it when it was launched on Sept. 26, 2018, Black Futures Lab ''seeks to engage advocacy organizations and legislators to advance local-, state- and federal-level policies that make Black communities stronger. It will also craft strategies that harness Black political power to bring those policies to fruition.''
''Today, we are launching the Black Futures Lab as a way to mobilize around our needs, hopes, and dreams,'' Garza told Colorlines in an emailed statement. ''For too long, people have spoken for us and perpetuated false representations of the issues that drive our votes.''
This legislative clout adds to the organizing muscle that the Black Lives Matters Global Network and the Movement for Black Lives organizations already bring.
As I wrote at City Journal last month, the BLM organizations have been the nerve center of this year's protests: ''They have been laying the groundwork for years, carefully cultivating a network of groups that could organize protests when the moment came and amplify the message through social media.''
Communist China has put its vast propaganda apparatus to work in support of the mayhem that has wreaked havoc in American cities this year. China is, after all, a rival of the United States, and would see weakening of U.S. society and the country in general as advantageous.
The involvement of an outfit as closely associated with the Chinese government in the funding of one of Garza's ventures is something else entirely, however.
Maybe journalists and congressmen have not seen it till now (I myself hadn't until Jenny Nguyen, a graduate of The Heritage Foundation's Young Leaders Program, alerted me to it).
But now they have.
With Support for 'Black Lives Matter' China Crosses a Thin Line '' The Diplomat
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:49
China Power | Society | East Asia Beijing's propaganda use of the anti-racism movement risks backfiring.
Credit: Pixabay AdvertisementWhile it is questionable whether the Chinese government genuinely cares about universal human rights and racial equality, its propaganda apparatus has seemingly become an active ''supporter'' of the global Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement '' mostly in the form of lambasting the U.S. government and system. As Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian remarked, ''Racism against ethnic minorities in the U.S. is a chronic disease of American society.'' In a tweet, another Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, replied ''I can't breathe,'' which has become a rallying cry for BLM, to U.S. State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus' criticism of Beijing's Hong Kong policies.
By invoking BLM, Beijing's recent propaganda campaign hopes to send two messages. First, the United States' hypocrisy in criticizing China's human rights conditions. Aiming at both domestic and international audiences, state media such as Xinhua and People's Daily accused the United States of not facing up to its own issues: ''While criticizing China for ending chaos, some U.S. politicians label themselves as beacons of democracy and human rights. Such double standards reveal their hypocrisy driven by ulterior political motives.'' Second, Beijing emphasizes the failure of the liberal democratic system as represented by the United States, through which the Chinese political system is portrayed in a more positive light. As remarked by China expert Susan Shirk, the protests will cause fewer Chinese to ''voice support for American ideals, such as free markets and civil liberties.''
The BLM movement, along with the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States, offered Beijing a long-needed breakthrough in its failing narrative warfare with Washington. Global criticism over the human rights situation in Xinjiang and Hong Kong has escalated since last year and China's political system was blamed for the inability to prevent and contain the initial outbreak of the pandemic. China's nationalist sentiments also played a role in the recent counter-narrative. Global Times editor, Hu Xijin, commented that the attack on the United States reflects ''a kind of vengeful feeling, which I think is human nature.''
However, Beijing is crossing a thin line by building narratives on an issue it is inexperienced in dealing with, especially when international propaganda hasn't been its strong suit in general. In one tweet, Hua Chunying, likely by mistake, wrote ''all lives matter'' '-- a slogan commonly used to undermine the BLM movement. Previous unawareness of racial sensitivities has generated backlash for China in cases such as CCTV's 2018 New Year's Gala show in 2018, which praised China's building of railways in Africa in a skit featuring actresses wearing blackface and holding fruit baskets.
More importantly, China's vocal criticism of minority rights violations in the United States increases the attention drawn to its own ethnic issues and poses the risk of being targeted by the BLM for its own racial discrimination against Blacks. While the People's Republic of China can rightly say it has never enslaved Black people (although Black slavery was recorded in Imperial China), yet considerable cases of xenophobia directed at people of African descent provide fertile ground for accusations of China being a racist country.
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In 1988, thousands of Chinese chanted racist slogans after two African students at Hehai University brought Chinese girls into their dorms. As recently as 2017, Pan Qinglin of China's Political Consultative Conference urged the government to ''strictly control the African people living in Guangdong and other places,'' arguing that ''Africans bring many security risks.'' Discrimination against Black people in China more commonly made global news headlines as the pandemic has pushed fear and xenophobia to a new height, with many criticisms of ''forceful testing, quarantine and other inhuman treatments meted out to Africans.'' China's Foreign Ministry stated that it has ''zero tolerance for discrimination,'' and China's state media Xinhua has called accusations of coronavirus-related discrimination against Africans ''groundless rumors.'' Yet a number of African nations have summoned their Chinese ambassadors to address the issue of discrimination in China, which the African Union has stated caused ''grief, pain and humiliation to all Africans.'' The U.S. consulate, ironically, warned about the discrimination against African-Americans in Guangzhou on its website.
There is an additional risk for China to propagandize on BLM given Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters' calls for greater support of the BLM movement in Hong Kong. The movement has a strong focus on police accountability, and thus may delegitimize Hong Kong's police tactics during the protests. While the BLM movement's aims differ from those of the Hong Kong protests, both movements draw support from values of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Beijing's support for BLM may obfuscate its position on quelling civil disobedience and arguably impede its efforts in preventing a possible convergence of human rights movements.
The Chinese Constitution stipulates that ''discrimination and oppression of any ethnic group is prohibited. It is forbidden to undermine ethnic unity and create ethnic divisions.'' Yet China's enforcement of racial and ethnic equality has been lacking, which has damaged its global image and capacity to form convincing propagandist narratives against the United States. As its society continues to reveal racial discrimination and as racial tensions rise alongside its growing investment in Africa, China may risk becoming a target of another BLM. A Chinese boss shot and injured two Zimbabwean employees on June 21. As the death of George Floyd has rippled from the United States to the world, it wouldn't be unimaginable if the same anger would fall on China over racial issues in the future.
Protests erupt in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, after police-involved shooting
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 22:29
About an hour after Lancaster City Mayor Danene Sorace asked the public to be patient during the investigation into Sunday's fatal police-involved shooting of a 27-year-old man, police used a chemical agent to disperse a crowd of about 100 people that gathered outside the police station.
The protest Sunday night resulted in damage to the police station and prompted police to use pepper spray on the crowd. A stand-off is ongoing, police said.
''This has been a heartbreaking day for our city. I grieve for the loss of life and know that there are more questions to be answered as the investigation continues,'' Sorace said in a statement issued in the wake of the shooting of Ricardo Munoz.
Munoz was shot after police responded to a domestic violence call at 4:15 p.m. Sunday in the 300 block of Laurel Street.
District Attorney Heather Adams said footage from a police body camera shows the officer in front of a home when Munoz ''immediately emerges from inside and runs toward the officer, brandishing a knife above his head, in clear view, in a threatening manner.''
The video, which was released by the DA's office, shows the officer firing at Munoz, who was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured.
The first officer to respond to the domestic violence call was alone at the scene when Munoz was shot, investigators said. They said the video appears to show Munoz charging the officer with a large knife. The entire incident from the officer's first encounter with Munoz to the shooting took just a few seconds.
Sorace said the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on leave.
Police said Sunday night's protest involved more than 100 people who locked arms on the access ramp at the west side of the police station. When they ignored warnings to disperse police used ''chemical munitions."
Some protesters threw bricks through the front window of the station and the post office, police said, and the crowd damaged a Lancaster County vehicle that was parked in front of the station.
''People on the ramp, West Chestnut Street.and the park adjacent to the station threw water bottles, glass bottles, rocks, bricks, gallon jugs of liquids and parts of plastic road barricades at officers,'' police said. ''OC spray was also deployed at protestors that refused to move from the ramp and were physically challenging Officers that were moving to clear people from the ramp.''
Protestors are still gathered outside the station and have thrown traffic barricades, large planters and trash receptacles across the ramp," Police said early Monday. "We are asking people to avoid the area surrounding the police station.''
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Reimagine | Definition of Reimagine by Merriam-Webster
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 00:15
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re·'‹imag·'‹ine | \ ˌrÄ'-i-Ëma-jÉn \ reimagined ; reimagining ; reimagines
Examples of reimagine in a Sentence Recent Examples on the Web Austin Street Center serves the whole person with individual support needed to transition out of homelessness, using innovative solutions that reimagine traditional approaches and identify efficiencies through partnerships. '-- Dallas News, "Austin Street Center," 6 Sep. 2020 Hendren's book asks us to reimagine cognitive, physical, and emotional development as a dance, not a race. '-- Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "When the World Isn't Designed for Our Bodies," 3 Sep. 2020 For his part, Dr. Thomas wants to reimagine what that home looks like. '-- Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why the future of elder care may be fewer nursing homes," 31 Aug. 2020 In early 2019, the Kresge Foundation made a grant to a company called Creative Many Michigan to reimagine Art X Detroit. '-- Isabelle Bousquette, Detroit Free Press, "Art X Detroit launches podcast, catalog showcasing latest projects," 24 Aug. 2020 But as fan fiction and fan art have revealed, people reimagine characters lots of different ways, none of which are inherently wrong or bad. '-- Marci Robin, Allure, "Wait, Why Can't Wonder Woman Be Plus-Size?," 10 Aug. 2020 With new collections every season, Daisy London continues to reimagine the staple pieces everyone has in their jewelry box, with a range of dainty chains, hoops, studs, rings, and bracelets '' all with an artsy spin. '-- Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "11 Instagram-Famous Jewelry Brands That'll Add a Little *Sass* to Your Neck Stack," 27 July 2020 In the run-up to two of the most important dates on the Jewish calendar, the movement is in the midst of a broad effort to reimagine what the High Holiday experience can be. '-- Ben Harris, sun-sentinel.com, "How some British synagogues will adapt this High Holiday season," 25 Aug. 2020 Honored to reimagine Alice Walker's classic novel 'The Color Purple' for a new generation. '-- Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Black Is King Co-Director Blitz Bazawule Will Helm The Color Purple Musical Film," 25 Aug. 2020 These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reimagine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
See More First Known Use of reimagine1825, in the meaning defined above
Learn More about reimagineCite this Entry
''Reimagine.'' Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reimagine. Accessed 14 Sep. 2020.
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NFL ratings plummet
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 05:37
The early results are in and they do not bode well for the NFL:
Despite two teams with big national followings, SNF snared a 4.7 in early ratings among adults 18-49 and 14.81 million viewers last night. In numbers certain to change, that’s a fall of 28% in the demo and a hard decline of 23% in sets of eyeballs from the early numbers of the the September 8, 2019 SNF season debut. More precisely, the decline was from a 7.5 rating among 18-49 and 22.21 million viewers... of a game that New England beat Pittsburgh 33-3. That's a loss of up to 7.4 million viewers. 
Labels: SJW, sports, Vibrancy is our strength
BREAKING: DHS leaked email confirms Antifa is an organized group | The Post Millennial
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:16
The email explains that Antifa is organized and runs contrary to reports in the mainstream media that Antifa was not responsible for anti-police violence.An internal email from the Department of Homeland Security leaked to CBS Catherine Herridge late Monday detailing that the violence in Portland was not "opportunistic," but rather "organized"'--confirming long-suspected details about the Antifa movement.
The email explains that Antifa is organized and runs contrary to reports in the mainstream media that Antifa was not responsible for anti-police violence, but an impromptu movement spurred on by anti-fascist sentiments held by most of the American public.
A recent article in the Washington Post by Mark Bray, author of Antifa: Anti-Fascist Handbook, attempted to dispel "myths" about Antifa, claims that the group is not an organization, but rather a "tradition of militant antifascism." The article disputed claims that Antifa "masterminds violence at Black Lives Matter protests."
In printed email documents attained by Herridge, the DHS' Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence & Analysis Brian Murphy wrote to his colleagues on July 25 detailing his findings of Antifa in Portland.
#Whistleblower #PortlandProtest Breaking: According to this @DHSgov internal email, obtained @CBSNews, former Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence & Analysis Brian Murphy wrote colleagues on July 25th that the Portland violence was not ''opportunistic'' but ''organized'' citing pic.twitter.com/K7Aoe0yFbB
'-- Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) September 14, 2020Murphy urged for an immediate change of definitions for the violent activity in Portland following a review of the individuals arrested by federal authorities, as well as intelligence surrounding their affiliations and activities.
"The individuals are violently attacking the Federal facilities based on these ideologies," he said in regards to Antifa, which he classed as VAAI or "VIOLENT ANTIFA ANARCHISTS INSPIRED."
"We can't say any longer that this violent situation is opportunistic," wrote Murphy. "Additionally, we have overwhelmingly intelligence regarding the ideologies driving individuals towards violence and why the violence has continued."
"A core set of Threat actors are organized, show up night after night, share common TTPs and drawing on like minded individuals to their cause."
TTP stands for Tactics, Techniques and Procedures.
"I recognize we may not be able to attribute every individual as VAAI however we need to look at the totality of the intelligence both current and previous and recognize the motivation for the violence and why people have shown up to commit violence for about 60 days. And why the individuals are using social media to encourage the VAAI on the ground to carry out acts of violence."
The nightly riots in Portland numbered at sixty days when the email was composed. Rioting has shifted from Portland to other cities with some of the same actors, including Washington DC, Seattle, and Kenosha'--violence of which was spurred largely by pro-Antifa advocates on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitch, and Twitter.
"Threat actors who are motivated by Anarchist or ANTIFA (or a combination of both) ideologies to carry out acts of violence against State, Local, and Federal authorities and infrastructure they believe represent authority or represent political and social ideas they reject," Murphy concluded.
Phrases like "Every city, every town. Burn the precincts to the ground" are a common refrain at Black Lives Matter rallies, and have been chanted during arson attacks on the Portland Police Bureau, the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in Portland, and other facilities where Antifa and Black Lives Matter militants were present.
The intelligence provided by the DHS validates claims by conservative voices who have long identified Antifa as an organized movement, and flies in the face of claims that the group was not intent on committing violence or conducting an insurgency against the United States government.
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San Francisco Government To Pay Black Women $1,000 A Month To Have Children - Nationalist Review
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:34
The Program Is Partially Funded By The San Francisco Government And Will Give Checks To Minority Pregnant Women For Each Month Of Their Pregnancy And For The First Six Months Of The Baby's LifeThe government of San Francisco wants to pay minority women'--specifically black and Pacific Islanders'--to have babies. The office of San Francisco Mayor London Breed released the announcement concerning the controversial program yesterday. In a partnership with The Abundant Birth Project, the government will pay black and Pacific islanders $1,000 a month for the course of their pregnancy and an additional $1,000 for the first six months of the newborn's life.
But wait, there's more!The government noted that they hope to expand this program so that it can cover a full two years of the baby's life, which would bring the total to a whopping $33,000 per baby.
From the announcement:
''Mayor London N. Breed, in partnership with Expecting Justice, today announced the launch of the Abundant Birth Project, a pilot program that provides targeted basic income to women during pregnancy and after giving birth. The pilot will provide an unconditional monthly income supplement of $1,000 to approximately 150 Black and Pacific Islander women in San Francisco for the duration of their pregnancy and for the first six months of their baby's life, with a goal of eventually providing a supplement for up to two years post-pregnancy. ''
The program will start with just 150 women, and while the press release markets the initiative as a means to ''study the health impacts of providing people with targeted supplemental income'' during pregnancy, the reality is this is a racist agenda dripping in hypocrisy.
A sensible person would notice the contradiction quickly: why would a city inside of a state so obsessed with global warming be itching to provide incentives for more children? The ideological group this program is coming from has been clear on their stance towards nativity: more children are a threat to the so-called climate crisis. They've said it time and time again.
In any case, Nationalist Review encourages white, Asian, and Latino women to do the logical thing here: sue.
Sue them for racial discrimination. The government of San Francisco has provided $200,000 to fund this endeavor which they've sneakily packaged as a research study. It's an underhanded way to provide legal cover for a program that is despicable.
You've heard of Universal Basic Income and now you've met it's ugly cousin: Exclusionary Basic Income.
City Council That Approved Abolishing Police: 'Where Are the Police?'
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:23
The Minneapolis city council, which unanimously supported a pledge to abolish the police, is now asking, ''Where are the police?''
Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) reported that the city council met with Minneapolis' head of police on Tuesday: ''Just months after leading an effort that would have defunded the police department, City Council members at Tuesday's work session pushed Chief Medaria Arradondo to tell them how the department is responding to the violence.''
Newly elected council member Jamal Osman said, ''Residents are asking, 'Where are the police?'''
Osman added, ''That is the only public safety option they have at the moment. MPD. They rely on MPD. And they are saying they are nowhere to be seen.''
Council President Lisa Bender suggested police are intentionally not arresting people. She claimed, ''This is not new, but it is very concerning in the current context.''
Arradondo did say over 100 officers have left the department this year, including those who have taken leave, and MPR notes that is ''more than double the usual number of officers who either step down from the department or who are inactive each year.''
Fourth Ward council member Phillipe Cunningham expressed surprise that council members who had so recently supported doing away with the police department were now calling on the police to be doing more. He suggested the focus should instead be on using money taken from the police budget to hire ''violence interrupters'' and put them in place to prevent crime in the first place.
On June 12, 2020, Breitbart News reported that the Minneapolis city council unanimously voted to support a pledge to abolish the police.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.
Noodle Gun
Biden short term memory gone
Just an observation while I was listening to the latest installment of the BPITU: you and John were talking about Joe Biden and how he told the same employment story about his dad over and over again.
Why does Bo Jiden ALWAYS tell stories from the past as a way to answer questions about the present? Because he has Alzheimer's/Dimentia and his short term memory is completely shot, but his long term memory is MUCH stronger! Seems obvious once you think about it, but thought it was a point worth mentioning on the show the next time you guys talk about ol' popcorn.
TYFYC,
Corey
'Beethoven was black': why a century-old idea still has power today | Music | The Guardian
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 20:47
E xactly 80 years after Beethoven's death, in 1907, the British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor began speculating that Beethoven was black. Colderidge-Taylor was mixed race '' with a white English mother and a Sierra Leonean father - and said that he couldn't help noticing remarkable likenesses between his own facial features and images of Beethoven's. Having recently returned from the segregated US, Coleridge-Taylor projected his experiences there onto the German composer. ''If the greatest of all musicians were alive today, he would find it impossible to obtain hotel accommodation in certain American cities.''
British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912). Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesHis words would prove prophetic. During the 1960s, the mantra ''Beethoven was black'' became part of the struggle for civil rights. By then Coleridge-Taylor had been dead for 50 years and was all but forgotten, but as campaigner Stokely Carmichael raged against the deeply ingrained assumption that white European culture was inherently superior to black culture, the baton was passed. ''Beethoven was as black as you and I,'' he told a mainly black audience in Seattle, ''but they don't tell us that.'' A few years earlier, Malcolm X had given voice to that same idea when he told an interviewer that Beethoven's father had been ''one of the blackamoors that hired themselves out in Europe as professional soldiers''.
''Beethoven was black'' became a refrain chanted on a San Francisco soul music radio station and, in 1969, hit mass consciousness when Rolling Stone magazine ran a story headlined: ''Beethoven was black and proud!'' In 1988, two white students at Stanford University in California, following a heated discussion about music and race, defaced a poster of Beethoven, giving him crude stereotypical African American features, an act reported in the press as an act of racism.
Itchiness about Beethoven's cultural dominance would continue to bring classical music out in occasional hives, and in 2007 Nadine Gordimer published a collection of short stories called Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black. But the issue of race laid largely dormant until this year '' the 250th anniversary of his birth '' when against the backdrop of Covid-19 becoming inextricably linked with the Black Lives Matter movement, echoes of Carmichael and X were voiced, coming from directions nobody expected.
William Gibbons, a musicologist at the College of Fine Arts in Forth Worth, Texas, had already put a bomb under classical music Twitter with a thread that began: ''As 2019 winds down, here's a short thread about one of my big resolutions for 2020: spending a full year avoiding Beethoven.'' Then the pandemic struck and swept all the Beethoven celebrations aside anyway. With Europe heading towards lockdown, the composer Charlotte Seither, debating at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, caused a stir when she spoke of Beethoven fatigue and of his ''toxic cult of genius'' and ''thinking in categories of dominance''. Andrea Moore '' assistant professor of music at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts '' writing in the Chicago Tribune, called for a ''year-long moratorium'' on Beethoven performances. His music is ubiquitous, she reasoned '' so how about using the ''Beethoven-sized hole'' left to commission new music, then return to the composer with fresh ears in 12 months' time?
Malcolm X at a civil rights demonstration in 1963. Photograph: Bob Henriques/Time & Life Pictures/Getty ImageMoore's proposal would end positively at least: we get Beethoven back, plus a stack of new compositions. But the truth is Beethoven is like Michael Rosen's bear hunt '' you can't go over him, you can't go under him, you have to go through him. Academics manufacturing a culture war, in which there can be no winners, is a very 21st-century way of dealing with a figure perceived as a problem: you turn him into a straw man and complain about being triggered. Carmichael and Malcolm X were far wiser. They didn't advocate cancelling Beethoven, nor did they deal in easy gesture politics '' the stakes were too high.
Was Beethoven black? The evidence is scant and inconclusive. The case rests on two possibilities: that Beethoven's Flemish ancestors married Spanish ''blackamoors'' of African descent, or that Beethoven's mother had an affair. But the truth Carmichael and Malcolm X sought was not scientific. ''Beethoven was black'' was a grand metaphor designed to unsettle and shake certainty.
Had Beethoven been black, would he have been classed as a canonical composer? And what about other black composers lost in history?Metaphors ran right through black music. Edward Ellington and William Basie were ennobled to the status of a Duke and a Count, and the most intricate metaphor of all was spun by the Alabama-born bandleader Herman Blount who had begun to perform as Sun Ra. Blount '' like Malcolm X, originally Malcolm Little '' rejected his given surname as a ''slave name'', and created an elaborate metaphorical backstory about Sun Ra, an alien from Saturn, who descended to Earth to preach peace and togetherness.
Corey Mwamba '' musician, researcher and presenter of BBC Radio 3's contemporary jazz programme Freeness '' thinks that the metaphor has retained its potency. ''The statement 'Beethoven was black' was a disruption of a very canonical way of thinking,'' he tells me. ''It makes us think again about a culture that gives his music so much visibility. Had Beethoven been black, would he have been classed as a canonical composer? And what about other black composers lost in history?''
Disappeared '... the tragic composer Julius Eastman. Photograph: LCMFAmong many black composers whose work has disappeared from history, the story of Julius Eastman is perhaps most telling. As composer, singer and pianist Eastman was a vital part of the 1960s and 70s New York music scene, his open-form scores fusing the loops of minimalism with the grooves of popular music '' a volatile synthesis that often detonated into free improvisation. Before his death on the streets and homeless in 1990, he loaded his pieces with deliberately provocative titles that pushed the spirit of ''Beethoven was black'' from slogan towards something that actually happened in sound.
In his recent book, A Hidden Landscape Once a Week, Mark Sinker reported his conversation with the photographer and writer, Val Wilmer, about when she interviewed Steve Reich, who had recently completed his landmark piece Drumming, based on drum patterns he heard in Ghana. Talking about an African American musician of mutual acquaintance, Reich said ''he's one of the only blacks you can talk to,'' before adding ''blacks are getting ridiculous in the States now''. Wilmer was shocked and enraged. ''Wouldn't you become politicised?'' she concluded. The wider pressures on black composers in 1970s America can never be doubted.
''Radicals like James Baldwin and Angela Davis took time to think about what they were doing, then produced change,'' Mwamba adds, ''We actually need a deeper understanding of Beethoven, to understand why we love this music. It's important we present this music from a position of love, rather than hierarchy or power, or as 'something we've always done'.''
'The Aurora Orchestra perform Beethoven's 7th symphony at the Proms on Radio 3 and BBC4 on 10 September alongside the world premiere of Richard Ayres' No. 52 (Three pieces about Ludwig van Beethoven, dreaming, hearing loss, and saying goodbye)
Vox: Beethoven's Fifth Symphony 'is a symbol of exclusion and elitism' to women, LGBTQ+ people, and people of color
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:18
Sorry, classical music fans, but Ludwig van Beethoven's been canceled. Well, maybe not Beethoven himself, although he was a white European male, but his Fifth Symphony in particular, which according to Vox ''put the classism in classical music.''
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is one of classical music's most famous works.
But to many, it's also a symbol of elitism and exclusion.
Listen to @SwitchedOnPop and @nyphil explain why: https://t.co/FbDrWFTsRu
'-- Vox (@voxdotcom) September 15, 2020
OK, why? Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding start with the theory that the symphony is ''a metaphor for Beethoven's personal resilience in the face of his oncoming deafness'' (a pretty common belief) and take it from there:
Or rather, that's long been the popular read among wealthy white men who embraced Beethoven and turned his symphony into a symbol of their superiority and importance. For others '-- women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color '-- Beethoven's symphony is predominantly a reminder of classical music's history of exclusion and elitism. One New York City classical music fan wrote in the 1840s, for example, that he wished that ''all women shall be gagged by officers duly licensed for the purpose before they're allowed to enter a concert room.''
Today, some aspects of classical culture are still about policing who's in and who's out, and it all started with Beethoven's Fifth. When you walk into a standard concert hall, there's an established set of conventions and etiquette (''don't cough!''; ''don't cheer!''; ''dress appropriately!'') that's more about demonstrating belonging than appreciating the music.
Seriously? For all but wealthy white men, Beethoven's Fifth ''is predominantly a reminder of classical music's history of exclusion and elitism''? This reminds us of the time a Deadspin writer, urging a change in the name of golf's most famous tournament, said to be honest: ''When you hear anyone say the Masters, you think of slave masters in the South.''
You apparently have to listen to a podcast to learn why this particular symphony is a symbol of exclusion because it's not in the article.
🐠No.
'-- Aboud Dandachi (@abouddandachi) September 15, 2020
This is easily one of the hardest stretches to make something problematic that I've read yet.https://t.co/wLGeegnWOk
'-- James Lindsay, has two yarns (@ConceptualJames) September 15, 2020
Cue the Jonah Hill cut it out GIF.
'-- Avraham Spraragen (@abspraragen) September 15, 2020
pic.twitter.com/3Bm9xPEuWn
'-- Will-o'-the-Wisp (@wharrison51) September 15, 2020
Why that's exactly what I thought when I was to listen to him as well. When I was in a mental institution
'-- kramer (@kramer0000) September 15, 2020
Vox articles are just written by a woke AI program at this point
'-- Name can be blank (@KyleNelson1234) September 15, 2020
This is a mental disease https://t.co/GWrrXjnh1k
'-- Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) September 15, 2020
lol the left is coming after Beethoven https://t.co/L51uZru4Qa
'-- Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) September 15, 2020
pic.twitter.com/emPBtRCrXT
'-- Prs Garfield is mostly peaceful ON FIRE!! (@prsGarfieldsHat) September 15, 2020
They were telling us 3 months ago that Beethoven was actually African
'-- Ryan Ocean 🇺🇸 (@RyanOcean10) September 15, 2020
Apparently that's been a theory for years now '-- cue Shaun King calling for any artwork of Beethoven as a white European to be taken down and destroyed.
pic.twitter.com/c9Cxwk5Y1L
'-- Felipeiglesias (@Felipeiglesias) September 15, 2020
I love how they cry about elitism while culling anyone they deem beneath them from culture and public life.
'-- venatusratio (@venatusratio) September 15, 2020
This is totally fucked. As a musician, this hurts my heart. Music doesn't have a side or classes or colors or genders. Music is just the vibrations of the universe that we tap into and share with the world. The music is already there. We don't play music, the music plays us.
'-- Brian Cook (@toseeeye) September 15, 2020
Seems less like a problem with Beethoven's music than a critique about snobs who gatekeep music.
'-- Keegs 🌎 (@KerouacRimbaud) September 15, 2020
A symbol of elitism and exclusion!? MUSIC?!
Literally *anyone* can listen to Beethoven, all one needs is an interest.
'-- yaelðŸ...• (@nasdaqamzn) September 15, 2020
They wanna destroy everything. They're driven by nothing but pure rage and disdain for the people they grew up around who didn't shower them with the attention they craved
'-- zen (@ObexZen) September 15, 2020
How do people live in this perpetual state of outrage? It's not enough to look for offense in everything in the modern world so they look to see what offend them in the past as well. Are we really seeing a generation with such weak constitution?
'-- Grateful Pats Fan (@MVPTB12) September 15, 2020
"Many!"
'-- stinky tweets 🧐 (@Bugs_Meany) September 15, 2020
Almost everyone in my drum circle agrees with me, so "many."
'-- R. Collins (@RC9511) September 15, 2020
You might have a multitude of voices in your head saying this, but that still doesn't qualify you as "many".
'-- Physics Geek (@physicsgeek) September 15, 2020
''Many:'' pic.twitter.com/Vhyunc3LTV
'-- Federalist Musket🇺🇸 (@Patriot_Musket) September 15, 2020
pic.twitter.com/fff7HgRaXZ
'-- Ananda Savino (@ananditaisabel) September 15, 2020
pic.twitter.com/Awf2s2OLpR
'-- Taylor MacPherson (@TaylorMacP) September 15, 2020
A single bar written by Beethoven is worth a thousand times every word ever published by this rag put together.
'-- Lim£o Frito (@LemonDeepfried) September 15, 2020
I'm so sorry this is happening to you.
'-- janezstyle (@janezstyle) September 15, 2020
I hope this is the worst take I see today, but I'm 110% sure that it won't be.
It's still a garbage take.
If you see this response, go listen to Beethoven's 5th in its entirety, even just in the background. You'll thank me.
