Cover for No Agenda Show 1281: Talkin' Loudy
September 27th, 2020 • 3h 34m

1281: Talkin' Loudy


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

Let Us Out!
covid 19 panic BOTG Munich
Hi Adam,
Not sure if I told you this:
- Munich, Germany is all crazy about cases. Cases! People coming home from vacations and such, and mostly young folks.
- The Governor of Bavaria is saying: OH NOES! Now people need to wear masks when outside in Munich - from 9 am to 11 pm.
- Afterwards, what then? The virus goes to bed? :D
- Oh, and the last person that died in Munich of the 'rona? That was on August 10th.
Victoria BOTG mask report
Hi Adam & John,
A BOTG report from the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula area of Victoria, Australia.
I'm lucky not to live in the locked down city of Melbourne (I'm in so called 'Regional' Victoria) where we have just been under Stage 3 restrictions, no draconian curfew.
In particular I have not been required to wear a mask while riding my bike, which I manage to do almost every day. But it's so sad to see the almost complete submission of the population into a race of mask wearing zombies. Even as far as wearing one while walking on the beach, see attached pic taken at Point Lonsdale. Beautiful blue sky day, fresh sea air, and they are walking along all masked up! What is wrong with these people?
Also I'm constantly amused by the action of masked up people on the bike paths, as they see me, no mask, approaching. Sometimes they desperately jump out of the way, completely unnecessary, I'm passing well clear of them, and make sure the mask is pulled up over their face. What they think is going to happen to them in the one second that I go past them on the bike is a mystery. Does no-one actually stop to think through how the virus spreads? I guess not.
Anyway thanks to you and John in keeping up the good fight.
Two categories of disease are interacting within specific populations—infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and an array of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). These conditions are clustering within social groups according to patterns of inequality deeply embedded in our societies. The aggregation of these diseases on a background of social and economic disparity exacerbates the adverse effects of each separate disease. COVID-19 is not a pandemic. It is a syndemic. The syndemic nature of the threat we face means that a more nuanced approach is needed if we are to protect the health of our communities
The notion of a syndemic was first conceived by Merrill Singer, an American medical anthropologist, in the 1990s. Writing in The Lancet in 2017, together with Emily Mendenhall and colleagues, Singer argued that a syndemic approach reveals biological and social interactions that are important for prognosis, treat-ment, and health policy. Limiting the harm caused by SARS-CoV-2 will demand far greater attention to NCDs and socioeconomic inequality than has hitherto been admitted. A syndemic is not merely a comorbidity. Syndemics are characterised by biological and social interactions between conditions and states, interactions that increase a person’s susceptibility to harm or worsen their health outcomes. In the case of COVID-19, attacking NCDs will be a prerequisite for successful containment.
Coronavirus: Chinese propaganda encouraged Western nations to lock down
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 16:39
September 26, 2020 11:12pm
Sky News host Rowan Dean says only Wuhan has had 'more severe and disgraceful lockdowns' than Melbourne.
Did China trick the world into committing economic suicide?As the global community continues to grapple with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic '' and the economic catastrophe caused by the associated ''lockdowns'' imposed by governments around the world '' a chilling new theory has emerged.
It goes like this '' China, in an enormous disinformation campaign spread via social media and through compromised voices in Western politics, science and medicine, aggressively pushed for other nations to follow its lead, with the goal of intentionally destroying their economies.
That's according to Michael Senger, a lawyer and researcher based in Atlanta, Georgia. In an article for Tablet Magazine, Senger has laid out a disturbing timeline of evidence that, if true, hints at what could be the most effective and devastating psy-op ever carried out by a world government.
''By promoting fraudulent data, aggressively deploying disinformation, and flexing its institutional clout, Beijing transformed the snake oil of lockdowns into 'science', crippling rival economies, expanding its influence and sowing authoritarian values,'' Senger writes on Twitter.
The science of lockdowns is far from settled.
Sweden, which infamously rejected calls to shut down schools, bars and restaurants through the pandemic, has, according to some experts, largely been ''vindicated''. Despite recording more than 5800 fatalities, one of the worst near the start of the crisis, the country's daily rolling death toll is now negligible.
Other experts, however, including Professor Peter Collignon from the Australian National University, caution against the Swedish model.
When the CCP first moved to place Wuhan '' the city of 11 million people in the eastern Hubei province where COVID-19 first emerged '' under mass house arrest in late January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) described it as ''unprecedented in public health history'' and ''new to science''.
A month later, WHO enthusiastically endorsed China's lockdown strategy as a framework for governments around the world to follow. ''Copy China's response to COVID-19,'' Canadian WHO official Bruce Aylward said on February 26.
In the meantime, social media had been flooded with terrifying ''leaked'' videos appearing to show apocalyptic scenes from the virus epicentre '' bodies stacked in hospital hallways, people collapsing in the street.
The New York Times first revealed in June that Twitter had removed tens of thousands of fake accounts that were being used in a co-ordinated effort to spread the CCP's message, with a particular focus on Italy '' the European nation with the closest ties to China.
People dance inside a nightclub in Wuhan, China, on September 18. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty ImagesSenger described The New York Times piece, which showed how vast networks of suspicious accounts first began touting the benefits of China's response in early March, as a ''smoking gun on the genesis of the coronavirus lockdown''.
''The fact that CCP's disinformation campaign focused on Italy is crucial,'' Senger wrote. ''The rest of the world followed Italy's lead.''
On March 9, Italy became the first country outside China to implement the WHO's advice. Chinese officials who visited Italy a few days later advised the lockdown was ''not strict enough'' and that ''there are still too many people and behaviours on the street to improve''.
At the same time, Italy was bombarded with Chinese propaganda '' one analysis of tweets from March 11-23 found that nearly half of all posts using the hashtag #forzaCinaeItalia (go China, go Italy) and more than one third of those with the hashtag #grazieCina (thank you, China) came from bots.
And it wasn't just Italy. The New York Times noted how one Twitter user, @manisha_kataki, posted a video on March 12 of Chinese workers disinfecting streets. ''At this rate, China will be back in action very soon, may be much faster than the world expects,'' the tweet said.
The relatively benign video was shared hundreds of thousands of times, with ''quote tweets'' in various languages using nearly identical phrasing to complain about being told by governments to merely ''wash our hands'', in contrast to China's strict lockdowns.
Twitter deleted more than 170,000 accounts linked to the activity, flagged by an Israeli analytics company Next Dim as likely state-sponsored '' but Senger shows how hundreds of similar examples can still be found with a simple search.
''This what the UK should be doing. Not just washing our hands,'' one tweet from March still reads.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week announced a host of new coronavirus restrictions expected to last for six months.
Senger notes how Mr Johnson, who imposed a lockdown on March 23, appears to have been targeted after initially opting to follow Sweden's ''herd immunity'' strategy.
''On March 13, suspicious accounts began storming his Twitter feed and likening his plan to genocide,'' he wrote. ''This language almost never appears in Johnson's feed before March 12, and several of the accounts were hardly active before then.''
But China's propaganda efforts went far beyond social media.
In July, FBI director Chris Wray revealed American politicians had been explicitly approached by the CCP to endorse China's strategy.
''We have heard from federal, state and even local officials that Chinese diplomats are aggressively urging support for China's handling of the COVID-19 crisis,'' he told the Hudson Institute.
''Yes, this is happening at both the federal and state levels. Not that long ago, we had a state senator who was recently even asked to introduce a resolution supporting China's response to the pandemic.''
Life in the former virus epicentre has returned to normal. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty ImagesLast month, Australia announced a sweeping inquiry into Chinese infiltration of the university sector, after revelations by The Australian newspaper that dozens of the country's leading researchers had been co-opted into the CCP's secretive ''Thousand Talents'' program.
In the US, leading science and medical research institutions including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and Harvard University have been rocked by revelations of undisclosed financial ties to the Chinese government.
Back in May, Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the esteemed medical journal The Lancet, told Chinese state TV that China's lockdown was ''not only the right thing to do, but it also showed other countries how they should respond in the face of such an acute threat''.
As citizens in the US, Australia, the UK and other Western countries struggle through various degrees of lockdown, China, it seems, may be having the last laugh.
Last month, thousands of people were seen crammed into a water park for an enormous summer pool party in the original epicentre of Wuhan '' where there has reportedly been no community transmission since May.
This week, young revellers were photographed packed together on the dancefloor in a Wuhan nightclub.
The key question in all this is why China went to such extreme lengths to spread propaganda about the success of its lockdown strategy '' and why it was so keen for other countries to follow its lead.
''The most benign possible explanation for the CCP's campaign for global lockdowns is that the party aggressively promoted the same lie internationally as domestically '' that lockdowns worked,'' Senger wrote.
''And then there's the possibility that by shutting down the world, (Chinese President) Xi Jinping, who '... envisions a socialist future with China at its centre, knew exactly what he was doing.''
DeSantis announces Florida entering Phase 3 reopening
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 22:16
St. Petersburg (AP)
Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted all restrictions on restaurants and other businesses in Florida on Friday in a move to reopen the state's economy despite the spread of the coronavirus.
DeSantis' announcement would allow restaurants and hotels across the state to immediately reopen at full capacity, effective immediately '-- and would bar cities and counties from ordering restaurants to close, unless they can justify a closure for economic or health reasons.
He further explained that his Executive Order, coming out later today, will prohibit local municipalities from restricting the re-opening of businesses. They must be allowed to operate at least at 50% capacity, regardless of local rule.
''Florida's hospitality industry has been decimated by COVID-19,'' said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA). ''This has been a crisis like we have never seen before.''
The Republican governor's move is sure to stoke debate in a politically crucial state, where the pandemic has become intertwined with the upcoming presidential election. DeSantis is a major ally of President Donald Trump.
DeSantis took the action even as he acknowledged that the pandemic was far from over.
Florida has long been a COVID-19 hotspot, with nearly 700,000 people infected by the virus since the pandemic began in March. Nearly 14,000 Floridians have died.
Since the state's number of cases peaked in July, the number of new infections have steadily declined.
LINK: Florida's ''Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step'' recovery plan
The outbreak prompted the governor to close bars and nightclubs, and restricted restaurants to take-out dining for months. Amusement parks ground to a halt.
The closures battered the economy, leaving hundreds of thousands of Floridians unemployed.
DeSantis has slowly reopened the state for business since then, allowing restaurants and bars to reopen at half capacity, even as the pandemic continues to spread.
DOCUMENT: Executive Order 20-244
Florida added 2,847 confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, pushing the statewide total since March 1 to 695,887. The state also announced 120 new virus deaths, pushing its total to 14,038. Hospitalizations declined by 34 to 2,137 people.
''We are saying in the state of Florida everybody has an opportunity and the right to work,'' said Governor Ron DeSantis. ''Every business has the right operate.''
Executive Order 20-244 does the following:
Removes state-level restrictions on businesses, such as restaurants.Provides that no COVID-19 emergency ordinance may prevent an individual from working or operating a business, giving Floridians and business owners needed certainty and the ability to provide for themselves and their families.Provides that restaurants may not be limited by a COVID-19 emergency order by any local government to less than 50% of their indoor capacity. If a restaurant is limited to less than 100% of its indoor capacity, such COVID-19 emergency order must satisfy the following:Quantify the economic impact of each limitation or requirements on those restaurants; andExplain why each limitation or requirement is necessary for public health.Suspends all outstanding fines and penalties, and the collection of such moving forward, applied against individuals related to COVID-19.Watch DeSantis' announcement below or click here.
Wear Your Mask and Stop Talking - The Atlantic
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 19:14
COVID-19 transmission would go down if we spoke less, or less loudly, in public spaces. Why aren't more people saying so?
August 31, 2020 Staff writer at The Atlantic
Wilfredo Lee / Kamil Zihnioglu / Matt Dunham / Mark Lennihan / Vincent Thian / AP / CARLOS BARRIA / KEVIN MOHATT / Tyrone Siu/ ReutersC OVID-19 researchers have rightly extolled the virtues of masks, hailed the necessity of ventilation, and praised the salutary nature of outdoor activities. But another behavioral tactic hasn't received enough attention, in part because it makes itself known by its absence. That tactic is silence.
Yes, it is finally time to talk, in this pandemic, about the importance of not talking in this pandemic.
''Every route of viral transmission would go down if we talked less, or talked less loudly, in public spaces,'' Jose L. Jimenez, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who studies disease transmission, told me. ''This is just a very clear fact. It's not controversial.''
Silence is golden as an antiviral strategy because of how this disease spreads. The coronavirus seems to move primarily through viral particles that erupt from our faces when we sneeze, cough, talk, or sing. Some of these particles are heavy enough to splash on a nearby surface or fall quickly to the ground. Those are called large droplets. They are large only in comparison with the smaller globs that spray from our mouths and linger in the air in a swirling particle cloud. These are called aerosols.
Read: We need to talk about ventilation
Viral particles hitch a ride out of our bodies on these droplets and aerosols. They travel through the air'--droplets, for a few seconds; aerosols, for several minutes'--and can lodge in the noses, throats, and lungs of other people. Thus conveyed by the free transit of our exhalations, the virus travels to a new host.
The goal of COVID-19 public-health guidance is to shut down this viral transit system: Good ventilation disperses aerosol clouds; distancing reduces other people's vulnerability to these particles; masks block them from our mouths and noses.
But what if we tried to limit the production of these virus-laden particles before they even left our bodies? That's where volume control comes in.
Talking less, more quietly, or not at all limits the manufacture of both large droplets and aerosols. When you breathe or whisper, your respiratory system doesn't emit large droplets. Jimenez told me that, compared with yelling, quiet talking reduces aerosols by a factor of five; being completely silent reduces them by a factor of about 50. That means talking quietly, rather than yelling, reduces the risk of viral transmission by a degree comparable to properly wearing a mask.
''The truth is that if everybody stopped talking for a month or two, the pandemic would probably die off,'' Jimenez said. While still emphasizing the importance of distancing, he elaborated that without any close-contact communication, it would be difficult for this virus to continue moving between people. (It's unadvisable to test the most extreme version of this thesis by forming a silent mosh pit, or spitting in every direction when you walk down the street.)
Jimenez is not the only scientist banging the drums on Shut-Up Island. Others agree that a little bit of speech policing could go a long way to reducing viral transmission. Donald K. Milton, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, who has studied how surgical face masks can reduce viral spread, told me in an email that ''silence and quiet speaking are reasonable means of intervening'' to reduce COVID-19 transmission.
O ne of the more curious international success stories of the pandemic is Japan. While much of the world emphasized the importance of testing and tracing, Japan initially had no mass testing and no sophisticated means of contract tracing. Yet, adjusted for population, the country currently has approximately 98 percent fewer COVID-19 deaths than the United States. Much credit has gone to its crystal-clear public guidance to avoid the three C's: closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings, including ''close-range conversations.''
Derek Thompson: Social distancing is not enough
That third C deserves more amplification. Even after its transit ridership bounced back to normal, Japan reported no outbreaks on Tokyo's famously crowded subways. The city's trains are typically well ventilated, and Japanese people have had decades of practice wearing masks. But something else is at work here: Japanese commuters have an informal rule to avoid talking loudly on trains, if at all.
So while New York City spends $15 million a month blasting its subways with antimicrobial sprays, the Japanese keep their trains safe with a cheaper tactic: masking up and shutting up.
If Americans imported Japan's subway rules to our public life, we might be able to accelerate our return to a more muted form of normalcy. Several times in the past few weeks, I've heard people talking loudly on their cellphones in grocery stores and pharmacies, sometimes with their masks pushed aside from their mouths to improve the clarity of their diction. Such behavior displays a total failure to understand how the disease spreads.
Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow: Fear of public transit got ahead of evidence
Here's one solution: Library rules for America. Every time you walked into a school, a medical clinic, a drug store, a barbershop, an office, an airplane, a train, or a government building, you should see a sign that read: Hush for Your Health; or Make Good Choices, Lower Your Voices!; or Keep Quiet and Carry On . ''In terms of the science, I am convinced that something like this library rule would reduce all modes of viral transmission,'' Jimenez told me.
Signs and guidance can only do so much. The backlash to masks among some Americans'--mostly conservative men'--suggests that a certain segment of the population might rebel against library rules by, say, filming videos of themselves purposefully yelling into a barista's face.
''What we've learned from the mask experience is that many Americans don't like being told what to do if they don't understand why it's necessary,'' Jimenez said. ''People need to understand that this virus is in the air, and that they breathe out 10 times more virus when they are shouting or speaking loudly.''
Most Americans aren't used to thinking about any auditory dimension of this pandemic. For example, online shame-mongers often post pictures of ostensibly crowded beaches. These snapshots don't capture several important factors, such as how long people are standing right next to one another. Crucially, they don't tell us anything about sound. Are those sunbathers under a big umbrella shouting at each other about beach decorum, or quietly immersed in a book? In a plague spread commonly through the air, the soundscape of our interactions is as important as the photo image of our behavior.
A superior focus on exhalation science and aerosols might help people understand what environments are surprisingly safe, or surprisingly risky. In many cities, restaurants have recovered faster than movie theaters. But movie theaters with spaced-out seating, universal mask wearing, and complete silence might be less risky than indoor restaurants, where diners are talking and chewing without masks. ''I can't name a movie-theater outbreak in the contact-tracing literature,'' Jimenez said, while also stressing that movie theaters cannot be considered risk-free, given that they are poorly ventilated indoor spaces where people spend several consecutive hours. ''I can tell you that theaters don't seem nearly as dangerous as a loud restaurant or bar, where people have to speak loudly to be heard.''
Gyms, by contrast, might seem safe if everybody is working out in reverent silence. But one study of exhalation flows by researchers at the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio in Italy estimated that most people expel more viral particles while breathing during heavy workouts than they do standing and speaking. Talking normally after a heavy workout could expel as many viral particles as shouting while standing at rest. These estimates are rough and differ from person to person. But the clear takeaway is that huffing-and-puffing on a stationary bike in a crowded room is risky, even if you never say a word.
Exhalation mitigation can't be considered in a vacuum. It's part of a holistic approach to stamping out the virus while cautiously resuming the activities that bring joy, meaning, and community (and, yes, consumer revenue) to our neighborhoods and cities.
Read: Everyone thinks they're right about masks
The best way to keep people safe from COVID-19 is to understand the full story of viral transmission and reverse engineer a barrier for every step in the process. Imagine, Kurt Vonnegut''style, a bullet of viral transmission traveling backwards in time out of its newly infected host. The virus-soaked aerosol dislodges from the patient's lungs or nasal cavity. It magically travels out through their nose, into the air, where it lingers for several minutes, before being inhaled by a man, without a mask, who is yelling backward gibberish in a crowd.
We can intervene at every stage in this story, with masks to block the virus, social distancing to separate the crowd, and ventilation to disperse the aerosols. But why would we ignore the founding event, which is the minting of the viral bullet? Spare your voice; save a life.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to
Derek Thompson is a staff writer at
The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, technology, and the media. He is the author of
Hit Makers and the host of the podcast
Open Letter from Medical Doctors and Health Professionals to All Belgian Authorities and All Belgian Media '' AIER
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 17:01
The following letter has made an impact on public health authorities not only in Belgium but around the world. The text could pertain to any case in which states locked down their citizens rather than allow people freedom and permit medical professionals to bear the primary job of disease mitigation.
So far it has been signed by 394 medical doctors, 1,340 medically trained health professionals, and 8,897 citizens.
* * * * *
We, Belgian doctors and health professionals, wish to express our serious concern about the evolution of the situation in the recent months surrounding the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We call on politicians to be independently and critically informed in the decision-making process and in the compulsory implementation of corona-measures. We ask for an open debate, where all experts are represented without any form of censorship. After the initial panic surrounding covid-19, the objective facts now show a completely different picture '' there is no medical justification for any emergency policy anymore.
The current crisis management has become totally disproportionate and causes more damage than it does any good.
We call for an end to all measures and ask for an immediate restoration of our normal democratic governance and legal structures and of all our civil liberties.
'A cure must not be worse than the problem' is a thesis that is more relevant than ever in the current situation. We note, however, that the collateral damage now being caused to the population will have a greater impact in the short and long term on all sections of the population than the number of people now being safeguarded from corona.
In our opinion, the current corona measures and the strict penalties for non-compliance with them are contrary to the values formulated by the Belgian Supreme Health Council, which, until recently, as the health authority, has always ensured quality medicine in our country: ''Science '' Expertise '' Quality '' Impartiality '' Independence '' Transparency''. 1
We believe that the policy has introduced mandatory measures that are not sufficiently scientifically based, unilaterally directed, and that there is not enough space in the media for an open debate in which different views and opinions are heard. In addition, each municipality and province now has the authorisation to add its own measures, whether well-founded or not.
Moreover, the strict repressive policy on corona strongly contrasts with the government's minimal policy when it comes to disease prevention, strengthening our own immune system through a healthy lifestyle, optimal care with attention for the individual and investment in care personnel.2
The concept of healthIn 1948, the WHO defined health as follows: 'Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or other physical impairment'.3
Health, therefore, is a broad concept that goes beyond the physical and also relates to the emotional and social well-being of the individual. Belgium also has a duty, from the point of view of subscribing to fundamental human rights, to include these human rights in its decision-making when it comes to measures taken in the context of public health. 4
The current global measures taken to combat SARS-CoV-2 violate to a large extent this view of health and human rights. Measures include compulsory wearing of a mask (also in open air and during sporting activities, and in some municipalities even when there are no other people in the vicinity), physical distancing, social isolation, compulsory quarantine for some groups and hygiene measures.
The predicted pandemic with millions of deathsAt the beginning of the pandemic, the measures were understandable and widely supported, even if there were differences in implementation in the countries around us. The WHO originally predicted a pandemic that would claim 3.4% victims, in other words millions of deaths, and a highly contagious virus for which no treatment or vaccine was available. This would put unprecedented pressure on the intensive care units (ICUs) of our hospitals.
This led to a global alarm situation, never seen in the history of mankind: ''flatten the curve'' was represented by a lockdown that shut down the entire society and economy and quarantined healthy people. Social distancing became the new normal in anticipation of a rescue vaccine.
The facts about covid-19Gradually, the alarm bell was sounded from many sources: the objective facts showed a completely different reality. 5 6
The course of covid-19 followed the course of a normal wave of infection similar to a flu season. As every year, we see a mix of flu viruses following the curve: first the rhinoviruses, then the influenza A and B viruses, followed by the coronaviruses. There is nothing different from what we normally see.
The use of the non-specific PCR test, which produces many false positives, showed an exponential picture. This test was rushed through with an emergency procedure and was never seriously self-tested. The creator expressly warned that this test was intended for research and not for diagnostics.7
The PCR test works with cycles of amplification of genetic material '' a piece of genome is amplified each time. Any contamination (e.g. other viruses, debris from old virus genomes) can possibly result in false positives.8
The test does not measure how many viruses are present in the sample. A real viral infection means a massive presence of viruses, the so-called virus load. If someone tests positive, this does not mean that that person is actually clinically infected, is ill or is going to become ill. Koch's postulate was not fulfilled (''The pure agent found in a patient with complaints can provoke the same complaints in a healthy person'').
Since a positive PCR test does not automatically indicate active infection or infectivity, this does not justify the social measures taken, which are based solely on these tests. 9 10
Lockdown.If we compare the waves of infection in countries with strict lockdown policies to countries that did not impose lockdowns (Sweden, Iceland '...), we see similar curves. So there is no link between the imposed lockdown and the course of the infection. Lockdown has not led to a lower mortality rate.
If we look at the date of application of the imposed lockdowns we see that the lockdowns were set after the peak was already over and the number of cases decreasing. The drop was therefore not the result of the taken measures. 11
As every year, it seems that climatic conditions (weather, temperature and humidity) and growing immunity are more likely to reduce the wave of infection.
Our immune systemFor thousands of years, the human body has been exposed daily to moisture and droplets containing infectious microorganisms (viruses, bacteria and fungi).
The penetration of these microorganisms is prevented by an advanced defence mechanism '' the immune system. A strong immune system relies on normal daily exposure to these microbial influences. Overly hygienic measures have a detrimental effect on our immunity. 12 13 Only people with a weak or faulty immune system should be protected by extensive hygiene or social distancing.
Influenza will re-emerge in the autumn (in combination with covid-19) and a possible decrease in natural resilience may lead to further casualties.
Our immune system consists of two parts: a congenital, non-specific immune system and an adaptive immune system.
The non-specific immune system forms a first barrier: skin, saliva, gastric juice, intestinal mucus, vibratory hair cells, commensal flora, '... and prevents the attachment of micro-organisms to tissue.
If they do attach, macrophages can cause the microorganisms to be encapsulated and destroyed.
The adaptive immune system consists of mucosal immunity (IgA antibodies, mainly produced by cells in the intestines and lung epithelium), cellular immunity (T-cell activation), which can be generated in contact with foreign substances or microorganisms, and humoral immunity (IgM and IgG antibodies produced by the B cells).
Recent research shows that both systems are highly entangled.
It appears that most people already have a congenital or general immunity to e.g. influenza and other viruses. This is confirmed by the findings on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, which was quarantined because of a few passengers who died of Covid-19. Most of the passengers were elderly and were in an ideal situation of transmission on the ship. However, 75% did not appear to be infected. So even in this high-risk group, the majority are resistant to the virus.
A study in the journal Cell shows that most people neutralise the coronavirus by mucosal (IgA) and cellular immunity (T-cells), while experiencing few or no symptoms 14.
Researchers found up to 60% SARS-Cov-2 reactivity with CD4+T cells in a non-infected population, suggesting cross-reactivity with other cold (corona) viruses.15
Most people therefore already have a congenital or cross-immunity because they were already in contact with variants of the same virus.
The antibody formation (IgM and IgG) by B-cells only occupies a relatively small part of our immune system. This may explain why, with an antibody percentage of 5-10%, there may be a group immunity anyway. The efficacy of vaccines is assessed precisely on the basis of whether or not we have these antibodies. This is a misrepresentation.
Most people who test positive (PCR) have no complaints. Their immune system is strong enough. Strengthening natural immunity is a much more logical approach. Prevention is an important, insufficiently highlighted pillar: healthy, full-fledged nutrition, exercise in fresh air, without a mask, stress reduction and nourishing emotional and social contacts.
Consequences of social isolation on physical and mental healthSocial isolation and economic damage led to an increase in depression, anxiety, suicides, intra-family violence and child abuse.16
Studies have shown that the more social and emotional commitments people have, the more resistant they are to viruses. It is much more likely that isolation and quarantine have fatal consequences. 17
The isolation measures have also led to physical inactivity in many older people due to their being forced to stay indoors. However, sufficient exercise has a positive effect on cognitive functioning, reducing depressive complaints and anxiety and improving physical health, energy levels, well-being and, in general, quality of life.18
Fear, persistent stress and loneliness induced by social distancing have a proven negative influence on psychological and general health. 19
A highly contagious virus with millions of deaths without any treatment?Mortality turned out to be many times lower than expected and close to that of a normal seasonal flu (0.2%).20
The number of registered corona deaths therefore still seems to be overestimated.
There is a difference between death by corona and death with corona. Humans are often carriers of multiple viruses and potentially pathogenic bacteria at the same time. Taking into account the fact that most people who developed serious symptoms suffered from additional pathology, one cannot simply conclude that the corona-infection was the cause of death. This was mostly not taken into account in the statistics.
The most vulnerable groups can be clearly identified. The vast majority of deceased patients were 80 years of age or older. The majority (70%) of the deceased, younger than 70 years, had an underlying disorder, such as cardiovascular suffering, diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease or obesity. The vast majority of infected persons (>98%) did not or hardly became ill or recovered spontaneously.
Meanwhile, there is an affordable, safe and efficient therapy available for those who do show severe symptoms of disease in the form of HCQ (hydroxychloroquine), zinc and AZT (azithromycin). Rapidly applied this therapy leads to recovery and often prevents hospitalisation. Hardly anyone has to die now.
This effective therapy has been confirmed by the clinical experience of colleagues in the field with impressive results. This contrasts sharply with the theoretical criticism (insufficient substantiation by double-blind studies) which in some countries (e.g. the Netherlands) has even led to a ban on this therapy. A meta-analysis in The Lancet, which could not demonstrate an effect of HCQ, was withdrawn. The primary data sources used proved to be unreliable and 2 out of 3 authors were in conflict of interest. However, most of the guidelines based on this study remained unchanged '... 48 49
We have serious questions about this state of affairs.
In the US, a group of doctors in the field, who see patients on a daily basis, united in ''America's Frontline Doctors'' and gave a press conference which has been watched millions of times.21 51
French Prof Didier Raoult of the Institut d'Infectiologie de Marseille (IHU) also presented this promising combination therapy as early as April. Dutch GP Rob Elens, who cured many patients in his practice with HCQ and zinc, called on colleagues in a petition for freedom of therapy.22
The definitive evidence comes from the epidemiological follow-up in Switzerland: mortality rates compared with and without this therapy.23
From the distressing media images of ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) where people were suffocating and given artificial respiration in agony, we now know that this was caused by an exaggerated immune response with intravascular coagulation in the pulmonary blood vessels. The administration of blood thinners and dexamethasone and the avoidance of artificial ventilation, which was found to cause additional damage to lung tissue, means that this dreaded complication, too, is virtually not fatal anymore. 47
It is therefore not a killer virus, but a well-treatable condition.
