Art for episode 1294

1294: Ephemeral Experience

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 37m
November 12th, 2020
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Executive Producers: Sir Julian, Earl of Autonomous Cars, Sir Dodd of The Pears, Donald DeHart, Rolando Gonzalez, sir 22 of the PNW, Chad Edmonds, Dame Amber of the Taverns

Associate Executive Producers: Anonymous, Cameron Hunter, Ryan Solchenberger, Taylor Bradshaw

Cover Artist: Mike Riley

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Woodstock
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7:38
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9:21
Suggested chapter: PCR "Testing" Update
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21:24
Suggested chapter: Something disturbing on the horizon eight months ago
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24:38
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26:39
Suggested chapter: Oh brother virus
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27:35
Suggested chapter: COVID reports
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40:55
Suggested chapter: Bloomberg reports on UK COVID certificates and wristbands
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41:59
Suggested chapter: Election update
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44:25
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DudePerson
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54:33
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1:14:44
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1:24:10
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2:21:11
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Transition
BLM Letter
More Champagne Sold in Washington DC Today Than Last 2 New Years Combined, Liquor Store Owners Say
Sun, 08 Nov 2020 21:06
Washington D.C. liquor store owners say supporters of President-elect Joe Biden have purchased more champagne bottles Saturday than during the previous two New Year's Eve celebrations combined.
Rodmans Food & Drug Store in downtown Washington is just one liquor store location where owners say they have sold more champagne bottles in the past 12 hours than during any previous holidays. Photos and videos from around the nation's capital show joyful people wearing pro-Biden apparel, celebrating his election win over President Donald Trump. One Fox News correspondent near the White House said celebrations smelled of marijuana and sprays of champagne bottles have continued in the hours since Biden's victory was announced. Two drug store chains in D.C. confirmed to Newsweek there was a "deluge" of Biden imbibers seeking champagne bottles Saturday.
Several Getty images show hundreds of empty Veuve Clicquot champagne bottles, wine bottles and Truly Hard Seltzers stacked up against trash cans throughout Washington. A customer at Tenley Market liquor store tweeted Saturday night that champagne and blunt wraps were selling out there as well.
"Poppin' bottles of champagne near the White House. Thousands celebrate Joe Biden being elected the 46th President of the United States," tweeted NBC D.C. reporter Shomari Stone, covering the raucous pro-Biden partying in Black Lives Matter Plaza just north of the White House.
"I've now been sprayed with tear gas and champagne in the same spot," remarked Andrew Beaujon, senior editor of The Washingtonian. He tweeted a selfie showing himself and other Biden supporters celebrating near Lafayette Park, where National Guard troops used tear gas and pepper balls to disperse demonstrators for a Trump photo-op back in June.
Fox News correspondent Leland Vittert remarked Saturday night, "The street party is sort of dying off a little bit, but there's still the very pungent smell of marijuana which may be one of the reasons things have not really gotten out of hand. There was one report more bottles of champagne were sold in D.C. today than on some New Years'. We saw people poppin' bottles and spraying the crowd all afternoon. And you can see that guy with a bottle of champagne right over there."
Holding "You're Fired" signs and partying just feet from the White House, thousands of Biden supporters and Trump critics were seen drinking from champagne bottles. The owner of Rodmans grocery store on Wisconsin Ave NW told NBC D.C. their store sold out of champagne bottles amid sales which have dwarfed the previous two New Year's Eve celebrations combined.
The "Cha-Cha Slide" could be heard through loud speakers as dancing Biden supporters reveled in Trump's announced defeat all Saturday afternoon. Echoes of "na na nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye" could be heard in virtually every video recorded of the festivities.
"If the president looks out his window in the White House...this is the crowd he sees. A bunch of signs saying, "you're fired" and chanting," Vittert added, noting the U.S. Secret Service says nobody has yet attempted to climb the walls surrounding the White House property amid the partying.
Remarking on the celebrations, late Senator John McCain's daughter said Trump should be embarrassed by the joy his departure is bringing to so many Americans'--particularly those in New York and Washington. New York bartenders and liquor store owners echoed the same sales sentiment, with Liam Johnson, an NYC bartender tweeting, "We sold out of champagne at the bar already so...."
"I can't imagine if my Dad lost and our hometown of Phoenix erupted in jubilation with people pouring champagne all over each other and singing and dancing. Maybe the Trump's don't give a shit about their hometown but... yeeeesssshhh...," tweeted Meghan McCain.
Newsweek reached out to Metropolitan Police and the Trump campaign for comment.
People spray champagne as they celebrate Joe Biden being elected President of the United States in the Castro district of San Francisco, California on November 7, 2020. - Democrat Joe Biden has won the White House, US media said November 7, defeating Donald Trump and ending a presidency that convulsed American politics, shocked the world and left the United States more divided than at any time in decades. JOSH EDELSON /AFP/Getty Images
President-Elect Joe Biden Selects Ron Klain as His White House Chief of Staff Ebola Czar
Boris Johnson's Joe Biden tweet revealed to show 'Trump' underneath - as Irish PM Micheal Martin deletes phone call message | Politics News | Sky News
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:26
Boris Johnson has risked being left red-faced after his message of congratulations to US president-elect Joe Biden was found to have retained traces of Donald Trump's name.
On Saturday, the prime minister offered his congratulations to Mr Biden and his vice-presidential running mate Kamala Harris after they were declared the winners of the US election.
In a graphic attached to his Twitter post, Mr Johnson said in a statement: "Congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States and to Kamala Harris on her historic achievement.
Image: Boris Johnson's message of congratulations to Joe Biden Image: The hidden words include a reference to 'Trump' Image: Zooming in and altering the brightness and contrast of the image reveals the outlines of previous words"The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security."
However, it has since been spotted that altering the brightness and contrast of the graphic reveals the outline of what appears to be a previous statement.
Above the word "Biden" the word "Trump" can be seen, while the outlines of other words can also be found.
A government spokesperson said: "As you'd expect, two statements were prepared in advance for the outcome of this closely-contested election.
"A technical error meant that parts of the alternative message were embedded in the background of the graphic."
The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford posted on Twitter: "Incompetence has become the watchword for this Tory government.
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PM's enthusiasm for working with Biden"This just serves as yet another reminder of @BorisJohnson's close relationship with Trump, which has done so much damage."
Meanwhile, a message was posted on Irish PM Micheal Martin's Twitter account saying he had spoken to Mr Biden, but was quickly deleted.
Mr Martin said he had "just finished a very positive call" with the president-elect.
However, the message was posted in error as the phone call was still in the process of being arranged.
The pair spoke later on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Trump has still yet to concede defeat in the US presidential election and has repeatedly claimed to have "won" the election.
He has also made unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the election process.
Trump appointee at GSA declines to sign letter authorizing Biden transition - The Washington Post
Mon, 09 Nov 2020 06:09
A Trump administration appointee is refusing to sign a letter allowing President-elect Joe Biden's transition team to formally begin its work this week, in another sign the incumbent president has not acknowledged Biden's victory and could disrupt the transfer of power.
The administrator of the General Services Administration, the low-profile agency in charge of federal buildings, has a little-known role when a new president is elected: to sign paperwork officially turning over millions of dollars, as well as give access to government officials, office space in agencies and equipment authorized for the taxpayer-funded transition teams of the winner.
It amounts to a formal declaration by the federal government, outside of the media, of the winner of the presidential race.
But by Sunday evening, almost 36 hours after media outlets projected Biden as the winner, GSA Administrator Emily Murphy had written no such letter. And the Trump administration, in keeping with the president's failure to concede the election, has no immediate plans to sign one. This could lead to the first transition delay in modern history, except in 2000, when the Supreme Court decided a recount dispute between Al Gore and George W. Bush in December.
''An ascertainment has not yet been made,'' Pamela Pennington, a spokeswoman for GSA, said in an email, ''and its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law.''
The GSA statement left experts on federal transitions to wonder when the White House expects the handoff from one administration to the next to begin '-- when the president has exhausted his legal avenues to fight the results, or the formal vote of the electoral college on Dec. 14? There are 74 days, as of Sunday, until the Biden inauguration on Jan. 20.
''No agency head is going to get out in front of the president on transition issues right now,'' said one senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. The official predicted that agency heads will be told not to talk to the Biden team.
Here's the General Services Administration letter in 2008 authorizing the presidential transition
The decision has turned attention to Murphy, whose four-year tenure has been marked by several controversies involving the president, an unusually high profile for an agency little known outside of Washington.
''Her action now has to be condemned,'' said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), who leads a House oversight panel on federal operations. ''It's behavior that is consistent with her subservience to wishes of the president himself, and it is clearly harmful to the orderly transition of power.''
The delay has implications both practical and symbolic.
By declaring the ''apparent winner'' of a presidential election, the GSA administrator releases computer systems and money for salaries and administrative support for the mammoth undertaking of setting up a new government '-- $9.9 million this year.
Transition officials get government email addresses. They get office space at every federal agency. They can begin to work with the Office of Government Ethics to process financial disclosure and conflict-of-interest forms for their nominees.
And they get access to senior officials, both political appointees of the outgoing administration and career civil servants, who relay an agency's ongoing priorities and projects, upcoming deadlines, problem areas and risks. The federal government is a $4.5 trillion operation, and while the Biden team is not new to government, the access is critical, experts said.
This is all on hold for now.
''Now that the election has been independently called for Joe Biden, we look forward to the GSA Administrator quickly ascertaining Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the President-elect and Vice President-elect,'' a Biden transition spokesman said in an email. ''America's national security and economic interests depend on the federal government signaling clearly and swiftly that the United States government will respect the will of the American people and engage in a smooth and peaceful transfer of power.''
As the campaign wound down, President Trump gave signals that he would not easily hand over the reins to his successor, if there was one. But for people who have been through them, a presidential transition is a massive undertaking requiring discipline, decision-making and fast learning under the smoothest circumstances. Each lost day puts the new government behind schedule.
''The transition process is fundamental to safely making sure the next team is ready to go on Day One,'' said Max Stier, president and chief executive of the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service, which has set up a presidential transition center and shares advice with the Biden and Trump teams. ''It's critical that you have access to the agencies before you put your people in place.''
The Biden team can move forward to get preliminary security clearances and begin FBI background checks on potential nominees requiring Senate confirmation.
Another senior administration official who was not authorized to speak publicly said each agency has drafted detailed transition plans for a new administration, but they will not be released to the Biden team until a winner is formally declared.
Trump has been resistant to participating in a transition '-- fearing it is a bad omen '-- but has allowed top aides to participate as long as the efforts do not become public, administration officials said. He is unlikely to concede he has lost or participate in traditional activities, the officials said.
In a call on Friday with administration officials, Mary Gibert, the head of the presidential transition team at the GSA, told colleagues the agency was in a holding pattern and not to host people from Biden teams until there is ''ascertainment.'' She gave no specific timeline on when it was expected.
The delay has already gummed up discussions on critical issues, including plans to distribute a possible coronavirus vaccine, this official said.
GSA has been part of transition planning since the Presidential Transition Act was signed in 1963. Since then, the agency has identified the winner within hours or a day of media projections, and weeks before the results were made official by the electoral college.
Chris Lu, who served as former president Barack Obama's transition director in 2008, recalled that after Obama was declared the winner over the late senator John McCain on Nov. 4, he went to sleep to get up early the next morning to open the transition office. He missed the call from GSA's acting administrator, Jim Williams, informing him that he had signed over transition resources to the Obama team.
''Jim made the call at 1 a.m.,'' Lu said. ''There was simply no controversy involved.''
Robert C. MacKichan Jr., an attorney who served as GSA general counsel for presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, said that because Trump is contesting the election and the electors have not yet voted, it's too early for Murphy to make a call. Once the administrator issues the letter, the funds can be spent and can't be recouped.
''I don't think, at this point, I would feel comfortable making that determination now,'' MacKichan said. ''It's premature.''
MacKichan said he was confident Murphy would handle a difficult situation fairly. ''As an attorney and as a procurement official, I think she has the highest standard of integrity,'' he said.
Murphy has not sought the limelight during her tenure and was described by former colleagues as a by-the-book person. She's regarded as well-qualified, an expert on contracting with experience both at the agency, where she had previously served as chief acquisition officer, and on Capitol Hill, where she had been a staffer for multiple committees. Heading a federal agency unknown to most Americans seemed like an ideal assignment.
But under Trump, two issues of personal importance to the president became almost constant sources of controversy for her: the lease Trump's company holds with the agency for its D.C. hotel, located in the federally owned Old Post Office Pavilion, and the planned consolidation of the FBI headquarters.
Both projects have pressed Murphy into duty defending the president, and her actions elicited criticism from the agency's watchdog as well as from congressional Democrats.
Trump's hotel lease was signed with the agency before Trump took office, and he resigned his position with the company when he entered office. But he retained ownership of his business, allowing him to profit from the property while in office.
Democrats held repeated hearings to get a better explanation of how the agency decided to allow Trump to keep the lease given that the Constitution bar presidents from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments, which often patronize the hotel. Under Murphy, the GSA repeatedly declined to provide documents to House Democrats, including the monthly income statements it receives from Trump's company.
Last year, the agency's inspector general determined that GSA ''improperly'' ignored those concerns in allowing Trump's company to keep the lease. GSA defended itself by saying that the investigation ''found no undue influence, pressure or unwarranted involvement of any kind by anyone.''
Trump has personally intervened in the most prominent real estate project in the agency's entire portfolio: the plan to build a new FBI headquarters that would allow the bureau out of the crumbling and insecure J. Edgar Hoover Building. During his first year in office, Trump and the GSA abruptly canceled a bipartisan plan to build a new suburban headquarters for the agency, infuriating Democrats who had worked more than a decade on the project and who alleged that Trump canceled the project so a competing hotel could never be built in place of the Hoover building, a site down the street from his hotel. The White House said the president's business had nothing to do with the decision.
What Are Joe Biden's Policies? - The New York Times
Mon, 09 Nov 2020 13:04
Politics | Where Does Joe Biden Stand on Major Policies?Here's an overview on President-elect Biden's positions on coronavirus, health care, the economy, taxes and climate change.
Health care workers administering coronavirus tests in Milwaukee this week. Joseph R. Biden Jr., the president-elect, has vowed to do ''whatever it takes'' to stop the virus' spread across the country. Credit... Taylor Glascock for The New York Times Progressives think President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s policies do not go far enough. President Trump and his administration have called Mr. Biden a Trojan horse for the radical left.
Since the primary, Mr. Biden has shifted leftward on issues including health care, climate change and education. But even then, he has hardly embraced the bold agenda of progressives like Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Here is where Mr. Biden actually stands on several key issues: the coronavirus, health care, the economy, taxes and climate change.
CoronavirusMr. Biden made combating the pandemic a central message of his campaign for months, arguing that the nation would be better off if he were in charge.
His plans for addressing the outbreak include improved testing, expanded production of personal protective equipment, safe vaccine development and the safe reopening of schools. He has vowed to do ''whatever it takes'' to stop the pandemic from continuing to spread across the country, including lockdowns if scientists recommend them.
Mr. Biden has also said he will ask governors to institute a mask mandate in their states; if they refuse, he will work with local officials to get mandates in place. And he has said he will impose a national mask mandate in federal buildings and on interstate transportation.
As for Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, Mr. Biden says that he hopes Dr. Fauci will also serve in his administration.
Health CareMr. Biden supports expanding the Affordable Care Act and creating a public option '-- a plan he has nicknamed Bidencare. He has denounced Republican efforts to overturn the health care law, and vowed to ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions will continue to have access to health care.
He does not support the universal, single-payer health care proposal known as ''Medicare for all'' that is advocated by progressives including Mr. Sanders. And he does not support eliminating private insurance. But in a concession to progressives, he announced in April a plan to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60 from 65.
Mr. Biden has also pledged to ''reduce the premiums and reduce drug prices by making sure that there's competition that doesn't exist now by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with the insurance companies.''
Economy Image Tesla electric vehicles on an assembly line in Fremont, Calif. Among Mr. Biden's proposals are a $300 billion increase in government spending on research and development of technologies like electric vehicles. Credit... Christie Hemm Klok for The New York Times Mr. Biden has a sweeping economic recovery plan, under the moniker ''Build Back Better,'' that promises to create millions of job. In his plan, Mr. Biden has tied the economic revival to tackling climate change, racial equity and reinvestment in American manufacturing.
Among his proposals are a $300 billion increase in government spending on research and development of technologies, like electric vehicles and 5G cellular networks, and an additional $400 billion in federal procurement spending on products that are manufactured in the United States.
To discourage American companies from moving jobs to other countries, known as offshoring, he proposed a 10 percent ''offshoring penalty surtax'' that would apply to ''profits of any production by a United States company overseas for sales back to the United States.''
Mr. Biden has also said he will change the tax code to reward companies for investing in domestic production. And he has promised to take executive action to ensure the purchase of American goods in the federal procurement process.
TaxesMr. Biden wants to partially repeal the Trump tax overhaul, rolling back tax cuts for corporations and the highest earners. He has proposed increasing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, from 21 percent.
But he has said that he will keep tax cuts in place for other households, including those in the middle class, and he has promised that no one making under $400,000 will pay higher taxes.
Over all, Mr. Biden's proposals would increase tax revenue by an estimated $3.4 trillion over a decade, according to an analysis by the Penn Wharton Budget Model at the University of Pennsylvania. Eighty percent of the increase would fall on the top 1 percent, according to the analysis.
As a result of lower wages and investment returns, the Penn Wharton analysis found that the after-tax income of households earning under $400,000 would decrease by 0.9 percent on average. But there would be a far steeper average drop in after-tax income for households earning above $400,000: 17.7 percent.
The Biden campaign has argued that the Penn Wharton analysis presents an incomplete picture because it does not take into account a number of tax-related proposals put forth by the campaign that it says will benefit those in the middle-class.
Climate ChangeMr. Biden laid out a plan over the summer to spend $2 trillion to develop clean energy and eliminate emissions from the power sector by 2035. In addition to the coronavirus pandemic, the resulting economic crisis and racial injustice, he has referred to climate change as one of four ''historic crises'' that the United States is facing.
But notably, he has declined to support the Green New Deal, a sweeping climate plan embraced by progressive groups and criticized by Republicans, though his website calls it a ''crucial framework.''
And while Mr. Trump has accused Mr. Biden of wanting to ''ban fracking,'' Mr. Biden has repeatedly said he will not do so. Instead, he has proposed ending the permitting of new fracking on federal lands, but he is not proposing a national ban.
During the last presidential debate, Mr. Biden also said he would push the country to ''transition away from the oil industry'' and end federal subsidies. He later tried to clarify his remarks saying, ''We're getting rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels, but we're not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time.''
Lockdown to coronavirus vaccine can work, Biden adviser says | wusa9.com
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:30
Money to workers, businesses and local governments could allow for a long enough lockdown to get the U.S. to a vaccine, Dr. Michael Osterholm said.
A member of President-elect Joe Biden's newly formed coronavirus task force says if federal government pays people, businesses and local governments during a 4-to-6 week lockdown, it could get the pandemic under control in time for a vaccine.
Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said that time frame could get the U.S. into the start of what is expected to be the first COVID-19 vaccine availability.
"We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers; for losses to small companies, to medium-sized companies; for cities, states, county governments, we could do all that. If we did that, then we could lockdown for 4 to 6 weeks," Osterholm told Yahoo Finance Wednesday. "And if we did that, we could drive the numbers down like they've done in Asia, like they did in New Zealand and Australia."
One of Biden's new coronavirus task force doctors floating the idea of a 4-6 week lockdown:''We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the lost wages for individual workers ... if we did that, then we could lockdown for 4 to 6 weeks."pic.twitter.com/zNmuQvPpIJ
'-- Zack Guzman (@zGuz) November 11, 2020How would it be paid for? Osterholm, who wrote an August op-ed with Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari, said the current personal savings rate and the historic-low interest rates could allow the government to cover it.
Osterholm said this week that the U.S. is entering what he calls "COVID hell."
"Back on Labor Day, we were at about 23,000 cases of new coronavirus infection every day. Today, we're going to be in the 130s to 140,000 again," Osterholm told Yahoo Finance.
There were 144,133 new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University -- a new record and the ninth straight day the country was over 100,000 cases. Nearly 2,000 people died due to the virus Wednesday, the highest number in more than six months.
A record 65,368 people in the U.S. were hospitalized with the coronavirus Wednesday, according to the COVID Tracking Project. More than 12,500 were in intensive care.
Osterholm said three things are exacerbating the problem:
Pandemic fatigue: People tired of taking safety measures, including social distancing.Pandemic anger: Osterholm noted about 1/3 of Americans don't believe the pandemic is real.Indoor air: People are spending more time indoors, increasing the chance of exposure to the virus.Osterholm said the pandemic is reaching a point where there won't be a differentiation between red and blue counties or states for much longer. It will be everywhere.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday they believe a vaccine will be available to average Americans by early spring. Azar said the first doses for the most vulnerable patients and frontline health workers could start going out by the end of the year.
Pfizer announced Monday its COVID-19 vaccine could be 90% effective based on early and incomplete test results. Fauci said that level of effectiveness could convince more people to take it sooner.
Biden's COVID-19 advisory board revealed, Vivek Murthy cochairs - Business Insider
Mon, 09 Nov 2020 17:43
President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday in Wilmington. Associated Press/Andrew Harnik President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced Monday the public-health experts making up their COVID-19 advisory board. The panel will comprise 13 members, cochaired by Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon general, Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of medicine at Yale University, and David Kessler, the former FDA commissioner. Biden said in a statement that the COVID-19 advisory board "will help shape my approach" to managing the coronavirus pandemic. Rick Bright, a former Trump administration official who criticized the country's approach to the pandemic, is also on the board. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced Monday the 13 members of their COVID-19 advisory board, made up entirely of prominent-health experts.
The panel will be led by three chairs: Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon general; Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of medicine at Yale University; and David Kessler, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner.
"Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts," Biden said in a statement.
"The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations."
Prominent doctors listed on the transition advisory board include Rick Bright, a former Trump administration official, who spoke out against the administration's approach to the pandemic after being fired.
Others on the board:
Dr. Michael Osterholm, former science envoy for health security on behalf of the State Department.Dr. Atul Gawande, former senior advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration.Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, former special advisor to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget during the Obama Administration.Dr. Celine Gounder, a medical doctor who specializes in infectious disease and global health at New York University's Grossman School of Medicine.Dr. Luciana Borio, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.Dr. Julie Morita, executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.Loyce Pace, president and executive director of the Global Health Council.Dr. Robert Rodriguez, Professor of Emergency Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine.Dr. Eric Goosby, expert on infectious diseases and Professor of Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine.The statement said that Dr. Beth Cameron and Dr. Rebecca Katz will serve as advisors on COVID-19 and will work closely with the advisory board.
Read more: Why a Biden administration will be good for the US cannabis industry, even though it's unlikely he'll legalize marijuana federally
Biden announced that he would be forming the panel in his first address to the nation as president-elect Saturday.
The board members will work with state and local officials in the US to draw up public health and economic policies to address the coronavirus, while also working to reopen schools and businesses, Biden's transition team said Monday.
The coronavirus has killed more than 238,000 people in the US, and infected more than 10.1 million. On Sunday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide passed 50 million.
On Friday, the US recorded nearly 126,000 new daily COVID-19 cases, breaking its previous daily case record for the third day in a row.
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Biden's COVID Task Force Includes Doctor who Wishes Biden Died 2 Years Ago '' Ricochet
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 00:54
Joe Biden introduced his coronavirus task force Monday morning. It will include Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the ''medical ethicist'' who createdvObamacare's ''death panels.'' Curiously, Emanuel wishes the 77-year-old Biden had died two years ago.
In his national address Saturday, Biden said his COVID-19 plan ''will be built on bedrock science'' and ''will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern.'' Ethics and empathy have different meanings to Democrats, as was shown by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's flooding of old-age homes with the virus.
Emanuel likely thinks New York's death toll was a feature, not a bug. After all, it mostly killed the elderly '-- people the ''medical ethicist'' believes don't deserve to live. He has publicly claimed that 75 years should be the cut-off for human life.
Here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.
By the time I reach 75, I will have lived a complete life. I will have loved and been loved. My children will be grown and in the midst of their own rich lives. I will have seen my grandchildren born and beginning their lives. I will have pursued my life's projects and made whatever contributions, important or not, I am going to make. And hopefully, I will not have too many mental and physical limitations. Dying at 75 will not be a tragedy.
Once I have lived to 75, my approach to my health care will completely change. I won't actively end my life. But I won't try to prolong it, either. Today, when the doctor recommends a test or treatment, especially one that will extend our lives, it becomes incumbent upon us to give a good reason why we don't want it. The momentum of medicine and family means we will almost invariably get it'...
But 75 defines a clear point in time: for me, 2032. It removes the fuzziness of trying to live as long as possible. Its specificity forces us to think about the end of our lives and engage with the deepest existential questions and ponder what we want to leave our children and grandchildren, our community, our fellow Americans, the world. The deadline also forces each of us to ask whether our consumption is worth our contribution.
Coronavirus has the most impact on the elderly but Biden's task force clearly has little use for them. I can't see how it will exercise ''compassion, empathy, and concern'' for anyone born before 1946.
That includes Joe Biden, who was born in 1942.
H/T Jim Geraghty.
Published in General
C-Smart Solutions on Twitter: "President-Elect #Biden is considering a new White House Office on #ClimateChange, - which could be the most fundamental consequence of the US #election. Let's put science, not politics, at the forefront with @MichaelEMann, &
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 01:03
C-Smart Solutions : President-Elect #Biden is considering a new White House Office on #ClimateChange, - which could be the most fundame'... https://t.co/EQkXNQnjJd
Sun Nov 08 19:44:09 +0000 2020
Dadla Ponizil : @C_Smart_Climate @KbLeecaster @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe And please think really hard, as you're setting up this Climat'... https://t.co/rEgZvxWDZf
Mon Nov 09 20:48:44 +0000 2020
Dadla Ponizil : @C_Smart_Climate @KbLeecaster @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe My 5 cents: This critical function/office should be staffed'... https://t.co/IcZTjF6yNK
Mon Nov 09 19:59:58 +0000 2020
Dadla Ponizil : @C_Smart_Climate @KbLeecaster @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe ''Climate needs to be a lens through which the next president a'... https://t.co/odKfc8Vi8h
Mon Nov 09 19:54:52 +0000 2020
One_Eyed_Jack2.0 : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe All hail the Church of the Holy Global Warmer. Tell us, please, how is "a'... https://t.co/58zytBR3Cm
Mon Nov 09 16:37:06 +0000 2020
Juliet : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe IT'S THE SUN, STUPID'¼¸
Mon Nov 09 16:30:56 +0000 2020
JohnCallahan42 : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe At least help Biden put together the committee. #climatechange is wide reac'... https://t.co/QXxtQflF9T
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EssaysConcern : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe Great suggestions. So many facets to cover, requiring great diversity, from'... https://t.co/wMOArvTmZP
Mon Nov 09 15:03:22 +0000 2020
Lilly Lee Whosoever : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe Dead voters tell him ..
Mon Nov 09 14:38:29 +0000 2020
@stopfrackingtherio : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe Oh please don't take job, like all liberal elites this is the fastest way t'... https://t.co/4llzwx3eyH
Mon Nov 09 03:16:51 +0000 2020
hope ' with ' whimsy : @C_Smart_Climate @KbLeecaster @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe No mention of Al Gore? He would be a wise contribution to such a panel, right?
Mon Nov 09 02:29:49 +0000 2020
Ryan Schereck : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe Yea @MichaelEMann is an obvious choice....must be done....@JoeBiden @KamalaHarris
Mon Nov 09 01:17:50 +0000 2020
Critter : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe That would be a great duo. For those who don't know her, we need @KHayhoe i'... https://t.co/TBieWr4rHV
Mon Nov 09 00:10:45 +0000 2020
James Connolly : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe Let's hope we keep this in mind: https://t.co/KgoB0I8gCj
Sun Nov 08 22:40:25 +0000 2020
🇺🇸The Walking Bassist 🇺🇸 : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe ðŸŒðŸ½ðŸŒðŸ½ðŸŒðŸ½
Sun Nov 08 22:39:18 +0000 2020
Oscar : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe Great news!
Sun Nov 08 21:13:33 +0000 2020
Roof Power Solar : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe @JigarShahDC @CleanGridView have a lot of insight and knowledge to add.
Sun Nov 08 21:02:04 +0000 2020
OnAMoteOfDust : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe I agree 100%. @MichaelEMann, in particular, has to be part of the gov't effort.
Sun Nov 08 20:26:22 +0000 2020
Katrina Hagen : @C_Smart_Climate @MichaelEMann @KHayhoe Michael Mann- hands down.
Sun Nov 08 20:12:58 +0000 2020
Google News - Republicans Back Trump's Refusal to Concede, Declining to Recognize Biden
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 03:50
Language & region English (United States)
Sen. Mitt Romney says President Trump is 'the most powerful voice' in the Republican Party | One America News Network
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 04:14
FILE '' In this June 9, 2020, file photo, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, talks to reporters as he arrives for the weekly Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
OAN NewsroomUPDATED 9:28 AM PT '' Monday, November 9, 2020No matter the outcome of the election, President Trump is ''without question the most powerful voice in the GOP.'' That's according to Utah Sen. Mitt Romney on Sunday.
In an interview, the Republican lawmaker said he believes in the impact of the President.
''He is without question the most powerful leader in our party, he will have an enormous impact on our party going forward,'' Romney stated. ''I believe that a great majority of the people that voted for Donald Trump want his principles and his polices and pursuit, so he's not disappearing by any means.''
Romney has notably been an outspoken opponent of President Trump throughout his presidency. Earlier this year, he was the only Republican senator to vote in favor of his impeachment.
Romney is also one of only a handful of Republican lawmakers to have conceded the election to Biden, which is a move he has come under fire for.
Ann and I extend our congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. We know both of them as people of good will and admirable character. We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead.
'-- Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) November 7, 2020
For example, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem responded to Romney's tweet congratulating Biden by saying, ''D.C. elites are eager to return to business as usual.''
However, Romney has acknowledged ''business as usual'' is likely a thing of the past as President Trump's impact on the party and nation continues to reverberate throughout the world.
RELATED: GOP reactions come in to media calling election result
Melissa Tate #StopTheSteal on Twitter: "President Trump needs us to show up in big numbers! Join the #StopTheSteal super car caravan that will start in Austin TX hit, 5 states & end in Washington DC this Friday. This is the epic battle for our very ex
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 05:08
Melissa Tate #StopTheSteal : President Trump needs us to show up in big numbers! Join the #StopTheSteal super car caravan that will start in Au'... https://t.co/61XLPVPATl
Tue Nov 10 05:00:26 +0000 2020
hail satan : @TheRightMelissa You are wasting money
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Mr. Holeinnone : @TheRightMelissa Better known as the dumb and dumber tour
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Tue Nov 10 05:05:36 +0000 2020
Georgia's Support for Biden Hinges on Black Voters and Organizers | Teen Vogue
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 18:48
We live in a country that sees such little value in Black lives that when a Black woman was unjustly killed in her home, those responsible weren't charged for ending her life. We're in a country that declares a movement constructed to protect and preserve Black life as a threat. A country that has created numerous systems and policies to make life harder for Black people. At the same time, we live in a country that has placed the burden of rescuing, repairing, and redeeming its flaws and shortcomings on these same Black people. This has been a pattern in our history. Black voices have saved this country time and time again, and the 2020 presidential election has been a painful reminder of this thankless task.
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This year marked 150 years since Black men were granted the right to vote. That was the first step in a centuries-long journey to the United States becoming a country that acknowledges and respects Black voters '-- a journey that is far from over, as the distance to the finish line has appeared to widen these last several years. Especially in the aftermath of the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that eliminated the requirement of historically discriminatory states to receive federal clearance before changing their voting laws, essentially gutting the Voting Rights Act and spitting in the face of the Black lives lost and the Black lives that were traumatized on 1963's ''Bloody Sunday'' and the days that led up to it. This includes a young John Lewis, years before he became a congressman for Georgia's 5th District, which is comprised of Atlanta's Fulton, and parts of DeKalb, and Clayton counties '-- three counties with some of the state's largest Black populations. Three counties that are projected to play a pivotal role in flipping the top of the ticket in Georgia from red to blue.
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Less than four months since Lewis's passing, Georgia '-- and especially these counties '-- became the epicenter of national political attention. For anyone who knows the state and the changing demographics of metro-Atlanta, this isn't a surprise. At least it isn't to me, someone who grew up in DeKalb County during the ''white flight'' era that stretched into the 1990s. Atlanta, frequently referred to as a ''Black Mecca,'' has been home to several of the most recognizable and influential members of the Civil Rights movement, like Lewis and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., just to name a few. As the Trump administration has emboldened white supremacists, a new generation of Black politicians and organizers have taken the symbolic baton and pushed for change. One of the most visible being Stacey Abrams, who, rather than become complacent after losing her 2018 bid for governor '-- in a race that was plagued with reports of voter suppression '-- made it her mission to fight for free and fair elections nationwide, and especially in her home state. Her efforts appear to have paid off. Georgia is projected to back a Democratic presidential nominee for the first time since 1992, and to force two Senate races to a January runoff, giving Democrats the chance to take control of the Senate. This is in large part due to the groundbreaking work of Abrams and the organizations she has founded. This Black woman who was failed by our country's democracy became the driving force behind the enfranchisement and empowerment of millions of citizens. In other words, this Black woman helped other Black people save the country.
We can even take a look at Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. These states have also been in the spotlight during this election '-- starting out in Trump's favor before the ballots of areas with high Black populations began being counted. All across the country, millions of white people proved that their allegiance is to their whiteness, and not this country, as they cast their votes for a racist man who has done less than nothing to improve their lives or the lives of their loved ones. The election has not yet been called, but Black people are likely the reason we will not have to endure a second term of President Trump. Black people are the ones who may have saved us from this hateful and, quite frankly, deadly, administration.
For generations, Black people have lifted the United States up while, in return, this place has continuously knocked us down. Yes, we currently live in a deeply divided and problematic country, but, believe it or not, this is the best version of it since its inception. The freedoms and rights that this country flaunts in its deceptive worldwide PR campaign exist because Black people fought for them. Without our politics, America wouldn't be anywhere close to what it portrays itself to be. Without us, if Trump won reelection, the world would spend another four years laughing at this pitiful place.
I'm an optimist because I have to be. My very existence is predicated on the unrelenting hope and faith my ancestors had in the face of an incomprehensible amount of darkness and destruction. Additionally, the projected shift of Georgia from red to blue for the first time in years, just months after the passing of John Lewis, feels like a powerful tribute to his life and legacy. Still, all of this talk about ''fighting for the soul of America'' infuriates me. Because this election has proven that America doesn't have a soul; it has Black people. We don't deserve the weight of this nation and its moral failings, and this nation doesn't deserve our grace. But here we are.
Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Trump Did Not Lose in a Landslide Because the U.S. Is Racist
Why I Hope to Die at 75 - The Atlantic
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 19:27
Seventy-five.
That's how long I want to live: 75 years.
This preference drives my daughters crazy. It drives my brothers crazy. My loving friends think I am crazy. They think that I can't mean what I say; that I haven't thought clearly about this, because there is so much in the world to see and do. To convince me of my errors, they enumerate the myriad people I know who are over 75 and doing quite well. They are certain that as I get closer to 75, I will push the desired age back to 80, then 85, maybe even 90.