'-- just alan (@JustJustalan) September 15, 2020
Going after a dead, deaf man.
Stay classy Vox.
'-- J.S.R. Rayburn 👌 (@jsrrayburn) September 15, 2020
And what's up with the illustration Vox commissioned to accompany this piece? Beethoven is telling people not to wear shorts and bring a megaphone to his symphonies? That makes his Fifth Symphony exclusionary to the LGBT community?
Related:
The outdoors is systemically racist: ABC News reports national parks 'face existential crisis over race,' are stubbornly white https://t.co/BCKteolJv8
'-- Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) July 2, 2020
Viewers hit out at Netflix employees Megan, Harry and the Obamas as they stay 'silent' on 'Cuties' | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:32
Viewers have hit out at Netflix employees Meghan Markle, Harry and the Obamas as the two couples stay 'silent' on controversial French film Cuties.
Thousands of people have already launched a call to boycott the streaming giant on Thursday over 'Mignonnes' - known as 'Cuties' in English - angry that its young stars were portrayed in a sexualized way.
The film is directed by French-Senegalese director Maimouna Doucoure, and started streaming September 9. More than 200,000 tweets with the hashtag '#CancelNetflix' became the top trending topic one day later.
Harry and Meghan signed a deal thought to be worth $150 million with the network earlier this year. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have never produced a TV show, will make documentaries, films, scripted and kids' programs.
Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama announced in 2018 they had entered a multi-year producing partnership with the online streaming service.
Neither couple has spoken about the controversial movie as of Sunday. And that has sparked criticism online.
Twitter user @AngelaLMorabito said: 'The Obamas and Prince Harry & Meghan have contracts with Netflix. If they really want to use their influence for good, they'll tell Netflix to drop ''Cuties.'''
@DTCahill added: 'Silence from @Netflix employees Michelle, Barack, Megan [sic] and Harry on Cuties.'
Thousands of people have already launched a call to boycott the streaming giant on Thursday over 'Mignonnes' - known as 'Cuties' in English - angry that its young stars were portrayed in a sexualized way
Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama announced in 2018 they had entered a multi-year producing partnership with the online streaming service
Harry and Meghan signed a deal thought to be worth $150 million with the network earlier this year. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have never produced a TV show, will make documentaries, films, scripted and kids' programs
Neither couple has spoken about the controversial movie as of Sunday
Last month former Suits actress Meghan told voters: 'If we aren't part of the solution, we are part of the problem.
'If you aren't going out there and voting you are complicit. If you are complacent, you are complicit.'
Reacting to her silence on Cuties @WhisperOfSpirit said: 'Meghan & Harry have yet to speak against Netflix's streaming of Cuties. To quote them: ''If you're complacent, you're complicit.''
'If dish-soap was enough to irk Meghan, then why hasn't this?! Come on Meghan & Harry; it's time to ''unlock action and inspire hope'' We're waiting...'
@spotterdotter added: 'One would expect Harry and Meghan having done their research before signing a deal with Netflix, the company who produced and aired the film ''Cuties'' - which is basically child pornography.
'But it seems to be all about the money with these 2. Where is Markle the feminist? Gone?'
@1ramona7 said: 'Susan Rice, Obama's, Harry & Megan....Getting cosy at Netflix but why no comment at all on #Cuties. Would have thought you'd feel the need to say something guys, you like to speak out so much when it suits.'
Neither couple has spoken about the controversial movie as of Sunday. And that has sparked criticism online
The film is directed by French-Senegalese director Maimouna Doucoure, and started streaming September 9
A first wave of criticism against the movie, in August, led Netflix to withdraw 'inappropriate' artwork used to promote the film, which was released in theaters that month in France.
Netflix also said it apologized for having used 'inappropriate' images.
But on Thursday, broader opposition to some of the imagery came from across the political spectrum in the United States.
DeAnna Lorraine, a former Republican candidate for Congress from California, tweeted that 'Child pornography is illegal in America.'
'As the mother of an 8-year old girl, I STRONGLY support #CancelNetflix,' added Beatrice Cardenas, another California Republican.
Senator Ted Cruz has penned a letter to the Department of Justice demanding a child porn probe into the film.
The movie, which received a director's award at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of Amy, an 11-year-old Parisian, who must juggle the strict rules of her Senegalese family and social media's emphasis on appearance.
She joins a dance group formed by three other girls from her neighborhood, whose choreographies are sometimes suggestive.
'The hypersexualization of girls (and boys) is disgusting,' tweeted Omar Navarro, another Republican politician. 'It is morally and ethically reprehensible. Pedophiles, child rapists and perverts would have a great time with #Cuties.'
Senator Ted Cruz has penned a letter to the Department of Justice demanding a child porn probe into Netflix's 'Cuties' (pictured), as outrage continues to mount over the French film accused of sexualizing young girls and encouraging pedophilia
Furious viewers continue to mount a cancel Netflix campaign as the controversial French film 'Cuties' hit the streaming service on Wednesday amid claims it supports child abuse
Members of Congress are demanding action be taken against Netflix including a possible investigation by the Department of Justice after the film Cuties has sparked outrage for showing children dressed provocatively and twerking on camera
Cruz waded in to the debate around the film Saturday tweeting a letter he said he sent to the DOJ Friday calling for an investigation.
In the letter, addressed directly to Barr, Cruz slams the film saying it 'sexualizes' young girls, showcases 'dance scenes that simulate sexual activities', features 'partial child nudity' and at one point exposes 'a minor's bare breast'.
'The film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing including at least one scene with partial child nudity. These scenes in and of themselves are harmful,' he wrote.
Cruz warned that the footage would be used by pedophiles 'in abusive ways' and said he feared the production of the film involved even more 'explicit and abusive scenes'.
'Unbelievable that they released 'Cuties'. So child porn is ok now Netflix? Raise your hand if you agree this is disgusting,' wrote Twitter user David Fischer, adding the hashtag #CancelNetflix.
'If you watch 11-year-olds twerk, you're a pervert. If you direct 11 year olds to touch themselves on camera, you're a pedophile. If you support Netflix making and airing #Cuties, you're enabling abuse,' said Republican candidate for Congress James P. Bradley.
Some critics hit out at those who are defending the movie and claimed that it should not be sold as art.
'Netflix is comfortable with this. Plenty of people will defend it. This is where our culture is at,' said Daily Caller writer Mary Margaret Olohan.
'If you call 'Cuties' art or a 'social statement'. I call you a child abuser. We have no time for niceties while children are being sexualized for mass entertainment,' added writer Sonia Poulton.
Candidates for Congress also got involved in the debate
Filmmaker Sonia Poulton blasted those who said the movie is 'art' calling them 'child abusers'
Some social media users accused the movie of 'child porn'
Ryan Fournier, who campaigns for younger Trump voters, appeared delighted that the stock market value had fallen in recent days as they hashtag Cancel Netflix continues to spread
Others accused both Democrats and Republicans of not speaking out and urged them to call for its removal.
'Our elected officials are mighty silent on the Cuties movie by Netflix. Even those running for office, supported by the top tiers of both establishment parties, are silent. I will never be silent. Why run just to be silent? #CancelNetflix and their board members,' said Republican House candidate Buzz Patterson.
' The fact that mainstream media is making the pedophile-fodder of #Cuties into a right-v-left thing should truly embarrass anyone who is on the political left. Protecting children should be universal, not relegate to one side of the political spectrum,' wrote user JD Rucker.
An online petition has also been started calling on people to cancel their Netflix subscription in light of its decision to host the movie.
'Please make the choice to prove to Netflix our children are more valuable than our entertainment, and our money is better spent else where!' reads the petition that has been signed by almost 620,000 people as of Friday evening.
Among the voices praising the movie were American actress Tessa Thompson ('Creed', 'Avengers: Endgame'), who found it 'beautiful.'
'It gutted me at @sundancefest,' she went on.
'It introduces a fresh voice at the helm. She's a French Senegalese Black woman mining her experiences.
'The film comments on the hyper-sexualization of preadolescent girls. Disappointed to see the current discourse. Disappointed to see how it was positioned in terms of marketing.
'I understand the response of everybody. But it doesn't speak to the film I saw.'
Democrat Tulsi Gabbard accused Netflix of being complicit in encouraging pedophilia and child trafficking
Campaigner for children's rights, Lila Rose, declared the film to be pornographic and accused Netflix of exploiting children
Republican politician Beatrice Cardenas joined calls for people to cancel their Netflix subscriptions
Indiana Congressman Jim Banks has called for the DOJ to bring child porn charges against Netflix
A Netflix spokesperson said: 'Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children.
'It's an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up, and we'd encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.'
While the streaming site accepted full responsibility for the blunder the damage was already done, with both Doucour(C) and her movie facing furious attacks from thousands of outraged viewers.
She revealed she even received death threats after the 'hyper sexualized' poster and trailer went online.
'I received numerous attacks on my character from people who had not seen the film, who thought I was actually making a film that was apologetic about hyper-serialization of children,' she told Deadline. 'I also received numerous death threats.'
'I discovered the poster at the same time as the American public,' she explained.
'My reaction? It was a strange experience. I hadn't seen the poster until after I started getting all these reactions on social media, direct messages from people, attacks on me. I didn't understand what was going on.
'That was when I went and saw what the poster looked like.'
Republican politician Cruz penned a letter (above) to Attorney General Bill Barr calling on him to 'investigate whether Netflix, its executives, or the filmmakers violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography'
Cliff Mass Weather Blog: My Firing at KNKX
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 12:27
It is time for me to speak about my firing from KNKX and I will reveal much that is not known publicly about the station, its leadership, and the events that have occurred. This is a particularly sad task for me, considering that I played an important role in saving the station a few years ago and have worked hard for its success.  This is a long post, so let me give you a quick overview of the key points I will cover : 1.  The leaders of KNKX justified my firing based upon my August 5th blog post  that criticized violent individuals in downtown Seattle, criticized the City Council, supported Chief Best, and noted some similarities to what happened in Germany in the 1930s.
2.  The leaders of KNKX terminated me the next day without speaking to me before they made the decision.  They also did not discuss the matter with the KNKX Advisory Council.
3.  KNKX put out a statement that was factually untrue and easily can be proven false.
4.  Activist groups have been trying to get me dismissed from KNKX for over a year because they are unhappy with my science-based approach to climate change.
5.  KNKX did not oppose my advocacy when I supported progressive viewpoints, but was uncomfortable with my moderate stances.
6.  KNKX  management is beholden to and attempts to please left-leaning activist donors.
7.  That NPR is full of examples of calling Republicans and police Nazis and brownshirts, but if someone suggests the violent left have evinced Fascist behavior, that is reason for termination.
The Details
Last week I wrote a blog post--Seattle, A City in Fear Can Be Restored--criticizing violent individuals who have brought repeated destruction to downtown Seattle and attacked and injured numerous people (including reporters and dozens of police officers).  I also criticized the irresponsible and reckless actions of members of the Seattle City Council, who allowed the violence to continue, tried to cripple and defund the Seattle Police Department, and who have persecuted Chief Carmen Best.
The next day I received a call from KNKX station manager Joey Cohn and program manager Matt Martinez, saying that I was being ejected from the station because of my blog post.  They were not open to discussion on the matter; I was off the air and my weather segment, one of the most popular segments on the station, was discontinued immediately.
Their reason for my expulsion, provided in a statement released by the station , was both false and misleading.  For example, it stated that my blog “ draws distorted, offensive parallels between protesters and Nazi Brownshirts”  
This is totally false . I NEVER suggested that peaceful protestors are like brownshirts, I was ONLY talking about violent individuals. 
Just to be completely clear I am a strong supporter of peaceful protests and assemblies.  It is an essential aspect of our democracy and protected in the U.S. Constitution.  Peaceful protests have played a critical role in many positive social movements, such as woman suffrage, ending the Vietnam war, and in promoting civil rights.  I have participated in peaceful protests myself.  But violence—destroying business and hurting people—is a different story.   It is not only illegal, and destructive, but it undermines civil society and democracy, and usually hurts the least advantaged among us the most.  That is what I was speaking out against.
                                         Supported in Blog                  Criticized in Blog I made it clear to both Joey Cohn and Matt Martinez on the call that my remarks were limited to violent individuals and they still chose to send out the deceptive statement.  For the leadership of a major media group to do so is extraordinarily concerning and disappointing.
Ironically, the first sentence of their statement proclaims that the station has an “aim to present an array of voices that reflect our region.”  Clearly, they did not think my voice against violence was one of the “array of voices” that should be presented.
Furthermore, their statement suggested my blog was “inaccurate” and “misleading”—but never backs that up with any evidence.  There is no evidence.  My blog was both accurate and highly reasoned, and I challenge them to provide a single example to the contrary.
My sources inside KNKX tell me that station management went into panic mode after a number of activist folks emailed to complain about my blog.  They were desperate to get out a statement immediately that kicked me off the station in order to get the online mob off their back.  Putting out a deceptive, hurtful statement was OK if it did the job.
Backstory and Influence of Activists/Contributors
But as in any controversy, there is a backstory, and now I am going to reveal some of it to you, since public radio is, well, public.
A collection of activist folks has been gunning for me for a long time and have energetically tried to get me kicked off KNKX.   The reason:  the  discussions of climate and climate change in my blog.   No, we are NOT talking about what I said on air, where I stick to weather and the content was controlled completely by the station.  They objected to what I said in my outside blog about climate change.
Now I have probably written more papers and done more research on Northwest weather and climate than any other individual.  I know the literature. I attend the seminars. I wrote on book on NW weather and climate. I have spent a lifetime learning about it.  But a bunch of climate activists, such as groups like 350.org decided they knew better. They were particularly unhappy when I exposed some of the hype and exaggeration promulgated by the activist crowd (e.g., that climate change is a short-term existential threat to mankind). There were also some wealthy, activist KNKX donors that were unhappy with my blog.   These climate activists demanded that I talk about "existential climate threats" on KNKX and stop my climate fact checking on my blog.   I was a threat to them:  knowledgeable, credible, and with access to the media.  And they wanted that to end.
Well, all this came to a head this year, when Seattle350.org put out a petition with the aim of getting me removed from KNKX (see below).  
I offered to come to a 350.org meeting to talk about the science with them, but they refused.  I asked them to specify what I got wrong, they could not.  But the station management was afraid of the 350.org mob and KNKX donor sympathizes, and decided to spend a great deal of money in getting me “evaluated.”   Unbelievable.
In March 2020, Joey Cohn and Matt Martinez hired the recently retired national NPR ombudsperson, Elizabeth Jensen, to do the evaluation.  And then they also arranged for an evaluation of my science.  Contrary to any good sense, they found a local aerosol expert who was an active member of 350.org to do the science evaluation.  I complained that this was grossly unfair, but Joey and Matt were unmoved.
Well, the good news is that their report showed that my science was accurate and that my segment with Bellamy Pailthorp was totally appropriate (read the report here: https://www.knkx.org/post/knkx-public-editor-report-science-politics-and-weather-cliff-mass )   In short, a total waste of KNKX listener contributions. And it is worse than that. After the report was released, KNKX management required me to attend a public zoom session, where some of the wealthy donors (and they made sure everyone knew that they gave money to the station) pummeled me with the most hurtful, unfounded attacks on my character and science.   But the fact that station management spent a large amount of money (from donations, of course) and personnel time on placating uninformed activists was a very bad sign….one that was going to reveal itself when I posted on August 5th about Seattle and violence.
This was not the only incident of this kind that illustrates a serious bias at KNKX.  Two years ago I wrote some blog posts criticizing I-1631, which called for a carbon tax that would be distributed to activist groups.  I felt it was terribly regressive and hurt low-income groups preferentially.  Some of the activist KNKX contributors were unhappy about my stance and complained to the station (some even wanted me ejected right there).  Of importance, I was a strong supporter of I-732, which was a revenue-neutral carbon tax defeated two years earlier.  Joey Cohn took me out to lunch and had a “talk” with me.  He told me some of the contributors were upset and required that I talk to him before I publicly supported an initiative again.  I asked him why he was not concerned about and never mentioned my support of I-732 (which was approved by some in the activist community).  He smiled at me.  The answer was clear:  as long as I supported “progressive” initiatives things were fine.  When I publicly opposed something the progressives liked, I needed to rethink my advocacy.
All of this revealed to me an Achilles heel of public radio.   Stations depend on contributions, and rich, activist contributors have enormous power on station management. They get appointed to station management boards.  They have access to station managers. Joey Cohn and Matt Martinez feel encumbered to please and mollify them.  And that has a serious, and deleterious impact on what one hears on the radio station.
Joey Cohn and Matt Martinez threw away the foundational values of KNKX.  Why?  Because the station was saved to protect diversity of viewpoints in the region and they acted to reduce the exposure of their listeners to a different viewpoint that was different from their activist donors.
Hypocrisy
The key aspect of my blog post that KNKX management claim to be upset about is my paragraphs providing a reasoned and careful comparison between what happened in 1930s Germany and in present-day Seattle. They claimed my blog post “draws distorted, offensive parallels” to what happened in Nazi Germany.  I have expanded on my reasoning below, which I will let each of you evaluate on your own. 
But don’t trust me.  I have had a number of other individuals, both Jewish and non-Jewish, tell me the same thing (see example below)—what has happened in Seattle has many parallels in the 1930s. I talked to a local Rabbi that concurred, and I spoke to a leader in a local Jewish advocacy group who told me that the blog was not offensive or problematic.  I would be happy to connect KNKX leadership with these local Jewish leaders.
 The great irony here and the sign of total hypocrisy on the part of KNKX management is that NPR is constantly providing folks a platform to call Trump, police, or Republicans fascists, Nazis or brownshirts.   You want proof? Here is an NPR story in which Rick Steves calls Trump a fascist.
Or this one:
I could provide a dozen more.  There are comparisons with fascists all the time on NPR, but references are almost always about Trump administration officials or police.  But when I noted actions reminiscent of the 1930s done by those supported on the left, I am given the boot from the station.  Even with detailed documentation of my contentions and the support of others in the Jewish community.
There is a word for this. Hypocrisy.
Brownshirts and Kristallnacht
Now that you understand a bit about the serious issues at KNKX (and there are more that I could have included), let’s get to the brownshirt/Kristallnacht issue.   As made clear above, my concerns were NOT about peaceful protestors but violent types.  But a number of the activists deliberately misrepresented what was clear in the blog, and they accused me of calling peaceful protestors Nazis.  This is absolutely false.  Some even called me an anti-Semite, which is kind of ridiculous since I am Jewish. 
Ironically, a number of the social activists attacking Seattle police were very liberal in their use of brownshirts and Nazis.  But a Jewish individual whose family suffered in Europe could not do so.  Unbelievable.
So why did they home in on my reference to brownshirts and the like?   Because they were desperate to attack a blog post that they knew undercut their viewpoints, particularly about police violence in Seattle against “peaceful” righteous protestors.   Pretty cynical stuff.
In my blog, I noted some similarities of what happened here in Seattle and in Nazi Germany.  I did not say it was the same in magnitude or degree.  But that there were common elements that were chilling….and particularly so to a Jewish individual.  Consider:
1.      On Kristallnacht, violent individuals (brownshirts and others) had a target (Jewish businesses and homes) to which they caused huge damage, injuries, and loss of life. They were out to intimidate.  The violence was not done by the government, which looked the other way as it happened.  Many windows were broken and extensive glass was on the ground (that is why it was called Kristallnacht, night of broken glass).
In Seattle, there were also massive amounts of broken windows, violent individuals were pillaging and damaging targeted groups they felt were unrighteous (e.g., Amazon, Chase, Starbuck).  Some Jewish business were clearly targeted (e.g., Uncle Ikes, Samuel Jewelers)
Jewish businesses like Uncle Ikes were deliberately targeting during the Seattle riots 2.     Hurtful graffiti was applied in Kristallnacht, as it was in Seattle.  Some of the Seattle graffiti was anti-Israel.
3.      The brownshirts got the nod or indifference by the German government.  In Seattle, a number of government officials and representatives downplayed the violence, suggesting it was a” summer of love”, or actively attacked the police when they tried to restore order.  One city councilmember dressed her infant child in an antifa outfit.
Jewish Americans have a deep memory of what has happened during the past centuries.  When thuggish violent groups target those they don’t agree with, with the government not intervening to stop the violence, vulnerable groups (like the Jewish community) tend to get hurt.  We feel highly vulnerable.  Jewish Americans understand the value of American democracy, which protects and celebrates different viewpoints and traditions.  The antifa “brownshirts” are the antithesis of democratic values and respect for differing viewpoints. That is a critical point.
Chief Carmen Best
Carmen Best is the latest moderate who cared deeply about this city and been pushed out. In both of our cases, the activist left saw us in their way, representing values of tolerance, moderation, and thoughtful examination of the facts.  They wanted us gone and, quite honestly, they have been quite successful in the short term, in my case because of the weak management of KNKX.  It is not an accident that the blog that got me fired from KNKX was the one in which I criticized the City Council and strongly supported Chief Best.
So What Should You Do?
KNKX is in trouble and what happened to me is clear example of the power of special interest groups on a public radio station.  Importantly, KNKX management did not care about KNKX listeners when they made their politically motivated decision.  They cut one of the most popular segments on the station without even talking to the KNKX advisory council or polling KNKX listeners—a sharp contrast to their close attention to listeners thoughts during the first years.  Management of public radio station must reflect the interested and values of the public, not a limited group of activists.  In fact, the comments on their web site ran strongly against the firing.  And I have gotten roughly 450 emails from listeners who were outraged with how KNKX handled the situation.
KNKX has become the poster child of the "cancel culture" and, quite honestly, it is not a good look.  If you agree with me, please contact KNKX (see emails of management below) and ask that they reconsider their approach.  And if you are a contributor to KNKX, you might withhold your contribution until the station takes a different course.    Email Seattle City Council members about your concerns about their actions regarding Chief Best and the Seattle Police Department.
Finally, let me note that starting this Friday at 9 AM, I will provide an up-to-date forecast and weather analysis that you can view on my blog. I have an even better weather podcast in the works. Stay tuned!
KNKX Management: Station Manager: Joey Cohn,  jcohn@knkx.org
Program Director: Matt Martinez,  mmartinez@knkx.org
Chair of KNKX Board, Claire Grace, send to info@knkx.org
LA sheriff calls out LeBron James, asks him to match reward for finding gunman who ambushed deputies - TheBlaze
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 12:33
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva called out NBA superstar and Black Lives Matter supporter LeBron James on Monday, challenging the Los Angles Lakers star to match and double the reward for bringing to justice the suspect who ambushed two deputies in Compton over the weekend.
What are the details?The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person seen on surveillance video shooting two deputies sitting in their patrol car on Saturday night. Another $75,000 has been added to the reward from private donors.
During an interview with KABC-AM, Villanueva declared, "This challenge is to LeBron James: I want you to match that and double that reward," according to Fox News.
"I know you care about law enforcement," the sheriff continued. "You expressed a very interesting statement about your perspective on race relations and on officer-involved shootings and the impact that it has on the African American community, and I appreciate that. But likewise, we need to appreciate that respect for life goes across all professions."
Villanueva added, "Let's see what he does. I'll be very curious to see what his response is, if any."
What did LeBron James say?James has been an outspoken critic of law enforcement in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis in late May after an officer was seen on camera kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.
Following the shooting of Jacob Blake '-- who became engaged in a scuffle with officers after they sought to apprehend him over allegations of sexual assault in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last month '-- James tweeted, "And y'all wonder why we say what we say about the Police!! Someone please tell me WTF is this???!!! Exactly another black man being targeted. This s**t is so wrong and so sad!! Feel so sorry for him, his family and OUR PEOPLE!! We want JUSTICE."
Later that day, James told reporters, "We are scared as black people in America. Black men, black women, black kids. We are, we are terrified."
James has thus far been silent over the shooting of the two deputies in Compton, who remain hospitalized because of their injuries.
According to an earlier report from TheBlaze, the sheriff's department said:
The suspect is described as a black male whose age is estimated to be between 28 and 30. He was wearing dark clothes in the now widely circulated surveillance video. Unfortunately, the low quality of that video makes further description of the suspect virtually impossible at this time.
2020
Poof! The Portland Riots Just Stopped. Why?
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:04
Have Portland's Professional Protesters' been smoked out? Since May 29th, Portland has been the back drop of more than 100 nights of antifa, anarchist and Black Lives Matter, Inc' terroristic riots. They set fires, looted, and intimidated people by threatening to burn them alive in their homes.
But after the millions of dollars of destruction, criminality and thuggery it stopped last week. Poof!
Why?
I certainly don't want to tempt these thugs, but it can't go without saying that Portland's 100 plus days of riots appeared to end after Wednesday, September 9th.
Oregon Says Reports of Antifa Firesetters Are Nuts, So Why Did This County Call for Curfew Because of Them?That was the last time the Portland Police Bureau warned about protests.
SW Jefferson to SW Salmon from SW 1st to SW Broadway is closed to pedestrians but open for vehicular traffic. All people must leave the area to the west now. Champman and Lownsdale Squares are now closed.
'-- Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) September 9, 2020
The usual live-streamers decamped to other riots and fires.
By September 10th, the overworked cops from Portland Police Bureau were offered out to assist other agencies. Suddenly, instead of being required to work the riots lines, they were free.
I have offered @ClackCoSheriff and @ORStatePolice PPB officers to assist with emergencies related to fires. PPB recognizes the need for us all to come together as a state to assist one another in this time of need.
'-- Chief Chuck Lovell (@ChiefCLovell) September 10, 2020
Why?
On September 7th to the morning of the 8th, the Pacific Northwest experienced a major ''wind event.'' Winds gusted through Oregon and Washington at more than 60 miles per hour. Fires that had been allowed to crackle along, such as the Beachie fire, flared up. Power lines were downed. The fires kicked up.
Oregon Wildfires: One Family's Acts of Heroism, Including Duke the Dog's, Are Absolutely HumblingAnd then came the reports. Clackamas County Sheriff's officials reported that people had seen antifa protester types reportedly stashing gas cans, looting, and looking ridiculously out of place. They were taking pictures and giving locals grief for trying to keep them out of closed neighborhoods. Locals wondered if there was a connection between the fires and the sightings of these folks.
BLM was seen there. The original BLM, the Bureau of Land Management, not the group that borrowed the acronym.
Preventable wildfires threaten lives, property, & precious resources every year. During the #COVID19 pandemic, firefighters are needed more than ever to keep Americans safe, so please, do your part to prevent human-caused wildfires. #WildfirePrevention pic.twitter.com/POm4nfr3W1
'-- Bureau of Land Management Fire and Aviation (@BLMFire) September 14, 2020
And just as suddenly, such sightings and reports were dismissed as rumors and lies. Myriad law enforcement agencies begged people to stop sharing such stories, as I reported on PJMedia.
I reached out to the Portland Police Bureau for a comment on the lag in riots, but didn't receive a reply before publication.
Oregon Sheriff's Deputy Investigating Fires Pays Price for Saying Unkind Words About AntifaRiot-weary Oregonians aren't necessarily mollified by the concerted effort to shut down these reports. Until last Wednesday night, they'd seen the antifa rioters and arsonists in action on the news every night in Portland. And now some of them swore they saw those people in Estacada, Sandy, Molalla and other parts of the burning Clackamas County.
Indeed, documents from the Department of Homeland Security show that whatever antifa rioters are doing, they're doing in concert, organizing with other like-minded people.
are organized and show up night after night, and share common TTPs (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures)..''
"Threat actors who are motivated by Anarchists or ANTIFA (or a combination of both) ideologies to carry out acts of violence against State, Local and Federal authorities..''
'-- Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) September 14, 2020
The internal document leaked yesterday from the Department of Homeland Security reads:
According to this @DHSgov internal email, obtained @CBSNews, former Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence & Analysis Brian Murphy wrote colleagues on July 25th that the Portland violence was not ''opportunistic'' but ''organized'' citing ''Anarchists or Antifa''
''We can't say any longer that this violent situation is opportunistic. Additionally, we have overwhelmingly(sic) intelligence regarding the ideologies driving individuals toward violence + why the violence has continued.
A core set of Threat actors are organized and show up night after night, and share common TTPs (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures).. Threat actors who are motivated by Anarchists or ANTIFA (or a combination of both) ideologies to carry out acts of violence against State, Local and Federal authorities..''
They're organized, share the same tactics and talk to each other. Why are they so quiet right now?
Oregonians might well wonder that these ''threat actors'' are doing their arsons in the tinder dry woodlands of the state instead of nearby downtown Portland.
The riots have stopped. Did they go to San Francisco or Lancaster, Pennsylvania to raise hell? Did they stop because of the smokey skies and air quality numbers that are off the charts? It seems unlikely that a group that spawned a murderer, multiple arsonists and police assaulters would be dissuaded by smoky quality air. Is it because the media are busy covering the wildfires and there's nothing in rioting for the terrorists? Or is it because of something else?
The riots are over for now. Why?
Editor's Note: Want to support PJ Media so we can keep telling the truth about the riots and attacks on law enforcement? Join PJ Media VIP and use the promo code LAWANDORDER for 25% off your VIP membership.
Oregon Sheriff's Deputy Investigating Fires Pays Price for Saying Unkind Words About Antifa
'Nothing typical about this year's political ad market': As crises continue forecasts predict higher than ever political ad spending - Digiday $8Billion estimated
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:41
The presidential race has taken a backseat to the multiple on-going crises in the U.S. as the coronavirus, the economic fallout from the pandemic and the current social unrest across the nation, have taken center stage. That's changed the way that both President Trump and former vice president Biden have approached advertising.