Propagation Spreading occurs by drip infection (only for patients who cough or sneeze) and aerosols in closed, unventilated rooms. Contamination is therefore not possible in the open air. Contact tracing and epidemiological studies show that healthy people (or positively tested asymptomatic carriers) are virtually unable to transmit the virus. Healthy people therefore do not put each other at risk. 24 25
Transfer via objects (e.g. money, shopping or shopping trolleys) has not been scientifically proven.26 27 28
All this seriously calls into question the whole policy of social distancing and compulsory mouth masks for healthy people '' there is no scientific basis for this.
MasksOral masks belong in contexts where contacts with proven at-risk groups or people with upper respiratory complaints take place, and in a medical context/hospital-retirement home setting. They reduce the risk of droplet infection by sneezing or coughing. Oral masks in healthy individuals are ineffective against the spread of viral infections. 29 30 31
Wearing a mask is not without side effects. 32 33 Oxygen deficiency (headache, nausea, fatigue, loss of concentration) occurs fairly quickly, an effect similar to altitude sickness. Every day we now see patients complaining of headaches, sinus problems, respiratory problems and hyperventilation due to wearing masks. In addition, the accumulated CO2 leads to a toxic acidification of the organism which affects our immunity. Some experts even warn of an increased transmission of the virus in case of inappropriate use of the mask.34
Our Labour Code (Codex 6) refers to a CO2 content (ventilation in workplaces) of 900 ppm, maximum 1200 ppm in special circumstances. After wearing a mask for one minute, this toxic limit is considerably exceeded to values that are three to four times higher than these maximum values. Anyone who wears a mask is therefore in an extreme poorly ventilated room. 35
Inappropriate use of masks without a comprehensive medical cardio-pulmonary test file is therefore not recommended by recognised safety specialists for workers.
Hospitals have a sterile environment in their operating rooms where staff wear masks and there is precise regulation of humidity / temperature with appropriately monitored oxygen flow to compensate for this, thus meeting strict safety standards. 36
A second corona wave?A second wave is now being discussed in Belgium, with a further tightening of the measures as a result. However, closer examination of Sciensano's figures (latest report of 3 September 2020)37 shows that, although there has been an increase in the number of infections since mid-July, there was no increase in hospital admissions or deaths at that time. It is therefore not a second wave of corona, but a so-called ''case chemistry'' due to an increased number of tests. 50
The number of hospital admissions or deaths showed a shortlasting minimal increase in recent weeks, but in interpreting it, we must take into account the recent heatwave. In addition, the vast majority of the victims are still in the population group >75 years.
This indicates that the proportion of the measures taken in relation to the working population and young people is disproportionate to the intended objectives.
The vast majority of the positively tested ''infected'' persons are in the age group of the active population, which does not develop any or merely limited symptoms, due to a well-functioning immune system.
So nothing has changed '' the peak is over.
Strengthening a prevention policy The corona measures form a striking contrast to the minimal policy pursued by the government until now, when it comes to well-founded measures with proven health benefits such as the sugar tax, the ban on (e-)cigarettes and making healthy food, exercise and social support networks financially attractive and widely accessible. It is a missed opportunity for a better prevention policy that could have brought about a change in mentality in all sections of the population with clear results in terms of public health. At present, only 3% of the health care budget goes to prevention. 2
The Hippocratic OathAs a doctor, we took the Hippocratic Oath:
''I will above all care for my patients, promote their health and alleviate their suffering''.''I will inform my patients correctly.''''Even under pressure, I will not use my medical knowledge for practices that are against humanity.''
The current measures force us to act against this oath.
Other health professionals have a similar code.
The 'primum non nocere', which every doctor and health professional assumes, is also undermined by the current measures and by the prospect of the possible introduction of a generalised vaccine, which is not subject to extensive prior testing.
VaccineSurvey studies on influenza vaccinations show that in 10 years we have only succeeded three times in developing a vaccine with an efficiency rate of more than 50%. Vaccinating our elderly appears to be inefficient. Over 75 years of age, the efficacy is almost non-existent.38
Due to the continuous natural mutation of viruses, as we also see every year in the case of the influenza virus, a vaccine is at most a temporary solution, which requires new vaccines each time afterwards. An untested vaccine, which is implemented by emergency procedure and for which the manufacturers have already obtained legal immunity from possible harm, raises serious questions. 39 40 We do not wish to use our patients as guinea pigs.
On a global scale, 700 000 cases of damage or death are expected as a result of the vaccine.41
If 95% of people experience Covid-19 virtually symptom-free, the risk of exposure to an untested vaccine is irresponsible.
The role of the media and the official communication planOver the past few months, newspaper, radio and TV makers seemed to stand almost uncritically behind the panel of experts and the government, there, where it is precisely the press that should be critical and prevent one-sided governmental communication. This has led to a public communication in our news media, that was more like propaganda than objective reporting.
In our opinion, it is the task of journalism to bring news as objectively and neutrally as possible, aimed at finding the truth and critically controlling power, with dissenting experts also being given a forum in which to express themselves.
This view is supported by the journalistic codes of ethics.42
The official story that a lockdown was necessary, that this was the only possible solution, and that everyone stood behind this lockdown, made it difficult for people with a different view, as well as experts, to express a different opinion.
Alternative opinions were ignored or ridiculed. We have not seen open debates in the media, where different views could be expressed.
We were also surprised by the many videos and articles by many scientific experts and authorities, which were and are still being removed from social media. We feel that this does not fit in with a free, democratic constitutional state, all the more so as it leads to tunnel vision. This policy also has a paralysing effect and feeds fear and concern in society. In this context, we reject the intention of censorship of dissidents in the European Union! 43
The way in which Covid-19 has been portrayed by politicians and the media has not done the situation any good either. War terms were popular and warlike language was not lacking. There has often been mention of a 'war' with an 'invisible enemy' who has to be 'defeated'. The use in the media of phrases such as 'care heroes in the front line' and 'corona victims' has further fuelled fear, as has the idea that we are globally dealing with a 'killer virus'.
The relentless bombardment with figures, that were unleashed on the population day after day, hour after hour, without interpreting those figures, without comparing them to flu deaths in other years, without comparing them to deaths from other causes, has induced a real psychosis of fear in the population. This is not information, this is manipulation.
We deplore the role of the WHO in this, which has called for the infodemic (i.e. all divergent opinions from the official discourse, including by experts with different views) to be silenced by an unprecedented media censorship.43 44
We urgently call on the media to take their responsibilities here!
We demand an open debate in which all experts are heard.
Emergency law versus Human RightsThe general principle of good governance calls for the proportionality of government decisions to be weighed up in the light of the Higher Legal Standards: any interference by government must comply with the fundamental rights as protected in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Interference by public authorities is only permitted in crisis situations. In other words, discretionary decisions must be proportionate to an absolute necessity.
The measures currently taken concern interference in the exercise of, among other things, the right to respect of private and family life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association, the right to education, etc., and must therefore comply with fundamental rights as protected by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
For example, in accordance with Article 8(2) of the ECHR, interference with the right to private and family life is permissible only if the measures are necessary in the interests of national security, public safety, the economic well-being of the country, the protection of public order and the prevention of criminal offences, the protection of health or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others, the regulatory text on which the interference is based must be sufficiently clear, foreseeable and proportionate to the objectives pursued.45
The predicted pandemic of millions of deaths seemed to respond to these crisis conditions, leading to the establishment of an emergency government. Now that the objective facts show something completely different, the condition of inability to act otherwise (no time to evaluate thoroughly if there is an emergency) is no longer in place. Covid-19 is not a cold virus, but a well treatable condition with a mortality rate comparable to the seasonal flu. In other words, there is no longer an insurmountable obstacle to public health.
There is no state of emergency.
Immense damage caused by the current policiesAn open discussion on corona measures means that, in addition to the years of life gained by corona patients, we must also take into account other factors affecting the health of the entire population. These include damage in the psychosocial domain (increase in depression, anxiety, suicides, intra-family violence and child abuse)16 and economic damage.
If we take this collateral damage into account, the current policy is out of all proportion, the proverbial use of a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
We find it shocking that the government is invoking health as a reason for the emergency law.
As doctors and health professionals, in the face of a virus which, in terms of its harmfulness, mortality and transmissibility, approaches the seasonal influenza, we can only reject these extremely disproportionate measures.
We therefore demand an immediate end to all measures.We are questioning the legitimacy of the current advisory experts, who meet behind closed doors.Following on from ACU 2020 46 we call for an in-depth examination of the role of the WHO and the possible influence of conflicts of interest in this organisation. It was also at the heart of the fight against the ''infodemic'', i.e. the systematic censorship of all dissenting opinions in the media. This is unacceptable for a democratic state governed by the rule of law.43Distribution of this letterWe would like to make a public appeal to our professional associations and fellow carers to give their opinion on the current measures.
We draw attention to and call for an open discussion in which carers can and dare to speak out.
With this open letter, we send out the signal that progress on the same footing does more harm than good, and call on politicians to inform themselves independently and critically about the available evidence '' including that from experts with different views, as long as it is based on sound science '' when rolling out a policy, with the aim of promoting optimum health.
With concern, hope and in a personal capacity. John Magufuli of Tanzania: ''Even Papaya and Goats are Corona positive'' letter by biochemist Drs Mario Ortiz Martinez to the Dutch chamber with Drs Mario Ortiz Martinez, B., Hammad, H. The immunology of the allergy epidemic and the hygiene hypothesis. Nat Immunol 18, 1076''1083 (2017). Sehrawat, Barry T. Rouse, Does the hygiene hypothesis apply to COVID-19 susceptibility?, Microbes and Infection, 2020, ISSN 1286-4579,, F., Brokken, S., & De Peuter, S. (2020, May 22). Risk-benefit and cost-utility analysis for COVID-19 lockdown in Belgium: the impact on mental health and wellbeing., 2020Conn, Hafdahl en Brown, 2009; Martinsen 2008; Yau, 2008 Contradictory statements by our virologists expert Tammy K. Herrema Clark, I.H. et al., 2015. The impact of immunosenescence on humoral immune response variation after influenza A/H1N1 vaccination in older subjects. vaccine safety summit WHO 2019 liability manufacturers vaccines code related to COVID-19 approaches European Commission EurLex, juni 2020 (this file will not damage your computer) is no revival of the pandemic, but a so-called casedemic due to more testing. StaffFounded in 1933, the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) is one of the oldest and most respected nonpartisan economic research and advocacy organizations in the country. With a global reach and influence, AIER is dedicated to developing and promoting the ideas of pure freedom and private governance by combining advanced economic research with accessible media outreach and educational programming to cultivate a better, broader understanding of the fundamental principles that enable peace and prosperity around the world.
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Mary on Twitter: "@adamcurry @GovAbbott @DanielAndrewsMP A doona is what we call a bed quilt .." / Twitter
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 03:37
Mary : @adamcurry @GovAbbott @DanielAndrewsMP A doona is what we call a bed quilt ..
Sat Sep 26 01:19:19 +0000 2020
'Don't bake in a tent': Boris Johnson's painful week as a punchline | Boris Johnson | The Guardian
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 09:50
''W e are now approaching phase 46,'' waffled Matt Lucas in his best impression of an Etonian drawl, sporting a messy blond wig and a No 10-style podium.
''If you must bake in a tent, bake in a tent '' but, please, don't bake in a tent!''
This year's The Great British Bake Off '' a comforting haven of buttercream and marzipan in a tumultuous year '' opened on Tuesday with a pointed parody of Boris Johnson's indecision and mixed messaging.
Johnson has always used humour as a political tool, to disarm critics and charm the crowd.
But the skit cast him less as the joker, more as a joke. The idea that the prime minister is not up to the job appears to have gone mainstream.
In the week of his party conference, Sir Keir Starmer went for Boris Johnson in a manner not seen before. Photograph: Labour partyThis was another week that saw Johnson beset by challenges on all sides. Less than a year after delivering them a thumping majority, he is facing several simultaneous rebellions from his increasingly despairing MPs.
The most significant is over the coronavirus. Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance, the voices of scientific authority throughout the crisis, gave a doom-laden briefing on Monday, warning of 200 deaths a day by November if the virus runs unchecked.
While Johnson strove for a Churchillian note in his broadcast to the nation the next day, the measures he announced were relatively modest '' a 10pm closing time and more widespread mask-wearing '' reflecting deep concerns in cabinet about the economic impact of restrictions.
As the package of curbs was drawn up Tory whips consulted MPs about which measures they would be likely to support, with some privately saying their message was ''this far and no further''.
The message from Sage scientists who went public with their concerns on Wednesday, by contrast, was that the government's actions were too little, too late. Six months on from the clarity of the ''stay at home'' message, it appeared hard to sustain the idea that policy is being led by the science.
The scale of discontent in the Tory party is extraordinary for a government with a thumping majority, so early in its term, and in the teeth of a national crisis.
Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, has won the support of 46 MPs, most of them Tory colleagues, for his amendment aimed at forcing the government to consult parliament more regularly on its handling of coronavirus.
Like many of the parliamentary battles that punctuated Theresa May's ill-fated premiership, the details are arcane, and the practical impact likely to be minimal '' but the symbolic effect is significant.
The rebels stretch across the Conservative party, from Damian Green on its One Nation wing to Steve Baker the Brexit-backing ''Spartan'', and they are numerous enough to inflict defeat on their own government.
All are signalling their concern about the immense powers that have accrued to Downing Street during the pandemic '' and the way that Johnson, Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings have used them.
Meanwhile, not all Conservative rebels appear to have been placated by the government's concessions on the controversial internal market bill, whose critics included May and which is back in the House of Commons next Tuesday.
Yet others are incensed at what they see as the anti-democratic nature of the government's sweeping planning reforms.
Johnson's ''friends'' briefed the Times last week that he was not enjoying the job of prime minister, beset by money worries without the prop of his £275,000 columnist's salary and struggling to afford a nanny for baby Wilfred.
He was nowhere to be seen in the House of Commons on Thursday as Rishi Sunak announced his winter economic plan '' as carefully branded as everything the media-savvy chancellor does.
Sunak ended on a rousing note, saying the public could not continue to ''live in fear'' and ''lives can no longer be put on hold''.
It was a message that played well among the libertarians on the Tory benches, and seemed to put the ambitious chancellor at odds with cabinet colleagues such as the health secretary, Matt Hancock.
Sunak topped the latest poll of cabinet members' popularity among Conservative members, carried out by grassroots Tory website ConservativeHome. Johnson is now languishing in 17th.
Unable to rely on some of the MPs he might have regarded as friends, Johnson is also facing newly aggressive attacks from his traditional political enemies too.
In the week of his party conference, Sir Keir Starmer went for him in a manner not seen before.
He has moved over the past six months from staunch support for the government's handling of the pandemic to increasingly pointed criticism of its failings, in particular the shortcomings of test and trace.
His online conference speech, broadcast from Doncaster before racing down to London to respond to Johnson's latest Covid update, was heavy on patriotism and values '' and put Johnson on notice that Labour would treat another national lockdown as ''a sign of government failure, not an act of God''.
Deborah Mattinson of political consultancy BritainThinks, whose book Beyond the Red Wall charts the struggle Labour faces to win back many of the seats it lost to the Tories last December, said Starmer had done a good job with his speech but would ultimately have to flesh out its themes with policy.
''He's got time on his side, but he's going to have to use that time,'' she said. ''He talked about patriotism, he talked a bit about himself; but there's only a certain amount of time you can talk about values, before it just sounds like talk.''
Starmer's determination to stamp his mark on his party '' and draw a line under the indiscipline of the Jeremy Corbyn years '' was underlined on Wednesday night when he sacked three leftwing junior frontbenchers for voting against a bill on which they had been told to abstain.
Rishi Sunak's messaging on coronavirus has played well among the libertarians on the Tory benches. Photograph: John Sibley/AFP/Getty ImagesCorbyn himself was among the rebels on the overseas operations bill, which the government claims defends services personnel from vexatious prosecutions.
Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell praised the three sacked Labour rebels, saying they had struck a blow for human rights.
The row underlined continuing tensions with the well-organised Corbynite wing of the party, likely to be exacerbated by the imminent publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission report into Labour's handling of antisemitism complaints.
In normal times, Starmer might seem to be facing a sea of troubles. But compared to Johnson?
With Covid ripping through the country once again, the prime minister will have to decide in the coming days how much it is willing to compromise to secure a Brexit deal before time runs out.
Even with a deal, the UK faces the risk of significant economic disruption, in the midst of a deep recession and a public health crisis.
And for a prime minister who has become a laughing stock, it looks a very long road to the next general election in 2024.
Victoria's health minister resigns after being accused of botching Covid-19 quarantine program '-- RT World News
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 09:52
Jenny Mikakos, the health minister of Victoria, Australia, has stepped down after the state's premier claimed she mismanaged a hotel quarantine scheme. Victoria has seen nearly five months of strict Covid-19 measures.
Her resignation comes a day after Premier Daniel Andrews told an inquiry that he ''regarded her accountable'' for the decision to use private security guards, instead of police or military personnel, at hotels that had been converted into quarantine centers. Lax security at the facilities has been blamed for the state's alleged 'second wave' of coronavirus cases.
The board of inquiry has spent weeks trying to establish who made the decision to rely on private security to guard the hotels. Mikakos has insisted that she was not involved in the matter.
''I am disappointed that my integrity has sought to be undermined,'' she wrote in a one-page statement announcing her resignation. She said that she ''strongly disagreed'' with ''elements'' of Andrews' statement to the inquiry and that as a result, she could no longer serve in his cabinet. She said she also plans to vacate her seat in parliament.
Her departure marks the fourth minister to leave the administration in three months.
Victoria has sparked considerable controversy over its draconian anti-coronavirus measures. The state capital Melbourne has endured one of the world's longest and strictest lockdowns, with stay-at-home orders or similar restrictions in effect for nearly five months.
The Australian state reported one new coronavirus-related death on Saturday, bringing its total death toll to 782 since the start of the health crisis. Victoria registered 12 new coronavirus cases.
Also on 'Dan Andrews' Stasi': Victoria premier under fire for proposed law that would allow govt officials to arbitrarily arrest citizens Like this story? Share it with a friend!
Coronavirus mutation emerges that may outmaneuver mask-wearing and hand-washing | TheHill
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 09:57
A new preliminary study involving more than 5,000 genetic sequences of the coronavirus suggests one of the virus's many mutations may be more contagious than the others, according to a report from The Washington Post .
The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, conducted by researchers from Houston Methodist Hospital, found the strain known as the D614G mutation was responsible for close to every coronavirus infection in Houston this summer, during Texas's second wave of infections.
Our country is in a historic fight against the Coronavirus. Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.
The mutation did not make the virus deadlier or change clinical outcomes, according to researchers.
All viruses mutate and most of the random changes to the genetic sequence are considered to be insignificant, however, researchers found people infected with this particular strain had higher viral loads in their upper respiratory tracts, allowing the virus to potentially spread more effectively.
David Morens, a virologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) who reviewed the study, told the Post the findings suggest the virus may have become more contagious and could possibly be responding to health measures such as social distancing and mask-wearing.
''Wearing masks, washing our hands, all those things are barriers to transmissibility, or contagion, but as the virus becomes more contagious it statistically is better at getting around those barriers,'' Morens told the newspaper, cautioning not to over-interpret the findings from a single study that has yet to be peer-reviewed.
He also said it's possible the virus could eventually get around immunity when a vaccine is rolled out, similar to the flu.
''Although we don't know yet, it is well within the realm of possibility that the coronavirus, when our population-level immunity gets high enough, this coronavirus will find a way to get around our immunity,'' he said. ''We'll have to chase the virus and, as it mutates, we'll have to tinker with our vaccine.''
The research is the latest in a series of studies suggesting the D614G mutation is more contagious than earlier versions of the original virus. The mutation has been dominant in almost all places in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.
A report last month claimed the mutation may be more infectious but less deadly than the original virus, as it has been associated with lower death rates.
But other researchers said the conclusion that the mutation is more contagious than others is premature.
''The study provides more evidence for what we already know about this mutation: That it's the most common variant,'' Emma Hodcroft, a geneticist at the Nexstrain project, told Business Insider . ''That doesn't mean the virus is effectively mutating.''
Hodcraft said her team of researchers that has been tracing the coronavirus's genetic changes have yet to identify a mutation that would change how infectious or deadly the virus is, according to Business Insider.
Privatised pandemic? UK's celebrated Covid-19 tracing app won't accept test results from NHS hospitals, leaves users frustrated '-- RT UK News
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 14:54
Britons who downloaded the newly-released NHS coronavirus app were shocked to learn that they could not submit test results from a National Health Service hospital or government-run lab, defeating the entire purpose of the app.
Released two days ago, the mobile application was hailed as an effective way of monitoring and containing the spread of coronavirus. An aggressive marketing campaign was launched to encourage citizens to enroll in the voluntary track and trace program, but it now appears that the app may be less useful than originally advertised.
''If your test took place in a Public Health England or NHS Hospital, or as part of national surveillance testing conducted by the Office of National Statistics, test results cannot currently be linked with the app whether positive or negative,'' read a message from the app's official Twitter account.
The stunning admission means that more than 60,000 tests administered on Friday in hospitals and PHE labs don't come with codes and aren't compatible with the app, Sky News reported.
The glaring oversight means that those who test negative at an NHS facility will be unable to inform the app that they don't have the virus, and as a result, even healthy people will be ordered to self-quarantine.
A Department of Health spokesman said they were working to fix the issue, but noted that the test status would be automatically updated if the test is booked through the app.
The error seems to have galvanized opposition lawmakers who have been critical of the Tory government's response to the health crisis. Labour MP Jonathan Ashworth expressed bafflement at the app's flaw.
''[H]ave they really launched an app that doesn't actually link to tests carried out by NHS hospital labs & PHE labs instead only including tests carried out via the outsourced lighthouse lab network??'' he asked.
Users wondered if the government has ''privatised a pandemic.''
The NHS test and trace is app which is run by a private firm and not the NHS does not accept tests done by the NHS only by the private firm so we have entered the dystopian future where the tory government have privatised a pandemic.
'-- TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) September 26, 2020I try my best to be supportive of the government and its initiatives on the rare occasions they make sense - and it still makes sense to download the app - but my God they make it difficult. Specifically, who decided it's ok for the NHS app to be incompatible with NHS tests?
'-- Brian Cox (@ProfBrianCox) September 26, 2020Health Secretary Matt Hancock earlier praised the new mobile phone app as an ''important step forward'' in the country's fight against the virus. The app asks people to enter a code that they receive after being tested, which is used to identify whether the individual tested positive or not. Users are asked to self-isolate for two weeks if they test positive or if the app determines they have come in close contact with someone with the virus.
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Plan Rotterdam: dikke boete bij meer dan 2000 euro op zak | Binnenland |
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 17:46
De grote geldbedragen zouden kunnen worden 'afgepakt' tijdens preventief fouilleren.
''¸ ANP
Dat is het voorstel van de VVD in Rotterdam in de strijd tegen drugscriminelen, die vaak met grote sommen geld over straat gaan. De liberalen willen het 'geldmaximum' opnemen in de algemene plaatselijke verordening (apv). Ook moeten onder meer luxe kleding- en sieradenwinkels en autoverhuurbedrijven worden verplicht om contante geldbetalingen van meer dan 500 euro te weigeren.
'žHet is rigoureus maar noodzakelijk. Rotterdam moet de eerste stad ter wereld worden waar bezoekers en inwoners niet meer dan tweeduizend euro contant geld op zak mogen hebben. We hebben het overigens niet over beroepsmatige transacties. Mensen die bijvoorbeeld twee caf(C)s hebben en geld weg willen brengen, moeten dat gewoon kunnen en blijven doen'', zegt VVD-fractievoorzitter Vincent Karremans, die het met deze maatregelen moeilijker wil maken voor criminelen. 'žNu zijn ze vaak ongrijpbaar voor onder meer de FIOD, want die heeft geen zicht op cash geld.''
Betaalmiddel van de onderwereld'žEr worden in de drugswereld honderden miljoenen euro's per jaar verdiend. Cash geld is het betaalmiddel van de onderwereld. We moeten ze dan ook pakken waar het de criminelen het meest pijn doet en dat is in de portemonnee. Daarnaast kan er, doordat ze een boete krijgen, ook een onderzoek worden ingesteld naar hoe ze aan dat geld komen. Je geeft zo als stad een krachtige boodschap af.''
Volgens de VVD vormen het preventief fouilleren en de patseraanpak een goede mogelijkheid om het contante geld af te pakken. 'žEr zijn hier met regelmaat fouilleeracties, waarbij nu ook al veel contant geld wordt afgepakt. Maar dat kan nog meer en het is duidelijker als er een maximum aan het geldbedrag wordt gesteld. Dan weet iedereen waar hij of zij aan toe is.''
Karremans wil zijn plan binnenkort bespreken in de commissie veiligheid en hoopt de steun van andere politieke partijen te krijgen. 'žWe moeten samen een vuist maken tegen drugscriminaliteit, waarmee wij in de stad dagelijks te maken hebben. Kijk alleen maar naar de schietpartijen door conflicten in de drugswereld die zich hier in Rotterdam hebben afgespeeld.''
CashbetalingenHet stadhuis moet, als het aan de VVD ligt, om de tafel met luxe winkels en autoverhuurbedrijven. 'žZij moeten zich collectief uitspreken tegen cashbetalingen van meer dan 500 euro. Lukt dat niet, dan kan er altijd nog een vergunningsplicht worden opgelegd.''
Lunch UpdateDagelijks tijdens de lunch een update van het belangrijkste nieuws.
Ongeldig e-mailadres. Vul nogmaals in aub.
Lees hier ons privacybeleid.
PCR and Casedemic
PCR Cycles
Hi Adam,
I really do appreciate the info your anonymous lab tech has provided thus far regarding the qPCR tests, but the latest episode of NA did have me a bit concerned (please also keep me anonymous).
I'll preface by saying that I hope I am helping and not being 'That Annoying Ph.D.'
I have run many RT-qPCR experiments, and I have a Ph.D. in molecular biology. However, while I have been somewhat skeptical of the high cycles labs use to call a sample COVID-positive, I am not a virology expert (my expertise lies in clinical oncology and I sequence tumors for a living). I have seen a couple of labs call samples positive as high as 40, and my knee-jerk is to say TOO HIGH, but that is from my academic research work and not my clinical work. This is an important distinction because there are different rules for academic research vs. clinical testing. Clinical testing is more rigorous and fail-proof than academic work. It is tricky because viruses are so small with small genomes; so I can't really comment on whether or not these cycle thresholds are too high.
I CAN tell you that it doesn't matter how many cycles you let the PCR go, it matters WHEN during those cycles you call it a positive sample. That is why it is called RT-qPCR: Real-Time quantitative qPCR. Measurements are taken throughout the 40 or more cycles.
I am sure you have heard all this before but... here we go: When you are replicating or "spinning" the target DNA up, it attaches to a fluorescent chemical that can be detected by the RT-qPCR machine. A sample is called "positive" when it reaches a minimum level of detection (above noise: > 13 cycles or so), BUT also before it is non-specific and just picking up anything that is around (below false positives: < 30 or so cycles). So even if you run your PCR for 40, 50, or even 1000 cycles, it depends on when your fluorescent signal is detected by the machine. Is this at 20? 25? 30? 40? The machine is looking for the signal in real time; NOT at the end of 40 cycles.
I got the below image from a COVID manual, and highlighted a sample that would be called positive (Sample 1). The squigglies at cycle 1-3 (see x-axis at the bottom "Cycle Number") are noise. Because sample 1 surpassed the threshold (minimum level of detection: the green line) at cycle 15, it is definitely positive. This is despite the fact that it was run for the full 40 cycles. It kind of just tapers off. In fact, sample 1 has the most COVID because the more starting material there is, the sooner (cycle-wise) it surpasses the threshold (green line).
You might be wondering why you would even have it go so high as 40 cycles if it might be meaningless at that point. Well that is because of the second part of RT-qPCR that nobody talks about (and I will spare you the details). It has something to do with testing your primers to make sure they worked the way they were supposed to throughout the whole test. You need a lot more DNA to run that test, AND it tells you if you are likely picking up false-positives or non-specific (not what you want) DNA targets.
Hope this helps! Also feel free to come at me for any genomics questions.
Aneesa (Your Anonymous Arab Cancer Doc)
PCR machines
Dear Adam and John,
I'm writing you to clear up what I hear as some misguided information about PCR testing, in general. I have my PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. My background is in metagenomic sequence analysis of the human and animal microbiome, and have recently transitioned to working in an HIV virology lab. Due to the relative nature of our work and the ongoing pandemic, the lab has subsequently transitioned to COVID-19 research where we are CLIA certified to test and have to report our results to Public Health Departments. (This is to give you an idea of my qualifications, but I worry it makes me identifiable and would like to remain anonymous).
I'm an avid No Agenda listener, and the science behind COVID-19 testing has been a thorn in my side lately. Since PCR testing is integral to what I do, I wanted to share my knowledge with you, and maybe No Agenda nation. The translation of science from those of us in the field to everyone else is woefully bad, and despite increased media attention on scientific endeavors, scientists always fail to give their audience enough credit. Here is my attempt at giving No Agenda the credit they deserve in hearing what the science of PCR actually involves, because dumbing it down does not actually help us make decisions about whether the science is "good" or not.