I am sure of my position. Doubtless, death is a loss. It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children. In short, it deprives us of all the things we value.
But here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.
By the time I reach 75, I will have lived a complete life. I will have loved and been loved. My children will be grown and in the midst of their own rich lives. I will have seen my grandchildren born and beginning their lives. I will have pursued my life's projects and made whatever contributions, important or not, I am going to make. And hopefully, I will not have too many mental and physical limitations. Dying at 75 will not be a tragedy. Indeed, I plan to have my memorial service before I die. And I don't want any crying or wailing, but a warm gathering filled with fun reminiscences, stories of my awkwardness, and celebrations of a good life. After I die, my survivors can have their own memorial service if they want'--that is not my business.
Let me be clear about my wish. I'm neither asking for more time than is likely nor foreshortening my life. Today I am, as far as my physician and I know, very healthy, with no chronic illness. I just climbed Kilimanjaro with two of my nephews. So I am not talking about bargaining with God to live to 75 because I have a terminal illness. Nor am I talking about waking up one morning 18 years from now and ending my life through euthanasia or suicide. Since the 1990s, I have actively opposed legalizing euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. People who want to die in one of these ways tend to suffer not from unremitting pain but from depression, hopelessness, and fear of losing their dignity and control. The people they leave behind inevitably feel they have somehow failed. The answer to these symptoms is not ending a life but getting help. I have long argued that we should focus on giving all terminally ill people a good, compassionate death'--not euthanasia or assisted suicide for a tiny minority.
I am talking about how long I want to live and the kind and amount of health care I will consent to after 75. Americans seem to be obsessed with exercising, doing mental puzzles, consuming various juice and protein concoctions, sticking to strict diets, and popping vitamins and supplements, all in a valiant effort to cheat death and prolong life as long as possible. This has become so pervasive that it now defines a cultural type: what I call the American immortal.
I reject this aspiration. I think this manic desperation to endlessly extend life is misguided and potentially destructive. For many reasons, 75 is a pretty good age to aim to stop.
Americans may live longer than their parents, but they are likely to be more incapacitated. Does that sound very desirable? Not to me.What are those reasons? Let's begin with demography. We are growing old, and our older years are not of high quality. Since the mid-19th century, Americans have been living longer. In 1900, the life expectancy of an average American at birth was approximately 47 years. By 1930, it was 59.7; by 1960, 69.7; by 1990, 75.4. Today, a newborn can expect to live about 79 years. (On average, women live longer than men. In the United States, the gap is about five years. According to the National Vital Statistics Report, life expectancy for American males born in 2011 is 76.3, and for females it is 81.1.)
In the early part of the 20th century, life expectancy increased as vaccines, antibiotics, and better medical care saved more children from premature death and effectively treated infections. Once cured, people who had been sick largely returned to their normal, healthy lives without residual disabilities. Since 1960, however, increases in longevity have been achieved mainly by extending the lives of people over 60. Rather than saving more young people, we are stretching out old age.
The American immortal desperately wants to believe in the ''compression of morbidity.'' Developed in 1980 by James F. Fries, now a professor emeritus of medicine at Stanford, this theory postulates that as we extend our life spans into the 80s and 90s, we will be living healthier lives'--more time before we have disabilities, and fewer disabilities overall. The claim is that with longer life, an ever smaller proportion of our lives will be spent in a state of decline.
Compression of morbidity is a quintessentially American idea. It tells us exactly what we want to believe: that we will live longer lives and then abruptly die with hardly any aches, pains, or physical deterioration'--the morbidity traditionally associated with growing old. It promises a kind of fountain of youth until the ever-receding time of death. It is this dream'--or fantasy'--that drives the American immortal and has fueled interest and investment in regenerative medicine and replacement organs.
But as life has gotten longer, has it gotten healthier? Is 70 the new 50?
The author at his desk at the University of Pennsylvania. ''I think this manic desperation to endlessly extend life is misguided and potentially destructive.'' Not quite. It is true that compared with their counterparts 50 years ago, seniors today are less disabled and more mobile. But over recent decades, increases in longevity seem to have been accompanied by increases in disability'--not decreases. For instance, using data from the National Health Interview Survey, Eileen Crimmins, a researcher at the University of Southern California, and a colleague assessed physical functioning in adults, analyzing whether people could walk a quarter of a mile; climb 10 stairs; stand or sit for two hours; and stand up, bend, or kneel without using special equipment. The results show that as people age, there is a progressive erosion of physical functioning. More important, Crimmins found that between 1998 and 2006, the loss of functional mobility in the elderly increased. In 1998, about 28 percent of American men 80 and older had a functional limitation; by 2006, that figure was nearly 42 percent. And for women the result was even worse: more than half of women 80 and older had a functional limitation. Crimmins's conclusion: There was an ''increase in the life expectancy with disease and a decrease in the years without disease. The same is true for functioning loss, an increase in expected years unable to function.''
This was confirmed by a recent worldwide assessment of ''healthy life expectancy'' conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. The researchers included not just physical but also mental disabilities such as depression and dementia. They found not a compression of morbidity but in fact an expansion'--an ''increase in the absolute number of years lost to disability as life expectancy rises.''
How can this be? My father illustrates the situation well. About a decade ago, just shy of his 77th birthday, he began having pain in his abdomen. Like every good doctor, he kept denying that it was anything important. But after three weeks with no improvement, he was persuaded to see his physician. He had in fact had a heart attack, which led to a cardiac catheterization and ultimately a bypass. Since then, he has not been the same. Once the prototype of a hyperactive Emanuel, suddenly his walking, his talking, his humor got slower. Today he can swim, read the newspaper, needle his kids on the phone, and still live with my mother in their own house. But everything seems sluggish. Although he didn't die from the heart attack, no one would say he is living a vibrant life. When he discussed it with me, my father said, ''I have slowed down tremendously. That is a fact. I no longer make rounds at the hospital or teach.'' Despite this, he also said he was happy.
As Crimmins puts it, over the past 50 years, health care hasn't slowed the aging process so much as it has slowed the dying process. And, as my father demonstrates, the contemporary dying process has been elongated. Death usually results from the complications of chronic illness'--heart disease, cancer, emphysema, stroke, Alzheimer's, diabetes.
Take the example of stroke. The good news is that we have made major strides in reducing mortality from strokes. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of deaths from stroke declined by more than 20 percent. The bad news is that many of the roughly 6.8 million Americans who have survived a stroke suffer from paralysis or an inability to speak. And many of the estimated 13 million more Americans who have survived a ''silent'' stroke suffer from more-subtle brain dysfunction such as aberrations in thought processes, mood regulation, and cognitive functioning. Worse, it is projected that over the next 15 years there will be a 50 percent increase in the number of Americans suffering from stroke-induced disabilities. Unfortunately, the same phenomenon is repeated with many other diseases.
So American immortals may live longer than their parents, but they are likely to be more incapacitated. Does that sound very desirable? Not to me.
The situation becomes of even greater concern when we confront the most dreadful of all possibilities: living with dementia and other acquired mental disabilities. Right now approximately 5 million Americans over 65 have Alzheimer's; one in three Americans 85 and older has Alzheimer's. And the prospect of that changing in the next few decades is not good. Numerous recent trials of drugs that were supposed to stall Alzheimer's'--much less reverse or prevent it'--have failed so miserably that researchers are rethinking the whole disease paradigm that informed much of the research over the past few decades. Instead of predicting a cure in the foreseeable future, many are warning of a tsunami of dementia'--a nearly 300 percent increase in the number of older Americans with dementia by 2050.
The average age at which Nobel Prize''winning physicists make their discovery is 48.Half of people 80 and older with functional limitations. A third of people 85 and older with Alzheimer's. That still leaves many, many elderly people who have escaped physical and mental disability. If we are among the lucky ones, then why stop at 75? Why not live as long as possible?
Even if we aren't demented, our mental functioning deteriorates as we grow older. Age-associated declines in mental-processing speed, working and long-term memory, and problem-solving are well established. Conversely, distractibility increases. We cannot focus and stay with a project as well as we could when we were young. As we move slower with age, we also think slower.
It is not just mental slowing. We literally lose our creativity. About a decade ago, I began working with a prominent health economist who was about to turn 80. Our collaboration was incredibly productive. We published numerous papers that influenced the evolving debates around health-care reform. My colleague is brilliant and continues to be a major contributor, and he celebrated his 90th birthday this year. But he is an outlier'--a very rare individual.American immortals operate on the assumption that they will be precisely such outliers. But the fact is that by 75, creativity, originality, and productivity are pretty much gone for the vast, vast majority of us. Einstein famously said, ''A person who has not made his great contribution to science before the age of 30 will never do so.'' He was extreme in his assessment. And wrong. Dean Keith Simonton, at the University of California at Davis, a luminary among researchers on age and creativity, synthesized numerous studies to demonstrate a typical age-creativity curve: creativity rises rapidly as a career commences, peaks about 20 years into the career, at about age 40 or 45, and then enters a slow, age-related decline. There are some, but not huge, variations among disciplines. Currently, the average age at which Nobel Prize''winning physicists make their discovery'--not get the prize'--is 48. Theoretical chemists and physicists make their major contribution slightly earlier than empirical researchers do. Similarly, poets tend to peak earlier than novelists do. Simonton's own study of classical composers shows that the typical composer writes his first major work at age 26, peaks at about age 40 with both his best work and maximum output, and then declines, writing his last significant musical composition at 52. (All the composers studied were male.)
This age-creativity relationship is a statistical association, the product of averages; individuals vary from this trajectory. Indeed, everyone in a creative profession thinks they will be, like my collaborator, in the long tail of the curve. There are late bloomers. As my friends who enumerate them do, we hold on to them for hope. It is true, people can continue to be productive past 75'--to write and publish, to draw, carve, and sculpt, to compose. But there is no getting around the data. By definition, few of us can be exceptions. Moreover, we need to ask how much of what ''Old Thinkers,'' as Harvey C. Lehman called them in his 1953 Age and Achievement, produce is novel rather than reiterative and repetitive of previous ideas. The age-creativity curve'--especially the decline'--endures across cultures and throughout history, suggesting some deep underlying biological determinism probably related to brain plasticity.
We can only speculate about the biology. The connections between neurons are subject to an intense process of natural selection. The neural connections that are most heavily used are reinforced and retained, while those that are rarely, if ever, used atrophy and disappear over time. Although brain plasticity persists throughout life, we do not get totally rewired. As we age, we forge a very extensive network of connections established through a lifetime of experiences, thoughts, feelings, actions, and memories. We are subject to who we have been. It is difficult, if not impossible, to generate new, creative thoughts, because we don't develop a new set of neural connections that can supersede the existing network. It is much more difficult for older people to learn new languages. All of those mental puzzles are an effort to slow the erosion of the neural connections we have. Once you squeeze the creativity out of the neural networks established over your initial career, they are not likely to develop strong new brain connections to generate innovative ideas'--except maybe in those Old Thinkers like my outlier colleague, who happen to be in the minority endowed with superior plasticity.
Maybe mental functions '--processing, memory, problem-solving'--slow at 75. Maybe creating something novel is very rare after that age. But isn't this a peculiar obsession? Isn't there more to life than being totally physically fit and continuing to add to one's creative legacy?
One university professor told me that as he has aged (he is 70) he has published less frequently, but he now contributes in other ways. He mentors students, helping them translate their passions into research projects and advising them on the balance of career and family. And people in other fields can do the same: mentor the next generation.
Mentorship is hugely important. It lets us transmit our collective memory and draw on the wisdom of elders. It is too often undervalued, dismissed as a way to occupy seniors who refuse to retire and who keep repeating the same stories. But it also illuminates a key issue with aging: the constricting of our ambitions and expectations.
We accommodate our physical and mental limitations. Our expectations shrink. Aware of our diminishing capacities, we choose ever more restricted activities and projects, to ensure we can fulfill them. Indeed, this constriction happens almost imperceptibly. Over time, and without our conscious choice, we transform our lives. We don't notice that we are aspiring to and doing less and less. And so we remain content, but the canvas is now tiny. The American immortal, once a vital figure in his or her profession and community, is happy to cultivate avocational interests, to take up bird watching, bicycle riding, pottery, and the like. And then, as walking becomes harder and the pain of arthritis limits the fingers' mobility, life comes to center around sitting in the den reading or listening to books on tape and doing crossword puzzles. And then '...
Maybe this is too dismissive. There is more to life than youthful passions focused on career and creating. There is posterity: children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
But here, too, living as long as possible has drawbacks we often won't admit to ourselves. I will leave aside the very real and oppressive financial and caregiving burdens that many, if not most, adults in the so-called sandwich generation are now experiencing, caught between the care of children and parents. Our living too long places real emotional weights on our progeny.
Mentorship is hugely important. But it also illuminates a key issue with aging: the constricting of our ambitions and expectations.Unless there has been terrible abuse, no child wants his or her parents to die. It is a huge loss at any age. It creates a tremendous, unfillable hole. But parents also cast a big shadow for most children. Whether estranged, disengaged, or deeply loving, they set expectations, render judgments, impose their opinions, interfere, and are generally a looming presence for even adult children. This can be wonderful. It can be annoying. It can be destructive. But it is inescapable as long as the parent is alive. Examples abound in life and literature: Lear, the quintessential Jewish mother, the Tiger Mom. And while children can never fully escape this weight even after a parent dies, there is much less pressure to conform to parental expectations and demands after they are gone.
Living parents also occupy the role of head of the family. They make it hard for grown children to become the patriarch or matriarch. When parents routinely live to 95, children must caretake into their own retirement. That doesn't leave them much time on their own'--and it is all old age. When parents live to 75, children have had the joys of a rich relationship with their parents, but also have enough time for their own lives, out of their parents' shadows.
But there is something even more important than parental shadowing: memories. How do we want to be remembered by our children and grandchildren? We wish our children to remember us in our prime. Active, vigorous, engaged, animated, astute, enthusiastic, funny, warm, loving. Not stooped and sluggish, forgetful and repetitive, constantly asking ''What did she say?'' We want to be remembered as independent, not experienced as burdens.
At age 75 we reach that unique, albeit somewhat arbitrarily chosen, moment when we have lived a rich and complete life, and have hopefully imparted the right memories to our children. Living the American immortal's dream dramatically increases the chances that we will not get our wish'--that memories of vitality will be crowded out by the agonies of decline. Yes, with effort our children will be able to recall that great family vacation, that funny scene at Thanksgiving, that embarrassing faux pas at a wedding. But the most-recent years'--the years with progressing disabilities and the need to make caregiving arrangements'--will inevitably become the predominant and salient memories. The old joys have to be actively conjured up.
Of course, our children won't admit it. They love us and fear the loss that will be created by our death. And a loss it will be. A huge loss. They don't want to confront our mortality, and they certainly don't want to wish for our death. But even if we manage not to become burdens to them, our shadowing them until their old age is also a loss. And leaving them'--and our grandchildren'--with memories framed not by our vivacity but by our frailty is the ultimate tragedy.
The author at base camp with two nephews this summer, as the three climbed Mount Kilimanjaro (Courtesy of Ezekiel J. Emanuel) Seventy-five. That is all I want to live. But if I am not going to engage in euthanasia or suicide, and I won't, is this all just idle chatter? Don't I lack the courage of my convictions?
No. My view does have important practical implications. One is personal and two involve policy.
Once I have lived to 75, my approach to my health care will completely change. I won't actively end my life. But I won't try to prolong it, either. Today, when the doctor recommends a test or treatment, especially one that will extend our lives, it becomes incumbent upon us to give a good reason why we don't want it. The momentum of medicine and family means we will almost invariably get it.
My attitude flips this default on its head. I take guidance from what Sir William Osler wrote in his classic turn-of-the-century medical textbook, The Principles and Practice of Medicine: ''Pneumonia may well be called the friend of the aged. Taken off by it in an acute, short, not often painful illness, the old man escapes those 'cold gradations of decay' so distressing to himself and to his friends.''
My Osler-inspired philosophy is this: At 75 and beyond, I will need a good reason to even visit the doctor and take any medical test or treatment, no matter how routine and painless. And that good reason is not ''It will prolong your life.'' I will stop getting any regular preventive tests, screenings, or interventions. I will accept only palliative'--not curative'--treatments if I am suffering pain or other disability.
Once I have lived to 75, my approach to my health care will completely change. I won't actively end my life. But I won't try to prolong it, either.This means colonoscopies and other cancer-screening tests are out'--and before 75. If I were diagnosed with cancer now, at 57, I would probably be treated, unless the prognosis was very poor. But 65 will be my last colonoscopy. No screening for prostate cancer at any age. (When a urologist gave me a PSA test even after I said I wasn't interested and called me with the results, I hung up before he could tell me. He ordered the test for himself, I told him, not for me.) After 75, if I develop cancer, I will refuse treatment. Similarly, no cardiac stress test. No pacemaker and certainly no implantable defibrillator. No heart-valve replacement or bypass surgery. If I develop emphysema or some similar disease that involves frequent exacerbations that would, normally, land me in the hospital, I will accept treatment to ameliorate the discomfort caused by the feeling of suffocation, but will refuse to be hauled off.
What about simple stuff? Flu shots are out. Certainly if there were to be a flu pandemic, a younger person who has yet to live a complete life ought to get the vaccine or any antiviral drugs. A big challenge is antibiotics for pneumonia or skin and urinary infections. Antibiotics are cheap and largely effective in curing infections. It is really hard for us to say no. Indeed, even people who are sure they don't want life-extending treatments find it hard to refuse antibiotics. But, as Osler reminds us, unlike the decays associated with chronic conditions, death from these infections is quick and relatively painless. So, no to antibiotics.
Obviously, a do-not-resuscitate order and a complete advance directive indicating no ventilators, dialysis, surgery, antibiotics, or any other medication'--nothing except palliative care even if I am conscious but not mentally competent'--have been written and recorded. In short, no life-sustaining interventions. I will die when whatever comes first takes me.
As for the two policy implications, one relates to using life expectancy as a measure of the quality of health care. Japan has the third-highest life expectancy, at 84.4 years (behind Monaco and Macau), while the United States is a disappointing No. 42, at 79.5 years. But we should not care about catching up with'--or measure ourselves against'--Japan. Once a country has a life expectancy past 75 for both men and women, this measure should be ignored. (The one exception is increasing the life expectancy of some subgroups, such as black males, who have a life expectancy of just 72.1 years. That is dreadful, and should be a major focus of attention.) Instead, we should look much more carefully at children's health measures, where the U.S. lags, and shamefully: in preterm deliveries before 37 weeks (currently one in eight U.S. births), which are correlated with poor outcomes in vision, with cerebral palsy, and with various problems related to brain development; in infant mortality (the U.S. is at 6.17 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, while Japan is at 2.13 and Norway is at 2.48); and in adolescent mortality (where the U.S. has an appalling record'--at the bottom among high-income countries).
A second policy implication relates to biomedical research. We need more research on Alzheimer's, the growing disabilities of old age, and chronic conditions'--not on prolonging the dying process.
Many people, especially those sympathetic to the American immortal, will recoil and reject my view. They will think of every exception, as if these prove that the central theory is wrong. Like my friends, they will think me crazy, posturing'--or worse. They might condemn me as being against the elderly.
Again, let me be clear: I am not saying that those who want to live as long as possible are unethical or wrong. I am certainly not scorning or dismissing people who want to live on despite their physical and mental limitations. I'm not even trying to convince anyone I'm right. Indeed, I often advise people in this age group on how to get the best medical care available in the United States for their ailments. That is their choice, and I want to support them.
We avoid constantly thinking about the purpose of our lives and the mark we will leave. Is making money, chasing the dream, all worth it?And I am not advocating 75 as the official statistic of a complete, good life in order to save resources, ration health care, or address public-policy issues arising from the increases in life expectancy. What I am trying to do is delineate my views for a good life and make my friends and others think about how they want to live as they grow older. I want them to think of an alternative to succumbing to that slow constriction of activities and aspirations imperceptibly imposed by aging. Are we to embrace the ''American immortal'' or my ''75 and no more'' view?
I think the rejection of my view is literally natural. After all, evolution has inculcated in us a drive to live as long as possible. We are programmed to struggle to survive. Consequently, most people feel there is something vaguely wrong with saying 75 and no more. We are eternally optimistic Americans who chafe at limits, especially limits imposed on our own lives. We are sure we are exceptional.
I also think my view conjures up spiritual and existential reasons for people to scorn and reject it. Many of us have suppressed, actively or passively, thinking about God, heaven and hell, and whether we return to the worms. We are agnostics or atheists, or just don't think about whether there is a God and why she should care at all about mere mortals. We also avoid constantly thinking about the purpose of our lives and the mark we will leave. Is making money, chasing the dream, all worth it? Indeed, most of us have found a way to live our lives comfortably without acknowledging, much less answering, these big questions on a regular basis. We have gotten into a productive routine that helps us ignore them. And I don't purport to have the answers.
But 75 defines a clear point in time: for me, 2032. It removes the fuzziness of trying to live as long as possible. Its specificity forces us to think about the end of our lives and engage with the deepest existential questions and ponder what we want to leave our children and grandchildren, our community, our fellow Americans, the world. The deadline also forces each of us to ask whether our consumption is worth our contribution. As most of us learned in college during late-night bull sessions, these questions foster deep anxiety and discomfort. The specificity of 75 means we can no longer just continue to ignore them and maintain our easy, socially acceptable agnosticism. For me, 18 more years with which to wade through these questions is preferable to years of trying to hang on to every additional day and forget the psychic pain they bring up, while enduring the physical pain of an elongated dying process.
Seventy-five years is all I want to live. I want to celebrate my life while I am still in my prime. My daughters and dear friends will continue to try to convince me that I am wrong and can live a valuable life much longer. And I retain the right to change my mind and offer a vigorous and reasoned defense of living as long as possible. That, after all, would mean still being creative after 75.
Ezekiel J. Emanuel is an oncologist, a bioethicist, and a vice provost of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author or editor of 10 books, including
Brothers Emanuel and
Reinventing American Health Care.
2020 Census: Starting Anew Under Biden Would Be Complicated : NPR
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:06
A woman uses a fan to cool off while waiting by a 2020 census booth at a farmer's market in Everett, Mass., north of Boston, in July. Concerns about the accuracy of the data after Trump officials cut the count short have led to calls for a redo. David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images A woman uses a fan to cool off while waiting by a 2020 census booth at a farmer's market in Everett, Mass., north of Boston, in July. Concerns about the accuracy of the data after Trump officials cut the count short have led to calls for a redo.
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images President-elect Joe Biden's win has some people asking if there's an opportunity for a 2020 census do-over.
The past eight months of the national head count have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, historic hurricane and wildfire seasons, last-minute schedule changes by the Trump administration and President Trump's call to leave unauthorized immigrants out of a key census count for the first time in 230 years.
But whether there is a census redo is not entirely in the hands of the president '-- who has limited authority over the census '-- and it would come with a host of complications.
The Constitution has required a census every 10 years since the first U.S. count in 1790. Its main purpose is to produce the latest population totals that are used to redistribute the seats in the House of Representatives among the 50 states.
During the last weeks of the Trump administration, there are two key legal deadlines for the 2020 census.
Dec. 31: The commerce secretary reports to the president the numbers used to reapportion House seats and Electoral College votes.
Jan. 10: The president reports the apportionment counts to Congress.
It's not clear if the state population numbers from a census redo could be used to reapportion the 435 House seats '-- or if there would be enough support in Congress to change any laws to allow that to happen. Federal law does allow for a "mid-decade census" in 2025, but the results cannot be used for congressional reapportionment.
With the 2020 census expected to be the most expensive census in the country's history at around $16 billion, there are questions around whether Congress would be willing to fund another count so soon after.
"I think a redo of the census would be the most drastic option that Congress and the new administration would consider down the road," Terri Ann Lowenthal, a former staff director of the House oversight subcommittee for the census, says. "There's a reason it takes 10 years to plan for a decennial census. A redo may not have to take 10 years if the Census Bureau were to use the same design, but it would still have to research and test a number of other elements."
Jamal Brown, the Biden campaign's national press secretary, has not responded to NPR's question about whether the president-elect supports conducting a new census in 2021 or 2022.
Lowenthal and some other longtime census watchers are calling, instead, for the Biden transition team to set up a panel of experts, both within and outside of the federal government, to review early indicators of the quality of the 2020 census and determine whether it can be used to not only reapportion House seats, but also redraw state and local voting districts and guide the fair distribution of $1.5 trillion a year in federal funding.
Since April, the bureau has asked for four-month extensions to legal deadlines for reporting census data but hasn't received any from Congress so far. Census advocates say giving the bureau's staff more time to run quality checks is one way to make sure the results of the 2020 census are accurate.
Last week, the bureau's deputy director and chief operating officer, Ron Jarmin, said in a blog post that the processing of census results has "not uncovered anything so far that would suggest" the 2020 census won't be "fit for its constitutional and statutory purposes." There are, though, preliminary findings that raise questions about the accuracy of population counts in college towns and of data about race and ethnicity.
Still, this month the inspector general's office at the Commerce Department, which oversees the bureau, announced it is launching an evaluation of the bureau's quality control processes. The bureau is also continuing to fight a federal lawsuit, led by the National Urban League, that includes allegations that due to pressure from the Trump administration to finish the census early, the bureau weakened its standards and processes in order to make the count appear more complete than it actually is.
A task force organized by the American Statistical Association is recommending that the bureau release more detailed metrics soon in order for outside experts to check the quality of the results. That task force includes two members of Biden's transition agency review team for the Commerce Department who also served in government during the Obama administration '-- Nancy Potok, a former deputy director at the bureau and later chief statistician within the White House Office of Management and Budget, and Denice Ross, who focused on data projects and policy as a Presidential Innovation Fellow and an adviser at OMB.
The Census Bureau's public information office, however, has not responded to NPR's questions about whether it's considering releasing any of the requested metrics.
Former bureau officials '-- including John Thompson, who served as director during the Obama administration and left months after Trump became president, and Jeri Green, who was a senior adviser for civic engagement at the bureau '-- tell NPR they expect a lot more transparency from the bureau's civil servants under Biden.
A recent series of political appointments by the Trump administration have raised concerns about partisan interference at the bureau among longtime census watchers, who are particularly worried about the administration's push to reprioritize resources in order to try to get a count of unauthorized immigrants that would allow Trump to change the congressional apportionment numbers while he is in office. The administration's efforts have been challenged through multiple federal lawsuits, and the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on Nov. 30.
"I pray that the career professionals at the Census Bureau, that the researchers and the scientists are allowed to do their work without further interference for partisan purposes," says Arturo Vargas, CEO of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, who has served on one of the bureau's advisory committees of outside experts.
"They've been gagged. They've been silenced and even arms twisted to a degree, and they're tired," says Green, who has been advising the National Urban League on census issues. "They want the Census Bureau that they know and love to be a transparent agency that has the interest of the American people at heart."
Ivanka Trump Is Never, Ever Going to Be Forgiven
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:12
She may have been hoping to spend her days jet-setting between Davos and Aspen'--when she wasn't mingling with Manhattan's gentry. But only the super-rich get those kinds of second chances. And that ain't Ivanka.
''They get forgiven because they have billions of dollars'--they can float a charity. Someone like [New York Jets owner and ambassador to the UK] Woody Johnson, who's given millions and millions of dollars to Trump and who has been a real Republican piece of shit, will get forgiven because he can donate and donate, right? Someone like Ivanka, who is so clearly an eyesore'--and isn't so rich'--ultimately, she's not going to get forgiven,'' Molly Jong-Fast says on the latest episode of The New Abnormal.
The best Ivanka Trump can hope for, Molly says, is a scuzzy reality show, like her dad. Speaking of the Trump family, Mary Trump joins the crew to discuss her uncle's electoral loss.
''It's amazing. On the one hand, losing is the thing that is the worst thing to do [in his mind]. But he's never won anything ever'... never won anything legitimately. Legitimacy means nothing to him because his ego is such that if he gets the win, just by virtue of cheating, lying, stealing, he knows he deserves to win. So it's OK for him to cheat, lie, and steal.''
In happier news, famed scientist and physician Eric Topol says the early results about the new COVID vaccine really are a ray of hope. He believes it might even be a so-called ''superhuman vaccine'... meaning it's even more powerful than the typical human response,'' he tells Molly.
''We could see the virus having a hard time finding people to infect by mid-year'... This virus will probably be endemic. It'll be here for years. But it's just going to have a harder time finding people.''
But don't throw out your masks, he warns: ''They're going to be really important in 2021'... First of all, the vaccines, when we talk about 90 percent efficacy, that's against pneumonia or getting your body infected with illness, it doesn't sterilize the upper respiratory tract. That is the nose. And so you could be a carrier of the virus. You're going to have to wear a mask because you won't know if the virus is sitting'' in your nose.
So, not back to normal any time soon. But we'll take it.
Listen to The New Abnormal on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.
So now Joe Biden's taking a bow for the COVID vaccine. Eat your heart out, Al Gore - American Thinker
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:35
November 10, 2020
Joe Biden didn't exactly claim credit for the good news from Pfizer about the COVID vaccine.
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But he had pals who did, starting with the rubbery little Anthony Scaramucci:
Thank you @JoeBiden for developing a COVID-19 vaccine. @realDonaldTrump had four years to do it and couldn't.
'-- Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) November 9, 2020
The Mooch later claimed he was trolling. But the fired ex-Trump staffer-turned-Trump-hater pretty well blurted out what the Biden team were doing: Taking ownership.
'); googletag.cmd.push(function () { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1567099776462-0'); }); } President Trump pointed out that Pfizer, which embraced a $2 billion incentive from the feds to buy vaccines, should they develop one, was part of the vast operation of Operation Warp Speed, cutting useless regulations and red tape on the government side, providing funds, ramping up industrial production, so that the private sector could find a way to destroy the coronavirus. This was Trump's baby, Trump's unheralded response to COVID-19, the one thing he could do to stop an imported virus, and did.
Biden, though, was the one standing up there on the podium, offering his congratulations to Pfizer, and commanding everyone to go out and wear masks. No thanks of course to President Trump. The victory was all his and he was patting the participants on the back.
According to the New York Post:
''I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope,'' Biden said in a statement, adding that he was informed Sunday night of the development.
Biden also expressed a note of caution, pointing out that more than 1,000 Americans are dying from the disease each day and the ''end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away.''
In the meantime, he urged Americans to continue to follow guidelines offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
''Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into the next year. Today's news is great news, but it doesn't change that fact,'' the statement said.
Pfizer announced on Monday that vaccine trial studies show it is more than 90 percent effective.
. That wasn't because President Trump was too lazy to make a statement of his own or didn't think it was worthy of doing.
Note that Sunday night date that Biden said he was informed of it. That was before the markets opened (and rocketed) and before President Trump was informed at all.
According to The Federalist:
The Trump administration awarded the drug company Pfizer $2 billion from taxpayers to produce a coronavirus vaccine available for free to all Americans. Pfizer decided to notify Joe Biden of the latest developments in that vaccine rather than the president who commissioned it and was, in fact, still president at the time of Pfizer's news.
Senior White House aide tells me they learned of the vaccine from press reports and, to the best of their knowledge, Pfizer didn't notify admin beforehand. https://t.co/umHUS4we60
'-- Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) November 9, 2020 This by the way, is the same vaccine Kamala Harris said she would refuse to take under a Trump administration, given that it would be so politicized. Anyone in the press going to ask Harris if she'll say 'no,' it will give her cooties?
The vaccine was politicized all right, but in Biden's direction. Big Pharma is full of leftists, finest products of America's ivy league schools and other elitists bubbles.
Why exactly did Pfizer hand the news of the vaccine's success to Joe Biden but not to President Trump, who cleared the way for them and offered them a huge payday if they succeeded?
And just as important, why did Pfizer fail to release this information in late October, as it promised, undoubtedly having the information, but failed to report until about a week after the highly disputed election?
Some pretty political behavior on the Pfizer side.
But nothing like the attempt to play politics with the matter on the Biden side, creating the entire scenario to suggest that they are the ones claiming the victory and offering the congratulations. Joe Biden isn't president yet, and not even ratified as president-elect, which must be done by the electoral college and Congress. His phony 'Office of the President Elect' has rightly been denied transition resources by the Trump administration given the high likelihood that massive cheating will be documented, uncovered and proven to judges, revealing a stolen election. Instead of wait for the results of such adjudications with confidence, Team Biden is forging straight ahead, attempting a 'squatters' rights' approach to taking the White House, on the possession is 99% of property approach, or whatever the saying is in the real estate world, something President Trump knows a thing about.
It's not Biden's vaccine to claim credit on. It's an attempt to steal credit for it from President Trump. Al Gore boldly claimed to have created the Internet. Biden is trying to do him one better by claiming credit for the COVID vaccine, and the end of the coronavirus pandemic.
It's garbage. He's trying to squat on the White House and he's trying to appropriate credit for the achievements of this Trump White House. Biden always was a plagiarizer but this is disgusting. The entire credit and thanks for this goes to President Trump.
Image credit: Pixabay public domain
Joe Biden didn't exactly claim credit for the good news from Pfizer about the COVID vaccine.
But he had pals who did, starting with the rubbery little Anthony Scaramucci:
Thank you @JoeBiden for developing a COVID-19 vaccine. @realDonaldTrump had four years to do it and couldn't.
'-- Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) November 9, 2020
The Mooch later claimed he was trolling. But the fired ex-Trump staffer-turned-Trump-hater pretty well blurted out what the Biden team were doing: Taking ownership.
President Trump pointed out that Pfizer, which embraced a $2 billion incentive from the feds to buy vaccines, should they develop one, was part of the vast operation of Operation Warp Speed, cutting useless regulations and red tape on the government side, providing funds, ramping up industrial production, so that the private sector could find a way to destroy the coronavirus. This was Trump's baby, Trump's unheralded response to COVID-19, the one thing he could do to stop an imported virus, and did.
Biden, though, was the one standing up there on the podium, offering his congratulations to Pfizer, and commanding everyone to go out and wear masks. No thanks of course to President Trump. The victory was all his and he was patting the participants on the back.
According to the New York Post:
''I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope,'' Biden said in a statement, adding that he was informed Sunday night of the development.
Biden also expressed a note of caution, pointing out that more than 1,000 Americans are dying from the disease each day and the ''end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away.''
In the meantime, he urged Americans to continue to follow guidelines offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
''Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into the next year. Today's news is great news, but it doesn't change that fact,'' the statement said.
Pfizer announced on Monday that vaccine trial studies show it is more than 90 percent effective.
. That wasn't because President Trump was too lazy to make a statement of his own or didn't think it was worthy of doing.
Note that Sunday night date that Biden said he was informed of it. That was before the markets opened (and rocketed) and before President Trump was informed at all.
According to The Federalist:
The Trump administration awarded the drug company Pfizer $2 billion from taxpayers to produce a coronavirus vaccine available for free to all Americans. Pfizer decided to notify Joe Biden of the latest developments in that vaccine rather than the president who commissioned it and was, in fact, still president at the time of Pfizer's news.
Senior White House aide tells me they learned of the vaccine from press reports and, to the best of their knowledge, Pfizer didn't notify admin beforehand. https://t.co/umHUS4we60
'-- Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) November 9, 2020 This by the way, is the same vaccine Kamala Harris said she would refuse to take under a Trump administration, given that it would be so politicized. Anyone in the press going to ask Harris if she'll say 'no,' it will give her cooties?