In early March, following the on-set of the coronavirus in the U.S., both Biden and Trump tamped down their advertising on television, according to data from iSpot. However, in early May, Trump returned to advertising on television whereas Biden has yet to ramp back up. That said, Biden has recently spent significantly more on digital ads than he previously had, particularly on Facebook where he reportedly spent $5 million (with $1.6 million of that spent in just one day, more than triple Trump's previous single-day record spending on Facebook) in early June. Per Advertising Analytics, Biden spent slightly more than Trump, $6.8 million versus Trump's $6.7 million on Facebook and Google, over the course of May 24 to June 7.
''There has been nothing 'typical' about this year's political ad market,'' said Martha Matthews, svp and group director of local activation for Dentsu Aegis Network, adding that even before coronavirus the primary was unusual as it was the most expensive Democratic primary in history with $1 billion in campaign media spend, of which $570 million came from Bloomberg alone. ''There's no question that the pandemic has disrupted this year's elections.''
Still, even with the multiple on-going crises, advertising forecasts this week predicted that political advertising will hit an all-time high this year. On Monday, Magna Global predicted that the 2020 election cycle will produce $4.8 billion in net incremental ad sales, up 24% from 2016 and a record high. On Tuesday, GroupM echoed that sentiment with its ad forecast, predicting the highest spend ever this year estimating a total of $15 billion in political ad spending, up from $8 billion spent in 2018.
''Spending could be even higher,'' said Matthews, despite being often asked by advertisers if a decrease in political spending is expected due to coronavirus. ''Physical distancing isn't allowing for typical in-person campaigning '-- everything from big campaign events with large numbers of people to door-to-door canvassing. The money typically used to support this 'boots on the ground' campaigning is being shifted to media spending.''
Magna expects that while all media channels will benefit from the predicted increased political spending, digital media will grow the most and hit $1 billion in political ad revenue for the first time this year. GroupM, meanwhile, sees more than half of the $15 billion it expects to be spent on political ads to go to local TV and be concentrated in swing states.
That said, Biden pulling back on TV ads in the spring isn't all that surprising. ''Political ad spending is typically at its lowest point in the springtime,'' said Matthews. ''Historically, 79% of political spending comes in the back half of the year with 67% being placed between the general election window opening in September through the election in November. Most significantly, 30% of all political spending takes place in the last three weeks leading up to the election.''
''There's usually primary ads and then you do usually see a dip,'' said Michelle Millar, vp and group director of media and activation at ad agency Hanson Dodge. ''But this year is different because the ad market itself is seeing a decrease, yet political advertising is seeing such an overwhelming increase.''
As Trump has increased spending on television again he is ''playing to his base,'' according to John Cassilo, data analyst for Fabric Media. Per iSpot data, Trump has garnered 789 million ad impressions since March 1 with 63% of impressions on national linear TV versus 33.5% on local TV. Biden has generated 395.3 million impressions with 26.2% on national live linear and 69.7% of impressions on local TV during the same time period.
While Trump has returned to television on channels like Fox News, HGTV, CNN, CBS and the Food Network, since early May, Biden has remained quiet on television. Doing so is likely a strategy beyond just the coronavirus now. ''Biden going dark [on TV] has likely been a response to the current social environment,'' said Millar. ''He's doing a ton of fundraising so there are still a ton of social ads out there for that. It's almost as if they're saving that war chest for after the DNC.''
Spending more now could also be a waste, according to industry observers. ''There are so many dynamics right now,'' said Michael Horn, chief data officer at Huge, of the volatile political ad market. ''With the nomination locked up for both, the question is what are they trying to drive? The earned media around coronavirus and the protests will overwhelm anything they put in the market.''
Industry observers expect spending to significantly increase in the fall, which is typical. That said, while the market would generally be more competitive in the fall, as advertisers compete for available inventory, the uncertainty of the Upfronts season as well as the uncertainty in when big brand advertisers will start spending as they had been prior to coronavirus could make for a more fluid advertising marketplace this fall.
That could give political advertising ''more flexibility to adopt and wait and see approach because there's more inventory available that's not taken up by brand advertisers,'' said Horn, ''[Brand advertising] could stay cool until after the election. If the rates are lower and there isn't pressure to lock in in the same way we could see a higher volume of political advertising.''
https://digiday.com/?p=370210
Trump Agrees to FOUR HOUR Biden Debate Hosted by Joe Rogan
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 14:36
''I do,'' replied President Trump to a tweet from UFC fighter Tim Kennedy urging a four-hour grueling debate between the Commander-in-Chief and his would-be replacement Joe Biden.Kennedy's tweet read: ''On my podcast with @joerogan he offered to moderate a debate between @JoeBiden and @realDonaldTrump It would be four hours with no live audience. Just the two candidates, cameras, and their vision of how to move this country forward. Who wants this? #debates #Election2020''
The Commander-in-Chief replied, ''I do!''
The news comes as pressure mounts on the Biden camp over details pertaining to the traditional debates.
Democrats have urged Biden not to debate Trump, which as far as many Americans are concerned, would be a concession of defeat from the Democrat nominee.
So far Biden's camp claim they have agreed to debates, but the new four hour challenge may prove too much for ''Sleepy Joe.''
Trump's in'... is Biden?
Will a False Flag Asteroid Attack be Staged to Delay the 2020 Presidential Election? >> Exopolitics
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:57
Written by Dr Michael Salla on August 31, 2020. Posted in Deep State, Featured, US Politics
On November 4, 2016, NASA, FEMA, the Department of Energy, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), U.S. Air Force, and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services collaborated in a planning exercise simulating a destructive asteroid impact set for September 20, 2020. The exercise planners envisaged that the asteroid, up to 800 feet (250 meters) in size, would hit somewhere along a narrow band across Southern California or just off the Pacific Coast.
Here's what the NASA/JPL news release had to say about the simulated asteroid impact hypothesized to take place in three weeks time:
The exercise simulated a possible impact four years from now '-- a fictitious asteroid imagined to have been discovered this fall with a 2 percent probability of impact with Earth on September 20, 2020. The simulated asteroid was initially estimated to be between 300 and 800 feet (100 and 250 meters) in size, with a possibility of making impact anywhere along a long swath of Earth, including a narrow band of area that crossed the entire United States.
In the fictitious scenario, observers continued to track the asteroid for three months using ground-based telescope observations, and the probability of impact climbed to 65 percent. Then the next observations had to wait until four months later, due to the asteroid's position relative to the sun. Once observations could resume in May of 2017, the impact probability jumped to 100 percent. By November of 2017, it was simulated that the predicted impact would occur somewhere in a narrow band across Southern California or just off the coast in the Pacific Ocean.
This is not the first or only simulated asteroid impact exercise designed by scientists and government agencies. A more recent asteroid impact exercise occurred in 2019 and hypothesized an asteroid impact for New York City on April 29, 2027. An asteroid similar in size to that envisaged earlier back in November 2016, would hit with a destructive force ranging from 100 to 800 megatons.
It's worth noting that the largest hydrogen bomb test in history, the 1961 Tsar Bomba, had a destructive force of 50 megatons. ''Coincidentally'', Russia just released classified footage of the Tsar Bomba showing its destructive effects in the remote Arctic region of Novaya Zemlya. Clearly, if an asteroid were to hit the continental U.S. or just off the Pacific Coast with anywhere near an 800 megaton destructive yield, an entire region would be devastated with an extremely high death toll.
What gives the September 20, 2020 asteroid impact simulation great relevance today is not the approaching target date for a hypothetical asteroid impact, but a series of worrying scientific and political developments. These developments firmly point to a major false flag attack that is about to be unleashed by the Deep State in a last-ditch effort to prevent the 2020 Presidential election from occurring.
In evaluating the possibility that an asteroid impact is about to be staged in real life for a political agenda, it's worth pointing out that Dr. Werner von Braun, former head of NASA's Marshall Flight Center, was the first to reveal that a false flag asteroid attack would one day be staged by the Deep State.
In 1974, he confided in Carol Rosin, a former executive to Fairchild Industries, about a sequence of false flag events that would be orchestrated by the Deep State in order to promote their agenda for the weaponization of space. [link to earlier article]
Von Braun said that an asteroid attack would be orchestrated once the Deep State had exhausted earlier contrived threats posed in turn by the Russians, terrorists, and nations of concern. When such threats no longer carried the political justification for massive military spending, a new scenario would be thrust upon the American public in order to maintain and even increase military spending further. This would ultimately lead to the weaponization of space, according to Von Braun.
What makes Von Braun's warning particularly important given the September 20 date set in the 2016 asteroid impact exercise is the closing of over 100 of the Earth's largest observatories due to the COVID-19 crisis. There appears to be no real health justification for such unprecedented closures. After all, night-time telescopes are largely automated involving relatively few astronomers.
What makes this situation even more remarkable is the recent ''accidental damage'' to the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico. On August 11, 2020, a large cable snapped, making the observatory unusable for the foreseeable future. This means that at this critical time, when asteroids are regularly being reported to be just missing the Earth, there are currently very few astronomers observing the night sky.
According to Steven Jonowieck of the McDonald Observatory in Texas:
If everybody in the world stops observing, then we have a gap in our data that you can't recover '... This will be a period that we in the astronomy community have no data on what happened.
Jonowieck's comment is critical since it confirms that there is no independent astronomical data on what is currently happening in space. What makes this even more telling is that in the 2016 Asteroid Impact exercize set for September 2020, observatories played the key role in identifying and tracking the asteroid before its destructive impact.
Here's what Shepard Ambellas, from Intellihub, had to say about the recent closing of observatories:
Defying all logic, a number of telescopes and observatories around the world remain closed amid the coronavirus pandemic while the impact risk of near-earth Earthbound objects remains at an all-time high. Over 100 telescopes have been reported to have been shut down in a move that virtually makes no sense and now one of the world's largest radio telescopes named the Arecibo Observatory has been rendered inoperable after sustaining damage after cable unexpectedly snapped creating about a 100-foot long gash in the dish itself, furthering fueling the problem'...
To make matters worse, the Puerto Rico-based telescope was tracking a near-Earth object when it went offline. Withal, there has never been a more perfect time for an asteroid to strike and the Department of Defense, the White House, and other agencies are aware.
With the closure of so many observatories, if the Deep State was planning to stage a false flag asteroid attack, this would be the perfect time for it. There would be relatively few professional astronomers with data that could refute the narrative put out by government agencies and mainstream news sources if a false flag event were to occur.
For example, if covert space weapons such as ''Rods of God'', were used to simulate an asteroid strike, there would be few astronomers with data to challenge a contrived official narrative orchestrated by the Deep State using their worldwide media assets.
Why now? One powerful reason is the Deep State's assessment through internal polling that Donald Trump is going to easily win the 2020 Presidential election. This is supported by multiple polls showing that Trump is making major inroads among independent and minority voters with his law and order approach. Joe Biden is also showing no real desire to get out to meet with voters, seriously tackle Trump head-on, and there are even calls now for him to abandon the debates.
Even impartial left-leaning observers, such as Dr. Jonathan Turley, a Georgetown University Professor, are mystified by the Democratic Party's lack of desire to condemn the riots and violence that has affected major urban areas and led to social chaos. This is leading to a massive swing to Trump as the law and order President.
It's as though Democratic leaders have abandoned any hope of winning the election and are promoting widespread social chaos in the hope of pinning the blame on Trump in a desperate Hail Mary move.
What the above circumstantial evidence suggests is that rather than have Trump win another election, the Deep State is instead about to unleash a major false flag operation to prevent the 2020 election from occurring.
This would create even more chaos since the U.S. Constitution has no provision for President Trump remaining in office beyond January 20, 2021. This would also impact the House of Representatives and 1/3 of Senators who are facing reelection on November 3, and whose terms expire on January 3, 2021.
This is how Alan Dershowitz, a retired Harvard University Professor, who has Deep State ties through his close association with the convicted pedophile, Jeffery Epstein, frames the issue:
What does the Constitution provide in the event that an emergency precludes an election before the end of a term of the president? '... We begin, of course, with the words of the Constitution'.... the 20th Amendment says ''the terms of the president and vice president shall end at noon'' on January 20. Nothing could seem clearer'...
But if there is no election, there is no president elect nor vice president elect. Congress does provide for a line of succession to the White House ''if by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify,'' there is neither a president nor a vice president'.... However, even if Congress has the authority to fill this gap in the Constitution, it is unclear that it has done so with the existing law, because the line of succession begins with the House speaker.
But there would be no House speaker if there were no election, because there would be no House, all of whose members would be up for election in November. The terms of all members of the House would end, as stated in the Constitution, on January 3'...
There would, however, be a Senate, with a majority of its members not up for election in November and, therefore, still serving their terms. This is important as the next in line would be the president pro tempore of the Senate, which is Charles Grassley. However, if there were no election, there may be a Democratic majority among the remaining senators not up for reelection, unless sitting governors or state legislators were allowed to fill vacant seats, which is another issue.
Dershowitz is pointing out that without an election, it would be up to the rump of U.S. Senate to select the next U.S. President. The two-thirds of the Senators that would still be serving until their terms ended either on January 3, 2023 or 2025, would make the necessary choices.
Out of the 65 sitting U.S. Senators who are not up for reelection in 2020, 33 are Democrats, 30 are Republicans, and 2 are Independents '' Bernie Sanders and Angus King. Both Sanders and King caucus with the Democrats. This means that in the scenario of an abandoned 2020 Presidential election, after January 3, the current Majority Leader, Mitch McConnel, and President Pro-Tempore, Chuck Grassley, would be replaced by Democrats who would now be the majority party with a voting advantage of 35 to 30.
The new President Pro-Tempore of the U.S. Senate would be either Chuck Schumer (current Senate Minority Leader) or the replacement to the current Democratic Whip since Richard Durbin is among those who would lose his current position (Senate Minority Whip). Being fourth in the Presidential line of succession, after the positions of President, Vice President, and House Majority Leader positions all become vacate on January 3 and 20, 2021, Schumer or Durbin's replacement would become the new President. New federal elections would then be scheduled according to the timetable and agenda of the now Democratic-controlled Senate.
What strengthens such an alarming scenario, which would nullify President Trump's reelection campaign, is Nancy Pelosi's recent strange claims about the Presidential chain of succession and Continuity of Government, which were made in a recent interview on MSNBC:
''Whether he [Donald Trump] knows it or not he will be leaving ,.. Just because he might not want to move out of the White House doesn't mean we won't have an inauguration ceremony to inaugurate a duly elected President of the United States.'''... Pelosi's statements were made after she had attended last month's Continuity of Government meeting in which the Pentagon had revealed to top officials in the chain of succession to the presidency that there is a chance for a potential disaster to strike before the elections which could cripple the U.S and other countries.
Pelosi appears to be alluding to some Continuity of Government crisis that leads to Trump's removal from office and the installation of a ''duly elected'' President after some natural disaster.
In sum, Von Braun's warning of a future false flag asteroid impact, the closure of over 100 major observatories, swarms of recent asteroid near misses, the self-defeating electoral strategy of the Democratic Party in encouraging riots and social chaos, Joe Biden's bizarre absence from serious politicking, Nancy Pelosi's strange reference to Continuity of Government and Presidential succession rules, and finally Alan Dershowitz's description of how the abandonment of the 2020 election would force Trump to leave office on January 20, 2021, all point to a Deep State plan to prevent Trump from being re-elected.
A contrived asteroid strike on the U.S. using covertly deployed space weapons controlled by the Deep State would lead to catastrophic destruction and almost certainly the abandonment of the November 3 federal elections.
The Deep State strategy would then be to run out the clock so that on January 20, Trump's position as President is vacated as required by the Constitution. There would also no longer be a serving House of Representatives, and all that would be left is a rump U.S. Senate that would be controlled by the Democratic Party.
Could such a diabolical plan actually succeed in both deceiving the American public through a false flag asteroid attack and preventing President Trump's all but inevitable reelection?
Currently, the U.S. Space Force is in the process of integrating all space assets from the different military services in a comprehensive way that would prevent such a false fIag event from occurring. Historically, the Deep State has used assets from the U.S. military, intelligence community, and major aerospace corporations for false flag attacks such as the September 11, 2001 ''terrorist attack'', and the failed January 13, 2018, Hawaii ballistic missile attack.
Space Force will eventually end that practice as far as military space assets are concerned. Space Force's rapid integration process is something that greatly worries the Deep State as I will explain in my upcoming September 26 webinar, ''Why Space Force Terrifies the Deep State and Rogue Secret Space Programs''.
However, the Deep State still has significant space assets from the U.S. intelligence community, major aerospace corporations, and even foreign powers (China), that it could co-opt for a false flag asteroid impact event. Space Force and ''White Hats'' in the U.S. Military Industrial Complex will have to closely monitor these ''rogue'' space assets to ensure they would not be coopted into such a false flag event.
There is compelling circumstantial evidence pointing to a Deep State plan to launch a false flag asteroid attack, or some other contrived ''natural disaster'', sometime between September 20 and the November 3, 2020, federal elections. However, widespread public awareness of such a diabolical plan and proactive intervention by Space Force or White Hats can prevent such a plan from being successful.
(C) Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice
[Note: Audio version of the above article is available here]
Further Reading
Will Deep State launch False Flag Alien Invasion after exhausting global control cards? Von Braun's False Flag Alien Invasion '' a genuine warning or Fourth Reich deception? Leaked Document Recommends False Flag Alien Invasion to save Clinton Campaign Is Alien UFO false flag event on the way? Secret Space Program Disclosures & False Flag Alien Events Are Secret Space Program Disclosures Prelude to a False Flag Alien Invasion? Tags: 2020 Presidential Election, asteroid, asteroid false flag, Deep State, false flag attack, Space Force
News | NASA, FEMA Hold Asteroid Emergency Planning Exercise
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 14:21
What would we do if we discovered a large asteroid on course to impact Earth? While highly unlikely, that was the high-consequence scenario discussed by attendees at an Oct. 25 NASA-FEMA tabletop exercise in El Segundo, California.
The third in a series of exercises hosted jointly by NASA and FEMA -- the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- the simulation was designed to strengthen the collaboration between the two agencies, which have Administration direction to lead the U.S. response. "It's not a matter of if -- but when -- we will deal with such a situation," said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "But unlike any other time in our history, we now have the ability to respond to an impact threat through continued observations, predictions, response planning and mitigation."
The exercise provided a forum for the planetary science community to show how it would collect, analyze and share data about a hypothetical asteroid predicted to impact Earth. Emergency managers discussed how that data would be used to consider some of the unique challenges an asteroid impact would present-for preparedness, response and public warning.
"It is critical to exercise these kinds of low-probability but high-consequence disaster scenarios," FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said. "By working through our emergency response plans now, we will be better prepared if and when we need to respond to such an event."
Exercise attendees included representatives from NASA, FEMA, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Department of Energy's National Laboratories, the U.S. Air Force, and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services.
The exercise simulated a possible impact four years from now -- a fictitious asteroid imagined to have been discovered this fall with a 2 percent probability of impact with Earth on Sept. 20, 2020. The simulated asteroid was initially estimated to be between 300 and 800 feet (100 and 250 meters) in size, with a possibility of making impact anywhere along a long swath of Earth, including a narrow band of area that crossed the entire United States.
In the fictitious scenario, observers continued to track the asteroid for three months using ground-based telescope observations, and the probability of impact climbed to 65 percent. Then the next observations had to wait until four months later, due to the asteroid's position relative to the sun. Once observations could resume in May of 2017, the impact probability jumped to 100 percent. By November of 2017, it was simulated that the predicted impact would occur somewhere in a narrow band across Southern California or just off the coast in the Pacific Ocean.
While mounting a deflection mission to move the asteroid off its collision course had been simulated in previous tabletop exercises, this particular exercise was designed so that the time to impact was too short for a deflection mission to be feasible -- to pose a great future challenge to emergency managers faced with a mass evacuation of the metropolitan Los Angeles area.
Scientists from JPL, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and The Aerospace Corporation presented predicted impact footprint models, population displacement estimates, information on infrastructure that would be affected, as well as other data that could realistically be known at various points throughout the exercise scenario.
"The high degree of initial uncertainty coupled with the relatively long impact warning time made this scenario unique and especially challenging for emergency managers," said FEMA National Response Coordination Branch Chief Leviticus A. Lewis. "It's quite different from preparing for an event with a much shorter timeline, such as a hurricane."
Attendees considered ways to provide accurate, timely and useful information to the public, while also addressing how to refute rumors and false information that could emerge in the years leading up to the hypothetical impact.
"These exercises are invaluable for those of us in the asteroid science community responsible for engaging with FEMA on this natural hazard," said NASA Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson. "We receive valuable feedback from emergency managers at these exercises about what information is critical for their decision making, and we take that into account when we exercise how we would provide information to FEMA about a predicted impact."
NASA provides expert input to FEMA about the asteroid impact hazard through the Planetary Defense Coordination Office. NASA and FEMA will continue to conduct asteroid impact exercises and intend to expand participation in future exercises to include additional representatives from local and state emergency management agencies and the private sector.
News Media Contact
DC Agle
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
818-393-9011
agle@jpl.nasa.gov
Dwayne Brown / Laurie Cantillo
NASA Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1726 / 202-358-1077
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov / laura.l.cantillo@nasa.gov
2016-288
Man who pooped on Pelosi's driveway calls it 'peaceful protest'
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 17:21
The YouTube star who filmed himself defecating on the driveway of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco residence said he did so as a ''peaceful protest'' '-- but admitted it was a ''joke that got out of hand.''
The man, who identifies himself as ''Mando'' or ''Armando'' on his online channels and requested to have his last name withheld for fear of retribution, told The Post that the incident started with a joke from commenters on his livestream.
The 28-year-old said he's part of a niche YouTube community that creates ''IRL'' or ''in real life'' livestream videos chronicling long stretches of unfiltered daily life.
He began the channel after he became homeless six years ago, and hoped to show his viewers the realities of living on the street as he traveled from city to city.
But recent coronavirus-related lockdowns made daily life increasingly difficult, Mando said '-- especially when businesses are closed to customers and no longer allow people to use their bathrooms.
As a result, Saturday's livestream video, titled ''Poopalosi,'' began as a protest against a lack of resources for people living on the streets '-- while people in power, such as Pelosi, are able to get haircuts and live their daily lives fairly unchanged.
''I'd been hunting for a toilet all week, and the joke came up in the comments on one of my streams that 'Hey, you should take a crap at Pelosi's house,''' Mando told The Post.
''Everyone was enjoying the idea of it, and eventually I just couldn't hold it anymore.''
In the video, Mando can be seen wandering the streets of San Francisco in search of Pelosi's home. Once there, he sets up a camera across the street and stands in what appears to be Pelosi's driveway for several minutes.
A man relieving himself on what appears to be the driveway of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco residence YouTubeHe eventually salutes his viewers before squatting down to relieve himself on the pavement.
''That was for President Trump,'' he says after exiting the frame.
Mando told The Post that the comment was meant to be ''satire,'' and that he's ''not really very political,'' although he supports Trump's accomplishments and is scared about rising crime and the state of the country.
''I fear America is becoming one big burned-down city,'' he said.
Just a few hours after the incident, Mando said, he was stopped by officers with the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department, who detained him at the behest of Capitol Police, the agency tasked with protecting members of Congress.
''It was scary! I thought my life was over in that moment,'' he said.
''They kept asking me, 'Are you this? Are you that? Are you Antifa?' And the Capitol Police were definitely watching my channel, because I could hear them on the radio like, 'Tell him to turn off the stream.'''
A BART Police spokesperson confirmed the account, but said it did not have any further information. Pelosi's office and Capitol Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Immediately following the incident, Mando apologized to Pelosi on Twitter, saying, ''@SpeakerPelosi I know you may not ever see this but I want you to know, I meant no foul harm yesterday when I did what I did. I'm not proud of it at all and I just would like for you to know that. I have no ill will against you or anyone in an elected officials position.''
Mando also told The Post that the act is ''not something I'm particularly proud of,'' and that he does not hold any ill will toward Pelosi or anyone else '-- although he hopes that his ''peaceful protest'' will inspire those in power to provide more resources for those who are homeless or otherwise down on their luck.
''What better way to show someone the message, you know?'' he said.
''We need more access to bathrooms, we need more access to resources out here.''
Executive Order on Lowering Drug Prices by Putting America First | The White House
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 19:16
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Purpose. Americans pay more per capita for prescription drugs than residents of any other developed country in the world. It is unacceptable that Americans pay more for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same places. Other countries' governments regulate drug prices by negotiating with drug manufacturers to secure bargain prices, leaving Americans to make up the difference '-- effectively subsidizing innovation and lower-cost drugs for the rest of the world. The Council of Economic Advisers has found that Americans finance much of the biopharmaceutical innovation that the world depends on, allowing foreign governments, many of which are the sole healthcare payers in their respective countries, to enjoy bargain prices for such innovations. Americans should not bear extra burdens to compensate for the shortfalls that result from the nationalized public healthcare systems of wealthy countries abroad.
In addition to being unfair, high drug prices in the United States also have serious economic and health consequences for patients in need of treatment. High prices cause Americans to divert too much of their scarce resources to pharmaceutical treatments and away from other productive uses. High prices are also a reason many patients skip doses of their medications, take less than the recommended doses, or abandon treatment altogether. The consequences of these behaviors can be severe. For example, patients may develop acute conditions that result in poor clinical outcomes or that require drastic and expensive medical interventions.
In most markets, the largest buyers pay the lowest prices, but this has not been true for prescription drugs. The Federal Government is the largest payer for prescription drugs in the world, but it pays more than many smaller buyers, including other developed nations. When the Federal Government purchases a drug covered by Medicare Part B '-- the cost of which is shared by American seniors who take the drug and American taxpayers '-- it should insist on, at a minimum, the lowest price at which the manufacturer sells that drug to any other developed nation.
The need for affordable Medicare Part B drugs is particularly acute now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to historic levels of unemployment in the United States, including the loss of 1.2 million jobs among Americans age 65 or older between March and April of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to an increase in food prices, straining budgets for many of America's seniors, particularly those who live on fixed incomes. The economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic only increase the burdens placed on America's seniors and other Medicare Part B beneficiaries.
Sec. 2. Policy. (a) It is the policy of the United States that the Medicare program should not pay more for costly Part B prescription drugs or biological products than the most-favored-nation price.
(b) The ''most-favored-nation price'' shall mean the lowest price, after adjusting for volume and differences in national gross domestic product, for a pharmaceutical product that the drug manufacturer sells in a member country of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that has a comparable per-capita gross domestic product.
Sec. 3. Ensuring the Most-Favored-Nation Price in Medicare Part B. To the extent consistent with law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall immediately take appropriate steps to implement his rulemaking plan to test a payment model pursuant to which Medicare would pay, for certain high-cost prescription drugs and biological products covered by Medicare Part B, no more than the most-favored-nation price. The model would test whether, for patients who require pharmaceutical treatment, paying no more than the most-favored-nation price would mitigate poor clinical outcomes and increased expenditures associated with high drug costs.
Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
A bug in Joe Biden's campaign app gave anyone access to millions of voter files | TechCrunch
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 13:06
SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA '' SEPTEMBER 11: A political poster favoring U.S. presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris is placed on a front lawn September 11, 2020 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)
A privacy bug in Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's official campaign app allowed anyone to look up sensitive voter information on millions of Americans, a security researcher has found.
The campaign app, Vote Joe, allows Biden supporters to encourage friends and family members to vote in the upcoming U.S. presidential election by uploading their phone's contact lists to see if their friends and family members are registered to vote. The app uploads and matches the user's contacts with voter data supplied from TargetSmart, a political marketing firm that claims to have files on more than 191 million Americans.
When a match is found, the app displays the voter's name, age and birthday, and which recent election they voted in. This, the app says, helps users ''find people you know and encourage them to get involved.''
While much of this data can already be public, the bug made it easy for anyone to access any voter's information by using the app.
The App Analyst, a mobile expert who detailed his findings on his eponymous blog, found that he could trick the app into pulling in anyone's information by creating a contact on his phone with the voter's name.
Worse, he told TechCrunch, the app pulls in a lot more data than it actually displays. By intercepting the data that flows in and out of the device, he saw far more detailed and private information, including the voter's home address, date of birth, gender, ethnicity and political party affiliation, such as Republican or Democrat.
The Biden campaign fixed the bug and pushed out an app update on Friday.
A screenshot of Joe Biden's official campaign app, which uploads and matches a user's contacts with their existing voter file. But a bug allowed anyone to pull in any voter's information. (Image: TechCrunch)
''We were made aware about how our third-party app developer was providing additional fields of information from commercially available data that was not needed,'' Matt Hill, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign, told TechCrunch. ''We worked with our vendor quickly to fix the issue and remove the information. We are committed to protecting the privacy of our staff, volunteers and supporters will always work with our vendors to do so.''
After publication, Hill disputed the researcher's findings and and that the app returned gender, ethnicities, or home addresses
A spokesperson for TargetSmart said a ''limited amount of publicly or commercially available data'' was accessible to other users.
It's not uncommon for political campaigns to trade and share large amounts of voter information, called voter files, which includes basic information like a voter's name, often their home address and contact information and which political parties they are registered with. Voter files can differ wildly state to state.
Though a lot of this data can be publicly available, political firms also try to enrich their databases with additional data from other sources to help political campaigns identify and target key swing voters.
But several security lapses involving these vast banks of data have questioned whether political firms can keep this data safe.
It's not the first time TargetSmart has been embroiled in a data leak. In 2017, a voter file compiled by TargetSmart on close to 600,000 voters in Alaska was left on an exposed server without a password. And in 2018, TechCrunch reported that close to 15 million records on Texas voters were found on an exposed and unsecured server, just months ahead of the U.S. midterm elections.
Last week Microsoft warned that hackers backed by Russia, China and Iran are targeting both the 2020 presidential campaigns but also their political advisors. Reuters reported that one of those firms, Washington, DC-based SKDKnickerbocker, a political consultant to the Biden campaign, was targeted by Russian intelligence but that there was ''no breach.''