I'd like to give some more technical details of PCR – Polymerase Chain Reaction.
Firstly, PCR is a technique and not a "test" in and of itself. The steps involved are: 1. Isolating DNA or RNA, 2. Amplifying the DNA, and 3. Determining what or how much DNA is there.
Step 2 is what Adam has referred to as "spinning up". This simplification is not actually related to the science that happens in amplifying DNA, and I'll be focusing on the second and third steps from here. The key components are DNA – this DNA includes everything that occurs in a sample ~80-90% of which is "host" DNA or the DNA of the subject you are collecting a sample from. The rest is an assortment of microbes, viruses, and other "junk" DNA that is found in all things (I'll address Mr. Mullis' clip below).
In order to amplify the DNA of interest, you must have a copy (in reality many copies) of that DNA in the sample, an idea of what the sequence is so that you can add a target "primer" and a DNA polymerase which is the active enzyme in the reaction. There are some salts and buffers that get added as well to stabilize the reaction. In short, you are replicating the DNA copy mechanism that happens at all times in all living cells. The primer is designed to target the DNA of interest. This is a robust process that is reliant on our cumulative databases of known sequences. Most primers average 20 base pairs in length (a base pair being the subunit of a strand of DNA) and this length allows for unique matching of DNA among the tree of life. More "conserved" sequence will be harder to tell apart among species, however there is enough unique DNA that you can uniquely identify most things with specific 20 base pair primers. Once you have your set of ingredients, the PCR is actually a series of steps that allows for DNA amplification. DNA is double stranded, so you have to heat the DNA to "denature" it, or allow it to become single stranded. When single stranded, the primer binds to the target DNA, the reaction then is cooled which allows the DNA polymerase to build the DNA from the primer following along with the single strand of DNA to create a new double stranded DNA molecule. This set of cycles repeats until you have detectable levels of DNA – you are purposefully making copies of DNA – and this is the process referred to as "spinning up". There may be an "average" for the number of cycles before you get spurious DNA products and yes this may be in the 30 – 40 cycle range, however that is nuanced depending on the reason for the test and the measurement used after.
PCR comes in 2 main flavors, 1. Regular PCR and 2. Real-time PCR (sometimes quantitative).
In the microbiome field, where PCR is used to amplify and then sequence the DNA, the cycle number can be high as you are targeting a plethora of types of bacterial DNA, thus you want a high number of sequence replicates in order to be sure what the sequence is – this is regular PCR. For COVID-19, real-time PCR is used. This technique identifies the sequence based on the primers (described above) but does not care about the actual sequence. The real time machine runs through the cycles (the chain reaction) and measures the replication of DNA as it is happening. This creates a "growth curve" of the target DNA and that growth curve is what we measure. If the growth per cycle happens at a certain threshold rate, we can identify that there was likely enough starting material, indicative of infection. If the growth rate is below that threshold, there is likely little to no DNA of that kind in the sample. This "growth rate" is also key when it comes to "false positives". False positives and samples that exist at the "limit of detection" or the threshold value for indicating DNA presence, causes anomalies in the "growth curve". These are, in my experience, easily identifiable in the laboratory, and under CLIA certification are mandatorily rerun. These usually end up being reported as negative results.
All this goes to say, there is real science behind testing, and PCR is a multifaceted test. As Mr. Mullis' clips tells us, you can pick up many (maybe not any, that was a flippant scientist for you) DNA with enough work. However, his take home message, and the one actually more astute to the over concern with COVID-19 is that PCR can only look for DNA or RNA. It in no way is a test for live virus and is constantly a point of contention in many disease testing and research. Viral shedding and the pattern that a virus replicates itself vary across all viruses and the infectivity reflected in that pattern also changes, even within species of disease. I myself am skeptical of the pressure we've been put under in dealing with this virus without knowing much about this disease pattern. However, it was important to me to divulge my knowledge about PCR testing in general, and I hope it can shed some light to No Agenda Nation with respect to COVID-19 testing.
Love and Light,
Anonymous Bioinformatician
BBC Death disclaimer
Chief Science Officer for Pfizer Says "Second Wave" Faked on False-Positive COVID Tests, "Pandemic is Over" | HubPages
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 14:51
Updated on September 24, 2020
Dr. Mike YeadonIn a stunning development, a former Chief Science Officer for the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer says "there is no science to suggest a second wave should happen." The "Big Pharma" insider asserts that false positive results from inherently unreliable COVID tests are being used to manufacture a "second wave" based on "new cases."
Dr. Mike Yeadon, a former Vice President and Chief Science Officer for Pfizer for 16 years, says that half or even "almost all" of tests for COVID are false positives. Dr. Yeadon also argues that the threshold for herd immunity may be much lower than previously thought, and may have been reached in many countries already.
In an interview last week Dr. Yeadon was asked:
"we are basing a government policy, an economic policy, a civil liberties policy, in terms of limiting people to six people in a meeting...all based on, what may well be, completely fake data on this coronavirus?"
Dr. Yeadon answered with a simple "yes."
Dr. Yeadon said in the interview that, given the "shape" of all important indicators in a worldwide pandemic, such as hospitalizations, ICU utilization, and deaths, "the pandemic is fundamentally over."
Yeadon said in the interview:
"Were it not for the test data that you get from the TV all the time, you would rightly conclude that the pandemic was over, as nothing much has happened. Of course people go to the hospital, moving into the autumn flu season...but there is no science to suggest a second wave should happen."
In a paper published this month, which was co-authored by Yeadon and two of his colleagues, "How Likely is a Second Wave?", the scientists write:
"It has widely been observed that in all heavily infected countries in Europe and several of the US states likewise, that the shape of the daily deaths vs. time curves is similar to ours in the UK. Many of these curves are not just similar, but almost super imposable."
In the data for UK, Sweden, the US, and the world, it can be seen that in all cases, deaths were on the rise in March through mid or late April, then began tapering off in a smooth slope which flattened around the end of June and continues to today. The case rates however, based on testing, rise and swing upwards and downwards wildly.
Media messaging in the US is already ramping up expectations of a "second wave."
Source Source Source Source Survival Rate of COVID Now Estimated to be 99.8%, Similar to Flu, Prior T-Cell Immunity
The survival rate of COVID-19 has been upgraded since May to 99.8% of infections. This comes close to ordinary flu, the survival rate of which is 99.9%. Although COVID can have serious after-effects, so can flu or any respiratory illness. The present survival rate is far higher than initial grim guesses in March and April, cited by Dr. Anthony Fauci, of 94%, or 20 to 30 times deadlier. The Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) value accepted by Yeadon et al in the paper is .26%. The survival rate of a disease is 100% minus the IFR.
Dr. Yeadon pointed out that the "novel" COVID-19 contagion is novel only in the sense that it is a new type of coronavirus. But, he said, there are presently four strains which circulate freely throughout the population, most often linked to the common cold.
In the scientific paper, Yeadon et al write:
"There are at least four well characterised family members (229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1) which are endemic and cause some of the common colds we experience, especially in winter. They all have striking sequence similarity to the new coronavirus."
The scientists argue that much of the population already has, if not antibodies to COVID, some level of "T-cell" immunity from exposure to other related coronaviruses, which have been circulating long before COVID-19.
The scientists write:
"A major component our immune systems is the group of white blood cells called T-cells whose job it is to memorise a short piece of whatever virus we were infected with so the right cell types can multiply rapidly and protect us if we get a related infection. Responses to COVID-19 have been shown in dozens of blood samples taken from donors before the new virus arrived."
Introducing the idea that some prior immunity to COVID-19 already existed, the authors of "How Likely is a Second Wave?" write:
"It is now established that at least 30% of our population already had immunological recognition of this new virus, before it even arrived...COVID-19 is new, but coronaviruses are not."
They go on to say that, because of this prior resistance, only 15-25% of a population being infected may be sufficient to reach herd immunity:
"...epidemiological studies show that, with the extent of prior immunity that we can now reasonably assume to be the case, only 15-25% of the population being infected is sufficient to bring the spread of the virus to a halt..."
In the US, accepting a death toll of 200,000, and an infection fatality rate of 99.8%, this would mean for every person who has died, there would be about 400 people who had been infected, and lived. This would translate to around 80 million Americans, or 27% of the population. This touches Yeadon's and his colleagues' threshold for herd immunity.
The authors say:
"current literature finds that between 20% and 50% of the population display this pre-pandemic T-cell responsiveness, meaning we could adopt an initially susceptible population value from 80% to 50%. The lower the real initial susceptibility, the more secure we are in our contention that a herd immunity threshold (HIT) has been reached."
Masthead for "Lockdown" publisher of "How Likely is a Second Wave?" | Source The False Positive Second Wave
Of the PCR test, the prevalent COVID test used around the world, the authors write:
"more than half of the positives are likely to be false, potentially all of them."
The authors explain that what the PCR test actually measures is "simply the presence of partial RNA sequences present in the intact virus," which could be a piece of dead virus which cannot make the subject sick, and cannot be transmitted, and cannot make anyone else sick.
"...a true positive does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable virus. In limited studies to date, many researchers have shown that some subjects remain PCR-positive long after the ability to culture virus from swabs has disappeared. We term this a 'cold positive' (to distinguish it from a 'hot positive', someone actually infected with intact virus). The key point about 'cold positives' is that they are not ill, not symptomatic, not going to become symptomatic and, furthermore, are unable to infect others."
Overall, Dr. Yeadon builds the case that any "second wave" of COVID, and any government case for lockdowns, given the well-known principles of epidemiology, will be entirely manufactured.
In Boston this month, a lab suspended doing coronavirus testing after 400 false positives were discovered.An analysis of PCR-based tests at medical website states:
"data on PCR-based tests for similar viruses show that PCR-based testing produces enough false positive results to make positive results highly unreliable over a broad range of real-world scenarios."
University of Oxford Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of Oxford's Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, writes in a July article "How Many COVID Diagnoses Are False Positives?":
"going off current testing practices and results, Covid-19 might never be shown to disappear."
Of course, the most famous incidence of PCR test unreliability was when the President of Tanzania revealed to the world that he had covertly sent samples from a goat, a sheep, and a pawpaw fruit to a COVID testing lab. They all came back positive for COVID.
Made in China
In August, the government of Sweden discovered 3700 false COVID positives from test kits made by China's BGI Genomics. The kits were approved in March by the FDA for use in the US.
Second Waves of Coronaviruses Not Normal
Dr. Yeadon challenged the idea that all pandemics take place in subsequent waves, citing two other coronavirus outbreaks, the SARS virus in 2003, and MERS in 2012. What may seem like two waves can actually be two single waves occurring in different geographical regions. They say data gathered from the relatively recent SARS 2003 and the MERS outbreaks support their contention.
In the case of the MERS:
"it is actually multiple single waves affecting geographically distinct populations at different times as the disease spreads. In this case the first major peak was seen in Saudi Arabia with a second peak some months later in the Republic of Korea. Analysed individually, each area followed a typical single event..."
In the interview, when questioned about the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, which came in successive waves during World War I, Yeadon pointed out that this was an entirely different kind of virus, not in the coronavirus family. Others have blamed general early century malnutrition and unsanitary conditions. World War I soldiers, hard hit, lived in cold mud and conditions the worst imaginable for immune resistance.
Saudi and Korea Waves of MERS CoronavirusLockdowns Don't Work
Another argument made by Yeadon et al in their September paper is that there has been no difference in outcomes related to lockdowns.
They say:
"The shape of the deaths vs. time curve implies a natural process and not one resulting mainly from human interventions...Famously, Sweden has adopted an almost laissez faire approach, with qualified advice given, but no generalised lockdowns. Yet its profile and that of the UK's is very similar."
Mild-Mannered Yeadon Demolishes Man Who Started It All, Professor Neil Ferguson
The former Pfizer executive and scientist singles out one former colleague for withering rebuke for his role in the pandemic, Professor Neil Ferguson. Ferguson taught at Imperial College while Yeadon was affiliated. Ferguson's computer model provided the rationale for governments to launch draconian orders which turned free societies into virtual prisons overnight. Over what is now estimated by the CDC to be a 99.8% survival rate virus.
Dr. Yeardon said in the interview that "no serious scientist gives any validity" to Ferguson's model.
Speaking with thinly-veiled contempt for Ferguson, Dr. Yeardon took special pains to point out to his interviewer:
"It's important that you know most scientists don't accept that it [Ferguson's model] was even faintly right...but the government is still wedded to the model."
Yeardon joins other scientists in castigating governments for following Ferguson's model, the assumptions of which all worldwide lockdowns are based on. One of these scientists is Dr. Johan Giesecke, former chief scientist for the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention, who called Ferguson's model ''the most influential scientific paper'' in memory, and also ''one of the most wrong.''
It was Ferguson's model which held that "mitigation" measures were necessary, i.e. social distancing and business closures, in order to prevent, for example, over 2.2 million people dying from COVID in the US.
Ferguson predicted that Sweden would pay a terrible price for no lockdown, with 40,000 COVID deaths by May 1, and 100,000 by June. Sweden's death count is now 5800. The Swedish government says this coincides to a mild flu season. Although initially higher, Sweden now has a lower death rate per-capita than the US, which it achieved without the terrific economic damage still ongoing in the US. Sweden never closed restaurants, bars, sports, most schools, or movie theaters. The government never ordered people to wear masks.
Dr. Yeadon speaks bitterly of the lives lost as a result of lockdown policies, and of the "savable" countless lives which will be further lost, from important surgeries and other healthcare deferred, should lockdowns be reimposed, .Yeardon is a successful entrepreneur, the founder of a biotech company which was acquired by Novartis, another pharmaceutical giant. Yeadon's unit at Pfizer was the Asthma and Respiratory Research Unit. (Yeadon, partial list of publications.)
Sweden During International "Lockdowns"Why is All This Happening? US Congressman Says He is Convinced of "Government Plan" to Continue Lockdowns Until a Mandatory Vaccine. Conspiracy Theories?
The list of news items grows which reflects unfavorably upon the narrative being played out on the major television networks, of a mysterious, "novel" virus which has been controlled only by an unprecedented assault on individual rights and liberties, now ready to pounce again, on already suffering populations with no choice but to submit to further government orders.
Governors have quietly extended their powers indefinitely by shifting the goalpost, without saying so, from "flattening the curve" to ease the strain on hospitals, to "no new cases." From "pandemic," to "case-demic."
In Germany, an organization of 500 German doctors and scientists has formed, who say that government response to the COVID virus has been vastly out of proportion to the actual severity of the disease.
Evidence of chicanery mounts. Both the CDC, and US Coronavirus Task Force headed by Dr. Deborah Birx, are candid that the definition of death-by-COVID has been flexible, and that the rules favor calling it COVID whenever possible. This opens the possibility of a vastly inflated death count. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration is under federal investigation for all but signing the death warrants for thousands of nursing home elderly, when the state sent COVID patients into the nursing homes, over the helpless objections of nursing home executives and staff.
Why are the major media ignoring what would seem to be an eminently newsworthy item, an industry rockstar like Yeadon, calling out the biggest guns in the public health world? Would not the Sunday talk shows, the Chris Wallaces and Meet the Press, want to grill such a man for record audiences?
Here the talk may turn to dark agendas, and not just mere incompetence, obtuseness, and stupidity.
One opinion was put forth by US Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) when he said on the Tom Woods Show on August 16th:
''The secret the government is keeping from you is that they plan to keep us shut down until there is some kind of vaccine, and then whether it's compulsory at the federal level, or the state level, or maybe they persuade your employers though another PPP program that you won't qualify for unless you make your employees get the vaccine, I think that's their plan. Somebody convince me that's not their plan, because there is no logical ending to this other than that.''
Another theory is that the COVID crisis is being used consolidate never-before-imaged levels of control over individuals and society by elites. This is put forth by the nephew of the slain president, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., son of also-assassinated Bobby Kennedy. In a speech at a massive anti-lockdown, anti-mandatory COVID vaccination rally in Germany, Bobby Jr. warned of the existence of a:
''bio-security agenda, the rise of the authoritarian surveillance state and the Big Pharma sponsored coup d'etat against liberal democracy...The pandemic is a crisis of convenience for the elite who are dictating these policies,''
In a lawsuit, Kennedy Jr.'s medical witnesses warn that mandatory flu shots may make many children more susceptible to COVID.
The warnings of dire intentions of Kennedy's "elite" are coming from more mainstream sources. Dr. Joseph Mercola, of the highly trusted, mega-traffic medical information site, has penned a careful review of one doctor's claims of genetics-altering vaccines coming our way.
And it does not assuage fears that a defense establishment website, Defense One, reports that permanent under-the skin biochips, injectable by the same syringe that holds a vaccine, may soon be approved by the FDA. It does not help the anti-conspiracy theory cause that, according to Newsweek, Dr. Anthony Fauci actually did give NIH funding to the Chinese Wuhan lab, for bat coronavirus research so dangerous it was opposed on record by 200 scientists, and banned in the US.
In 1957, a pandemic hit, the H2N2 Asian Flu with a .7% Infection Fatality Rate, which killed as many people per capita in the US as the COVID has claimed now. There was never a single mention of it in the news at the time, never mind the extraordinary upheaval that we see now. In 1968 the Hong Kong Flu hit the US (.5% IFR,) taking 100,000 people when the US had a markedly lower population. Not single alarm was raised, not a single store closed nor even a network news story. The following summer the largest gathering in US history took place, Woodstock.
Mass hysteria is never accidental, but benefits someone. The only question left to answer is, whom?
Dr. Mike Yeadon Interview August Protest in Berlin Against Lockdown, and Against Mandatory COVID Vaccination | Source Woodstock 1969
Scientists claim third of UK covid-19 victims in July and August died from other causes
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 17:49
Covid victims recorded by the ONS may have actually died from other diseasesOne in 13 deaths may not have been primarily from Covid-19, study suggestsScientists say it is too difficult to determine if virus was the main cause of deathA third of the people recorded to have died from Covid-19 in July and August may have actually passed away due to other causes, such as cancer or being hit by a car, Oxford University research has suggested
Experts at Oxford University have found that around 30 per cent of those included in the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) coronavirus deaths toll over the summer actually died primarily from other conditions.
The data comes as the Government introduces its new Rule of Six measures to combat the further spread of the disease.
The real Covid deaths: How 238 of the 796 Covid victims recorded in July actually died from other causes, including cancer or being killed by cars, while 93 of the 312 Covid victims recorded in August are now believed to have not been killed by the virus, analysis by the Office for National Statistics has shown. Figures suggest one in 13 people who were said to have died from coronavirus during the whole pandemic did not die primarily from the diseaseThe study shows that people who may have died from cancer or who were run over and killed, but who had tested positive for coronavirus, were included among the virus deaths even though it did not kill them.
Figures revealed in The Telegraph state that approximately one in 13 people who were said to have died from coronavirus during the whole pandemic did not die primarily from the disease.
This means that 7.8 per cent (3,877) of those listed as Covid-19 deaths by the Government did not die due to the virus being the primary cause.
Dr Jason Oke, of the Centre of Evidence Based Medicine at the university, told The Telegraph: 'The true death rate is important to know as it gives us an idea of impact.
'Clearly Covid was having a massive impact in March and April, but we need to now know if the disease is taking the same toll as before. The impact now seems to be lessening and, if true, which it certainly looks like at the moment as there is not the same fatality rate, then that will guide decisions on managing risk, so it's important to get this number right.'
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Guidance on meeting up during the pandemic England
Six people from multiple households can meet up outdoors and indoors
They must be one metre apart
Up to six people aged 12-years and above from two households can meet outdoors and indoors
People must be two metres apart
Up to 30 people can meet outdoors
Up to six people aged over 11-years from an extended household can meet indoors
People must be two metres apart
Northern Ireland
Up to 15 people can meet outdoors
Six people from two houses can meet indoors
They too must be six metres apart
During the period of July to August this percentage rose to 28.8 per cent of all deaths.
This figure would mean that Covid-19 was not the main cause of death for 465 of the Government's recorded cases out of 1,617 victims.
The Government has added those who did not die primarily from Covid-19 to its official lists even though the World Health Organisation has said that even if coronavirus appears on a death certificate as a significant factor in the death it should not be included.
Officially during the pandemic 263,826 deaths were recorded in England and Wales with 218,143 from other causes. Using the university's data this suggest that 45,683 died from coronavirus than the Government's figure of 49,560.
The team from Oxford University is concerned that the over counting will get worse as the pandemic continues and that it will give a false representation of the true figure.
The information has led Matt Hancock to order an urgent review of the data and this led the Government to reduce its covid-19 death figure by 5,377 to 43,329. From now on only deaths of people who tested positive for coronavirus within 28 days of death will be listed as having died from the virus.
Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said it was difficult to say how much impact the virus may have had on someone's death.
He said: 'It's a difficult judgement call to make. Say for example you have a patient with leukaemia and they get Covid-19 and a couple of weeks later they die. There is evidence that they had got some degree of pneumonia but what do you put as the primary cause of death? The primary cause is leukaemia but they might not have died if they had not got covid-19.'
US records highest number of COVID cases in a single day since August
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 10:49
By Karen Ruiz For and Reuters 19:24 26 Sep 2020, updated 00:15 27 Sep 2020
There were 55,054 new COVID-19 cases reported by health authorities across the United States on FridayIt's the highest figure since August 14, when 64,350 new cases were recorded It comes as New York reported more than 1,000 daily positive tests since June On Friday, the US topped more than 7 million coronavirus cases, making up 20% of the world's total Recently, there has been a surge in the Midwest in states such as Utah, Wisconsin, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota South Dakota is reporting a 166% increase in cases over the last four weeks compared to prior four weeks and Wisconsin reported record hospitalizations The news comes just three days after the US surpassed 200,000 deaths from COVID-19, the highest in the world The US has recorded the highest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day since August, after several states saw record daily spikes and the national total topped 7million.
There were 55,054 new COVID-19 cases reported by health authorities across the United States on Friday, a Johns Hopkins University tally shows.
It's the highest figure since August 14, when 64,350 new cases were recorded following a peak in infections in the summer.
The record uptick comes as the US surpassed the grim milestone of over 7million total infections on Friday, just three days after virus deaths topped 200,000.
The nation currently makes up more than 20 percent of the world's total cases and has the highest virus death toll than any country.
The alarming figures appear to be a result of a surge in cases in the country's midwest where four states reported record one-day increases on Friday.
More than 1,000 New Yorkers tested positive for COVID-19 in a single day Friday, marking the first time since June 5 the state has seen a daily number that high On Friday, the US topped more than 7 million coronavirus cases, making up 20% of the world's total. Pictured: Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health nurses Crys Kuntz (left)and Sara Nelson confer inside the Bismarck Event Center in Bismarck, North Dakota, September 8 The US has recorded the highest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day since AugustNew York, once the epicenter of the deadly virus, is also experiencing an uptick with more than 1,000 residents testing positive on Friday - marking the first time since June 5 the state has seen a daily number that high.
The number of positive tests reported daily in the state has been steadily inching up in recent weeks, a trend possibly related to increasing numbers of businesses reopening, college campuses reopening and children returning to school.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday there were 1,005 positive cases tallied on the previous day out of 99,953 tests, for a 1 per cent positive rate.
From late July through the start of September the state was seeing an average of around 660 people test positive per day. In the seven-day period that ended Friday, the state had averaged 817 positive tests per day.
However, that number of daily positive tests in a state of more than 19million people still puts New York in a much better position than many other states.
The US surpassed the grim milestone of over 7million cases on Friday as infections continue to trend upward Click here to resize this module
New York had been the worst hit state at the peak of the pandemic in March and April before infections rates finally dipped after the state imposed strict health restrictions.
The virus then struck the Sun Belt at the start of the summer and now, the it is devastating communities in America's heartland that have been slower to implement restrictions or mandate masks.
Wisconsin, one of the states where cases are rising the fastest, reported 2,629 new infections, surpassing its previous record set last Friday, according to the tally.
Minnesota, Oregon and Utah also reported record increases in cases on Friday.
Every Midwestern state, except Ohio, reported more cases over the past four weeks compared with the prior four weeks, led by South Dakota and North Dakota.
South Dakota had the biggest percentage increase at 166 percent with 8,129 new cases over the last month compared to nearly 4,900 cases from the month prior.
According to the Rapid City Journal, the state set new records on cases, current hospitalizations and deaths on Thursday.
The state's Department of Health reported 463 new cases and a new high of 194 current COVID-19 hospitalizations.
On average, the nation is reporting 44,000 new cases a day and about 700 deaths, according to a Reuters tally Earlier this week, the national death toll topped 200,000Eight deaths were reported on Thursday, which has only occurred on one other occasion, about 10 days ago.
South Dakota health secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said it is too soon to know if the state has reached its peak.
Meanwhile Gov Kristi Noem tweeted on Tuesday that South Dakota is 'in good shape' with only five percent of ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile North Dakota's new cases doubled to 8,752 as compared to 4,243 during the same time in August.
The Bismarck Tribune reported that active cases in the state have risen to an all-time high during the pandemic.
On Thursday, the state's Department of Health reported 471 cases of COVID-19, bringing the states's active case total to 3,483.
Currently, 26 patients are in ICU beds, making up almost 10 percent of North Dakota's ICU capacity.
Meanwhile one-third of all North Dakota's counties are classified as 'moderate-risk' with some 'approaching high-risk.'
Despite the record, interim State Health Officer Paul Mariani broke with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and rescinded an order requiring close contacts of known COVID-19 patients to quarantine for 14 days.
Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients also set records this week in Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
COVID-19 infections in the United States are trending upwards and the average number of cases in the last seven days is up 10 per cent from the prior week, according to a Reuters analysis.
On average, the nation is reporting 44,000 new cases a day and about 700 deaths.
Despite cases still rising in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday lifted all COVID-19 restrictions on businesses, including restaurants and bars, saying the threat of the coronavirus pandemic had eased sufficiently to allow the state to enter the final phase of its reopening.
Ineens meldde het RIVM veel meer coronadoden, waar kwamen die vandaan? | NOS
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 11:23
Het leek vanmiddag uit de lucht te komen vallen: het RIVM meldde 38 coronadoden in (C)(C)n dag. Gisteren lag het aantal doden in een dag nog op 16, en de dag daarvoor ook. Dus waar kwam dat hoge aantal van 38 ineens vandaan?
Bij nader onderzoek bleek de piek veel minder groot. Het hogere aantal zat hem in extra meldingen van de GGD IJsselland, waar onder meer Zwolle onder valt. In de 24 uur tot 10.00 uur vanochtend kwamen er 21 meldingen van coronadoden bij het RIVM binnen van die GGD, terwijl daar de afgelopen week maar (C)(C)n persoon aan het coronavirus is overleden.
De verwarring is veroorzaakt door "een administratieve inhaalslag", zegt de GGD IJsselland. Verreweg de meeste meldingen waren daardoor niet van de afgelopen week, maar van het afgelopen halfjaar.
De GGD IJsselland leverde de hogere cijfers niet vanwege een achterstand, maar omdat het RIVM een extra verzoek had gedaan aan alle GGD's.
Extra inventarisatieHet RIVM wil zo zeker mogelijk weten dat alle coronaslachtoffers worden meegeteld en vroeg daarom de GGD's deze zomer om te inventariseren of er meer coronadoden waren dan bekend was.
Normaal gesproken meldt een GGD het aan het RIVM wanneer iemand positief is getest. Het kan zo zijn dat deze persoon naar het ziekenhuis moet en daar overlijdt. Dan meldt de GGD dit sterfgeval aan het RIVM. Het kan ook zo zijn dat een positief getest persoon uit beeld raakt of door drukte in het ziekenhuis niet wordt geregistreerd.
Om die onbekende gevallen op te sporen, vroeg het RIVM de GGD's de sterfgevallen in de bevolkingsregisters in hun regio naast de positief geteste personen te leggen en te kijken of daar overeenkomsten in zaten.
Nooit 100 procent zekerSommige GGD's deden dit al, anderen nog niet. GGD IJsselland kwam nu met de cijfers. Het gaat dus om mensen die al eerder positief getest waren, maar pas later als coronadode zijn 'ontdekt' en doorgegeven.
In totaal gaat het in de regio IJsselland om 28 gerapporteerde doden deze week. Het gaat hier dus om mensen die positief getest waren en ook zijn overleden. Er kan nooit met 100 procent zekerheid worden gezegd dat het coronavirus de doodsoorzaak was, maar de kans is groot omdat ze op dat moment besmet waren.
Als de 21 doden uit de regio IJsselland die vandaag vanwege die "inhaalslag" zijn gemeld, worden afgetrokken van de 38 doden die het RIVM meldt, gaat het om 17 overlijdens en dat is iets meer dan gemiddeld de afgelopen dagen.
COVID-19 mutation may be evolving to bypass masks, hand washing
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 12:04
By Jackie Salo
September 24, 2020 | 2:23pm
Sign up for our special edition newsletter to get a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic.
A new COVID-19 mutation appears to be even more contagious, according to a study '-- and experts say it could be a response by the virus to defeat masks and other social-distancing efforts.
Scientists in a paper published Wednesday identified a new strain of the virus, which accounted for 99.9 percent of cases during the second wave in the Houston, Texas, area, the Washington Post reported.