The vaccine was politicized all right, but in Biden's direction. Big Pharma is full of leftists, finest products of America's ivy league schools and other elitists bubbles.
Why exactly did Pfizer hand the news of the vaccine's success to Joe Biden but not to President Trump, who cleared the way for them and offered them a huge payday if they succeeded?
And just as important, why did Pfizer fail to release this information in late October, as it promised, undoubtedly having the information, but failed to report until about a week after the highly disputed election?
Some pretty political behavior on the Pfizer side.
But nothing like the attempt to play politics with the matter on the Biden side, creating the entire scenario to suggest that they are the ones claiming the victory and offering the congratulations. Joe Biden isn't president yet, and not even ratified as president-elect, which must be done by the electoral college and Congress. His phony 'Office of the President Elect' has rightly been denied transition resources by the Trump administration given the high likelihood that massive cheating will be documented, uncovered and proven to judges, revealing a stolen election. Instead of wait for the results of such adjudications with confidence, Team Biden is forging straight ahead, attempting a 'squatters' rights' approach to taking the White House, on the possession is 99% of property approach, or whatever the saying is in the real estate world, something President Trump knows a thing about.
It's not Biden's vaccine to claim credit on. It's an attempt to steal credit for it from President Trump. Al Gore boldly claimed to have created the Internet. Biden is trying to do him one better by claiming credit for the COVID vaccine, and the end of the coronavirus pandemic.
It's garbage. He's trying to squat on the White House and he's trying to appropriate credit for the achievements of this Trump White House. Biden always was a plagiarizer but this is disgusting. The entire credit and thanks for this goes to President Trump.
Image credit: Pixabay public domain
The Challengers
True Electoral Map Status
Barr Hands Prosecutors the Authority to Investigate Voter Fraud Claims - The New York Times
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 03:51
Politics | Barr Hands Prosecutors the Authority to Investigate Voter Fraud ClaimsThe attorney general said that he had authorized ''instances'' of investigative steps but that inquiries should not be based on specious claims.
Attorney General William P. Barr met with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, at the Capitol on Monday. Credit... Al Drago for The New York Times Nov. 9, 2020 Updated 9:43 p.m. ET WASHINGTON '-- Attorney General William P. Barr, wading into President Trump's unfounded accusations of widespread election irregularities, told federal prosecutors on Monday that they were allowed to investigate ''specific allegations'' of voter fraud before the results of the presidential race are certified.
Mr. Barr's authorization prompted the Justice Department official who oversees investigations of voter fraud, Richard Pilger, to step down from the post within hours, according to an email Mr. Pilger sent to colleagues that was obtained by The New York Times.
Mr. Barr said he had authorized ''specific instances'' of investigative steps in some cases. He made clear in a carefully worded memo that prosecutors had the authority to investigate, but he warned that ''specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims should not be a basis for initiating federal inquiries.''
Mr. Barr's directive ignored the Justice Department's longstanding policies intended to keep law enforcement from affecting the outcome of an election. And it followed a move weeks before the election in which the department lifted a prohibition on voter fraud investigations before an election.
''Given that voting in our current elections has now concluded, I authorize you to pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities prior to the certification of elections in your jurisdictions,'' Mr. Barr wrote.
A Justice Department official said that Mr. Barr had authorized scrutiny of allegations about ineligible voters in Nevada and backdated mail-in ballots Pennsylvania. Republicans have circulated both claims in recent days without any evidence emerging to back them.
Mr. Barr did not write the memo at the direction of Mr. Trump, the White House or any Republican lawmakers, the official said.
Mr. Barr has privately told department officials in the days since the election that any disputes should be resolved in court by the campaigns themselves, according to three people briefed on the conversations. He has said that he did not see massive fraud, and that most of the allegations of voter fraud were related to individual instances that did not point to a larger systemic problem, the people said.
But critics of Mr. Barr immediately condemned the memo as a political act that undermined the Justice Department's typical independence from the White House.
''It would be problematic enough if Barr were reversing longstanding Justice Department guidance because of significant, substantiated claims of misconduct '-- that could presumably be handled at the local and state level,'' said Stephen I. Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
''But to do so when there is no such evidence '-- and when the president's clear strategy is to delegitimize the results of a proper election '-- is one of the more problematic acts of any attorney general in my lifetime,'' Mr. Vladeck added.
Mr. Pilger, a career prosecutor in the department's Public Integrity Section who oversaw voting-fraud-related investigations, told colleagues he would move to a nonsupervisory role working on corruption prosecutions.
''Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications,'' he wrote, ''I must regretfully resign from my role as director of the Election Crimes Branch.'' A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Mr. Pilger's message.
Justice Department policies prohibit federal prosecutors from taking overt steps, like questioning witnesses or securing subpoenas for documents, to open a criminal investigation into any election-related matter until after voting results have been certified to keep their existence from spilling into public view and influencing either voters or local election officials who ensure the integrity of the results.
''Public knowledge of a criminal investigation could impact the adjudication of election litigation and contests in state courts,'' the Justice Department's longstanding election guidelines for prosecutors say. ''Accordingly, it is the general policy of the department not to conduct overt investigations.''
More covert investigative steps, like an investigator going undercover, are allowed but require the permission of a career prosecutor in the department's Criminal Division.
Mr. Barr's memo allows U.S. attorneys to bypass that career prosecutor and take their requests to his office for approval, effectively weakening a key safeguard that prevents political interference in an election by the party in power.
Image Workers counting ballots at the county Election Department in Las Vegas on Saturday. Credit... Bridget Bennett for The New York Times The memo is unlikely to change the outcome of the election but could damage public confidence in the results, Justice Department prosecutors warned, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution. They said that the public posturing by the department also gave Republicans, including Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, a tool to refuse to acknowledge Mr. Biden as the president-elect.
Mr. McConnell and Mr. Barr met on Monday afternoon. Representatives from both of their offices declined to comment on what they discussed.
Mr. Trump faces a steep battle in his attempt to change the election results. Mr. Biden declared victory on Saturday after several news media organizations declared him the winner based on tabulated election returns.
''It's not merely about showing evidence of fraud but that the malfeasance would actually affect the outcome in several states,'' said Matt Gorman, a Republican strategist. ''You're talking about changing hundreds of thousands of votes.''
While Mr. Trump's campaign lawyers have filed a dozen or so legal challenges to the results in battleground states, none appeared to be gaining traction in the courts. And none were likely to give the president an edge in the votes he would need to change the outcome of the race.
Justice Department investigators are looking into a referral from the Republican Party in Nevada, which claims over 3,000 people who live outside the state voted in its election, the department official said. The official would not say whether the department had opened a full investigation. A federal judge dismissed the claim in court last week.
The department is also reviewing a sworn affidavit written by a postal worker in Erie, Pa., alleging that post office officials devised a plan to backdate mail ballots in the state, the official said.
The local postmaster has denied the allegations and said that the accuser has been disciplined multiple times in the past. That affidavit was sent to the department by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who is a close ally of the president.
In the days after the election, Mr. Barr faced pressure from Mr. Trump and his aides to intervene to help the president. Conservative commentators have criticized Mr. Barr's lack of action, saying that he was looking the other way.
Mr. Barr had been silent about voter fraud in recent weeks after previously issuing unsubstantiated warnings of widespread fraud because of the large number of mail-in ballots cast in this election. Voter fraud is rare, and no major instances of it have emerged in the election.
At the same time, the department has made it easier for prosecutors to pursue voter fraud cases and publicized details from the investigations that generated headlines that helped Mr. Trump, prompting sharp criticism from Democrats and civil rights advocates.
Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.
Why is the Supreme Court Involved in Pennsylvania? - UncoverDC
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:25
By John M. Reeves
Last Friday evening, in the midst of the media frenzy over the Presidential election, Justice Alito issued a short, page-and-a-half order to all Pennsylvania county boards of election. The order directs the county boards, in counting ballots, to separate any and all ballots received by mail after November 3 at 8:00 pm from those received before that time. Most legal commentators minimized the significance of Alito's order, declaring it to be no big deal. In fact, though, the order is part of a major lawsuit currently pending before the Supreme Court, the outcome of which could have serious consequences for election law across the country regardless of whether it practically impacts the results of the Presidential election. As such, it is to be hoped that the Court will agree to hear the case in full.
This article is the first of a two-part series. Here, we will examine the underlying legal issues and the factual background of the case. The second article will clarify for the general public the complex procedural matters that have taken place in the case.
Background to Election Law Under the ConstitutionThe lawsuit, Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Kathy Boockvar, et al., presents the question of whether, under the United States Constitution and federal law, state courts can overturn the express enactments of state legislatures regarding the time, place, and manner of holding Presidential elections. The Constitution vests the state legislatures with the authority to do this and mentions nothing about state courts. The federal Congress, in turn, is vested with the authority to pass a law mandating that all states hold the voting for President on the same day throughout the country. For a major part of our country's history, Congress declined to exercise this power. As difficult as it is to believe in this day and age, there was a time when different states held their elections for President on different days. But Congress eventually streamlined the election process by passing legislation mandating that the Presidential election be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November.
But while Congress, pursuant to its Constitutional authority, has mandated the date on which the Presidential election must take place, the individual state legislatures are still vested with a large amount of discretion to decide the place and manner of the elections. For example, while Congress has set the date on which the election is to take place, it has said nothing about the closing time by which all votes must be cast on that date. Should the polls close at 5:00 pm? 8:00 pm? This is a prudential matter left to the resolution of the individual state legislatures. Even more critically'--should mail-in voting be allowed? If it is, how should it be done? Do mail-in ballots need to be received by election day itself, or is it sufficient for them to arrive later, so long as they are post-marked the day of the election? Again, this is a matter of prudential judgment left to each state legislature. But in any event, the Constitution vests resolution of these matters with the state legislatures'--not with the judiciary.
PennsylvaniaNow we come to Pennsylvania. Until last year, Pennsylvania election law only allowed ballots to be submitted through the mail if the voter demonstrated he or she would be absent on election day'--the traditional absentee ballot. Absentee ballots, furthermore, had to be received by the respective county board of elections no later than 5:00 pm on the Friday before election day. But then, in 2019, the Pennsylvania state legislature'--known as the General Assembly'--revised this law to allow mail-in voting for any reason, in addition to absentee voting.
More critically, the Pennsylvania General Assembly did away with the requirement that ballots sent through the mail be received by 5:00 pm on the Friday before the election. Now, in place of those requirements, all votes submitted via mail must be received by 8:00 pm on election day itself'--in this case, November 3. But the legislation does not consider as valid any ballot received after 8:00 pm on the day of the election.
The resulting litigationNobody disputes the above provisions of Pennsylvania law. It is also undisputed that these procedures do not violate the Constitution. Nevertheless, this past September 17 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order directing the Pennsylvania Secretary of State and all Pennsylvania county election boards to accept as legal all mail-in votes received up to three days after November 3, contrary to what the General Assembly passed. But that was not all'--the court also said that mail-in votes had to be counted even if they lacked a postmark indicating they had been sent out on election day itself. In other words, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the election boards to include as valid votes lacking any proof that they were actually cast on November 3, 2020'--the day Congress has set for the Presidential election.
Not surprisingly, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania was dissatisfied with this order and accordingly filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court, which is still pending. In other words, the Court has not yet issued an order on whether to accept the case. But because of the matters at issue, it is highly likely the Court will take the case, regardless of whether or not it changes the final vote tally in such a manner as to decide the Presidential election.
Why is this important? This case is about far more than the ultimate winner of the Presidential election. It is also about far more than allegations of election fraud. More importantly, it goes to the heart of who has the final say in deciding how Presidential elections are to be conducted'--the state legislature, or the state judiciary? As noted above, the Constitution vests state legislatures, and not the state judiciary, with the authority to set the rules for Presidential elections. There is no ambiguity about the language in Pennsylvania's election law'--only those mail-in ballots received by 8 pm on election day are valid, legal ballots. Any received afterward are invalid. All parties in the case agree that these are the rules that the Pennsylvania General Assembly implemented for the Presidential election. And everybody agrees that, of themselves, these rules are not unconstitutional.
Nevertheless, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that because of potential hardships some may experience in mailing in their ballots, the November 3, 8 pm deadline had to be extended by three days to Friday. The court admitted that no law explicitly gave it the authority to extend this deadline. But it nevertheless concluded that it could extend the deadline, not on federal constitutional grounds, but rather on the nebulous provision of the Pennsylvania state constitution providing that ''[e]lections shall be free and equal; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.'' Pa. Const. art. I, §5.'' It did this despite admitting that there was no evidence of any civil or military power hindering people from voting on election day.
By purporting to rely on the Pennsylvania state constitution, and not the federal Constitution or federal law, as the basis for extending the deadline, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is hoping to avoid having the US Supreme Court review it. Review by the US Supreme Court is only available when the issues relate to federal law. If the issues are purely state law, the US Supreme Court has no authority to hear the case. Not surprisingly, those opposing the Republican Party's cert petition has raised these arguments as grounds for denying the cert petition.
But it seems to me that the opponents of cert, as well as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, are on thin ground. The US Constitution explicitly vests authority to determine the manner of Presidential elections with the state legislatures, not the state judiciary. If concerns existed that may have justified extended the deadline to receive mail-in ballots, those are concerns that the Pennsylvania General Assembly was empowered to address, not the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Under the guise of applying purely state law, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has, in effect, usurped the Pennsylvania General Assembly's authority under the Constitution to determine the time, place, and manner of Presidential elections.
In other words, this case is about preserving the ability of state legislatures to make their own prudential judgments about how best to conduct Presidential elections, and not be second-guessed and overridden by the state judiciary. This is not a matter of state law such that the US Supreme Court cannot review it. Rather, it goes to the very heart of the US Constitution's vesting of such authority with the state legislatures. As such, it is entirely about federal law. Indeed, the case boils down to the very manner in which the US Constitution structures the state legislatures as participants in Presidential elections.
Given this, the Court will hopefully hear the case regardless of how or if its resolution affects the outcome of the Presidential election. The issues are too important on their own for the Court to ignore.
John M. Reeves, an appellate lawyer in St. Louis, is the founder and owner of Reeves Law LLC. A native of Chicago, he graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2004 with both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in History, having earned his master's degree within four years of undergraduate study. Mr. Reeves likewise earned his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis, graduating in 2007. He spent six-and-a-half years as an Assistant Missouri Attorney General in Jefferson City, Missouri, before returning to St. Louis and entering private practice.
Mr. Reeves has authored over 250 appellate briefs, including several in the Supreme Court of the United States. Find him on Twitter @reeveslawstl
Top US Pollster and Statistician Richard Baris '-- People's Pundit '-- SUSPENDED from Twitter for Reporting on Disputed Election '-- Political 'WrongThink' Not Allowed
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 05:08
Richard Baris
Richard Baris, known online for his popular ''People's Pundit'' Twitter account, is one of the most respected pollsters in the United States.On Wednesday, he was suspended from the platform seemingly over some numbers that he crunched that were inconvenient for the Democrat election narrative.
His business, Big Data Poll, and his wife Laura Baris, were also suspended.
richard baris (@Peoples_Pundit), one of the top pollsters in the united states, has been suspended by twitter
to say that this is outrageous would be an understatement pic.twitter.com/KUrI373lRP
'-- Thao Nguyen (@nguyenthevote) November 11, 2020
TRENDING: BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Open Records Request Finds NO INVOICES OR WORK ORDERS on Reported Election Day Water Main Break in Atlanta -- Here's What We Found...
his wife (@LauraBaris), polling agency (@BigDataPoll), and news site (@PPDNews) have all been suspended as well pic.twitter.com/PLs9z3L24W
'-- Thao Nguyen (@nguyenthevote) November 12, 2020
Baris made waves this week when he released the findings of an analysis that he did on Michigan votes. He found that over 10,000 dead people returned mail-in ballots in the state.
''About 9,500 voters confirmed dead through the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) are marked in the state's mail voting database as having returned ballots. Another nearly 2,000 are 100 years old or more and aren't listed as known living centenarians,'' the Epoch Times reported.
According to Baris, some of the people may not be dead '-- instead, they may have been made up entirely.
''It's also entirely possible that some of them aren't even real people,'' Baris told The Epoch Times. ''If someone is 110 or some ridiculous age, we should have their death record but do not.''
There are only a few Americans over 110 years old who live in Michigan, according to records.
Tracy Wimmer, spokeswoman for the Michigan Secretary of State, says that votes on behalf of dead people will be rejected, but Baris maintained that does not seem to be the case.
''While I'm open to the idea some of these have been rejected, I'm not open to any outright dismissal they all were rejected,'' Baris tweeted.
As of Wednesday, the state has not made public the amount of ballots that have been rejected.
UPDATE: Twitter restored Baris' account on Wednesday evening after massive public outcry.
BREAKING: Twitter has restored @Peoples_Pundit
'-- CIA Director-Select Poso (@JackPosobiec) November 12, 2020
BOMBSHELL: Anon Crunches Voter Data, Discovers Election Software 'Dominion' Producing Massive Fraud'... - James Fetzer
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 14:06
EVERY THING YOU'RE ABOUT TO READ IS VERIFIED AND WAS MADE BY THIS CENTIPEDE; HE DID ALL THE HEAVY WORK 🏆🏆https://thedonald.win/u/PedeInspector/🏆🏆
REMINDER: THIS DOESN'T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT ALL THE HUNDRED THOUSANDS OF TRUMP VOTES DESTROYED, BURNED AND RIPPED APART. AND THIS IS THE EVIDENCE WE'VE FOUND SO FAR.
I saw the video on The Gateway Pundit and I decided to do some digging of my own, into a more reputable source that can verify that the glitch was indeed real, and that it affected the votes, instead of it being just a display glitch on that news channel. So I went digging'... I made a script to run through the data and gather all instances where votes switched from Trump to Biden.
NOTE: Switched Votes are votes that were taken from Trump and given to Biden.Lost Votes are votes that disappeared during the counting, not only for Trump, but overall.There might be a small overlap between Switched votes and Lost votes.
Dominion Voting Systems:Pennsylvania : Switched : 220,883 Lost Votes : 941,248New Jersey : Switched : 80,242 Lost Votes : 20Florida : Switched : 21,422 Lost Votes : 456Michigan : Switched : 20,213 Lost Votes : 21,882New York : Switched : 18,124 Lost Votes : 623,213Georgia : Switched : 17,407 Lost Votes : 33,574Ohio : Switched : 14,965 Lost Votes : 5,102Virginia : Switched : 12,163 Lost Votes : 789,023California : Switched : 7,701 Lost Votes : 10,989Arizona : Switched : 4,492 Lost Votes : 0Minnesota : Switched : 2,766 Lost Votes : 195,650Tennessee : Switched : 2,330 Lost Votes : 0Louisiana : Switched : 2,322 Lost Votes : 0Illinois : Switched : 2,166 Lost Votes : 54,730Wisconsin : Switched : 2,078 Lost Votes : 3,408Colorado : Switched : 1,809 Lost Votes : 0Utah : Switched : 1,627 Lost Votes : 0New Hampshire : Switched : 973 Lost Votes : 116Iowa : Switched : 938 Lost Votes : 477New Mexico : Switched : 268 Lost Votes : 4,610Missouri : Switched 0 : Lost Votes : 20,730Nevada : Switched : 0 Lost Votes : 0Alaska : Switched : 0 Lost Votes : 0Washington : Switched : 0 Lost Votes : 0Hawaii : Switched : 0 Lost Votes : 0Premier Election Solutions (Owned By Dominion Voting Systems):Texas : Switched : 14,954 Lost Votes : 30,557Kansas : Switched : 1,674 Lost Votes : 2,154Election Systems & Software:Nebraska : Switched : 30,086 Lost Votes : 50Kentucky : Switched : 8,129 Lost Votes : 23,849Arkansas : Switched : 3,664 Lost Votes : 20,748South Carolina : Switched : 2,779 Lost Votes : 2,119Montana : Switched : 2,330 Lost Votes : 1,276South Dakota : Switched : 1,347 Lost Votes : 1North Dakota : Switched : 234 Lost Votes : 681Maryland : Switched : 203 Lost Votes : 0North Carolina : Switched : 0 Lost Votes : 15District of Columbia : Switched : 0 Lost Votes : 0Unknown Systems:Nebraska : Switched : 30,086 Lost Votes : 50Connecticut : Switched : 3,834 Lost Votes : 272Massachusetts : Switched : 3,613 Lost Votes : 51Oregon : Switched 2,557 Lost Votes : 0Alabama : Switched : 1,170 Lost Votes : 408Mississippi : Switched : 355 Lost Votes : 0Maine : Switched : 271 Lost Votes : 35Rhode Island : Switched : 6 Lost Votes : 13West Virginia : Switched : 0 Lost Votes : 78,300Idaho : Switched 0 Lost Votes : 0Oklahoma : Switched : 0 Lost Votes : 0Indiana : Switched : 0 Lost Votes : 0Delaware : Switched : 0 Lost Votes : 0Vermont : Switched : 0 Lost Votes : 0VERIFICATION PROCESS:I went looking through the data I got from my script, trying to find if the moment the Antrim glitch happened in Michigan is there. And it is. Here is the Data. [ https://static01.nyt.com/elections-assets/2020/data/api/2020-11-03/race-page/michigan/president.json ]
And here is the specific part when the switch happened: https://i.maga.host/wGuVGZQ.png
You can see in that picture, that Trump lost 3,096 votes, those all went to Biden. BUT, Trump also lost 2,324 votes, that went nowhere.
SOURCES: Here is the data I used:
EDISON DATA:https://static01.nyt.com/elections-assets/2020/data/api/2020-11-03/race-page/pennsylvania/president.jsonhttps://workupload.com/file/LVcwK7AAD8pThe data is from Edison Research, it is used for election coverage by at least ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News. It is also used for the website of the NYT, and probably others as well.
I scraped the data from the NYT website, here: https://static01.nyt.com/elections-assets/2020/data/api/2020-11-03/race-page/pennsylvania/president.json to check for other states, replace ''Pennsylvania'' in the link with the state you want to check, for states that have spaces in their names, like New York, write New-York instead.
Take this picture for example: https://i.maga.host/RNPN3Oz.png
It's like this:
Nr.187 : 2,984,468(Total votes) * 0.566(Trump share of the votes) = 1,689,208.888Nr.188 : 2,984,522 * 0.56 = 1,671,332.32Do the same thing for Biden, and you'll see that he gained the votes that Trump lost.
I made a program that basically checks every single change in votes, does the above to check if votes were switched, then adds them all up to get the total amount of switched votes.
Here is the link to a rar file containing all the .json files for the states, and the fraudcatch.py file, you'd need to download python 3.8.2 to use it, click EDIT with idle, then in the window that pops up click Run, to check how many votes were switched from Trump to Biden in a state, you then type findfraud('Hawaii') for example, replace Hawaii with the name of the file of the state you want to check, the file for new hampshire is named newhamp for example, so findfraud('newhamp'), to check the total lost votes (For both candidates) do lostvotes('newhamp') for example. https://workupload.com/file/s7s8SARjjqh
UPDATE 1:When asked about the data switching from Biden to Trump, the anon answered with the following:
There were indeed switches that went from Biden to Trump, albeit a LOT smaller, for example, in Pennsylvania, 220,883 Trump votes were switched to Biden, and 24,721 Biden votes were switched to Trump, only reason I didn't mention the other way around, was because I wanted it to get to the top and in the eyes of the Trump team as soon as possible, and thought it might be possible that it impedes that.
When asked about the reverse order and suggesting that this might be something that happens equally in both directions due to rounding errors in the truncated (only three decimals) vote total that his algorithm uses, the anon also responded with the following:
Sadly, it is the data itself that only uses three decimals, you can see it here https://static01.nyt.com/elections-assets/2020/data/api/2020-11-03/race-page/pennsylvania/president.json But it is definitely not due to any rounding error that these switches and lost votes happen. Why are there so many states with 0 switches and 0 lost votes for example?
What he said is pretty damning. In fact it seems he MAY have found ''Fraction Magic'' fraud in this election. See 9:15 and onwards here:
BigWig-US election: Trump camp vows legal fight just began - BBC News
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 05:15
Video caption Mitch McConnell: 'Trump 100 percent within rights to look into election irregularities' US President Donald Trump's spokeswoman has vowed the legal battle to contest Joe Biden's White House election victory is only just beginning.
"This election is not over," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told a news conference. "Far from it."
She made a flurry of allegations of election corruption, although no evidence of systemic fraud that might have influenced the result has emerged.
Mr Trump, a Republican, has not conceded the race.
What are Biden and Trump up to?Since media projected on Saturday that Mr Biden had won the critical state of Pennsylvania, accumulating enough votes to claim the White House, the president-elect has forged ahead with his plans to take reins of the power.
Biden tells Americans: I implore you, wear a mask Election results in maps and chartsMr Trump took to Twitter on Monday to again dispute the outcome, making unsubstantiated claims of "unthinkable and illegal" activity in the vote.
The General Services Administration, which manages federal agencies, has held off on allowing Biden aides to formally begin the transition, saying no "ascertainment" on an election winner had yet been made.
CBS News, the BBC's US partner, says the Biden team is considering their legal options if the Trump administration continues to stall the handover.
White House reporters have been saying that despite his objections Mr Trump is expected to begrudgingly leave office in January and is already talking about running for the White House again in 2024.
What is the Trump campaign alleging?At Monday's news conference, the president's spokeswoman and a Republican bigwig cited allegations of electoral corruption, while urging reporters to help investigate the unverified claims.
Fox News, formerly the president's favourite news channel, cut away from the event, citing the lack of evidence.
Video caption "My message to Republican friends" "Whoa, whoa, whoa," said presenter Neil Cavuto. "Unless she [Ms McEnany] has more details to back that up, I can't in good countenance continue to show you this."
Ms McEnany told reporters: "We have only begun the process of obtaining an accurate, honest vote count."
Five viral vote claims fact-checked Donald Trump's speech fact-checked Do postal ballots lead to voting fraud?She claimed Republican poll watchers had not been granted adequate access to vote counts in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, both Republican and Democratic election monitors were kept from 13ft to 100ft (4m to 30m) away from tables where votes were being tallied in the city, and local election officials cited coronavirus prevention needs for the distancing.
Video caption Biden and Harris call for unity in victory speeches Ms McEnany also claimed election officials in that key state had allowed a disproportionate number of Democrats to correct, or "cure", inaccurately filled-out ballots.
According to the Inquirer, some Pennsylvania counties allowed voters to amend such mistakes, while others did not.
Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said they had collected 131 affidavits, or signed legal statements under oath, in Michigan as part of their investigation into alleged election irregularities.
"If the shoe were on the other foot," she said, "if it were this close the other way, if President Trump was in the lead in all these states, and the media would be screaming, 'This isn't over'."
What is the latest legal action?The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit on Monday in a Pennsylvania federal court, seeking an emergency injunction to stop state officials from certifying Mr Biden's victory in the state. The state's Attorney General Josh Shapiro called the lawsuit "meritless".
Republican-controlled state prosecutors meanwhile threw their weight behind the president's challenge to the election results.
The 10 state attorneys general filed a so-called amicus brief at the US Supreme Court backing the Trump campaign's case in Pennsylvania.
Five questions for Biden on the economy Who is potential US first lady Jill Biden?Also on Monday, the US Department of Justice reportedly authorised state prosecutors to investigate any alleged voting irregularities in the presidential election.
In a memo cited by US media, Attorney General William Barr wrote that such inquiries "may be conducted if there are clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State".
Mr Barr said prosecutors should only look into "substantial allegations" of irregularities, and that "specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims" should be ignored.
The New York Times reports that the justice department official who would have overseen such investigations, Richard Pilger, has quit in response to Mr Barr's memo.
What about counts in the other states?Results in last Tuesday's presidential election from the states of Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina and Alaska are still outstanding.
In Georgia, where the tally is continuing and Mr Biden leads, its secretary of state hit back on Monday at fellow Republicans who have criticised his handling of the election.
The women changing the face of US politics The woman behind biggest surprise in Biden winBrad Raffensperger, whose office oversees Georgia's election, said: "Was there illegal voting? I am sure there was. And my office is investigating all of it.
"Does it rise to the numbers or margin necessary to change the outcome to where President Trump is given Georgia's electoral votes? That is unlikely."
States must resolve recounts and court contests over the results by 8 December. The outcome will be finalised when members of the US Electoral College meet on 14 December.
How are top Republicans reacting?Senior members of the president's party have largely refused to pressure Mr Trump to concede.
Senate leader Mitch McConnell lashed Democrats on Monday over the matter.
"Let's not have any lectures, no lectures," the Kentucky senator said on the floor of the upper chamber, "about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election and who insinuated that this one would be illegitimate too if they lost again - only if they lost."
He added: "The president has every right to look into allegations and to request recounts under the law and notably the Constitution gives no role in this process to wealthy media corporations."
Watch the moment BBC projects Biden victory What happens now? Making history - the first woman vice-president What Biden's victory means for rest of world Election results in full
Trump Campaign Sues to Block Pennsylvania Election Results | Law & Crime
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:22
The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit on Monday seeking to block the certification of the Pennsylvania election results that tipped Joe Biden decisively across the threshold to become President-elect of the United States, in a complaint that fails to specifically allege a single of instance of voter fraud in any of the seven Democratic counties sued.
''Nothing less than the integrity of the 2020 Presidential election is at stake in this action,'' the 85-page complaint states.
Teased out by the White House and the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani over the weekend, Donald J. Trump for President filed the lawsuit with two electors as co-plaintiffs: David John Henry and Lawrence Roberts.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat, and seven Keystone State county boards of elections are listed as defendants. These boards come from Allegheny, Centre, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties.
Before the lawsuit landed in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Trump and his loyalists invoked the specter of mass voter fraud'--a phenomenon international experts report does not exist in the United States'--as a reason to challenge their emphatic electoral defeat. Variations of the word ''fraud'' appear in the lawsuit 33 times, mostly in the context of rare prosecutions related to other elections. The only suspected instances of voter fraud cited in the complaint occurred in two Keystone State counties that voted for Trump: Fayette, where Trump is winning by a 34-point margin, and Luzerne, where his lead is 14 points.
''Fayette County experienced two different issues with their mail-in ballots leading up to Election Day,'' the complaint states. ''First, an issue caused by Pennsylvania's SURE software system as to the marking of online applications submitted prior to the June primary election with the 'permanent mail-in' status caused some voters to receive duplicate ballots for the general election.''
Neither of those cases relate to the counties at issue in the lawsuit, and the allegations are far from clear.
One of the cases cited by the campaign relates to ''at least four instances'' of complaints by certain voters that they allegedly received ballots filled out for Biden, according to a news article cited by the campaign. Trump trails Biden by more than 45,000 votes in the Keystone State. Fayette County District Attorney Richard Bower is reportedly investigating that quartet of allegations.
The Luzerne County allegations relate to the Department of Justice's controversial announcement of an investigation into ''a small number'' of allegedly discarded military ballots. The Justice Department had to revise its statement because they overestimated the number of ballots being investigated that were cast for Trump.
Federal prosecutors rarely announce investigations before charges are filed, amplifying allegations that Attorney General Bill Barr has been politicizing the Justice Department.
Studies by the Brennan Center call mass voter fraud a ''myth,'' and neither the FBI nor Trump's own Election Integrity Commission found any evidence to suggest otherwise. Trump's task force found no evidence of mass voter fraud'--let alone at the numbers that he absurdly claimed would have given him the popular vote edge over Hillary Clinton in 2016'--before it shuttered early in his tenure.
Other passages of the complaint falsely contend that Republican poll watchers have been denied access to ballot-counting.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Boockvar debunked the claim, noting that one of the counties they sued has live video that anyone can access of the count.
''Every candidate and every political party is allowed to have an authorized representative in the room observing the process,'' Boockvar said. ''Some jurisdictions including Philly are also live-streaming, so you can literally watch their counting process,'' Boockvar said.
Attorney Ronald Hicks signed the complaint for the law firm Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, whose representation of the Trump campaign in this case sparked turmoil in their offices.
Citing interviews with nine partners and associates, the New York Times reported that have held internal meetings worrying that their representing Trump's position will damage the integrity of U.S. elections, and ''at least'' one person quit in protest.
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, a Barack Obama appointee.
Read the lawsuit below:
[Image via PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images]
2020 President Election - Live Results | RealClearPolitics
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 17:19
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Tens of Thousands of Ballots Arrived Before Their Sent Date in Pennsylvania: Researcher
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 19:17
More than 100,000 absentee ballots in Pennsylvania have unlikely or impossible return dates, based on a researcher's analysis of the state's voter database.
Over 51,000 ballots are marked as returned just a day after they were sent out'--an extraordinary speed given USPS delivery times. Nearly 35,000 were returned on the same day they were mailed out. Another more than 23,000 have an impossible return date'--earlier than the sent date. More than 9,000 have no sent date.
Pennsylvania's voter records are being scrutinized as President Donald Trump challenged the results of the presidential election in this and other states where his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, holds a tight lead. The Trump campaign is alleging invalid ballots have been counted for Democrats and valid ballots were thrown away for Republicans.
The analysis of the publicly available data was conducted by a data researcher, who wishes to remain anonymous, who submitted it first to the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times. He said he consulted the matter with several USPS field engineers, who said the return dates shown in the database are ''impossible.''
The dataset made public by Pennsylvania's Secretary of State was last updated on Nov. 10, 2020, and ''describes a current state of mail ballot requests for the 2020 General Election.'' The data includes the mail and return dates.
In Pennsylvania, voters have to request a ballot, which is then sent to them through USPS. The voter then fills out the ballot and sends it back via mail or brings it back in person. The process usually takes several days or even weeks, depending on the speed of delivery and response by the voter.
This year, Pennsylvania also allowed voters to ''request, receive, mark and cast your mail-in or absentee ballot all in one visit to your county election office or other designated location.'' That may explain the ballots with no sent date'--they may have been received and cast in person. It could also explain the ballots with the same sent and returned date, but that appears to clash with the description of the database, which says the sent date is ''the date the county confirmed the application to queue a ballot label to mail the ballot materials to the voter.''
If the ballot was received by the voter in person, there would had been no need for a mailing label.
A screenshot of publicly available mail ballot data in Pennsylvania showing the date when ballots were sent out (3rd column from right) and received (2nd column from right) only one day apart. (Data source: Pennsylvania Secretary of State) A screenshot of publicly available mail ballot data in Pennsylvania showing the date when ballots were sent out (3rd column from right) and received (2nd column from right) on the same day. (Data source: Pennsylvania Secretary of State) A screenshot of publicly available mail ballot data in Pennsylvania showing the date when ballots were sent out (3rd column from right) and received (2nd column from right) a day before the sent date. (Data source: Pennsylvania Secretary of State)''Since October 1, the average time of delivery for First-Class Mail, including ballots, was 2.5 days,'' USPS said in an Oct. 29 release.
Impossible and improbable return dates indicate there's something wrong with either the database or the ballots.
The office of Pennsylvania's Secretary of State didn't respond to requests for comment.
In addition to the ballots described above, there were more than 43,000 ballots returned two days after being sent out, which is still remarkably quick, but still possible if the voter quickly delivered the ballot to an election office or a ballot drop box in person. The flagged ballots comprise close to 4 percent of all those issued by the state.
According to the data analyzed by the researcher, at least 31 people who appear to be older than the oldest known person in the state returned ballots. They were all born between the years 1900 and 1907, based on the state's data. The oldest known person in the state is 113-year-old Ardith Grose.