Updated with Hill remarks.
Hillary Clinton on Twitter: "I hope you'll join @kamalaharris and me for our first grassroots event together next Monday. We'll talk about the Biden-Harris team's plans to get our country back on track, how all of us can help elect Democrats down-ballot,
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:15
Hillary Clinton : I hope you'll join @kamalaharris and me for our first grassroots event together next Monday. We'll talk about the'... https://t.co/hyYKRlOkH4
Wed Sep 09 15:07:52 +0000 2020
Revolver Exclusive - Meet Norm Eisen: Legal Hatchet Man and Central Operative in the "Color Revolution" Against President Trump - Revolver
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 05:08
Revolver Exclusive '-- Meet Norm Eisen: Legal Hatchet Man and Central Operative in the ''Color Revolution'' Against President Trump
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In our report on Never Trump State Department official George Kent, Revolver News first drew attention to the ominous similarities between the strategies and tactics the United States government employs in so-called ''Color Revolutions'' and the coordinated efforts of government bureaucrats, NGOs, and the media to oust President Trump.
Our recent follow-up to this initial report focused specifically on a shadowy, George Soros linked group called the Transition Integrity Project (TIP), which convened ''war games'' exercises suggesting the likelihood of a ''contested election scenario,'' and of ensuing chaos should President Trump refuse to leave office. We further showed how these ''contested election'' scenarios we are hearing so much about play perfectly into the Color Revolution framework sketched out Revolver News' first installment in the Color Revolution series.
This third installment of Revolver News' series exposing the Color Revolution against Trump will focus on one quiet and indeed mostly overlooked participant in the Transition Integrity Project's biased election ''war games'' exercise'--a man by the name of Norm Eisen.
Norm Eisen
As the man who implemented the David Brock blueprint for suing the President into paralysis and his allies into bankruptcy , who helped mainstream and amplify the Russia Hoax, who drafted 10 articles of impeachment for the Democrats a full month before President Trump ever called the Ukraine President in 2018, who personally served as special counsel litigating the Ukraine impeachment, who created a template for Internet censorship of world leaders and a handbook for mass mobilizing racial justice protesters to overturn democratic election results, there is perhaps no man alive with a more decorated resume for plots against President Trump.
Indeed, the story of Norm Eisen '' a key architect of nearly every attempt to delegitimize, impeach, censor, sue and remove the democratically elected 45th President of the United States '' is a tale that winds through nearly every facet of the color revolution playbook. There is no purer embodiment of Revolver's thesis that the very same regime change professionals who run Color Revolutions on behalf of the US Government in order to undermine or overthrow alleged ''authoritarian'' governments overseas, are running the very same playbook to overturn Trump's 2016 victory and to pre-empt a repeat in 2020. To put it simply, what you see is not just the same Color Revolution playbook run against Trump, but the same people using it against Trump who have employed it in a professional capacity against targets overseas'--same people same playbook.
In Norm Eisen's case, the ''same people same playbook'' refrain takes an arrestingly literal turn when one realizes that Norm Eisen wrote a classic Color Revolution regime change manual, and conveniently titled it ''The Playbook.''
Just what exactly is President Obama's former White House Ethics Czar (yes, Norm Eisen was Obama's ethics Czar), his longtime friend since Harvard Law School, who recently partook in war games to simulate overturning a Trump electoral victory, doing writing a detailed playbook on how to use a Color Revolution to overthrow governments? The story of Norm Eisen only gets more fascinating, outrageous, and indispensable to understanding the planned chaos unfolding before our eyes, leading up to what will perhaps be the most chaotic election in our nation's recent history.
'--'--'--'--'--'---
''I'd Rather Have This Book Than The Atomic Bomb''
Before we can fully appreciate the significance of Norm Eisen's Color Revolution manual ''The Playbook,'' we must contextualize this important book in relation to its place in Color Revolution literature.
As a bit of a refresher to the reader, it is important to emphasize that when we use the term ''Color Revolution'' we do not mean any general type of revolution'--indeed, one of the chief advantages of the Color Revolution framework we advance is that it offers a specific and concrete heuristic by which to understand the operations against Trump beyond the accurate but more vague term ''coup.'' Unlike the overt, blunt, method of full scale military invasion as was the case in Iraq War, a Color Revolution employs the following strategies and tactics:
A ''Color Revolution'' in this context refers to a specific type of coordinated attack that the United States government has been known to deploy against foreign regimes, particularly in Eastern Europe deemed to be ''authoritarian'' and hostile to American interests. Rather than using a direct military intervention to effect regime change as in Iraq, Color Revolutions attack a foreign regime by contesting its electoral legitimacy, organizing mass protests and acts of civil disobedience, and leveraging media contacts to ensure favorable coverage to their agenda in the Western press. [Revolver]
This combination of tactics used in so-called Color Revolutions did not come from nowhere. Before Norm Eisen came Gene Sharp'--originator and Godfather of the Color Revolution model that has been a staple of US Government operations externally (and now internally) for decades. Before Norm Eisen's ''Playbook'' there was Gene Sharp's classic ''From Dictatorship to Democracy,'' which might be justly described as the Bible of the Color Revolution. Such is the power of the strategies laid out by Sharp that a Lithuanian defense minister once said of Sharp's preceding book (upon which Dictatorship to Democracy builds) that ''I would rather have this book than the nuclear bomb.''
Gene Sharp
It would be impossible to do full justice to Gene Sharp within the scope of this specific article. Here are some choice excerpts about Sharp and his biography to give readers a taste of his significance and relevance to this discussion.
Gene Sharp, the ''Machiavelli of nonviolence,'' has been fairly described as ''the most influential American political figure you've never heard of.'' 1 Sharp, who passed away in January 2018, was a beloved yet ''mysterious'' intellectual giant of nonviolent protest movements, the ''father of the whole field of the study of strategic nonviolent action.'' 2 Over his career, he wrote more than twenty books about nonviolent action and social movements. His how-to pamphlet on nonviolent revolution, From Dictatorship to Democracy, has been translated into over thirty languages and is cited by protest movements around the world. In the U.S., his ideas are widely promoted through activist training programs and by scholars of nonviolence, and have been used by nearly every major protest movement in the last forty years. 3 For these contributions, Sharp has been praised by progressive heavyweights like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times, compared to Gandhi, and cast as a lonely prophet of peace, champion of the downtrodden, and friend of the left. 4
Gene Sharp's influence on the U.S. activist left and social movements abroad has been significant. But he is better understood as one of the most important U.S. defense intellectuals of the Cold War, an early neoliberal theorist concerned with the supposedly inherent violence of the ''centralized State,'' and a quiet but vital counselor to anti-communist forces in the socialist world from the 1980s onward.
In the mid-1960s, Thomas Schelling, a Nobel Prize-winning nuclear theorist, recruited 29-year-old Sharp to join the Center for International Affairs at Harvard, bastion of the high Cold War defense, intelligence, and security establishment. Leading the so-called ''CIA at Harvard'' were Henry Kissinger, future National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, and future CIA chief Robert Bowie. Sharp held this appointment for thirty years. There, with Department of Defense funds, he developed his core theory of nonviolent action: a method of warfare capable of collapsing states through theatrical social movements designed to dissolve the common will that buttresses governments, all without firing any shots. From his post at the CIA at Harvard, Sharp would urge U.S. and NATO defense leadership to use his methods against the Soviet Union. [Nonsite]
We invite the reader to reflect on the passages in bold, particularly their potential relevance to the current domestic situation in the United States. Sharp's book and strategy for ''non violent revolution'' AKA ''peaceful protests'' has been used to undermine or overthrow target governments all over the world, particularly in Eastern Europe.
Gene's color revolution playbook was of course especially effective in Eastern Bloc countries in Eastern Europe:
Finally, there is no shortage of analysis as to the applicability of Sharp's methods domestically within the USA in order to advance various left wing causes. This passage specifically mentions the applicability of Sharp's methods to counter act Trump.
Ominous stuff indeed. For readers who wish to read further, please consult the full Politico piece from which we have excerpted the above highlighted passages. There is also a fascinating documentary on Sharp instructively titled ''How to Start a Revolution.''
This is all interesting and disturbing, to say the least. In its own right it would suggest a compelling nexus point between the operations run against Trump and the Color Revolution playbook. But what does this have to do with our subject Norm Eisen? It just so happens that Eisen explicitly places himself in the tradition of Gene Sharp, acknowledging his book ''The Playbook'' as a kind of update to Sharp's seminal ''Dictatorship to Democracy.''
Watch the Clip Here
And there we have it, folks'--Norm Eisen, former Obama Ethics Czar, Ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the ''Velvet Revolution,'' key counsel in impeachment effort against Trump, and participant in the ostensibly bi-partisan election war games predicting a contested election scenario unfavorable to Trump'--just happens to be a Color Revolution expert who literally wrote the modern ''Playbook'' in the explicitly acknowledged tradition of Color Revolution Godfather Gene Sharp's ''From Dictatorship to Democracy.''
Before we turn to the contents of Norm Eisen's Color Revolution manual, full title ''The Democracy Playbook: Preventing and Reversing Democratic Backsliding,'' it will be useful to make a brief point regarding the term ''democracy'' itself, which happens to appear in the title of Gene Sharp's book ''From Dictatorship to Democracy'' as well.
Just like the term ''peaceful protestor,'' which, as we pointed out in our George Kent essay is used as a term of craft in the Color Revolution context, so is the term ''democracy'' itself. The US Government launches Color Revolutions against foreign targets irrespective of whether they actually enjoy the support of the people or were elected democratically. In the case of Trump, whatever one says about him, he is perhaps the most ''democratically'' elected President in America's history. Indeed, in 2016 Trump ran against the coordinated opposition of the establishments of both parties, the military industrial complex, the corporate media, Hollywood, and really every single powerful institution in the country. He won, however, because he was able to garner sufficient support of the people'--his true and decisive power base as a ''populist.'' Precisely because of the ultra democratic ''populist'' character of Trump's victory, the operatives attempting to undermine him have focused specifically on attacking the democratic legitimacy of his victory.
In this vein we ought to note that the term ''democratic backsliding,'' as seen in the subtitle of Norm Eisen's book, and its opposite ''democratic breakthrough'' are also terms of art in the Color Revolution lexicon. We leave the full exploration of how the term ''democratic'' is used deceptively in the Color Revolution context (and in names of decidedly anti-democratic/populist institutions) as an exercise to the interested reader. Michael McFaul, another Color Revolution expert and key anti-Trump operative somewhat gives the game away in the following tweet in which the term ''democratic breakthrough'' makes an appearance as a better sounding alternative to ''Color Revolution:''
Most likely as a response to Revolver News' first Color Revolution article on State Department official George Kent, former Ambassador McFaul issued the following tweet as a matter of damage control:
Autocrats have demonized the phrase, "color revolutions." (& revolution generally has a negative connotation for many.) Instead, I use the term "democratic breakthroughs."
'-- Michael McFaul (@McFaul) August 23, 2020
What on earth then might Color Revolution expert and Obama's former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who has been a key player agitating for President Trump's impeachment, mean by ''democratic breakthrough?''
Being a rather simple man from a simple background, McFaul perhaps gave too much of this answer away in the following explanation (now deleted).
With this now-deleted tweet we get a clearer picture of the power bases that must be satisfied for a ''democratic breakthrough'' to occur'--and conveniently enough, not one of them is subject to direct democratic control. McFaul, Like Eisen, George Kent, and so many others, perfectly embodies Revolver's thesis regarding the Color Revolution being the same people running the same playbook. Indeed, like most of the star never-Trump impeachment witnesses, McFaul is or has been an ambassador to an Eastern European country. He has supported operations against Trump, including impeachment. And, like Norm Eisen, he has actually written a book on Color Revolutions (more on that later).
Norm Eisen's The Democracy Playbook: A Brief Overview:
A deep dive into Eisen's book would exceed the scope of this relatively brief expos(C). It is nonetheless important for us to draw attention to key passages of Eisen's book to underscore how closely the ''Playbook'' corresponds to events unfolding right here at home. Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to say that regime change professionals such as Eisen simply decided to run the same playbook against Trump that they have done countless times when foreign leaders are elected overseas that they don't like and want to remove via extra-democratic means'--''peaceful protests,'' ''democratic breakthroughs'' and such.
First, consider the following passage from Eisen's Playbook:
If you study this passage closely, you will find direct confirmation of our earlier point that ''democracy'' in the Color Revolution context is a term of art'--it refers to anything they like that keeps the national security bureaucrats in power. Anything they don't like, even if elected democratically, is considered ''anti-democratic,'' or, put another way, ''democratic backsliding.'' Eisen even acknowledges that this scourge of populism he's so worried about actually was ushered in with ''popular support,'' under ''relatively democratic and electoral processes.'' The problem is precisely that the people have had enough of the corrupt ruling class ignoring their needs. Accordingly, the people voted first for Brexit and then for Donald Trump'--terrifying expressions of populism which the broader Western power structure did everything in its capacity to prevent. Once they failed, they viewed these twin populist victories as a kind of political 9/11 to be prevented by any means necessary from recurring. Make no mistake, the Color Revolution has nothing to do with democracy in any meaningful sense and everything to do with the ruling class ensuring that the people will never have the power to meddle in their own elections again.
The passage above can be insightfully compared to the passage in Gene Sharp's book noting ripe applications to the domestic situation.
It is instructive to compare the passage in Eisen's Color Revolution book to the passage in Michael McFaul's Color Revolution book
First off, it is absolutely imperative to look at every single one of the conditions for a Color Revolution that McFaul identifies. It is simply impossible not to be overcome with the ominous parallels to our current situation. Specifically, however, note condition 1 which refers to having a target leader who is not fully authoritarian, but semi-autocratic. This coincides perfectly well with Eisen's concession that the populist leaders he's so concerned about might be ''illiberal'' but enjoy ''popular support'' and have come to power via ''relatively democratic electoral processes.''
Consulting the above passage from McFaul's book, we note that McFaul has been perhaps the most explicit about the conditions which facilitate a Color Revolution. We invite the reader to supply the contemporary analogue to each point as a kind of exercise.
A semi-autocratic regime rather than fully autocraticAn unpopular incumbent (note blanket negative coverage of Trump, fake polls)A united and organized opposition (media, intel community, Hollywood, community groups, etc)An ability to quickly drive home the point that voting results were falsified'--See our piece on the Transition Integrity ProjectEnough independent media to inform citizens of falsified vote (see full court press in media pushing contested election narrative, social media censorship)A political opposition capable of mobilizing tens of thousands or more demonstrators to protest electoral fraud (SEE BLACK LIVES MATTER AND ANTIFA)On point number four, which is especially relevant to our present situation, Eisen has an interesting thing to say about the role of a contested election scenario in the Orange Revolution, arguably the most important Color Revolution of them all.
Finally, let's look at one last passage from Norm Eisen's Color Revolution ''Democracy Playbook'' and cross-reference it with McFaul's conditions for a Color Revolution as well as the situation playing out right now before our very eyes:
A few things immediately jump out at us. First, the ominous instruction: ''prepare to use electoral abuse evidence as the basis for reform advocacy.'' Secondly, we note the passage suggesting that opposition to a target leader might avail itself of ''extreme institutional measures'' including impeachment processes, votes of no confidence, and, of course, the good old-fashioned ''protests, strikes, and boycotts'' (all more or less peaceful no doubt).
By now the Color Revolution agenda against Trump should be as plain as day. Regime change professionals like McFaul, Eisen, George Kent, and others, who have refined their craft conducting color revolutions overseas, have taken it upon themselves to use the same tools, the same tactics'--quite literally, the same playbook'--to overthrow President Trump. Yet again, same people, same playbook.
We conclude this study of key Color Revolution figure Norm Eisen by exploring his particularly proactive'--indeed central role'--in effecting one of the Color Revolution's components mentioned in the Eisen Playbook'--impeachment.
'--'--'--''
The Ghost of Democracy's Future
We mentioned at the outset of this piece that Norm Eisen is many things'--a former Obama Ethics Czar (but of course), Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, participant in the now notorious Transition Integrity Project, et cetera. But he earned his title as ''legal hatchet man'' of the Color Revolution for his tireless efforts in promoting the impeachment of President Trump.
The litany of Norm Eisen's legal activity cited at the beginning of this piece bears repeating.
As the man who implemented the David Brock blueprint for suing the President into paralysis and his allies into bankruptcy , who helped mainstream and amplify the Russia Hoax, who drafted 10 articles of impeachment for the Democrats a full month before President Trump ever called the Ukraine President in 2018, who personally served as DNC co-counsel for litigating the Ukraine impeachment'...
If that resume doesn't warrant the title ''legal hatchet man'' we wonder what does? We encourage interested readers or journalists to explore those links for themselves. By way of conclusion, it simply suffices to note that much of Eisen's impeachment activity he conducted before there was any discussion or knowledge of President Trump's call to the Ukrainian President in 2018'--indeed before the call even happened. Impeachment was very clearly a foregone conclusion'--a quite literal part of Norm Eisen's Color Revolution playbook'--and it was up to people like Eisen to find the pretext, any pretext.
Despite their constant invocation of ''democracy'' we ought to note that transferring the question of electoral outcomes to adversarial legal processes is in fact anti-Democratic'--in keeping with our observation that the Color Revolution playbook uses ''democracy'' as a term of art, often meaning the precise opposite of the usual meaning suggesting popular support.
Perhaps the most important entry in Eisen's entry is the first, that is, Eisen's participation in the infamous David Brock blueprint on how to undermine and overthrow the Trump presidency.
The Washington Free Beacon attended the retreat and obtained David Brock's private and confidential memorandum from the meeting. The memo, ''Democracy Matters: Strategic Plan for Action,'' outlines Brock's four-year agenda to attack Trump and Republicans using Media Matters, American Bridge, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and Shareblue.
The memo contains plans for defeating Trump through impeachment, expanding Media Matters' mission to combat ''government misinformation,'' ensuring Democratic control of the Senate in the 2018 midterm elections, filing lawsuits against the Trump administration, monetizing political advocacy, using a ''digital attacker'' to delegitimize Trump's presidency and damage Republicans, and partnering with Facebook to combat ''fake news.'' [Washington Free Beacon]
This leaked memo was written before President Trump took office, further suggesting that all of the efforts to undermine Trump have not been good faith responses to his behavior, but a pre-ordained attack strategy designed to overturn the 2016 election by any means necessary. The Color Revolution expert who suggests impeachment as a tactic in his Color Revolution ''playbook'' was already in charge of impeachment before Trump even took office'---Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is run by none other than Norm Eisen.
But the attempt to overturn the 2016 election using Color Revolution tactics failed. And so now the plan is to overthrow Trump in 2020, hence Norm Eisen's noted participation in the Transition Integrity Project. Looking around us, one is forced to ask the deeply uncomfortable question, ''transition into what?''
To conclude, we would like to call back to a point we raised in the first piece in our color revolution series. In this piece, we noted that star Never Trump impeachment witness George Kent just happens to be running the Belarus desk at the State Department. Belarus, we argued, with its mass demonstrations egged on by US Government backed NGOS, its supposed ''peaceful protests'' and of course its contested election results all fit the Color Revolution mold curiously enough.
One NGO called the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group (TDWG) was bold or reckless enough to draw the parallels between the Color Revolution in Belarus and the events playing out against Trump explicitly. In response to a remark by a twitter user that the TDWG's remarks about Belarus suggested parallels to the United States, the TDWG ominously replied:
Let's hope that is not what we see in Nov. We can say this is the Ghost of Democracy's Future if we don't take a stand.
'-- Transatlantic Democracy Working Group (@BipartisanTDWG) August 10, 2020
Now, would the reader care to take a guess as to who runs the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group? If you guessed Norm Eisen, you would be correct.
Stay tuned for more in Revolver.news' groundbreaking coverage of the Color Revolution against Trump. Be sure to check out the previous installments in this series.
REVOLVER EXCLUSIVE '-- The Curious Case of George Kent: State Department's Belarus ''Color Revolution'' Expert And ''Never Trump'' Impeachment Witness
REVOLVER EXCLUSIVE: Transition Integrity Project: Is this Soros Linked Group Plotting a ''Color Revolution'' Against President Trump?
Revolver News is dedicated to news aggregation and analysis. While we greatly respect and admire Matt Drudge, the Drudge Report no longer has its finger on the pulse of America. We aim to fill that void, and much more. We are dedicated to providing Americans of all backgrounds and political persuasions with timely, common-sense, accurate and compelling information. Be sure to check out our news feed.
Please be aware that although we do not like to censor comments, we reserve the right to remove any that are uncivil, vulgar, or completely off-topic.
Norm Eisen - Wikipedia
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 01:54
Norman L. Eisen (born November 11, 1960)[1] is an American politician. He served as a counsel for the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment process of President Donald J. Trump in 2020. He is also a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution.[2] He served as White House Special Counsel for Ethics and Government Reform, United States Ambassador to the Czech Republic, and board chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).[3] He is the author of The Last Palace: Europe's Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House (2018).
Early life and education Edit Eisen's parents were immigrants to the United States of Jewish ancestry[4] and he grew up working in his family's hamburger stand in Los Angeles. He received his B.A. degree from Brown University in 1985 and his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1991, both with honors. While at Harvard, he met future President Barack Obama, then also a first-year law student.[5][6]
Professional career Edit From 1985 to 1988, between college and law school, Eisen worked as the Assistant Director of the Los Angeles office of the Anti-Defamation League. He investigated antisemitism and other civil rights violations, promoted Holocaust education and advanced U.S.''Israel relations.
After graduating from Harvard in 1991, Eisen practiced law in Washington, D.C. for over 18 years with the Zuckerman Spaeder law firm. He was named as one of Washington's top lawyers by Washingtonian magazine.[7] He specialized in investigations of complex financial fraud, including Enron, Refco, the ADM antitrust case, and the subprime financial collapse.[8]
In 2003, Eisen co-founded Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog organization.[9] From 2016 until February 11, 2019 he was chair of the board and co-counsel on litigation matters, including emoluments cases in New York and Maryland federal courts[3] (CREW v. Trump and D.C. and Maryland v. Trump, respectively).
From 2007 to 2009, Eisen was active in the presidential campaign of his law school classmate Barack Obama before joining the transition team of then-President-elect Obama as deputy counsel. On January 20, 2009, Obama named him Special Counsel for Ethics and Government Reform in the White House.[10]
He earned the nickname "Mr. No" for his stringent ethics and anti-corruption efforts and became known for limiting registered lobbyists from taking positions in the administration. He is credited for helping compile President Obama's ethics-related campaign promises into an Executive Order the President signed on his first day in office.[5]
During 2009 and 2010, Eisen also contributed to the administration's open government effort, including putting the White House visitor logs on the internet; its response to the campaign finance decision in Citizens United v. FEC; and its financial regulatory plan, which is the basis for Dodd''Frank. His other activities included reviewing the background of potential administration officials, and expanding the application of the Freedom of Information Act.[8][10][11]
Eisen became the first Ambassador to the Czech Republic nominated by President Obama.[12] As ambassador, he developed a "three pillars" approach to the U.S.''Czech relationship, emphasizing (1) strategic and defense cooperation; (2) commercial and economic ties; and (3) shared values. During his time as ambassador, he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars per year out of his own pocket to maintain the ambassador's residence and entertain dignitaries.[13][14]
Eisen visited Czech and U.S. troops serving side-by-side in Afghanistan. He advocated for U.S. business, and saw bilateral trade increases with the Czech Republic during his tenure of 50 percent (more than three times the average for U.S. embassies in Europe at the time). He also spoke out against corruption and in defense of civil rights.[15] Eisen has been credited with helping to deepen U.S.-Czech relations.[16] He also supported the Middle East peace process, including posting the first investment conference on the "Kerry Plan" in Prague together with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright."[17]
Eisen's ambassadorship was also noteworthy because his mother was a Czechoslovak Holocaust survivor who had been deported by the Nazis from that country to Auschwitz.[18] As Senator Joseph Lieberman noted in introducing Eisen at a Senate hearing: "It is indeed a profound historical justice...that the Ambassador's residence in Prague, which was originally built by a Jewish family that was forced to flee Prague by the Nazis, who... took over that house as their headquarters, now 70 years later, is occupied by Norman and his family....The story of Norm Eisen and his family and their path back to Europe is a classic American story, a reflection of what our country is about at its very best. And that is also precisely why the Ambassador has proven such an effective representative of our Nation, our interests, and our values."[16]
President Obama initially gave Eisen a recess appointment. The appointment was good for only one year, until the end of 2011, unless the full U.S. Senate confirmed him. The recess appointment was required because of a hold on Eisen's nomination.[19][20]. The leaders of several Washington good government groups authored a letter in support of Eisen's appointment. Eisen's nomination received bipartisan support, including from Republican Senators and conservative foreign policy scholars. The Senate ultimately confirmed Eisen on December 12, 2011.[21][22]
He joined the Brookings Institution as a Visiting Fellow in September 2014.[23] He is now a Senior Fellow in their Governance Studies program.[2] At Brookings he has contributed to reports on open government,[24][25] the emoluments clause,[26] presidential obstruction of justice,[27] and anti-corruption efforts in the natural resource sector.[28] A prolific writer, he often contributes op-ed pieces to The New York Times,[29][30] The Washington Post,[31] Politico,[32] USA Today,[33] and other national publications.
In September 2018 Crown published Eisen's The Last Palace: Europe's Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House.[34] It is a sweeping history of 1918 to 2018 as seen through the windows of the Villa Petschek, a Prague palace built by Jewish businessman Otto Petschek after World War I, occupied by the Nazis later, and now the American ambassador's residence in Prague.[35]
In February 2019 Eisen was appointed Consultant to the United States House Committee on the Judiciary. He assists the Committee on oversight matters related to the Department of Justice, including impeachment, and other oversight and policy issues within the Committee's jurisdiction.[36]
In popular culture Edit Director Wes Anderson has credited Ambassador Eisen as an inspiration for the character of Deputy Kovacs in his 2014 film The Grand Budapest Hotel. Anderson told Jeff Goldblum, who played Deputy Kovacs, "that he should go to Prague and see Norm; this is your man'.... The character of the lawyer Kovacs in the film maintains the awareness of law and justice'...the character is actually a kind of ethics czar for the whole film."[37] This is a reference to another one of Eisen's White House nicknames: The Ethics Czar.[38] Anderson again referred to Eisen in the closing scene of Isle of Dogs, captioning a character as ethics czar in the new government of Megasaki.
In 2017, Eisen was named #11 on the Politico 50 list of thinkers shaping American politics.[39]
Personal life Edit Eisen is married to Lindsay Kaplan, an associate professor at Georgetown University. The couple have one daughter, Tamar.