The paper, which has not been peer-reviewed, said people with the strain, known as the D614G mutation, had higher loads of virus '-- suggesting it is more contagious.
Though the strain isn't more deadly, researchers said it appeared to have adapted better to spread among humans.
David Morens, a virologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the findings suggest that the virus may become more contagious and that this ''may have implications for our ability to control it.''
He said it's possible that the virus had evolved to resist efforts such as hand-washing and social distancing.
''Wearing masks, washing our hands, all those things are barriers to transmissibility, or contagion, but as the virus becomes more contagious, it statistically is better at getting around those barriers,'' Morens told the newspaper.
Vaccines and such
Coronavirus vaccine: Johnson & Johnson jab shows response in 98% of test participants | The Independent
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 10:53
One of the numerous proposed coronavirus vaccines has produced a strong immune response in test subjects according to a report issued Friday.
Johnson & Johnson's JNJ.N Covid-19 vaccine, called Ad26.COV2.S, was well-tolerated by subjects at two dosing instances in early-to-mid stage coronavirus clinical trials.
It is the only Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trial in the US that is testing a single dose vaccine.
Researchers said 98 per cent of participants in the study whose data was available had neutralising antibodies, which help the body fight off pathogens, a month after they received the vaccine.
The vaccine is unique in that it is delivered in a single shot, rather than in two doses. The reduced time needed to deliver the vaccine could simply its distribution.
The report written based on the trial, which was released on the medical website medRxiv, has not been peer reviewed, according to Reuters.
Nearly 1,000 healthy adults participated in the clinical trial, which began after Johnson & Johnson saw that the vaccine provided strong immune protection when tested on monkeys.
The company began the latest phase of the trials on Wednesday when it began a 60,000-person trial. If results are successful, the trial would be another step on the path to a viable coronavirus vaccine.
Johnson & Johnson said the trial should finish by the end of the year or the beginning of 2021.
While the results thus far have been promising, an area of concern voiced by researchers is whether or not the vaccine will be effective in the elderly.
There were only 15 participants included in the report who were over 65 years old.
Participants over 65 years old reported adverse reactions to the drug - like fatigue and muscle aches - at a rate of only 36 per cent. Younger participants reported those effects at a rate of 64 per cent. Since the older patients weren't experiencing side effects as often, researchers worry they may not have the same immune response as younger individuals.
The report found that most of the side effects caused by the vaccine cleared up in a few days.
2020 - When I did MTV I traveled around the country going to radio stations everywhere, and I really learned that you never can underestimate the American public.
The LID (from Gary)
When the press secretary puts out a "full lid", there will be no more events to cover for the night or sometimes weekend. Time to hits the bars, go home, etc. Think CJ Craig on the West Wing. It is a well known term amongst the White House press.
There is a NBC podcast called "The LID."
The podcast used to open with the phrase "We have a full lid." They dropped it for some reason.
Election Protest guide
PA ballot fraud historically
In the Morning,
Im sure you are aware of the overseas and Military ballots that were found in the trash. Well, it happened in my back yard and in a county you visited on your motorhome tour years ago.
The county for years was a republican strong hold. That changed with the election of JFK. There was a coup of sorts as the Democrats were able to win a majority. I still remember my neighbor telling me how my uncle fired him from his tax assessor job because he would not switch parties ( He later switched so he could feed his family). I also remember going to $100 dollar a plate Democrat dinners with my dad as my aunt who worked for the county and was single, was required to buy 4 tickets twice a year to keep her job. Depending on your level of employment you had a certain number of tickets you were required to purchase. You also had to be "connected" and pay a fee to get your job.
What I found very interesting was how the power brokers in the county watched the polls. My Dad was tasked with watching the polls and checking a list of voters. Every so often a worker would come in check to see who had not voted and go pick them up and drive them to the polls. My dad was also told to report any county worker who took too long to vote as that meant they did not pull the one handle in the machine that would vote the straight party line and were making choices.
This stronghold has slowly eroded but, whenever there is a scandal relieved it is usually a few familiar names involved. Interestingly, the person who called the feds was our republican DA and the ones making excuses are Democrats (both locally and at the state level).
Here is one link.
If you go to citizensvoice. com you will get the democratic slant. For the Republican slant go to
Keep up the good work,
Sir Joe the Toe
Trump $500B Black America plan designates KKK, Antifa as 'terrorist organizations' | Fox News
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 21:04
President Trump's plan for Black America designates the KKK and Antifa as terrorist organizations and calls for making lynching a national hate crime, while pledging to increase access to capital in Black communities by nearly $500 billion, Fox News has learned.
The president on Friday is expected to roll out details of what the campaign is calling the ''Platinum Plan,'' which details ''opportunity,'' ''security,'' ''prosperity,'' and ''fairness'' for the Black Community.
''For decades, Democrat politicians like Joe Biden have taken Black voters for granted. They made you big promises before every election'--and then the moment they got to Washington, they abandoned you and sold you out,'' the president is expected to say Friday, according to remarks exclusively obtained by Fox News. ''The Democrats will always take Black voters for granted until large numbers of Black Americans vote Republican.''
The president is expected to tout the plan as ''a bold vision that we can and will achieve over the next four years.''
The president's plan, according to the campaign, will increase access to capital in Black communities by almost $500 billion, help to create 500,000 new Black-owned businesses, and help to create 3 million new jobs for the Black community.
Fox News obtained a copy of the "Platinum Plan." It states that it will ''prosecute the KKK and ANTIFA as terrorist organizations and make lynching a national hate crime.''
The president's plan also vows to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
Meanwhile, the president is also expected to commit to working on a ''Second Step Act,'' and provide access to better jobs and training opportunities for those in Black communities.
The Platinum Plan also pledges to give Black churches the ability to compete for federal resources for their communities; bring better and tailored healthcare to address what the campaign called ''historic disparities,'' and advance home ownership opportunities and enhance financial literacy in Black communities.
As for educational opportunities, the president is expected to vow, in federal, state and local community partnerships to ''close failing schools'' to replace with ''full school choice and education opportunity,'' while continuing to protect Historically Black Colleges & Universities.
The president is also expected to pledge to increase the amount of Pell grants and allow for vocational employment and advance targeted apprenticeship and job training programs.
Trump is expected to slam his Democratic opponent Joe Biden, saying that the former vice president ''is offering Black Americans nothing but the same, tired, empty slogans.''
''I stand here to offer you solutions,'' Trump is expected to say, while adding that ''no one in Washington politics today has done more to hurt Black Americans than Joe Biden.''
The president is also expected to vow to increase public safety in Black communities.
''Instead of fighting for public safety for these communities, the Democrats are attacking our police and empowering far-left rioters, looters, and anarchists,'' Trump is expected to say. ''In the Republican Party, we believe in protecting ALL black lives '' including the unborn.''
He is expected to add that Republicans "believe that every child, of every race '' born and unborn '' is made in the Holy image of God. Republicans believe that all human life is sacred.''
''At no time before has there been a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies, and two agendas for the future,'' Trump will say.
Trump Says He's Mailing $200 to 33 Million Seniors Before Election Day As He Gains in Polls
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 10:27
President Donald Trump on Thursday announced that he will be sending out $200 in the mail to 33 million Medicare beneficiaries in the coming weeks.
During an address on his health care policies in Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump revealed a "historic provision to benefit our great seniors" in his America First Healthcare Plan.
"Under my plan, 33 million Medicare beneficiaries will soon receive a card in the mail containing $200 that they can use to help pay for prescription drugs," the president said. "Nobody's seen this before. The cards will be mailed out in the coming weeks. I will always take care of our wonderful senior citizens. Joe Biden won't be doing this."
The pledge, part of Trump's latest health care push, will assist senior citizens in prescription drug copays. The effort would be executed without consent from Congress through a Medicare demonstration program.
Newsweek subscription offers >
Newsweek reached out to the White House for additional information.
President Donald Trump makes an announcement on his healthcare policies in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 24, 2020. Brian Blanco/GettyWith 40 days until Election Day, the president on Thursday also signed two executive orders implementing his health care plan. "Under the America First Health Care Plan, we will ensure the highest standard of care anywhere in the world, cutting edge treatment, state of the art medicine, groundbreaking cures, and true health security for you and your loved ones," he said of the program. "And we will do it rapidly, and it's in very good order, and some of it has already been implemented."
The first order would help retain health care coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters that the second order directs him to pass legislation with lawmakers in Congress to ban surprise medical bills by 2021.
Newsweek subscription offers >
Trump's critics and some lawyers have said the president's health care push will carry little weight. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the orders "bogus" and has encouraged the president to "drop his lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic."
Recent poll data has shown Trump gaining on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ahead of their first presidential debate on Tuesday.
A Yahoo News/YouGov poll, released Thursday afternoon, showed Biden leading Trump by 5 percentage points nationwide, with 45 percent of support from registered voters compared to the president's 40 percent. When voters were surveyed earlier this month by the same pollsters, Biden was leading Trump by 10 percent.
Biden is also leading Trump on health care. The latest KFF-Cook Political Report poll showed Biden with a 7-9 lead on health and 7-11 lead on the coronavirus with swing voters in Arizona, Florida and North Carolina.
lid - Political Dictionary
Thu, 24 Sep 2020 23:09
A ''lid'' is what White House press secretaries use to indicate that there will be no news coming out of the White House that day. It can also be called a ''Full Lid.''
A lid is typically called when the White House does not want to release any information about a key topic. They call a lid to give notice to journalists that no questions will be answered.
Although the term has been around for decades, it was popularized by fictional Press Secretary C.J. Cregg on TV show The West Wing.
Kelly O'Donnell: ''The White House has again called a 'lid' meaning no other news is expected tonight.''
Latest Electoral Vote Map ForecastClick here for an interactive version.
Say it plainly: Trump is a psychopath - New York Daily News
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 16:29
''Get rid of the ballots'' and ''there won't be a transfer,'' said Donald Trump on Wednesday. This comment is a direct and dangerous expression of his anti-democratic intention. If unstopped, Trump may well destroy our 244-year-old democracy.
It is time to stop pulling punches. It is time to stop relying on political pundits to weigh in on Trump's behavior, which they often soften and even normalize.
We are psychologists, and we are convinced Donald Trump is a psychopath. His malignant behavior over the past four years is growing and escalating right before our eyes. Trump's psychopathy will change us forever if he is not stopped.
This is not hyperbole. This is not an expression of "a left-wing agenda.'' This is a mental health opinion based on thousands of hours of documented behavior by this president.
He breaks norms, rules, and laws with impunity.
He peddles fake conspiracy theories and irrational magical thinking.
He blames, scapegoats and gaslights as easily as he breathes.
He undermines the vital role of the free press because he abhors oversight and accountability.
He is callous and cold and unfeeling because he has no conscience.
He denigrates and humiliates anyone and everyone in his path.
He has no respect for military heroes or renowned experts.
He is obsessed with power and adoration.
He is a greedy opportunist.
He is corrupt to the core.
Now Trump is desperate to win re-election. He does not want to lose his hold on power for a number of reasons, most notably his insatiable thirst for attention. He is afraid of facing criminal charges once he leaves office. He is already essentially an unindicted co-conspirator in a campaign finance crime. He knows he is lawless and corrupt; that is why he lies about it so frequently and fervently.
Trump will do absolutely anything '-- no matter how untruthful or illegal or immoral '-- to win this election. He has already compromised the Postal Service.
Trump will declare victory as soon as he can, even if millions of ballots have not been counted. If need be, he will challenge the election results so that the Supreme Court will ultimately choose him for a second term. In fact, he has openly admitted that he wants to immediately replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because of the upcoming election. Trump's desire to sabotage our election process is the behavior of a dictator.
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Trump is letting the Russians intervene on his behalf in this election. They are doing so. Before Trump, such an invitation would have been considered treasonous and criminal.
Trump is fearmongering about Joe Biden and all Democrats on a daily basis. His allegations against Biden are outrageous and even bizarre; Trump asserted that there are ''people in dark shadows'' who are controlling Biden.
Trump's falsehoods about health insurance and pre-existing illnesses and Social Security benefits and Medicare are intended to sow doubt and confusion in the American public. He says one thing but does the exact opposite. He tells us that he will protect pre-existing illnesses, but behind the scenes he is taking court action to disallow them.
Trump is the most psychiatrically disordered president in history.
Donald Trump is dishonest and destructive and evil. He has become embolden and empowered by the complicity of his Republican sycophants. Sadly, he now believes he is destined to carry on his mission. He feels unstoppable. And he must be stopped before it is too late.
Blotcky is a clinical psychologist in Birmingham, Ala. Norrholm, also a psychologist, is on faculty at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.
Black Madonna - Wikipedia
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 20:00
The term Black Madonna or Black Virgin tends to refer to statues or paintings in Western Christendom of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus, where both figures are depicted as black. The Black Madonna can be found both in Catholic and Orthodox countries.
Black Madonna of Outremeuse,
Li¨ge, in a procession
Madonna at House of the Black Madonna, Prague
The paintings are usually icons which are Byzantine in origin or style, some made in 13th- or 14th-century Italy, others are older and from the Middle East, Caucasus or Africa, mainly Egypt and Ethiopia. Statues are often made of wood but occasionally made of stone, painted and up to 75 cm (30 in) tall. They fall into two main groups: free-standing upright figures or seated figures on a throne. There are about 400''500 Black Madonnas in Europe, depending on how they are classified. There are at least 180 Vierges Noires in Southern France alone, and there are hundreds of non-medieval copies as well. Some are in museums, but most are in churches or shrines and are venerated by believers. Some are associated with miracles and attract substantial numbers of pilgrims.
Black Madonnas come in different forms, and the speculations behind the reason for the dark hue of each individual icon or statue vary greatly and are not without controversy. Though some Madonnas were originally black or brown when they were made, others have simply turned darker due to factors like ageing or candle smoke. The Jungian scholar, Ean Begg, has conducted a study into the potential pagan origins of the cult of the black madonna and child.[1] Another speculated cause for the dark-skinned depiction is due to pre-Christian deities being re-envisioned as the Madonna and child.[2]
Studies and research Edit Research into the Black Madonna phenomenon is limited due to a wide consensus among scholars that the dark-skinned aspect was unintentional.[citation needed ] Begg has a different view: he links the recurring refrain from the Song of Solomon, 'I am black, and I am beautiful' to the Queen of Sheba.[1] Recently, however, interest in this subject has gathered more momentum.
Important early studies of dark-skinned holy images in France were by Camille Flammarion (1888),[3] Marie Durand-Lefebvre (1937), Emile Saillens (1945), and Jacques Huynen (1972). The first notable study of the origin and meaning of the Black Madonnas in English appears to have been presented by Leonard Moss at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on December 28, 1952. Moss broke the images into three categories: (1) dark brown or black Madonnas with physiognomy and skin pigmentation matching that of the indigenous population; (2) various art forms that have turned black as a result of certain physical factors such as deterioration of lead-based pigments, accumulated smoke from the use of votive candles, and accumulation of grime over the ages, and (3) residual category with no ready explanation.[4] [5]
In the cathedral at Chartres, there were two Black Madonnas: Notre Dame de Pilar, a 1508 dark walnut copy of a 13th-century silver Madonna, standing atop a high pillar, surrounded by candles; and Notre Dame de Sous-Terre, a replica of an original destroyed during the French Revolution. Restoration work on the cathedral resulted in the painting of Notre Dame de Pilar, to reflect an earlier 19th century painted style, rendering the statue no longer a "Black Madonna".[6][7]
Some scholars chose to investigate the significance of the dark-skinned complexion to pilgrims and worshipers rather than focus on whether or not this depiction was intentional. This is an important subject because many Black Madonnas turn the shrines in which they are housed into some of the most revered pilgrimage sites, by virtue of their presence. Monique Scheer, one of these scholars, attributes the importance of the dark-skinned depiction to its connection with authenticity. The reason for this connection is the perceived age of the figures and the idea that these depictions are more accurate to historical Mary since many of the works are eastern in origin and since Mary herself likely had dark skin.[8]
List of Black Madonnas Edit Africa Edit Mary and child icon,
Sinai, 6th century
Algeria, Algiers: "Our Lady of Africa"[9]Senegal, Popenguine: "Notre-Dame de la D(C)livrance"[10]South Africa, Soweto: "The Black Madonna"[11] Our Lady of Guidance, Manila
Asia Edit Japan Edit Black Madonna at Catholic Tsuruoka Church,Japan
Tsuruoka city, Yamagata prefecture: Tsuruoka Tenshud´ Catholic Church features a black Madonna statue given by France during Meiji period[12]The Philippines Edit Antipolo, Rizal: Nuestra Se±ora de la Paz y Buen Viaje de Antipolo (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage of Antipolo)[13]Ermita, City of Manila: Nuestra Se±ora de Guia (Our Lady of Guidance)Lapu-Lapu City: Nuestra Se±ora de la Regla (Our Lady of the Rule)[14]Naga, Camarines Sur: Nuestra Se±ora de Pe±afrancia (Our Lady of Pe±afrancia)Piat, Cagayan: Nuestra Se±ora de la Visitaci"n de Piat (Our Lady of Piat)[15]Joroan, Tiwi, Albay: Mater Salutis (Mother of Our Salvation)Europe Edit Austria Edit St. Andr¤ im Lavanttal 'žSchwarze Madonna von Loreto'' Basilica Maria LoretoBelgium Edit Brugge, "Our Lady of Regla"[16]Brussels: "De Zwerte Lieve Vrouwo", St. Catherine ChurchHalle (Flemish Brabant) : Sint-MartinusbasiliekLi¨ge: La Vierge Noire d'Outremeuse,Lier: Onze lieve vrouw ter GratienScherpenheuvel-Zichem: Our Lady of ScherpenheuvelTournai: Our Lady of Flanders in Tournai CathedralVerviers: "Black Virgin of the Recollects", Notre-Dame des R(C)collets Church,Walcourt: (Notre-Dames de Walcourt)Croatia Edit Marija Bistrica: Our Lady of Bistrica, Queen of CroatiaCzech Republic Edit Brno: Assumption of Virgin Mary Minor Basilica, St Thomas's Abbey, Brno[17]Prague: The Madonna of Breznice; The Black Madonna in the Church Our Lady Under the Chain[18] The Black Madonna on the House of the Black Madonna.France Edit Black Madonna of Toulouse
Aix-en-Provence, (Bouches-du-Rh´ne): Notre-Dame des Graces, Cath(C)drale Saint-Sauveur d'Aix[19]Arconsat: (Notre-Dame des Champs)Aurillac, (Cantal): Notre-Dame des Neiges[20]Beaune: Our Lady of BeauneBesan§on: Our Lady de GrayBesse-et-Saint-Anastaise,(Puy-de-D´me): Saint-Andr(C) Church, Notre-Dame de Vassivi¨reBourg-en-Bresse, (Ain): 13th centuryChartres, (Eure-et-Loir): crypt of the Cathedral of Chartres, Notre-Dame-de-Sous-Terre[21]Clermont-Ferrand, (Puy-de-D´me)[22]Cusset: the Black Virgin of CussetDijon, (C´te-d'Or)Douvres-la-D(C)livrande, Basilique Notre-Dame de la D(C)livrande, "Notre-Dame de la D(C)livrande"[23]Dunkerque, (Nord) : Chapelle des DunesGuingamp, (C´tes-d'Armor): Basilica of Notre Dame de Bon Secours.La Chapelle-Geneste, (Haute-Loire: Notre Dame de La Chapelle Geneste[24]Laon,(Aisne): Notre-Dame Cathedral, statue of 1848Le Havre,(Seine-Maritime): statue near the Graville Abbey (Abbaye de Graville)Le Puy-en-Velay: In 1254 when passing through on his return from the Holy Land Saint Louis IX of France gave the cathedral an ebony image of the Blessed Virgin clothed in gold brocade (Notre-Dame du Puy). It was destroyed during the Revolution, but replaced at the Restoration with a copy that continues to be venerated.[25]Liesse-Notre-Dame, (Aisne): Notre-Dame de Liesse, statue destroyed in 1793, copy of 1857Marseille,(Bouches-du-Rh´ne): Notre-Dame-de-Confession,[26] Abbey of St. Victor ; Notre-Dame d'Huveaune, Saint-Giniez ChurchMauriac, Cantal: Notre Dame des Miracles[27]Mende, (Loz¨re) : Cathedral (Basilique-cath(C)drale Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Privat de Mende)Menton, (Alpes-Maritimes): St. Michel ChurchMeymac Abbey, (Corr¨ze)[28]Molompize: Notre-Dame de VauclairMont-Saint-Michel: Notre-Dame du Mont-TombeMyans, (Savoie)Paris, (Neuilly-sur-Seine): Notre-Dame de Bonne D(C)livrance, in the motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Thomas of Villanova[29]Quimper,(Finist¨re): Eglise de Gu(C)odet, nomm(C)e encore Notre-Dame-de-la-Cit(C)Riom,(Puy-de-D´me): Notre-Dame du Marthuret[30]Rocamadour, (Lot): Our Lady of Rocamadour [31]Sainte Marie (R(C)union) : Black Virgin River Rains [fr] Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (Camarque) Avignon: Annual Gypsy festival[32] celebrating Sara, the patron saint of Gypsies[33]Soissons (Aisne): statue of the 12th centuryTarascon, (Bouches-du-Rh´ne): Notre-Dame du Chteau[34]Thuret,(Puy-de-D´me)[35]Toulouse: The basilica Notre-Dame de la Daurade in Toulouse, France had housed the shrine of a Black Madonna. The original icon was stolen in the fifteenth century, and its first replacement was burned by Revolutionaries in 1799 on the Place du Capitole. The icon presented today is an 1807 copy of the fifteenth century Madonna. Blackened by the hosts of candles, the second Madonna was known from the sixteenth century as Our Lady La Noire[36]Tournemire, Chteau d'Anjony, Our Lady of AnjonyVaison-la-Romaine, (Vaucluse): statue on a hillVichy, (Allier): Saint-Blaise ChurchGermany Edit Alt¶tting (Bavaria): Gnadenkapelle (Chapel of the Miraculous Image)Beilstein (Rhineland-Palatinate): Karmeliterkirche St. JosephBielefeld (North Rhine-Westphalia)D¼sseldorf-Benrath (North Rhine-Westphalia): Pfarrkirche St. C¤ciliaHirschberg an der BergstraŸe (Baden-W¼rttemberg): Wallfahrtskirche St. Johannes BaptistSchloss Hohenstein, Upper Franconia (Bavaria)K¶ln (Nord Rhein Westfalen): St. Maria in der KupfergasseLudwigshafen-Oggersheim (Rhineland-Palatinate): Schloss- und Wallfahrtskirche Mari¤ Himmelfahrt (Ludwigshafen)Mainau (Baden-W¼rttemberg): Schlosskirche St. MarienMunich (Bavaria): Theatine Church; St. Boniface's AbbeyRastatt (Baden-W¼rttemberg): Einsiedelner KapelleRegensburg (Bavaria): Regensburg CathedralRemagen (Rhineland-Palatinate): Kapelle Schwarze MadonnaSpabr¼cken (Rhineland-Palatinate)Stetten ob Lontal, Niederstotzingen (Baden-W¼rttemberg)Windhausen in Boppard-Herschwiesen (Rhineland-Palatinate)Wipperf¼rth (North Rhine-Westphalia): St. Johannes, KreuzbergWuppertal-Beyenburg (North Rhine-Westphalia)Greece Edit Hidden church of the Black Madonna, Vamos, Crete
Hungary Edit Cathedral Basilica of Eger: Our Lady of the Immaculate ConceptionIreland Edit Dublin (Leinster): Our Lady of Dublin in Whitefriar Street Carmelite ChurchItaly Edit Tindari Madonna Bruna: restoration work in the 1990s found a medieval statue with later additions.
Nigra sum sed formosa, meaning "I am black but beautiful" (from the
Song of Songs, 1:5), is inscribed round a newer base.
Biella (Piedmont): Black Virgin of Oropa, sanctuary of OropaCanneto Valley near Settefrati (Lazio): Madonna di CannetoCasale Monferrato (Piedmont): Our Lady of Crea. In the hillside Sanctuary at Crea (Santuario di Crea), a cedar-wood figure, said to be one of three Black Virgins brought to Italy from the Holy Land c. 345 by St. Eusebius.Castelmonte, Prepotto (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)Gubbio, Italy: The NIGER-REGIN square, discovered carved in the cave of Sibilla Eugubina on Mount Ingino, is considered to be a word square from the ''Black Queen''. Seemingly of Neo-Templar origin, its dated between 1600-1800 CE, was discovered in 2003, and destroyed by vandalism in 2012.[37][38][39]N I G E RI N A R EG A L A GE R A N IR E G I NLoreto (Marche): Basilica della Santa CasaNaples (Campania): Santuario-Basilica SS Carmine MaggiorePescasseroli (Abruzzo): Madonna di Monte TranquilloPositano (Campania): Located in the church of Santa Maria Assunta, the story of how it got there'--sailors shouting "Posa, posa!" ("Put it down, put it down!")'--gave the town its name.San Severo (Apulia): "La Madonna del Soccorso" (The Madonna of Succor), St. Severinus Abbot and Saint Severus Bishop Faeto. Statue in gold garments, object of a major three-day festival that attracts over 350,000 people to this small town.Seminara (Calabria): Maria Santissima dei poveriTindari (Sicily): Our Lady of TindariTorre Annunziata (Campania): Madonna della NeveVenice (Veneto): Madonna della Salute, Santa Maria della SaluteViggiano (Basilicata)Kosovo Edit Vitina-Letnica: Church of the Black Madonna, where Mother Teresa is believed to have heard her calling.Lithuania Edit AuÅros vartai: Our Lady of the Gate of DawnOur Lady of Å iluva: Our Lady of the Pine WoodsLuxembourg Edit Esch-sur-S>>reLuxembourg: Luxembourg-GrundMacedonia Edit KaliÅta, Monastery: Madonna icon in the Nativity of Our Most Holy Mother of God churchOhrid, Church: Madonna with the childMalta Edit Ä...amrun: Our Lady of Atoċja, a medieval painting brought to Malta by a merchant in the year 1630, depicting a statue found in Atocha, a parish in Madrid, Spain, and widely known as Il-Madonna tas-Samra. (This can mean 'tanned Madonna', 'brown Madonna', or 'Madonna of Samaria'.)Poland Edit CzÄstochowa: Our Lady of CzestochowaIn the United States, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania houses a reproduction of the Black Madonna of CzÄstochowa. a second shrine to Our Lady of CzÄstochowa is located near Eureka, Missouri.In Israel there are two reproductions of the Black Madonna of CzÄstochowa: One in St. Peter's Church in Tel Aviv, and another in the Abbey of the Dormition in Jerusalem.[40][41][42][43][44][45]Głog"wek: Our Lady of LorettoPortugal Edit Nazar(C) (Oeste Subregion): Nossa Senhora da Nazar(C); see: the legend of Nazar(C)Romania Edit Ghighiu: Maica Domnului Siriaca '' Manastirea GhighiuCacica: Madona Neagra '' Biserica CacicaBucuresti: Madona Neagra '' Biserica DichiuRussia Edit Kostroma (Kostroma Oblast): Theotokos of St. Theodore also known as Our Lady of St. Theodore (ФедоÑовская БоÐ"оматеÑь), in Theophany MonasteryOur Lady of Wladimir, from the 12th centuryBlack Virgin of Taganrog, Taganrog Old CemeterySerbia Edit Apatin (Vojvodina): Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic ChurchSlovenia Edit Koprivna, Črna na KoroÅkem: St. Anne's Church, Koprivna '' the altar of Black MadonnaSpain Edit Andºjar (Province of Ja(C)n): Nuestra Se±ora de la Cabeza (Our Lady of Cabeza), named after the mountain, Cerro de la Cabeza or Cerro de Cabezo.Chipiona (Province of Cdiz): La Virgen de Regla or Nuestra Se±ora de Regla (Our Lady of Regla or the Virgin of Regla), considered by some as the custodian of the Rule of Saint AugustineCoria (Province of Cceres): Virgen de Argeme (Our Lady of Argeme)El Puerto de Santa Mar­a (Province of Cdiz): Virgen de los Milagros (The Virgin of the Miracles)Guadalupe (Province of Cceres): Nuestra Se±ora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe, Extremadura)Jerez de la Frontera (Province of Cdiz): Nuestra Se±ora de la Merced (Our Lady Of Mercy)Madrid (Community of Madrid): Nuestra Se±ora de Atocha (Our Lady of Atocha)Lluc, Majorca (Balearic Islands): Mare de D(C)u de Lluc (Our Lady of Lluc), Lluc MonasteryMonistrol de Montserrat (Catalonia): Mare de D(C)u de Montserrat (Virgin of Montserrat) or "La Moreneta" in the Benedictine abbey of Santa Maria de MontserratPonferrada (Province of Le"n): Virgen de la Encina (Our Lady of the Holm Oak)Salamanca (Province of Salamanca): Virgen de la Pe±a de Francia (The Virgin of France's Rock, named after the local mountain called Pe±a de Francia)Santiago de Compostela (Galicia):Tenerife (Canary Islands): Nuestra Se±ora de la Candelaria (Virgin of Candelaria), or "La Morenita"Toledo (Province of Toledo): Virgen Morena (Dark Virgin), statue of La Esclavitud de Nuestra Se±ora del Sagrario in the Cathedral of Toledo (Catedral Primada de Santa Mar­a) (The Enslavement of Our Lady of the Tabernacle)Torreciudad (Huesca): Our Lady of TorreciudadSweden Edit Lunds Domkyrka Lund Cathedral Attached to a marble pillar in the crypt: Black madonna with childSkee Kyrka Bohusl¤n former Norwegian and Danish province. Black madonna with beheaded child [1]Switzerland Edit Einsiedeln (Canton of Schwyz): Our Lady of the HermitsSonogno, Valle Verzasca (Canton of Ticino): Santa Maria LoretanaUetikon upon Lake (Canton of Z¼rich): Catholic Church Saint Francis of AssisiMetzerlen-Mariastein (Canton of Solothurn): Mariastein AbbeyAscona (Canton of Ticino): Black ChapelLugano (Canton of Ticino): Chiesa di Santa Maria di LoretoTurkey Edit Three icons portraying the Theotokos with black skin survived in Turkey to the present day, one of which is housed in the church of Halki theological seminary.