About 20 of the voters shared the birth date of Jan. 1, 1900. The date corresponds to an allegation in another state, Michigan, where a poll watcher said he saw poll operators adding people to the poll book just as they were counting their mail-in ballots, raising the concern that these voters weren't properly registered and thus eligible to vote. The operators input the names with fabricated birth dates, such as Jan. 1, 1900, according to a sworn affidavit by the poll watcher.
Another analysis of the Pennsylvania data showed that the extremely old voters were mostly registered Democrats.
Update: The article was updated with a source of the Michigan mail ballot data, additional information abut the data and mail-in voting in the state, and ballot delivery time information from the USPS.
Presidential election results: Donald Trump wan challenge presidential election results for Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin - BBC News Pidgin
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 19:25
10 November 2020, 14:51 WATNew Informate 5 hours wey don pass
Wia dis foto come from, Getty Images
Wetin we call dis foto, US President Donald Trump failed in his attempt at re-election
US President Donald Trump go go court today to challenge di results of last week presidential election.
Na afta di di kontri Attorney General William Barr tell federal Prosecutors to torchlight di "substantial" accuse of election mago mago.
Tori be say Donald Trump wan challenge Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin presidential results for White House
Oga Barr order make di top lawyer wey dey in charge of voter fraud investigate resign as sign of protest.
Trump neva accept say Joe Biden wey get 270 votes of di Electoral college - wey dey required to win US presidency - win di election.
Wia dis foto come from, Getty Images
What if Trump no gree leave White House?
Wetin go happun if Trump no gree comot from White House? Dis na question wey dey many pipo mind.
Inside 244 years of America history, e neva get president wey refuse to comot from White House afta im loss election.
Di orderly, legal and peaceful way wey presidents dey take transfer power na wetin dem take sabi America democracy.
Dis na why Trump announcement say im no gree accept say Jeoe Biden defeat am, don create new palava wey di kontri neva see before.
As tins be so, even sabi pipo neva fit reason di challenge wey dis mata cari come dia domot.
"Far from ova"
Shortly afta major tori pipo announce say oga Biden don win di election, Trump presidential campaign team sama statement say "election dey far from ova."
Wia dis foto come from, Getty Images
Wetin we call dis foto, Trump dey play golf as dem announce Biden victory
"We all sabi why Joe Biden dey rush to falsely claim say im na winner, and why im media supporters dey try so hard to help am" im tok for statement.
According to di Unites States constitution di current presidential term go end 12pm on 20 January.
Although Trump get legal and legit resources to take challenge di voting result, but if court no make any concrete about turn and im Trump no fit prove say mago mago dey for di election, 20 January go be di day wey di new presisdent to take ova off and Trump must step down.
Wia dis foto come from, Getty Images
Wetin we call dis foto, What fit happun if Trump no gree leave di White House?
Advertised position
Wen comedian Trevor Noah, ask Joe Biden for one interview on June 11 weda im tink say e dey possible for Trump to refuse to leave office if im defeat am.
Biden say: "Yes i don tink about am." Im add say im dey convinced say for dat kain situation, di military go dey in charge of preventing am from remaining for office and go just pursue comot from di White House.
Di US Marshall or di Secret Service fit be di ones to escort Trump comot from di presidential residence.
Di secret service na civilian organisation wey dia work according to di law na to protect all former presidents, and dem go continue to protect Trump afta January 20.
Wia dis foto come from, Getty Images
Wetin we call dis foto, Donald Trump with a member of di Secret Service for White House
As dem go soon announce Biden election victory, di secret service don also increase di president-elect security to presidential level security.
Di unthinkable tin wey fit happun?
If Trump refuse to leave office, e go dey necessary to torchlight how loyal di security forces dey loyal to di president.
Di BBC ask sabi possible weda e possible for Trump to use state security forces to remain for power illegally.
"For any president to abuse power of di presidency to remain for office afta im loss election go hard and e go destroy di normal way wey tins suppose be," Professor Dakota Rudesill, wey be sabi pesin for national security policy and legislation wit Ohio University tok.
"E go cause damage to di kontri, to di important civilian military relationship and to how di world go take see democracy," im warn.
But im say, for im mind, im no seee how Trump go stay for presidency wit security forces support, e no go happun.
"Di military dey wear oath to di constitution and not to di politician wey dey office" im tok, "and di highest ranking military officer for di kontri now, General Mark Milley, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, don dey tok say military no get any work to do for dis election."
Keisha Blaine na professor at the University of Pittsburgh and sabi pesin for di study of social protest movements.
"Di fact say we dey even ask if military go intervene for di election sef reveal plenti tins about di sad situation for di kontri," she tell BBC.
On June 5, tori pipo New York Times claim say General Milley convince Trump make im no invoke di Insurrection Act of 1807 to mobilise active-duty troops throughout di kontri to quench protest. Di tori pipo say dis na "line wey some military officials say dem no go cross, even if di president order am."
Wia dis foto come from, Getty Images
Wetin we call dis foto, Trump with Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Violence as pipo dey wait?
Professor Rudesill say: "I don write about di possibility say President Trump go try use executive order, or di Department of Justice wey im political supporters dey control to give order make di Executive Branch consider Trump di winner of di controversial election."
"To order di military to continue to salute president Trump wen im term end for january 20 go put di military for impossible situation," im tok
Wia dis foto come from, Getty Images
Wetin we call dis foto, Sabi pipo say di way di president dey tok don increase di possibility of protest and even violence.
Aside from di extreme case wia di military autonomy go dey at stake sake of political party wahala, di political situation now fit cause violence for oda areas.
For situation wey presidential candidate no gree accept say im loss election e fit lead to "possible serious civil disorder," Keisha Blaine tell BBC.
Di way di president dey tok "don increase di possibility of protest and even violence," she argue.
Federal lawsuit seeks to throw out 1.2M votes, flipping Michigan for Trump - mlive.com
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:14
30
Michigan counts ballots from the Nov. 3, 2020 election
Four voters filed a federal lawsuit seeking to exclude presidential election results from three Michigan counties due to allegations of fraud, echoing several other legal challenges brought forward since President Donald Trump refused to concede defeat.
Trump earned 147,000 fewer votes than Democrat Joe Biden in Michigan, according to unofficial election results that are being certified this month by county canvassing boards. The new lawsuit seeks to eliminate ballots cast in Wayne, Washtenaw and Ingham counties, which would amount to 1.2 votes, giving Trump the lead in Michigan.
Birmingham attorney Maxwell Goss and Indiana attorney James Bopp Jr. are representing plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Bopp serves as a campaign adviser to Trump. He was an Indiana delegate for Trump in 2016 and served as a legal adviser for George W. Bush and Mitt Romney.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, cites an assortment of allegations made by the Trump campaign, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, right-wing media organizations and ongoing lawsuits filed since the election.
Plaintiffs also cite ongoing investigations launched by the Michigan Legislature and a variety of other claims that have been debunked. The allegations include charges of Republican ballot challengers being harassed and illegal tampering with ballots.
Plaintiffs conclude that ''this evidence suffices to place in doubt the November 3 presidential election results in identified counties and/or the state as a whole.'' However, the group of voters also claims to have additional evidence of illegal ballots being included in unofficial results, based on ''expert reports" and data analysis.
''Upon information and belief, the expert report will identify persons who cast votes illegally by casting multiple ballots, were deceased, had moved, or were otherwise not qualified to vote in the November 3 presidential election, along with evidence of illegal ballot stuffing, ballot harvesting, and other illegal voting,'' the lawsuit states.
At least one of several other Michigan lawsuits making similar allegations has been thrown out for lack of evidence and other flaws.
Related: Judge rejects Trump campaign's claims in Michigan ballot lawsuit
Oakland County residents Lena Bally and Gavriel Grossbard, Eaton County resident Carol Hatch and Jackson County resident Steven Butler are listed as plaintiffs in the new federal lawsuit. Grossbard was a Republican candidate for Michigan's 9th Congressional District, but lost in the August primary.
The lawsuit names as defendants Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and members of the Michigan State Board of Canvassers, Wayne County Board of Canvassers, Washtenaw County Board of Canvassers and Ingham County Board of Canvassers.
Plaintiffs are seeking to exclude votes from Wayne, Washtenaw and Ingham counties. They argue that including results from counties ''where sufficient illegal ballots were included'' would unconstitutionally cause legal votes to be ''diluted.''
Biden earned 838,425 votes from the three counties, according to unofficial results, while Trump earned 398,030 votes.
If these 1.2 million votes were not included in Michigan's final results, then Trump would hold a 293,405-vote lead over Biden.
READ MORE ON MLIVE:
Trump campaign lawsuit in Michigan 'baseless,' Attorney General Dana Nessel says
Despite 'enormous scrutiny,' Benson says Michigan held its most secure election
Michigan Republicans want election reform. That usually means opposing absentee ballot expansion
Republicans in voter fraud lawsuit 'don't understand how elections function,' city of Detroit says in response
Trump files federal lawsuit to delay certification of Michigan election results
John James creates legal fund with RNC, Trump campaign treasurer after losing Michigan Senate race
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Trump lawsuit site to report 'rejected votes' leaked voter data
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:21
The DontTouchTheGreenButton.com website just launched by the Trump campaign in relation to the recently filed Arizona "rejected votes" lawsuit was discovered to be leaking voter data.
The data included the voter name, address, and a unique identifier. However, reports have surfaced of users alleging the website has SQL Injection flaws that make it possible to collect a voter's SSN and date of birth.
"Hastily" launched website leaks dataOver the weekend, President Trump's re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit in Arizona alleging the polling officials in Maricopa County had incorrectly rejected in-person votes on Election Day, by misusing a mechanical feature (a green button) of the voting machines.
''Poll workers struggled to operate the new voting machines in Maricopa County, and improperly pressed and told voters to press a green button to override significant errors,'' said Matt Morgan, Trump 2020 campaign general counsel.
''The result is that the voting machines disregarded votes cast by voters in person on Election Day in Maricopa County,'' alleged Morgan.
To collect anecdotal evidence from voters who may have observed such behavior at the polling stations which validates what the lawsuit alleges, the campaign set up a website to collect sworn declarations from voters.
The website DontTouchTheGreenButton.com requests personal information from voters, such as their name and address, phone number, email address, date of birth, last 4 digits of social security number (SSN), and answers to multiple-choice questions.
To limit the ability to submit declarations only to Maricopa County voters, the website lets users "search" for their name and auto-populate their address, as shown below:
The website lets a registered voter look their name up and auto-populate the addressSource: BleepingComputerGiven voter records are already public information*, the ability for anyone to look up this information is hardly surprising'--although an obvious privacy concern.
However, the website used an API that may make it possible to scrape voter information in bulk.
*Update, 12-Nov-2020: Arizona law specifies voter records are available for public inspection at local election offices, but that does not necessarily imply it is legal for them to be published online.
From bulk data collection to alleged SQL InjectionsProvided the website was launched fairly quickly after the lawsuit was filed, some users are calling it "hastily set-up" and ridden with data leaks and SQL Injection flaws.
BleepingComputer observed the data was being pulled from the server using Algolia REST API.
The exposed API key and Application ID in the request could let anyone programmatically run queries to scrape the voter data in bulk from the service.
Alogia API used by the website with the Application ID and API key exposedSource: BleepingComputer The JSON data returned by the REST API contains a list of 5 voter names and addresses by default, along with unique identifiers based on the search query (e.g. first few letters of the voter's name).
In theory, one could make automated queries to download voter information by altering the hitsPerPage value shown above to a higher value, and do this repeatedly for different multi-letter combinations until they have crawled the entire data set.
Data returned by API contains voter's name, address, and unique identifiersSource: BleepingComputerThis API used to retrieve voter information has since been removed from the DontTouchTheGreenButton.com site.
On Reddit, some users further alleged that the website was matching the name and address submitted against the last 4 digits of SSN entered by the user and exposing the partial SSN.
Whereas, other users mentioned one could execute a SQL Injection attack against the website to obtain the SSN and Date of Birth information for voters.
BleepingComputer did not verify these additional allegations.
This event marks the second API leak incident this year concerning voter registration data.
Earlier this year, an API used by the Biden campaign's Vote Joe app was found to be leaking voter data that should have remained confidential.
When launching a mission-critical website such as DontTouchTheGreenButton.com it may be a good idea to conduct a thorough security assessment to safeguard user data and privacy.
Update 12:55 PM EST: API removed from the site.
Update, 12-Nov-2020: Clarified Arizona law that limits public exposure of voter lists to local election offices only. Thanks to Reddit user BattyBoomDaddy for pointing this out.
Nevada whistleblower describes Biden van vote factory in signed affidavit
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:28
| November 09, 2020 02:01 PM
LAS VEGAS, Nevada '' A second sworn affidavit from a whistleblower who was an election worker in Clark County, Nevada, claims mail-in ballots were improperly filled out in a Biden-Harris van outside a polling place.
A redacted copy of the affidavit signed on Nov. 8 and obtained by the Washington Examiner puts weight behind some of the claims first detailed by American Conservative Union President Matt Schlapp, who is helping lead the charge for the president's legal efforts in Nevada. In a Sunday press conference, Schlapp said that an election worker saw a van ''marked Biden-Harris'' with open ballots inside. The whistleblower, who worked as a poll worker from Oct. 17-30, complained about a Biden-Harris bus or van that was often stationed outside the polling place that would often have ''speakers, dancers, music and other festivities going on'' and whose organizers had to be told ''several times a day'' to ''stay 100 feet from the polling location.'' He also said that voters without proper identification were permitted to cast provisional ballots.
The biggest shock claim, though, dealt with improperly filled out ballots in the van belonging to supporters of presumptive President-elect Joe Biden, whom he saw while on a lunch break walk on Oct. 28 or 29.
''I personally witnessed two people handing multiple unopened mail in ballot envelopes to two other people who then opened and filled out the ballots against the side of the Biden/Harris van,'' the affidavit said. ''The same two people who marked the ballots then put the marked ballots in official pink and white envelopes. These people were not poll workers."
The affidavit continued: "By my final walking lap, there were 5 or 6 additional people who formed a human wall, which moved as I walked by, apparently in an attempt to block my view of the four people who were opening envelopes, marking ballots, and placing those ballots in the pink and white return envelopes.''
The whistleblower recalled reporting the incident to a supervisor, who then called the Clark County Elections Office, to no avail.
''Someone there told her nothing could be done about the ballots or envelopes being handled outside at the Biden/Harris area,'' the whistleblower said in the affidavit. The elections office added that ''ballot harvesting is legal in Nevada,'' according to the affidavit, but that practice is not what the whistleblower detailed.
''Ballot harvesting'' is when a person collects and returns already-completed ballots. People not operating in a government capacity are not legally allowed to distribute mail-in ballots or mark ballots for others.
Another Clark County, Nevada, whistleblower who worked in a ballot-counting center has signed an affidavit claiming that a supervisor instructed the person to process mail-in ballots despite concerns about whether the signature matched the name on the envelope.
President Trump lags about 36,200 votes behind Biden in Nevada.
RNC Chair Says People Have Come Forward With 11,000 Voter Fraud Claims
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:56
On Tuesday night, Ronna McDaniel, Chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC), told FOX News commentator Sean Hannity that she has 234 pages containing 500 sworn affidavits alleging 11,000 incidents of various types of voter fraud.
Briefly listing the allegations on Hannity's show, McDaniel said that a person in Wayne County, Michigan alleged that 60 percent of a batch of voter ballots had the same signature on them, that another affidavit claimed to have seen 35 ballots counted despite not being cast by registered voters, that 50 ballots were counted multiple times in a tabulation machine elsewhere, that one woman's dead son somehow voted in one election and that Democrats handed out documents on how to distract Republican vote challengers.
"It's been rigged from the beginning," McDaniel told Hannity, "rigged from the laws that were being passed in the name of COVID to create a porous election, rigged in the sense that they kicked Republicans out of poll watching and observing... and now you have a media that's rigging it again by saying we're not going to even listen to these stories."
"That's why the RNC is going to pursue this to the very end," McDaniel continued. "We can never let this happen again.... These men and women matter their voices will be heard."
McDaniel claimed that Republican-led "data teams" still need time to conduct their investigations into various allegations.
Newsweek contacted the RNC for comment.
Chair of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel stands on stage in an empty Mellon Auditorium while addressing the Republican National Convention at the Mellon Auditorium on August 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. The novel coronavirus pandemic has forced the Republican Party to move away from an in-person convention to a televised format, similar to the Democratic Party's convention a week earlier. Chip Somodevilla/GettyMcDaniel's appearance on Hannity's show follows various other Republican party members who have furthered yet-to-be-substantiated claims of voter fraud made by the re-election campaign of Republican President Donald Trump.
Trump's re-election campaign has filed lawsuits in several states alleging that thousands of votes were fraudulently included in final vote counts and should be thrown out. The legal challenges seek resolution before each state certifies its election results in December.
As of November 10, President-elect Joe Biden leads Trump by about 273,000 votes in six different states'--Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin'--which helped cement Biden's victory by 79 electoral votes.
On Monday, Attorney General William Barr allowed federal prosecutors to investigate any claims of voter fraud . Democratic congressional leaders criticized his decision as unfounded and corrupt.
In response to Barr's decision, Richard Pilger, the U.S. Department of Justice director of the Election Crimes Branch which oversees investigations into voter fraud, resigned mere hours later.
In a speech on Monday morning, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options."
Color Revolutions
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Ukraine
U.S. Rejected Ukraine '04 Election Over Absentee Ballots, Opponent Observer Restrictions, And Wild Turnout Numbers
Mon, 09 Nov 2020 19:06
A Clinton, Bush, and Obama-era Ambassador rejected the results of 2004's Ukrainian Presidential election over the same plethora of fraud witnessed in the U.S. elections of 2020. Ambassador John Tefft even went so far as to admit such fraud is ''extremely difficult to detect'' when the political party organizing the frauds controls the local party apparatus. Ambassador John Tefft, then-Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, said on December 7, 2004:
The OSCE/ODIHR's report said that the election did not meet ''a considerable number'' of international standards, and that, as in the first round, state executive authorities and the Central Election Commission displayed a lack of will to conduct a genuinely democratic election process. ODIHR assessed the second round ''less favorably'' than the tainted October 31 first round vote. A U.S.-funded foreign NGO observer mission also described ''a coordinated, systematic pattern of major violations leading to an outcome that does not reflect the will of the Ukrainian people.''
He said: ''The following are examples of the most egregious, widely observed and reported examples of election-day fraud on November 21,'' and listed the following:
Illegal Use of Absentee Ballots: According to the respected NGO ''Committee of Voters of Ukraine'' (CVU), massive electoral fraud was committed through the illegal use of absentee voter certificates. For example, people were caught in Dnipropetrovsk and Sumy oblasts with their pockets stuffed with blank absentee ballots that they were using to vote at multiple polling stations.
Opposition Observers Ejected: Observers from Our Ukraine and other opposition groups were expelled from most polling stations in eastern Ukraine on Election Day. For example, in Territorial Election Commission (TEC) district number 42 in Donetsk oblast, Our Ukraine observers were kicked out of all but a few polling stations.
North Korean-Style Turnout in the East: Turnout in the pro-Yanukovych eastern oblasts was unnaturally high. In several electoral districts, turnout for the run-off round increased by 30 to 40 percent over the first round. In Luhansk oblast, the reported turnout rate hit nearly 96 percent '-- a number that, to quote the OSCE, even Stalinist North Korea would envy. A similar turnout rate was reported in Donetsk oblast, where 98 percent of the votes went to hometown candidate Prime Minister Yanukovych.
Mobile Ballot Box Fraud: In the second round of the election, the number of voters who supposedly cast ballots at home using mobile ballot boxes was double that of the first round. Much of this voting occurred without observers being present and was massively fraudulent. In Mykolayiv oblast, for example, nearly 35 percent of the oblast's voters purportedly cast their ballots ''at home.''
Computer Data Allegedly Altered To Favor Yanukovych: There were credible reports showing that that Yanukovych supporters gained illegal access to the Central Election Commission's computer system and illegally altered vote tabulation data being transmitted by TECs to the CEC.
Reports of Opposition Fraud: Yanykovych's supporters allege that Yushchenko's supporters stuffed ballot boxes in western Ukraine. But the reports and evidence of pro-Yanukovych fraud greatly outweighed those indicated for Yushchenko.
In the testimony to the House International Relations Committee, Tefft said:
This massive ballot-box stuffing, fake turnout figures, and other forms of fraud and abuse allowed the authorities to create a victory for their candidate that almost certainly would not have been possible in a free and fair election.
In terms of ''lessons learned,'' Tefft said: ''It is a sad, but true fact that it is extremely difficult to detect and deter fraud and abuse by a candidate and his supporters who have at their disposal all the resources of the state, including local authorities.''
He added: ''Also of importance is the need to strengthen legal controls over, and verification of, voter registration lists to ensure that opposition supporters are not excluded while names of deceased and other bogus voters are not added.''
Staff Writer The National Pulse is a part of the American Principles Project.
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Generals Get Fat and Happy on War - LA Progressive
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:44
Where Are They Now? Leaders From My Afghan Tour Are on to Bigger and Bankable Things It's one hell of an inversion. The colonels and generals who commanded at high levels during my 2011-12 Afghan surge tour may have lost the war, but they sure won the personal prosperity battle. The military campaign '' strategically, at least '' wasn't even close this time around. Whereas the first surge I had the distinct displeasure to join, in Iraq, produced '' or at least coincided '' with enough short-term security ''progress'' to feed a success mythology, the Afghan reprise never really caught on. For the most part, that bloody jaunt passed with barely a whimper '' as if we were all supposed to forget the grandiose overpromises on what surge snake oil could produce in this ''graveyard of empires.''
Thus, once the ''quantum shift'' President Obama's first hired (then fired) theater commander, General Stanley McChrystal had pledged didn't pan out, the American people were treated to some collective gaslighting by the top brass and their think-tanking cheerleaders. Just over two years later, in March 2012, the third surge commander, General John Allen, had changed the martial tune '' telling House Armed Services Committee members ''There have been setbacks, to be sure, we're experiencing them now, and there will be more setbacks ahead.''
In other words, the people's representatives should temper their expectations, because, ''I wish I could tell you that this war was simple, and that progress could be easily measured. But that's not the way of counterinsurgencies.'' Still, cutting the nation's losses shouldn't so much as cross their minds, since, Allen assured them, ''progress is real, and, importantly, it's sustainable.''
The utter lack of responsibility-taking or consequences-accrual by U.S. generals has been off-putting in the extreme.
We all know how that turned out. Still, in the end it was no skin off Allen's or any of the other senior generals' backs that America's mighty military machine failed so mightily. It seems that the one ''here'' where ''buck never stops'' are flag officer's desks. Not to say the fault was all theirs '' not even Alexander the Great could've cut the ''Gordian knot'' of an impossible Afghan mission. Nevertheless, the utter lack of responsibility-taking or consequences-accrual by U.S. generals has been off-putting in the extreme.
Then again, maybe failing upward makes perfect sense for a tribe that selects its own members '' ''ducks pick ducks'' according to a recent Rand report. Furthermore, the fail-up principle applies even after the generals age-out. It seems the real rewards accrue after retirement, when '' contra General Douglas MacArthur's famed farewell address '' these old soldiers neither die nor fade away.
The Generals Cash In Perhaps feeling a mix of melancholy and nostalgia this past week, as an election campaign that barely broached America's longest-ever war (hopefully) climaxed '' I got to reminiscing about the colonels and generals who commanded at the battalion-level and above during my 2011-12 Afghan adventure. I found myself wondering '' like a jilted lover with a locked&loaded Facebook account '' what they're doing now?
The answers were predictable, if a bit more drastic than expected. To summarize and generalize, the generals (no pun intended) are mostly working in the corporate defense industry, strategic and security consulting, and/or at a trans-partisan array of hawkish think tanks that provide ''scholarly'' justification for their own windfalls. These organizations hardly hire the retired generals as a thanks for their service '' nor for any specific technical knowledge per se '' but rather for their relationships Rolodex, insider knowledge, and influence with former subordinates now headed to the helm.
That's where most of the colonels from my '' and let's be honest, everyone's '' Afghan tour come in. They've either risen to key command and decisional positions or themselves retired, and followed their former masters into parallel subordinate roles at the very same defense contractors, consultancies, or think tanks.
These are money-making enterprises, after all, and spinning senior military leaders through the ''revolving door'' has proved a sure-thing payoff time and again. The proof is in the pudding '' a warfare tapioca now aged 20 years.
Consider some general officer highlights from what now seems the Afghan ancient history of the surge's mid-point:
General David Petraeus, Commander International Security Assistance Force (COMISAF): After his paleo prot(C)g(C) Stanley McChrystal got himself fired for speaking out-of-turn to a Rolling Stone reporter, my first senior surge-boss General David Petraeus was asked to play an encore of the ''miracle'' on the Tigris. He didn't, naturally, and one got the distinct sense he knew he couldn't and would've rather not been asked to try '' which was technically a demotion from his previous region-wide perch at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). He soon had an epic fall from grace, resigning from his follow-on position as CIA director in November 2012 and later sentenced to two years probation and a $100,000 fine after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count passing classified information to his biographer and extramarital lover, Paula Broadwell.David's done just fine and has been accepted right back into the business and policy elite fold. On the former count, he's a partner and chairman of the KKR Global Institute, which he established in 2013 to assist the parent global investment firm by ''integrating expertise and analysis about emerging developments and long-term trends in geopolitics, macroeconomics, demographics, energy and natural resource markets.'' Since 2017, he's also been on the board of Optiv Security, ''a market-leading provider of end-to-end cyber security solutions.''
On the policy-influencing side, Petraeus is on the board of the Atlantic Council, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence, Institute for the Study of War, as well as a member of the US Global Leadership Coalition's National Security Advisory Council.
General John Allen, Petraeus's mid-tour successor as COMISAF: He started the transition-game early in his military career, as the first Marine officer inducted as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations '' ''an independent, nonpartisan organization, think tank, and publisher'' dedicated to diplomacy, that happens to accept cash from 12 different war-profiteer corporations. After retiring, Allen was appointed Obama's special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, before joining America's oldest think tank, the Brookings Institution '' he's now its president. That crew received just a measly $2,485,000 from the US Government and defense contractors these last five years '' with Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Airbus leading a pack of 17 separate corporate arms-dealers, US military, and intelligence outfits.Lieutenant General David Rodriguez, head of ISAF Joint Command, the number two US military man in Afghanistan: after the tour, he pinned a fourth star and finished his career leading US Africa Command (AFRICOM). Since then, he's operated DMR Consulting LLC, another strategic advisory outfit. Yet per his own bio [conflict of interest trigger-warning] he ''continues to support the US Army with Strategic Leadership Training at the Army War College'' for two- and three-star generals.Rodriguez is also a senior adviser at the [Stanley] McChrystal Group: you guessed it, a consulting, and leadership development firm. Now here's a professionally incestuous lot: 12 of the group's 17 partners are military or CIA veterans, including five retired generals '' proof that hitching themselves to stars (in this case McChrystal's) persists long after camo fatigues are traded for tailored suits.
Group partner meetings must also have something of an Afghan surge reunion party feel '' at least six were along on my 2011-12 tour. Suffice it to say, though both are ironically West Chester, Pennsylvania natives '' a Smedley Butler, Rodriguez is not. In fact, he's almost an inversion of the old Marine general turned antiwar stalwart.
Major General James Huggins, my old Regional Command-South commander during the second half of the tour: wouldn't you know that after pinning a third star and running operations on the Army Headquarters staff '' he also joined the McChrystal Group, as managing partner of its Texas operations. No doubt he was well prepared, having graduated from the National Association of Corporate Directors's (NACD) ''From Battlefield to Boardroom'' Class of 2015. That aptly titled group describes itself as an ''exclusive board-development program designed to prepare retired and soon-to-retire military flag and general officers to serve as leaders in the boardroom.''Lieutenant General Curtis Scaparrotti, ISAF Joint Command / I Corps commander: he was actually West Point's Commandant of Cadets during my senior year, before a meteoric rise to ISAF's #2. Scaparrotti next commanded US Forces-Korea, then became NATO's Supreme Allied Commander. He's been busy since his recent 2019 retirement. First, as a senior counselor at the Cohen Group: ''a business advisory firm providing corporate leadership with strategic advice and assistance in business development, regulatory affairs, deal sourcing, and capital raising activities.'' It was founded in 2001 by former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen to ''help multinational clients expand overseas.'' Other staff standouts, among at least seven other retired generals and admirals, include Trump's former defense secretary, Jim Mattis. Counting less name recognition '' but perhaps even more utility given their final uniformed, military-industrial-complex (MIC) dream assignments '' are General Paul Kern (Head of Army Materiel Command) and Lieutenant General Joseph Yakovac (Director, Army Acquisition Corps).Scaparrotti also serves (with Petraeus) on the Atlantic Council Board of Directors. From 2014-19, this group received the third-most ($8,697,000) US Government and defense contractor cash of any major American think tank. Top donations included $1.25 million from Airbus, $800,000 from Raytheon, and $750,000 from Lockheed Martin '' less of a surprise when one learns there are two Airbus CEOs, a Raytheon CEO, a senior Raytheon lobbyist, and Lockheed Martin CEO sitting with Scaparrotti on the Atlantic's board. Joining these MIC-masters are at least 11 three- and four-star generals, three CIA directors or deputies, and two secretaries of homeland security.
Major General John Campbell, head of Regional Command-East / 101st Airborne Division: after this tour, he picked up a couple more stars, served as Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, and then returned to Afghanistan as the last ISAF commander. After speculation that he was passed over as ''heir apparent'' for CENTCOM '' after a prolonged US air attack on a Doctors Without Borders killed 42 civilians during his last Afghan tenure '' Campbell retired in 2016. Just 47 days later, he joined the board of directors at BAE Systems '' an American subsidiary of a British company that's Europe's largest defense contractor. BAE produces almost all of the ground combat vehicles in US Army armored brigade combat teams, minus the Abrams tank itself. ''[Campbell's] knowledge and perspective on the US military's needs around the world will be highly valuable,'' the company's board chairman unapologetically explained.Campbell also somehow finds the time to serve on board of IAP Worldwide Services, Inc. '' ''a leading provider of global-scale logistics, management and technical services'...providing solutions to US and multi-national government agencies and organizations.'' Plus, in July 2018 he was named Systematic Inc.'s Chairman of the Board: where he ''will deliver strategic guidance'' to help make Systematic ''the leading provider of [command&control, intelligence&surveillance] ''solutions in the defense industry.'' The company's president, Rafael Torres, was blunt: ''General Campbell's'... ability to predict and address the needs of our warfighter, makes him the ideal person to take on this pivotal role.''
He's also on the board of directors of Rolls Royce North America, and the advisory boards of AM General, SAP NS2, Castellum, Inc., and MITRE '' which manages federally funded research and development centers supporting several US government agencies.
Major General Daniel Allyn, head of Regional Command-East / 1st Cavalry Division: he not only took over for General Campbell at RC-East midway through my tour, but succeeded him in his next assignment as the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. He retired afterwards, in 2017, as a full four-star general. A year later, Allyn joined Ernst & Young LLP (EY) as an executive director in the government & public sector advisory practice, which self-describes its services as ''helping defense forces to streamline operations, cut costs, procure smarter and transform their workforce so they can keep their people safe in a complex and uncertain world.'' Mike Herrinton, an EY partner and Allyn's new boss in the government & public practice was fairly frank about his new hire's role: ''Dan's experience will be instrumental in helping EY help position government agencies for improved readiness to meet future challenges and opportunities.''Allyn couldn't stay away, however, and in May 2019 he delivered ''his thoughts on leadership'' during an Army Leader Exchange presentation at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. ALx, per its new age acronym-moniker, is apparently ''a community of practice'' '' whatever that means '' ''enabling professional conversation on all things leadership and leader development.'' In practice, this community of practice regularly ''hosts guest speakers from industry, government, education and the military to offer unique insights on leadership.'' It's probably a safe bet that maintaining such professional ties with former subordinates running Fort Leavenworth '' the ''army's schoolhouse'' '' and molding the minds of ''more than 1,000 Command and General Staff College students [read: majors] and faculty [read colonels],'' delivers no ancillary benefits to Allyn or EY'...right?
Major General James Terry, head of Regional Command-South / 10th Mountain Division: he preceded General Huggins as my division commander in Kandahar Province, then briefly took over the army's V Corps in Europe, before redeploying to Afghanistan in June 2012 and replacing Scaparrotti as ISAF Joint Commander. In 2013 he led the Combined Land Force Component (CFLC) of Operation Inherent Resolve '' the anti-ISIS turned anti-Iran/Assad/Russia mission in Iraq and Syria '' before retiring in November 2015. Asked about his post-military plans, Terry said, ''I plan to do nothing, real fast,'' adding, ''I always said that when I retired I was going to shave my head, grow a beard, and walk the Appalachian Trail, but I'm not so sure now!''Instead, he stuck to business suits and business as usual. Ten months after retiring, Terry became senior vice president, in the ''contractor's global defense business segment'' at Cubic Global Defense. As if co-leading contracting for a defense contractor doesn't sound a blatant enough interest-conflict, his new boss '' himself a retired navy vice admiral '' explained that Terry would ''oversee efforts to pursue business opportunities in ground training systems and services for the Army, Marine Corps, Special Operations Forces and the Middle East region,'' and would ''be a great asset to Cubic's NextTraining growth strategy.'' Oh, and just before jumping on the contractor gravy train, Terry graduated a class behind his RC-South successor, General Huggins, in the very same NACD ''From Battlefield to Boardroom'' program.
Major General John Toolan, head of Regional Command-Southwest / II Marine Expeditionary Force: after leaving the Marine Corp's bloody '' and seemingly perennial '' battleground out in Helmand Province (some 450 have died there, more than twice Marine casualties at Vietnam's Battle of Hue) he commanded the I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) then Marine Forces, Pacific. ''Jocko'' Toolan retired with a third-star in 2016, then became an advisor to Palantir Technologies '' an outfit New York Magazine called ''Big Data's scariest, most secretive unicorn.'' Documents released by Edward Snowden have also demonstrated how Palantir ''helped the NSA spy on the whole world.''Well, the CIA provided early seed money for this 2004 startup after all '' ''through In-Q-Tel, the agency's venture capital branch.'' Wait, the CIA has a venture capital branch? Active in more than 150 countries, Palantir's clients include defense corporations like AirBus, plus plenty of government agencies, like (for starters) the CIA, FBI, NSA, Homeland Security, West Point, the Army, Air force, and '' you guessed it '' the US Marine Corps.
Why Palantir would be so interested in this particular marine three-star, though? Well, could be related to a certain Major General Toolan's 2012 letter sent from Helmand Province and praising the company: ''Palantir reduced the time required for countless analytical functions and streamlined other, once cumbersome, processes . . . . The innovative and collaborate capabilities of Palantir have proven their mettle and effectiveness for conventional and special operations forces in combat.'' This gushing note to the Pentagon's Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office '' which had already provided Toolan with funds to buy three Palantir servers '' offered crystal clear recommendations: ''I hope the Marine Corps will further its relationship with [the combating terrorism office] providing this capability to USMC forces engaged in the current fight and that the Marine Corps will eventually integrate Palantir into its program of record.''
Toolan also self-describes as a self-employed ''consultant and advisor'' focused on ''wargaming on Indo-Pacific security'' '' ''issues'' he boasts he's ''current on.'' Given the New Cold War brewing in both America's red- and blue-team political pots these days, I'm sure that will end just dandy '' at least for Big Data and other war-profiteers in the MIC.