References Edit ^ "New U.S. ambassador Eisen takes up office in Prague". Czech News Agency. January 28, 2011 . Retrieved January 28, 2011 . ^ a b "Norman Eisen". Brookings. March 31, 2016 . Retrieved July 16, 2017 . ^ a b "Our Board - CREW". CREW . Retrieved July 16, 2017 . ^ "Norman Eisen, an old friend of Obama's from Harvard Law School, is bolstering the forces of liberalism as ambassador to the Czech Republic". Tabletmag.com . Retrieved June 15, 2018 . ^ a b Saslow, Eli (March 13, 2009). "When White House Has Queries About Ethics Rules, Adviser Norm Eisen Answers the Call". The Washington Post . Retrieved December 15, 2012 . ^ Goldman, T.R. (October 14, 2013). "The world of Norm Eisen, U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic". The Washington Post . Retrieved May 21, 2014 . ^ [1] [dead link ] ^ a b "Norman Eisen". The Washington Post. July 25, 2012. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 6/28/10". White House. June 28, 2010. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012 . Retrieved December 15, 2012 . ^ a b Greenberg, Richard (January 12, 2011). "An appointment with history Bootstraps and all, diplomat comes full circle". Washington Jewish Week. Archived from the original on January 15, 2011 . Retrieved December 15, 2012 . ^ " ' Dr. No' Becomes Diplomat, Continues A Family Story". NPR . Retrieved June 15, 2018 . ^ "Czech Republic - Chiefs of Mission - People - Department History - Office of the Historian". history.state.gov . Retrieved July 16, 2017 . ^ "Norm Eisen on Twitter" . Retrieved October 30, 2018 . ^ "Norm Eisen on Twitter" . Retrieved October 30, 2018 . ^ Shapiro, Ari (February 18, 2014). "For U.S. Ambassador, Ties To Prague That Transcend Diplomacy". NPR . Retrieved May 23, 2014 . ^ a b https://photos.state.gov/libraries/czech-republic/119398/Documents/TranscriptEisen.pdf ^ Johnson, Raymond (March 8, 2014). "Blair, Albright see stronger Palestinian economy as path to peace". The Prague Post . Retrieved May 22, 2014 . ^ Fairclough, Gordon (December 27, 2012). "Transforming a Home's Dark History". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved May 23, 2014 . ^ {{cite news |title=Another Obama ambassadorial nominee held up indefinitely|first=Josh |last=Rogin |url=https://foreignpolicy.com/2010/10/06/another-obama-ambassadorial-nominee-held-up-indefinitely/%7Cagency=Foreign Policy |date=October 6, 2010 |accessdate=February 6, 2019|postscript= ^ {{cite news |title=The Senate Vote on Norm Eisen |first=Norman J |last=Ornstein |url=http://www.aei.org/publication/the-senate-vote-on-norm-eisen/%7Cagency=American Enterprise Institute |date=December 12, 2011 |accessdate=February 6, 2019|postscript= ^ O'Sullivan and Weinstein, John and Kenneth (December 8, 2011). "Confirm Eisen Now". The National Review. Archived from the original on May 22, 2014 . Retrieved December 15, 2012 . ^ "United States Senate Periodical Press Gallery". www.periodicalpress.senate.gov. ^ "Ambassador (Ret.) Normal L. Eisen" (PDF) . Brookings Institution. February 5, 2019. ^ "Why Critics of Transparency are Wrong". Brookings Institution. February 5, 2019. ^ "The Impact of Open Government: Assessing the Evidence". Brookings Institution. February 5, 2019. ^ "The Emoluments Clause: Its Text, Meaning, and Application to Donald J. Trump". Brookings Institution. February 5, 2019. ^ "Presidential Obstruction of Justice: The Case of Donald J. Trump". Brookings Institution. February 5, 2019. ^ "Annotated Bibliography: Transparency, Accountability, and Participation along the Natural Resource Value Chain". Brookings Institution. February 5, 2019. ^ Berke, Barry; Bookbinder, Noah; Eisen, Norman (December 7, 2018). "Is This the Beginning of the End for Trump?". The New York Times . Retrieved February 5, 2019 . ^ Eisen, Norman, "A History Lesson in Optimism," The New York Times, September 30, 2018, p.2 ^ Schaub Jr., Walter M.; Painter, Richard; Eisen, Norman (December 21, 2018). "In a normal administration, Whitaker would listen to government ethics experts". The Washington Post . Retrieved February 5, 2019 . ^ Eisen, Norman; Wertheimer, Fred (January 7, 2019). "How to Fix America's Broken Political System". Politico . Retrieved February 5, 2019 . ^ Wertheimer, Fred; Eisen, Norman (January 2, 2019). "Trump illegally asked Russia to help him win in 2016. He shouldn't get away with it". USA Today . Retrieved February 5, 2019 . ^ "The Last Palace Official Website". Crown Group. February 5, 2019. ^ Moorehead, Caroline (August 30, 2018). "History Happened Here". Wall Street Journal . Retrieved February 5, 2019 . ^ "Chairman Nadler Announces Special Oversight Counsels to House Judiciary Committee Staff". U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary. February 12, 2019 . Retrieved February 21, 2019 . ^ Anyz, Daniel (March 14, 2014). "Wes Anderson and Norman Eisen: Two Americans In Prague". Archived from the original on July 25, 2014 . Retrieved May 22, 2014 . ^ Bogardus, Kevin (January 13, 2011). "Departing White House ethics czar sees no let-up in drive for transparency". The Hill . Retrieved May 23, 2014 . ^ Samuelson, Darren (September 8, 2017). "Politico 50: Norm Eisen". Politico . Retrieved February 5, 2019 . External links Edit Official websiteBrookings Institution page"The Last Palace" book websiteBio of Ambassador Eisen from the homepage of The U.S. Embassy In The Czech RepublicAmbassador Eisen's blogThe Former White House Ethics Lawyer Umpiring Trump's Washington (from The Washington Monthly)Eternal Optimist (from Mispacha Magazine)Advocate (from Tablet Magazine)"The Worst Hour of His Entire Life": Cohen, Manafort, and the Twin Courtroom Dramas that Changed Trump's Presidency (from The New Yorker)When White House Has Queries About Ethics Rules, Adviser Norm Eisen Answers the Call (from The Washington Post)The world of Norm Eisen, U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic (from The Washington Post)Is Trump Inc. the President's Greatest Vulnerability? (from New York Magazine)'It's Like a Powder Keg That's Going to Explode' (from Politico)Transforming a Home's Dark History (from The Wall Street Journal)NPR article on Eisen's AmbassadorshipHN Weekend article about Eisen's influence on Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel"White House press release announcing Eisen as the new Ambassador to the Czech RepublicAppearances on C-SPAN
'YMCA" writer approves Trump using iconic song, wants him to dance
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:41
September 11, 2020 | 7:27pm
President Trump has drawn heat form stars such as Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and John Fogerty for using their songs before his rallies, but one composer has no problem with it.
Victor Willis of the Village People says Trump is welcome to continue using ''YMCA'' at his re-election rallies '-- he just wants to see the commander in chief do the iconic dance.
'''YMCA' is everybody's anthem and go-to song for fun. As for the president's use, I have not granted permission for use at his rallies because permission is not required,'' Willis told Bloomberg News through a spokesman.
''If I were a Trump hater maybe I'd sue him simply out of spite,'' Willis said. ''I am not, and I'm not going to have my lawyers sue the president. But he should at least do the 'YMCA' dance while he's at it.''
Recently, Trump stopped playing The Rolling Stones' song ''You Can't Always Get What You Want'' as he walks off stage at rallies '-- replacing it with ''YMCA.''
Trump also routinely plays ''Macho Man'' from the Village People at rallies.
Although ''YMCA'' is a go-to hit for MAGA rallies, the 1978 song also is reputed to be a secret celebration of gay experiences at Young Men's Christian Association facilities. But Willis, who is straight, says the song is a sincere tribute to innocent fun.
''The lyrics were written by me as an expression of urban youths having fun at the YMCA. The words were crafted by me to be taken any number of ways but not specific to gays. It's much broader than that,'' Willis said in 2014.
Willis holds 50 percent of the copyright to ''YMCA'' and in 2015 told the San Diego Union-Tribune it ''is still grossing millions, per year '-- just that one song '-- globally.''
Middle East Peace Deals
Trump Expects '8 Or 9' More Arab Countries To Join Israel Peace Agreement, Including Saudi Arabia | The Daily Caller
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:14
President Donald Trump expects ''seven or eight or nine'' additional Arab states to sign peace agreements with Israel in the near future, including Saudi Arabia, he announced Tuesday during a White House ceremony.
Trump made the comments after formally signing peace agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. Known as the Abraham Accords, Trump and its other signatories hope it heralds ''a new dawn for peace in the Middle East.'' Trump also said that he spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia and expects the country to join the agreement ''at the right time,'' according Agence France Press (AFP).
''We're here this afternoon to change the course of history,'' Trump said in his remarks at the White House. ''In Israel's history there have only been two of these agreements, and now we have achieved two in a single month.''
WASHINGTON, DC '' SEPT. 15: (L-R) Foreign Affairs Minister of Bahrain Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Foreign Affairs Minister of the United Arab Emirates Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan participate in the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords on the South Lawn of the White House (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Trump says the administration anticipates several other Arab states to join the agreement in the near future. Leaders from Israel, the UAE and Bahrain joined Trump in praising the accords during the White House signing ceremony.
''Israelis, Emiratis and Bahrainis are already embracing one another,'' Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. ''We are eager to invest in the future of partnership, prosperity and peace.''
Netanyahu went on to say the three nations are already cooperating on combating the coronavirus pandemic in the region. (RELATED: Report: First Commercial Flight Between Israel And UAE To Take Off Monday)
Saudi Arabia has already made the step to open its airspace to Israeli airlines to allow easier transit between the Jewish state and the UAE.
Central to the peace agreements has been Israel's halt on the annexation of land claimed by the Palestinian people, with UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan thanking Netanyahu for pausing the move during his remarks at the White House.
''This initiative would not have been possible without the efforts of his excellency President Donald Trump and his team who worked hard and sincerely for us to get here,'' he said, according to a translator. ''Your Excellency, Prime Minister Netanyahu'...Thank you for choosing peace and for halting the annexation of Palestinian territories.''
NWO
Australia could join forces with the US, Japan and India to create alliance named 'The Quad' | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 14:33
Australia could join a proposed economic alliance dubbed 'The Quad' with the US, Japan and India to reduce reliance on trade with China as tensions between Canberra and Beijing reach new heights.
US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun has proposed the four-country grouping as a way of filling a trade power vacuum in the Indo-Pacific region.
He added Washington could eventually invite South Korea, Vietnam and New Zealand to join the alliance.
If Australia were to join the trade group it could lead to further souring in diplomatic relations with China, which has worsened since Scott Morrison's proposal for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Australia could join a trade organisation called 'The Quad' with the US, Japan and India following a proposal by the US government
Amid a continuing war of words over Mr Morrison's strengthening of Australia's relationship with the US, the communist country has imposed harsh tariffs on Australian farmers - including an 80 per cent tax on barley.
Mr Biegun specifically named China as he laid out plans for 'The Quad' in a speech on August 31.
He said the group could act as a bulwark against 'a potential challenge from China' and resemble the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
'The Indo-Pacific region is actually lacking in strong multilateral structures,' Mr Biegun said.
'They don't have anything of the fortitude of Nato or the European Union.
'The strongest institutions in Asia oftentimes are not inclusive enough and so '... there is certainly an invitation there at some point to formalise a structure like this.'
US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny Morrison. The US and Australia could form half of an organisation which would look to emulate the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
China is Australia's largest trade partner in terms of both imports and exports.
Figures released in August showed China's share of Australian exports had reached 48.8 per cent - an all-time high - at a cost of $14.6billion.
On Sunday, ­Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Frances Adamson said it was now more important than ever to stand up to the Asian powerhouse.
'Australia should, Australia must, Australia is, standing up for its interests because if we don't we are on a very slippery slope,' she told The Australian.
Ms Adamson said confronting China amid the coronavirus crisis had prompted Australia's most difficult diplomatic challenge in a generation.
China is responsible for 48.8 per cent of Australia's export and the international body could reduce the national reliance on the communist body for trade. Pictured: A Chinese Navy member stands in front of a Shandong aircraft carrier
Activists burn a poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping in India in June. US Deputy Secretary of State said the organisation could act as a bulwark against 'a potential challenge from China'
The former Australian ambassador in Beijing­ from 2011 to 2015 explained the Asian power was becoming more assertive.
'We've seen China seeking to assert itself in this region, in the Indo-Pacific and globally, in ways that suits its interests but don't suit the interests of countries like Australia,' she said.
Ms Adamson said Australians wanted 'a peaceful, stable, prosperous region' and the government would not tolerate any interference with these ideals.
She warned that democratic institutions Australians take for granted, like the legal system and parliament, were 'at stake'.
Michael Smith (pictured) from the Australian Financial Review returned to Sydney on Tuesday after a five-day diplomatic stand-off with China
Bill Birtles is seen at Sydney airport on Tuesday following the frightening rush to leave China
'We need to make sure our institutions are strong and that we can defend ourselves. And this is where the role of diplomacy comes into play,' Ms Adamson explained.
She said Australia needed to 'take action' to counter the 'direct challenge' posed by China's assertion and aggression.
The DFAT secretary also said the narrow escape of two Australian journalists from China was the latest example of 'difficult issues' between the two countries.
Bill Birtles from the ABC and Michael Smith from the Australian Financial Review returned to Sydney on Tuesday after a five-day diplomatic stand-off.
Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews troops from a car during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing
Government travel advice website Smartraveller (pictured) was updated on 7 July to warn Aussies they face the risk of arbitrary detention in China
Chinese police told the journalists they were people of interest after another Australian journalist and business anchor, Cheng Lei, was detained in Beijing.
Mr Birtles and Mr Smith sheltered in Australian diplomatic compounds for days as their travel rights were revoked.
Consular officials eventually secured safe passage back to Australia after the pair agreed to be interviewed.
The Australian government has advised all Australians not to travel to China, warning they could face arbitrary detention.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted DFAT for comment.
.
LGBBTQQIAAPK+
Correction: Transgender Surgery Provides No Mental Health Benefit - Public Discourse
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 17:20
''Why do researchers get away with sloppy science? In part because, far too often, no one is watching and no one is there to stop them'' ''''The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science,'' National Association of Scholars.
A major correction has been issued by the American Journal of Psychiatry. The authors and editors of an October 2019 study, titled ''Reduction in mental health treatment utilization among transgender individuals after gender-affirming surgeries: a total population study,'' have retracted its primary conclusion. Letters to the editor by twelve authors, including ourselves, led to a reanalysis of the data and a corrected conclusion stating that in fact the data showed no improvement after surgical treatment. The following is the background to our published letter and a summary of points of the critical analysis of the study.
A Crisis of Irreproducibility in Psychology and Medicine
It has been an open secret for some time that there is a crisis of irreproducibility of scientific studies in medicine and other fields. No less a figure than the Director of the NIH, Dr. Francis Collins, wrote that ''the checks and balances that once ensured scientific fidelity have been hobbled. This has compromised the ability of today's researchers to reproduce others' findings.'' For example, the National Association of Scholars reports, ''In 2012 the biotechnology firm Amgen tried to reproduce 53 'landmark' studies in hematology and oncology, but could only replicate 6 (11%).'' In 2015 an article was published in Science in which there was an attempt to replicate 100 studies from three well known psychology journals in 2008. In the original studies, nearly all had produced statistically significant results, whereas in the study replications, only a little over a third produced similar significant results.
Perhaps nowhere in medicine and psychology is this problem of irreproducibility worse than in studies of people who claim to have a mismatch between their sex and their internal sense of being male or female.
When we first analyzed the study last October, it was obvious that it had major shortcomings. Dr. Van Mol led our team'--which includes endocrinologist Michael Laidlaw, child and adolescent psychiatrist Miriam Grossman, and Johns Hopkins professor of psychiatry Paul McHugh'--to summarize our findings into a compact, 500-word letter to the editor. We were not the only clinicians to question the study's legitimacy. A total of seven letters, all critical of the study, were published on August 1, including our own. The editors included a response from the original authors, and they explained why it took ten months to publish the letters.
Let's look at the study and the shortfalls we found. The Swedish Total Population Register of 9.7 million people and national patient databases were used to assess the effectiveness of ''gender-affirming hormone treatment'' and ''gender-affirming surgery'' in affecting three endpoints: prescriptions for antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, healthcare visits for mood or anxiety disorders, and post-suicide attempt hospitalizations. The study authors, Br¤nstr¶m and Pachankis, concluded that gender-affirming hormones offered no effect but that surgery did reduce mental health treatment. They further asserted the finding ''provides timely support for policies that ensure coverage of gender-affirming treatments.''
The authors used an odd combination of retrospective data collected over an eleven-year period from 2005 to 2015, together with limited psychiatric outcomes over a ''prospective'' one-year period during 2015 and no control group. Qualifying criteria were to be alive in Sweden as of December 31, 2014 and to have a diagnosis of gender incongruence. The first graphic in the study specified ''time since last gender affirming surgery'' and traced back ten years. That chart could easily be misinterpreted as a prospective ten-year follow-up.
Where the Study Falls Short
One problem leading to irreproducibility is loss to follow-up. This refers to patients who participated in a study but at some point are considered ''lost'': they are either unwilling or unable to communicate, missing, or dead. Loss to follow-up is frequently seen in studies that validate the benefits of transition, and it was strongly implied in the Branstrom study by several metrics. First, the authors reported that 2,679 Swedes were diagnosed with ''gender incongruence.'' Though seemingly large, the numbers are a full order of magnitude below what DSM-V prevalence statistics would project. Where did the remainder go?
A paucity of gender-affirming surgeries also suggested loss to follow-up. Table 3 of their study showed only 38 percent of people diagnosed with gender incongruence had any type of affirmative surgery, and only 53 percent of those'--about 20 percent of the total'--had surgery of the reproductive organs. Gender affirming surgery is free in Sweden, so where are these patients? And for those whose last surgery was ten or more years earlier, how many completed suicide, died of other related causes, or emigrated from Sweden prior to the study timeline?
In terms of follow up care, the authors only measured three outcomes as listed above. Overlooked were key data of completed suicides; healthcare visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations for the litany of other medical or psychological diagnoses potentially related to gender-affirming treatments. Such information was available through Sweden's multiple registry databases, so why not use it? These omissions suggested cherry-picking data in order to obtain the desired results.
We concluded our letter by comparing this study to the one we consider perhaps the best of its kind, also from Sweden, the 2011 Dhejne study. The Dhejne team made extensive use of numerous specified Swedish registries and examined data from 324 patients in Sweden over thirty years who underwent sex reassignment. They used population controls matched by birth year, birth sex, and reassigned sex. When followed out beyond ten years, the sex-reassigned group had nineteen times the rate of completed suicides and nearly three times the rate of all-cause mortality and inpatient psychiatric care compared to the general population. These important findings could have easily been updated by Br¤nstr¶m and Pachankis to the more current time frame.
Which brings us back to the August AJP and why seven critical letters took ten months to see print. Along with the letters, the AJP editors published a correction that explained their need ''to seek statistical consultations.'' These consultants ''concurred with many of the points raised.'' The study authors were asked to reanalyze their data, and the results demonstrated ''no advantage to surgery'' for their three endpoints in the subject population. The authors noted in their response letter that their ''conclusion'' ''was too strong.''
Unresolved Problems
The AJP correction is significant, but the study still suffers from numerous problems. This has been a win for patients insofar as sex-reassignment surgery has been demoted from improving mental health to having no effect. The reanalysis on the other hand showed an increase in treatment for anxiety after surgery. Why was there not also an expected increase in post-surgical depression, as Drs. Malone and Roman argued in their letter to the editor? Increased post-surgical anxiety without an accompanying increased depression rate is a highly unusual finding. Were these subjects also lost to follow-up?
With respect to cross-sex hormones, it has been shown that 23 percent of patients on high-dose anabolic steroids like testosterone, which is prescribed to every female-to-male patient, meet criteria for a major mood syndrome, and 3''12 percent have developed psychotic symptoms. Why is this not reflected in the study or the reanalysis?
There remain major deficits in knowledge that the authors easily could have filled by examining the Swedish databases. One of the strengths of the 2011 Dhejne study is that an increase in mortality is clearly seen at around 10 years. The current study fails to look at available data over a similar time course to assess if mortality has been affected. Similarly, completed suicide information is missing from Br¤nstr¶m. How can one understand suicidality in relation to hormones and surgery by only looking at suicide attempts and not deaths? Likewise, if one wants to understand the full range of psychiatric disorders in this population by examining medication data, then the use of all appropriate pharmaceuticals should be included, not only anti-anxiety and anti-depressant agents. However, simply tabulating prescriptions for psychiatric medications provides a limited and inadequate measure of the degree of emotional distress in any population. Many distressed individuals decline to seek professional help or will refuse pharmaceuticals if they do. The effects of these gaps in knowledge are much like holes cut out of a portrait; the full picture is lost and distorted when the key facial features are removed.
Our co-author Dr. Paul McHugh ended sex reassignment surgeries at John Hopkins Medical School when a study from his department revealed that the mental and social health of patients undergoing sex reassignment surgery did not improve. He adds here that this paper, and even the correction, misdirects clinical thought in many ways. Most crucially it presumes an unproblematic future for these subjects despite evidence that the psychological state of many will, after surgery, worsen with time. Our experience at Hopkins, when we first recognized that the psychological well-being of patients undergoing surgery did not improve, rested on relatively short-term assessments. The long-term Swedish study of Dhejne demonstrated that the serious fallouts including suicide emerged only after ten years. None of this clinical experience is reflected in this paper or its correction.
Now how will the thirteen-year-old girls who have had breast amputations and testosterone fare? Abigail Shrier writes in her excellent expos(C) Irreversible Damage that ''Nearly all of the detransitioners I spoke with are plagued with regret. . . . They possess a startlingly masculine voice that will not lift. . . . They live with slashes across their chests . . . and flaps of skin that don't quite resemble nipples.''
How about children who are ultimately sterilized by puberty blockers followed by cross-sex hormones and even gonad removal? These unethical surgeries are receiving funding by the very NIH that claims to be working to correct problems of irreproducibility. These experiments are beyond reproducibility problems: they are ethical failures by which doctors cause long-term harm to children and adolescents, all based on political activism supported by faulty science.
The Br¤nstr¶m study reanalysis demonstrated that neither ''gender-affirming hormone treatment'' nor ''gender-affirming surgery'' reduced the need of transgender-identifying people for mental health services. We appreciate the editors, the study authors, and other letter writers for carefully scrutinizing the study and publishing these findings. However, our team believes that many of the pro-transition studies we have read fare no better. Fad medicine is bad medicine, and gender-anxious people deserve better.
Newsom signs legislation changing sex offender law in California | TheHill
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 19:13
California Gov. Gavin Newsom Gavin NewsomNewsom signs legislation changing sex offender law in California Newsom signs legislation allowing pathway for inmate firefighters to become professional after release Trump to visit California Monday amid West Coast wildfires MORE (D) signed legislation changing the state's sex offender law to allow judges to have a say on whether to list someone as a sex offender for having oral or anal sex with a minor.
The bill expands discretion already granted to judges to decide if a man should be on California's sex offender registry, but the existing discretion had applied only to a man who had vaginal intercourse, The Associated Press reported.
The legislation Newsom signed Friday permits judges to use the same discretion when the case involves voluntary oral or anal sex.
State Sen. Scott Wiener (D), who introduced the bill, said Newsom's signing of the bill ended ''blatant discrimination'' against LGBTQ youth in California by treating them ''the exact same way that straight young people have been treated since 1944.''
The law previously in place in the state allowed judges to decide whether a man should be placed on California's sex offender registry if he had voluntary vaginal intercourse with someone 14 to 17 years old and was no more than 10 years older than the person. The bill expands that same discretion in regard to voluntary oral or anal sex.
The measure won't apply when a minor is under 14, when the age gap is larger than 10 years or when either party says the sex wasn't consensual, the AP noted.
Wiener also addressed online criticism and misinformation of the bill the lawmaker said was circulated online by the QAnon conspiracy theorists and applauded Newsom for signing the bill despite the difficult politics.
''I am so grateful that Governor Newsom '-- one of the LGBTQ community's strongest allies ever '-- once again has shown that he's willing to support our community when it's hard. And make no mistake: the politics here are hard, with the massive Trump, QAnon and MAGA misinformation campaign against the legislation,'' Wiener said in a statement. ''The facts are clear: SB 145 simply ends anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Today, California took yet another step toward an equitable society.''
Proving again he's a true champion for the LGBTQ community '-- even when it's hard '-- Gov Newsom signed #SB145, ending discrimination against LGBTQ young people on CA's sex offender registry.Thank you for seeing through the QAnon lies about this equality legislation. My statement: pic.twitter.com/MQlIIDxfnj
'-- Senator Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) September 12, 2020 California's police chiefs association also pushed back on false claims about the bill circulating online.
''Despite misinformation, this bill does not legalize ANY crime against a child '' SB 145 still maintains the SAME criminal punishments under current law,'' the association tweeted.
"SB 145 only provides a judge the SAME discretion they ALREADY have to use the facts of each limited case to determine who goes on our sex offender registry," the association added.
SB 145 only provides a judge the SAME discretion they ALREADY have to use the facts of each limited case to determine who goes on our sex offender registry.
'-- CalChiefs (@CalChiefs) September 12, 2020
Out There
News | The Moon Is Rusting, and Researchers Want to Know Why
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 17:50
While our Moon is airless, research indicates the presence of hematite, a form of rust that normally requires oxygen and water. That has scientists puzzled.Mars has long been known for its rust. Iron on itssurface, combined with water and oxygen from the ancient past, give the RedPlanet its hue. But scientists were recently surprised to find evidence that ourairless Moon has rust on it as well.
A new paper in Science Advances reviews data from theIndian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 orbiter, which discoveredwater ice and mapped out a variety of minerals while surveying the Moon'ssurface in 2008. Lead author Shuai Li of the University of Hawaii has studiedthat water extensively in data from Chandrayaan-1's Moon Mineralogy Mapperinstrument, or M3, which was built by NASA's Jet PropulsionLaboratory in Southern California. Water interacts with rock to produce adiversity of minerals, and M3 detected spectra - or light reflectedoff surfaces - that revealed the Moon's poles had a very different compositionthan the rest of it.
Intrigued, Li homed in on these polar spectra. While theMoon's surface is littered with iron-rich rocks, he nevertheless was surprisedto find a close match with the spectral signature of hematite. The mineral is a form of iron oxide, or rust, produced wheniron is exposed to oxygen and water. But the Moon isn't supposed to have oxygenor liquid water, so how can it be rusting?
Metal Mystery
The mystery starts with the solar wind, a stream ofcharged particles that flows out from the Sun, bombarding Earth and the Moonwith hydrogen. Hydrogen makes it harder for hematite to form. It's what isknown as a reducer, meaning it adds electrons to the materials it interacts with.That's the opposite of what is needed to make hematite: For iron to rust, itrequires an oxidizer, which removes electrons. And while the Earth has amagnetic field shielding it from this hydrogen, the Moon does not.
"It's very puzzling," Li said. "The Moon isa terrible environment for hematite to form in." So he turned to JPLscientists Abigail Fraeman and Vivian Sun to help poke at M3's dataand confirm his discovery of hematite.
"At first, I totally didn't believe it. It shouldn'texist based on the conditions present on the Moon," Fraeman said."But since we discovered water on the Moon, people have been speculatingthat there could be a greater variety of minerals than we realize if that waterhad reacted with rocks."
After taking a close look, Fraeman and Sun became convincedM3's data does indeed indicate the presence of hematite at the lunarpoles. "In the end, the spectra were convincingly hematite-bearing, andthere needed to be an explanation for why it's on the Moon," Sun said.
Three Key Ingredients
Their paper offers a three-pronged model to explain how rustmight form in such an environment. For starters, while the Moon lacks an atmosphere,it is in fact home to trace amounts of oxygen. The source of that oxygen: ourplanet. Earth's magnetic field trailsbehind the planet like a windsock. In 2007, Japan's Kaguya orbiterdiscovered that oxygen from Earth's upper atmosphere can hitch a ride on thistrailing magnetotail, as it's officially known, traveling the 239,000 miles(385,00 kilometers) to the Moon.
That discovery fits with data from M3, whichfound more hematite on the Moon's Earth-facing near side than on its far side. "Thissuggested that Earth's oxygen could be driving the formation of hematite,"Li said. The Moon has been inching away from Earth for billions of years, soit's also possible that more oxygen hopped across this rift when the two werecloser in the ancient past.
Then there's the matter of all that hydrogen being deliveredby the solar wind. As a reducer, hydrogen should prevent oxidation fromoccurring. But Earth's magnetotail has a mediating effect. Besides ferryingoxygen to the Moon from our home planet, it also blocks over 99% of the solarwind during certain periods of the Moon's orbit (specifically, whenever it's inthe full Moon phase). That opens occasional windows during the lunar cycle whenrust can form.
The third piece of the puzzle iswater. While most of the Moon is bone dry, water ice can be found in shadowedlunar craters on the Moon's far side. But the hematite was detected far fromthat ice. The paper instead focuses on water molecules found in the lunarsurface. Li proposes that fast-moving dust particles that regularly pelt the Moon could release these surface-borne watermolecules, mixing them with iron in the lunar soil. Heat from these impactscould increase the oxidation rate; the dust particles themselves may also becarrying water molecules, implanting them into the surface so that they mixwith iron. During just the right moments - namely, when the Moon is shieldedfrom the solar wind and oxygen is present - a rust-inducing chemical reactioncould occur.
More data is needed to determine exactly how the water isinteracting with rock. That data could also help explain another mystery: whysmaller quantities of hematite are also forming on the far side of the Moon,where the Earth's oxygen shouldn't be able to reach it.
More Science to Come
Fraeman said this model may also explain hematite found on otherairless bodies like asteroids. "It could be that little bits of water andthe impact of dust particles are allowing iron in these bodies to rust,"she said.
Li noted that it's an exciting time for lunar science. Almost50 years since the last Apollo landing, the Moon is a major destination again. NASAplans to send dozens of new instruments and technology experiments to study theMoon beginning next year, followed by human missions beginning in 2024 all aspart of the Artemisprogram.
JPL is also buildinga new version of M3 for an orbiter called Lunar Trailblazer. One ofits instruments, the High-resolution Volatiles and Minerals Moon Mapper (HVM3),will be mapping water ice inpermanently shadowed craters on the Moon, and may be able to reveal newdetails about hematite as well.
"I think these results indicate that there are morecomplex chemical processes happening in our solar system than have beenpreviously recognized," Sun said. "We can understand them better bysending future missions to the Moon to test these hypotheses."
News Media Contact
Andrew Good
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
818-393-2433
andrew.c.good@jpl.nasa.gov
Alana Johnson / Grey Hautaluoma
NASA Headquarters, Washington
202-672-4780 / 202-358-0668
alana.r.johnson@nasa.gov / grey.hautaluoma-1@nasa.gov
2020-171
Social Dilemma
''I Have Blood On My Hands'': A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 22:27
Facebook ignored or was slow to act on evidence that fake accounts on its platform have been undermining elections and political affairs around the world, according to an explosive memo sent by a recently fired Facebook employee and obtained by BuzzFeed News.
The 6,600-word memo, written by former Facebook data scientist Sophie Zhang, is filled with concrete examples of heads of government and political parties in Azerbaijan and Honduras using fake accounts or misrepresenting themselves to sway public opinion. In countries including India, Ukraine, Spain, Brazil, Bolivia, and Ecuador, she found evidence of coordinated campaigns of varying sizes to boost or hinder political candidates or outcomes, though she did not always conclude who was behind them.
''In the three years I've spent at Facebook, I've found multiple blatant attempts by foreign national governments to abuse our platform on vast scales to mislead their own citizenry, and caused international news on multiple occasions,'' wrote Zhang, who declined to talk to BuzzFeed News. Her LinkedIn profile said she ''worked as the data scientist for the Facebook Site Integrity fake engagement team'' and dealt with ''bots influencing elections and the like.''
Kenzo Tribouillard / Getty ImagesFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Brussels, Feb. 17, 2020.
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''I have personally made decisions that affected national presidents without oversight, and taken action to enforce against so many prominent politicians globally that I've lost count,'' she wrote.
The memo is a damning account of Facebook's failures. It's the story of Facebook abdicating responsibility for malign activities on its platform that could affect the political fate of nations outside the United States or Western Europe. It's also the story of a junior employee wielding extraordinary moderation powers that affected millions of people without any real institutional support, and the personal torment that followed.