Ukraine Edit Tsarytsya Karpat (Hoshiv Monastery): The Queen of the Carpathian LandUnited Kingdom Edit St. Mary Willesden (Our Lady of Willesden): The original Shrine of Our Lady of Willesden.Our Lady of CzÄstochowa (Our Lady of CzÄstochowa church Nottingham)The Americas Edit Brazil Edit Aparecida, S£o Paulo: Our Lady of Aparecida or Our Lady Appeared (Nossa Senhora Aparecida or Nossa Senhora da Concei§£o Aparecida) in the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of AparecidaChile Edit Andacollo, Elqui Province: La Virgen Morena (Spanish for The Brunette Virgin)Costa Rica Edit Cartago, Cartago Province: Bas­lica de Nuestra Se±ora de los ngeles (Our Lady of the Angels Basilica)Cuba Edit Regla, Havana Province: Nuestra Se±ora de Regla (Spanish for Our Lady of Regla)Trinidad and Tobago Edit Siparia: La Divina Pastora[46]Gran Couva: Our Lady of Montserrat[47]United States Edit Our Lady of FergusonSee also Edit Black NazareneMariologyTeaching of the roseSofia, BulgariaReferences Edit ^ a b Begg, Ean (2017). The Cult of the Black Virgin. Chiron Publications. ISBN 978-1630514419. ^ Moss, Leonard W.; Cappannari, Stephen C. (1953). "The Black Madonna: An Example of Culture Borrowing". The Scientific Monthly. 76 (6): 319''324. Bibcode:1953SciMo..76..319M. ISSN 0096-3771. JSTOR 20482. ^ L'Atmosph¨re : M(C)t(C)orologie populaire (1888), (C)dition avec gravures fr. ^ "Black Madonnas: Origin, History, Controversy". The Jungian scholar, San Begg published a study of Black Virgins and their possible pagan origins. ^ Begg, Ean (2006). The Cult of the Black Virgin. Chiron Publications. ISBN 9781888602395. ^ Filler, Martin "A Scandalous Makeover at Chartres", The New York Review of Books, December 14, 2014 ^ Ramm, Benjamin. "A Controversial Restoration That Wipes Away the Past", The New York Times, September 1, 2017 ^ Scheer, Monique (2002). "From Majesty to Mystery: Change in the Meanings of Black Madonnas from the Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries". The American Historical Review. 107 (5): 1412''1440. doi:10.1086/532852. JSTOR 10.1086/532852. ^ "Algiers". ^ "Senegal". ^ "Soweto". ^ "". Archived from the original on 2017-09-03 . Retrieved 2017-09-03 . ^ Baybay, Felicito S., "Patron Ng Kapayapaan At Mga Manlalakbay" Archived 2014-08-08 at the Wayback Machine ^ KD. "Our Lady Of The Rule National Shrine '' Quirks of Life". ^ Darang, Josephine. "Special Mass for Our Lady of Piat held July 9 at Sto. Domingo Church", Philippine Daily Enquirer, June 26, 2011 ^ "Your Question". Archived from the original on 2015-02-19 . Retrieved 2014-08-06 . ^ "Brno '' The Black Madonna". Archived from the original on 2013-09-28 . Retrieved 2013-08-16 . ^ "Church of Our Lady Below the Chain in Prague", Archived November 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine ^ Channell, J., "Notre-Dame des Graces", Aix-en-Provence ^ "Black Virgin of Aurillac". Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. ^ The New York Times ^ "Notre Dame de Clermont". 2007-12-19. Archived from the original on 2007-12-19 . Retrieved 2009-07-25 . ^ "Douvres". ^ "Notre Dame de La Chapelle Geneste". Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. ^ "Notre Dame du Puy, Cathedrale...: Photo by Photographer Dennis Aubrey". 2007-11-09. Archived from the original on 2009-02-07 . Retrieved 2009-07-25 . ^ "Black Virgin of Marseilles". Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. ^ "Black Virgin of Mauriac". Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. ^ "Meymac". ^ ^ "Black Virgin of Riom". Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. ^ "The Sanctuaries". Archived from the original on 2014-07-05 . Retrieved 2014-08-06 . ^ Garth Cartwright (2011-03-26). "Partying with the Gypsies in the Camargue". the Guardian. ^ "Gypsy's Pilgrimage '' Les Saintes Maries de la Mer '' Camargue '' France". ^ "Notre Dame du Chteau". Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. ^ "Vierge des Croisades". 2007-12-19. Archived from the original on 2007-12-19 . Retrieved 2009-07-25 . ^ Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe, Norman Davies ^ Maria Farneti and Bruno Bartoletti, ''Gubbio: The Italian Rennes-le-Chateau'', 'Hera', issue 43, September 2005 ^ Gubbio e il mysterious del ''NIGER REGIN'' ^ ''IL MONTE TEMPIO E LA PIRAMIDE DI GUBBIO'' by Mario Farneti & Bruno Bartoletti ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Dhalai, Richard, "La Divina Pastora", Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, March 19, 2007 ^ Sources Edit Channell, J., "Black Virgin Sites in France"Rozett, Ella. "Index of Black Madonnas Worldwide", InterfaithMary.netExternal links Edit List of Black MadonnasThe Black Virgin '' Karen RallsMontserratPilgrimageBlack Madonna gallery by Canon Jim Irvine, New Brunswick, CanadaThe Black Madonna "The work of God"Nuestra Se±ora de AtochaBlack Madonna Pilgrimage to Central FranceBlack Madonna photo collection on FlickrBlack Madonnas and other Mysteries of Mary '' Ella RozettSciorra, Joseph. "The Black Madonna of Thirteenth Street", Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore, Vol. 30, Spring-Summer 2004Black Madonna in modern art - see Black Madonna by BystreetSky Artist
Build Back Better
Build Back Better Dimension B
I'm listening to today's show, hearing you, John and all your clips say "Build Back Better" over and over again: and I made a connection! B's... Dimension B... they're trying to get a critical mass of people shouting "Build Back Better" to FLIP OUR REALITY to the other dimension!
Build Back Better Japan
Hi Adam,
The new podcasting index looks great. I intend to look into it very very soon.
Japan has a new PM -- a 71-year-old gent named Suga. In his video address to the U.N., he dropped a "build back better" -- screen grabbed below. BBB is everywhere.
Cheers Dude!
Matt Tokyo
Candanavian poster one child only
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 19:11
DC Basement >> '•¸ðŸ¥ƒ : @MoeFactz @adamcurry canadaland
Sat Sep 26 18:36:37 +0000 2020
Avoiding a Climate Lockdown by Mariana Mazzucato - Project Syndicate
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 11:24
The world is approaching a tipping point on climate change, when protecting the future of civilization will require dramatic interventions. Avoiding this scenario will require a green economic transformation '' and thus a radical overhaul of corporate governance, finance, policy, and energy systems.
LONDON '' As COVID-19 spread earlier this year, governments introduced lockdowns in order to prevent a public-health emergency from spinning out of control. In the near future, the world may need to resort to lockdowns again '' this time to tackle a climate emergency.
The Heart of the New Cold War Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images The Economic Case for Biden Drew Angerer/Getty Images The Roots of American Misery Brad Barket/Getty Images Shifting Arctic ice, raging wildfires in western US states and elsewhere, and methane leaks in the North Sea are all warning signs that we are approaching a tipping point on climate change, when protecting the future of civilization will require dramatic interventions.
Under a ''climate lockdown,'' governments would limit private-vehicle use, ban consumption of red meat, and impose extreme energy-saving measures, while fossil-fuel companies would have to stop drilling. To avoid such a scenario, we must overhaul our economic structures and do capitalism differently.
Many think of the climate crisis as distinct from the health and economic crises caused by the pandemic. But the three crises '' and their solutions '' are interconnected.
COVID-19 is itself a consequence of environmental degradation: one recent study dubbed it ''the disease of the Anthropocene.'' Moreover, climate change will exacerbate the social and economic problems highlighted by the pandemic. These include governments' diminishing capacity to address public-health crises, the private sector's limited ability to withstand sustained economic disruption, and pervasive social inequality.
These shortcomings reflect the distorted values underlying our priorities. For example, we demand the most from ''essential workers'' (including nurses, supermarket workers, and delivery drivers) while paying them the least. Without fundamental change, climate change will worsen such problems.
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The climate crisis is also a public-health crisis. Global warming will cause drinking water to degrade and enable pollution-linked respiratory diseases to thrive. According to some projections, 3.5 billion people globally will live in unbearable heat by 2070.
Addressing this triple crisis requires reorienting corporate governance, finance, policy, and energy systems toward a green economic transformation. To achieve this, three obstacles must be removed: business that is shareholder-driven instead of stakeholder-driven, finance that is used in inadequate and inappropriate ways, and government that is based on outdated economic thinking and faulty assumptions.
Corporate governance must now reflect stakeholders' needs instead of shareholders' whims. Building an inclusive, sustainable economy depends on productive cooperation among the public and private sectors and civil society. This means firms need to listen to trade unions and workers' collectives, community groups, consumer advocates, and others.
Likewise, government assistance to business must be less about subsidies, guarantees, and bailouts, and more about building partnerships. This means attaching strict conditions to any corporate bailouts to ensure that taxpayer money is put to productive use and generates long-term public value, not short-term private profits.
In the current crisis, for example, the French government conditioned its bailouts for Renault and Air France-KLM on emission-reduction commitments. France, Belgium, Denmark, and Poland denied state aid to any company domiciled in a European Union-designated tax haven, and barred large recipients from paying dividends or buying back their own shares until 2021. Likewise, US corporations receiving government loans through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were prohibited from using the funds for share buybacks.
These conditions are a start, but are not ambitious enough, either from a climate perspective or in economic terms. The magnitude of government assistance packages does not match firms' requirements, and the conditions are not always legally binding: for example, the Air France emissions policy applies only to short domestic flights.
Far more is needed to achieve a green and sustainable recovery. For example, governments might use the tax code to discourage firms from using certain materials. They might also introduce job guarantees at company or national level so that human capital is not wasted or eroded. This would help the youngest and oldest workers, who have disproportionately suffered job losses owing to the pandemic, and reduce the likely economic shocks in disadvantaged regions already suffering industrial decline.
Finance needs fixing, too. During the 2008 global financial crisis, governments flooded markets with liquidity. But, because they did not direct it toward good investment opportunities, much of that funding ended up back in a financial sector unfit for purpose.
The current crisis presents an opportunity to harness finance in productive ways to drive long-term growth. Patient long-term finance is key, because a 3-5-year investment cycle doesn't match the long lifespan of a wind turbine (more than 25 years), or encourage the innovation needed in e-mobility, natural capital development (such as rewilding programs), and green infrastructure.
Some governments have already launched sustainable growth initiatives. New Zealand has developed a budget based on ''wellbeing'' metrics, rather than GDP, to align public spending with broader objectives, while Scotland has established the mission-oriented Scottish National Investment Bank.
Along with steering finance toward a green transition, we need to hold the financial sector accountable for its often-destructive environmental impact. The Dutch central bank estimates that Dutch financial institutions' biodiversity footprint represents a loss of over 58,000 square kilometers (22,394 square miles) of pristine nature '' an area 1.4 times larger than the Netherlands.
Because markets will not lead a green revolution on their own, government policy must steer them in that direction. This will require an entrepreneurial state that innovates, takes risks, and invests alongside the private sector. Policymakers should therefore redesign procurement contracts in order to move away from low-cost investments by incumbent suppliers, and create mechanisms that ''crowd in'' innovation from multiple actors to achieve public green goals.
Governments should also take a portfolio approach to innovation and investment. In the United Kingdom and the United States, wider industrial policy continues to support the information-technology revolution. Similarly, the EU's recently launched European Green Deal, Industrial Strategy, and Just Transition Mechanism are acting as the motor and compass for the '‚¬750 billion ($888 billion) ''Next Generation EU'' recovery fund.
Finally, we need to reorient our energy system around renewable energy '' the antidote to climate change and the key to making our economies energy-secure. We must therefore evict fossil-fuel interests and short-termism from business, finance, and politics. Financially powerful institutions such as banks and universities must divest from fossil-fuel companies. Until they do, a carbon-based economy will prevail.
The window for launching a climate revolution '' and achieving an inclusive recovery from COVID-19 in the process '' is rapidly closing. We need to move quickly if we want to transform the future of work, transit, and energy use, and make the concept of a ''green good life'' a reality for generations to come. One way or the other, radical change is inevitable; our task is to ensure that we achieve the change we want '' while we still have the choice.
THE WESTERNER: Soros/Gates-Funded Org ($6.5M): World May Need 'Climate Lockdown'
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 11:25
Liberal billionaire George Soros had said the pandemic was providing a “revolutionary moment.”    Now Project Syndicate (PS), a group both   Soros and fellow liberal billionaire Bill Gates fund, is peddling a tyrannical proposal. Specifically, the group is pushing an eco-extremist idea that the world may need a “climate lockdown” to preempt climate change unless we have a “green economic transformation.”   In a piece headlined “ Avoiding a Climate Lockdown,” author Mariana Mazzucato propagandized that “The world is approaching a tipping point on climate change, when protecting the future of civilization will require   dramatic interventions .” According to Mazzucato, “Avoiding this scenario will require a   green economic transformation   –   and thus a radical overhaul of corporate governance, finance, policy, and energy systems .” Then came the scary dystopianism: “ In the near future, the world may need to resort to lockdowns again – this time to tackle a climate emergency ” — and COVID-19 set the precedent. [Emphasis added.]  George Orwell is turning over violently in his grave.  Tracking PS’s funding explained the tyrannical radicalism. Three groups within Soros’s Open Society Network ($1,242,105), along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ($5,280,186), have given PS at least $6,522,291 between 2012-2019. Mazzucato then broke down what she meant by what she called a  “climate lockdown,” and it was just as crazy as the term itself:
Under a ‘climate lockdown ,’ governments would limit private-vehicle use, ban consumption of red meat, and impose extreme energy-saving measures, while fossil-fuel companies would have to stop drilling. To avoid such a scenario, we must overhaul our economic structures and do capitalism differently. [Emphasis added.]
The author also tried to exploit the virus and connect it to her sensationalizing of a climate change Armageddon: “Many think of the climate crisis as distinct from the health and economic crises caused by the pandemic. But the   three crises  – and their   solutions  – are interconnected.”  For Mazzucato, “The window for launching a climate revolution – and achieving an inclusive recovery from COVID-19 in the process – is rapidly closing.” She continued, selling the false, unicorn-like idea of a “ green good life”: “We need to move quickly if we want to transform the future of work, transit, and energy use, and make the concept of a ‘ green good life ,’ a reality for generations to come.” [Emphasis added.]
If you are going to force a "green economic transformation" by a " radical overhaul of corporate governance, finance, policy, and energy systems" including " limit private-vehicle use, ban consumption of  red meat and impose extreme energy saving  measure" then yes, we must " overhaul our economic structures  and do capitalism differently."
In fact, what is left certainly wouldn't be capitalism. The word fascism comes to mind.
Coronavirus: Chinese propaganda encouraged Western nations to lock down
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 16:39
September 26, 2020 11:12pm
Sky News host Rowan Dean says only Wuhan has had 'more severe and disgraceful lockdowns' than Melbourne.
Did China trick the world into committing economic suicide?As the global community continues to grapple with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic '' and the economic catastrophe caused by the associated ''lockdowns'' imposed by governments around the world '' a chilling new theory has emerged.
It goes like this '' China, in an enormous disinformation campaign spread via social media and through compromised voices in Western politics, science and medicine, aggressively pushed for other nations to follow its lead, with the goal of intentionally destroying their economies.
That's according to Michael Senger, a lawyer and researcher based in Atlanta, Georgia. In an article for Tablet Magazine, Senger has laid out a disturbing timeline of evidence that, if true, hints at what could be the most effective and devastating psy-op ever carried out by a world government.
''By promoting fraudulent data, aggressively deploying disinformation, and flexing its institutional clout, Beijing transformed the snake oil of lockdowns into 'science', crippling rival economies, expanding its influence and sowing authoritarian values,'' Senger writes on Twitter.
The science of lockdowns is far from settled.
Sweden, which infamously rejected calls to shut down schools, bars and restaurants through the pandemic, has, according to some experts, largely been ''vindicated''. Despite recording more than 5800 fatalities, one of the worst near the start of the crisis, the country's daily rolling death toll is now negligible.
Other experts, however, including Professor Peter Collignon from the Australian National University, caution against the Swedish model.
When the CCP first moved to place Wuhan '' the city of 11 million people in the eastern Hubei province where COVID-19 first emerged '' under mass house arrest in late January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) described it as ''unprecedented in public health history'' and ''new to science''.
A month later, WHO enthusiastically endorsed China's lockdown strategy as a framework for governments around the world to follow. ''Copy China's response to COVID-19,'' Canadian WHO official Bruce Aylward said on February 26.
In the meantime, social media had been flooded with terrifying ''leaked'' videos appearing to show apocalyptic scenes from the virus epicentre '' bodies stacked in hospital hallways, people collapsing in the street.
The New York Times first revealed in June that Twitter had removed tens of thousands of fake accounts that were being used in a co-ordinated effort to spread the CCP's message, with a particular focus on Italy '' the European nation with the closest ties to China.
People dance inside a nightclub in Wuhan, China, on September 18. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty ImagesSenger described The New York Times piece, which showed how vast networks of suspicious accounts first began touting the benefits of China's response in early March, as a ''smoking gun on the genesis of the coronavirus lockdown''.
''The fact that CCP's disinformation campaign focused on Italy is crucial,'' Senger wrote. ''The rest of the world followed Italy's lead.''
On March 9, Italy became the first country outside China to implement the WHO's advice. Chinese officials who visited Italy a few days later advised the lockdown was ''not strict enough'' and that ''there are still too many people and behaviours on the street to improve''.
At the same time, Italy was bombarded with Chinese propaganda '' one analysis of tweets from March 11-23 found that nearly half of all posts using the hashtag #forzaCinaeItalia (go China, go Italy) and more than one third of those with the hashtag #grazieCina (thank you, China) came from bots.
And it wasn't just Italy. The New York Times noted how one Twitter user, @manisha_kataki, posted a video on March 12 of Chinese workers disinfecting streets. ''At this rate, China will be back in action very soon, may be much faster than the world expects,'' the tweet said.
The relatively benign video was shared hundreds of thousands of times, with ''quote tweets'' in various languages using nearly identical phrasing to complain about being told by governments to merely ''wash our hands'', in contrast to China's strict lockdowns.
Twitter deleted more than 170,000 accounts linked to the activity, flagged by an Israeli analytics company Next Dim as likely state-sponsored '' but Senger shows how hundreds of similar examples can still be found with a simple search.
''This what the UK should be doing. Not just washing our hands,'' one tweet from March still reads.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week announced a host of new coronavirus restrictions expected to last for six months.
Senger notes how Mr Johnson, who imposed a lockdown on March 23, appears to have been targeted after initially opting to follow Sweden's ''herd immunity'' strategy.
''On March 13, suspicious accounts began storming his Twitter feed and likening his plan to genocide,'' he wrote. ''This language almost never appears in Johnson's feed before March 12, and several of the accounts were hardly active before then.''
But China's propaganda efforts went far beyond social media.
In July, FBI director Chris Wray revealed American politicians had been explicitly approached by the CCP to endorse China's strategy.
''We have heard from federal, state and even local officials that Chinese diplomats are aggressively urging support for China's handling of the COVID-19 crisis,'' he told the Hudson Institute.
''Yes, this is happening at both the federal and state levels. Not that long ago, we had a state senator who was recently even asked to introduce a resolution supporting China's response to the pandemic.''
Life in the former virus epicentre has returned to normal. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty ImagesLast month, Australia announced a sweeping inquiry into Chinese infiltration of the university sector, after revelations by The Australian newspaper that dozens of the country's leading researchers had been co-opted into the CCP's secretive ''Thousand Talents'' program.
In the US, leading science and medical research institutions including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and Harvard University have been rocked by revelations of undisclosed financial ties to the Chinese government.
Back in May, Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the esteemed medical journal The Lancet, told Chinese state TV that China's lockdown was ''not only the right thing to do, but it also showed other countries how they should respond in the face of such an acute threat''.
As citizens in the US, Australia, the UK and other Western countries struggle through various degrees of lockdown, China, it seems, may be having the last laugh.
Last month, thousands of people were seen crammed into a water park for an enormous summer pool party in the original epicentre of Wuhan '' where there has reportedly been no community transmission since May.
This week, young revellers were photographed packed together on the dancefloor in a Wuhan nightclub.
The key question in all this is why China went to such extreme lengths to spread propaganda about the success of its lockdown strategy '' and why it was so keen for other countries to follow its lead.
''The most benign possible explanation for the CCP's campaign for global lockdowns is that the party aggressively promoted the same lie internationally as domestically '' that lockdowns worked,'' Senger wrote.
''And then there's the possibility that by shutting down the world, (Chinese President) Xi Jinping, who '... envisions a socialist future with China at its centre, knew exactly what he was doing.''
This is Lake Trump and it is in Kosovo - Gazeta Express
Thu, 24 Sep 2020 20:05
This is Lake Trump and it is in Kosovo EnglishGazeta Express 24/09/2020 19:15Itall started as an idea to relax negotiations between Kosovo and Serbiadelegations, but the idea to name the Gazivoda/Ujman Lake ''Lake Trump'' as seenin the photo seems more serious than initially thought.
An idea that started as a joke for the Ujman Lake, which Serbs refer to as Gazivoda, to find a compromise name seems to be taking shape. During the negotiations at the White House, the US Presidential envoy for the dialogue, Richard Grenell, gave the idea to name the lake after Trump.
Initially everybody laughed with the idea. But not today. Gazeta Express has learned that Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti expressed his readiness to support Grenell's idea at a meeting with him. The same idea was endorsed also by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic at another meeting.
The debate, and later the Agreement, about Ujman Lake have triggered a wave of reactions in Kosovo. Kosovo has reached an agreement with the US for the State Department to carry out a feasibility study on how to share the lake's resources.
The Ujman/Gazivoda Lake is mostly located in Kosovo's territory but almost 20 percent of it is part of Serbia's territory. This artificial lake was accumulated decades ago by the ''Iber Lepenci'' company, back when Kosovo was part of Yugoslavia. After the end of the war in 1999, there was a lot of tension caused about the lake as Kosovo considers it as its own property, while Serbia claims its ownership since part of it is in Serbia.
As politicians are dealing with this topic on the theoretical side, someone has not remained cross-handed. As seen in the photo, this lake and the bridge located in Bernjake, northern Kosovo, have been named after US President. One thing is unclear: Trump's' reaction when he sees this. /GazetaExpress/
Haiti is a trap for dems
Roe v Wade
SCOTUS protest guide
This guide was written and compiled by a coalition of groups including: MoveOn, Frontline/ M4BL Electoral Justice Project, Demand Justice, NARAL Pro-Choice America, CPD Action, Indivisible, and Sunrise Movement.
Democrats to unveil bill limiting Supreme Court justice terms | Fox News
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 10:28
Published September 24, 2020
Last Update 9 hrs ago
The legislation would also limit how many justices a president could appoint per termDemocrats plan to introduce legislation that would limit the length of a term a Supreme Court justice could serve to less than two decades as President Trump prepares to announce a candidate to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat this weekend.
Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., who is the lead sponsor, is expected to introduce the bill next week, a spokesperson for Rep. Khanna confirmed in an emailed statement to Fox News on Thursday.
The bill would limit justices' terms to 18 years, a spokesperson for Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., who also worked on the legislation, told Fox News.
In a post on Twitter, Khanna said the measure was important to ensure all presidents have ''an equal chance to appoint justices.''
Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., who is also reportedly co-sponsoring the legislation, penned a post that accused Trump of using the courts to ''steal health care from millions, rollback LGBTQ+ and immigrant rights, overturn Roe v. Wade, and launch voter suppression efforts.''
Currently, justices do not have term limits. The average term of a justice appointed between 1966 and to present day is about 25 years.
The legislation would also limit the number of justices a president was allowed to nominate per term to two, according to Reuters, which first reported on the measure.
Trump has already appointed conservative justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch during his term in office.
Details on the legislation are expected to be unveiled on Friday.
On Wednesday, Trump indicated it was important for the Senate to confirm a ninth Supreme Court justice ahead of the November election, which he said could end up being decided by the high court.
The president has voiced concerns about mail-in voting, which he has repeatedly claimed could lead to voter fraud, despite the fact that election experts have said it's a safe way to cast your ballot during the pandemic.
The administration is considering five women for the court, with Judge Amy Coney Barrett emerging as an apparent frontrunner this week.
Ginsburg died Friday at the age of 87 from metastatic pancreatic cancer.
SCOTUS Rapid Response Action Guide
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 17:58
SCOTUS Rapid Response Action Guide
(c4 non-electoral actions)
September 24, 2020
This is a guide to support and empower people who are ready to fight back this weekend when President Trump names a SCOTUS nominee and attempts to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat before the inauguration. We will be having a distributed day of action this Sunday, Sept 27 at 2pm local time . This guide will provide a roadmap for taking action, and ensure your actions align with actions across the country so that together, we can be a powerful united force for justice.
Register your event here: (list of events is forthcoming and will be available here ).
COVID REMINDER : If you choose to participate in an in-person event, follow key precautions to reduce the safety risks you may face while protesting during the COVID-19 pandemic, including staying home if you are not well or have reason to think you have COVID-19; wearing a mask or face covering over your nose and mouth; and maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance from other protestors to the extent possible.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday, September 18, 2020. Many of us are grieving her death and remembering her legacy as a fearless champion for women's rights and social justice.
With voting already underway, it should be left up to the American people to decide who gets to nominate the next Supreme Court justice. No nomination should advance or be voted on before the 2021 Inauguration.
Senate Leadership needs to prioritize economic relief for the millions of people who are suffering after having lost their jobs and are struggling to pay rent and feed their families, not play politics with a rushed Supreme Court nomination process.
In this moment of overlapping crises--a global pandemic, mass unemployment, systemic racism, and climate change--the stakes of nominating and confirming a new Supreme Court Justice could not be higher. Supreme Court justices are appointed for life and as the highest court in the US, their rulings shape all of our lives'--everything from abortion to segregation, transgender rights to climate change, big money in politics to healthcare. It is unjust and unacceptable to try to rush through a nomination less than 4 0 days from the election.
With our futures on the line, we must rise up to demand that US Senators stand on the right side of history and let the people decide on the next Supreme Court Justice of this country. We must demand no nomination before inauguration. It's our future and we should get to choose our justice.
Slogans are a simplified version of your message. Having unified slogans helps us make our demands clear. Slogans are the words that we use on our action art. These slogans should be used in ALL CAPS on action art. For more information on how to make art for your action see the action visuals section below , or check out the action art toolkit .
Social media is a powerful organizing tool. You should post on social media leading up to your action, to recruit people to attend, as well as post during the action and directly after. See the call to action section for more info about posting on social media after the action.
Here is sample language to use on social media:
Protect our democracy and our communities. No confirmation before inauguration.
We're less than 30 days out from the election. Honor democracy and RBG. Let the people decide who will be the nominee.
It's time for the Senate to pass economic relief, not ram through a Supreme Court nominee.
#RuthBaderGinsburg leaves a legacy on the Supreme Court that is etched into the fabric of our democracy. We must fight to protect it by ensuring that there's no confirmation before the inauguration .
Health care for people with preexisting conditions is on the line. Right now there is a case at the Supreme Court that may end the entire Affordable Care Act, which would kick millions off their insurance in the middle of a pandemic. If he is able to pick another justice that could put health care at risk for all of us.
One more conservative justice on the Supreme Court would lock in a conservative supermajority for decades to come. Everything -- including abortion rights, gun violence prevention, LGBTQ+ rights, economic justice, and voting rights -- would be at risk. Progressives are ready to rally and fight back to protect our rights and our democracy.
Senate leadership should be focused on addressing the COVID-19 crisis, not fast-tracking a Supreme Court nominee. No confirmation until inauguration '-- period. #LetThePeopleDecide
If Trump confirms a replacement for #RBG, there's no telling what damage they could do to reproductive freedom or healthcare access. To protect our rights, we need to make sure there's no confirmation until after the inauguration.