So, how's an Afghan War now in its 20th year going, exactly? Well, according to many generals '' contra all critical metrics and the opinions of most combat vets (73 percent support withdrawal) '' not so bad. David Petraeus, himself, wrote as recently as April 2020 that America's strategy had been ''reasonably successful'' '' at least until Trump signed onto the February U.S.-Taliban agreement, which ''now proposes to jettison this approach.''
Well sure, whether it's ''King David'' or any other senior military entrant through the revolving door, the old maxim must apply: ''It Is Difficult to Get a Man to Understand Something When His Salary Depends Upon His Not Understanding It.''
The Colonels: Groomed for the MIC Most of the battalion and brigade commanders from my Afghan tour have yet to take Darth Vader's Star Wars boast to fruition '' ''I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan'...The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner, now I am the master.'' But have already reached senior roles where they can be of use to their old bosses-cum-consultants, contractors, and hawkish think tankers. Soon enough, they'll take spins through the revolving door themselves. Others already have '' off-ramping early from uniformed military to military-industrial-complex. Some, it seems, are indeed always bridesmaids'...
First, to the climbers.
Colonel Robin Fontes, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTA), Regional Security Command-North: On this tour she was responsible for train Afghan security forces in the country's north. Years later, she was nominated by Trump's first looney bird of a national security adviser, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, to be senior director for India, Pakistan and Central Asian Affairs at the NSC '' but the gig fell through when her patron hastily resigned amidst a brewing scandal. Nevertheless, Fontes still landed the job of senior defense attach(C) in New Delhi '' reassuring local hawks with her utterly pro-India (read: anti-China/Pakistan) proclivities. These days she's the deputy commander of the Army Cyber Command '' a heck of a perch to pitch herself to Palantir Technologies (and vice versa) before packing it in with the military.
Colonel Mark Schwartz, Joint Special Operations Commander (JSOC) Task Force: after leading all the ''night-raiders'' who caused ''battle-space'' commanders like me so much blowback from local Afghan villagers, he jumped up to deputy commander of the 1st Cavalry Division. Since then, he's commanded all US special operators in Europe, served as the number two at JSOC itself, and as assistant to the director of the Army Staff. Now a three-star general, Schwartz is Trump's US Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, at the new embassy in Jerusalem. Hardly a balanced broker, this May he addressed more than 200 Israeli investors as part of Israel Bonds' global event speaker series. A senior board member praised Schwartz for ''his dedication and commitment to defending lives and protecting Israel's borders.''Lieutenant Colonel Dave Womack, 1-506 Infantry Battalion commander: after leading his ''Screaming Eagles'' of the 101st Airborne Division through a tough fight in Eastern Afghanistan's Paktika Province, he became military assistant to the secretary of the army. Womack then commanded the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division before returning to Afghanistan as the combined joint deputy operations officer in Kabul, Afghanistan. Heading back to the Pentagon in 2017, he served as the assistant deputy director for regional operations on the Joint Staff.A year later, as the 25th Infantry Division's chief of staff, he was accused of toxic leadership by a subordinate major who blew the whistle on fraud-waste-and-abuse. Specifically, the targeted human resources officer wrote: ''Despite requesting support against reprisal'...Colonel David Womack started a pattern of reprisal and retaliation against me,'' reassigning the whistleblower even though ''Army Human Resources Command and Criminal Investigation Division confirmed many of [his] data points; [that] there is and/or was fraud, waste, and abuse within [the brigade].''
No matter, soon Womack ascended to division deputy commander, pinned a general's star, and is now off to be deputy chief of staff of operations, at NATO's Multinational Corps Northeast, in Poland '' that way he can apply some international-level toxicity and help provoke unnecessary conflict with the globe's other nuclear superpower, Russia.
Colonel Patrick Matlock, Commander of Task Force Bayonet / 170th Brigade Combat Team: after working under the German Army at Mazar-e-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan, he's had a steady rise towards the top. His follow-on assignments have included 1st Armored Division chief of staff, deputy director for operations on the Joint Staff's National Joint Operations Intelligence Center, and deputy commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division. He recently commanded the 1st Armored Division, and redeployed as deputy commanding general of US Forces-Afghanistan. He's now director of operations at General Scaparrotti's old outfit '' US Forces Korea.Colonel John Kolasheski, Commander of TF Warhorse / 2nd Brigade 4th Infantry Division: I once ran into this guy before a meeting with some venal, double-dealing tribal leaders in Kandahar City. After he finished that tour, Kolasheski's been a senior army fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, returned to Afghanistan as ISAF's director of strategic communications, then commanded my old 1st Infantry Division. He's since pinned a third-star and presently commands V Corps '' following in footsteps of General Terry, his division commander on the 2011-12 tour. Maybe his former boss can ply him with some contracts and afterwards land Kolasheski a job at Cubic Global Defense. [Flippancy aside, there's still hope '' I actually found Kolasheski a decent guy with a solid professional reputation]Colonel Patrick Frank, Commander Task Force Spartan / 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division: this nightmare of a human being was my brigade commander in Kandahar Province, and never missed an opportunity to waste soldiers' lives to pad a combat resume. It seems to have worked. In the intervening years, Frank's been executive officer for Army's Vice Chief of Staff, deputy commander of the 1st Infantry Division, and head of the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) in Fort Polk, Louisiana. He's now chief of staff for CENTCOM '' which oversees an entire region he seemed to know or care little about'...except in so far as it could grease his career wheels.Next, to those in the MIC-express-lane.
Colonel James Creighton, Commander of Combined Team Uruzgan: his tour was in a remote province previously occupied by the NATO's Dutch component. He retired soon after and jumped full force into the think tank world, spending the last seven years as chief of staff, COO, and distinguished fellow at the EastWest Institute. Creighton is also a senior adviser at PASS LLC: ''a flexible strategic consultancy partnering with a variety of stakeholders around the world.'' Its clients include: global humanitarian and development organizations, private philanthropies, governments, and intergovernmental organizations.PS: per their own disclaimer PASS LLC is registered as an agent of the Kurdistan Regional Government '' Ministry of Interior under 22 U.S.C. § 611. One wonders if Creighton will remain affiliated with the consultancy firm, since he was just elected as a Republican member of New Hampshire's State Legislature.
Colonel James Blackburn, Commander of Combined Team Zabul / 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment: after post-Afghanistan bids as assistant deputy director for operations on the Joint Staff, and deputy ISAF commander back in Afghanistan, he became deputy commander of both the 3rd Infantry Division and US Army North. After retiring, Blackburn was until recently the executive vice president of Mistral, Inc. '' which ''serves as a 'bridge' between the requirements of our armed forces and innovative, relevant, and ready solutions for the challenges faced in full spectrum military operations worldwide.'' In other words, cashing in on insider knowledge to tell their buddies still in uniform what to do '' for a price '' and maybe what to buy (Like, say, Mistral's tactical electric scooter). Blackburn is currently CEO of Keshik Mobile Power Systems Inc.Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Denny, 3/2 Stryker Cavalry Squadron commander: after being attached to my brigade and having the displeasure to work for Pat Frank, he became a senior brigade observer/controller at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, then chief of the Army Training Command's (TRADOC) Maneuver, Aviation and Soldier Division, before retiring in 2016. Since then, he's been a member and consultant at The SPECTRUM Group '' whose services include ''government relations, government solutions, capital advisors, defense aerospace systems, defense group systems, homeland security, special operations, and information technology.'' He then became a senior consultant and partner at Mass XV Maneuver Combat Systems Consulting: providing ''unique perspective on maneuver combat systems development and modernization for the Army, Marine Corps, and other services and agencies.'' The Biden Question Mark All in all, President Barack Obama's surge was a diversionary fiasco '' fraud, waste, and abuse taking on strategic form. The should've been scandalous ''inside-baseball'' revelations in the Washington Post's ''Afghanistan Papers'' bore this out. The top generals knew we were failing, and that '' per onetime ''Afghan War czar'' Lieutenant General Doug Lute '' ''We didn't have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.'' And, it was a bloody fog indeed for America's adulated warriors.
From Obama's first infusion of 17,000 extra troops in the spring of 2009 until his official surge technically ''ended'' in September 2012, 2,036 coalition soldiers '' mostly American '' died and some 14,000 were wounded in Afghanistan. And for what? Year after year, and by every major metric, the US strategic and security situation has deteriorated. By the time The Donald became the third bewildered president to helm a hopeless war, matters were worse than they'd ever been.
Now, as President-elect Biden prepares steer this sinking ship, let me save you the suspense '' the fourth time ain't the charm. Whether status quo-Joe proves more susceptible to the tired forever war justifications of another veteran of my Afghan tour, General turned Trumpian National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, remains an open question. The arguments of this fellow West Point History faculty alum '' dealing with the Taliban amounts ''Munich''-level ''appeasement'' '' are more absurd than most, but madman McMaster is hardly alone. Stay a bit longer, until things are a bit better '' ''beyond May 2021,'' but ''not forever'' naturally '' this per the polite imperialists over at the Brookings Institution.
Uncle Joe, frankly, remains a wildcard. Always more a student of his gut than of history, Biden's positions on Afghanistan '' like much else '' aren't as consistent as both his vehement detractors and defenders imply. As a senator and presidential candidate, in 2008, he supported increased funding and troop levels for what his future boss called ''the good war.'' Not so, reportedly, as vice president '' when he loudly opposed the surge inside the White House.
One hopes against hope (and perhaps reason) Biden's potential instinct to undo all things Trump is upstaged by sentiments from a far finer, and contentious, exchange with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke (recorded in the latter's diary). ''I am not sending my boy back there to risk his life on behalf of women's rights!'' the vice president shouted at Holbrooke: ''It just won't work, that's not what they're there for.''
It's hard to say, though, given the consistent pressure on '' and temptation of '' even centrist liberals to tack ''right'' on foreign policy once in the Oval Office. It's is an old story, indeed '' that classic Democrat's dilemma of perceived necessity to parry towards hawkishness and burnish toughness credentials. A lot of young men and women have lost lives and limbs behind such partisan nonsense.
Yes, there's something exceedingly grotesque about the consequences gap between the Afghan surge's grunts and their senior commanders. The generals who often graced my humble, besieged Kandahar outpost with their intrusive and distracting visits, have more than landed on their feet. Most rake in six- and seven-figure largesse atop ''specially boosted'' pensions ranging from $169,000-$237,144 annually. By the way, not a single flag officer was killed on my 12-month tour, and whereas the baseline salaries of the generals ranged from $155,820-$189,600, the specialist (E-4) in my troops who bled to death waiting for a medevac helicopter earned around $27,684 to lose both legs, half an arm, and his ultimately'...his life.
Husband, stepfather, son, and Michigan native Chazray Clark never had an opportunity to glide through the revolving door to defense industry riches. But make no mistake, those doors are closed to his kind anyway '' America's limb-losers haven't much capital as lobbyists.
Danny SjursenAnti-War.com
Dominion
Dominion Software ownership
Dominion is owned by Staple Street Capital
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/dominion-voting
Staple Street Capital founded by Carlyle Group employees
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/staple-street-capital-2
Chairman of board is Carlyle, ATT board, Obama appointed FCC chairman who ushered in 5G
http://www.staplestreetcapital.com/Team/Board
Paper Warned About the Software Company at Center of Ballot Glitches in Swing States; UPDATE: MI SOS Responds
Mon, 09 Nov 2020 13:28
UPDATE:
The Michigan Secretary of State released a statement saying there was "no merit" to the glitch in Antrim County.
"The erroneous reporting of unofficial results from Antrim county was a result of accidental error on the part of the Antrim County Clerk. The equipment and software did not malfunction and all ballots were properly tabulated. However, the clerk accidentally did not update the software used to collect voting machine data and report unofficial results," the statement read. "In order to report unofficial results, county clerks use election management system software to combine the electronic totals from tabulators and submit a report of unofficial results. Because the clerk did not update software, even though the tabulators counted the ballots correctly, those accurate results were not combined properly when the clerk reported unofficial results."
JUST IN: Lengthy statement from #Michigan Secretary of State takes on allegations with bullet points."False claims from Ronna McDaniel have no merit" pic.twitter.com/mleW3yc4pF
'-- Lynsey Mukomel (@lynseymukomel) November 6, 2020ORIGINAL POST:
The Michigan State Republican Party on Friday revealed that a software glitch caused 6,000 Republican ballots to be counted toward Democrat's totals. The issue was eventually corrected when officials in Antrim County hand-counted the ballots, which caused their county to flip to President Donald Trump. According to the Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman, 48 of the state's 83 counties use the same software from Dominion Voting Systems.
There are now issues arising in Georgia in Spalding and Morgan Counties after it was revealed that a software update Monday night caused voting machines to crash on Election Day.
Spalding County Board of Elections Supervisor Marcia Ridley told POLITICO Dominion Voting Systems performed an update on machines. KnowInk, which makes electronic poll books to sign voters, also created an update. Both are something that is out of the norm, Ridley said.
"That is something that they don't ever do. I've never seen them update anything the day before the election,'' Ridley explained, saying she had no idea what was in the update.
Dominion Voting Systems said the software had no impact in Georgia.
''Re Gwinnett '' There is no evidence of any system software problem,'' Kay Stimson, Dominion Voting Systems vice president of government affairs, in told The Washington Times in an email. ''My understanding is that the system was hanging at certain points in processing adjudicated ballots due to a workstation set-up issue. Our technicians worked with the county to address it, and election officials moved on to re-adjudicating ballots by the next day.''
These "glitches" cause concerns, especially with close voter tallies in multiple states. The common factor: Dominion Voting Systems. The system is being used in many states across the nation, including in key battleground states, like Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Florida.
MI uses Dominion's Democracy Suite's voting software to tally votes. According to a brochure for the company, MI is ranked 1 of its major vendors. 48 counties, according to @MIGOP, use this software. Notice where else it's used? Key battlegrounds: NV, AZ, MN, WI, MI, FL, GA, FL. pic.twitter.com/GaHtWGh1Y2
'-- Beth Baumann (@eb454) November 7, 2020The Denver Post brought up concerns about these machines earlier this year when election officials throughout the country were scrambling to make sure their machines were secure from Russian hackers ahead of November's election:
Called ballot-marking devices, the machines have touchscreens for registering voter choice. Unlike touchscreen-only machines, they print out paper records that are scanned by optical readers. South Carolina voters will use them in Saturday's primary.
The most pricey solution available, they are at least twice as expensive as the hand-marked paper ballot option. They have been vigorously promoted by the three voting equipment vendors that control 88 percent of the U.S. market.
Some of the most popular ballot-marking machines, made by industry leaders Election Systems & Software and Dominion Voting Systems, register votes in bar codes that the human eye cannot decipher. That's a problem, researchers say: Voters could end up with printouts that accurately spell out the names of the candidates they picked, but, because of a hack, the bar codes do not reflect those choices. Because the bar codes are what's tabulated, voters would never know that their ballots benefited another candidate.
Even on machines that do not use bar codes, voters may not notice if a hack or programming error mangled their choices. A University of Michigan study determined that only 7 percent of participants in a mock election notified poll workers when the names on their printed receipts did not match the candidates they voted for.
...
Pivotal counties in the crucial states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina have bought ballot-marking machines. So have counties in much of Texas, as well as California's Los Angeles County and all of Georgia, Delaware and South Carolina. The machines' certification has often been streamlined in the rush to get machines in place for presidential primaries
Ballot-marking devices were not conceived as primary vote-casting tools but as accessible options for people with disabilities.
One of the most interesting aspects of this, as pointed out by NOQ Report, is that Dominion Voting Systems has machines in more than one-third of the United States. They never had a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., until last year when they hired Brownstein Farber Hyatt & Schreck, a lobbying firm. One of the account's main supervisors is Nadeam Elshami, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) former chief of staff.
Whether or not this was a glitch should be investigated, especially when it comes down to swing states. Areas in which this system was used should have a hand recount so voters know their votes were tabulated correctly. A glitch in one county is probable. A glitch in multiple counties in multiple states sounds like it could potentially be a bigger systemic problem.
The Patented QFS Blockchain Secure Voting System by United States Postal Service - The Bitcoin News
Mon, 09 Nov 2020 22:01
The application is reported as filed on February 7, 2020, and the invention is described as, ''A voting system that can use the security of blockchain and the mail to provide a reliable voting system''. A registered voter receives a computer readable code in the mail and confirms identity and confirms correct ballot information in an election. The system separates voter identification and votes to ensure vote anonymity, and stores votes on a distributed ledger in a blockchain.''
The Patent is filed under Patent Number 20200258338 and claims:
You want the latest news about Crypto?Then follow us on Google News!1. A voting system comprising: a blockchain access layer configured to: receive input from a user operated mobile computing device, the input comprising a computer readable code scanned from a physical ballot, ballot selections, and an electronic signature; and receive input from an election official system, the input comprising a ballot and an election identifier; a first database in communication with the blockchain access layer, the first database configured to receive and store the ballot selections and the electronic signature from the blockchain access layer; a second database in communication with the blockchain access layer, the second database configured to: receive a vote identification from the blockchain access layer, the vote identification generated by the blockchain access layer in response to receive the ballot selections and electronic signature from the mobile computing device; store a first pointer to a location of the ballot selections in the first database; and store a second pointer to a location of the electronic signature in the first database; and a blockchain database configured to receive the vote identification from the second database and to receive the ballot selections from the blockchain access layer, wherein the block chain database receives the vote identification and the ballot selections when the block chain access layer receives an electronic signature confirmation from the election official system.
2. The voting system of claim 1, wherein the ballot selections and the electronic signatures are stored in separate structures in the first database.
3. The voting system of claim 2, wherein the first database has no referential data associating the ballot selections with the electronic signatures stored in the separate structures in the first database.
4. The voting system of claim 1, wherein the vote identification is a random alphanumeric string for tracking the instance of a vote.
5. The voting system of claim 1, wherein the electronic signature is an object bitmap created within a voting application on the user operated mobile computing device.
6. The voting system of claim 1, wherein the election identifier identifies a particular election.
7. The voting system of claim 1, wherein the blockchain access layer is further configured to receive a voter identification from the user operated mobile computing device, the voter identification identifying a unique user registered with the election official system.
8. The voting system of claim 1, further comprising a verification contract database, and wherein the blockchain access layer comprises a verification service module, wherein the verification service module is configured generate a hash of the ballot selections and the electronic signature received in the blockchain access layer, and to send the hash of the ballot selections and the electronic signature to the verification contract database.
9. The voting system of claim 8, wherein the blockchain access layer is further configured to send the hash of the ballot selections and the electronic signature to the user operated mobile computing device or to the election official system.
10. The voting system of claim 1, wherein the computer readable code includes at least one of a ballot identifier, an election identifier, and a voter identifier, and wherein the blockchain access layer authorizes the mobile computing device access to an electronic ballot based on the ballot identifier, election identifier, or the voter identifier.
11. A voting method comprising: receiving, in a blockchain access layer, input from a user operated mobile computing device, the input comprising a computer readable code scanned from a physical ballot, ballot selections, and an electronic signature; receiving input from an election official system, the input comprising a ballot and an election identifier; receiving, in a first database, the ballot selections and the electronic signature from the blockchain access layer; receiving, in a second database, a vote identification from the blockchain access layer, the vote identification generated by the blockchain access layer in response to receiving the ballot selections and electronic signature from the mobile computing device; storing, in the second database, a first pointer pointing to a location of the ballot selections in the first database; storing, in the second database, a second pointer pointing to a location of the electronic signature in the first database; and receiving, from the election official system, confirmation of the electronic signature; transmitting, to a blockchain database, the vote identification from the second database and the ballot selections corresponding to the vote identification based on the first pointer; and storing, in the blockchain database, the ballot selections.
12. The voting method of claim 11, wherein storing the ballot selections and the electronic signatures in the first database comprises storing the ballot selections and the electronic signature in separate structures in the first database.
13. The voting method of claim 12, wherein the first database has no referential data associating the ballot selections with the electronic signatures stored in the separate structures in the first database.
14. The voting method of claim 11, wherein the vote identification is a random alphanumeric string for tracking an instance of the ballot selection.
15. The voting method of claim 11, wherein the electronic signature is an object bitmap created within a voting application on the user operated mobile computing device.
16. The voting method of claim 11, wherein the election identifier identifies a particular election.
17. The voting method of claim 11, the method further comprising, receiving, from the user operated mobile computing device, a voter identification, the voter identification identifying a unique user registered with the election official system.
18. The voting method of claim 11, further comprising generating: in a verification service module, a hash of the ballot selections and the electronic signature received in the blockchain access layer; and sending the hash of the ballot selections and the electronic signature to the verification contract database.
19. The voting method of claim 18, further comprising, sending the stored hash of the ballot selections and the electronic signature to the user operated mobile computing device or to the election official system.
20. The voting method of claim 11, further comprising, authorizing, in the blockchain access layer, access to an electronic ballot based on the received computer readable code.
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Suspect AI Software Verified Mail-In Ballots With Little Human Oversight in Key Battleground States - unlimitedhangout.com
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:30
Though accusations of election fraud in the 2020 US presidential election have been swirling across social media and some news outlets for much of the past week, few have examined the role of a little known Silicon Valley company whose artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm was used to accept or reject ballots in highly contested states such as Nevada.
That company, Parascript, has long-standing cozy ties to defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin and tech giants including Microsoft, in addition to being a contractor to the US Postal Service. In addition, its founder, Stepan Pachikov, better known for cofounding the app Evernote in 2007, is a long-standing and 2020 donor to Democratic presidential candidates.
Parascript's AI software was used during this election in at least eight states for matching signatures on ballot envelopes with those in government databases in order to ''ease the workload of staff enforcing voter signature rules'' resulting from the influx of mail-in ballots. Reuters, which reported on the use of the technology, asked the company to provide a list of counties and states using its software for the 2020 election. Parascript, however, declined to supply the list, replying, instead, that their clients ''included 20 of the top 100 counties by registered voters.''
Despite not receiving the official list from Parascript, Reuters was able to compile its own partial list, which revealed that several counties in Florida, Colorado, Washington, and Utah, among others, utilized the AI software to determine the validity of ballots. Reuters also reported that Clark County, Nevada, which is one of the hotspots of litigation between the Trump and Biden campaigns and fraud allegations, was one that used the software. Reuters was able to determine how the software was used in some counties, with many counties allowing the software to approve anywhere from 20 to 75 percent of mail-in ballots as acceptable. For several counties included in the Reuters list,staff reviewed 1 percent or less of the AI software's acceptances. Figures were not available for Clark County, Nevada.
Prior to the election, concerns were raised regarding the efficacy of AI signature-verification software for use on mail-in ballots. For instance, Kyle Wiggers, a journalist who covers AI for Venture Beat, noted that the accuracy of such systems is believed to vary between 74 and 96 percent. However, he also stated that ''we don't have benchmarks from the systems that are in use to verify signatures on these mail-in ballots. We basically have to go by what the manufacturers of the systems are telling us, which is that the systems are accurate.'' Given that states and counties have relied on companies themselves for information on the accuracy of their algorithms, it becomes important to take a deeper look into Parascript, their partners, and their software.
An Untested ''Xpert''This May, Parascript announced a new version of its automated signature-verification software, called SignatureXpert, which the company said was able to ''evaluate ballot signatures and compare them with voter record signatures pulled from driver's licenses,'' adding that ''with advanced machine learning image perfection, even low-resolution driver's licenses can be used.''
At the time of the announcement, Parascript's vice president of marketing and product management, Greg Council, stated:
''We did a lot of research with our partners and found oftentimes the most efficient way for municipalities to create voter signature databases was to pull them from signatures on driver's licenses. . . . But we found that these images are often stored at lower resolutions. With our new advanced machine learning image processing, we can take lower resolution images and improve them to high levels of quality that enable automated signature verification to be used on more ballots.''
What Council did not state is that most driver's license signatures are acquired via an electronic tablet or signature pad, which often results in a very different signature than one written on a paper ballot.
Regarding the use of their new SignatureXpert software in the 2020 election, the company stated in a blog post that ''ASV [automated signature verification]is used today in the vote-by-mail processes of many states to provide solid assurances that each vote is treated fairly and thoroughly reviewed. For this election, some of the larger cities and counties in America are deploying ASV software from Parascript to assist their verification teams to produce accurate results.''
Parascript's October 30 blog post on its software also noted that that the algorithm had yet to be verified for use on mail-in ballots, but it attempted to obfuscate this fact. In response to the question ''Is this proven technology?'' the post responded:
''In the case of Parascript, the answer is yes. The AI that powers SignatureXpert has been field-proven in the banking industry for over a decade and is trusted to produce reliable voting results. States such as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Utah use it to ensure that every election is efficient, legitimate and secure. Voters can also be assured knowing SignatureXpert is always used to assist, not replace, election officials so there is no worry that the ASV bots will secretly throw the election!''
While the AI that powers SignatureXpert was tested for use in the banking industry, it has not been tested for use on mail-in ballots. Furthermore, the statement that several states use the software ''to ensure that every election is efficient, legitimate and secure'' omits the fact that the version of SignatureXpert to be used on mail-in ballots was not announced until this May and had yet to be tested for mail-in ballots, having only been previously used in Colorado to verify signatures on petitions. In addition, the claim that SignatureXpert only assists and does not replace election officials varies by county, as each county decides if there is human oversight and to what extent. As previously mentioned, Reuters found that several counties only have humans review 1 percent or less of ballots accepted by Parascript's software.
Also notable is Parascript's concluding statement regarding its promotion of the use of its AI software for mail-in ballots in the presidential election. The company states that ''no matter which candidate wins the 2020 election, the voting process will have changed forever. AI such as that provided by Parascript will become more commonplace in the never-ending battle to keep our elections safe and secure from fraud.''
Parascript PostToday, Parascript boasts clients in numerous sectors, including finance, health care, logistics, and the public sphere, with one of their most prominent clients being the US Postal Service. Since 2011, Parascript has provided the USPS with automated and bundled mail-sorting equipment that utilizes the company's optical character recognition (OCR) technology.
In addition to their multimillion-dollar contracts with the USPS, Parascript is partnered with another major USPS contractor, Lockheed Martin. While best known as a weapons manufacturer and a key fixture of the military-industrial complex, Lockheed Martin has also long been the contractor for the USPS's remote-computer-reader system, which utilizes Parascript's software. Through its partnership with Lockheed, Parascript's software has been a component of USPS' automated mail sorting process since at least 2003.
A Parascript press release stated the following regarding the Lockheed Martin''Parascript relationship as it relates to this USPS system:
''Parascript was recognized [by Lockheed Martin], in particular, for providing highly advanced and reliable Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software for handwritten address recognition and interpretation on letter mail pieces with its AddressScript technology. The primary purpose of the AddressScript OCR system is to work closely with Lockheed Martin's advanced mail processing technology to meet and exceed requirements of the USPS.''
Since 2017 Lockheed Martin has also provided the USPS with its ''next generation'' processing systems for packages and mail. These processing machines ''are capable of automatically separating mail pieces, reading printed and handwritten addresses, and sorting packages, priority and bundled mail,'' according to a Lockheed Martin press release. Parascript's AI software automatically identifies and sorts the addresses.
Notably, Lockheed Martin is one of the leading investors in the intelligence-linked cybersecurity firm Cybereason, which, for well over a year, has simulated various chaotic scenarios for the 2020 US election. Cybereason's various simulations ended with Americans' faith in the electoral process being utterly destroyed and subsequent declarations of martial law. Despite Cybereason's clear and enduring ties to the intelligence apparatus of a foreign power (Israel) with a history of using backdoors in software to spy on the US government, Lockheed Martin has served as the key conduit that allowed Cybereason's cybersecurity software to gain access to some of the United States' most classified systems. This election cycle, Lockheed Martin affiliates donated heavily to both candidates but gave nearly $27,000 more to Biden than to Trump.
In addition, Parascript is also partnered with Pitney Bowes, a private ''work-share partner'' that sorts and processes an estimated 15 billion pieces of mail annually on behalf of the USPS. Pitney Bowes is also one of the leading companies that has pushed for the privatization of the USPS, even funding a report authored by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) that laid out a roadmap for transforming the USPS into a ''public-private hybrid'' in which all retail and processing components of the USPS would be privatized. Pitney Bowes ''Exemplar Mail Sorting Solution'' utilizes Parascript's software, according to the company's promotional material. More recently, Pitney Bowes has become heavily focused on e-commerce, developing a very close relationship with eBay, which is owned by Silicon Valley billionaire and Democratic Party donor Pierre Omidyar.
Pitney Bowes has long offered an automated mail-in balloting system for elections, called Relia-Vote, which was used to sort mail-in ballots during the 2020 presidential election. However, Relia-Vote is now owned by Bluecrest, a spin-off of Pitney Bowes that has operated independently of its parent company since 2018. Bluecrest is currently owned by Platinum Equity, an investment firm founded and headed by Tom Gores. Gores donated $100,000 to Hillary Clinton in her unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2016. It is unclear if the latest version of Relia-Vote, which was used in the 2020 presidential election, employs Parascript's AI software.
Given the use of Parascript's unproven AI software for the verification of signatures on mail-in ballots during this year's highly contested election, the near ubiquitous presence of this company's software on automated mail-sorting machines and its long-standing ties to the USPS and other prominent USPS contractors is worth noting.
Parascript's Powerful PartnersIn addition to Lockheed Martin, Parascript enjoys partnerships with other prominent companies with long-standing ties to US intelligence. For instance, Parascript is a partner of Hewlett-Packard, a company whose close ties to the CIA and its venture capital arm In-Q-Tel, particularly under the leadership of Carly Fiorina, is an open secret.
Parascript is also partnered with IBM. Just last year, the CIA hired IBM Federal vice president Juliane Gallina to serve as the intelligence agency's chief information officer. In that position, Gallina oversees ''the CIA's modernization efforts as well as making better use of the massive amount of data it possesses.'' In addition, IBM is a major corporation driving the push to create ''smart cities'' in the United States and globally, but to date they have focused much of their smart city efforts on China and have long-standing ties to China's political and economic elites. In addition, IBM is one of the four sponsors of the Center for Presidential Transition, which issued a statement on Sunday (November 8) urging President Trump to concede to his rival Joe Biden. IBM had previously sponsored Biden's cancer initiative for the Department of Veterans Affairs when he was vice president and, this election cycle, donated $640,801 to Biden, compared to $139,373 to Trump.
In addition to its partnerships with HP and IBM, Parascript is also a ''gold'' application development partner of Microsoft and has a long-standing relationship with the tech giant. Parascript's previous iteration as a company, Paragraph International, developed the first handwriting-recognition technology employed by Microsoft in the 1990s. When Paragraph International transformed into Parascript the partnership continued through application development, with Microsoft fully integrating Parascript's image-recognition technology into its SharePoint software in 2014.
Notably, the two former Parascript software leads for developing USPS mail sorting now hold prominent positions at Microsoft. The development lead for Parascript's automated address-reading software, Mikhail Parakhin, is now Microsoft's corporate vice president of technology. Max Lepikhin, who worked directly under Parakhin in overseeing the development of Parascript's mail-sorting''related software, currently works at Microsoft as a principal software engineer.
Stepan Pachikov, Parascript's founder, with Bill Gates in 1990Microsoft executives have shown obvious support for Biden during this election cycle, with nearly $2 million donated to him in his bid to oust Trump. In addition, the wife of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer donated the maximum amount for an individual to the Biden campaign, while Microsoft's current president, Brad Smith, hosted fundraisers for Biden. Microsoft chief technology officer, Kevin Scott, also donated over $50,000 to support Biden's election efforts, and Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn founder who sits on Microsoft's board, was one of Biden's largest donors in this campaign cycle, funneling over half a million to Biden, the DNC, and related PACs. Microsoft affiliates have donated to the RNC during this election cycle, but those donations are dwarfed by contributions to the DNC and Biden.
Currently, US election infrastructure is overseen by the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), headed by Chris Krebs, who was a top Microsoft executive before taking on his current role. Under Krebs's leadership, CISA's 2020 election operations center includes representatives from major Silicon Valley companies, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as unspecified ''election technology'' companies. The center also works with the Center for Internet Security, which is funded by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar's Democracy Fund and has several members of the Obama administration's cybersecurity team and/or National Security Council on its board. Microsoft directly partnered with the Center for Internet Security's efforts related to the 2020 election this past June and IBM is also partnered with the center.
Krebs, in his capacity as CISA director, has advocated for the implementation of Microsoft's controversial ElectionGuard software nationwide. ElectionGuard was co-developed by Microsoft and Galois, a cybersecurity contractor for the national security state whose only investors are the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research. Over the past two years, Microsoft has finalized agreements or is in the process of drafting agreements with the main voting-machine manufacturers in the United States. Microsoft has publicly stated on several occasions in just the past week that it expects ElectionGuard to be widely adopted nationwide for the 2024 presidential election and ostensibly all subsequent presidential elections. ElectionGuard recently received a glowing review from the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute.
Stepan Pachikov and the DNC's ''Russian Interference'' Double StandardGiven its partners, it should be unsurprising that Parascript's founder and many employees have close ties to prominent Silicon Valley billionaires and are known for their support of the Democratic Party and their rejection of President Trump.
Paragraph International, it should be noted, was founded by a team of immigrants from the Soviet Union led by Stepan Pachikov and funded by American venture capitalists. As Paragraph International, it made several big deals with Apple and Microsoft in the 1990s before becoming Parascript in 1996. Most of Parascript's top executives are Russian citizens who have been with the company for decades, starting when it was Paragraph International.
Pachikov, as mentioned, is better known as a co-founder of Evernote. Evernote's founding CEO and current chairman, Phil Libin, has developed close ties to Amazon's Jeff Bezos and LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman. Pachikov, like many in Silicon Valley, is an avid transhumanist who continues to promote the use and development of brain implants to ''improve memory'' and ''dreams of immortality by uploading all memories to artificial intelligence.'' In fact, Pachikov's original vision for Evernote was of a brain-machine interface that would allow a user to ''remember everything.'' In a piece for Evernote's blog written by Pamela Rosen, Pachikov denotes his belief that ''future technology [will exist] as a literal physical extension of the human brain, perhaps as an embedded chip,'' with Pachikov adding that ''we have no choice'' when it comes to merging the human body with machines. ''It's just another type of integration,'' he asserts.
In addition to his embrace of transhumanism, Pachikov is a long-time donor to Democratic Party candidates, having contributed to Obama in his presidential campaigns, Hillary Clinton in her unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign and previous senatorial campaigns, and to the Democratic Party in this election cycle. Pachikov's distaste for Donald Trump was the subject of his 2016 Bloomberg op-ed entitled ''Russian-Americans Don't All Back Trump.''
Given this background, one thing that is particularly odd about Parascript's role in the 2020 election is that there were no complaints from the Democratic National Committee or any prominent ''Russiagaters'' regarding a company that is founded and staffed largely by Russian citizens. Russians having such intimate involvement in the verification of mail-in ballots in a highly contested presidential election, especially when such technology has been accused of being biased against ethnic minorities and immigrants for whom English is a second language, is something one would think would evoke distress from those espousing concern about foreign interference in our electoral process.