''I know that I have blood on my hands by now,'' Zhang wrote.
These are some of the biggest revelations in Zhang's memo:
It took Facebook's leaders nine months to act on a coordinated campaign ''that used thousands of inauthentic assets to boost President Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras on a massive scale to mislead the Honduran people.'' Two weeks after Facebook took action against the perpetrators in July, they returned, leading to a game of ''whack-a-mole'' between Zhang and the operatives behind the fake accounts, which are still active.In Azerbaijan, Zhang discovered the ruling political party ''utilized thousands of inauthentic assets... to harass the opposition en masse.'' Facebook began looking into the issue a year after Zhang reported it. The investigation is ongoing.Zhang and her colleagues removed ''10.5 million fake reactions and fans from high-profile politicians in Brazil and the US in the 2018 elections.''In February 2019, a NATO researcher informed Facebook that "he'd obtained Russian inauthentic activity on a high-profile U.S. political figure that we didn't catch." Zhang removed the activity, ''dousing the immediate fire,'' she wrote.In Ukraine, Zhang ''found inauthentic scripted activity'' supporting both former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a pro''European Union politician and former presidential candidate, as well as Volodymyr Groysman, a former prime minister and ally of former president Petro Poroshenko. ''Volodymyr Zelensky and his faction was the only major group not affected,'' Zhang said of the current Ukrainian prime minister.Zhang discovered inauthentic activity '-- a Facebook term for engagement from bot accounts and coordinated manual accounts'-- in Bolivia and Ecuador but chose ''not to prioritize it,'' due to her workload. The amount of power she had as a mid-level employee to make decisions about a country's political outcomes took a toll on her health.After becoming aware of coordinated manipulation on the Spanish Health Ministry's Facebook page during the COVID-19 pandemic, Zhang helped find and remove 672,000 fake accounts ''acting on similar targets globally'' including in the US.In India, she worked to remove ''a politically-sophisticated network of more than a thousand actors working to influence" the local elections taking place in Delhi in February. Facebook never publicly disclosed this network or that it had taken it down. Advertisement
''We've built specialized teams, working with leading experts, to stop bad actors from abusing our systems, resulting in the removal of more than 100 networks for coordinated inauthentic behavior," Facebook spokesperson Liz Bourgeois said in a statement. "It's highly involved work that these teams do as their full-time remit. Working against coordinated inauthentic behavior is our priority, but we're also addressing the problems of spam and fake engagement. We investigate each issue carefully, including those that Ms. Zhang raises, before we take action or go out and make claims publicly as a company."
BuzzFeed News is not publishing Zhang's full memo because it contains personal information. This story includes full excerpts when possible to provide appropriate context.
In her post, Zhang said she did not want it to go public for fear of disrupting Facebook's efforts to prevent problems around the upcoming 2020 US presidential election, and due to concerns about her own safety. BuzzFeed News is publishing parts of her memo that are clearly in the public interest.
''I consider myself to have been put in an impossible spot '' caught between my loyalties to the company and my loyalties to the world as a whole,'' she said. ''The last thing I want to do is distract from our efforts for the upcoming U.S. elections, yet I know this post will likely do so internally.''
Zhang said she turned down a $64,000 severance package from the company to avoid signing a nondisparagement agreement. Doing so allowed her to speak out internally, and she used that freedom to reckon with the power that she had to police political speech.
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''There was so much violating behavior worldwide that it was left to my personal assessment of which cases to further investigate, to file tasks, and escalate for prioritization afterwards,'' she wrote.
That power contrasted with what she said seemed to be a lack of desire from senior leadership to protect democratic processes in smaller countries. Facebook, Zhang said, prioritized regions including the US and Western Europe, and often only acted when she repeatedly pressed the issue publicly in comments on Workplace, the company's internal, employee-only message board.
"Most of the world outside the West was effectively the Wild West with myself as the part-time dictator."''With no oversight whatsoever, I was left in a situation where I was trusted with immense influence in my spare time,'' she wrote. ''A manager on Strategic Response mused to myself that most of the world outside the West was effectively the Wild West with myself as the part-time dictator '' he meant the statement as a compliment, but it illustrated the immense pressures upon me.''
A former Facebook engineer who knew her told BuzzFeed News that Zhang was skilled at discovering fake account networks on the platform.
''She's the only person in this entire field at Facebook that I ever trusted to be earnest about this work," said the engineer, who had seen a copy of Zhang's post and asked not to be named because they no longer work at the company.
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''A lot of what I learned from that post was shocking even to me as someone who's often been disappointed at how the company treats its best people," they said.
Zhang's memo said the lack of institutional support and heavy stakes left her unable to sleep. She often felt responsible when civil unrest took hold in places she didn't prioritize for investigation and action.
''I have made countless decisions in this vein '' from Iraq to Indonesia, from Italy to El Salvador,'' she wrote. ''Individually, the impact was likely small in each case, but the world is a vast place.''
Still, she did not believe that the failures she observed during her two and a half years at the company were the result of bad intent by Facebook's employees or leadership. It was a lack of resources, Zhang wrote, and the company's tendency to focus on global activity that posed public relations risks, as opposed to electoral or civic harm.
''Facebook projects an image of strength and competence to the outside world that can lend itself to such theories, but the reality is that many of our actions are slapdash and haphazard accidents,'' she wrote.
''We simply didn't care enough to stop them''Zhang wrote that she was just six months into the job when she found coordinated inauthentic behavior '-- Facebook's internal term for the use of multiple fake accounts to boost engagement or spread content '-- benefiting Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernndez.
Orlando Sierra / Getty ImagesTwo children watch a television screen as Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernndez speaks on June 16, 2020.
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The connection to the Honduran leader was made, Zhang said, because an administrator for the president's Facebook page had been ''happily running hundreds of these fake assets without any obfuscation whatsoever in a show of extreme chutzpah.'' The data scientist said she reported the operation, which involved thousands of fake accounts, to Facebook's threat intelligence and policy review teams, both of which took months to act.
''Local policy teams confirmed that President JOH's marketing team had openly admitted to organizing the activity on his behalf,'' she wrote. ''Yet despite the blatantly violating nature of this activity, it took me almost a year to take down his operation.''
That takedown was announced by Facebook in July 2019, but proved futile. Soon, the operation was soon back up and running, a fact Facebook has never disclosed.
''They had returned within two weeks of our takedown and were back in a similar volume of users,'' Zhang wrote, adding that she did a final sweep for the fake accounts on her last day at Facebook. ''A year after our takedown, the activity is still live and well.''
In Azerbaijan, she found a large network of inauthentic accounts used to attack opponents of President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and his ruling New Azerbaijan Party, which uses the acronym YAP. Facebook still has not disclosed the influence campaign, according to Zhang.
The operation detailed in the memo is reminiscent of those of Russia's Internet Research Agency, a private troll farm that tried to influence the 2016 US elections, because it involved ''dedicated employees who worked 9-6 Monday-Friday work weeks to create millions of comments'' targeting members of the opposition and media reports seen as negative to Aliyev.
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''Perhaps they thought they were clever; the truth was, we simply didn't care enough to stop them.'' ''Multiple official accounts for district-level divisions of the ruling YAP political party directly controlled numerous of these fake assets without any obfuscation whatsoever in another display of arrogance,'' she wrote. ''Perhaps they thought they were clever; the truth was, we simply didn't care enough to stop them.''
Katy Pearce, an associate professor at the University of Washington who studies social media and communication technology in Azerbaijan, told BuzzFeed News that fake Facebook accounts have been used to undermine the opposition and independent media in the country for years.
''One of the big tools of authoritarian regimes is to humiliate the opposition in the mind of the public so that they're not viewed as a credible or legitimate alternative,'' she told BuzzFeed News. ''There's a chilling effect. Why would I post something if I know that I'm going to deal with thousands or hundreds of these comments, that I'm going to be targeted?''
Peace said Zhang's comment in the memo that Facebook ''didn't care enough to stop'' the fake accounts and trolling aligns with her experience. ''They have bigger fish to fry,'' she said.
A person who managed social media accounts for news organizations in Azerbaijan told BuzzFeed News that their pages were inundated with inauthentic Facebook comments.
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''We used to delete and ban them because we didn't want people who came to our page to be discouraged and not react or comment,'' said the person, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak for their employer. ''But since [the trolls] are employees, it's easy for them to open new accounts.''
They said Facebook has at times made things worse by removing the accounts or pages of human rights activists and other people after trolls report them. ''We tried to tell Facebook that this is a real person who does important work,'' but it took weeks for the page to be restored.
Zhang wrote that a Facebook investigation into fake accounts and trolling in Azerbaijan is now underway, more than a year after she first reported the issue. On the day of her departure, she called it her ''greatest unfinished business'' to stop the fake behavior in the country.
''Many others would think nothing of myself devoting this attention to the United States, but are shocked to see myself fighting for these small countries,'' she wrote. ''To put it simply, my methodologies were systematic globally, and I fought for Honduras and Azerbaijan because that was where I saw the most ongoing harm.''
''I have blood on my hands''In other examples, Zhang revealed new information about a large-scale fake account network used to amplify and manipulate information about COVID-19, as well as a political influence operation that used fake accounts to influence 2018 elections in the US and Brazil. Some of these details were not previously disclosed by Facebook, suggesting the company's regular takedown announcements remain selective and incomplete.
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Zhang said Facebook removed 672,000 ''low-quality fake accounts'' after press reports in April that some of the accounts had been engaging with COVID-19 content on the Spanish Health Ministry's page. She said accounts in that network also engaged with content on US pages. Facebook did not disclose how many accounts it removed, or that those accounts engaged with content in other countries, including the US.
Zhang also shared new details about the scale of inauthentic activity during the 2018 midterm elections in the US, and from Brazilian politicians that same year. ''We ended up removing 10.5 million fake reactions and fans from high-profile politicians in Brazil and the U.S. in the 2018 elections '' major politicians of all persuasions in Brazil, and a number of lower-level politicians in the United States,'' she wrote.
A September 2018 briefing about Facebook's election work in the US and Brazil disclosed that it had acted against a network in Brazil that used ''fake accounts to sow division and share disinformation,'' as well as a set of groups, pages, and accounts that were ''falsely amplifying engagement for financial gain.'' It did not fully mention Zhang's findings.
The scale of this activity '-- 672,000 fake accounts in one network, 10.5 million fake engagement and fans in others '-- indicates active fake accounts are a global problem, and are used to manipulate elections and public debate around the world.
As one of the few people looking for and identifying fake accounts impacting civic activity outside of ''priority'' regions, Zhang struggled with the power she had been handed.
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''We focus upon harm and priority regions like the United States and Western Europe,'' Zhang wrote, adding that ''it became impossible to read the news and monitor world events without feeling the weight of my own responsibility.''
In Bolivia, Zhang said she found ''inauthentic activity supporting the opposition presidential candidate in 2019'' and chose not to prioritize it. Months later, Bolivian politics fell into turmoil, leading to the resignation of President Evo Morales and ''mass protests leading to dozens of deaths.''
Juan Mabromata / Getty ImagesMembers of leftist parties and Bolivian citizens watch as people burn an effigy of US President Donald Trump during a demonstration in support of Bolivia's overthrown president Evo Morales in front of the US embassy in Buenos Aires on November 22, 2019.
The same happened in Ecuador, according to Zhang, who ''found inauthentic activity supporting the ruling government'... and made the decision not to prioritize it.'' The former Facebook employee then wondered how her decision led to downstream effects on how Ecuador's government handled the COVID-19 pandemic '-- which has devastated the country '-- and if that would have been different if she'd acted.
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''I have made countless decisions in this vein '' from Iraq to Indonesia, from Italy to El Salvador. Individually, the impact was likely small in each case, but the world is a vast place. Although I made the best decision I could based on the knowledge available at the time, ultimately I was the one who made the decision not to push more or prioritize further in each case, and I know that I have blood on my hands by now.''
Zhang also uncovered issues in India, Facebook's largest market, in the lead up to the local Delhi elections in February 2020. ''I worked through sickness to take down a politically-sophisticated network of more than a thousand actors working to influence the election,'' she wrote.
Last month, Facebook's Indian operation came under scrutiny after reports in the Wall Street Journal revealed a top policy executive in the country had stopped local staffers from applying the company's hate speech policies to ruling party politicians who posted anti-Muslim hate speech.
''Haphazard Accidents''In her ''spare time'' in 2019, Zhang took on tasks usually reserved for product managers and investigators, searching out countries including Ukraine, Turkey, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, ''and many many more.''
Zhang said she found and took down ''inauthentic scripted activity'' in Ukraine that supported Yulia Tymoshenko, a complicated political figure who has been involved in controversial gas deals with Russia but taken a more pro-Western tack in her later career, as well as for former prime minister Volodymyr Groysman, an ally of former president Petro Poroshenko. ''Volodymyr Zelensky and his faction was the only major group not affected,'' she wrote.
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In another part of her memo, Zhang said she wanted to push back on the idea that Facebook was run by malicious people hoping to achieve a particular outcome. That was not the case, she wrote, attributing actions to ''slapdash and haphazard accidents.''
''Last year when we blocked users from naming the Ukraine whistleblower, we forgot to cover hashtags until I stepped in,'' she wrote.
But she also remarked on Facebook's habit of prioritizing public relations over real-world problems. ''It's an open secret within the civic integrity space that Facebook's short-term decisions are largely motivated by PR and the potential for negative attention,'' she wrote, noting that she was told directly at a 2020 summit that anything published in the New York Times or Washington Post would obtain elevated priority.
''It's why I've seen priorities of escalations shoot up when others start threatening to go to the press, and why I was informed by a leader in my organization that my civic work was not impactful under the rationale that if the problems were meaningful they would have attracted attention, became a press fire, and convinced the company to devote more attention to the space.''
Zhang mentioned one example in February 2019, when a NATO strategic communications researcher reached out to Facebook, alerting the company that he'd "obtained" Russian inauthentic activity ''on a high-profile U.S. political figure that we didn't catch.'' That researcher said they were planning on briefing Congress the next day.
''I quickly investigated the case, determined what was going on, and removed the activity, dousing the immediate fire,'' Zhang wrote. ''Perhaps motivated by the experience, the same researcher tried the same experiment within a month or two, waiting half a year afterwards before sending the report to the press and finally causing the PR fire.''
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''Human Resources Are Limited''Beyond specific examples from around the world, Zhang provided insight into the inner workings at Facebook. She criticized her team's focus on issues related to ''99% of activity that's essentially spam.''
''Overall, the focus of my organization '' and most of Facebook '' was on large-scale problems, an approach which fixated us on spam,'' she said. ''The civic aspect was discounted because of its small volume, its disproportionate impact ignored.''
Zhang outlined the political processes within Facebook itself. She said the best way for her to gain attention for her work was not to go through the proper reporting channels, but to post about the issues on Facebook's internal employee message board to build pressure.
''In the office, I realized that my viewpoints weren't respected unless I acted like an arrogant asshole.''''In the office, I realized that my viewpoints weren't respected unless I acted like an arrogant asshole,'' Zhang said.
When she asked the company to do more in terms of finding and stopping malicious activity related to elections and political activity, she said she was told that ''human resources are limited.'' And when she was ordered to stop focusing on civic work, ''I was told that Facebook would no longer have further need for my services if I refused.''
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Zhang was fired this month and posted her memo on her last day, even after offering to stay on through the election as an unpaid volunteer. In her goodbye, she encouraged her colleagues to remain at Facebook and to fix the company from within.
''But you don't '' and shouldn't '' need to do it alone,'' she wrote. ''Find others who share your convictions and values to work on it together. Facebook is too big of a project for any one person to fix.'' '—
Ryan Mac is a senior tech reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
Contact Ryan Mac at ryan.mac@buzzfeed.com.
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Topics In This Article Facebook Mark Zuckerberg
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Judge Napolitano Accused of Sodomizing 20-Year-Old In Exchange For Leniency in Court Case - National File
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 18:41
Fox News judicial analyst and anti-Trump commentator Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey judge, is accused of luring a 20-year-old man embroiled in a court case to his home, then sexually assaulting him in exchange for leniency on his sentencing. Napolitano has denied every element of the claim.According to the complaint, in 1988, then 20-year-old Charles Corbishley was ''forcibly sodomized and sexually assaulted by defendant Napolitano, who was a state court judge in New Jersey presiding over Plaintiff's criminal case when the assault occurred.''
The document graphically describes the alleged incident, in which the then 20-year-old man was told to appear at Napolitano's home address with a Christmas card to shovel the snow in his driveway. They complaint alleges that this meeting was arranged by the man's lawyer, Robert Hollis, who would later plead guilty to running a national prostitution ring through his law office.
Corbishley allegedly appeared at Napolitano's home, and was confused as there was no snow to be shoveled. He then knocked on Napolitano's door, and was told to shovel the snow. Moments later, the document claims, Napolitano summoned Corbishley to the side of his house, and informed him that he ''could be going away for a long time,'' no emphasis added.
From the document:
Defendant NAPOLITANO then approached Plaintiff CHARLES CORBISHLEY, and stated ''you know, you could be going away for a long time.'' As Defendant was speaking to Plaintiff, he proceeded to place his hand on Plaintiff's shoulder, and forced Plaintiff to his knees. As he pushed Plaintiff down toward the ground, Defendant told Plaintiff to ''be a good boy.'' At this point, Defendant NAPOLITANO appeared to be masturbating through his clothing, moving his hand back and forth over his penis. Thereafter, Defendant NAPOLITANO pulled his erect penis out. Plaintiff Charles Corbishley was then forced to perform fellatio on the Honorable Andrew Napolitano, the presiding Justice on his criminal case.
The complaint also claims that Corbishley did not fight back because, due to the difference in power between the 20-year-old facing prison and the state judge, he did not know what the consequences would be for his actions.
The document continues to elaborate, in graphic detail, what happened in the seconds and minutes following the alleged sexual assault:
As Defendant began to ejaculate into Plaintiff's mouth, Plaintiff took off crying and ran away. Plaintiff was only 20 years old at the time of this sexual assault. Plaintiff then stopped by a nearby diner and desperately tried to clean himself and remove the semen from his clothing, face and mouth.
Corbishley, who was instructed to plead guilty to all charges by his lawyer, would ultimately be sentenced probation and community service. When Corbishley allegedly violated his probation, those charges more or less disappeared.
Ultimately, Corbishley was released from his probation, with Napolitano writing that ''defendant has been burdened with probation long enough given the nature of the original offense, and that further probation would be fruitless and frustrative for both the defendant and probation department.''
The document also reveals that Corbishley's legal team is claiming Napolitano used his connections to law enforcement to claim that Corbishley was threatening Napolitano's life in an effort to keep the complaint from being filed.
From Law & Crime:
''The complaint declares that Judge Napolitano recently attempted to stop Mr. Corbishley from filing this lawsuit by making up false criminal charges against him,'' a press release from Corbishley's legal team alleges. ''Specifically, Napolitano recently contacted law enforcement officials in New Jersey and told them that Mr. Corbishley had made violent threats against him. These claims were outright fabrications that Napolitano made to intimidate Mr. Corbishley and prevent him from filing this lawsuit.''
Napolitano has expressly denied the accusations, and a statement from his lawyer mentioned the alleged violent threats. ''Given Corbishley's violent past and threats to harm Judge Napolitano, law enforcement is monitoring his movements and taking additional steps to ensure Judge Napolitano's safety,'' wrote the lawyer.
The lawsuit seeks $10 million in damages for the alleged assault and ensuing psychological trauma.
FBI Raids Home of Netflix Star and Biden Surrogate Over Underage Sex Allegation
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 20:43
A man featured in a campaign video with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is under federal investigation for soliciting sex with minors, according to USA Today.
Federal agents raided the Illinois home of Jerry Harris, who gained notoriety due to his role in the Netflix documentary Cheer, Monday afternoon as part of a probe into messages sent to minors asking for explicit photos and to meet for sex. The solicitations were flagged for authorities by the 21-year-old's employer.
Just three months ago the Biden campaign used Harris, who has over a million followers on Instagram, as part of Biden's push to sway young voters and "win back the internet," Time magazine reported. The Instagram live video of Harris and Biden was viewed nearly 300,000 times.
After publication of this article, the Instagram video was removed from the social media platform. The Free Beacon captures a screenshot of the image before it was deleted.
"Together we have the power to make a real change," Harris wrote in the June 12 post.
The investigation into sexual deviancy of the Netflix star comes as the streaming giant faces an uproar over its airing of Cuties, a French film that sexualizes young girls.
Top Netflix executive Bela Bajaria recently gave between $100,000 and $500,000 to cohost a fundraiser for Biden.
Update 11:47 p.m.: This article was updated to include a screenshot of the video of Biden speaking with Harris, which was deleted from Instagram.
Brent Scher is executive editor for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Virginia, where he studied foreign affairs and politics. Brent is originally from New York City and now lives in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at scher@freebeacon.com.
Trump Retweets Post Tagged 'PedoBiden' Showing Former VP Whispering to ex-Defence Secretary's Wife - Sputnik International
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:06
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With the November election looming, the two presidential candidates have intensified their attacks on each other, both in real life and on social media.
President Donald Trump retweeted a post showing the ex-Defence Secretary Ash Carter giving a swearing-in speech at the White House in February 2015, while his wife, Carter, and Joe Biden are standing nearby.
The GIF captures the moment when Biden leans towards Carter's wife from behind and whispers something in her ear, with his hands placed on her shoulders. She then smiles and nods.
It is not unclear why exactly this hashtag was placed there, as the woman is certainly above school age.
Carter's spouse clarified the situation in a post published on Medium in 2019 and dubbed "The #MeToo Story That Wasn't Me", alluding to the modern movement against sexual harassment. The woman wrote that Biden's embrace was meant to express support for them and that she and her husband have long been friends with the former vice president.
"But a still shot taken from a video '-- misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends '-- sent out in a snarky tweet '-- came to be the lasting image of that day."The picture of Biden and Carter's wife became viral back in 2015 and attracted attention again in 2019, sparking a lot of jokes on social media.
Seth Rich
Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs to be deposed in Seth Rich lawsuit: report | TheHill
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:17
Fox News host Sean Hannity Sean Patrick HannityTrump says he read 'boring' Woodward book 'very quickly' Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs to be deposed in Seth Rich lawsuit: report Michigan lieutenant governor blasts Trump coronavirus response: He 'is a liar who has killed people' MORE and Fox Business host Lou Dobbs Louis (Lou) Carl DobbsSean Hannity and Lou Dobbs to be deposed in Seth Rich lawsuit: report Trump praises several Fox News shows at briefing for coverage of Russia probe GOP leader says he doesn't want Chamber's endorsement: 'They have sold out' MORE are expected to be deposed in late October over Fox's reporting about the murder of Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich, the Daily Beast reported Monday.
Hannity, Dobbs and other Fox staffers will reportedly be deposed as part of an emotional distress lawsuit that Rich's parents, Joel and Mary Rich, filed against Fox, Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman and former Fox News guest Ed Butowsky. The deposition schedule was revealed in a Thursday court filing made by the Rich family, according to the Daily Beast.
Hannity's deposition in the case is scheduled for Oct. 30, and Dobb's is scheduled for Oct. 7, according to the Daily Beast.
Seth Rich was killed in 2016 in what Washington, D.C., police called a botched robbery. His parents contend in the lawsuit that Fox News promoted dangerous conspiracy theories that implied that Rich gave internal DNC emails to WikiLeaks during that year's presidential race.
Fox News retracted a story about Seth Rich's killing after an outcry over sharing conspiracy theories about the murder, connecting it to then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden courts veterans amid fallout from Trump military controversies Biden looks to shore up Latino support in Florida MLB owner: It's 'very necessary' to vote for Trump MORE 's campaign. Hannity, however, later said he personally "retracted nothing."
The conspiracy theory has been debunked repeatedly by both former special counsel Robert Mueller Robert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE and the Senate Intelligence Committee, which found that Russian hackers were behind the theft of emails and publication by WikiLeaks, the Daily Beast noted.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham Laura Anne IngrahamSean Hannity and Lou Dobbs to be deposed in Seth Rich lawsuit: report NYC living statue shows Trump desecrating graves of war dead, COVID-19 victims American Airlines will allow employees to wear Black Lives Matter pins MORE slammed the media for an ''aggressive lack of curiosity'' about Rich's murder after Zimmerman's story was published, but Fox has fought the Rich family's efforts to depose Ingraham, the Daily Beast reported, citing the filing by Rich's parents.
''Fox's counsel said yesterday that they would refuse to allow one of those employees (Laura Ingraham) to be deposed,'' the document reads, according to the Daily Beast.
Fox News declined to comment when contacted by The Hill, citing the pending litigation.
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VIDEO - (1292) Gov. Gavin Newsom talks climate change while surveying damage from North Complex - YouTube
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 13:38
VIDEO-DC Basement >> '•¸ðŸ¥ƒ on Twitter: "@adamcurry CLIP, I don't know full context of this John Kerry clip, but https://t.co/RTjd80hPVE" / Twitter
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:45
DC Basement >> '•¸ðŸ¥ƒ : @adamcurry CLIP, I don't know full context of this John Kerry clip, but https://t.co/RTjd80hPVE
Thu Sep 17 00:41:29 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Live Q&A on COVID-19 with Dr Mike Ryan and Dr Maria van Kerkhove. Ask your questions! - YouTube
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:23
VIDEO-Chinese dissident launches new single: 'Take Down the CCP' | Taiwan News
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:16
Guo Wengui's new rap song topped iTunes charts in US despite China's attempt at censorship Chinese dissident Guo Wengui releases new single. (YouTube screengrab) Chinese dissident Guo Wengui releases new single. (YouTube screengrab)
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) '-- Exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui (郭文貴) released his first single, "Take Down the CCP," last week, and it has since skyrocketed up the music charts around the world, even topping the U.S. iTunes chart at one point.
As of Tuesday morning (Sept. 15), the rap song remains in the No. 2 slot on the iTunes download chart in Hong Kong and No. 3 in Taiwan.
Guo first released "Take Down the CCP" on Sept. 8 on Gnews, a media platform he founded. The billionaire has promised to launch more songs that he says will uncover the true nature of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), reported CNA.
In the lyrics, Guo highlighted Beijing's attempts to silence dissidents, saying free speech is its biggest enemy. He emphasized that the CCP has destroyed families and that it is time for the Chinese to "rise above" and take back their home.
During a livestream, Guo credited his single to a 12-member team based in the U.S., including Chinese songwriter Tang Ping (å--å¹"). He said Beijing has censored the song in China but that its request that international mainstream music platforms follow suit was denied.
Guo pointed out that the Chinese government has been brainwashing its citizens through songs, but now he aspires to use music to raise global awareness of the regime's "evil." He claimed that his music serves as an anthem for those prosecuted and suppressed by China and has the potential to ignite a "democratic revolution," reported New Talk.
"Take Down the CCP" rose to No. 1 on iTunes chart in U.S. (iTunes screengrab)
VIDEO-9/16/2020 -- Dept. of Defense Secretary Mark Esper CONFIRMS Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) in space - YouTube
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:11
VIDEO-Joe Rogan CAUGHT DRUNK DRIVING?!? The Spotify Sell-Out is above the law! - YouTube
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:47
VIDEO-Cary company creates handheld UV light device that can kill COVID-19 - YouTube
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VIDEO-Joe Biden hits President Trump with 'maniacal and unhinged' attack - YouTube
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:33
VIDEO-Newt Gingrich Says 'George-Soros-Elected' DA's Responsible For Unrest | The Daily Caller
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 10:56
A Fox News Panel went silent after Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich brought up George Soros during a Wednesday appearance on Fox News' ''Outnumbered.''
Gingrich responded to the unrest in many major American cities that have destroyed businesses owned by minority-owned businesses and communities. ''The number one problem in almost all these cities is George-Soros-elected, left-wing, anti-police, pro-criminal district attorneys who refuse to keep people locked up,'' Gingrich said.
''Just yesterday, they put somebody back on the street who was wanted for two different murders in New York City. Uh '-- you cannot solve this problem,'' Gingrich continued, ''both Harris and Biden have talked very proudly about what they call progressive district attorneys. Progressive district attorneys are anti-police, pro-criminal, and overwhelmingly elected with George Soros' money. And, they are a major cause of the violence we are seeing because they keep putting the violent criminals back on the street.''
The program's co-host, Melissa Francis, responded, ''I'm not sure we need to bring George Soros into this,'' she said.
''He [Soros] paid for it,'' Gingrich responded. ''Why can't we discuss the fact that millions of dollars he spent elected these people.''
''No, he didn't.'' Panelist Marie Harf interjected, cutting the former speaker off. ''I agree with Melissa, George Soros doesn't need to be a part of this conversation.''
''So, it's verboten?'' Gingrich said as an awkward silence took over the broadcast.
Gingrich previously said that the Democratic party is, ''owned by people who are financed by George Soros,'' earlier this month on Fox News' morning show, ''Fox & Friends.'' In that appearance, Gingrich also noted that several district attorneys in major American cities who have received Soros funds exhibit ''pro-criminal'' tendencies. (RELATED: George Soros Quietly Poured $100K Into Local DA Race Without Anybody Knowing)
From 2015 to 2017, Soros spent more than $8 million on district attorney races across the country. In Philadelphia, Soros gave over $1.45 million to a super PAC in support of DA candidate, Larry Krasner. FEC filings have also revealed that a political action committee (PAC) financed by George Soros, called Justice & Public Safety, spent more than $100,000 on a Portsmouth, Virginia district attorney race in less than two months.