Our most fundamental freedoms are at stake. Another conservative justice threatens access to reproductive freedom, healthcare, and equality. The people should pick the next president, and the next president should choose the nominee.
What's at stake if senate leadership replaces #RBG with a radical new justice who could serve on the Supreme Court for decades? EVERYTHING. We have to fight this nomination with all that we've got, because we're fighting for our freedom.
Primary Hashtag (use this on all your social media posts) : #LetThePeopleDecide
Additional Hashtags : #OurCourts #OurFutureOurJustice #ProtectTheCourts #PeopleOverPolitics
Sample graphics:
Graphics Folder Additional Graphics from MoveOn Additional Graphics from Planned Parenthood Action Fund TALKING POINTS
These are for the speakers at your action to use to craft their speeches, and for writing a press release or sharing more info to your base to encourage people to come support your action.
With voting already underway, it should be left up to the American people to decide who gets to nominate the next Supreme Court justice. No nomination should advance or be voted on before the 2021 Inauguration. Senate leadership needs to prioritize economic relief for the millions of people who are suffering after having lost their jobs and are struggling to pay rent and feed their families, not play politics with a rushed Supreme Court nomination process. The Supreme Court makes rulings that shape all of our lives'--everything from abortion to segregation, transgender rights to climate change, big money in politics to healthcare. It is unacceptable and unjust to try to rush through a nomination less th an 40 days f rom the election. We must rise up to demand that US Senators stand on the right side of history and let the people decide on the next Supreme Court Justice of this country. We must demand no nomination before inauguration. It's our future and we should get to choose our justice. DO lead with values DO name the violation of those values and/or culprits DO focus on an irresistable vision of the future DO name your audience/s and think about what moves them, this is another great way to localize your rally DON'T use/repeat the opposition's language or frames. DON'T lead with data. You can include it, but numbers shouldn't be the lead PLAN YOUR ACTION
Holding an action at your local courthouse will help move your community into action and bring this narrative into the public. Below are the key steps in planning your action. Check out this action planning resource from Sunrise Movement for more details on how to plan an action.
If you're planning to host an in-person action, please register it on social media and fill out this quick form to spread the word! .
If you aren't able or don't feel comfortable holding an in person action, you can still take action online - see the bottom of this section for more information on digital actions.
COVID Note : To address COVID concerns, it is best to strongly discourage anyone who feels unwell or is exhibiting symptoms from attending. There will be a digital event to participate in at the national level (see below for digital action). In the recruitment materials, make it clear and explicit that social distance and mask wearing rules will be in effect. Make sure there is someone at your action thinking about COVID safety. Those who are high-risk should understand the potential risks of attending, and organizers should take precautions to keep attendees safe.
Below are all of the key roles for an action, if you have a small group, it's ok if the same person holds multiple roles. There is more information about how to do each role in other sections of the guide.
Action coordinator Coordinates the team and manages the overall event Recruitment Lead Recruits people to the action, supports action coordinator with outreach Police Liaison & Safety Coordinator Is prepared to speak with the police if any are at your action Identify yourself at the action as the person for everyone to point the police to if they arrive and want to speak to someone Ensures COVID safety during the event Has first aid materials or coordinates with volunteer medic to bring first aid materials Speaker(s) Makes a short (2-4 minute) speech during the action, and uplifts the action's purpose, mixing with their personal narrative of why this is so important to them and their community. Speakers should refer to the messaging guidance (above). Media coordinator Creates a press advisory and/or press release about your action Contact reporters and media outlets before and after the event Connects speakers and spokespeople with reporters during event Social media coordinator Assigns someone to take photos of the action Assigns someone to livestream the action Shares photos, posts or livestream of the event on facebook, twitter, and instagram Use this Photo & Livestream toolkit to capture powerful content that communicates the message of our action Uses the hashtags with all posts from the event Action Art Coordinator Coordinate the creation of the action art Oversee the art (banners and signs) and action staging the day of the action CONFIRM THE BASICS
We are asking people to take action at their local courthouse . Google where your local courthouse is if you don't know, if there are multiple courthouses, think of which is best for the action - which one is in the neighborhood of the community you want to come to the action? Which one is most accessible to get to?
A good location is: 1) High profile/high traffic so the action is more likely to be seen and raise awareness of our demands 2) Is the most symbolic location that represents the messaging of your action
Sunday, September 27th at 2pm (local time) is set as a national day of action for SCOTUS rapid response courthouse actions . Doing your event at this time will help you get traction on the event because it will be at the same time as events across the country. If you need to adjust the timing of your event, aim to have it as close to 2pm on Sunday as possible.
If you're planning to host an event, please register it on social media and fill out this quick form to spread the word! .
Visual Strategy is everything communicated through the visuals of your action. This includes your action art (banners, signs, t-shirts), your staging (the way people stand and hold their signs), and lots of details like people's body language. The more thoughtful and aligned with your overall strategy your visuals are, the more powerful your action will be. The visuals for your event are crucial for telling a powerful story. Across the country, we're coordinating our slogans to clearly communicate our demands with a unified voice.
Staging is making a plan for how your participants and action art will be positioned during your action to be as powerful as possible and to be able to capture photos and video that tell a clear story of the action. You can make a plan for staging by drawing what you want the action to look like.
On the day of your action, plan to have someone overseeing staging, and someone overseeing the action art, and at least one person taking photos. All of the people in these roles should coordinate about what the action will look like and what photos of the action you need.
For more guidance and resources for how to make powerful action art for your action, check out the SCOTUS Action Art and Staging toolkit .
Work with the rest of your action team to make a plan for the action day. Think about what the action will look like (consult the staging guide ), what equipment you will need, like a bullhorn or amplification system, and recruit your speakers. You can use the action planning toolkit to make a tik-tok for the day, so you have a plan for how the day will run.
An important part of your action planning is preparing the people who will be speaking publicly. Speakers should write and rehearse their speech ahead of time, and spokespeople, the people who are designated to talk to the press, should also review talking points ahead of time to make sure that your topline messaging, demands, and objectives are highlighted in short sound bites and so that you're ready to answer questions during the action. Help people keep their speeches to 3-5 minutes, and focus on what inspires you - speak from your heart!
There is a level of risk inherent in any action we take, and each of us experiences that risk in different ways. Participating in an action may be a much higher sacrifice for some of us, depending on our race, gender identity, our ability, our immigration status or other factors. When we take action together, we need to take into account how different people will experience interactions with the public, press, and police. Check out this Know Your Rights Guide from the ACLU to make sure you are prepared. Consult Sunrise Movement's Taking Action Guide for more information about risk.
For many actions, and always for actions that include the possibility of arrest, you should hold a training. We recommend holding the action training the evening before your action, for everyone holding a key role, so all the information is fresh in people's minds.
Set a time and date to get your group together for a run-through of the action plan and invite everyone who you want to attend the action. You can make an event for this action prep meeting to collect RSVPs so you know how many people to expect and can remind people to show up! Spread the word for this meeting by texting everyone in your hub, sending an email, calling people who you want to make sure show up, and posting the event link on social media.
In this meeting, make sure everyone knows their legal rights. Your action lead and police liaison should talk at the training about rights, risk and de-escalation. You should make plans for who will step in if a situation arises that needs to be deescalated.
Practice your deployment (how you approach the area where you are taking action) and practice your staging (who's holding what sign, where everyone is standing). If you can't meet in person, meeting virtually is a good secondary option. Share your Action Plan with all participants who are confirmed as participants in the action, which includes the details of your training, the march plan, what to bring, tick-tock (day-of schedule), and other important details. For privacy purposes, at this meeting you should set up a secure group message for everyone holding roles to communicate centrally via an app like Signal.
Recruitment is an extremely important part of your action: the more people that show up to the action, the better! Below are several ways that you can recruit people to show up to and participate in your event:
Make a Facebook event and invite all your friends - remind attendees to wear a mask and practice social distancing Register your event here: (list of events is forthcoming and will be available here ). Promote on social media platforms with graphics or videos hyping up the action, send an email to your networks Call or text people from your network who would be interested in the action. This could be your friends or people who signed up from events you've held in the past Outreach through other groups in your community and in student networks Create an online form (like a google form) to sign people up to attend the action Recruit people to help volunteer with certain roles, logistics, social media, etc. (it makes it more likely to come out if they have a role to help with) Remind people the day before or the morning of the event so they don't forget and so you can encourage them to join!
Your follow-up call to action is super important to helping keep the momentum going after your in person action. If you aren't able to hold and in person action you can still do these digital actions and encourage others to do them with you!
Below are the key digital actions to take after your in person action, make sure to share these with people in person, and send out information about them to attendees after the action so everyone can participate and amplify the calls to action.
POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA Social media is a powerful tool to use for actions. It allows you to tell the story of your action in your own words and gives you the possibility to show your action off to thousands of people who may not have been there while you did it.
We've seen a lot of powerful actions that are well documented but the photos aren't well utilized on social media. Social media is a key way to build power. Often we only post one image from our action after the action is over, but you can use your social media to share images and the livestream during the action, post images and interviews with attendees after the action is over, and share the call to action.
When sharing photos and short video clips after the action on your social media, use the caption of the post to write a short sentence about why this fight is important to you, and include a link to the call to action. Calls to action are often more effective when shared with photos from the event!
Share these two calls to action in the captions of your social media posts:
SIGN THE PETITION MoveOn: Do not fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat until after the 2021 inauguration
Planned Parenthood Action Fund: Protect RBG's Legacy
Call Your Senators: Planned Parenthood Action Fund: NO VOTE on ANY Nominee Before Inauguration Day
Debriefing is often forgotten in the urgency of moving onto the next urgent thing, but it's a really important part of your action. Your team members have just gone through a powerful experience and were asked to take on responsibilities they may not have done before. Here is a link to a template agenda for a team debriefing: Sample Action Debrief Agenda
Debriefing should be held shortly after the action is done, ideally immediately. You want folks to have the experience fresh in their minds to be able to have them share learning and reflections.
This guide was written and compiled by a coalition of groups including: MoveOn, Frontline/ M4BL Electoral Justice Project, Demand Justice, NARAL Pro-Choice America, CPD Action, Indivisible, and Sunrise Movement.
Ratio: Journo says Amy Coney Barrett used her speech to weaponize her white womanhood while using her black children to score points
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 11:16
We thought third-wave feminists thought women grabbing power was a good thing. We also thought Amy Coney Barrett's speech following her nomination to the Supreme Court was a good thing. Journalist Christine Grimaldi, though, thought the whole press conference was a display of Barrett weaponizing her white womanhood to grab any power that slipped through the unrelenting misogyny of the Trump administration.
'-- Greg (@chaoticexpo) September 26, 2020
But wait, there's more:
It's a trifecta of ratios! WOW!
'-- Pam (@lifebythecreek) September 26, 2020
We'd have embedded the tweets, but Grimaldi seems to have protected her Twitter account.
Probably for the best.
'-- HouseRepEEE (@EEElverhoy) September 27, 2020
Fortunately, the responses are still live.
Wow. What a loon.
'-- RBe (@RBPundit) September 26, 2020
'-- Squirrely wrath (@Yo_Squirrely) September 26, 2020
Some cat is getting cried on so hard tonight.
'-- Smittie' GED (Hons), BS (D-) (@smittie61984) September 26, 2020
'-- Facts over Feelings (@OleSwamp) September 26, 2020
'-- J Lee (@38thparalell) September 26, 2020
Triggered!!! ðŸ‚ðŸ‚🤪🤪ðŸ¤ðŸ¤
'-- Literally Shaking Deathstar (@rad3411) September 26, 2020
I'm so happy this is happening to you.
'-- American Roulette 🇺🇸 (@RoulletteTravis) September 26, 2020
You feel empty and incomplete as a woman, angry, resentful. Abortion was supposed to give you a sense of strength and feeling of power. But instead, you are a shell of a human. You should reexamine your life, determine what makes ACB a happy person and mimic her.
'-- Tinman Deplorable (@CaptEdgelord) September 26, 2020
'-- Mark The Shark (@MRaff57) September 26, 2020
@SirajAHashmi ''¸''¸''¸
'-- Grace, culture war refugee (@graceisforyou) September 26, 2020
Have another Chardonnay and cry more. ðŸ‚
'-- Denise (@neeceetx) September 26, 2020
Lordy. It's been a banner day for blue checks and their vile racist, sexist attacks on ACB.
'-- JLaw (@yoopermomma) September 26, 2020
They never disappoint.
'-- EyeVey (@EyeVey) September 26, 2020
Pronouns in the bio, explains it all.
'-- 🇺🇸 Survivor of 2020 TP shortage (@ChadGar40522734) September 26, 2020
This probably sounded better in your head.
'-- Ray Lass (@lassray) September 26, 2020
Cope harder.
'-- Don't eat pangolins (@JezzaCorncob) September 26, 2020
A day in the life of Christine Grimaldi'...
'-- Webslinger (@Webslinger64) September 26, 2020
I'm sorry you are so filled with hatred. You must be so miserable
'-- dieselgirl (@dieselgirl5) September 26, 2020
A woman being elevated to the highest echelon of the judiciary being evidence of runaway misogyny is one hell of a take.
'-- Guy Faux (@Faux_Guy_) September 26, 2020
Christine right now. 👇ðŸ>>
'-- Nessa (@vanessasansiv) September 26, 2020
TDS award of the day goes to'...'....YOU! 🏅Congratulations!!!
'-- Dwight (@PerfectSurfOC) September 26, 2020
How do you get out of bed in the morning ??? That's a lot of baggage to carry '.....
'-- tinaleslie76 (@tinaleslie76) September 26, 2020
What's that in plain English? I don't speak grievance studies.
'-- Big Jim (@CatchYrselfOn) September 26, 2020
'-- Carol Scott (@itzblue) September 26, 2020
'-- Andy (@andy_ngi3) September 26, 2020
'-- sjdp (@sjdp10) September 26, 2020
White woman says other white woman is weaponizing her white womanhood.
'-- OmniBlast (@Omni_Blast) September 26, 2020
I'm curious, are you honestly not aware that you're just envious?
'-- Dean Brando (@brando_dean) September 26, 2020
You are insane. This admin has more women than any previous.This Justice is an amazing woman with both family an exceptional legal career.
You must have never known joy.
'-- APO_AE_09173 (@APO_AE_01973) September 26, 2020
Wow, you're a terrible person.
'-- Annie La B ðŸ...…🇺🇸 (@arelab13) September 26, 2020
You seem angry and envious. I hope you find peace, a good therapist, and something to fill that gaping hole in your spirit.
'-- 🇺🇸6%FieryButMostlyPeacefulLuci (@LuckyLuci777) September 26, 2020
Racist AND sexist.Nice combo.
And yet ANOTHER example of gender pronouns in bio = no one to take seriously.
'-- FreedomDogLover (@FreedomDogLover) September 26, 2020
That you think family is a prop of "white womanhood" says more about you than it does her, white woman.
'-- Athena (@1trueathena) September 26, 2020
Miserable, broken people.
'-- Pruritus Ani 🇺🇸 (@VolsHD) September 26, 2020
'-- Effin FL Man (@NFan84) September 26, 2020
Are you getting help for your mental health issues?
'-- Horst von Horstmann (@Kaboom1776) September 26, 2020
Ok just curious, what bs would you have come up with if it were lugoa?
'-- Conservatarian🇺🇸 (@Conservtarian76) September 26, 2020
The ocean called, they're running out of salt.
'-- SubSource [email protected] (@inyerfacevalue) September 26, 2020
I did not vote for Trump in 2016, but I have been pushed over the edge by the attitudes of people like you. I will be voting for Trump in 2020, and if he wins, remember that you are partly to blame for his second term.
'-- Weirdos Go Shopping (@WeirdosGo) September 26, 2020
'-- Leviathan (@Leviath13097322) September 26, 2020
You missed the chance for the liberal trifecta by not mentioning she's also personally responsible for killing the planet by having such a large family. I'm disappointed in you.
'-- NH (@TwoQuoque) September 26, 2020
You're a sad person. I wish you well.
'-- Vigor Conway (@ConwayVigor) September 26, 2020
'-- brandon j kennedy (@tonedef44bk) September 26, 2020
I honestly can't tell the difference between this profile and satire. Like, is this real? Do you really believe this stuff? Real question. Because it's absurd.
'-- Adam Smith (@Wealth1723) September 26, 2020
This whole tweet is from an entitled white woman dissing somebody who's light years ahead of her in maturity and evolution.
'-- Don Rose (@morgdad) September 26, 2020
We wish we'd caught the whole thread, but we'll have to wait until the ratio dies down and Grimaldi opens her Twitter feed back up.
Jonathan Chait explains how Ibram X. Kendi's tweet about white colonizers using black children as props is being misconstrued
'-- Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) September 26, 2020
South Korea cracks down on human flesh capsules from China - CBS News
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 11:56
(AP) SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea has seized thousands of smuggled drug capsules filled with powdered flesh from dead babies, which some people believe can cure disease, officials said Monday.
The capsules were made in northeastern China from babies whose bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder, the Korea Customs Service said.
Customs officials refused to say where the dead babies came from or who made the capsules, citing possible diplomatic friction with Beijing. Chinese officials ordered an investigation into the production of drugs made from dead fetuses or newborns last year.
The customs office has discovered 35 smuggling attempts since August of about 17,450 capsules disguised as stamina boosters, and some people believe them to be a panacea for disease, the customs service said in a statement. The capsules of human flesh, however, contained bacteria and other harmful ingredients.
The smugglers told customs officials they believed the capsules were ordinary stamina boosters and did not know the ingredients or manufacturing process.
Ethnic Koreans from northeastern China who now live in South Korea were intending to use the capsules themselves or share them with other Korean-Chinese, a customs official said. They were carried in luggage or sent by international mail.
The capsules were all confiscated but no one has been punished because the amount was deemed small and they weren't intended for sale, said the customs official, who requested anonymity, citing department rules.
China's State Food and Drug Administration and its Health Ministry did not immediately respond to questions faxed to them Monday. Chinese media identify northeastern China as the source of such products, especially Jilin province which abuts North Korea.
The Jilin food and drug safety agency is responsible for investigating the trade of such remains there. Calls to the agency and to the information office of Jilin's Communist Party were not answered Monday.
The South Korean customs agency began investigating after receiving a tip a year ago. No sicknesses have been reported from ingesting the capsules.
Shocking Report Leaked in Breonna Taylor Death Investigation Shows How Involved She Really Was '' Tatum Report Exclusives
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 16:52
An anonymous source has provided the Tatum Report with new, stunning and detailed information regarding the Breonna Taylor death case. The new information was obtained by the source directly from the police investigation of Breonna Taylor's death and that has yet to be released to the public. This new information could completely change the direction of this case.
This never before released complete investigation from the LPD includes surveillance images and recorded phone calls between Jamarcus Glover, Breonna Taylor and others on the warrants and shows just how involved Taylor was in Glover's drug enterprise and why the police were at her house the night of her death.
Many celebrities and media outlets have portrayed Taylor as totally innocent in all of this but the transcript paints a different picture.
The Tatum Report has provided the complete report that was obtained from the source below. Private information like phone numbers and social security numbers have been redacted.
Breonna Taylor Report (39 pages):
Please click following link to read the report. (Note: If the report is being viewed by too many people, you may have to come back a little later)
(Click here for Breonna Taylor report)
Noodle Boy
"Census Cowboy" horse may need to be euthanized following 7-mile protest run, prosecutors say | CWB Chicago
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 10:21
Adam Hollingsworth and his horse, NuNu, pose to promote the 2020 Census in July. | FacebookA Chicago man who was cast by Mayor Lori Lightfoot as the ''Census Cowboy'' whipped and kicked his exhausted and injured horse to make it continue running down the Dan Ryan Expressway on Monday afternoon, prosecutors say. The horse, named NuNu, is in critical condition and may have to be destroyed, according to allegations made during a bond hearing today.
Assistant State's Attorney Kevin Deboni said Adam Hollingsworth's horse was not equipped with shoes when he took it ''trotting for miles'' in a ''Kids' Lives Matter'' protest, injuring the horse's legs and feet.
NuNu collapsed at one point, but Hollingsworth whipped it to keep it moving, Deboni said. Two veterinarians who later examined the horse said it ''suffered greatly, bled profusely,'' collapsed repeatedly, and was not correctly saddled and cushioned, according to Deboni. NuNu collapsed repeatedly during treatment, the state said.
Hollingsworth posted a Facebook video on June 11 ''saying he's going to ride his horse til it dies,'' Deboni said.
After the 7-plus mile run, the animal's heart was racing at twice its normal rate, and its eyes were so dilated, they ''looked like cartoon eyes,'' he continued.
Both veterinarians concluded that NuNu would have died had medial attention not been given. Yet, the horse remains in critical condition. It ''will never be deemed suitable to ride again, and euthanasia may be utilized for humane reasons due to the suffering the animal will likely endure for the rest of its life,'' Deboni told Cook County Judge David Navarro.
One veterinarian reportedly told investigators that NuNu's treatment was equivalent to ''making an 80-year-old woman run a full marathon,'' according to Deboni.
Prosecutors charged Hollingsworth with animal cruelty, reckless conduct, trespass to state land, and traffic violations.
Emily Bock, his public defender, disputed the extent of any injuries the animal may have received and said Hollingsworth is ''known for'' riding horses. NuNu was well-fed, and saddle sores are common, she countered. Bock said experts disagree about whether horses need to be shod to walk on concrete.
Hollingsworth is married, a father of one, and ''a pillar in the community,'' Bock said as she asked Navarro to release the 33-year-old on a recognizance bond.
''Your attorney referred to a protest,'' Navarro said after hearing from the attorneys. ''The horse doesn't know that it's part of a protest.'' Navarro said the treatment described by prosecutors ''appears criminal'' as he recounted allegations that NuNu collapsed and was beaten to get up.
''Reference is made to the census,'' Navarro told Hollingsworth. ''I don't know what any of this has to do with the promotion of the census'...[it appears] more related to the promotion of yourself.''
The judge then set bail at $25,000. Hollingsworth went home a few hours later after posting a $2,500 deposit bond.
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Spotify Employees Threaten to Strike If Joe Rogan Podcasts Aren't Edited
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 22:17
A contingent of activist Spotify staffers are now considering a walkout or full-blown strike if their demands for direct editorial oversight of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast aren't met.Late last week, we first reported that Spotify employees were demanding direct editorial oversight over the recently-acquired Joe Rogan Experience podcast. That would include the ability to directly edit or remove sections of upcoming interviews, or block the uploading of episodes deemed problematic. The employees also demanded the ability to add trigger warnings, corrections, and references to fact-checked articles on topics discussed by Rogan in the course of his multi-hour discussions.
Some of the group's demands have already been met by Spotify management, though a refusal to allow further changes is stirring talk of a high-profile walkout or strike. According to preliminary plans shared with Digital Music News, the strike would principally involve New York-based Spotify employees, and would be accompanied by protests outside Spotify's Manhattan headquarters. Other aspects would involve media appearances and coordination with other activist organizations.
For Spotify, the decision to offer some concessions may have only emboldened demands for wide-scale editorial oversight.During the transition of Rogan's podcast episodes onto the Spotify platform, multiple past episodes were omitted. Those included interviews with Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInnes, and Alex Jones. Additionally, Rogan issued a rare public apology and correction over his claim that left-wing anarchists had set fires in Oregon, a point that was made during a recent interview with Douglas Murray. The apology is now believed to be the result of pressure from Spotify staffers.
But those measures apparently don't go far enough. Rogan's claim during the Murray podcast is still part of the podcast recording, despite demands that the offending section be removed or directly corrected within the audio itself. It now appears that Spotify is unwilling to directly edit or otherwise alter any existing episodes, with content alteration considered a bright line that shouldn't be crossed.
Spotify's management has also refused to remove a more contentious recent episode involving Abigail Shrier. Shrier, a Wall Street Journal writer and author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience in July and has drawn the most protest from the activist Spotify employees.
During the episode, Shrier sharply questioned whether extremely young women should be undergoing gender-transition operations, treatments, and therapies, while also questioning whether many of these women are genuinely trans or simply seeking acceptance and validation. That drew accusations of transphobia from a contingent of LGTBQ+ Spotify employees, who reportedly demanded changes in more than ten separate meetings with Spotify upper management.
Ultimately, Spotify decided to keep the episode intact after judging that none of the platform's content guidelines were broken. That decision has apparently been viewed as a serious affront by the protesting employees, a group that is now discussing the high-profile strike or walkout as a next move.
If a walkout or strike moves forward, it could be risky for the staffers involved.Other corporations have certainly witnessed walkouts and even full-blown strikes by activist employees for a range of grievances. Those protests have often been met with changes, though the employment landscape has changed dramatically in 2020. Spotify employees reportedly enjoy comfortable salaries in the $120-$130,000 annual range, with considerable perks and benefits. These are plum jobs in extremely uncertain economic times, making a strike a risky move.
It also appears that Spotify management '-- including CEO Daniel Ek '-- has a limited tolerance for the mutiny on deck. Accordingly, DMN has learned that Spotify clearly shared its decision on the Shrier episode, and has declined continued demands to edit or remove other episodes.
The reason for Ek's pushback is somewhat obvious. Joe Rogan's entire identity revolves around unfiltered discussion and opinion, and audiences could abandon the podcast if it becomes censored or controlled. Earlier this year, Spotify lured Rogan into an exclusive relationship with an estimated $100 million deal.
More as this develops.
How a Pledge to Dismantle the Minneapolis Police Collapsed - The New York Times
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 09:43
When a majority of City Council members promised to ''end policing as we know it'' after George Floyd's killing, they became a case study in how idealistic calls for structural change can falter.
At a rally in Powderhorn Park in June, nine Minneapolis City Council members pledged to defund the city's police department. Credit... Jerry Holt/Star Tribune, via Associated Press Sept. 26, 2020, 5:00 a.m. ET MINNEAPOLIS '-- Over three months ago, a majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledged to defund the city's police department, making a powerful statement that reverberated across the country. It shook up Capitol Hill and the presidential race, shocked residents, delighted activists and changed the trajectory of efforts to overhaul the police during a crucial window of tumult and political opportunity.
Now some council members would like a do-over.
Councilor Andrew Johnson, one of the nine members who supported the pledge in June, said in an interview that he meant the words ''in spirit,'' not by the letter. Another councilor, Phillipe Cunningham, said that the language in the pledge was ''up for interpretation'' and that even among council members soon after the promise was made, ''it was very clear that most of us had interpreted that language differently.'' Lisa Bender, the council president, paused for 16 seconds when asked if the council's statement had led to uncertainty at a pivotal moment for the city.
''I think our pledge created confusion in the community and in our wards,'' she said.
The regrets formalize a retreat that has quietly played out in Minneapolis in the months since George Floyd was killed by the police and the ensuing national uproar over the treatment of Black Americans by law enforcement and the country at large. After a summer that challenged society's commitment to racial equality and raised the prospect of sweeping political change, a cool autumn reality is settling in.
National polls show decreasing support for Black Lives Matter since a sea change of good will in June. In Minneapolis, the most far-reaching policy efforts meant to address police violence have all but collapsed.
In interviews this month, about two dozen elected officials, protesters and community leaders described how the City Council members' pledge to ''end policing as we know it'' '-- a mantra to meet the city's pain '-- became a case study in how quickly political winds can shift, and what happens when idealistic efforts at structural change meet the legislative process and public opposition.
The pledge is now no closer to becoming policy, with fewer vocal champions than ever. It has been rejected by the city's mayor, a plurality of residents in recent public opinion polls, and an increasing number of community groups. Taking its place have been the types of incremental reforms that the city's progressive politicians had denounced.
In the meantime, ''defunding the police'' has become a talking point for state and national Republicans looking to paint liberals as anti-law-enforcement. It has been a thorn in the side of Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential nominee, even though he rejects the idea. And it has ignited a power struggle in Minneapolis that has, in some cases, pitted moderate against progressive, young against old, and white against Black.
Linea Palmisano, a relatively moderate City Council member who was one of three councilors who did not take the pledge, castigated her colleagues: They ''have gotten used to these kinds of progressive purity tests,'' she said.
In a sign of the intensity of the debate, multiple people on both sides who spoke to The New York Times described their opponents as having ''blood on their hands.''
''What kind of violence are we going to experience over the next year?'' said Miski Noor, an organizer with Black Visions Collective, a leading activist group in the city seeking to defund and abolish the police department. ''When these decisions are made on a political level, they have human consequences.''
Image Miski Noor is an organizer with Black Visions Collective, one of the city's leading activist groups seeking to defund and abolish the police department. Credit... Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press Though some activists said the pledge was to be taken literally '-- a commitment to working toward complete police abolition '-- elected officials said there was widespread disagreement about its meaning. Some believed that ''defund the police'' meant redirecting some money in the police budget to social programs. Others thought it was a vague endorsement of a police-free future.
''I think the initial announcement created a certain level of confusion from residents at a time when the city really needed that stability,'' said Mayor Jacob Frey, who declined to support the pledge. ''I also think that the declaration itself meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people '-- and that included a healthy share of activists that were anticipating abolition.''
In lieu of larger policing changes, Minneapolis has moved to ban chokeholds, put in place new de-escalation requirements, and changed reporting measures for the use of force since Mr. Floyd's killing.