The DNC and many prominent Democrats have put forward claims (discredited) of Russian election interference on behalf of Donald Trump (and against Hillary Clinton) during the 2016 election, with many warning in recent months that ''Russians'' would seek to meddle in the 2020 contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Indeed, highly contested parts of the country, including Clark County, Nevada, used Parascript's software and were subsequently accused of election fraud, something that would presumably spark the ire of Russiagaters everywhere. Yet, since proponents of Russiagate are by and large supporters of Biden and critical of Trump, it appears that prime opportunities to breathe new life into the discredited Russiagate narrative are readily cast aside when it benefits their preferred candidate.
Dominion Voting Under Scrutiny Again, This Time by Republicans, Investigations Going Forward | DJHJ Media
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 05:04
Dominion voting systems are coming under intense scrutiny this week with more exposure of irregularities in their processing of votes in the 2020 Presidential election, however, this is not the first time the company has been called into question. Even Democrats have gone on the record with their concerns for Election integrity starting with investigation Dominion voting.
Michigan and Georgia are currently the focus of what proponents of Dominion are calling simple ''glitches'', yet carried a powerful amount of votes to Joe Biden in ways that can not be explained Mathematically.
''What's troubling here is that the clerk blamed a ''glitch'' & Dominion blames the clerk. No one seems to know for sure. The great thing here is that the @GOP is investigating the other 47 counties!'' posted Levin McCullough, radio host of for KMC.
McCullough reports on the ''Michigan Glitch'':
The Epoch Times reported Monday,''Republicans in Michigan said they are expanding their investigation into Dominion Voting Systems after a county-level counting error switched Republican votes to Democrat last week, State's secretary of state, software firm dispute GOP's claims.''
''Our team is currently reaching out to county clerks across Michigan as well as going through election results in each of the counties which use this software to see how widespread this error may be,'' Tony Zammit, communications director for the Michigan Republican Party, told the Washington Examiner on Nov. 7.
Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox said in a news conference last week that 47 Michigan counties used software from Dominion in the same manner as Antrim County, where it was found that 6,000 votes were erroneously tabulated to Democratic nominee Joe Biden instead of President Donald Trump.
Michigan's secretary of state office didn't immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment regarding Cox's claims.
''In Antrim County, ballots were counted for Democrats that were meant for Republicans, causing a 6,000-vote swing against our candidates,'' Cox said. ''The county clerk came forward and said tabulating software glitched and caused a miscalculation of the votes.''
Interesting discussion on line about Dominion includes the following thread:
>Dominion also had a court case against them in Georgia wherein the presiding judge was very worried about the potential for damage>Glitch in Michigan swapped some 3k votes from Trump to Biden
'-- CulturalHusbandry (@APhilosophae) November 7, 2020>It also violated Benford's law with Hilary in 2016>And works in conjunction with the Clinton Foundation on Project DELIAN from the Democracy Project
'-- CulturalHusbandry (@APhilosophae) November 7, 2020Even Democrats are suspicious of election technology:
On Dec. 10 2019, Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren joined by other Democrats, released a press statement outlining her own concerns with election technology.
FROM THE PRESS RELEASE:
Three private equity-owned election technology vendors serve 90% of eligible voters but fail to sufficiently innovate, improve, and protect deteriorating voting systems; Election security experts have noted for years that our nation's voting systems and election infrastructure are under serious threatWashington, DC '' United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Representative Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), sent letters to three private equity firms '-- McCarthy Group, Staple Street Capital Group, and H.I.G. Capital '-- that reportedly own or have investments in election technology vendors responsible for developing, manufacturing, and maintaining the vast majority of voting machines and software in the United States. In their letters, the lawmakers raise concerns about vulnerabilities and a lack of transparency in the election technology industry and the poor condition of voting machines and other election technology equipment. They request information about the role private equity investment in these companies have played in creating and perpetuating these conditions.
Election security experts have noted for years that our nation's election systems and infrastructure are under serious threat, but voting machines reportedly continue to fail and breakdown across the country, as vendors fail to innovate, improve, and protect voting systems, putting U.S. elections at avoidable and increased risk.The three vendors '-- Election Systems & Software, Dominion Voting Systems, and Hart InterCivic '-- collectively distribute voting machines and software that facilitate voting for over 90% of all eligible voters in the United States. Private equity firms reportedly own or control each of these vendors, which ''have long skimped on security in favor of convenience,'' leaving voting systems across the country ''prone to security problems.''These vendors make little to no information publicly available on how much money they dedicate to research and development, or to maintenance of their voting systems and technology. They also share little or no information regarding annual profits or executive compensation for their owners.
''(W)e have concerns about the spread and effect of private equity investment in many sectors of the economy, including the election technology industry''an integral part of our nation's democratic process.'' wrote the lawmakers in their letters to the firms. ''These problems threaten the integrity of our elections and demonstrate the importance of election systems that are strong, durable, and not vulnerable to attack.''Senator Warren and Representative Pocan, along with a number of their Democratic colleagues, introduced the
Stop Wall Street Looting Act, a comprehensive bill to reform the private equity industry by holding private equity firms jointly liable for the debts of companies under their control and by requiring greater transparency in private equity firms' practices.In their latest letters, the lawmakers asked the private equity firms to provide the disclosure documents and information required under the Stop Wall Street Looting Act, and to explain their role in the election technology industry by December 20, 2019.''
Sidney Powell, lead counsel for General Mike Flynn, who has extensive knowledge of workings of DC and election technology, and she appeared on Maria Bartiromo on Sunday and said that the election appears to have large scale fraud:
Interestingly earlier in November, Powell was on The War Room Pandemic with Stephen Bannon and make a reference to when she is FBI director she would make cleaning up election integrity a priority Bannon caught it, and said:
When you are FBI Director will you clean this up?'' Bannon said. ''Yes, you have my word,'' Powell said. ''You have it there first,'' Bannon said.
WATCH:
Kari is an ex-Community Organizer who writes about Voter Engagement, Cultural Marxism and Campaigns. She has been a grassroots volunteer with the GOP, on and off for 18 years. She is a Homeschool Mom in North Carolina and loves Photojournalism and Citizen Journalism.
BLM
New York City Bodyguards Are in Demand as Election Stokes Safety Concern - WSJ
Mon, 09 Nov 2020 16:00
Pasquale Cosenzo, a 48-year-old computer programmer who works in Midtown Manhattan, has become more anxious about his safety on his daily commute. To help ease his concerns, he recently hired a personal security guard to escort him on the 15-minute walk between Penn Station and his office, or stand with him outside when he needs to hail a cab.
''It's been peace of mind, which is all we're asking for pretty much,'' said Mr. Cosenzo, who commutes from Lindenhurst on Long Island and splits the security with two of his co-workers.
Patrick McCall, who provides security for Mr. Cosenzo through his private investigation and security firm, McCall Risk Group, said his clients are typically operators of retail and office buildings, as well as some corporate executives and celebrities. As inquiries increased leading up to the election, Mr. McCall said, most were from individuals.
''We've gotten a significant amount of calls in the past week,'' he said. ''Seventy percent of those calls now are from regular, average citizens.''
Mr. Cosenzo said he pays about $50 an hour for the service and will generally give McCall Risk Group a half-hour's notice before he requires their discreet presence. With uncertainty surrounding the presidential election and elevated crime rates in the city, he said, he currently doesn't have any plans to stop using personal security.
''This is something that might have to factor into the cost of doing business,'' Mr. Cosenzo said. ''They're great guys. I hope we never have to use them again in a couple weeks.''
Mr. McCall said that as Democratic candidate Joe Biden took the lead in electoral votes, fears of turbulence are easing, though some clients have retained his company's services through the weekend or even into the following week.
According to the New York Police Department, which has been preparing for weeks to deal with the possibility of unrest during the election, at least 85 people have been arrested at demonstrations since Tuesday. NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, however, said that protests so far have been overwhelmingly peaceful.
During the summer there were large-scale protests against police brutality in the city, with violence and looting sometimes following the demonstrations. NYPD officers arrested hundreds of protesters, and hundreds of businesses were damaged and looted during the unrest.
David Yorio, co-owner of Citadel Security Agency, said his firm has fielded more requests from high-net-worth individuals and business travelers who believe their safety may be at risk.
''We've seen an uptick in calls from people saying, 'I'm flying to New York for a meeting, and I want to get picked up at the airport and escorted to the meeting and back,' '' Mr. Yorio said.
Others are seeking protection in the execution of their daily routines, he said.
''Some of it has been as simple as, 'I want someone to escort me to the grocery store and back,' '' Mr. Yorio said.
The city saw a surge in violent crime over the summer as it eased lockdown restrictions.
According to the NYPD, homicides in the city during the first 10 months of the year were up 30% compared with the same period in 2019. Shooting incidents in October more than doubled year over year, and burglaries increased 32%, according to the NYPD.
''I don't feel safe being in the city,'' said JoAnn Rivera, a licensed real-estate associate broker who lives in Staten Island and hires security whenever she goes into Midtown for work or leisure. ''We've paid quite a penny, but it's worth it because security means a lot.''
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has acknowledged that rising crime rates pose a challenge in the city, but pointed to progress such as a large number of gun arrests and an overall year-over-year decline in homicides in October.
Transit officials in New York have said the subway is safe despite major crimes not falling in proportion to ridership declines during the pandemic and last month called on the NYPD to deploy more officers throughout the system.
Christopher Herrmann, an assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said that while crime rates have risen significantly, instances of random assault are still rare. Other areas of concern, such as homicides or homelessness or protest violence, tend to be confined to specific locations around the city, he added.
''The numbers are going up, obviously, so people have that on their mind,'' Mr. Herrmann said, adding that hiring personal security was an unconventional solution. ''To me, it just doesn't make sense. I guess if you have money to spend and it makes you feel better, then do it to it.''
Kristian Murphy, a music executive who lives in Miami, said he often hires security when he visits New York City, both for the artists that he works with and for himself.
''With everything else going on, unfortunately, with all the looting, it's not safe anymore,'' Mr. Murphy said. ''I want to know that if I'm coming to New York, I'm going to be able to get to where I need to be.''
Mr. Murphy, 36, said he plans to use McCall Risk Group when he visits the city later this month to get around.
''It's scary these days,'' said Mr. Murphy, who grew up in the New York City area. ''I've seen where it's come and where it's gone, and it's not fun anymore.''
Write to Stephanie Yang at stephanie.yang@wsj.com and Ben Chapman at Ben.Chapman@wsj.com
Prof's 'interspecies intersectionality' theory: 'Bad' dogs face marginalization akin to racism | The College Fix
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 05:19
A professor of gender, women, and sexuality studies at Kansas State University recently offered an '... interesting hypothesis regarding the marginalization of various dog breeds, especially the pit bull.
Harlan Weaver, whose research interests include ''Queer Intimacies in Multi-Species Ethnography,'' ''Queer and Transgender Theories of Embodiment'' and ''Race, Gender, Class, and Sexuality in Human/Animal Relationships,'' last Thursday (via Zoom) discussed issues from his new book ''Bad Dog.''
According to The Lafayette, ''Bad Dog'' delves into the ''intersection between animal politics and social facets such as gender, sexuality and race,'' which Weaver dubs ''interspecies intersectionality.''
Weaver said he uses this new intersectionality to ''disrupt what is a very common logic in animal advocacy, in which racism is simultaneously engaged and erased through appropriative and substitutive moves.''
The prof alleges the marginalization of minority communities '-- ''tacit heteronormative whiteness'' '-- presents a threat to dogs: ''Society is 'presenting injustices faced by pit bulls as like racism by appropriating the rhetoric and often the effects or emotions associated with race related social justice issues.'''
From the story:
To communicate the connections between the exclusion of minority communities as proper caretakers, Weaver established that ''humans and dogs experience marginalization and structural harms together. This is not a zero sum thing.''
He said that the reasons for putting ''bad dogs'' in shelters stem from a lack of affordable housing, pervasive racism and misogyny, a struggle to sustain a living wage and myriad other injustices.
Efforts to prevent animals from being placed in shelters, he mentioned, take many forms. Training interventions, free and low cost veterinary care and work to make animal shelters a place for canine education being among the many.
What Weaver said he believed was crucial, however, is the least discussed: the abolition of shelter policing.
''We need to take the police out of this role, and instantiate changes beneficial to marginalized humans and animals together,'' Weaver said.
Weaver concluded his talk by defining ''multi-species justice'': one which ''challenges anthropocentrism [and] that disrupts the pitting of rational man against racial animal otherness.''
If you happen to find Professor Weaver's vocabulary a bit esoteric, perhaps some of his publications can give you an assist:
'-- ''Monster Trans: Diffracting Affect, Reading Rage'''-- ''Pit Bull Promises: Inhuman Intimacies and Queer Kinships in an Animal Shelter'''-- ''The Tracks of my Tears: Trans* Affects, Resonance, and Pit Bulls and Parolees'''-- ''Becoming in Kind: Race, Gender, and Nation in Cultures of Dog Fighting and Dog Rescue''
Read the article.
MORE: Howard U. students complain about people walking dogs on campus
MORE: Hoax paper claims dog parks represent ''oppression,'' rape culture
IMAGE: alberto clemares exposito / Shutterstock.com
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Ubisoft removing UK journalist from Watch Dogs over "controversial remarks" | GamesIndustry.biz
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:36
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Ubisoft
Ubisoft has revealed it will remove lines recorded by a UK journalist for Watch Dogs Legion after learning of the controversy surrounding her.
Helen Lewis, a staff writer for The Atlantic, plays a character simply named 'Helen' on two episodes of the game's in-world podcast. She takes part in scripted discussions on facism in the context of the Watch Dogs universe.
However, Kotaku reports the publisher will be removing these episodes from the game after it was "made aware of controversial remarks" in Lewis' past articles.
While Ubisoft did not specify which remarks prompted the decision, it's believed to be related to ongoing criticism against Lewis over statements and remarks that have been regarded as transphobic.
For example, one op-ed she wrote for The Times in 2017 stated "A man can't just say he has turned into a woman" while writing about new legislation proposed to simplify transitioning in the UK.
Lewis has previously claimed to support trans rights and criticised the use of the term TERF -- trans-exclusionary radical feminist. GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to Lewis for comment.
A Ubisoft spokesperson told Kotaku: "Neither Ubisoft nor the game reflect this journalist's viewpoints."
Ubisoft will replace the two episodes featuring Lewis in a future update for Watch Dogs Legion and has promised to "reinforce our background checks for partners in the future."
The spokesperson also offered more detail on the process of bringing Lewis and other speakers and actors on board.
"The development team worked with an external producer to select speaker profiles for these podcasts and were not aware of the controversy at the time of booking or recording. While the in-game podcasters are following a pre-approved script and are not speaking in their own name or with their own opinions, we understand this collaboration itself may be seen as offensive and we deeply regret any hurt this has caused."
Ubisoft is already under scrutiny following multiple allegations of abuse, harassment and misconduct against employees across all levels earlier this year.
'HELP US': Minneapolis Residents Turn to 'Outside Police' Amid Violent Crime Surge, Cop Shortage | Sean Hannity
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 23:22
BUSTED! Minneapolis Council Members Who Want to 'Defund Police' Spending $4K per Day on Private Securityposted by Hannity Staff - 7.07.20
At least three members of the Minneapolis City Council who want to ''defund the police'' are spending more than $4500 per day on ''private security'' in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd.
''The City of Minneapolis is spending $4,500 a day for private security for three council members who have received threats following the police killing of George Floyd,'' reports Fox Minneapolis. ''A city spokesperson said the private security details have cost taxpayers $63,000 over the past three weeks.''
''Councilmember Andrea Jenkins said she has been asking for security since she was sworn in. She said current threats have come in the form of emails, letters, and posts to social media,'' adds the website.
''My concern is the large number of white nationalist(s) in our city and other threatening communications I've been receiving,'' wrote Jenkins in an email.
Read the full report here.
CITIES SPIRAL: Crime Surges in LA, NYC, Minneapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, MOREposted by Hannity Staff - 6.11.20
Cities are facing a growing crime crisis in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd; with certain violent felonies spiking in Los Angeles, New York City, Minneapolis, Chicago, St. Louis and more.
''Cities including Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, as well as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, have seen an uptick in burglaries, shootings and even, in some cases, murders,'' reports Fox News. ''Floyd, a black man, died after he was pinned to the pavement on May 25 by a white Minneapolis police officer who put his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes, even as Floyd said he could not breathe.''
Homicides in Los Angeles, California jumped 250% last week compared to the same period last year; raising new questions over local leaders' calls to slash $150 million from the police department's operating budget.
''The week of 5/31 to 6/6, homicides went up 250% and victims shot went up 56% compared to the previous week. The past 24 hrs has seen 4 shootings, one of those resulting in a homicide. Detectives are following leads to ID & arrest the suspects'--but we're also asking for your help,'' posted the LAPD on social media.
The week of 5/31 to 6/6, homicides went up 250% and victims shot went up 56% compared to the previous week.
The past 24 hrs has seen 4 shootings, one of those resulting in a homicide. Detectives are following leads to ID & arrest the suspects'--but we're also asking for your help pic.twitter.com/UXwZD7pPze
'-- LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) June 9, 2020
The LAPD is investigating a California attorney who urged people to ''kill police officers'' on social media then offered to ''represent'' them free of charge if caught.
''A California criminal defense attorney is being investigated by the LAPD for allegedly advocating that black people kill police officers and offering free representation to anyone willing to do so,'' reports the Washington Examiner.
BREAKING: A California criminal defense attorney is being investigated by the LAPD for allegedly advocating that black people kill police officers and offering free representation to anyone willing to do so '-- https://t.co/NZmHnNzLqb '-- from @Haley_Victory at @dcexaminer
'-- Daniel Chaitin (@danielchaitin7) June 9, 2020
''It wouldn't be the first time I've defended 'terrorists.' '... sign me up pro bono for somebody's granddad putting a couple hollow points right between the eyes of these PTSD-addled rednecks. I'd take one or two pro bono,'' said a screenshot according to Fox Los Angeles.
Read the full report at Fox News.
The fast-falling New York Times has gone mad
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 00:06
We are in a whipsaw-fast news cycle, events breaking and churning faster than ever '-- but over at the New York Times, self-regarding reporters, columnists and editors have spent this most incredible year fighting among themselves over the New York Times.
A jaw-dropping piece in New York Magazine reveals just how far and fast the paper has fallen, executive editor Dean Baquet somehow allowing his millennial social justice warriors to dictate not just how stories are covered but who writes them, edits them, or whether they should run at all.
Make no mistake: The Times is engaging in self-censorship, which extends to outright censorship. The paper has been steadily morphing from a news organization into a far-left propaganda sheet that can please no one but the truest believers. Think about ''All the President's Men'' or ''Spotlight,'' cinematic depictions of buzzy newsrooms, journalists hot to expose corruption at the highest levels, grizzled editors interested in only one thing: Does the story stand up? Is it bulletproof?
Over at the Times, the No. 1 concern is hurt feelings. No. 2 is what Twitter thinks.
As Bari Weiss wrote in her open resignation letter, the Times, post-Trump, has not recalibrated but hardened and calcified.
''The lessons that ought to have followed the election '-- lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society '-- have not been learned,'' Weiss wrote. ''Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor . . . Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions.''
This is a perfect distillation of what's gone so grievously wrong at the Times.
''Should JB be replaced?'' This debate began on an internal Slack channel this summer, after editorial page editor James Bennet ran a column by Sen. Tom Cotton.
This was right after George Floyd was killed, the nation already traumatized by a global pandemic and a cratering economy. Cotton called for a military response to nationwide rioting and looting.
Controversial? Depends on your politics, but that's what op-eds are for '-- exposure to all kinds of arguments and ideas, especially ones debated on Capitol Hill.
Unless, that is, you work at the Times, where publishing an op-ed by a Taliban leader is A-OK, but one by a sitting Republican senator should be thrown in the trash.
Cotton's column ran on June 3, 2020. Two days later, the Times added a lengthy, insufferable, self-righteous preamble, claiming that negative reader response led to the new conclusion that the column should never have been published.
Swap out ''reader response'' for ''internal staff upset'' and you have something closer to the truth.
And yes, editorial page editor James Bennett '-- ''JB'' '-- resigned soon after, his superiors crouching in fear of their woke staff.
It's all so cowardly, childish and ahistorical (see The 1619 Project). The Times couldn't believe any right-thinking person would vote for Donald Trump in 2016 and has spent the past four years not reporting and fostering healthy debate but remonstrating what they see as a dumb, gullible, racist body politic in how to think correctly.
That always goes over well.
To quote Andrew Sullivan '-- who resigned from New York Magazine in July over this very same institutional problem '-- ''We all live on campus now.''
His colleagues and bosses, Sullivan wrote, ''seem to believe, and this is increasingly the orthodoxy in mainstream media, that any writer not actively committed to critical theory in questions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is actively, physically harming co-workers merely by existing in the same virtual space . . . I miss a readership that truly was eclectic '-- left, liberal, centrist, right, reactionary '-- and that loved to be challenged by me and by each other.''
As this razor-thin election proves, the country is still deeply divided. It hardly helps that Big Tech is further curating news, manipulating and siloing us into immovable positions and opinions. We are ever certain of our own moral and intellectual superiority, unable to engage with '-- let alone countenance '-- the other side, no matter the issue. We are in dire need of a course correction. Who among us wants to be pandered to like this, indoctrinated and patronized?
The New York Times, as they have made quite clear, believes that Rome is burning. If so, they are Nero.
NYTimes noodle story
Reporters found that suddenly it was the Times' programmers and developers, rather than their editors, who were critiquing their work. During the town hall about the Cotton op-ed, one data engineer said on Slack, "How many such process failures would be tolerated in tech?"
Many of the techsurrectionists had come from Facebook or Uber or Amazon to join the Times out of a sense of mission, leaving the ethical quandaries of the tech industry for what they thought were more virtuous pastures. "I joined the company for one reason, and it's because I feel a responsibility to be a part of a mission that I believe in," a product manager who previously worked at Apple wrote in #newsroom-feedback after the Cotton op-ed. "This feels like the rug's been pulled out from under us — not just because it feels like that
Let Us Out!
Producer in Candanavian Hellscape
ITM Adam and John and do I have a story for you.
I just recently lost my job in Northern Alberta and was forced to drive home to Nova Scotia. Pre leaving I contacted the RCMP here in Canada to ask if I would experience any impedance due to COVID restrictions. I was informed that it is my charter right to move anywhere in Canada as a citizen and would be fine. I was until I hit the atlantic provinces. I moved freely through some of the "red zones" of Canada but when I came to the New Brunswick border I was met with a checkpoint controlled by officers wearing vests that said "Conservation" on them. The guy asked me for my travel ID and I was thoroughly confused. After we talked about how I contacted the RCMP he gave me a card to fill out and said that as a resident of Nova Scotia coming from Alberta I would not be permitted to stop in N.B. .... I had been on the road for 12 hours at this point. I informed him that I had been driving a long time and he stated I could drive through or pull over and sleep at the checkpoint. I was pretty pissed and said drive through. 16 hours on the road, a very dangerous last 2, I come to a similar checkpoint again at the N.S. provincial border. I am surprised I was not arrested at this one. The officer wearing the same uniform informed me that I must fill out a second online form providing all of my information including where I would be for the next 14 days and that I agree to random checks to ensure I was there. The website also suggested I download the COVID app to which I said fucking never. I informed this officer the same information provided to me by the RCMP and he said "They don't know what they are talking about". This is the best part, I must do daily email check ins or I will be subject to a 1000 dollar fine. I am isolated in an area with no signal so the only way to do these is to drive further into town which also risks the fine. I would love for them to fine me for missing one or driving into town to do it because I would spend every penny I have to fight it out in court and make the province pay for infringing on my charter rights. Please see attached the email sent to me by the province.
Lastly, when the guy asked for my resident ID number from the email I said "do I get this tattooed on my wrist" he did not appreciate the statement. That is the part I am surprised they did not arrest me for as we now live in a police state here in Nova Scotia. The weirdest part is that the most condensed populations of Canada are free for anyone to go to. I posted this information on facebag and expressed my concern with the Gestapo-like nature of the checkpoints to be met with nothing but sheep saying to shut up slave and do it because if not I am jeopardizing everyone's health. I explained that I took no issue with isolating or wearing a mask wearing to try and extend an olive branch and that this road is a dangerous one to allow to be built. Unilateral power given is hard to get back and power over free movement and to know locations is dangerous to be told that "give people the choice to do the right thing on their own and they will do the wrong thing." That might be the scariest sentiment I ever read from someone I know.
Thank you for your courage. I need the show more than ever now.
Best,
AJ
Facebook had a rumor of a Truckers strike weekend after Thanksgiving
NYC's public school system is barely even pretending to teach
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:31
November 9, 2020 | 6:59pm | Updated November 10, 2020 | 8:44am
Enlarge Image Does anyone in government care if children are truly benefiting from remote-learning? Christopher Sadowski
Nearly two months into the school year, city teachers are no longer pretending kids will learn much this year '-- with some even doing other things besides teaching during online classes.
As The Post's Susan Edelman reports, one student at Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn says his teacher, Nyeesha Archer, gave her algebra lesson from a car. ''How much of a lesson could it be?'' he wondered. A month ago, another ''taught'' from a hammock, while interacting with his kids at the same time.
The teacher ''probably figured half the class was sleeping anyway. That's the thing about online school. Half the kids in the class are playing video games or asleep,'' the high schooler said.
And why not? Under the Department of Education's new ''grading'' system, no one can fail, no matter how little effort they make, as Karol Markowicz noted in Monday's Post. Elementary school kids will get an ''N'' (needs improvement) and middle and high school kids an ''NX'' (course in progress) instead of a failing grade.
That makes it harder to evaluate teachers as well as kids. And while DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson says teachers who don't do their jobs are ''subject to discipline,'' the consequences all too often range from slaps on the wrist to nothing at all.
Meanwhile, city and state ''educrats'' have been moving at light speed to scrap other tools for seeing how much education is happening: They scrapped the January Regents exam, for instance. And, as The Post's Selim Algar reports, the DOE is directing schools to consider factors besides grades (''equity,'' ''motivation'') to calculate class rank.
In short, you'll be told the school year's a success even if teachers are checked out '-- and kids routinely absent.
As Edelman reported last month, DOE officials briefly posted attendance data, then quickly yanked it, so who knows how many kids are in class? (The data put online-learning attendance at at least one school at as low as 18 percent.)
The pandemic is exposing the true priorities of the adults who control the public school system '-- and educating children is at the very bottom of the list.
Experts warn dogs should be kept two metres away from each other and cats indoors to protect owners | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:16
Why your PETS should be socially distancing: Experts warn dogs should be kept two metres away from other canines and cats kept indoors to protect ownersSwiss experts said pets should keep away from each other to limit virus spreadNew research has found that pets like cats and hamsters can catch coronavirus COVID-19 is believed to have first started in animals before infecting humansThere are no documented cases of people catching the virus from their petsResearch continues into how the virus moves between animals and humansBy Charlotte Mitchell For Mailonline
Published: 04:03 EST, 11 November 2020 | Updated: 04:42 EST, 11 November 2020
Health experts in Switzerland have said pets should practise social distancing just like humans to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Recommendations from Switzerland and elsewhere include keeping dogs two metres (6.5 feet) away from each other and ensuring cats stay indoors.
New research has found that domesticated animals including cats and hamsters can contract the virus, as can other creatures like ferrets and mink.
The Swiss animal clinic AniCura told local media that international experts supported keeping pets away from each other to minimise risks, The Local reported.
Experts said dogs should be kept on a leash and at least two metres (6.5 feet) away from other canines to avoid risking the spread of coronavirus [File photo]
Cats should be kept indoors, according to America's Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Research has found cats can contract the virus [File photo]
'The [American] Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise pet owners to apply social distancing rules to their pets,' said Johannes Kaufmann, a veterinarian from the clinic.
He added that there was a risk the virus could live for a long time on pet's fur on in their 'nasal secretions.'
The CDC recommends people 'treat pets like other family members' until more is known about the effects of coronavirus on animals.
It says cats should be kept inside while dogs should stay at least two metres (6.5 feet) away from other dogs.
Some diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans, including the coronavirus, which is thought to have 'jumped' from animals to humans through an infected animal - possibly a pangolin.
Pangolin are one of the creatures suspected of first transmitting coronavirus to humans. The endangered animals are trafficked illegally in many countries, particularly in Asia [File photo]
Both SARS and MERS have are also thought to have started in animals. Their origins have been linked to civet cats and camels respectively.
Volker Thiel, a virologist from the University of Bern in Switzerland agrees with AniCura's recommendations, which include keeping pets on a short leash.
'In principle, social distancing is just as useful for pets as it is for humans, to ensure that pets cannot transmit the virus to humans or other pets,' he said.
There is no documented evidence of humans catching coronavirus from their pets, however a number of animals including big cats in zoos and mink have tested positive for the virus.
Last week, Denmark began culling its mink population - some 17million animals - after numerous outbreaks of coronavirus were confirmed among mink in fur farms.
Swiss newspaper 20 Minutes reported that the country's Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) is in the process of carrying out research into animal infection risks to humans.
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Should working from home be taxed? - MarketWatch
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:19
The Tell Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 11:57 a.m. ET Are people who work from home shirking their responsibilities to infrastructure that was already built? An office sits empty with employees working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Getty Images Should remote workers be taxed?
Those who work from home are getting a free ride, argues a new analysis from Deutsche Bank, and the economic ills that have been exposed by the sudden migration of roughly half the workforce to their living rooms rather than offices should be partially offset by a tax.
''The sudden shift to WFH means that, for the first time inhistory, a big chunk of people have disconnected themselves from theface-to-face world yet are still leading a full economic life,'' wrotestrategist Luke Templeman. ''That means remote workers are contributing less tothe infrastructure of the economy whilst still receiving its benefits.''
We're all familiar with the ''infrastructure'' Templeman refers to. Huge swathes of downtown office real estate sit empty, along with their computer networks and utility hook-ups. Transportation systems designed with double the farebox revenue in mind are in serious financial distress.
On the other hand, the benefits to those workers able to do their jobs from home are quite large, Templeman argues.
''WFH offers direct financial savings on expenses such as travel, lunch, clothes, and cleaning'', he said. ''Add to these the indirect savings via forgone socializing and other expenses that would have been incurred had a worker been in the office. Then there are the intangible benefits of working from home, such as greater job security, convenience, and flexibility. There is also the benefit of additional safety.''
See: The 'work-from-home' ETF is here. Get ready for some surprises.
While some people may bemoan ''forgone socializing,'' rather than counting its loss as a plus, there are a few work-from-home downsides that Templeman does acknowledge, including caring for family. Still, he notes, most workers must see the costs and benefits as he does, because most express a desire to continue working fro home at least part of the time, even when it's no longer necessary.
Proportion of workers newly working from home who will continue to do so after the pandemic is over One day per week 16% Two days per week 33% Three days per week 19% Four days per week 4% Five days per week 4% Source: Deutsche Bank Research How would such a tax work?
Templeman envisions it being paid by employers who choose to economize by asking their workers to stay home, rather than pay for a seat at an office, and by employees who are offered such a seat but opt to stay home instead. It would not apply to ''the self-employed and those on low incomes,'' he adds, and would not apply when people are asked to stay home for a public health emergency or other reason, like in 2020.
As for the amount, Templeman writes, ''If we assume theaverage salary of a person who chooses to work from home in the US is $55,000,a tax of five per cent works out to just over $10 per working day. That isroughly the amount an office worker might spend on commuting, lunch, andlaundry etc. A tax at this rate, then, will leave them no worse off than ifthey had chosen to go into the office.''
According to Templeman's calculations, it would raise $48billion per year. He proposes it be used for a very specific purpose '' to givegrants of $1,500 to the 29 million workers who cannot do their jobs from homeand who make less than $30,000 a year: ''Many of these people are those whoassumed the health risks of working during the pandemic and are far more'essential' than their wage level suggests.''
That's a fair point, although it is unclear how much good a$1,500 one-time grant would do for such workers. And even this tax is likely todraw criticism, he acknowledges.
''Some will argue against the tax. They will say that engagement with the economy is a personal choice and they should not be penalized for making that decision,'' Templeman wrote. But he remains convinced change must come. ''As our current society moves towards a state of 'human disconnection', our tax system must move with it.''
See: These small-business owners are still making it work, coronavirus and all
GP to close practice after threat of suspension over anti-mask views
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 16:11
A Dublin GP says he has decided to close his practice after being threatened with suspension by the Medical Council over his anti-lockdown and anti-mask views on Covid-19.
Dr Marcus de Brun said he decided to end his HSE contract and to step back from public speaking ''under duress'', in order to avoid being struck off.
Dr de Brun was a member of the Medical Council until last April, when he resigned over what he felt were failures to protect nursing home residents earlier in the pandemic.
He is the third doctor to come under pressure after expressing anti-lockdown views. Dr Martin Feeley resigned as clinical director of Dublin Midlands Hospital Group last month after advocating the shielding of vulnerable groups and the lifting of general restrictions. Limerick GP Pat Morrissey was this week removed as chairman of ShannonDoc after criticising the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) and saying he treats patients with hydroxychloroquine against official guidelines.
Last week, Medical Council president Dr Rita Doyle wrote to Dr de Brun on foot of complaints received from other doctors after he spoke at an anti-mask rally in August.
Dr Doyle said the council was ''concerned about your attendance at public events where social distancing is not observed and your public statements, whether via social media or otherwise, which would tend to undermine the regulations and guidelines published by the State in respect of the wearing of face coverings''.
She stressed that ''doctors must continue to advocate for their patients by actively promoting the public health guidance, especially the three core actions of hand washing, social distancing and the wearing of face coverings''.
They have ''a duty to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations relating to their practice'', she added.
She also took issue with guidance on Dr de Brun's website advising vulnerable patients and those over 65 to wear masks. All patients are required to wear masks, according to HSE guidelines, she pointed out.
She said the council was ''very concerned that you might continue to engage in events and public statements'' which would undermine the State's public health guidelines and was considering what further steps it may take, ''to include considering its powers under Section 60 Medical Practitioners Act 2007''.
Section 60 provides for the suspension of a doctor ''to protect the public'' by way of an application to the High Court.
Remedial actionDr de Brun said he was ''shocked'' and ''amazed'' to learn that the council considered him a danger to public health, but felt forced to take remedial action. ''If I'm struck off, I won't be able to practise '' period.''
As well as resigning his HSE list of patients, he has shut down his Twitter account.
He said it seemed to be ''okay'' for the Government or Tnaiste Leo Varadkar not to follow the advice of the Nphet but this was not the case for doctors. ''I've a family, I believe Covid-19 is real and I've worked in nursing homes and seen my patients die, but I don't think they're going about it in the right way,'' said Dr de Brun, adding that he believed the Swedish approach (of lighter touch regulation combined with allowing immunity build in the population) ''has some merit''.
He said he planned to continue working in out-of-hours and locum positions but his income would suffer a ''serious blow''.
Could Slovakia's mass testing change Europe's COVID-19 strategy? - CGTN
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 17:52
02:44
It is a cold and foggy Saturday morning in Bratislava. For the second weekend in a row, people living in the Slovakian capital are queuing at a COVID-19 test facility next to the City Zoo.
Last weekend 3.6 million of the country's 5.4 million population were tested for COVID-19, with about one percent returning positive results.
This weekend roughly half of the country has been tested again in the regions with the highest number of infections, with just 0.63 percent returning positive results. Most of these areas were in the northern part of Slovakia, close to the borders with Poland and Czechia.
The government has adopted a strategy of repetitive testing in those areas in order to identify more infections as the virus spreads and also to reduce the risk of incorrect results from antigen tests, that could result in spread from those getting false negatives.