VIDEO-Trump disputes CDC director on vaccine timing, says 'he made a mistake' | TheHill
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 10:44
President Trump Donald John TrumpBarr criticizes DOJ in speech declaring all agency power 'is invested in the attorney general' Military leaders asked about using heat ray on protesters outside White House: report Powell warns failure to reach COVID-19 deal could 'scar and damage' economy MORE on Wednesday repeatedly contradicted one of his top health officials, saying Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield was wrong about the timeline for a possible coronavirus vaccine and the efficacy of wearing masks.
Trump insisted at a press conference that Redfield made a ''mistake'' when he stated in testimony earlier on Wednesday that a potential coronavirus vaccine would not be available to the general public until at least mid-2021.
''I think he made a mistake when he said that. It's just incorrect information,'' Trump told reporters. ''That is incorrect information.''
Trump also said that he disagreed with Redfield's remark at the hearing that masks may be more effective than a vaccine in protecting individuals from the virus, again asserting that the CDC director made a ''mistake.''
Trump insisted that Redfield was confused on both topics, and said he called the health official to register his disagreement sometime earlier Wednesday.
''It's not more effective by any means than a vaccine and I called him about that, those were the two things I discussed with him,'' Trump said of masks. "I believe if you asked him he would probably say that he didn't understand the question.''
The president's remarks represented the latest instance of Trump breaking with one of his top health officials, and immediately raised questions about Redfield's job security. CDC representatives did not return a request for comment on the president's remarks.
Asked whether he had confidence in Redfield, Trump replied that he does, but again insisted that the CDC director ''misunderstood'' the questions.
Trump has been criticized by Democratic nominee Joe Biden Joe BidenThe Memo: Warning signs flash for Trump on debates Senate Republicans signal openness to working with Biden National postal mail handlers union endorses Biden MORE for not listening to scientists and public health experts to guide his decisionmaking on handling the pandemic, and the contradictions of Redfield are sure to be seized upon by Democrats.
Biden has also accused Trump of putting political pressure on government regulators to speedily approve a vaccine for the coronavirus. The Trump administration has fired back, arguing Biden is inciting fears and that such criticism could make it less likely that people take vaccines.
Redfield, who is a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told lawmakers during a hearing Wednesday that he didn't expect a potential vaccine for COVID-19 to be available for the general public until the second or third quarter of 2021.
''I think there will be vaccine that will initially be available some time between November and December, but very limited supply, and it will have to be prioritized," Redfield said during the hearing. "If you're asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we're probably looking at late second quarter, third quarter 2021.''
Redfield also told lawmakers that face masks could be more effective in protecting against the virus than a vaccine because if a person does not get an immune response from a vaccine, it will not protect them from the virus.
In a series of tweets shortly following the conclusion of Trump's press conference, Redfield appeared to attempt to clarify his remarks on masks.
''I 100% believe in the importance of vaccines and the importance in particular of a #COVID19 vaccine. A COVID-19 vaccine is the thing that will get Americans back to normal everyday life,'' Redfield tweeted. ''The best defense we currently have against this virus are the important mitigation efforts of wearing a mask, washing your hands, social distancing and being careful about crowds.''
Trump said that a coronavirus vaccine would be ready ''very soon'' and insisted that his administration would ''immediately'' begin distributing it to the general public.
Dr. Scott Atlas, who was brought on in August to advise Trump on the virus, said that ''high priority'' individuals like elderly people who are at high risk would receive the vaccine ''no later than January'' and that 700 million doses would be ready by the end of the first quarter of 2021, around March.
Atlas was at Wednesday's press briefing but Redfield was not. Other officials who were once regulars at White House briefings on the coronavirus such as Deborah Birx Deborah BirxTrump disputes CDC director on vaccine timing, says 'he made a mistake' Media's anti-Trump coronavirus spin has real consequences Poll: Most Americans wouldn't take a COVID-19 vaccine before the election MORE , the leader of the White House task force on the pandemic, and Anthony Fauci Anthony FauciTrump disputes CDC director on vaccine timing, says 'he made a mistake' Trump health officials grilled over reports of politics in COVID-19 response Biden says to trust scientists on COVID-19 vaccine, not Trump MORE , the government's leading expert on infectious diseases, were absent.
Trump has repeatedly forecast a quick timeline for the vaccine, saying at a ABC News town hall in Pennsylvania on Tuesday that the vaccine could be ready within three to four weeks and on Wednesday predicting a vaccine could be distributed beginning in mid-October. Health experts like Fauci have said that they expect a vaccine to be ready by the end of the year.
Trump has explicitly raised the possibility a vaccine could be ready before the November election.
Shortly before Trump's news conference, Biden said that health experts alone should be in charge of distributing a COVID-19 vaccine.
"I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don't trust Donald Trump," Biden said in a speech from Wilmington, Del. "At this moment the American people can't either."
On Wednesday, Trump accused Democrats of ''disinformation'' by questioning whether political interference was at play in the vaccine process and called on Biden to stop promoting what he described as ''anti-vaccine theories.''
Trump has repeatedly diverged with top health officials in his assessments on the pandemic, which has killed nearly 200,000 people in the U.S. Trump has insisted that the country is ''rounding the turn'' on the virus, a point that Fauci disputed last week.
Trump also said last month that he disagreed with Redfield's assessment that the U.S. could face the ''worst fall'' from a public health perspective if Americans do not follow guidelines to ease the spread of the coronavirus during flu season.
Trump has also eschewed his administration's own health guidelines, hosting roughly 1,500 guests at the White House for his Republican National Convention speech in August and hosting an indoor campaign rally in Nevada on Sunday that earned public rebuke from the state's Democratic governor.
On Wednesday, Trump insisted that masks are a ''mixed bag'' when it comes to addressing the pandemic, suggesting that face coverings are problematic if people touch them and then touch other surfaces. Public health experts have uniformly recommended the use of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
VIDEO-CDC director says masks more guaranteed to work than a vaccine | TheHill
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 10:43
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield said Wednesday that wearing a mask is more guaranteed to protect someone from the coronavirus than taking a vaccine.
Redfield, speaking at a Senate hearing, emphasized the importance of wearing masks, noting that an eventual vaccine is not expected to work in 100 percent of people, and might only work in, say, 70 percent. But a mask is guaranteed to offer at least some protection for all wearers, he added, though it is far from total protection.
"We have clear scientific evidence they work, I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine, because the immunogenicity may be 70 percent and if I don't get an immune response, the vaccine's not going to protect me, this face mask will," Redfield said.
While experts widely say wearing masks is a very important part of the effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the development of a vaccine is seen as a key step in getting back to close to pre-COVID-19 normality.
Redfield's emphasis on mask-wearing is a contrast to President Trump Donald John TrumpBarr criticizes DOJ in speech declaring all agency power 'is invested in the attorney general' Military leaders asked about using heat ray on protesters outside White House: report Powell warns failure to reach COVID-19 deal could 'scar and damage' economy MORE , who has rarely worn a mask and has held rallies with crowds of many maskless supporters.
"These face masks are the most important, powerful public health tool we have, and I will continue to appeal for all Americans to embrace these face coverings, if we did it for six, eight, 10, 12 weeks we'd bring this pandemic under control," Redfield said.
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VIDEO-Breaking911 on Twitter: "TRUMP ASKED ABOUT RIOTING ON ELECTION NIGHT: "We will put it down very, very quickly if there is, absolutely. And I think the American public wants to see that." https://t.co/AEPTDDttT8" / Twitter
Thu, 17 Sep 2020 00:38
Breaking911 : TRUMP ASKED ABOUT RIOTING ON ELECTION NIGHT: "We will put it down very, very quickly if there is, absolutely. And'... https://t.co/CXHPlc9PYW
Wed Sep 16 21:53:21 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Bob Woodward Admits his Anti-Trump Bias on National TV | Frontpagemag
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 23:08
The art of misleading readers under the guise of reporting.
Bob Woodward continues his promotion tour for his new book Rage with television interviews and the release of more tantalizing excerpts from tapes of his 18 interviews with President Trump. But Woodward has not simply reported on his discussions with President Trump and high level administration officials. He is using his book as a bludgeon to help defeat President Trump for re-election, stringing together out-of-context quotes along with Woodward's own biased negative interpretations of President Trump's words and actions.
During Woodward's September 13th interview on 60 Minutes, his interviewer Scott Pelley remarked to Woodward: ''It might disappoint some of your fans that you reach an editorial conclusion at the end of this book, something that reporters are not supposed to do.'' Woodward replied: ''Yes. I say the president is the wrong man for the job.'' At least, Woodward said on the record where he is coming from. His book should be reported as an in-kind contribution to Joe Biden's presidential campaign.
Woodward's latest attempt to manufacture a bombshell was his release of a taped excerpt from his January 22nd interview with President Trump. During this interview, President Trump spoke of his relationship with Turkey's President Recip Tayyip Erdogan. ''I get along very well with Erdogan,'' President Trump told Woodward. ''Even though you're not supposed to, because everyone says 'What a horrible guy.' But for me it works out good.'' The president added that ''the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them. You'll explain that to me some day, OK? But maybe it's not a bad thing. The easy ones are the ones I maybe don't like as much, or don't get along with as much.''
During his appearance on the Today show Monday, Woodward used the out-of-context tape excerpt to claim that President Trump in effect ''has said '-- and there it is '-- 'Hey, look. I get along with these bad guys, but not the good guys.''' Woodward deliberately recast President Trump's actual quote into something more sinister sounding and tried to make something out of absolutely nothing.
President Trump gets along very well with ''the good guys'' in the free world. For example, President Trump has a strong bond with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Both men are like-minded populists and nationalists. In praising Boris Johnson upon his election as prime minister, President Trump said, "Good man, he's tough and he's smart.''
President Trump also has a strong relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ''He's tough, he's smart, he's strong,'' President Trump said about Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2019. President Trump has been Israel's most reliable friend in the White House since President Harry Truman.
In addition, President Trump has forged close personal relationships with Japan's departing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both of whom President Trump has described as tough and good friends.
Bob Woodward failed to understand from his 18 interviews with President Trump that the president sees himself as a tough leader who likes the challenge of dealing with and triumphing over tough counterparts when America's national interest is at stake. President Trump has shown no hesitation using military or economic pressure as he deemed necessary against America's adversaries, whose leaders the president has described as tough. Just ask the leaders of China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and Syria whether they really think they have a cowering friend in the White House.
President Trump has also taken tough stances vis a vis our allies in order to obtain more contributions from them for their defense and to secure fairer trade deals for the United States. Sometimes even good friends require tough love.
President Trump has also turned the economic screws against Erdogan when he felt Turkey's dictator needed a reminder of who has the upper hand in a dispute between the two countries. That's what led Erdogan's regime to finally release the American pastor Andrew Brunson, who had endured a 24-month detention in Turkey.
Talking about Erdogan, where was Woodward back in 2012 when President Barack Obama boasted that Erdogan was one of the five world leaders with whom he had his most trusted working relationships? The other leaders were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Notably missing from Obama's list of trusted foreign leaders was Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
In 2011, Obama had spoken to Erdogan by phone at least 9 times. Only the leaders of the United Kingdom and Germany spoke with Obama more often.
In September 2014, then-Vice President Joe Biden met with Erdogan for a photo op and a private meeting at the Peninsula Hotel in New York during the United Nations' annual high-level General Assembly week. "Congratulations on the election, old friend," Biden said to Erdogan with a broad smile on his face.
In 2016, after Erdogan put down what was characterized as an attempted ''coup'' against his authoritarian rule and proceeded to widen his crackdown on peaceful dissenters and journalists, Obama called the dictator with a show of support. Obama told Erdogan that the United States would "provide appropriate assistance" to Erdogan's investigation of the uprising.
Bob Woodward did the same thing in his book and interviews regarding President Trump's quotes about Erdogan as Woodward had done regarding the president's quotes on the coronavirus. Woodward sought to use these quotes and others to feed the Democrat and mainstream media's bogus narrative that President Trump is unfit for the presidency. As for Obama, never mind.
''I think journalism gets measured by the quality of information it presents, not the drama or the pyrotechnics associated with us,'' Bob Woodward said about his profession back in 1996. By that measure, Bob Woodward has failed his own test with his latest book on the Trump presidency.
Bob Woodward could have simply reported what President Trump said on the record and provided context with factual accounts of the actions President Trump took in relation to the subject matter of each of his quotes on major issues that Woodward included in his book. But Woodward chose the low road instead. He indulged in hyped drama to help along the cause of defeating President Trump for re-election. Woodward gave himself away during his 60 Minutes interview when he declared that ''the president is the wrong man for the job.''
Woodward's own right job would be as another leftwing political commentator on CNN or MSNBC.
VIDEO-Bodhi Crane on Twitter: "🚨 BREAKING 🚨 DOD states that Russia and China have weaponized their satellites with directed energy weapons!! @dbongino @X22Report @KarluskaP @intheMatrixxx https://t.co/sBArlAIv71" / Twitter
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 19:04
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VIDEO-Alan Dershowitz files $300 million defamation suit against CNN | Fox News
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:40
Famed attorney and Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz filed a defamation suit against CNN on Tuesday seeking $300 million for what he called a "willful, deliberate, malicious effort to destroy my credibility."
Dershowitz told Fox News that CNN selectively edited a clip of his remarks from the Senate floor during President Trump's impeachment trial where he broke down the illegalities surrounding a "quid pro quo" as a member of the president's defense team.
CNN SHAMES TRUMP 'LARGE CROWD' AT WH EVENT MARKING HISTORIC PEACE DEAL
The constitutional scholar alleges in the lawsuit that the news outlet propagated a ''sea of lies'' by re-airing only part of his quote, which he believes was part of a deliberate effort "from the very top" to frame him for claiming ''that the President of the United States could commit illegal acts as long as he thought it would help his reelection and that his reelection was in the public interest," The Wrap reported.
"What CNN did here, and it pains me to say this because, you know, I have friends over there, what they did is they just totally doctored the tape," Dershowitz told Sean Hannity on Tuesday.
"If they had just shown the part where I said if he does anything illegal he can be impeached -- Dershowitz trailed off, "but they doctored the tape to take that out."
Dershowitz said he plans to donate any awarding to "charities and to good causes," emphasizing that he's not doing this for himself.
"I'm doing this to hold them accountable," he explained. "They made a deliberate, willful decision we believe from the very top to purposely doctor the tape to make it look like I said something that was crazy, that a president can do anything, that he can commit crimes.
"Of course I never said that '-- I don't believe it. I spent an hour in front of the Senate two days earlier saying if the president commits a crime he can be impeached and that was a whole thesis of my presentation," Dershowitz said.
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"CNN knew that and they doctored the tape and edited the tape to make me say exactly the opposite. Shame on them," he continued. "They're going to have to pay and some good charities are going to benefit from CNN's willful deliberate malicious effort to destroy my credibility as a constitutional scholar."
CNN did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.
VIDEO-Viral Issue Crucial Update Sept 8th: the Science, Logic and Data Explained! - YouTube
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:47
VIDEO-The "Perfect" Society Is An Epic Disaster - YouTube
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:40
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Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:29
VIDEO-Judd Apatow Says 'China Has Bought Our Silence' in Corporate Censorship of Films
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:20
JUDD APATOW Netflix Comedy Special
Judd Apatow is criticizing what he calls ''corporate censorship'' when it comes to highlighting abuses of power in China and Saudi Arabia, saying that Hollywood's desire to do business there has prevented stories and truths from being told.
In a preview of a full interview with MSNBC's Ari Melber for a special called ''Mavericks with Ari Melber,'' the director of ''The King of Staten Island'' said that films, shows or documentaries get shut down at the pitch phase that are critical of foreign powers and that Hollywood's major corporate entities often remain silent.
''They're just not going to criticize them, and they're not going to let their shows criticize them, or they're not going to air documentaries that go deep into truthful areas because they just make so much money,'' Apatow said. ''So while we're going, 'can we say this joke, can we not say that joke,' on a much bigger level, they have just completely shut down critical content about human rights abuses in China, and I think that's much scarier.''
Also Read: Judd Apatow to Direct Documentary on George Carlin for HBO
Apatow specifically mentioned saying if he were to write a movie about a man who escaped from concentration camps in China, referring to Muslim Uighurs who are being held in camps in northwestern China, no one would buy the pitch.
''Instead of us doing business with China and China becoming more free what has happened is a place like China has bought our silence with their money,'' Apatow said. ''We do need a movie that says, 'hey people are being mistreated in North Korea, and so the aftermath of that might be, if you wanted to pitch that today, no one would ever consider that. But as a result of that, we never wake up our country or the world through art or satire that people are being mistreated in our country or other countries. So that's very dangerous.''
Though he did not name a specific company in the interview, Apatow has previously on Twitter criticized Disney and Apple for not speaking up about these human rights injustices, including after Disney has been criticized by those online and by U.S. lawmakers for its Chinese release of ''Mulan,'' which in the credits thanks Xinjiang police for helping in the filming.
Check out the clip of Apatow's MSNBC interview via Media-ite.
10 Buzziest Movies for Sale in Toronto, From Idris Elba's 'Concrete Cowboy' to Mark Wahlberg's 'Good Joe Bell' (Photos) What the Cannes virtual marketplace proved earlier this year is that even without the in-person meetings, the red carpet galas and all the press hype, there's still room for a lucrative sales market surrounding these virtual events. While that's true of this year's Toronto International Film Festival, the hybrid physical and virtual fest is operating on a slimmed-down lineup of movies. And with Oscar eligibility requirements pushed back to 2021, there isn't the same need for all of these movies to make a splash. That said, we are looking forward to quite a bit at this year's TIFF, and so are buyers.
Also Read: How the Pandemic Will Shake Up Toronto Film Festival's (Virtual) Sales Market
"Bruised"
Halle Berry takes a beating as a washed-up MMA fighter looking to make her redemption fight in "Bruised," which is also Berry's directorial debut. The film is set in New Jersey and explores her fight to get back into shape and win back her child. It also stars Adan Canto and Sheila Atim.
Romulus Entertainment/Thunder Road Pictures "Concrete Cowboy"
Idris Elba and "Stranger Things'" Caleb McLaughlin play father and son in this family drama from Ricky Staub that draws on the history of Black cowboys in its adaptation of a novel by Greg Neri. McLaughlin is a troubled teen who is sent to live with his quiet, absentee father and is taught to work at his father's stables. Jharrel Jerome, Byron Bowers, Lorraine Toussaint and Clifford "Method Man" Smith also co-star.
Lee Daniels Entertainment/Tucker Tooley Entertainment "Good Joe Bell"
Mark Wahlberg is getting early hype for his performance based on a true story of a father who takes a cross-country trip to honor his son and educate people about the dangers of bullying. The movie flashes back to show Wahlberg's conflicted and grudging relationship with his son's homosexuality and how he grows, even as it becomes too late. "Monsters and Men" director Reinaldo Marcus Green directs the film from the writers of "Brokeback Mountain."
Endeavor Content "I Care a Lot"
Rosamund Pike, Eiza Gonzlez, Dianne West and Peter Dinklage star in this thriller about two women who use loopholes in the legal system to defraud elderly retirees of their family fortunes, only for them to end up angering a crime lord with their latest mark. J Blakeson wrote and directed the film.
Black Bear Pictures "MLK/FBI"
This documentary from Oscar nominee Sam Pollard is based on recently unclassified FBI documents and examines the surveillance and harassment the FBI used against Martin Luther King Jr. over years, including how J. Edgar Hoover hoped to discredit him and break his spirit. The film includes a discussion of how filmmaking and historians should use official materials from the FBI and other sources and how those sources color history.
Field of Vision "New Order"
Mexican filmmaker Michel Franco's film first played Venice and is a drama set amid a violent protest in Mexico City. The film draws on sociopolitical themes and the class divide to show how the wealthy unwittingly empower an encroaching military rule in their attempt to keep power.
The Match Factory "Penguin Bloom"
Naomi Watts is said to give a stellar performance in this true story based on the life of Sam Bloom, a woman who suffered a traumatic accident who finds an inspiring road to recovery after befriending a magpie bird as her companion. Glendyn Ivin directs the film that also stars Andrew Lincoln, Jacki Weaver and Rachel House.
Getty Images "Pieces of a Woman"
Hungarian filmmaker Korn(C)l Mundrucz" directs Shia LaBeouf and Vanessa Kirby in this film inspired by '70s character dramas about a couple expecting a child who winds up grieving over a tragedy in two different ways. Kirby steals the show, but the film also includes a stand-out moment from Ellen Burstyn as Kirby's mother.
BRON Studios "Shadow in the Cloud"
As part of the Midnight Madness section, Chloe Grace Moretz in "Shadow in the Cloud" is like "Alien" on a WWII bomber. Moretz is a fighter pilot on a mission to carry a piece of classified information and is sequestered from her sexist male counterparts but soon discovers a mysterious presence that threatens the safety of everyone aboard. Roseanne Liang directs the film.
Four Knights Films "The Water Man"
Another actor making their directorial debut, David Oyelowo's "The Water Man" is a mythical family film with an homage to the family movies of the 1980s. It's the story of a man who looks for a mystical creature with the secret to everlasting life in an effort to rescue his ailing mother. Oprah Winfrey executive produces the film that stars Oyelowo alongside Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina and Maria Bello.
Photo Credit Karen Ballard There are still some other movies playing as part of the festival that already have homes, including Chlo(C) Zhao's "Nomadland" at Searchlight, Regina King's "One Night in Miami" at Amazon, the Kate Winslet-Saoirse Ronan drama "Ammonite" (pictured) at Neon, and Dawn Porter's documentary "The Way I See It" at Focus Features. Amazon Studios also recently acquired director Matthew Heineman's "The Boy From Medell­n" about musician J Balvin.
Neon
TIFF 2020: ''Pieces of a Woman,'' ''The Water Man,'' ''I Care A Lot'' and more are getting attention from buyers
What the Cannes virtual marketplace proved earlier this year is that even without the in-person meetings, the red carpet galas and all the press hype, there's still room for a lucrative sales market surrounding these virtual events. While that's true of this year's Toronto International Film Festival, the hybrid physical and virtual fest is operating on a slimmed-down lineup of movies. And with Oscar eligibility requirements pushed back to 2021, there isn't the same need for all of these movies to make a splash. That said, we are looking forward to quite a bit at this year's TIFF, and so are buyers.
Also Read: How the Pandemic Will Shake Up Toronto Film Festival's (Virtual) Sales Market
VIDEO-HOLD ON! Hundreds Pull Over on New Jersey Highway To Film UFO? - YouTube
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:02
VIDEO-CNN's Tapper: Trump Spreading 'Deranged and Disgusting Lie about Joe Biden'
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:57
CNN anchor Jake Tapper said Tuesday on ''The Lead'' that President Donald Trump retweeting a ''deranged and disgusting lie'' about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Trump retweeted a GIF from on Tuesday morning that included the hashtag ''#PedoBiden.''
Tapper said, ''The images and the substance from the White House today, they were really powerful and presidential. But I have to say President Trump started today by re-tweeting a deranged and disgusting lie about Joe Biden. Just the absolute worst kind of smear someone could ever make. That's also part of his legacy today.''
CNN White House correspondent Abby Phillip said, ''Yeah, absolutely, Jake. I think that this is one of those cases where the president once again is simply re-tweeting things that he thinks are in his favor and that oppose his opponent without looking at the substance of it or not caring about the substance of it. And in this case, this was a vile conspiracy theory lie that is actually pretty dangerous. And his own government says that it's dangerous. A couple of days ago, I said the Republicans are kind of flirting with this whole QAnon conspiracy theory, which is part of what the president re-tweeted today, but it seems as though they are full-fledged holding hands going steady with this conspiracy theory because the president does not want to offend the people who believe in it who might support him. I think that's pretty irresponsible going into this election cycle.''
Tapper said, ''It's just amazing when you think about all the times that Republicans asked for the record to be corrected when the New York Times or whoever makes a mistake. It's just astounding that this gets no comment from them at all.''
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
VIDEO-Coronavirus whistleblower speaks out about possible COVID origin on 'Tucker' - YouTube
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:51
VIDEO-Kamala Harris' Husband Works for CCP-Tied Firm
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:43
Vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris's husband is a partner at DLA Piper. That's a global law firm that works closely with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). If Harris is elected VP, the closeness of this company to White House officials raises a few questions about a potential conflict of interest.
VIDEO-Certified Young Person Paul Rudd Wants You To Wear A Mask - YouTube
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:27
VIDEO-Krystal Ball: Dem WAR On Green Party Exposes Voter Suppression Hypocrisy - YouTube
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:26
VIDEO-Biden panned for playing 'Despacito' at Hispanic Heritage Month event | Fox News
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:17
Joe Biden raised eyebrows on Tuesday evening over his attempt to appeal to Hispanic voters at a campaign event in Kissimmee, Fla.
The event was meant to commemorate the Hispanic Heritage Month. The Democratic candidate was the last speaker to take the podium, following several supporters including Eva Longoria, Ricky Martin and Luis Fonsi.
However, when Biden approached the podium, he paused and reached for his phone in his pocket.
"I just have one thing to say," Biden began as he looked down at his phone. "Hang on here."
BIDEN BUNGLES DEM TICKET, REFERS TO 'HARRIS-BIDEN ADMINISTRATION' IN CAMPAIGN SPEECH
He then held his phone to the microphone, which began playing the 2017 hit song "Despacito" from Fonsi, who had introduced the candidate. After roughly 15 seconds of bobbing his head and gently dancing behind the podium, he paused the music.
"I'll tell you what '-- if I had the talent of any one of these people, I'd be elected president by acclamation," Biden chuckled.
Critics piled on the former VP over the "cringe" moment.
"Oh my," CBS News correspondent Ed O'Keefe reacted.
"Does @JoeBiden realize that Despacito means 'slowly'? Fits well with Slow Joe," Trump campaign senior adviser Mercedes Schlapp quipped.
KAMALA HARRIS ACCIDENTALLY TOUTS PLANS UNDER A 'HARRIS ADMINISTRATION' DURING VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE
"This is so unbelievably cringe," tweeted Erielle Davidson, a senior policy analyst at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Earlier in the day, Biden turned heads when he bungled the Democratic ticket, touting plans under a "Harris-Biden administration."
He also mistakenly confused Iran and Iraq when referring to fallen American soldiers in a speech geared toward veterans, saying "U.S. troops died in Iran and Afghanistan."
VIDEO-Money Vs. Science - YouTube
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 12:57
VIDEO-'The View' co-host Sunny Hostin calls Joe Rogan 'misogynistic, racist, homophobic,' not fit to host debate | Fox News
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 05:08
ABC's News' ''The View'' co-host Sunny Hostin said Joe Rogan was ''misogynistic, racist, homophobic'' and would be an ''inappropriate'' choice to moderate a presidential debate.
President Trump had welcomed the idea of a fourth presidential debate moderated by Rogan after the podcast superstar floated the idea during a recent installment of "The Joe Rogan Experience."
TRUMP ACCEPTS INVITATION FOR FOURTH DEBATE MODERATED BY JOE ROGAN
Sunny Hostin slammed Joe Rogan as ''misogynistic, racist, homophobic'' who is an ''inappropriate'' choice to moderate a presidential debate.
''First of all, I want no one else in the room, just the three of us," Rogan described how his debate would be handled to his guest, retired UFC fighter Tim Kennedy. "And you'd have to stream it live so no one can edit it, and I would want them in there for hours. If they wanted to do that -- they both wanted to come here in Austin, sit down and have a debate -- I would 100 percent do it.''
On Monday, Kennedy tweeted about the idea and Trump responded that he was on board.
''The View'' dedicated a segment to the idea and Hostin made it clear she doesn't believe Rogan is fit for the gig.
''I think it would be inappropriate for Joe Rogan to host a presidential debate. I mean, I think given his use of the n-word, I think given his, comparing a Black neighborhood to 'Planet of the Apes,' given the fact that he has called a transgender woman a man, I think all of that disqualifies him to be the host of a presidential debate,'' Hostin said.
TRUMP SHARES CLIP OF JOE ROGAN COMPARING BIDEN TO 'FLASHLIGHT' WITH 'DYING BATTERY'
''I think President Trump has debased the office of the presidency, I think as a country we have lost a sense of decorum, and I don't think a host like that should be someone who is given the honor, and I think it is an honor, to host a presidential debate,'' Hostin continued. ''That's just my take.''
Meghan McCain said she would ''love to see it happen'' but admitted it's unlikely to take place. She feels the current debate format feels ''dated'' and ''old'' and called for a modernized format, but Hostin didn't agree.
''I am a traditionalist, as you know, I think that journalists should be hosting these debates,'' Hostin said. ''When you talk about a Joe Rogan, who has notably made misogynistic, racist, homophobic comments, that is someone that I have no interest in being given that kind of [platform].''
Joy Behar chimed in, noting that she ''doesn't know who he is,'' but trusts Hostin that Rogan wouldn't be a good fit.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP
'''The View,' maybe we can do it,'' Behar added.
''Fox News Sunday'' anchor Chris Wallace was selected to moderate the first presidential debate between Trump and Biden, which is scheduled to take place Tuesday, Sept. 29 in Cleveland.
Fox News' Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Norm Isen Redux
Wed, 16 Sep 2020 01:56
VIDEO-'¯¸ UNIversal DISClosure 2020 HD 3D. The Most Interesting Video On Earth. (Q)onstruct Of Reality? - YouTube
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 21:27
VIDEO-J on Twitter: "Worth watching 👇ðŸ‘🚨 https://t.co/Ud3pF21nAx" / Twitter
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 21:13
J : Worth watching 👇ðŸ‘🚨 https://t.co/Ud3pF21nAx
Tue Sep 15 16:55:53 +0000 2020
American Dean'¸ 🇺🇸 : @ItsAboutTime45 Amen ðŸðŸ>>
Tue Sep 15 21:12:48 +0000 2020
She_Boss3 : @ItsAboutTime45 Isnt the C_@ the reas0n #BenghaziAintGoingAway happened? Those men were sent in to clean up a deal that did not go well
Tue Sep 15 21:08:09 +0000 2020
She_Boss3 : @ItsAboutTime45 https://t.co/mXML2ODZZO
Tue Sep 15 21:06:11 +0000 2020
Vito Esposito🇺🇸🇮🇹 : @ItsAboutTime45 @fatimablushS the actions, espionage & undermining by the Obama-Biden Regime make Watergate look like childs play!