Hanging over the debate was a surge in gun violence in Minneapolis this summer, with some community groups in Black neighborhoods worried that urgent needs for change had been crowded out by the big-picture focus on police funding and oversight.
Cathy Spann, a community activist who works in North Minneapolis, which is home to many of the city's Black residents, said those paying the price for the city's political paralysis were the exact communities that leaders had pledged to help. She is in favor of more police officers.
''They didn't engage Black and brown people,'' Ms. Spann said, referring to the City Council members. ''And something about that does not sit right with me. Something about saying to the community, 'We need to make change together,' but instead you leave this community and me unsafe.''
In a Time of Pain, a Disjointed ResponseThe push-and-pull relationship between local government and progressive Black activists in Minneapolis started long before Mr. Floyd's death. In 2015, after a police officer shot and killed a 24-year-old Black man named Jamar Clark, activist demands among the nascent Black Lives Matter movement mostly focused on bringing criminal charges against the involved officers. Three years later, when Minneapolis police officers shot and killed Thurman Blevins, 31, another Black man, many of the same activists called on the City Council to divest 5 percent of the police budget and direct that money toward social programs.
The council proposed a more limited cut of $1.1 million.
''We're tired of weak reforms like body cameras, tweaks to civilian oversight and new signs in police cars,'' a Black Visions organizer, Hani Ali, said at the time.
The intensifying demands mirror larger changes in Democratic politics and the progressive left, which have accelerated in the Trump era. Black Visions was formed in 2017, after the president's election, by younger activists who had grown impatient with incrementalism. That year, political insurgency rocked Minneapolis politics: Mr. Frey defeated the incumbent mayor in a city municipal election, and two unabashed Black progressives who were allies of the activist left, Mr. Cunningham and Jeremiah Ellison, a son of the Minnesota politician Keith Ellison, captured seats in North Minneapolis, shifting the council's ideological core.
Image George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis ignited a national uproar over the treatment of Black Americans by law enforcement and the country at large. Credit... Joshua Rashaad McFadden for The New York Times But what seemed like a rising progressive tide distorted a more complicated picture, argued Dave Bicking, board member of Communities United Against Police Brutality, a grass-roots group in Minneapolis that was founded in 2000. He said that groups like Black Visions Collective and its partner organization, Reclaim the Block, had the ear of the new City Council, but that those in power seemed to treat the activists as stand-ins for all Black, progressive or younger residents, glossing over the diversity of those electorates.
''You can't lump everybody together,'' said Mr. Bicking, who is 69 years old and white but represents a wide-ranging community group. ''The City Council would say: 'Oh, we went out and talked to a lot of people. We listened to a lot of people.' And, well, it was people from those two groups only. They weren't listening to anybody else.''
The carefully constructed balance would be tested after Mr. Floyd's killing. As the world watched Minneapolis, with thousands of protesters marching daily and occasional riots breaking out at night, Black Visions and Reclaim the Block returned to the councilors with their strongest demand yet: a pledge that would acknowledge that the police could not be reformed, and that would commit the city to working toward completely dismantling the department and rethinking public safety through follow-up community conversations.
The pledge was written, negotiated and circulated with the help of councilors like the younger Mr. Ellison, Mr. Cunningham and Alondra Cano. Ms. Cano and several other city councilors did not respond or follow up to requests to be interviewed.
''There's a give and take with this job,'' Mr. Ellison said. ''You definitely have to be willing to listen to your constituents. But you also cannot be leaderless in this role. And sometimes you have to be a little bit ahead of your time and be a little bit ahead of your constituency.''
Ms. Bender, the council president, who was unreachable for days after Mr. Floyd's death while she completed a wilderness trek with her family in Northeast Minnesota near Canada, said that when she returned to Minneapolis, she had immediate concerns about the pledge. Unlike previous policy demands, which made specific requests during a public debate around budget negotiations or police oversight structure, the pledge was an embrace of a police-free ideal '-- with no transition plan.
She and others tried to negotiate changes, they said. When activists stood their ground, councilors were left with two options: embrace a forceful but vague call to dismantle the police department, or oppose activists in a time of civic chaos, possibly risking their progressive reputations.
Image Lisa Bender, the council president, tried to negotiate wording changes to the defunding proposal. Credit... Brooklynn Kascel for The New York Times In text messages between councilors that were provided to The Times, the debate ranged from cordial to brusque.
''I'm not taking any pledge, if that means people throw bottles at me then fine,'' Ms. Palmisano wrote.
''It's the only way to stop all the fighting and division,'' Ms. Cano wrote. She criticized the city's mayor, who had recently been booed by protesters for rejecting calls to defund the police. ''I think Jacob is totally missing the moral moment.''
In the end, on June 7, nine councilors stood with activists at Powderhorn Park during an event that was neither ambiguous nor done in spirit. The stage was adorned with ''Defund the Police'' lettering and, after the pledge was read, the crowd cheered the councilors with chants of ''Defund M-P-D.''
But what looked like a united political front would soon be exposed as fractured. On a policy level, the councilors did not have the unilateral power to end the city's police department '-- as some residents believed. Politically, some of the elected officials were taken aback by the national attention their message attracted.
''I was surprised and was overwhelmed by it,'' Mr. Cunningham said. ''A big lesson learned for me was to be mindful of the language and words we used and how it can be interpreted.''
Within days, President Trump and Republicans had found a new favorite talking point to try to win over suburban voters: Democrats wanted to abolish the police. Never mind that prominent party figures like Mr. Biden had joined the mayor in rejecting such proposals, making clear that the actions of the councilors had no purchase in the Democratic establishment.
In reality, their actions barely had support within their own civic body.
Asked when it became clear to her that the nine city councilors who took the pledge did not uniformly support its words, Ms. Bender said ''it was clear to me at the time'' of the rally.
Mr. Johnson, who stood on the stage at Powderhorn, said some councilors at the park were already devising ways to clean up the political mess they created.
One colleague told him, ''Technically, if we rename the department, we'd end M.P.D.,'' Mr. Johnson recalled.
A Murky Path ForwardThe City Council pressed forward to make good on its pledge. Just weeks after the Powderhorn Park rally, it passed a provision that would ask voters to remove the police department from the city's charter and place public safety duties under a new department with unspecified structure and aims. It was publicly proposed on a Wednesday and passed unanimously on a Friday. Councilors voted to expedite the process. There were no public hearings.
Mr. Ellison, who represents a larger Black constituency than other councilors, dismissed criticism that there should have been more public input.
''It's important that you engage your own morality with some of these decisions,'' he said. ''And if you make the wrong call, then look, sometimes that's the price of trying to be courageous.''
Image Jeremiah Ellison, a council member representing North Minneapolis, was one of many progressive candidates elected citywide in 2017. Credit... Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times Mr. Bicking, whose activist group was not among those pushing the pledge, said the councilors were trying to pass the buck of responsibility. His group supports a smaller police force with more limited responsibilities.
''I think the City Council and the people they work with pretty much knew that this was a nonstarter,'' he said of the charter amendment. ''But it would get them off the hook and give them some time until things blow over.''
Their decision thrust the Minneapolis Charter Commission, a relatively obscure group of city volunteers, into the spotlight. The commission, whose members are appointed by the chief district judge and are not elected by voters, considers legal and technical questions to charter amendments before they go to residents for approval.
Commissioners had some concerns about the councilors' proposal, saying it did not meet several guidelines, including legal provisions and necessary public input. But the optics did not help: a largely white, unelected board versus a diverse slate of city councilors supported by vocal progressive activists.
Andrea Rubenstein, a charter commission member and former civil rights lawyer, said she was inundated with emails saying: Pass the charter amendment '-- or else. Barry Clegg, the commission's president, said on one morning he woke up to expletive-laden graffiti outside his house. His home was also egged.
''I don't impugn the motives of the City Council, I think they were trying to do the right thing,'' he said. ''They should've tried to do it in a different way.''
As the commission weighed its options, evidence mounted that the public wanted police reform, but did not support the actions of councilors or share the aims of influential activists. A poll from The Minneapolis Star-Tribune found that a plurality of residents, including 50 percent of Black people, opposed reducing the size of the police department. Councilors said they repeatedly heard criticism from business owners and residents in more affluent areas of their wards who feared for their safety, as misinformation spread that the end of the police department was imminent.
In the charter commission, however, city councilors and their activist supporters found a common enemy.
''A majority-white, unelected board of people can't decide that they knew better than the community,'' said Miski Noor, the Black Visions organizer.
Ms. Bender, the council president, said: ''I understand that we did not give the charter commission a lot of time to weigh a very substantive change to our system of government. I also know that we're proposing a question to put to all of the voters of Minneapolis. And I think the charter commission is overstepping their role by digging so far deeply into the substantive question.''
Last month, in a 10-to-5 vote, the charter commission chose not to pass the councilors' amendment and called for further study, killing the chances that it would appear on the ballot in November.
In 2021, when the mayor and City Council members must all run for re-election, there is a chance the amendment to remove the police department from the city's charter could go in front of voters. For now, it is an exercise in finger-pointing, as Minneapolis's relationship with its police department looks largely identical to the way it was before Mr. Floyd's death.
Some who had supported the pledge said that the white liberalism that has long defined Minneapolis politics '-- and the larger Democratic Party '-- was often more about aesthetic embraces of racial justice than facing and fighting for its reality.
''I'm embarrassed that we were not able to effect the kind of change I think people deserve,'' Mr. Ellison said.
Image A headstone for Mr. Floyd at the ''Say Their Names'' cemetery, which memorialized Black Americans killed by police. Credit... Laylah Amatullah Barrayn for The New York Times To arrive at this point '-- after all the protests, intense media interest and fierce ideological debates '-- is an indictment of the politicians, including the City Council, one activist argued at a recent public meeting near Powderhorn Park convened by Communities United Against Police Brutality. The activist, Michelle Gross, who opposes full-scale police abolition, blamed officials and the mayor for not working in concert.
''What I see happening is these council members and these other elected officials all trying to figure out how to put the genie back in the bottle,'' she said. ''And it's up to us, in my opinion, to let them know that the genie ain't going back in the bottle.''
Miski Noor, the activist, who uses who uses they/them pronouns, offered another hypothesis: It is a system working exactly as designed. Everyone, they said, had played their role as intended, stomping out attempts at systemic reform.
''It is the nature of white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy or any of these other systems of oppression to want to do what is necessary to save themselves,'' they added. ''To adapt. To mutate. To move. To slow progress.''
Atlanta activist arrested for money laundering
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 10:48
article ATLANTA - The FBI has arrested a person familiar to Atlanta protests in Toledo, Ohio.
Agents charged Sir Maejor Page, whose real name is Tyree Conyers-Page, with one count of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.
He's accused of fraudulently using his Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta organization by spending $200,000 of the non-profit's funds for his personal use.
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Agencies from Ohio and Georgia took part in the investigation.
Page has been the focus of a FOX 5 I-Team investigation after he was charged numerous times with impersonating a law enforcement officer in Georgia.
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.
Cream of Wheat chef to be removed from boxes of cereal next year
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 11:48
The smiling Black chef will soon come off the boxes of Cream of Wheat.
More than three months after Cream of Wheat's parent company, B&G Foods, said it was ''initiating an immediate review'' of the brand's packaging, a decision has been made '' the chef will be removed.
In rapid succession back in mid-June, several companies announced they would retire racial imagery from their branding from Aunt Jemima to Mrs. Butterworth's in the wake of renewed calls for racial equality.
Experts say the branding announcements are a ripple effect from the Black Lives Matters protests over the police killing of George Floyd and other African Americans.
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Mars Inc. also announced this week that its 70-year-old Uncle Ben's rice brand will be renamed Ben's Original and will drop the logo.
Packaging with the new rice name will hit stores next year and the new Cream of Wheat packaging is expected to be unveiled early next year.
Pimento cheese chase:Costco reportedly pulls Palmetto Cheese after founder calls Black Lives Matter a 'terror organization'
New name for Uncle Ben's:Popular rice brand will soon be known as Ben's Original
''For years, the image of an African-American chef appeared on our Cream of Wheat packaging,'' B&G Foods said in a statement to USA TODAY. ''While research indicates the image may be based upon an actual Chicago chef named Frank White, it reminds some consumers of earlier depictions they find offensive. Therefore, we are removing the chef image from all Cream of Wheat packaging."
The breakfast cereal of enriched farina has long been criticized for the use of a smiling Black chef on its packaging, which has appeared there since the 1890s. The mascot on early boxes was known as Rastus, a racial caricature of a Black man, which is considered derogatory.
"We understand there are concerns regarding the Chef image, and we are committed to evaluating our packaging and will proactively take steps to ensure that we and our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism,'' B&G Foods said in a June news release. ''B&G Foods unequivocally stands against prejudice and injustice of any kind.''
The company said in its statement to USA TODAY that it has a "new philanthropic initiative in recognition of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the culinary community" and "has begun developing relationships with several of the leading culinary schools to help support and aid in the development of African-American and Latinx candidates through various scholarship and other initiatives."
Palmetto Cheese, which calls itself the top-selling pimento cheese in the U.S., also has begun rebranding to remove the image of Vertrella Brown, a Black cook who popularized the product, from the packaging.
News of the rebranding came after Brian Henry, the founder of the cheese brand and mayor of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, made a public Facebook post on Aug. 25 calling Black Lives Matter a "terror organization."
Costco reportedly removed the pimento cheese from store shelves after Henry's post but a representative for the wholesale club said they had no comment when USA TODAY reached out Tuesday.
Contributing: Associated Press
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
New Amazon hardware: Ring drones, Echo Dot 4th Gen, Wi-Fi 6 Eero and more '' Ars Technica
Thu, 24 Sep 2020 23:22
Enlarge / One of many devices introduced today, the 4th-generation Echo devices is a cloth-covered sphere with a halo at the base, contrasting with the squat plastic cylinders of earlier generation Echoes.
Today at Amazon's hardware launch event, the company announced new Ring, Echo, Eero, and Fire devices. Amazon also announced a new gaming service called Luna, which we're covering in its own article.
Ring Always Home CamEnlarge / The Ring Always Home cam is a tiny, self-docking drone that flies around inside your house.
The Ring Always Home Cam is the newest device in the Ring family, which is better known for doorbells with cameras in them. The Always Home Cam is a tiny, self-docking drone designed to fly around inside your home, streaming video off to the cloud for review in smartphone apps. Ring founder Jamie Siminoff says the Always Home Cam is intended to provide multiple interior viewpoints without the need for multiple interior cameras and that it's an "obvious product that's very hard to build."
The drone operates fully autonomously, but the setup procedure involves mapping areas of the house in which it's allowed to fly and what paths it's allowed to take. After setup, the drone can be asked to fly directly, or it can fly on its own to visit disturbances detected by Ring alarm systems. Its 1080p camera is blocked by the dock itself, so if the drone is not in flight, it's not streaming or recording. Like most small drones, it integrates automatic obstacle avoidance and uses propeller shrouds to protect both the blades themselves and any objects, persons, or pets that might otherwise encounter them.
Foiling burglary over a pseudo-funk bassline... aw yeah.
The Ring Always Home Cam is expected to cost $250 and begin shipping some time in 2021.
Wi-Fi 6 Eero, Eero ProEnlarge / These are Eero 6 Router and Eero 6 Extender. The Eero 6 Pro Router is lower profile, with a wider base.
The Wi-Fi 6 Eero systems we
spotted FCC certifications for earlier this month were announced officially today. The new kits are available for preorder today, with shipping expected to begin in early November.
The three models being released are Eero 6 Router, Eero Pro 6 Router, and Eero 6 Extender. The Eero Pro 6 is a tri-band device (one 2.4GHz radio, with two 5GHz radios); both non-Pro devices are dual-band. All three SKUs feature built-in Zigbee functionality for home automation.
Both of the Router models feature two gigabit ports and one USB-C power port; the Extender has only the USB-C power port and does not offer wired connections. The Eero 6 Router can be preordered solo for $130 or with one Eero 6 Extender as a kit for $200. The Eero 6 Pro Router is available for preorder at $230. It took a bit more digging, but we also found options to preorder a three-piece Eero 6 kit for $280 or a solo Eero 6 extender for $90.
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We're disappointed at Amazon's decision to go back to separate device designs for "routers" and "extenders"'--and at the apparent step backward of making the base kit a two-piece, rather than a three-piece. Wiring devices such as game consoles or PCs directly to a satellite node is a big win for overall Wi-Fi network quality and reliability, and we liked the company's earlier decision to go with Ethernet jacks on all products. We also think the vast majority of homes are better served with three pieces rather than two.
New Echo generationAmazon's Echo series got a refresh today, moving from the earlier, prosaic "squat plastic cylinder" designs to rather fancier cloth-covered spheres. The full-sized Echo fourth-gen runs $100 and will be available October 22 in Charcoal, Glacier White, or Twilight Blue. Amazon tells us to expect better sound than previous generations delivered, with a 3" woofer and dual tweeters that deliver "clear highs, dynamic mids, and deep bass that automatically adapts to any room."
The Echo Dot also gets a fourth-gen makeover, sporting the new spherical design in a smaller size and in several variants. The base model, with the same Charcoal, Glacier White, or Twilight Blue covering option, is half the cost of its big siblings at $50. There are also upscale variants of the Dot for $60, including versions with a built-in clock (in Glacier White or Twilight Blue only), and two Kids Edition Dots'--one Panda and one Tiger.
The Kids' Edition Dots also feature an included year of FreeTime Unlimited'--Amazon's curated subscription service for all-you-can-consume kid-oriented content'--and a two-year "worry-free" replacement warranty like the one offered on Kids' Edition Fire tablets.
Finally, there's the Echo Show 10'--a 10" tablet mounted on a motorized gimbal that automatically aligns itself to detected human bodies. The AI "human detection" is all onboard rather than cloud-based, and it does not look for specific human faces'--instead, it looks for human-shaped outlines around the room.
We envision the $250 Echo Show as the perfect setting for a Mona Lisa print whose eyes really do follow you all around the room, but Amazon mentions a more prosaic use for video conferencing. As useful as this feature might be, we expect there will be some getting used to it'--and a new round of "Zoom fail" videos in which conference participants forget the camera is (still) on them. The Echo Show is available for preorder today, but there is no concrete shipping date yet.
Fire TV SticksEnlarge / This year's Fire TV Stick brings HDR support, Alexa Voice Remote capable of controlling your TV itself, and a faster processor'--but no 4K video.
A new Fire TV Stick Lite is available for $30, and a non-Lite Fire TV Stick for $40. Both devices include Alexa Voice Remote functionality and 8GB storage, with faster processors than previous models, and offer a max resolution of 1080p. If you want full 4K video, you'll need the $50 Fire TV Stick 4K, which has not received any updates this year.
The difference between this year's Lite and non-Lite Fire TV Sticks lies in Dolby Audio (pass-through HDMI only on the Lite, full Atmos on the non-Lite) and remote control'--Alexa Voice Remote only controls the stick itself on the Lite, but it can control the entire TV on the non-Lite.
Although both the new Fire TV Stick and Stick Lite are 1080p only, both devices do support HDR (High-Dynamic Range) video, which is more frequently found on 4K devices and displays, and offers higher contrast and color gamut than non-HDR video.
Obama Gate
'Trump Was Right' About FBI Scramble to Assemble Russia Evidence After 2016 Win, Texts Claim
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 22:37
A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) employee involved in the probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn claimed that President Donald Trump "was right" while discussing a 2017 intelligence briefing regarding the Russia probe, according to a court filing.
The federal court documents, filed by Michael Flynn's lawyers in the U.S. District Court of Columbia on Thursday, included text message conversations between FBI staffers about former President Barack Obama's intelligence briefing on January 5, 2017. One unnamed FBI employee asked another "What's the word on how [Obama's] briefing went?"
"Don't know but people here are scrambling for info to support certain things and it's a mad house," the FBI colleague replied. "Trump was right. Still not put together... Why do we do this to ourselves. What is wrong with these people."
After Obama's briefing, the then-president asked Vice President Joe Biden and FBI Director James Comey to stay behind, along with Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and national security adviser Susan Rice, for a discussion about Flynn, then a Trump campaign adviser.
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The FBI seal is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, DC on July 5, 2016. Yuri Gripas/GettyThe details of what took place during the meeting has been intensely speculated and debated by both sides of the political aisle. On January 3, 2017, Trump tweeted a suggestion: that the "Russian hacking" briefing was delayed so his opponents could build a case. The president has also alleged on numerous occasions that his predecessor engaged in "treason."
According to Rice and Yates, Obama was concerned over whether restrictions should be placed on the sharing of classified information with Flynn, the incoming national security adviser. At the time, he was being probed by the FBI as part of the Russia investigation, which started July 2016.
In testimony before the Senate on August 5, Yates said under oath that Obama and Biden never attempted to influence the FBI's investigation of Flynn. "During the meeting, the president, the vice president, the national security adviser did not attempt to in any way to direct or influence any investigation," she said.
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Flynn's lawyer's shared additional text messages by an FBI employee on January 10, 2017, saying that analysts "all went and purchased professional liability insurance" because they were worried that "the whole thing is pretty ugly."
"I think [the] concern when we got it was that there was a big leak at DOJ and the NYT among others was going to do a piece," the employee wrote. "If that piece comes out, and Jan 20th comes around... the new AG might have some questions... then yada yada yada... we all get screwed."
Federal employees at all levels often face allegations, complaints and investigations that carry risk of exposure to liability'--and those that deal with the public face the most exposure.
"Even in cases of baseless claims, legal fees, damages and other costs may run into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, placing employees''--and their families''--financial security at risk," wrote Federal Times, a source of information for senior U.S. government managers. "Fortunately, federal employees can protect themselves and preemptively mitigate this risk through Federal Employee Professional Liability Insurance."
Newsweek reached out to the FBI for comment.
Flynn served as Trump's national security adviser for 24 days before he resigned. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russia. In May, the Justice Department announced that it was dropping the case and for charges to be dismissed due to evidence that the agency's questioning of Flynn lacked a proper investigative basis.
Vatican Shenanigans
Key Vatican cardinal caught up in real estate scandal resigns suddenly | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 10:36
Thu Sep 24, 2020 / 3:26 PM EDT
VATICAN CITY VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A powerful Vatican cardinal caught up in a real estate scandal resigned suddenly on Thursday and gave up his right to take part in an eventual conclave to elect a pope, in one of the most mysterious episodes to hit the Holy See in years.
A brief statement, issued unusually in the evening, said that Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, head of the department that decides who will be the saints of the Roman Catholic Church.
But perhaps more significantly, the statement said the Becciu, 72, had "given up the rights associated with being a cardinal".
The one-line statement gave no details but the most important right of Roman Catholic cardinals under 80, as is Becciu, is to take part in a conclave to elect a new pope after the current pope dies or resigns.
The relinquishing of that right indicated that the reason for Becciu's resignation was particularly serious.
The last cardinal to give up that right was Cardinal Keith O'Brien of Scotland, who resigned over a sex scandal in 2013.
Becciu was until 2018 deputy secretary of state, one of the most powerful positions in the Vatican.
During his tenure in that office the Vatican became embroiled in a controversial deal in which the Secretariat of State used Church money to purchase a luxury building in London as an investment.
That investigation led to the suspension last year of five Vatican employees, the resignation of the Vatican's police chief and the departure of the former head of the Vatican's Financial Information Authority (AIF).
Becciu has denied all wrongdoing in the London property deal and defended the purchase, saying the property has increased in value.
In June, Vatican police arrested Gianluigi Torzi, an Italian middleman who was part of a controversial deal, and charged him with extortion, embezzlement, aggravated fraud and money laundering, the Vatican press office said in a statement.
He was later released but the investigation is continuing. Vatican sources said they expected Vatican magistrates to hand down indictments soon.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
Out There
Washington Post: Netanyahu brings suitcases of dirty laundry for U.S. government to wash - Israel News -
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 18:06
American officials are perplexed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's habit of bringing bags of dirty laundry from Israel to the United States on official visits in order for the clothes to be washed by U.S. government workers, according to a report published Wednesday in the Washington Post.
The report matches years of reporting by Israeli journalists but is the first time that American officials have commented on the subject in a leading American publication.
Special Haaretz briefing: How Israel's COVID failure led to a second national lockdown
According to the report, when Netanyahu arrives for official visits in Washington and stays at the Blair House, the presidential guesthouse across from the White House, he brings with him ''bags and suitcases full of dirty laundry'' from Israel. The clothes are then ''cleaned for the prime minister free of charge by the U.S. staff,'' paid for by American taxpayer money, according to the report.
The Blair House offers free laundry services to all its guests, but the report stresses that most foreign heads of state use it in a reasonable manner; basically to wash the clothes they and their families wear during their visit. ''The Netanyahus are the only ones who bring actual suitcases of dirty laundry for us to clean,'' one U.S. official explains in the story. ''After multiple trips, it became clear this was intentional.''
Netanyahu has faced criticism in Israel for years over the behavior described in the report. In 2011, investigative journalist Raviv Drucker reported for the first time about the Netanyahu family's laundry habit. In 2018, Netanyahu's former spin doctor who turned into a state witness against him, Nir Hefetz, said that ''on every trip suitcases come filled with laundry for dry cleaning, and I'm telling you that journalists have asked me about it and I've checked the bills. Nothing appears in the bills, they somehow hide it.''
LISTEN: How COVID killed Bibi's legacy and resurrected his archrival
SubscribeNetanyahu, it should be noted, lives with his family during the week at the official Israeli Prime Ministers' Residence, which has its own washer and dryer, and enjoys state-funded access to dry cleaning services. In 2016, in fact, he filed an administrative petition against the attorney general and a staffer at the Prime Minister's Office in an effort to bar publication of accessing receipts for laundry services provided to the premier's official residence during 2014.
The Israeli embassy in Washington replied to the Washington Post report by saying that ''These groundless and absurd allegations are aimed at belittling Prime Minister Netanyahu's monumental achievement in Tuesday's historic peace summit brokered by President Trump at the White House."
'Mr. Prime Minister, Do You Believe What You're Saying? It's Embarrassing': The Netanyahu Interrogation Transcripts What the World Needs to Know About Israel's Failure The embassy added that ''On this visit, for example, there was no dry cleaning, only a couple of shirts were laundered for the public meeting, and the Prime Minister's suit and Mrs. Netanyahu's dress were ironed also for the public meeting. Oh yes, a pair of pajamas that the Prime Minister wore on the 12 hour flight from Israel to Washington were also laundered.''
Propaganda, Pirates and Preachers: The Weird Wide Web Of Shortwave Radio - The Dork Web
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 18:32
The world of Shortwave is a world of state-backed propaganda, cults, pirates, and spies. You'll find every form of freakery and geekery on air. Digital, analogue, even stuff where you can't tell if it's digital, analogue, bad music or interference.
In a world of constant connections Shortwave radio may seem anachronistic. But there's something special in Shortwave and I'd like to show it to you. With a tiny bit of effort and at zero cost you can explore this world from the comfort of your own home.
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This issue's music is by an obscure californian band called Lace. An old testament-driven pirate radio station YHWH (YaHWeH) used this for their intro. YHWH's owner was ordered to cease broadcasting in 2015. He still pops up now and again on the air preaching the old testament. The singer is allegedly his ex-girlfriend, but nobody knows for sure. Give it a play, but'... don't expect high production quality.
How Shortwave Shaped LivesOf all the things I expected to get into, Shortwave radio wasn't one of them. As a kid I'd listen to my dad's old valve radio. Strange voices from distant lands floated through the air. Shortwave's audio quality was terrible even by early 80s standards. There was something magical in hearing distant voices from across Europe and beyond.
I got back into Shortwave listening earlier in the UK lockdown period. Over the past few months I've heard stations from as far as Florida, Cuba, Botswana, North Korea and China. I've heard signals broadcast from Ascension island in the Atlantic to Tinian island in the Pacific.
Some people will tell you that Shortwave is dead. While it's passed a 20th century peak there's plenty happening. In 2002 the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters estimated that hundreds of millions of households around the world had Shortwave-capable receivers.
Picture above from users Kf4yd, Noldoaran, Augiasstallputzer~commonswiki on Wikipedia.
Shortwave covers frequencies from around 3-30Mhz and has some unique properties. Most frequencies used in commercial radio frequencies broadcast in straight lines. The signals penetrate the atmosphere and head into space. There is an occasional troposphoric effect that reflects signals but this isn't reliable. The atmosphere's upper layers reflect Shortwave frequencies back to earth as shown above. This allows Shortwave signals to bounce around the Earth.
DX Commander has a very personable 10 minute video on radio propagation. If you'd prefer something more arid but in-depth, the Military HF Radio channel has a deep-dive series on military RF Theory and practice.
Shortwave broadcasting really took off during and after World War II. Stations would beam news and propaganda around the world.
For many behind the Iron curtain, shortwave radio was a window into what was happening at home as well as abroad. During the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, crowds swarmed around Radio Prague's building. They knew once the troops went in the news would be censored. Many Radio Prague operators fled into the crowds. Within hours the clandestine Radio Free Prague network was up and running. You can hear a broadcast from Radio Free Prague in the video above. Don Moore wrote about the role of Radio in the invasion and resistance.