CLICK: WHY THE ALPS FACE AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE
Rapid antigen tests made in South Korea are being used for the mass testing and give results within half an hour. PCR tests are more accurate but costlier and take longer to process in labs.
While most European countries are using contact tracing and lockdowns to fight the pandemic pandemic, several cities, such as Liverpool, are now looking to change strategy and test their entire population.
Slovakia is the largest country so far to carry out a nationwide testing program. Those who test positive are required to isolate, while those who are negative can carry on with normal life, with shops, bars and restaurants all remaining open.
But opinion is split on the government's approach. "I think many people aren't happy about it," said a young man outside Bratislava's train station. "But they have to be tested because they want to go out and you cannot go out without a negative test."
Another Bratislavan resident added: "We have to find those who are really infected."
Slovakia is attempting to test its entire population for COVID-19 and avoid the stringent lockdowns being used by other European countries. /CGTN
Slovakia is attempting to test its entire population for COVID-19 and avoid the stringent lockdowns being used by other European countries. /CGTN
Slovakia's testing program has drawn interest from across Europe. A UK government team visited the country last weekend to witness the testing. Germany's Angela Merkel is also keen to draw lessons from this nationwide experiment.
But unlike other countries that have adopted a similar approach, such as New Zealand, Slovakia's border crossings are currently still open. The Slovakian government, fearing that new cases will be re-imported, wants to reintroduce border controls by November 15.
But Slovakia's defense minister Jaroslav Nad said the country has already put in some measures to limit the risk of reinfection from travelers or citizens returning to the country from abroad.
"If you want to come to Slovakia then you need to have a certificate of negative testing," he said.
Rapid antigen tests made in South Korea are being used for the mass testing programme and give results within half an hour but there are concerns that the tests aren't accurate enough. /CGTN
Rapid antigen tests made in South Korea are being used for the mass testing programme and give results within half an hour but there are concerns that the tests aren't accurate enough. /CGTN
Another stumbling block is political opposition from the country's Social Democratic Party, with deputy chairman Erik Kalinak claiming that checking whether or not a person has a negative test certificate is a violation of personal data protection.
"The paradox is that you don't have to prove yourself to a policeman, employer or saleswoman in a store at all," he argued. "The Office for Personal Data Protection said this quite clearly."
The opposition as well as the medical chamber of Slovakia call the mass testing a waste of resources and criticize the antigen tests being used as not very reliable.
Nevertheless, as contact tracing continues to struggle in European countries where infections are soaring at a rapid rate, mass testing could be a valid alternative.
Video editor: Nuri Moseinco
Slovakia testing
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 17:53
@ jlarky @ adam yes and citizens who refuse the "voluntary!" testing are not allowed to workplace since last Monday. Only people with blue certificate from voluntary testing are allowed to enter. It is complete insanity there. govt intends to extend the emergency (whatever they have) so citizens may not ever get to work. Lawsuits to # ICC are being filed, justice system was completely disabled in # Slovakia . tests are not even certified in # EU nor K, It's # NurembergCode violation and # Genocide
Ticketmaster Reportedly Planning Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing Policy For Concert Attendance
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 22:39
Earlier this week reports emerged detailing Pfizer and BioNTech's ongoing efforts to create a legitimate COVID-19 vaccine in record time, and the two drug developers have even seen 90% effectiveness in some cases following initial testing on humans.
While it's not yet clear when the vaccine would be ready to be used on the global population en masse '' or how various governments will even be able to distribute the vaccine to every man, woman, and child '' leading concert promoters in the live events industry are preparing realistic policies for how they can responsibly begin to welcome fans back inside venues without fear of viral spread or legal consequences.
A report shared by Billboard on Wednesday details that Ticketmaster (the ticketing arm of concert production giant Live Nation) is working to develop multi-step guidelines for how fans can purchase tickets when concerts and festivals return, possibly as soon as summer and fall 2021.
The current plan '' which the report details is still in a development phase and not yet an official company policy '' would be comprised of three stages. First, any fan who purchases a ticket to an event would have to prove they have received the COVID-19 vaccine or show a negative test. Depending on the COVID-19 health regulations and testing capabilities in their specific region or state, fans would likely be able to get tested the day prior, or even the day of the event at a sanctioned lab or health clinic.
Related: Live Nation, Justice Department Extend And Amend 2010 Ticketmaster Agreement Amid Investigation
After undergoing a test, the ticket holder would have to permit the lab/health clinic to send the results to a third party health pass company (such as CLEAR Health Pass or IBM's Digital Health Pass). The third-party health company would have to verify that the subject has tested negative (or can prove they have been vaccinated) to Ticketmaster, which would then issue the ticket holder with the proper credentials needed to access the event, likely via the Ticketmaster app.
Ticketmaster is also reportedly planning its new ''SmartEvent'' solutions program, which would help both promoters and fans manage post-COVID era social distancing policies, in addition to new guidelines on delayed entry, and contact tracing opportunities should a breakout occur. The safety parameters for concert venues will be mutually agreed upon by state/regional health officials and event promoters like Live Nation.
The report details that the goal of the plan would force fans to take proactive measures in making sure they've been vaccinated or have already tested negative prior to showing up at the venue, where rapid testing policies may also be in place by late next year, but it's no guarantee. Skeptics should note that Ticketmaster would not receive anyone's personal health records, only the information pertaining to his/her COVID-19 vaccination or positive/negative testing status.
''We're already seeing many third-party health care providers prepare to handle the vetting '-- whether that is getting a vaccine, taking a test, or other methods of review and approval '' which could then be linked via a digital ticket so everyone entering the event is verified,'' Ticketmaster president Mark Yovich told Billboard. ''Ticketmaster's goal is to provide enough flexibility and options that venues and fans have multiple paths to return to events, and is working to create integrations to our API and leading digital ticketing technology as we will look to tap into the top solutions based on what's green-lit by officials and desired by clients.''
Live Nation and Ticketmaster have drawn criticism on their ticket refund policies following the immediate mass cancellation of concert tours and festivals back in March. Live Nation, a publicly-traded company, saw its stock drop 50% in March, but the price has since rebounded to where it was at the start of 2020, and even jumped from $55 per share to $69 within the last week following news of vaccine progress.
Click here to learn more about Ticketmaster's SmartEvent system program.
[H/T Billboard]
Sweden Imposes Partial Lockdown For First Time To Curb Coronavirus Spread | The Daily Caller
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:15
After not employing many of the coronavirus restrictions seen around the world, Sweden is imposing a partial lockdown on bars and restaurants by banning businesses from serving alcohol after 10 p.m., Bloomberg reported.
The latest measure is effective Nov. 20 and will require all businesses with a license to serve alcohol to close by 10:30 p.m. The guidelines come amid a spike of ICU patients being treated for coronavirus in the past 10 days, according to Bloomberg .
''We are facing a situation that could turn black as night,'' Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said at a press conference in Stockholm, according to Bloomberg. ''We risk ending up in the situation we had last spring.'' (RELATED: Here's Where Sweden Stands After Refusing To Require Strict Coronavirus Lockdowns)
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven gives a press conference on the new restrictions to curb the spread of the corona (Covid-19) pandemic, in Stockholm on November 11, 2020. (Photo by HENRIK MONTGOMERY/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)
Sweden largely rejected the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recommendations in early April, which included face mask use by the general public and social distancing. Sweden's public health authorities decried the guidelines in an email and chose their own path, according to Science Mag.
Sweden refused to close daycares and grade schools, and in May had a concert gathering of over 30,000 people, according to Science Mag. The vast majority of the country's guidelines have been described as voluntary, McGill's Office for Science and Society reported.
In the last 7 days, Sweden has had 23,735 new confirmed cases out of 162,240 total confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization .
Authorities of 13 of Sweden's 21 regions have issued recommendations that include urging citizens to avoid physical contact with people they don't live with, according to Bloomberg. But the directions appeared to not have affected the spread of the virus, as the number of cases reached a record in the past week.
The new guidelines and adherence to them will determine whether Swedes can ''celebrate Christmas as normal,'' the prime minister said, Bloomberg reported.
People pass a Christmas decorated shopping window in central Stockholm on November 10, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Fredrik SANDBERG / TT News Agency / AFP) / Sweden OUT (Photo by FREDRIK SANDBERG/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)
The restrictions in Sweden follow those of other European countries combating a surge in coronavirus cases. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the United Kingdom would be entering a full month of lockdown beginning Nov. 5 until Dec. 2 after coronavirus cases topped one million. Austria also announced a month-long partial shutdown with a curfew amid a ''massive acceleration'' in infections.
AMC latest theater chain to offer private theater rental for as low as $99 during COVID pandemic; Cinemark also offering rentals - masslive.com
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:16
AMC is joining other movie theater chains in offering private theater rental options for guests who don't feel comfortable watching movies with strangers during the coronavirus pandemic.
It starts at $99 but goes up for new movie options. Guests can bring up to 20 people.
''Private theatre rentals are a great way to comfortably return to the movies in a secluded space,'' the company said. ''Enjoy your own personal screening or invite your friends and family. Escape the everyday or celebrate a birthday or special occasion.''
Currently some of the movies offered include, ''Toy Story,'' ''American Sniper,'' ''Honest Thief'' and ''Tenet.''
AMC reopened movie theaters in Massachusetts in August with a special deal. Guests could go back to the movies for 15 cents on the first day of reopening.
This was to help celebrate its centennial, by offering ''movies in 2020 at 1920 prices.''
Normal AMC theaters are still operating at a reduced capacity, masks are required and they are offering a simplified food menu.
Cinemark is also still offering private movie screenings, which they began offering earlier this year. Guests can rent out an entire auditorium starting at $99. Screenings can feature classics or new releases. Guests can also bring their own DVDs or Blu-Rays to play.
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Lockdown to coronavirus vaccine can work, Biden adviser says | wusa9.com
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:30
Money to workers, businesses and local governments could allow for a long enough lockdown to get the U.S. to a vaccine, Dr. Michael Osterholm said.
A member of President-elect Joe Biden's newly formed coronavirus task force says if federal government pays people, businesses and local governments during a 4-to-6 week lockdown, it could get the pandemic under control in time for a vaccine.
Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said that time frame could get the U.S. into the start of what is expected to be the first COVID-19 vaccine availability.
"We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers; for losses to small companies, to medium-sized companies; for cities, states, county governments, we could do all that. If we did that, then we could lockdown for 4 to 6 weeks," Osterholm told Yahoo Finance Wednesday. "And if we did that, we could drive the numbers down like they've done in Asia, like they did in New Zealand and Australia."
One of Biden's new coronavirus task force doctors floating the idea of a 4-6 week lockdown:''We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the lost wages for individual workers ... if we did that, then we could lockdown for 4 to 6 weeks."pic.twitter.com/zNmuQvPpIJ
'-- Zack Guzman (@zGuz) November 11, 2020How would it be paid for? Osterholm, who wrote an August op-ed with Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari, said the current personal savings rate and the historic-low interest rates could allow the government to cover it.
Osterholm said this week that the U.S. is entering what he calls "COVID hell."
"Back on Labor Day, we were at about 23,000 cases of new coronavirus infection every day. Today, we're going to be in the 130s to 140,000 again," Osterholm told Yahoo Finance.
There were 144,133 new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University -- a new record and the ninth straight day the country was over 100,000 cases. Nearly 2,000 people died due to the virus Wednesday, the highest number in more than six months.
A record 65,368 people in the U.S. were hospitalized with the coronavirus Wednesday, according to the COVID Tracking Project. More than 12,500 were in intensive care.
Osterholm said three things are exacerbating the problem:
Pandemic fatigue: People tired of taking safety measures, including social distancing.Pandemic anger: Osterholm noted about 1/3 of Americans don't believe the pandemic is real.Indoor air: People are spending more time indoors, increasing the chance of exposure to the virus.Osterholm said the pandemic is reaching a point where there won't be a differentiation between red and blue counties or states for much longer. It will be everywhere.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday they believe a vaccine will be available to average Americans by early spring. Azar said the first doses for the most vulnerable patients and frontline health workers could start going out by the end of the year.
Pfizer announced Monday its COVID-19 vaccine could be 90% effective based on early and incomplete test results. Fauci said that level of effectiveness could convince more people to take it sooner.
Covid-Free Wristbands, Certificates Could Encourage Testing, U.K. Advisers Say - Bloomberg
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:28
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KDHE shows no interest in obtaining cycle threshold data - The Sentinel
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 13:43
Despite it being clear the State of Kansas is using overly-sensitive COVID tests that, according to officials, will return positive results for non-contagious dead genetic material, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is apparently unwilling to request cycle threshold data from labs to eliminate 'false positives' from the case count.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci has stated that ''cycle threshold'' should be 34 or below.
''If you get a cycle threshold of 35 or more, the chances of it being replication-competent are minuscule,'' Fauci said at roughly the four-minute mark of this video . 'Replication competent' means particles capable of infecting cells and replicating to produce additional infectious particles.
Later in the interview, Fauci says labs initially only report 'positive' or 'negative' but they will provide the cycle threshold level upon request.
The cycle threshold is '-- roughly '-- the number of times a bit of genetic matter must be copied by the testing equipment to determine how infectious a given individual is. The higher the cycle threshold needed to identify COVID, the less infectious a person is; some virologists say results above 35 cycles are 'false positives.'
KDHE says the cycle threshold on its most commonly used test is 42 and many private labs have thresholds set far above 35 '-- including Quest Diagnostics at 40 and LabCorp at 38 .
Recently, Kansas Policy Institute (parent company of the Sentinel) CEO Dave Trabert sent a Kansas Open Records ACT (KORA) request, asking for cycle threshold data.
''The KDHE KORA officer responded to our request for cycle threshold data, saying the labs do not provide that information to the state,'' Trabert wrote in an email to KDHE Secretary Dr. Lee Norman on Nov. 2, 2020. ''So we're writing to ask if you will obtain the data from them and share it with the public.
''It is critical to know how many of the reported positive results may not be contagious or 'replication-competent' but contributing to the extraordinary emotional and economic consequences, including suicides and attempted suicides, related to COVID-induced isolation and economic consequences.''
A week later, despite a return receipt indicating that the email had been received, neither Norman nor any KDHE spokesperson has responded; the governor's office was copied and also failed to respond.
Trabert says Dr. Norman and the Kelly administration seem more focused on closing schools and businesses and issuing mandates than on being honest with Kansans.
''We caught Norman fabricating data to justify a mask mandate. Twice we caught Governor Kelly making false statements about COVID deaths. The governor's office and KDHE even refused a legislative request to see how PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) was being distributed after concern was raised that nursing homes weren't being properly served. They just don't seem to care about the truth and transparency.''
The Kelly administration has routinely rejected transparency requests, as shown here and here.
Proper Cycle Threshold
As the Sentinel recently reported, Dr. Michael Mina, an assistant professor of epidemiology at both Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He told Harvard Magazine that reporting people positive on tests with a high cycle threshold are ''false positives.''
''Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk,'' Mina said. ''Akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left.''
One maker of the COVID PCR test, Bioningentech, offers guidance quite similar to those in a New York Times article , which points to oversensitive tests nationwide. Cycle thresholds between 12 and 36 are considered positive; results between 36 and 40 cycles are considered marginally positive, and anything over 40 cycles is considered negative.
''Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive, agreed Juliet Morrison, a virologist at the University of California, Riverside. ''I'm shocked that people would think that 40 could represent a positive,'' she said.
''A more reasonable cutoff would be 30 to 35, she added.
Dr. Mina said he would set the figure at 30, or even less.
''Those changes would mean the amount of genetic material in a patient's sample would have to be 100-fold to 1,000-fold that of the current standard for the test to return a positive result '-- at least, one worth acting on.''
The Coronavirus (Retention of Fingerprints and DNA Profiles in the Interests of National Security) (No. 2) Regulations 2020
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 16:03
National Security
Made
at 2.54 p.m. on 10th September 2020
Laid before Parliament
at 4.00 p.m. on 10th September 2020
Coming into force
1st October 2020
The Secretary of State makes the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by section 24(2), (4) and (8) of the Coronavirus Act 2020(1).
The Secretary of State, in accordance with section 24(3) of that Act, considers that coronavirus is having, or is likely to have, an adverse effect on the capacity of persons responsible for making national security determinations to consider whether to make, or renew, national security determinations and that it is in the interests of national security to retain the fingerprints or DNA profiles as provided for in these Regulations.
The Secretary of State has consulted the Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material in accordance with section 24(6) of that Act.
Citation, commencement and interpretation1. '--(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Coronavirus (Retention of Fingerprints and DNA Profiles in the Interests of National Security) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 and come into force on 1st October 2020.
(2) In these Regulations, ''the first retention Regulations'' means the Coronavirus (Retention of Fingerprints and DNA Profiles in the Interests of National Security) Regulations 2020(2).
Extension of the effect of a national security determination2. '--(1) Paragraph (3) applies in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that satisfy the condition in paragraph (2).
(2) The condition is that the fingerprints or DNA profiles are retained in accordance with a national security determination that will (ignoring the effect of these Regulations) cease to have effect on a date during the period that starts with 1st October 2020 and ends with 24th March 2021.
(3) The retention of the fingerprints or DNA profiles under the national security determination may continue for a further period of six months starting with the date on which the national security determination would otherwise have ceased to have effect.
(4) In paragraphs (2) and (3), references to the date on which a national security determination ceases to have effect include the date on which a national security determination whose effect has been extended in accordance with regulation 2 of the first retention Regulations (extension of the effect of a national security determination) ceases to have effect.
Extension of a current statutory retention period3. '--(1) Paragraph (4) applies in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that satisfy the conditions in paragraphs (2) and (3).
(2) The first condition is that the fingerprints or DNA profiles are retained'--
(a) under any of the following provisions'--
(i) paragraph 20B(3) or paragraph 20C(3) of Schedule 8 to the Terrorism Act 2000 (retention of paragraph 20A material)(3);
(ii) section 18A(1) of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 (retention of section 18 material)(4);
(iii) paragraph 8(2) of Schedule 6 to the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (retention of paragraph 6 material)(5), or
(b) under section 63F(3) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (retention of section 63D material)(6) if the fingerprints or DNA profiles satisfy the national security retention condition (see regulation 5).
(3) The second condition is that the final day of the period for which the fingerprints or DNA profiles may be retained (''the retention period'') will (ignoring the effect of these Regulations) fall on a date during the period that starts with 1st October 2020 and ends with 24th March 2021.
(4) The retention of the fingerprints or DNA profiles may continue for a further period of six months starting with the date on which the final day of the retention period would otherwise have fallen.
(5) In paragraphs (3) and (4), references to the retention period include a retention period as extended in accordance with regulation 3 of the first retention Regulations (extension of a current statutory retention period).
Retention in advance of a requirement to destroy4. '--(1) Paragraph (4) applies in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that satisfy the conditions in paragraphs (2) and (3).
(2) The first condition is that the fingerprints or DNA profiles satisfy the national security retention condition (see regulation 5).
(3) The second condition is that the fingerprints or DNA profiles must (ignoring the effect of these Regulations) be destroyed under any of the following provisions on a date during the period that starts with 1st October 2020 and ends with 24th March 2021'--
(a) section 18(3) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (destruction of relevant physical data)(7);
(b) Article 64(3), 64ZB(2), 64ZC(3), 64ZD(3), 64ZE(3), 64ZF(3), 64ZG(3) or 64ZH(3) of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (destruction of fingerprints and samples)(8).
(4) The fingerprints or DNA profiles may be retained for a further period of six months starting with the date on which the requirement to destroy the fingerprints or DNA profiles would otherwise have arisen.
(5) In the case of fingerprints or DNA profiles retained for a further period in accordance with regulation 4 of the first retention Regulations (retention in advance of a requirement to destroy), the relevant date for the purposes of paragraph (3) of this regulation is the day after the final day of that further period.
National security retention condition5. '--(1) For the purposes of regulations 3(2)(b) and 4(2), fingerprints or DNA profiles satisfy the national security retention condition if, prior to these Regulations coming into force, the controller of the fingerprints or DNA profiles has been notified by a constable or a member of the civilian staff of a police force that the fingerprints or DNA profiles may be relevant to the interests of national security.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1) notification may be given in any form.
(3) In this regulation'--
(a) ''controller'' is to be construed in accordance with Part 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018(9); and
(b) ''police force'' means a police force in England and Wales, the Police Service of Scotland or the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
James Brokenshire
Minister of State
Home Office
At 2.54 p.m. on 10th September 2020
EXPLANATORY NOTEThese Regulations provide for extension of the time limits that apply to the retention of certain fingerprints or DNA profiles. The Regulations apply in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that are retained under certain counter-terrorism provisions, or that may otherwise be relevant to the interests of national security.
These Regulations are the second set of Regulations made using the powers conferred by section 24 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 (c. 7). The Coronavirus (Retention of Fingerprints and DNA Profiles in the Interests of National Security) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/391) (''the first retention Regulations'') provided for an extension of the retention time limits for six months.
These Regulations apply only to fingerprints or DNA profiles that would (ignoring the effect of these Regulations) fall to be destroyed in the period that starts with 1st October 2020 and ends with 24th March 2021. The period ends with 24th March 2021 in order to satisfy the condition found in section 24(5) of the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Regulation 2 makes provision in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that are retained in accordance with a national security determination. Paragraph (3) provides for the continued retention of fingerprints or DNA profiles under the national security determination for a further period of six months. Paragraph (4) confirms that regulation 2 applies to a national security determination the effect of which was extended in accordance with regulation 2 of the first retention Regulations (extension of the effect of a national security determination).
Regulation 3 makes provision in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that are retained under a statutory retention period. Paragraph (4) provides that the fingerprints or DNA profiles may be retained under that retention period for a further period of six months. Paragraph (5) confirms that regulation 3 applies to a retention period that was extended in accordance with regulation 3 of the first retention Regulations (extension of a current statutory retention period).
Regulation 4 makes provision in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that are currently retained and in respect of which a requirement to destroy would arise under certain provisions. Paragraph (4) provides that the fingerprints or DNA profiles may be retained for a further period of six months. Paragraph (5) confirms that regulation 4 applies to fingerprints and DNA profiles that have been retained for a further period in accordance with regulation 4 of the first retention Regulations (retention in advance of a requirement to destroy).
Regulation 5 provides the meaning of the national security retention condition, which is used in regulations 3 and 4. It provides that fingerprints or DNA profiles are retained in the interests of national security if a constable or a civilian staff member of a police force has notified the controller of the fingerprints and DNA profiles that they may be relevant to the interests of national security.
A full impact assessment has not been produced for this instrument as no, or no significant, impact on the private, voluntary or public sector is foreseen.
Could Slovakia's mass testing change Europe's COVID-19 strategy? - CGTN
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 17:52
02:44
It is a cold and foggy Saturday morning in Bratislava. For the second weekend in a row, people living in the Slovakian capital are queuing at a COVID-19 test facility next to the City Zoo.
Last weekend 3.6 million of the country's 5.4 million population were tested for COVID-19, with about one percent returning positive results.
This weekend roughly half of the country has been tested again in the regions with the highest number of infections, with just 0.63 percent returning positive results. Most of these areas were in the northern part of Slovakia, close to the borders with Poland and Czechia.
The government has adopted a strategy of repetitive testing in those areas in order to identify more infections as the virus spreads and also to reduce the risk of incorrect results from antigen tests, that could result in spread from those getting false negatives.
CLICK: WHY THE ALPS FACE AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE
Rapid antigen tests made in South Korea are being used for the mass testing and give results within half an hour. PCR tests are more accurate but costlier and take longer to process in labs.
While most European countries are using contact tracing and lockdowns to fight the pandemic pandemic, several cities, such as Liverpool, are now looking to change strategy and test their entire population.
Slovakia is the largest country so far to carry out a nationwide testing program. Those who test positive are required to isolate, while those who are negative can carry on with normal life, with shops, bars and restaurants all remaining open.
But opinion is split on the government's approach. "I think many people aren't happy about it," said a young man outside Bratislava's train station. "But they have to be tested because they want to go out and you cannot go out without a negative test."
Another Bratislavan resident added: "We have to find those who are really infected."
Slovakia is attempting to test its entire population for COVID-19 and avoid the stringent lockdowns being used by other European countries. /CGTN
Slovakia is attempting to test its entire population for COVID-19 and avoid the stringent lockdowns being used by other European countries. /CGTN
Slovakia's testing program has drawn interest from across Europe. A UK government team visited the country last weekend to witness the testing. Germany's Angela Merkel is also keen to draw lessons from this nationwide experiment.
But unlike other countries that have adopted a similar approach, such as New Zealand, Slovakia's border crossings are currently still open. The Slovakian government, fearing that new cases will be re-imported, wants to reintroduce border controls by November 15.
But Slovakia's defense minister Jaroslav Nad said the country has already put in some measures to limit the risk of reinfection from travelers or citizens returning to the country from abroad.
"If you want to come to Slovakia then you need to have a certificate of negative testing," he said.
Rapid antigen tests made in South Korea are being used for the mass testing programme and give results within half an hour but there are concerns that the tests aren't accurate enough. /CGTN
Rapid antigen tests made in South Korea are being used for the mass testing programme and give results within half an hour but there are concerns that the tests aren't accurate enough. /CGTN
Another stumbling block is political opposition from the country's Social Democratic Party, with deputy chairman Erik Kalinak claiming that checking whether or not a person has a negative test certificate is a violation of personal data protection.
"The paradox is that you don't have to prove yourself to a policeman, employer or saleswoman in a store at all," he argued. "The Office for Personal Data Protection said this quite clearly."
The opposition as well as the medical chamber of Slovakia call the mass testing a waste of resources and criticize the antigen tests being used as not very reliable.
Nevertheless, as contact tracing continues to struggle in European countries where infections are soaring at a rapid rate, mass testing could be a valid alternative.
Video editor: Nuri Moseinco
Vaccines and such
'Unprecedented demand': Fall River area retailers runnning low of zinc pills - News - The Herald News, Fall River, MA - Fall River, MA
Mon, 09 Nov 2020 22:03
Charles Winokoor Herald News Staff Reporter @cwinokoorSaturday Nov 7, 2020 at 4:49 AM
FALL RIVER '' Where can you cop some zinc pills?
That's what more and more people seem to be asking lately.
With the threat of a second COVID-19 pandemic wave on the horizon, consumers in recent weeks have been buying and stockpiling vitamin supplements that might help strengthen their immune system.
''We've definitively experienced an uptick in demand for products related to immunity,'' said Christopher Savarese, director of public relations for Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid Corporation.
Those products, Savarese said during a phone interview, include not just over-the-counter, vitamin supplements but also cleaning and sanitizing products.
Out of eight Fall River locations surveyed Thursday '-- including three pharmacy chains and one supermarket '-- five had no zinc tablets in stock, while the other three had a combined total of five smaller-sized 100-zinc-pill containers on their shelves.
''Nobody has any zinc,'' said Eve Mercier of Fall River, after walking out of the CVS at 550 Pleasant St.
It was her second stop that day in her quest for zinc pills. The first was at the CVS store and pharmacy at 1620 President Ave.
''I had a flyer with a two-for-one sale and a coupon,'' the 60-something Mercier said. ''So I figured all right, I'll stock up on it. Only they didn't have it, so I guess I won't.''
Mercier said luckily she still has some zinc pills left over from two months ago when she placed an online order.
''I figured, why waste the time looking for it?'' she said.
The CVS in the South End at 245 William S. Canning Boulevard that day was sold out of both its store brand and Nature's Bounty brand of zinc tablets.
Fatima Aguiar, 57, had also gone to the Pleasant Street CVS. But instead of zinc she was looking for D3 vitamins and was hoping to use a Nature's Bounty brand coupon.
''My doctor recommended it. He says I have a vitamin D deficiency,'' Aguiar said, adding that the store was sold out of that particular brand of vitamin D3 supplement.
''Vitamin D is in especially high demand due to its link to immunity,'' Stop & Shop spokesperson Jennifer Brogan said in an email.
''All vitamin and (vitamin) supplement vendors are experiencing sporadic supply shortages due to the unprecedented demand,'' Brogan said, adding that supply inventory within that category ''should overall continue to be intermittent.''
The Stop & Shop supermarket at 501 Rodman St. had one 100-quantity bottle of zinc pills in stock under the Nature Made brand, but no zinc tablet containers for either the store brand or Nature's Bounty.
Two other retailers surveyed on Thursday each had two 100-pill zinc supplement units in stock.
These included Walgreens in Flint Village Plaza, which had two store brand containers, and Market Basket in the Southcoast Market Place shopping center, the latter of which had two bottles under the Nature's Truth brand.
A CVS spokesman, in an email, said shortages of some vitamin supplements, including zinc, that were triggered by public demand in response to health concerns over the coronavirus became evident as early as last spring.
It was on March 10 when Gov. Baker declared a state of emergency, which, in turn, led to a series of executive orders either temporarily closing or curtailing the normal operation of many businesses in the state.
The CVS spokesman noted that ''in some cases high demand may cause temporary shortages at some store locations (and) we will resupply those stores as quickly as possible.''
Savarese, the spokesman for Rite Aid, said much the same thing.
''We're working with our suppliers,'' to rectify the problem, he said.
Neither CVS nor Rite Aid could say when they expect their suppliers to be able to provide additional, substantial shipments of zinc vitamin pills to the stores.
Some other stores that on Thursday had no available stock of zinc vitamin tablets were Rite Aid at 233 South Main St. and Walgreens at 369 Plymouth Ave.
The Illinois-based Walgreens Company did not respond to a request for comment.
Conrad Black: Coronavirus hysteria will soon come to an end | National Post
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 22:24
Soon, the U.S. election will be over, and whatever the result, the rationale for the Democratic anti-Trump press (faithfully parroted by the Canadian media) to incite public hysteria will be over
Author of the article:
Conrad Black
Publishing date:
Oct 23, 2020
'
'
5 minute read
Photo by Julie Oliver/Postmedia Article contentOne more time, I inflict upon readers my grievous reservations about the response of this and many other countries to the coronavirus. The basic facts are that the coronavirus is not fatal to 99.997 per cent of people under the age of 65, and not fatal to 94.6 per cent of people above the age of 65. The vast majority of people of all ages, including the elderly, have zero or minimal symptoms when afflicted by it. The approximately 98 per cent of people who do contract the coronavirus and survive it appear to be thereafter largely immune to it, at least for a time. It is of the nature of this virus that it cannot be prevented from spreading; the only durable cure for a whole society is a vaccine, and as many as seven largely effective vaccines are in the final stages of development and some will likely be available by the end of this year. New Zealand triumphantly announced a couple of months ago that there were no remaining coronavirus cases in the country and, accordingly, its restrictive measures were being relaxed. Parliamentarians threw order papers in the air and there were street parties and nationwide festivities, but within a couple of weeks, and despite screening processes for arriving people, the coronavirus had returned. The process for discovering, testing and distributing a coronavirus vaccine has been the subject of such intense and universal interest that the normal time required has been reduced by over a year. Vaccines are rarely 100 per cent effective, but they do drastically reduce the incidence of the illness, and they strengthen the morale of afflicted populations.
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Article content continuedResearch also shows that over 80 per cent of fatalities attributed to the coronavirus in advanced countries that test comprehensively and report accurately are people who also suffer from other significant illnesses or vulnerabilities. The extent to which the coronavirus is the effective cause of death varies in each case and is sometimes nearly impossible to determine. But the underlying point is illustrated by the fact that the average age of people deemed to die from, or at least with, the coronavirus is within a few months of the actuarial life expectancy in each country; for example, the average age of Americans deemed to have died from the coronavirus and the average life expectancy of the American public are both 78. Almost all deaths are sad events, but the media has been irresponsible in its complicity in the maintenance of a higher degree of public anxiety than is justified by this illness. Our entire species has largely fallen into an excessive state of fear, evasion and defeatism.
There is also ample evidence to demonstrate the negative consequences of economic and societal shutdowns. Not only is the unemployment rate multiplied by between five and 10, a great many businesses including most aspects of the travel, hospitality and entertainment industries, are effectively strangled. Education is severely reduced in all respects by being conducted at home in many cases, even if supported by schools and universities. And many people suffer some degree of morose or depressive feelings, and develop substance dependencies as a result of prolonged solitude.
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Article content continuedPersevering readers will recall that from the beginning, I opposed an economic shutdown. Instead, I recommended thinning groups and requiring masks in confined public areas and drastic protective measures for elderly or otherwise immunity reduced people. It was always a mistake to shut schools and universities; the students as well as the faculty and administrators beneath the age of 65 all have a very slight risk of suffering serious consequences from the coronavirus, and there is evidence to suggest that children do not transmit the virus as easily as they do simpler ailments like the measles, flu or cold viruses. Parents of school-age children are relatively invulnerable to the coronavirus.
But our whole society went cock-a-hoop for the shutdown and are now edging back toward it in Canada and Europe because of increasing incidences of the virus, generally unaccompanied either by increased fatalities or overloading of hospitals. Because those prevented from working by the pandemic are blameless in their fate, we have correctly adopted a generous method of compensating them. This is not fiscally sustainable indefinitely, however. We are effectively disincentivizing people from work at the same time that we prevent them from working and we are experimenting with an impossibly generous imposition of a guaranteed annual income. We are simply sending a salary drawn from borrowed money to unsustainably large numbers of adult citizens. We will be paying for it for a long time.
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Article content continuedIt has also been my contention that in Canada we have been too much influenced by aspects of the coronavirus crisis in the United States that have been driven by political tactics in the election campaign in that country. The incumbent administration was practically certain of re-election prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis. The Democratic opposition saw a path to victory by agitating for a gigantic economic shutdown, which would lead to an economic recession that could then be portrayed as a needless depression generated by incompetent public-health management on the part of the Trump administration, even though the administration was following its opponents' advice in shutting down, and is bringing the nation back to work more quickly than had been thought possible. The U.S. economic growth rate was 32 per cent in the third quarter and the United States has vastly outperformed all other advanced countries in the world since coming out of lockdown.
But in Canada, we have been sluggishly and doggedly attached to a shutdown policy based on infection rates, even though our fatality rate has been comparatively good. I know that the motives of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Toronto Mayor John Tory and other Canadian leaders are in these matters sincere and commendable, but the policy has been mistaken from the beginning, and the longer it continues, the more damage it will cause. We are fundamentally shutting down the normal lives of up to 60 per cent of the population and the leisure time of 90 per cent of the population out of an exaggerated concern for only two per cent of the population who are in fact seriously vulnerable to this illness. It is not too late for Canada to show some leadership, even though we have been long preceded by Sweden, which wisely never imposed a general shutdown. But in around 10 days, the U.S. election will be over, and whatever the result, the rationale for the Democratic anti-Trump press (faithfully parroted by the Canadian media) to incite public hysteria will be over. The American media will cease to hammer public sensibilities with gruesome formulations about ''grim milestones,'' and other sombre fatuities. Canada will, as usual, plod along behind the Americans, without the excuse of an election, and continental unease will subside. We could have done so much better.
National Post cmbletters@gmail.com
More On This Topic
So now Joe Biden's taking a bow for the COVID vaccine. Eat your heart out, Al Gore - American Thinker
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:35
November 10, 2020
Joe Biden didn't exactly claim credit for the good news from Pfizer about the COVID vaccine.
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But he had pals who did, starting with the rubbery little Anthony Scaramucci:
Thank you @JoeBiden for developing a COVID-19 vaccine. @realDonaldTrump had four years to do it and couldn't.