Tue Sep 15 20:55:47 +0000 2020
Annie Speck : @ItsAboutTime45 @CathyCathyFox Eye opening! We can not trust the FBI or the CIA right now
Tue Sep 15 20:52:46 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Joe 76th place Biden on Twitter: "@CortesSteve @SteveGuest Super V! cc @adamcurry" / Twitter
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 19:28
Joe 76th place Biden : @CortesSteve @SteveGuest Super V! cc @adamcurry
Tue Sep 15 18:13:58 +0000 2020
VIDEO-artman1033 on Twitter: "@adamcurry At the 14:36 mark @JoeBiden talks about the Harris/Biden administration https://t.co/DiCrnv7eJq" / Twitter
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 19:26
artman1033 : @adamcurry At the 14:36 mark @JoeBiden talks about the Harris/Biden administrationhttps://t.co/DiCrnv7eJq
Tue Sep 15 18:42:59 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Breaking911 on Twitter: "Joe Biden confuses Iran & Iraq https://t.co/Kpo6KbWL8E" / Twitter
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 19:25
Breaking911 : Joe Biden confuses Iran & Iraq https://t.co/Kpo6KbWL8E
Tue Sep 15 18:36:36 +0000 2020
B. Kaiser 🇺🇸ðŸ‡(C)🇪 : @Breaking911 You're flailing.
Tue Sep 15 19:25:12 +0000 2020
bihit : @Breaking911 and he is reading it. it is on the list he keeps with him everyday.
Tue Sep 15 19:24:54 +0000 2020
Keybd4U : @Breaking911 Why....WHY do people think this guy can run the country? Only those with TDS think this is great.
Tue Sep 15 19:24:40 +0000 2020
Juan Vazquez : @Breaking911 Is that all you got !! I always confuse the two ! Hahah omg
Tue Sep 15 19:24:05 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Daily Caller on Twitter: "Joe Biden speaking in Tampa Bay says a "Harris/Biden administration is going to relaunch that effort..." https://t.co/l5slFcSRyU" / Twitter
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 19:24
Daily Caller : Joe Biden speaking in Tampa Bay says a "Harris/Biden administration is going to relaunch that effort..." https://t.co/l5slFcSRyU
Tue Sep 15 18:28:45 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Humble ISD Board Meeting - COVID Bombshell - SURGE WAS FAKE
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 18:42
VIDEO-Gov. Tom Wolf's pandemic restrictions are unconstitutional, Pennsylvania judge rules - 6abc Philadelphia
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 18:37
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Gov. Tom Wolf's pandemic restrictions that required people to stay at home, placed size limits on gatherings and ordered "non-life-sustaining" businesses to shut down are unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Monday.
U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, sided with plaintiffs that included hair salons, drive-in movie theaters, a farmer's market vendor, a horse trainer and several Republican officeholders in their lawsuit against Wolf, a Democrat, and his health secretary.
The Wolf administration's pandemic policies have been overreaching and arbitrary and violated citizens' constitutional rights, Stickman wrote in his ruling.
The governor's efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus "were undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency. But even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered," Stickman wrote. "The Constitution cannot accept the concept of a 'new normal' where the basic liberties of the people can be subordinated to open-ended emergency mitigation measures."
The ruling means that current restrictions, including ones that limit the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings, can't be enforced, according to attorney Thomas W. King III, who represented the plaintiffs.
RELATED: Gov. Wolf extends stay-at-home order to all of Pennsylvania
"It's really 100% in our favor. The court found in all respects that the orders issued by the governor and the secretary of health were unconstitutional. What it means is they can't do it again, and they should not have done it in the past," King said.
Wolf's spokesperson, Lyndsay Kensinger, said the administration will seek delayed enforcement of the ruling while it appeals.
"The actions taken by the administration were mirrored by governors across the country and saved, and continue to save lives in the absence of federal action. This decision is especially worrying as Pennsylvania and the rest of the country are likely to face a challenging time with the possible resurgence of COVID-19 and the flu in the fall and winter," Kensinger said in a written statement.
At a news conference Monday, the state health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, pleaded with Pennsylvania residents to maintain social distancing and avoid crowds despite the ruling. She said of the ruling that "anything that limits our ability and the number of tools we have is a challenge to public health."
Courts had consistently rejected challenges to Wolf's power to order businesses to close during the pandemic, and many other governors, Republican and Democrat, undertook similar measures as the virus spread across the country.
RELATED: Governor Tom Wolf unveils color-coded plan for reopening Pennsylvania
Wolf has since eased many of the restrictions, allowing businesses to reopen and canceling a statewide stay-at-home order.
But over the summer, his administration imposed a new round of statewide pandemic restrictions on bars, restaurants and larger indoor gatherings in response to rising infection rates in some virus hot spots. The state has been enforcing a gathering limit of more than 25 people for events held indoors and more than 250 people for those held outside. It has also been restricting occupancy at most businesses to 75% capacity, and 50% at theaters, gyms, salons and malls.
Some counties, like Allegheny and Philadelphia, have their own pandemic restrictions. King said Monday he thinks the judge's ruling invalidates those, as well, but a city spokesperson said otherwise.
"So within Philadelphia, all of the orders and regulations that the City put in place are still in force. Today's ruling has absolutely no bearing on any of the orders, which have been effective in lowering the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia to levels not seen since March," the spokesperson told Action News.
As Philadelphia businesses works to rebound from COVID-19-related restrictions, Center City Restaurant Week is getting underway.
Some business owners like Ann Turner, who operates a salon in town, say it's been a real struggle to survive.
"Would I have liked to stay open? Yes. We didn't want to be in some of those numbers that they considered non-essential businesses should not be open," said Turner. "It has been a challenge being a small business trying to survive COVID-19."
The School District of Philadelphia tells Action News that digital learning will continue, and the move to hybrid learning will still happen in November.
RELATED: Governor Wolf imposes new restrictions in Pennsylvania as COVID-19 cases surge
The lawsuit did not challenge the Wolf administration's order requiring people to wear masks in public.
Pennsylvania has reported that more than 145,000 people statewide have contracted the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. More than 7,800 people have died.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright (C) 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-'Classical Music Can Change The Racial Conscience Of Society,' Says One Conductor | Here & Now
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 18:37
Last week, Minnesota Public Radio fired its only Black classical music host for changing up the station's music lineup without permission.
Garrett McQueen defends what he did, saying he mixed in works by Black composers and added more contemporary music to reflect the current moment of racial reckoning in the U.S. McQueen's actions are just the latest in an ongoing movement calling for more diversity in classical music.
Brandon Keith Brown, a classical conductor based in Berlin, argues that classical music can change the racial conscience of society. He recently penned a Medium article titled "It's Time To Make Orchestras Great Again '-- By Making Them Blacker."
''I believe that only classical music can save itself,'' Brown says. ''But I believe classical music is the only thing that can change the racial conscience of white society in America because it polarizes society in such a strong way.''
A concert hall is a magical place, but as a Black man, Brown says it is made abundantly clear that those spaces are made for white people.
Orchestra halls are historically spaces for upper-middle-class white people ''to separate themselves from people of lower class and people that are different than them,'' he says. That's why there are often few Black people in orchestra audiences today.
''There is always still even that sense of not belonging when you go,'' he says. ''And it also sometimes can follow me very much on the podium when I'm conducting an orchestra as well.''
Conductor Brandon Keith Brown. (Courtesy)This sense of not belonging extends to classical music itself, Brown says, because it is historically an elitist art form.
''Every time you've given Black people access to an art form, athletics, we have dominated,'' he says. ''I think one of the biggest fears white people have is that Blacks will come in and dominate this space and take away the space from them.''
Less than 2% of musicians in U.S. orchestras are Black, and only 4.3% of composers are Black. Black people are ready and able to step into these roles, Brown says, but they haven't occupied more space because white people want to keep the status quo.
''This woke me up, to put it very frankly, to the fact that I'm Black before I'm a conductor,'' he says. ''I will never be seen as an orchestra conductor before I am Black.''
Classical music has failed to attract a diverse audience because it secludes itself by race and class, Brown says. You can see it in advertising for classical music performances, he says, which tends to ignore the exchange of cultures.
In an orchestra's advertising, promotionals are often ''just saying, 'We're playing in this hall. You should come in. And if you don't, you're low class. You're less educated. You're not sophisticated,' '' Brown says. ''And so I do speak a lot on the racial aspect, but you've got to realize that classical music is saying no to the working poor.''
In other words, classical music is not welcoming new people into its world. As a conductor, Brown says it's his responsibility to ''reach across racial lines'' and bring more people in.
''If we can remind people that we're all human and we have the same feelings through sound, if we could do it through this way,'' he says, ''I think that this is something, the shared empathy that will go out into the street.''
The empathy people experience through classical music could change everything about our daily lives, he says.
''This is something that is going to allow us to sit next to each other on the train without white people getting up when I sit down. People won't grab their purse when I pass by and switch it to the other side,'' he says. ''And maybe the police would stop shooting us.''
One particular piece of music really speaks to Brown's argument: ''Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage'' by Felix Mendelssohn.
Brown says he's been listening to the concert a lot during the coronavirus pandemic because it's ''a prayer for hope'' that can help give us a vision for the future.
''For me right now, this is one of the only pieces that gives me this calm and a sense that eventually things will be better,'' he says. ''I mean, things, of course, are not going to go back to normal. It'll be forever changed. But I think that we can say, definitely, something will be better.''
Lynn Menegon produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Peter O'Dowd. Samantha Raphelson adapted it for the web.
This segment aired on September 14, 2020.
VIDEO-BBC Radio 4 - Crossing Continents, The Trouble with Dutch Cows
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 18:36
Dutch farmers - some of the world's most successful food producers - are in uproar over a call to get rid of half their animals, to end toxic nitrogen emissions.
Show moreThe Netherlands - small and overcrowded - is facing fundamental questions about how to use its land, following a historic court judgment forcing the state to take more urgent action to limit nitrogen emissions. Dutch nitrogen emissions - damaging the climate and biodiversity - are the highest in Europe per capita. And though traffic and building are also partly to blame, farmers say the government is principally looking to agriculture to make the necessary reductions. They've staged a series of protests - what they call a farmers' uprising - in response to a suggestion from a leading politician that the number of farm animals in the country should be cut by half. This is meant to bring down levels of ammonia, a nitrogen compound produced by dung and urine. The proposal comes even though their cows, pigs and chickens have helped make the tiny Netherlands into the world's second biggest exporter of food. Farmers think they're being sacrificed so that the construction industry, also responsible for some nitrogen pollution, can have free rein to keep building, as the country's population, boosted by immigration, grows relentlessly. What do the Dutch want most - cows or houses? Will there be any room in the future for the ever-shrinking patches of nature? And in a hungry world, shouldn't the country concentrate on one of the things it's best at - feeding people? Tim Whewell travels through a country that must make big choices, quickly.
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VIDEO-The Basic Tracker | SWIFT - The global provider of secure financial messaging services
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 18:27
Start tracking and confirming your cross-border payments today
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The Basic Tracker is easy to access via an online interface, providing user-friendly tracking and confirmation features, as well as letting you benchmark your own performance against the rulebook. All SWIFT-connected financial institutions have been pre-provisioned to access the Basic Tracker, just log in to your mySWIFT profile below to get started.
VIDEO-:LAST-FLAG-STANDING. '' : DOCUMENTARY-FILM ON THE Russell-Jay: Gould.
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 18:07
ARTICLE BY RAMOLA D. Twenty-one years ago, in a series of exceptional actions curiously unreported by mainstream media, an event so momentous occurred in the USA that today, as news finally trickles out, with social-media-shares of new interviews that Postmaster-General-of-the-World, Federal-Postal-Judge, Commander-in-Chief :Russell-Jay: Gould has given lately (with Winifred Adams of Making Life Brighter, Nigesti: Abraham, Whitley Deputy of Iron Sharpens Iron, Robert David Steele, myself, at Ramola D Reports), and with the current major release of his new documentary film from filmmaker Rachel-Dara: Prince, :Last-Flag-Standing, and with '...
Continue reading ''The Restoration of the United States of America'--Commander-in-Chief, Postmaster-General-of-the-World :Russell-Jay: Gould has the Title 4 Flag.''
ARTICLE BY: RAMOLA D In a second conversation on Friday, April 24, 2020 elaborating on the first one at Ramola D Reports a week ago, :Russell-Jay: Gould, whose many titles include Postmaster-General-of-the-world, Commander-in-Chief, Federal-Postal-Judge, Plenipotentiary-Judge, all of these deriving from his and his business partner :David-wynne: Miller's actions in 1999 and 2012 to secure control over the united States of America and Earth'--wresting it apparently from the hands of the British Crown, the Vatican, the 13 '...
Continue reading ''New Global-Quantum-Banking-Construct with Postmaster-General-of-the-World :Russell-Jay: Gould Offers Way Forward for Freedom from Fascist Govt. Corporation Edicts: Create a Claim-of-the-Life, Use Quantum-Parse-Syntax-Grammar in Contracts & Claims''
: NOTE FROM THE CHIEF,: Hello-Quantum-Patriots, For the first-step in the QUANTUM-BANKING-SYSTEM IS with the CLAIM-LIFE-BIRTH-CONTRACT of your journey, but, WHY? In the year-~1999, UNITED STATES INC. &: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Came-out of a third &: final: INTERNATIONAL BANKRUPTCY, Which, You-will-learn-on in the FILM: LAST-FLAG-STANDING.COM. For the consequences of that third &: final: INTERNATIONAL BANKRUPTCY-ENDING, Creates-scenarios, that, Every-Citizen, WASN'T-READY-FOR &: NEVER-KNEW! For these scenarios of the ENDING-AUTHORIZATIONS ARE with the corporate-structures of the FORMER: UNITED STATES INC. &: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Such as the ENDING-BIRTH-CERTIFICATE-SYSTEM of the UNITED STATES INC. &: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. : Since, EVERY-CITIZEN IS, STILL-participating with their BIRTH-CERTIFICATE in the structuring with every construct of their lives, Such '...
Continue reading '': Taking-Control of Your World.''
VIDEO-BBB-Media briefing on COVID-19 - YouTube
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 17:47
VIDEO-Kamala Harris talks about a "Harris administration" in virtual roundtable with business leaders | Disrn
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 17:46
Last Updated Sep 15th, 2020 at 1:45 pmIn a Monday evening virtual event with Arizona business leaders, Kamala Harris referred to a "Harris administration," momentarily leaving Joe Biden, who selected her to be his running mate, out of the discussion.
Speculation abounds that Biden, who regularly makes gaffes while speaking and often seems confused, is not mentally fit to serve as president of the United States, and would quickly be replaced by Harris if elected.
"A Harris administration, together with Joe Biden as the president of the United States," she said, before restarting her sentence. "The Biden-Harris administration will provide access to $100 billion in low-interest loans and investments from minority business owners."
Harris's wording, which may have been a slip-up, gave even greater fuel to the rumors about who would really be running the country if Biden wins the 2020 election.
VIDEO-Media briefing on COVID-19 - YouTube
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 17:44
VIDEO-Jeff OB on Twitter: "@LBC @NickFerrariLBC FYI NOAGENDA @adamcurry on birthday party workaround UK style" / Twitter
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 16:01
Jeff OB : @LBC @NickFerrariLBC FYI NOAGENDA @adamcurry on birthday party workaround UK style
Tue Sep 15 12:06:56 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Let's face it, Hollywood has sold out to China, says ... Judd Apatow
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 15:58
This would be a big surprise coming from an A-lister, except for the fact that popular Hollywood producer Judd Apatow has been ringing this bell recently on social media. Mediaite picks up on Apatow's Twitter feed, where he has blasted Disney for its sell-out over the concentration camps. MSNBC doesn't include the question from Ari Melber in this preview of the Apatow interview, but it sounds as though Melber framed this as a question about government intervention in speech. Wrong government, it seems:
In a preview for an upcoming episode of ''Mavericks with Ari Melber,'' Apatow said that what concerns him is ''a corporate type of censorship that people don't really notice, which is a lot of these giant corporate entities have business with countries around the world, Saudi Arabia or China, and they're just not going to criticize them, and they're not going to let their shows criticize them, or they're not going to air documentaries that go deep into truthful areas because they just make so much money.''
Compared to discussions of ''can we say this joke or not say that joke?'', Apatow said, what's ''much scarier'' is how ''they have just completely shut down critical content about human rights abuses in China.''
For example, he said no one would buy a pitch where someone walks in and says, ''Hey, I want to write a movie about the concentration camps in China and Muslims in concentration camps. I want to write a movie about someone who escapes.''
''No one would buy the pitch,'' he said. ''Instead of us doing business with China and that leading to China becoming more free, what has happened is a place like China has bought our silence with their money.''
The only point where Apatow is flat-out wrong is at the very start, when he says, ''It's a corporate type of censorship that people don't really notice.'' Wanna bet? It's been bad enough for years that everyone already knows that Hollywood has sold out to China '-- and not just Hollywood, either. The NBA has been just as bad, shutting down anyone who dared to defend Hong Kong's autonomy while claiming a woke moral high ground to lecture America on its shortcomings over equality. Hollywood is only slightly more subtle than that, or at least they were before Mulan and Disney's utter moral corruption in Xinjiang.
Believe us, Mr. Apatow '... we've noticed. But we do appreciate the public acknowledgment of what has been painfully obvious for years. Now, can you please explain this to LeBron?
Update: At least Apatow is acknowledging the problem, Christian Toto wrote yesterday. What about the rest of Woke Hollywood?
Four years ago the Avengers assembled to stop Donald Trump's presidential plans.
The video clip featured a who's who of the MCU, the acronym for Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe. Think Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Mark Ruffalo and Clark Gregg. They joined a gaggle of fellow Hollywood stars to warn the nation against Donald Trump's potential presidency in a clip dubbed ''Save the Day.'' '...
That was then. Today, some of these stars are re-assembling to push Joe Biden's presidential hopes against now-President Trump. Nothing unusual there given the industry's progressive leanings.
So what's missing?
Hollywood voices speaking out against either Chinese human rights abuses, an ongoing and intractable problem, or the recent headlines swirling around ''Mulan.''
Well '... clich(C)s gotta clich(C), you know.
VIDEO-Thousands in North Carolina incorrectly told they have COVID :: WRAL.com
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:47
CHARLOTTE, N.C. '-- A county in North Carolina incorrectly told nearly 7,000 residents they had tested positive for the coronavirus due what officials say was a technical glitch.
The messages were sent by text messages to more than 6,700 residents in Mecklenburg County on Friday, The Charlotte Observer reported. More than 500 people also received a county email with the notice.
The county told residents that morning the messages were a ''scam,'' and that their health department does not notify people of their COVID-19 test results through text message.
A few hours later, the county said on Twitter the messages had actually gone out due to a glitch ''in the software system that has been addressed by the software provider.''
County Manager Dena Diorio told county commissioners in an email Monday that the messages were sent through HealthSpace Data System, a company based in Canada, the newspaper reported. The county has been using the company's software since May to help with contact tracing efforts amid the pandemic.
No personal information was shared or compromised, the county said Friday on Twitter. HealthSpace CEO Silas Garrison also apologized for ''any alarm this caused citizens who were not supposed to be sent an alert or survey.''
Diorio said the messages were sent to people who were in HealthSpace's system. It is not clear if those who received the messages had tested positive for the virus or were in close contact with someone that had.
A corrected text or email was sent to those who received the incorrect messages, Diorio said in the email to commissioners.
VIDEO-The Recount on Twitter: "President Trump, at today's wildfires briefing: "It'll start getting cooler. You just watch." Wade Crowfoot, California Secretary for Natural Resources: "I wish science agreed with you." President Trump: "Well, I don't think
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:18
The Recount : President Trump, at today's wildfires briefing: "It'll start getting cooler. You just watch."Wade Crowfoot, Calif'... https://t.co/D8BpFEvRsV
Mon Sep 14 19:03:23 +0000 2020
Tony - (trump's a TRAITOR to the military) : @therecount The orange buffoon is speaking drivel again...
Tue Sep 15 14:13:14 +0000 2020
VIDEO-MTA Implements New Mask Fine '' NBC New York
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:04
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VIDEO-bohemian WAPsody - WAP remixes | Podcast on Spotify
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:03
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WAP remixesListen to bohemian WAPsody in full in the Spotify app
VIDEO-Young doctor explains why he's against forced COVID-19 vaccine - YouTube
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 13:38
VIDEO-19mins-Trump holds a campaign event in Henderson, Nevada - YouTube
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 13:11
VIDEO-Raheem Kassam on Twitter: "The mask slips. #TransitionCandidate https://t.co/hzchifg8rT" / Twitter
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 13:09
Raheem Kassam : The mask slips. #TransitionCandidate https://t.co/hzchifg8rT
Tue Sep 15 02:00:13 +0000 2020
Lewis : @RaheemKassam Imagine the other way... A pence administration together with Donald trump
Tue Sep 15 13:04:19 +0000 2020
WM - Illustrator (br0k3nR3nd3r) / RABBOT RAIDERS : @RaheemKassam What is wrong with her face
Tue Sep 15 12:54:47 +0000 2020
🇺🇸MaryMauldin🇺🇸 : @RaheemKassam This is intentional...the slow-walk to their transition.
Tue Sep 15 12:50:33 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Jane Fonda making Thunberg-esque doomsday predictions is a 'serious issue' - YouTube
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 12:31
VIDEO-Mainstream media Australie gaan in tegen hun overheid en zijn het zat! - YouTube
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 22:06
VIDEO-Gov. Tom Wolf's pandemic restrictions are unconstitutional, Pennsylvania judge rules - 6abc Philadelphia
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 20:19
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania -- Gov. Tom Wolf's pandemic restrictions that required people to stay at home, placed size limits on gatherings and ordered "non-life-sustaining" businesses to shut down are unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Monday.
U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, sided with plaintiffs that included hair salons, drive-in movie theaters, a farmer's market vendor, a horse trainer and several Republican officeholders in their lawsuit against Wolf, a Democrat, and his health secretary.
The Wolf administration's pandemic policies have been overreaching, arbitrary and violated citizens' constitutional rights, Stickman wrote in his ruling.
RELATED: Gov. Wolf extends stay-at-home order to all of Pennsylvania
The governor's efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus "were undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency," Stickman wrote. "But even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered."
Courts had consistently rejected challenges to Wolf's power to order businesses to close during the pandemic, and many other governors, Republican and Democrat, undertook similar measures as the virus spread across the country.
Wolf has since lifted many of the restrictions, allowing businesses to reopen and canceling a statewide stay-at-home order.
RELATED: Governor Tom Wolf unveils color-coded plan for reopening Pennsylvania
But over the summer, his administration imposed a new round of statewide pandemic restrictions on bars, restaurants and larger indoor gatherings in response to rising infection rates in some virus hot spots. The state has also imposed a gathering limit of more than 25 people for events held indoors and more than 250 people for those held outside.
A spokesperson for Wolf said the administration was reviewing the decision.
RELATED: Governor Wolf imposes new restrictions in Pennsylvania as COVID-19 cases surge
Pennsylvania has reported that more than 145,000 people statewide have contracted the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. More than 7,800 people have died.
Copyright (C) 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-Breitbart News on Twitter: "Losing steam. "...save businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. In energy costs." "I'll challenge every other country to up the ante. On climate'--'--commitments. Where he'--'--reverses'--'--the Biden'--excuse
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 20:17
Breitbart News : Losing steam."...save businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. In energy costs.""I'll challenge every'... https://t.co/bscZv8uJBL
Mon Sep 14 19:34:48 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Jared Turner on Twitter: "@FrancisBrennan @adamcurry @MoeFactz whoops. Truth wants out" / Twitter
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 18:11
Jared Turner : @FrancisBrennan @adamcurry @MoeFactz whoops. Truth wants out
Mon Sep 14 18:03:07 +0000 2020
VIDEO-The virus writes the rules - YouTube
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 17:43
VIDEO-Fauci's Frauds '' Part One: Swine Flu | Brasscheck TV
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 17:43
18 years ago, we put out a video called ''The 9/11 Solution.''
It was viewed least 10 million times
Maybe more because it was taken down and re-posted many times by hundreds of people.
One re-post on YouTube Canada had over 5 million views before it was taken down.
It remains one of the most censored videos on the Internet.
This videos is as important, maybe even more important.
Like ''The 9/11 Solution'' it makes things very clear.
This is just Part One.
Part Two is even more explosive.
This 15 minute video took 50 hours to research and produce which is why it took us so long to get it to you.
Why did WE have to do it?
Any ''journalist'' could have done this weeks, if not months, ago.
Download for preservation and share widely.
Tony Fauci's cavalcade of frauds
Fauci's Frauds '' Swine Flu (May 3, 2020)
Scaring young moms for fun and profit (May 10, 2020)
Fauci Frauds Explained (May 11, 2020) Gary Null interviews Kary Ellis
The Bush Family and Tony Fauci (May 17, 2020)
Dr. Fauci, Dr. Tolerance (May 18, 2020)
Fauci's Greatest Hits (May 21, 2020)
Testing, Diagnostic creep, and other scams (May 25, 2020)
The original SARS scam (May 29, 2020) By David Crowe
Why everyone loves Tony Fauci (May 30, 2020)
Fauci's Fraud Machine (June 1, 2020) By Corey Diggs
Fauci and mass murder poisoning (June 2, 2020)
CoVid-19 not killing patients: Doctors and nurses (June 3, 2020)
The dark truth about respirators (June 4, 2020)
CoVid ''cases'' counts, testing and other frauds (June 08, 2020)
WHO finally comes clean: ''Asymptomatic carriers don't spread CoVid'' (June 09, 2020 )
Fauci's fraud falling apart (June 10, 2020)
The New York Problem (June 11, 2020)
''Follow the science'' (June 13, 2020)
David Crowe talks with Thomas Cowan (June 14, 2020)
Fauci talking out of both sides of his mouth (June 15, 2020)
The propaganda war goes on (June 15, 2020)
The fake Beijing Cluster (June 15, 2020)
More about the fake Beijing Cluster fraud (June 17, 2020)
Testing fraud explained (June 17, 2020)
Update '' Fraudulent test, fraudulent case counts (June 25, 2020)
Escalating the CoVid hysteria with PR (June 28, 2020)
Garbage science, garbage tests (July 01, 2020)
NYC incompetence and panic caused the spike (July 01, 2020)
The dubious '' and unproven '' germ theory (July 03, 2020)
Rule by Virus (July 06, 2020)
The mask thing is a sinister fraud (July 07, 2020)
Ebola '' Fauci's other fraud (July 08, 2020)
Testing fraud creates hysteria (July 14, 2020)
Fauci's Sinister history (July 16, 2020)
Replay of the world's biggest fraud (17, 2020)
Our most important video (July 18, 2020)
Replay of the world's biggest fraud (July 21, 2020)
How medical hysteria is created (July 30, 2020)
The fraud of the century revealed in detail for the first time (August 08, 2020)
Game over (September 01, 2020)
Click here to support Brasscheck
VIDEO-Hans Schmulke on Twitter: "B-but.. But drones are not supposed to be regulated, 'tis is just a toy! ðŸ¤...''‚¸ https://t.co/XphaEWnZEJ" / Twitter
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:11
Hans Schmulke : B-but.. But drones are not supposed to be regulated, 'tis is just a toy! ðŸ¤...''‚¸ https://t.co/XphaEWnZEJ
Mon Sep 14 14:59:45 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Inside the Mind of Jeffrey Dahmer: Serial Killer's Chilling Jailhouse Interview - YouTube
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:08
VIDEO-Starsuckers - Trailer - YouTube
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:29
VIDEO-Andrews is responsible for the 'most savage devastation' in the world: Jones - YouTube
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:06
VIDEO-12mins Antifa -Board of County Commissioners Emergency Meeting - Sept. 10, 2020 - YouTube
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 12:50
VIDEO-Wiresworld on Twitter: "@abigailmarone @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK a supercut supercut. #ITM" / Twitter
Mon, 14 Sep 2020 05:07
Wiresworld : @abigailmarone @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK a supercut supercut. #ITM
Mon Sep 14 02:19:53 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Aaron Rupar on Twitter: "Ted Cruz is on Fox News tossing some red meat to the GOP's QAnon base https://t.co/8baiiLmygs" / Twitter
Sun, 13 Sep 2020 21:53
Aaron Rupar : Ted Cruz is on Fox News tossing some red meat to the GOP's QAnon base https://t.co/8baiiLmygs
Sun Sep 13 15:08:29 +0000 2020
Stefanie : @atrupar So you see 11 year olds in child pornography and the first thing you think about is Q? Liberals can't even'... https://t.co/w9Jh8sILnR
Sun Sep 13 21:53:04 +0000 2020
Hayters WannaHayte : @atrupar Thanks for speaking out and outing yourself as pro-pedophelia. Has zero to do with QAnon and every singl'... https://t.co/a4LKue74gL
Sun Sep 13 21:52:31 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Gavin Reacts to Joe Rogan & Adam Curry's Discussion About Him - YouTube
Sun, 13 Sep 2020 20:27
VIDEO-Oregon Wildfires Refugees Build 100,000 strong Army to march on Oregon Government - YouTube
Sun, 13 Sep 2020 20:22

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