As well as through clandestine networks at home, foreign services broadcast into the Soviet Union. In response the USSR jammed BBC and Voice of America frequencies. Overcoming these jamming attempts was a personal protest against the restrictions. The BBC Russian service broadcast Russian-language radio into the USSR when it could. One of the most popular radio shows broadcast to Russia was Seva Novgorodsev's Рок-Ðосевы (''Rock Posevy''). Kristin Roth-Ey's Listening Out, Listening For, Listening In, talks about listeners' jamming experiences.
That jamming shaped the ''Rok-posevy'' experience is clear from the many letters that mention it and its prominence thematically on the show. Listeners described jamming as an elemental force, unpredictable and mighty. A ''storm suddenly erupted on air,'' and ''they jam by turning on some kind of hellish machine.'' It was ''as if the devil had been let loose on the earth, or Jesus Christ had risen from the dead,'' they wrote.
Recordings of Seva's shows going back to the 70s are available online today. It's a very different way to listen to classic rock, and well worth a try. The archives have full transcripts for piping through translation services. Seva drops familiar names regularly enough for you to keep up between songs. The files are all available as MP3s. This would make for an amazing podcast.
Jamming wasn't limited to the Soviet Union. China built huge transmitters to jam non-Chinese signals. Instead of hellish noise they broadcast a continuous loop of patriotic Chinese songs. Then again, listening to it repeatedly could be quite hellish.
Prepping For A Shortwave SafariI'm going to show you some of the more easily accessible things on Shortwave radio. You could spend a fortune on technical kit, or you can spend nothing and use a remote SDR. I'd start with remote SDRs as they're a click away.
Tech Minds shows you the different ways to get access to remote radios around the world. This is handy if you want to have a quick listen. If you want to get your own radio, I've a few options for you. Do try the remote SDR route first though.
You can buy all kinds of radios from tiny handhelds to massive ''boat anchors''. For most people looking to explore Shortwave, an SDR is your best bet. SDR software's waterfall view lets you see a large part of the band at once. You can then zoom in on a single element. SDRs also have wider bandwidth than normal radios. This lets you to sometimes record whole bands at once.
The RTLSDRv3 dongle is by far the best bang for buck of any radio I could possibly imagine. There are fakes going around so make sure you get a genuine one from here if you decide this is for you. There are better SDRs out there, but there aren't better SDRs at this price point. OfficialSWLChannel walks through receiving Shortwave with an RTLSDRv3 dongle above.
I use an Airspy HF+ Discovery, which is by far the best performing HF SDR I own. I also have an Airspy R2 and Spyverter, which lets me record a whopping 10Mhz of bandwidth at once. I can record 3-13mhz all night and inspect individual frequencies later. Expect to spend a few hundred dollars here, so try the RTL-SDRv3 first.
The best value portable radio I've used is the Tecsun PL-380*. It's an incredible radio for £45. It pulls things out of the air I'd normally need to break out the Airspy HF+ Discovery to reach. The only downside is it doesn't do Single Side Band (used in amateur bands and some numbers stations). There are other radios such as Sangean's ATS-909X, Retekess v115 and the XHData D-808 but I haven't used them. With the PL-380 I haven't needed to. OfficialSWLChannel's review tells you everything you need to know.
I have a slightly broken Sony ICF-SW7600GR. Some of the buttons don't work and the volume control is a little squiffy but that aside it's a great radio.
You'll pull more signals in with a decent antenna, and there are two that I use in particular. The Airspy Youloop is an amazing passive loop antenna for the price. It can't be beat in its category for hunting down distant decibels and folds into a small bag. I also have a Wellbrook FLX1530LN. The Wellbrook is an order of magnitude better than the Youloop but it's much more expensive. You have to provide your own cable for the loop. I use LMR-600 which is bulky, heavy and not so portable but almost zero loss. You could get away with something like LMR-400 or RG213 instead. Frugal Radio reviews the Youloop below.
Start with a remote WebSDR to try things out. Once you want to go physical, it's hard to go wrong with an RTLSDRv3 stick and Youloop. If you want something on the go a Tecsun PL-380 is great unless you need SSB or active antenna sockets.
With that out of the way, lets find out what's on the air!
Shortwave Safari Tiem!Missionaries have long used radio to evangelise. As well as the Catholic Church, Shortwave attracts its own brands of preacher. Brother Stair runs the Overcomer Ministry. It's an online and worldwide campaign to spread his apocalyptic vision.
The online schedule shows when and on what frequencies he'll be on air. I normally try to catch him on WRMI at 7780khz when I'm trying to pick up Shortwave Radiogram on 7730khz.
Of course, Brother Stair doesn't have a monopoly on apocalyptic broadcasting. World's Last Chance radio is the slickest end-times broadcaster on Shortwave. It's broadcast from Monticello, Maine, USA on WBCQ. On first listen, World's Last Chance sounds almost like a fairly normal station. At least until you pay attention to the words.
To be fair, I once presented a slide deck on why the world is flat but that was a parody. I don't believe for one second the world is flat. These guys? Well, listen for yourself. Just to be clear, the presenters are discussing whether or not the Earth is flat using technology functionally dependent upon the Earth being round.
China's Firedrake jammer used huge transmitters. While the original Firedrake broadcasts are gone, Chinese broadcasts spam Shortwave. Chinese spam programmes in languages from English to Hungarian spam entire bands. Content varies from Firedrake-style music to genuine news and culture. Then you get downright weird stuff like this guy above. Give it a listen. Really. I promise you it will be the most random thing about the joy of washing while being covered in excrement you'll hear all day.
I hear this guy on Shortwave all the time. Every now and again he breaks down into word salad. He can go for a good 15 minutes without forming a coherent paragraph. Other subjects I've heard from him include why Chinese people do not need more than one shirt, how the Chinese spirit is innate and unconquerable and of course, how western minds are poisoned from birth. The more you know.
Believe it or not China Radio International does also put out actual news. Here's a tour of one of their Beijing news studios. China isn't the only station broadcasting propaganda. The Voice of America and BBC World Service have been broadcasting for decades. Many nations attempt to emulate them with more 'relaxed' approaches to editorial independence. On Shortwave you'll hear developing nations praising their acheivements, cultural, technical or just made up.
One of my favourite pirate stations is Germany's Charleston Radio. You can listen to it live in a web browser here or here, or on the Airspy network. It plays old fashioned big band music in English and German. It's one of my favourite weak signals to target from the south of England. My hacklab has too much interference to pick this up well. On a good day I can catch it on the Sony or Tecsun from Watership down.
As well as regular audio, there are digital broadcasts too. I've covered my favourite show - Shortwave Radiogram - here before. There's also This Is A Music Show mixing music and data, and the odd minute of MFSK on The Mighty KBC.
On Amateur bands I've particularly enjoyed a digital mode called FT-8. I can reach from the east coast of the US to Asiatic Russia with under 5 Watts of transmission power. I've received signals from as far away as Indonesia. You probably won't need a licence if you just want to listen. Modern Ham shows you how to get up and running with remote SDRs in case you want to give it a go.
As well as the usual morse code, MFSK broadcasts and FT-8, there's also other digital professional broadcasting. Deutsche Wetterdienst broadcasts weather information across Short, Medium and Long Wave.
They also broadcast weather information via WeFAX. Yes, that's fax over radio. It was originally designed for people hooking up physical fax machines to radios. Lots of stations around the world use WeFAX for weather information. You might also pick up Kyodo News agency's broadcast of whole newspapers in Japanese and English.
You might've seen coded messages with groups of 5 numbers in spy shows and movies. Most nations use coded messages sent over Short wave. "Numbers" stations broadcast mechanical voices repeating number groups, often on a regular schedule. In the modern age they use morse and digital modes too. You can hear them on a Shortwave radio, with an SDR or more easily via web-based SDRs a click away thanks to Priyom. Tracking the Lincolnshire Poacher above is a documentary about these stations. Give it a watch when you have time.
In case you'd like to listen, my favourite numbers stations are:
The Lincolnshire Poacher (sadly no longer broadcast)
You can download historical numbers station recordings from's Conet project mirror. I have a mild interest in cryptanalysis and decided to have a play with numbers stations. I'll cover them in a lot more depth in a future issue.
There is so much more on Shortwave and it's never been easier to get access thanks to online SDRs. The best Shortwave guides I've found are SWLing and their amazing blog. Eibispace, Shortwave Info, and Shortwave Schedule are great for listings and locations. The OfficialSWLChannel, Oxford Shortwave Log and London Shortwave Youtube channels are worth visiting. Don't forget to check out the excellent Shortwave subreddit and HF Underground communities. There's more out there but as always, Tales From The Dork Web is constrained by space. If there's something you think I've missed, let me know and I'll mention it in a future issue.
When exploring Shortwave I sometimes want to know more about a signal. I work through bands from low to high frequencies. Once I find a frequency of interest I'll see if it's broadcast in LSB, USB or AM and try to listen in. If it's a digital signal, I look for it in the Sigidwiki. I record using SDRSharp's audio recorder. I'll also check the current frequency against Eibispace, Shortwave Info and Shortwave Schedule. This usually lists the transmission source.
If I'm still unsure, I'll try to narrow down the source. I use the SpyServer network in SDR Sharp for this. I test different locations and check signal strength at each, narrowing the source down to a single country. I used this method to locate Charleston Radio broadcasts in Germany. It takes 5-15 minutes once you've done it a couple of times.
I can't let this issue go out without showing you one of my favourite stations to listen to, Helliniki Radiophonia. It broadcasts mostly in Greek, but has some really lovely traditional Greek music on, as well as acts you just don't get to hear in the Anglosphere. In the video above it's received as far away as the United States, but of course you can listen to it via an online SDR if you can't pick it up locally.
Things You May Have MissedLike many US state-backed services, Voice of America is in real trouble right now. Hopefully this time next year they'll be in a better place, rather than a worse one.
The unique propagation properties of Shortwave make it ideal for communications where speed is an issue. Sniper in Mahwah & Friends dug into a mystery involving High-Frequency Trading and HF radios.
One of the things that'll affect your ability to receive on Shortwave is interference from electrical equipment. My home is as you might expect terrible for this. It's not as bad as this village where broadband was cut off from 7am each day due to a rogue TV.
Jay Doscher updated his Cyberdeck project with an easier build.
Ars Technica writes about in-person user groups as though they're a thing of the past. COVID may have put them on hold but they still exist.
Grimmware did an epic talk about BBC Micro repair and BBC BASIC software necromancy after destroying his BBC Micro while trying to summon satan through occult sigils. Happens to the best of us.
Daniel Estevez is part of a rag-tag bunch of super-cool satcom hackers monitoring Mars missions from earth. Daniel wrote an awesome piece about decoding Mars 2020 space probe signals.
I started the Cyberdeck issue with Giorgio Moroder's classic song Chase, and a reader from the United States kindly pointed out that this was also the opening music for the sadly departed Art Bell's late night Coast to Coast AM radio show. I grew up in England so I never experienced the joys of Art Bell. Coast to Coast AM still broadcasts today and they have an Art Bell vault, sadly incompatible with my ad filtering. Still, I've been listening to plenty of recordings on
On the subject of weird alien contacts and radio, John Shepherd runs Project S.T.R.A.T. - a one-man inverted SETI-type operation to beam signals out into space to try and lure UFOs into his local area. The video above is pretty wild and definitely worth a look. If you want to find out more about John's mission and life, John Was Trying To Contact Aliens is a short documentary available on Netflix.
Do you like magical internet money and old graphing calculators? Why not combine the two with this TI-Basic Bitcoin miner!
Brothertiger's Found is a beautiful piece of music from his new album Paradise Lost. Have a listen, and if you like it consider buying it on bandcamp.
I thought I'd end with a beautiful haiku I saw from K2DLS:
I always loved to
search for those distant signals
admist the static.
I really hope you liked this issue. If you've enjoyed it please share it with your friends. I'll return in two weeks with more Tales From The Dork Web.
Free Speech
Netflix Responds to GOP Senators Critique of 'The Three Body Problem' Adaptation | Hollywood Reporter
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 11:46
10:09 PM PDT 9/25/2020 by THR staff
Courtesy of Netflix
GOP Senators' accused the streamer of "normalizing" China's extra-judicial detention of over one million Muslims in Xinjiang, referencing past comments from the books' author Liu Cixin supporting the program.Netflix responded Friday evening to five Republican senators who sent a letter to the streamer service's chief content officer and co-CEO Ted Sarandos on Wednesday over its plan to have the executive producers of Game of Thrones adapt Chinese author Liu Cixin's sci-fi trilogy The Three-Body Problem.
In the letter, the lawmakers allege that the streamer would be "normalizing" China's mass imprisonment of Uyghur Muslims in the country's northwestern province of Xinjiang if it were to work with Liu. The senators quote from a lengthy interview Liu gave to The New Yorker in 2019, in which he responded to a question about China's mass internment of Muslims by saying, "Would you rather that they be hacking away at bodies at train stations and schools in terrorist attacks? If anything, the government is helping their economy and trying to lift them out of poverty."
The Senators' letter posed a sequence of questions asking Netflix to justify its decision to proceed with the project in partnership with Liu (in full). The letter was signed by Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Martha McSally (R., Ariz.), Kevin Cramer (R., N.D.), and Thom Tillis (R., N.C.).
Netflix's VP of Global Public Policy Dean Garfield began his response by informing the legislators that "Netflix does not operate a service in China."
The response by Garfield continued in a Q&A format to address concerns, overall noting that while the author of The Three-Body Problem supports the Chinese government'ss inhumane policy, EPs David Benioff and D.B. Weiss as well as Netflix do not share those views.
"Mr. Liu is a Chinese citizen living in China '-- he is the author of the books, not the creator of this Netflix series. The creators are David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of Game of Thrones, and Alexander Woo, executive producer/writer on the series True Blood," the response includes.
The response adds that the streamer " judges individual projects on their merits" and overall does not agree with Liu's comments, "which are entirely unrelated to his book or this Netflix show."
China's brutal treatment of its Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang has included credible reports of forced labor, systematic "reeducation," and forced sterilizations to reduce population sizes.
The Three-Body Problem is the first series order for Benioff and Weiss since they signed a nine-figure overall deal at Netflix in 2019, after the conclusion of Game of Thrones.
VIDEO-When the commercial web was born - YouTube
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 12:20
VIDEO-Protests erupt after grand jury decision in Breonna Taylor case - YouTube
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 12:12
VIDEO-Media briefing on COVID-19 - YouTube
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 11:51
VIDEO-'Criminal' ban on hydroxychloroquine based on 'faulty' study - YouTube
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 11:41
VIDEO-Justin Hart on Twitter: "Wow. '...@SWAtlasHoover'(C) lays out the science piece by piece and the press is left in the dust." / Twitter
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 11:37
Justin Hart : Wow. '...@SWAtlasHoover'(C) lays out the science piece by piece and the press is left in the dust.
Wed Sep 23 23:00:37 +0000 2020
Catherine Long : @justin_hart @SWAtlasHoover Wow. What an idiot.
Sun Sep 27 09:15:44 +0000 2020
TJM : @justin_hart @MarisaInCali @SWAtlasHoover i love how the idiots in the press while trying to "gotcha" this guy-are'...
Sun Sep 27 06:24:41 +0000 2020
MAGAFlowerPower 6% 🇺🇸'''¸ : @justin_hart @MarisaInCali @SWAtlasHoover Isn't it glorious!!
Sun Sep 27 05:32:00 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Watch Replay: Prayer March 2020 - Prayer March 2020
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 11:32
AboutPrayer PointsLivestreamGivePrayer March 2020 Replay: Hosted by Mike Huckabee & Cissie Graham LynchPray for America from wherever you are as Franklin Graham leads a nationwide prayer march in Washington, D.C.
Together, let's seek God's forgiveness, healing and intervention in our divided nation.
Find Peace Today Pray for our Nation
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VIDEO-Is Joe Biden OK?!?!?! - YouTube
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 03:55
VIDEO-Unboxing the Apple Mask - YouTube
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 18:39
VIDEO-MUST SEE: Nancy Pelosi Anger Issues says "F" Word To MSM - YouTube
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 18:22
VIDEO-No Mandatory Testing for Ontario Teachers Due to 50% False-Positive Rate - YouTube
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 18:13
VIDEO-Bill Gates: COVID-19 has Set Back Global Health for Years | National Geographic - YouTube
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 18:04
VIDEO-Have We Been Deceived About What Happened on 9/11? Christopher Bollyn - YouTube
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 17:54
VIDEO-Emily Larsen on Twitter: "Kamala Harris asked, who's the best rapper alive? She answers @2PAC Then says ''Not alive, I know, I keep doing that.'' Tries to think of another living rapper. ''There's some I would not mention right now because th
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 17:47
Emily Larsen : Kamala Harris asked, who's the best rapper alive?She answers @2PACThen says ''Not alive, I know, I keep doing th'...
Fri Sep 25 21:42:50 +0000 2020
JD : @emilyelarsen @2PAC Media already treating her like Obama. Imagine someone asking this question to Trump. They woul'...
Sat Sep 26 17:44:55 +0000 2020
''¸ Rashad Wilson ''¸ : @emilyelarsen @2PAC Cardi B went to war for y'all and you forgot she existed. That's rough. Couldn't even shout her out.
Sat Sep 26 17:42:01 +0000 2020
hcboa : @emilyelarsen @2PAC She knows PAC Is alive !!!!!!!
Sat Sep 26 17:40:16 +0000 2020
RascalzZz : @emilyelarsen @2PAC I think the point here is that they are using the wrong shit to get the black vote. You don't k'...
Sat Sep 26 17:32:49 +0000 2020
Brent Railsback : @emilyelarsen @2PAC Wife said @SenKamalaHarris looked like Ozzy Osborne when I showed her the video ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚
Sat Sep 26 17:30:35 +0000 2020
DuckDodgers625 : @emilyelarsen @2PAC 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 As Biden says "you ain't Black if..." What a joke. That's what Heels up Harris gets for'...
Sat Sep 26 17:28:34 +0000 2020
Adam Appell : @emilyelarsen @2PAC Lol she wasn't even smart enough to say Cardi B. Biden might not get anymore interviews now. Bad Kamala!
Sat Sep 26 17:27:33 +0000 2020
Knewyawkyanky : @emilyelarsen @2PAC Fraud
Sat Sep 26 17:25:25 +0000 2020
Î--LEC. : @emilyelarsen @2PAC She clearly doesn't know shit about rap haha politicians are so fake
Sat Sep 26 17:24:39 +0000 2020
ðŸ‘>>THE HOLY GHOSTðŸ‘>> : @emilyelarsen @2PAC THROWING SUBLIMINAL SHADE AT YEEZY @kanyewest "There's some I would not mention rn because th'...
Sat Sep 26 17:24:19 +0000 2020
WittyUserName : @emilyelarsen @2PAC I'm a grown-up and I don't listen to rap, would have been a much better answer.
Sat Sep 26 17:24:00 +0000 2020
Miami Heat #2020Vision 🏆 : @emilyelarsen @2PAC Such a horrible response to an easy easy easy AF question. Worse part is she can't give a name'...
Sat Sep 26 17:18:22 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Cambridge Will Require Masks In Public At All Times - YouTube
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 17:43
VIDEO-DOCU PREMIRE: Return to Eden - Marijn Poels - YouTube
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 17:37
VIDEO-Black physicians group to independently vet safety of COVID-19 vaccines - CBS News
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 17:04
As drugmakers race to develop coronavirus vaccines, a task force formed by the nation's oldest Black physicians group will be tracking the data amid fears that political considerations could overrule safety concerns, particularly when it comes to African Americans.
"This is about ensuring safety for Operation Warp Speed," said Dr. Leon McDougle, president of the National Medical Association (NMA), referring to the Trump administration's effort to accelerate the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. "We're really doing this to be a source of trusted information for our physicians and our community."
The NMA's task force, comprised of infectious disease and immunization experts, will be "reviewing the available data to help ensure appropriate evidence exists, and that in clinical trials diversity is represented, in order for us to speak to the safety and allocation within the African American community," McDougle, a family physician and professor at the Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, told CBS MoneyWatch.
Dr. Leon McDougle, president of the National Medical Association. National Medical Association It typically takes several years to develop a vaccine, but the White House is pushing to release a vaccine this fall. That shortened time frame has fueled concerns that political pressure could override the normal regulatory process of vetting a vaccine.
The NMA, formed in 1895, is not alone in voicing concerns that vaccines might be rushed into production. Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates expressed alarm last week at what he called the Trump administration's bungled response to the pandemic, saying he fears that politics will erode public confidence in the eventual vaccine. Additionally, nine drugmakers working to develop vaccines recently took the unusual step of pledging to put science and ethics ahead of speed in developing a vaccine.
While the Food and Drug Administration would have to approve any coronavirus vaccine, recent surveys show a majority of Americans are concerned that vaccine development is being rushed. One-third said they would not get vaccinated, according to a Gallup poll last month.
Historical distrust in medical systemAfrican Americans have less trust in the medical system than White patients, and often receive worse care, studies have found. History is littered with examples of medical mistreatment of Black Americans, including experimental operations on enslaved Black women between 1845 and 1849 by Alabama surgeon J Marion Sims.
Participant in Tuskegee study of syphilis in Black men in the 1950s. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention There's also the notorious 40-year study by the Public Health Service and the Tuskegee Institute, in which nearly 400 Black men with syphilis were misled about being treated. The study was found to be "ethically unjustified" and participants were awarded $10 million in an-of-court settlement in 1974, according to an account by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But McDougle said his faith in the vaccine development process has been rattled by a recent events, starting with the CDC issuing a May 3 directive that let doctors test asymptomatic people from "racial and ethnic minority groups disproportionately affected by adverse COVID-19 outcomes '-- currently African Americans, Hispanics and some American Indian tribes," only to remove all mention of race and ethnicity three days later.
Trump contradicts health officials on vaccine... 01:32 The CDC had been "looked at worldwide as being the gold standard, but there are things that keep happening and people don't have good explanations," McDougle said.
Recent missteps by the FDA raises further concerns, he said. Specifically, the FDA used its emergency use authorization to greenlight two COVID-19 treatments '-- convalescent blood plasma and hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug promoted by President Donald Trump.
"There's concern about some of these decisions being politicized," McDougle said. "It even impairs the ability to complete the clinical trials appropriately."
Correcting "mixed messages"The FDA in June revoked the authorization it gave hospitals in late March to give hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, to COVID-19 patients, saying the drugs were likely ineffective and might pose risk, citing "ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other serious side effects."
After critics accused FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn of exaggerating the findings of a Mayo Clinic study on the benefits of using convalescent blood plasma as a treatment for COVID-19, he backtracked the following day.
"There seems to be political influence and it's disturbing," said McDougle. "We want to help provide some clarity with the mixed messages out there."
The CDC did not immediately return a request for comment.
Asked for comment, an FDA spokesperson pointed to opening remarks by Hahn before Congress on Wednesday.
"I want to assure you and emphasize that every one of the decisions that we have reached have been made by career FDA scientists and based on science and data, not politics," Hahn said.
VIDEO-Address by Prime Minister SUGA Yoshihide at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly - YouTube
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 17:00
VIDEO-Pres. Trump Unveils 'Platinum Plan' For Black Empowerment | NowThis | LIVE - YouTube
Sat, 26 Sep 2020 16:38
VIDEO-Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "Unlikeable cretin. Joe Biden to the troops: ''Clap for that, you stupid bastards.''" / Twitter
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 22:04
Ian Miles Cheong : Unlikeable cretin. Joe Biden to the troops: ''Clap for that, you stupid bastards.''
Fri Sep 25 20:21:55 +0000 2020
Anna : @stillgray @BoumtjeBoumtje He was like this (but even worse) in the 1980s
Fri Sep 25 22:03:23 +0000 2020
Toshiro Mifune stan account : @stillgray Come on this is the most likeable Biden has been in ages
Fri Sep 25 22:02:49 +0000 2020
Dune (Ron Howard Director's Cut) : @stillgray Damn, there goes his shot at earning your vote
Fri Sep 25 22:02:41 +0000 2020
Too Brown for this Town : @stillgray That was pretty funny. He earned my vote for that.
Fri Sep 25 22:02:30 +0000 2020
RICIN RONI : @stillgray You're supposed to sign your tweets at the end
Fri Sep 25 22:02:03 +0000 2020
ahhere : @stillgray
Fri Sep 25 22:01:38 +0000 2020
Emma Berquist : @stillgray don't sign your tweets
Fri Sep 25 22:01:04 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Karli 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "No unknown sources here👇#TheMoreYouKnow" / Twitter
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 21:02
Karli 🇺🇸 : No unknown sources here👇#TheMoreYouKnow
Fri Sep 25 19:31:45 +0000 2020
Milo C : @KarluskaP
Fri Sep 25 21:02:31 +0000 2020
Keith Timmons : @KarluskaP That's why pelosi doesn't want him anywhere near a debate stage ''¸ðŸ
Fri Sep 25 21:02:21 +0000 2020
The Right of The People : @KarluskaP Biden calls service men and women, ''stupid bastards''. Where is the media outrage since we don't need sou'...
Fri Sep 25 21:01:48 +0000 2020
VIDEO-'The corpse that is Joe Biden' gets 'tuckered out' after a day off: Murray - YouTube
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 16:28
VIDEO-Kelb Hull on Twitter: "This ad OMG" / Twitter
Fri, 25 Sep 2020 04:09
Kelb Hull : This ad OMG
Thu Sep 24 20:37:57 +0000 2020
Dan Sadler : @CalebJHull This might be the worst ad I've ever seen, and that's saying something
Fri Sep 25 04:09:04 +0000 2020
Natasha🌺 : @CalebJHull @JunglBouncnYeti Awesome
Fri Sep 25 04:09:01 +0000 2020
Rachelle : @CalebJHull So good!!!!
Fri Sep 25 04:08:10 +0000 2020
Bob Bobby : @CalebJHull @RealSaavedra To be honest, cringe.
Fri Sep 25 04:07:53 +0000 2020
David Jouster : @CalebJHull This ad would have been perfect with the Socom's theam song/anthem. #socom
Fri Sep 25 04:07:50 +0000 2020
Joseph Guzman : @CalebJHull Snake? Snaaaake? SNAAAAAKE. Yes, this ad made me think of #MGS. I'm a nerd and proud of it and'...
Fri Sep 25 04:07:21 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Donald J. Trump on Twitter: "Thank you, I will never let you down!" / Twitter
Thu, 24 Sep 2020 21:27
Donald J. Trump : Thank you, I will never let you down!
Thu Sep 24 17:10:00 +0000 2020

Clips & Documents

All Clips and Docs
ADOS guy in video retweeted by Trump.mp3
Andy Schectman (money manager) on FedNow and digital dollar [easing is defaltionarty 2023 target aligns with FedNow.mp3
Bernie on voting DN.mp3
Biden OLD CLIP bastards to troops.mp3
BIDEN US Mayora laughing.mp3
Bill Gates NatGeo -3- Distributing equitably - All Lives Matter WTF RACIST BLM.mp3
Cambridge Will Require Masks In Public At All Times.mp3
clara spera RBG granddaughte ron her ferverent last wrods.mp3
CNN invites the wrong guests (pro trump).mp3
Coney Barret People of Praise Handmaid Connection 1 (Opener MSNBC) 9.26.20 -33sec-.mp3
Coney Barret People of Praise Handmaid Connection 2 (Yamesh) 9.25.20 -15sec-.mp3
Coney Barret People of Praise Handmaid Connection 3 (Democracy Now) 9.23.20 -23sec-.mp3
COVID Milestone to FLorida NBC.mp3
COVID report wo texas wednesday DN.mp3
covis tEXAS AGAION dn.mp3
COVIS to globalism to CLimate DN.mp3
Dr Scott Atlas vs CDC Reddfield 90% uninfected.mp3
Franklin Graham Prayer March 2020 on the mall PACKED even with Pence.mp3
Kamala still lying about 2Pac with Angela Rye.mp3
KY Riots encouraged DN.mp3
Meritocracy Professor.mp3
NBC NN Friday rundown NBC.mp3
No Mandatory Testing for Ontario Teachers Due to 50% False-Positive Rate Health Chief Dr Yaffe.mp3
noodle_boy_intro from phonics reading app Homer.mp3
Praise Corvallis ONE DN.mp3
Praise Corvallis THREE DN.mp3
Praise Corvallis TWO DN.mp3
Rand Paul complaint morphs into lie DN.mp3
Romney gets backbone re courts.mp3
Sky Australia - The corpse that is Joe Biden' gets 'tuckered out' after a day off Murray.mp3
substance abuse 1.mp3
substance abuse 2 voice.mp3
substance abuse 3.mp3
substance abuse 4.mp3
Tedros Truth comes out aboout SPREADING the virus [accelleratr bullcrap].mp3
Trees for global warming.mp3
Trump introduces the Platinum Plan in Georgia.mp3
TRUMP MPA -- Ballots.mp3
TRUMP MPA -- Biden dumb guy.mp3
TRUMP MPA -- Biden lid.mp3
TRUMP MPA Biden cirlces.mp3
TRUMP MPA on Amy CB.mp3
Tryump rally mask lies DN.mp3
Voter fraud set up THREE DN.mp3
Voter fraud set up TWO DN.mp3
Voter fraud set up whipsaw DN.mp3
wildly impressive ISO.mp3
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