'-- Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) November 9, 2020
The Mooch later claimed he was trolling. But the fired ex-Trump staffer-turned-Trump-hater pretty well blurted out what the Biden team were doing: Taking ownership.
'); googletag.cmd.push(function () { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1567099776462-0'); }); } President Trump pointed out that Pfizer, which embraced a $2 billion incentive from the feds to buy vaccines, should they develop one, was part of the vast operation of Operation Warp Speed, cutting useless regulations and red tape on the government side, providing funds, ramping up industrial production, so that the private sector could find a way to destroy the coronavirus. This was Trump's baby, Trump's unheralded response to COVID-19, the one thing he could do to stop an imported virus, and did.
Biden, though, was the one standing up there on the podium, offering his congratulations to Pfizer, and commanding everyone to go out and wear masks. No thanks of course to President Trump. The victory was all his and he was patting the participants on the back.
According to the New York Post:
''I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope,'' Biden said in a statement, adding that he was informed Sunday night of the development.
Biden also expressed a note of caution, pointing out that more than 1,000 Americans are dying from the disease each day and the ''end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away.''
In the meantime, he urged Americans to continue to follow guidelines offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
''Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into the next year. Today's news is great news, but it doesn't change that fact,'' the statement said.
Pfizer announced on Monday that vaccine trial studies show it is more than 90 percent effective.
. That wasn't because President Trump was too lazy to make a statement of his own or didn't think it was worthy of doing.
Note that Sunday night date that Biden said he was informed of it. That was before the markets opened (and rocketed) and before President Trump was informed at all.
According to The Federalist:
The Trump administration awarded the drug company Pfizer $2 billion from taxpayers to produce a coronavirus vaccine available for free to all Americans. Pfizer decided to notify Joe Biden of the latest developments in that vaccine rather than the president who commissioned it and was, in fact, still president at the time of Pfizer's news.
Senior White House aide tells me they learned of the vaccine from press reports and, to the best of their knowledge, Pfizer didn't notify admin beforehand. https://t.co/umHUS4we60
'-- Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) November 9, 2020 This by the way, is the same vaccine Kamala Harris said she would refuse to take under a Trump administration, given that it would be so politicized. Anyone in the press going to ask Harris if she'll say 'no,' it will give her cooties?
The vaccine was politicized all right, but in Biden's direction. Big Pharma is full of leftists, finest products of America's ivy league schools and other elitists bubbles.
Why exactly did Pfizer hand the news of the vaccine's success to Joe Biden but not to President Trump, who cleared the way for them and offered them a huge payday if they succeeded?
And just as important, why did Pfizer fail to release this information in late October, as it promised, undoubtedly having the information, but failed to report until about a week after the highly disputed election?
Some pretty political behavior on the Pfizer side.
But nothing like the attempt to play politics with the matter on the Biden side, creating the entire scenario to suggest that they are the ones claiming the victory and offering the congratulations. Joe Biden isn't president yet, and not even ratified as president-elect, which must be done by the electoral college and Congress. His phony 'Office of the President Elect' has rightly been denied transition resources by the Trump administration given the high likelihood that massive cheating will be documented, uncovered and proven to judges, revealing a stolen election. Instead of wait for the results of such adjudications with confidence, Team Biden is forging straight ahead, attempting a 'squatters' rights' approach to taking the White House, on the possession is 99% of property approach, or whatever the saying is in the real estate world, something President Trump knows a thing about.
It's not Biden's vaccine to claim credit on. It's an attempt to steal credit for it from President Trump. Al Gore boldly claimed to have created the Internet. Biden is trying to do him one better by claiming credit for the COVID vaccine, and the end of the coronavirus pandemic.
It's garbage. He's trying to squat on the White House and he's trying to appropriate credit for the achievements of this Trump White House. Biden always was a plagiarizer but this is disgusting. The entire credit and thanks for this goes to President Trump.
Image credit: Pixabay public domain
Joe Biden didn't exactly claim credit for the good news from Pfizer about the COVID vaccine.
But he had pals who did, starting with the rubbery little Anthony Scaramucci:
Thank you @JoeBiden for developing a COVID-19 vaccine. @realDonaldTrump had four years to do it and couldn't.
'-- Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) November 9, 2020
The Mooch later claimed he was trolling. But the fired ex-Trump staffer-turned-Trump-hater pretty well blurted out what the Biden team were doing: Taking ownership.
President Trump pointed out that Pfizer, which embraced a $2 billion incentive from the feds to buy vaccines, should they develop one, was part of the vast operation of Operation Warp Speed, cutting useless regulations and red tape on the government side, providing funds, ramping up industrial production, so that the private sector could find a way to destroy the coronavirus. This was Trump's baby, Trump's unheralded response to COVID-19, the one thing he could do to stop an imported virus, and did.
Biden, though, was the one standing up there on the podium, offering his congratulations to Pfizer, and commanding everyone to go out and wear masks. No thanks of course to President Trump. The victory was all his and he was patting the participants on the back.
According to the New York Post:
''I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope,'' Biden said in a statement, adding that he was informed Sunday night of the development.
Biden also expressed a note of caution, pointing out that more than 1,000 Americans are dying from the disease each day and the ''end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away.''
In the meantime, he urged Americans to continue to follow guidelines offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
''Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into the next year. Today's news is great news, but it doesn't change that fact,'' the statement said.
Pfizer announced on Monday that vaccine trial studies show it is more than 90 percent effective.
. That wasn't because President Trump was too lazy to make a statement of his own or didn't think it was worthy of doing.
Note that Sunday night date that Biden said he was informed of it. That was before the markets opened (and rocketed) and before President Trump was informed at all.
According to The Federalist:
The Trump administration awarded the drug company Pfizer $2 billion from taxpayers to produce a coronavirus vaccine available for free to all Americans. Pfizer decided to notify Joe Biden of the latest developments in that vaccine rather than the president who commissioned it and was, in fact, still president at the time of Pfizer's news.
Senior White House aide tells me they learned of the vaccine from press reports and, to the best of their knowledge, Pfizer didn't notify admin beforehand. https://t.co/umHUS4we60
'-- Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) November 9, 2020 This by the way, is the same vaccine Kamala Harris said she would refuse to take under a Trump administration, given that it would be so politicized. Anyone in the press going to ask Harris if she'll say 'no,' it will give her cooties?
The vaccine was politicized all right, but in Biden's direction. Big Pharma is full of leftists, finest products of America's ivy league schools and other elitists bubbles.
Why exactly did Pfizer hand the news of the vaccine's success to Joe Biden but not to President Trump, who cleared the way for them and offered them a huge payday if they succeeded?
And just as important, why did Pfizer fail to release this information in late October, as it promised, undoubtedly having the information, but failed to report until about a week after the highly disputed election?
Some pretty political behavior on the Pfizer side.
But nothing like the attempt to play politics with the matter on the Biden side, creating the entire scenario to suggest that they are the ones claiming the victory and offering the congratulations. Joe Biden isn't president yet, and not even ratified as president-elect, which must be done by the electoral college and Congress. His phony 'Office of the President Elect' has rightly been denied transition resources by the Trump administration given the high likelihood that massive cheating will be documented, uncovered and proven to judges, revealing a stolen election. Instead of wait for the results of such adjudications with confidence, Team Biden is forging straight ahead, attempting a 'squatters' rights' approach to taking the White House, on the possession is 99% of property approach, or whatever the saying is in the real estate world, something President Trump knows a thing about.
It's not Biden's vaccine to claim credit on. It's an attempt to steal credit for it from President Trump. Al Gore boldly claimed to have created the Internet. Biden is trying to do him one better by claiming credit for the COVID vaccine, and the end of the coronavirus pandemic.
It's garbage. He's trying to squat on the White House and he's trying to appropriate credit for the achievements of this Trump White House. Biden always was a plagiarizer but this is disgusting. The entire credit and thanks for this goes to President Trump.
Image credit: Pixabay public domain
NWO
Klaus Schwab and his great fascist reset | winter oak
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:46
Born in Ravensburg in 1938, Klaus Schwab is a child of Adolf Hitler's Germany, a police-state regime built on fear and violence, on brainwashing and control, on propaganda and lies, on industrialism and eugenics, on dehumanisation and ''disinfection'', on a chilling and grandiose vision of a ''new order'' that would last a thousand years.
Schwab seems to have dedicated his life to reinventing that nightmare and to trying to turn it into a reality not just for Germany but for the whole world.
Worse still, as his own words confirm time and time again, his technocratic fascist vision is also a twisted transhumanist one, which will merge humans with machines in ''curious mixes of digital-and-analog life'', which will infect our bodies with ''Smart Dust'' and in which the police will apparently be able to read our brains.
And, as we will see, he and his accomplices are using the Covid-19 crisis to bypass democratic accountability, to override opposition, to accelerate their agenda and to impose it on the rest of humankind against our will in what he terms a ''Great Reset''.
Schwab is not, of course, a Nazi in the classic sense, being neither a nationalist nor an anti-semite, as testified by the $1 million Dan David Prize he was awarded by Israel in 2004.
But 21st century fascism has found different political forms through which to continue its core project of reshaping humanity to suit capitalism through blatantly authoritarian means.
This new fascism is today being advanced in the guise of global governance, biosecurity, the ''New Normal'', the ''New Deal for Nature'' and the ''Fourth Industrial Revolution''.
Schwab, the octogenarian founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, sits at the centre of this matrix like a spider on a giant web.
The original fascist project, in Italy and Germany, was all about a merger of state and business.
While communism envisages the take-over of business and industry by the government, which '' theoretically! '' acts in the interests of the people, fascism was all about using the state to protect and advance the interests of the wealthy elite.
Schwab was continuing this approach in a denazified post-WW2 context, when in 1971 he founded the European Management Forum, which held annual meetings at Davos in Switzerland.
Here he promoted his ideology of ''stakeholder'' capitalism in which businesses were brought into closer co-operation with government.
''Stakeholder capitalism'' is described by Forbes business magazine as ''the notion that a firm focuses on meeting the needs of all its stakeholders: customers, employees, partners, the community, and society as a whole''.
Even in the context of a particular business, it is invariably an empty label. As the Forbes article notes, it actually only means that ''firms can go on privately shoveling money to their shareholders and executives, while maintaining a public front of exquisite social sensitivity and exemplary altruism''.
But in a general social context, the stakeholder concept is even more nefarious, discarding any idea of democracy, rule by the people, in favour of rule by corporate interests.
Society is no longer regarded as a living community but as a business, whose profitability is the sole valid aim of human activity.
Schwab set out this agenda back in 1971, in his book Moderne Unternehmensf¼hrung im Maschinenbau (Modern Enterprise Management in Mechanical Engineering), where his use of the term ''stakeholders'' (die Interessenten) effectively redefined human beings not as citizens, free individuals or members of communities, but as secondary participants in a massive commercial enterprise.
The aim of each and every person's life was ''to achieve long-term growth and prosperity'' for this enterprise '' in other words, to protect and increase the wealth of the capitalist elite.
This all became even clearer in 1987, when Schwab renamed his European Management Forum the World Economic Forum.
The WEF describes itself on its own website as ''the global platform for public-private cooperation'', with admirers describing how it creates ''partnerships between businessmen, politicians, intellectuals and other leaders of society to 'define, discuss and advance key issues on the global agenda'.''
The ''partnerships'' which the WEF creates are aimed at replacing democracy with a global leadership of hand-picked and unelected individuals whose duty is not to serve the public, but to impose the rule of the 1% on that public with as little interference from the rest of us as possible.
In the books Schwab writes for public consumption, he expresses himself in the two-faced clich(C)s of corporate spin and greenwashing.
The same empty terms are dished up time and time again. In Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Guide to Building a Better World Schwab talks of ''the inclusion of stakeholders and the distribution of benefits'' and of ''sustainable and inclusive partnerships'' which will lead us all to an ''inclusive, sustainable and prosperous future''! (1)
Behind this bluster, the real motivation driving his ''stakeholder capitalism'', which he was still relentlessly promoting at the WEF's 2020 Davos conference, is profit and exploitation.
For instance, in his 2016 book The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Schwab writes about the Uberisation of work and the consequent advantages for companies, particularly fast-growing start-ups in the digital economy: ''As human cloud platforms classify workers as self-employed, they are'--for the moment'--free of the requirement to pay minimum wages, employer taxes and social benefits''. (2)
The same capitalist callousness shines through in his attitude towards people nearing the end of their working lives and in need of a well-deserved rest: ''Aging is an economic challenge because unless retirement ages are drastically increased so that older members of society can continue to contribute to the workforce (an economic imperative that has many economic benefits), the working-age population falls at the same time as the percentage of dependent elders increases''. (3)
Everything in this world is reduced to economic challenges, economic imperatives and economic benefits for the ruling capitalist class.
The myth of Progress has long been used by the 1% to persuade people to accept the technologies designed to exploit and control us and Schwab plays on this when he declares that ''the Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a significant source of hope for continuing the climb in human development that has resulted in dramatic increases in quality of life for billions of people since 1800''. (4)
He enthuses: ''While it may not feel momentous to those of us experiencing a series of small but significant adjustments to life on a daily basis, it is not a minor change'--the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a new chapter in human development, on a par with the first, second and third Industrial Revolutions, and once again driven by the increasing availability and interaction of a set of extraordinary technologies''. (5)
But he is well aware that technology is not ideologically neutral, as some like to claim. Technologies and societies shape each other, he says. ''After all, technologies are tied up in how we know things, how we make decisions, and how we think about ourselves and each other. They are connected to our identities, worldviews and potential futures. From nuclear technologies to the space race, smartphones, social media, cars, medicine and infrastructure'--the meaning of technologies makes them political. Even the concept of a 'developed' nation implicitly rests on the adoption of technologies and what they mean for us, economically and socially''. (6)
Technology, for the capitalists behind it, has never been about social good but purely about profit, and Schwab makes it quite clear that the same remains true of his Fourth Industrial Revolution.
He explains: ''Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies are truly disruptive'--they upend existing ways of sensing, calculating, organizing, acting and delivering. They represent entirely new ways of creating value for organizations and citizens''. (7)
In case the meaning of ''creating value'' was not clear, he gives some examples: ''Drones represent a new type of cost-cutting employee working among us and performing jobs that once involved real people'' (8) and ''the use of ever-smarter algorithms is rapidly extending employee productivity'--for example, in the use of chat bots to augment (and, increasingly, replace) 'live chat' support for customer interactions''. (9)
Schwab goes into some detail about the cost-cutting, profit-boosting marvels of his brave new world in The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
He explains: ''Sooner than most anticipate, the work of professions as different as lawyers, financial analysts, doctors, journalists, accountants, insurance underwriters or librarians may be partly or completely automated'...
''The technology is progressing so fast that Kristian Hammond, cofounder of Narrative Science, a company specializing in automated narrative generation, forecasts that by the mid-2020s, 90% of news could be generated by an algorithm, most of it without any kind of human intervention (apart from the design of the algorithm, of course)''. (10)
It is this economic imperative that informs Schwab's enthusiasm for ''a revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work, and relate to one another''. (11)
Schwab waxes lyrical about the 4IR, which he insists is ''unlike anything humankind has experienced before''. (12)
He gushes: ''Consider the unlimited possibilities of having billions of people connected by mobile devices, giving rise to unprecedented processing power, storage capabilities and knowledge access. Or think about the staggering confluence of emerging technology breakthroughs, covering wide-ranging fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the internet of things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing, to name a few. Many of these innovations are in their infancy, but they are already reaching an inflection point in their development as they build on and amplify each other in a fusion of technologies across the physical, digital and biological worlds''. (13)
He also looks forward to more online education, involving ''the use of virtual and augmented reality'' to ''dramatically improve educational outcomes'' (14), to sensors ''installed in homes, clothes and accessories, cities, transport and energy networks'' (15) and to smart cities, with their all-important ''data platforms''. (16)
''All things will be smart and connected to the internet'', says Schwab, and this will extend to animals, as ''sensors wired in cattle can communicate to each other through a mobile phone network''. (17)
He loves the idea of ''smart cell factories'' which could enable ''the accelerated generation of vaccines'' (18) and ''big-data technologies''. (19)
These, he assures us, will ''deliver new and innovative ways to service citizens and customers'' (20) and we will have to stop objecting to businesses profiting from harnessing and selling information about every aspect of our personal lives.
''Establishing trust in the data and algorithms used to make decisions will be vital,'' insists Schwab. ''Citizen concerns over privacy and establishing accountability in business and legal structures will require adjustments in thinking''. (21)
At the end of the day it is clear that all this technological excitement revolves purely around profit, or ''value'' as Schwab prefers to term it in his 21st century corporate newspeak.
Thus blockchain technology will be fantastic and provoke ''an explosion in tradable assets, as all kinds of value exchange can be hosted on the blockchain''. (22)
The use of distributed ledger technology, adds Schwab, ''could be the driving force behind massive flows of value in digital products and services, providing secure digital identities that can make new markets accessible to anyone connected to the internet''. (23)
In general, the interest of the 4IR for the ruling business elite is that it will ''create entirely new sources of value'' (24) and ''give rise to ecosystems of value creation that are impossible to imagine with a mindset stuck in the third Industrial Revolution''. (25)
The technologies of the 4IR, rolled out via 5G, pose unprecedented threats to our freedom, as Schwab concedes: ''The tools of the fourth industrial revolution enable new forms of surveillance and other means of control that run counter to healthy, open societies''. (26)
But this does not stop him presenting them in a positive light, as when he declares that ''public crime is likely to decrease due to the convergence of sensors, cameras, AI and facial recognition software''. (27)
He describes with some relish how these technologies ''can intrude into the hitherto private space of our minds, reading our thoughts and influencing our behavior''. (28)
Schwab predicts: ''As capabilities in this area improve, the temptation for law enforcement agencies and courts to use techniques to determine the likelihood of criminal activity, assess guilt or even possibly retrieve memories directly from people's brains will increase. Even crossing a national border might one day involve a detailed brain scan to assess an individual's security risk''. (29)
There are times when the WEF chief gets carried away by his passion for a sci-fi future in which ''long-distance human space travel and nuclear fusion are commonplace'' (30) and in which ''the next trending business model'' might involve someone ''trading access to his or her thoughts for the time-saving option of typing a social media post by thought alone''. (31)
Talk of ''space tourism'' under the title ''The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the final frontier'' (32) is almost funny, as is his suggestion that ''a world full of drones offers a world full of possibilities''. (33)
But the further the reader progresses into the world depicted in Schwab's books, the less of a laughing matter it all seems.
The truth is that this highly influential figure, at the centre of the new global order currently being established, is an out-and-out transhumanist who dreams of an end to natural healthy human life and community.
Schwab repeats this message time and time again, as if to be sure we have been duly warned.
''The mind-boggling innovations triggered by the fourth industrial revolution, from biotechnology to AI, are redefining what it means to be human,'' (34) he writes.
''The future will challenge our understanding of what it means to be human, from both a biological and a social standpoint''. (35)
''Already, advances in neurotechnologies and biotechnologies are forcing us to question what it means to be human''. (36)
He spells it out in more detail in Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: ''Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies will not stop at becoming part of the physical world around us'--they will become part of us. Indeed, some of us already feel that our smartphones have become an extension of ourselves. Today's external devices'--from wearable computers to virtual reality headsets'--will almost certainly become implantable in our bodies and brains. Exoskeletons and prosthetics will increase our physical power, while advances in neurotechnology enhance our cognitive abilities. We will become better able to manipulate our own genes, and those of our children. These developments raise profound questions: Where do we draw the line between human and machine? What does it mean to be human?'' (37)
A whole section of this book is devoted to the theme ''Altering the Human Being''. Here he drools over ''the ability of new technologies to literally become part of us'' and invokes a cyborg future involving ''curious mixes of digital-and-analog life that will redefine our very natures''. (38)
He writes: ''These technologies will operate within our own biology and change how we interface with the world. They are capable of crossing the boundaries of body and mind, enhancing our physical abilities, and even having a lasting impact on life itself ''. (39)
No violation seems to go too far for Schwab, who dreams of ''active implantable microchips that break the skin barrier of our bodies'', ''smart tattoos'', ''biological computing'' and ''custom-designed organisms''. (40)
He is delighted to report that ''sensors, memory switches and circuits can be encoded in common human gut bacteria'', (41) that ''Smart Dust, arrays of full computers with antennas, each much smaller than a grain of sand, can now organize themselves inside the body'' and that ''implanted devices will likely also help to communicate thoughts normally expressed verbally through a 'built-in' smartphone, and potentially unexpressed thoughts or moods by reading brain waves and other signals''. (42)
''Synthetic biology'' is on the horizon in Schwab's 4IR world, giving the technocratic capitalist rulers of the world ''the ability to customize organisms by writing DNA''. (43)
The idea of neurotechnologies, in which humans will have fully artificial memories implanted in the brain, is enough to make some of us feel faintly sick, as is ''the prospect of connecting our brains to VR through cortical modems, implants or nanobots''. (44)
It is of little comfort to learn that this is all '' of course! '' in the greater interests of capitalist profiteering since it ''heralds new industries and systems for value creation'' and ''represents an opportunity to create entire new systems of value in the Fourth Industrial Revolution''. (45)
And what about ''the bioprinting of organic tissues'' (46) or the suggestion that ''animals could potentially be engineered to produce pharmaceuticals and other forms of treatment''? (47)
Ethical objections, anyone?
It's all evidently good for Schwab, who is happy to announce: ''The day when cows are engineered to produce in its [sic] milk a blood-clotting element, which hemophiliacs lack, is not far off. Researchers have already started to engineer the genomes of pigs with the goal of growing organs suitable for human transplantation''. (48)
It gets even more disturbing. Ever since the sinister eugenics programme of the Nazi Germany into which Schwab was born, this science has been deemed beyond the pale by human society.
But now, however, he evidently feels eugenics is due a revival, announcing with regard to genetic editing: ''That it is now far easier to manipulate with precision the human genome within viable embryos means that we are likely to see the advent of designer babies in the future who possess particular traits or who are resistant to a specific disease''. (49)
In the notorious 2002 transhumanist treatise I, Cyborg, Kevin Warwick predicts: ''Humans will be able to evolve by harnessing the super-intelligence and extra abilities offered by the machines of the future, by joining with them. All this points to the development of a new human species, known in the science-fiction world as 'cyborgs'. It doesn't mean that everyone has to become a cyborg. If you are happy with your state as a human then so be it, you can remain as you are. But be warned '' just as we humans split from our chimpanzee cousins years ago, so cyborgs will split from humans. Those who remain as humans are likely to become a sub-species. They will, effectively, be the chimpanzees of the future''. (50)
Schwab seems to be hinting at the same future of a ''superior'' enhanced artificial transhuman elite separating from the natural-born rabble, in this particularly damning passage from The Fourth Industrial Revolution: ''We are at the threshold of a radical systemic change that requires human beings to adapt continuously. As a result, we may witness an increasing degree of polarization in the world, marked by those who embrace change versus those who resist it.
''This gives rise to an inequality that goes beyond the societal one described earlier. This ontological inequality will separate those who adapt from those who resist'--the material winners and losers in all senses of the words. The winners may even benefit from some form of radical human improvement generated by certain segments of the fourth industrial revolution (such as genetic engineering) from which the losers will be deprived. This risks creating class conflicts and other clashes unlike anything we have seen before''. (51)
Schwab was already talking about a ''great transformation'' back in 2016 (52) and is clearly determined to do everything in his not inconsiderable power to bring about his eugenics-inspired transhumanist world of artifice, surveillance, control and exponential profit.
But, as revealed by his reference above to ''class conflicts'', he is clearly worried by the possibility of ''societal resistance'' (53) and how to advance ''if technologies receive a great deal of resistance from the public''. (54)
Schwab's annual WEF shindigs at Davos have long been met by anti-capitalist protests and, despite the current paralysis of the radical left, he is well aware of the possibility of renewed and perhaps broader opposition to his project, with the risk of ''resentment, fear and political backlash''. (55)
In his most recent book he provides a historical context, noting that ''antiglobalization was strong in the run-up to 1914 and up to 1918, then less so during the 1920s, but it reignited in the 1930s as a result of the Great Depression''. (56)
He notes that in the early 2000s ''the political and societal backlash against globalization relentlessly gained strength'', (57) says that ''social unrest'' has been widespread across the world in the past two years, citing the Gilets Jaunes in France among other movements, and invokes the ''sombre scenario'' that ''the same could happen again''. (58)
So how is an honest technocrat supposed to roll out his preferred future for the world without the agreement of the global public? How can Schwab and his billionaire friends impose their favoured society on the rest of us?
One answer is relentless brainwashing propaganda churned out by the mass media and academia owned by the 1% elite '' what they like to call ''a narrative''.
For Schwab, the reluctance of the majority of humankind to leap aboard his 4IR express reflects the tragedy that ''the world lacks a consistent, positive and common narrative that outlines the opportunities and challenges of the fourth industrial revolution, a narrative that is essential if we are to empower a diverse set of individuals and communities and avoid a popular backlash against the fundamental changes under way''. (59)
He adds: ''It is, therefore, critical that we invest attention and energy in multistakeholder cooperation across academic, social, political, national and industry boundaries. These interactions and collaborations are needed to create positive, common and hope-filled narratives, enabling individuals and groups from all parts of the world to participate in, and benefit from, the ongoing transformations''. (60)
One of these ''narratives'' whitewashes the reasons for which 4IR technology needs to be installed everywhere in the world as soon as possible.
Schwab is frustrated that ''more than half of the world's population'--around 3.9 billion people'--still cannot access the internet'', (61) with 85% of the population of developing countries remaining offline and therefore out of reach, as compared to 22% in the developed world.
The actual aim of the 4IR is to exploit these populations for profit via global techno-imperialism, but of course that cannot be stated in the propaganda ''narrative'' required to sell the plan.
Instead, their mission has to be presented, as Schwab himself does, as a bid to ''develop technologies and systems that serve to distribute economic and social values such as income, opportunity and liberty to all stakeholders''. (62)
He piously postures as a guardian of woke liberal values, declaring: ''Thinking inclusively goes beyond thinking about poverty or marginalized communities simply as an aberration'--something that we can solve. It forces us to realize that 'our privileges are located on the same map as their suffering'. It moves beyond income and entitlements, though these remain important. Instead, the inclusion of stakeholders and the distribution of benefits expand freedoms for all''. (63)
The same technique, of a fake ''narrative'' designed to fool good-thinking citizens into supporting an imperialist capitalist scheme, has been used extensively with regard to climate change.
Schwab is a great fan of Greta Thunberg, of course, who had barely stood up from the pavement after her one-girl protest in Stockholm before being whisked off to address the WEF at Davos.
He is also a supporter of the proposed global New Deal for Nature, particularly via Voice for the Planet, which was launched at the WEF in Davos in 2019 by the Global Shapers, a youth-grooming organisation created by Schwab in 2011 and aptly described by investigative journalist Cory Morningstar as ''a grotesque display of corporate malfeasance disguised as good''.
In his 2020 book, Schwab actually lays out the way that fake ''youth activism'' is being used to advance his capitalist aims.
He writes, in a remarkably frank passage: ''Youth activism is increasing worldwide, being revolutionized by social media that increases mobilization to an extent that would have been impossible before. It takes many different forms, ranging from non-institutionalized political participation to demonstrations and protests, and addresses issues as diverse as climate change, economic reforms, gender equality and LGBTQ rights. The young generation is firmly at the vanguard of social change. There is little doubt that it will be the catalyst for change and a source of critical momentum for the Great Reset''. (64)
In fact, of course, the ultra-industrial future proposed by Schwab is anything other than green. It's not nature he's interested in, but ''natural capital'' and ''incentivizing investment in green and social frontier markets''. (65)
Pollution means profit and environmental crisis is just another business opportunity, as he details in The Fourth Industrial Revolution: ''In this revolutionary new industrial system, carbon dioxide turns from a greenhouse pollutant into an asset, and the economics of carbon capture and storage move from being cost as well as pollution sinks to becoming profitable carbon-capture and use-production facilities. Even more important, it will help companies, governments and citizens become more aware of and engaged with strategies to actively regenerate natural capital, allowing intelligent and regenerative uses of natural capital to guide sustainable production and consumption and give space for biodiversity to recover in threatened areas''. (66)
Schwab's ''solutions'' to the heart-breaking damage inflicted on our natural world by industrial capitalism involve more of the same poison, except worse.
Geoengineering is one of his favourites: ''Proposals include installing giant mirrors in the stratosphere to deflect the sun's rays, chemically seeding the atmosphere to increase rainfall and the deployment of large machines to remove carbon dioxide from the air''. (67)
And he adds: ''New approaches are currently being imagined through the combination of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, such as nanoparticles and other advanced materials''. (68)
Like all the businesses and pro-capitalist NGOs backing the threatened New Deal for Nature, Schwab is utterly and profoundly ungreen.
For him, the ''ultimate possibility'' of ''clean'' and ''sustainable'' energy includes nuclear fusion (69) and he looks forward to the day when satellites will ''blanket the planet with communications pathways that could help connect the more than 4 billion people still lacking online access''. (70)
Schwab also very much regrets all that red tape preventing the unhindered onward march of GM food, warning that ''global food security will only be achieved, however, if regulations on genetically modified foods are adapted to reflect the reality that gene editing offers a precise, efficient and safe method of improving crops''. (71)
The new order envisaged by Schwab will embrace the entire world and so global governance is required in order to impose it, as he repeatedly states.
His preferred future ''will only come about through improved global governance'' (72) he insists. ''Some form of effective global governance'' (73) is needed.
The problem we have today is that of a possible ''global order deficit'', (74) he claims, adding improbably that the World Health Organization ''is saddled with limited and dwindling resources''. (75)
What he is really saying is that his 4IR/great reset society will only function if imposed simultaneously everywhere on the planet, otherwise ''we will become paralysed in our attempts to address and respond to global challenges''. (76)
He admits: ''In a nutshell, global governance is at the nexus of all these other issues''. (77)
This all-englobing empire very much frowns on the idea of any particular population democratically deciding to take another path. These ''risk becoming isolated from global norms, putting these nations at risk of becoming the laggards of the new digital economy'', (78) warns Schwab.
Any sense of autonomy and grassroots belonging is regarded as a threat from Schwab's imperialist perspective and is due to be eradicated under the 4IR.
He writes: ''Individuals used to identify their lives most closely with a place, an ethnic group, a particular culture or even a language. The advent of online engagement and increased exposure to ideas from other cultures means that identities are now more fungible than previously'... Thanks to the combination of historical migration patterns and low-cost connectivity, family structures are being redefined''. (79)
Genuine democracy essentially falls into the same category for Schwab. He knows that most people will not willingly go along with plans to destroy their lives and enslave them to a global techno-fascist system of exploitation, so giving them a say in the matter is simply not an option.
This is why the ''stakeholder'' concept has been so important for Schwab's project. As discussed above, this is the negation of democracy, with its emphasis instead on ''reaching out across stakeholder groups for solution building''. (80)
If the public, the people, are included in this process it is only at a superficial level. The agenda has already been pre-supposed and the decisions pre-made behind the scenes.
Schwab effectively admits as much when he writes: ''We must re-establish a dialogue among all stakeholders to ensure mutual understanding that further builds a culture of trust among regulators, non-governmental organizations, professionals and scientists. The public must also be considered, because it must participate in the democratic shaping of biotechnological developments that affect society, individuals and cultures''. (81)
So the public must ''also'' be considered, as an afterthought. Not even directly consulted, just ''considered''! And the role of the people, the demos, will merely be to ''participate'' in the ''shaping'' of biotechnological developments. The possibility of the public actually rejecting the very idea of biotechnological developments has been entirely removed thanks to the deliberately in-built assumptions of the stakeholder formula.
The same message is implied in the heading of Schwab's conclusion to Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: ''What You Can Do to Shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution''. (82) The techno-tyranny cannot challenged or stopped, merely ''shaped''.
Schwab uses the term ''systems leadership'' to describe the profoundly anti-democratic way in which the 1% imposes its agenda on us all, without giving us the chance to say 'no'.
He writes: ''Systems leadership is about cultivating a shared vision for change'--working together with all stakeholders of global society'--and then acting on it to change how the system delivers its benefits, and to whom. Systems leadership requires action from all stakeholders, including individuals, business executives, social influencers and policy-makers''. (83)
He refers to this full-spectrum top-down control as ''the system management of human existence'' (84) although others might prefer the term ''totalitarianism''.
One of the distinguishing features of historical fascism in Italy and Germany was its impatience with the inconvenient restraints imposed on the ruling class (''the Nation'' in fascist language) by democracy and political liberalism.
All of this had to be swept out of the way to allow a Blitzkrieg of accelerated ''modernisation''.
We see the same spirit resurging in Schwab's calls for ''agile governance'' in which he claims that ''the pace of technological development and a number of characteristics of technologies render previous policy-making cycles and processes inadequate''. (85)
He writes: ''The idea of reforming governance models to cope with new technologies is not new, but the urgency of doing so is far greater in light of the power of today's emerging technologies'... the concept of agile governance seeks to match the nimbleness, fluidity, flexibility and adaptiveness of the technologies themselves and the private-sector actors adopting them''. (86)
The phrase ''reforming governance models to cope with new technologies'' really gives the game away here. As under fascism, social structures must be reinvented so as to accommodate the requirements of capitalism and its profit-increasing technologies.
Schwab explains that his ''agile governance'' would involve creating so-called policy labs '' ''protected spaces within government with an explicit mandate to experiment with new methods of policy development by using agile principles'' '' and ''encouraging collaborations between governments and businesses to create 'developtory sandboxes' and 'experimental testbeds' to develop regulations using iterative, cross-sectoral and flexible approaches''. (87)
For Schwab, the role of the state is to advance capitalist aims, not to hold them up to any form of scrutiny. While he is all in favour of the state's role in enabling a corporate take-over of our lives, he is less keen about its regulatory function, which might slow down the inflow of profit into private hands, and so he envisages ''the development of ecosystems of private regulators, competing in markets''. (88)
In his 2018 book, Schwab discusses the problem of pesky regulations and how best to ''overcome these limits'' in the context of data and privacy.
He comes up with the suggestion of ''public-private data-sharing agreements that 'break glass in case of emergency'. These come into play only under pre-agreed emergency circumstances (such as a pandemic) and can help reduce delays and improve the coordination of first responders, temporarily allowing data sharing that would be illegal under normal circumstances''. (89)
Funnily enough, two years later there was indeed a ''pandemic'' and these ''pre-agreed emergency circumstances'' became a reality.
This shouldn't have been too much of a surprise for Schwab, since his WEF had co-hosted the infamous Event 201 conference in October 2019, which modelled a fictional coronavirus pandemic.
And he wasted little time in bringing out a new book, Covid-19: The Great Reset, co-authored with Thierry Malleret, who runs something called the Monthly Barometer, ''a succinct predictive analysis provided to private investors, global CEOs and opinion- and decision-makers''. (90)
Published in July 2020, the book sets out to advance ''conjectures and ideas about what the post-pandemic world might, and perhaps should, look like''. (91)
Schwab and Malleret admit that Covid-19 is ''one of the least deadly pandemics the world has experienced over the last 2000 years'', adding that ''the consequences of COVID-19 in terms of health and mortality will be mild compared to previous pandemics''. (92)
They add: ''It does not constitute an existential threat, or a shock that will leave its imprint on the world's population for decades''. (93)
Yet, incredibly, this ''mild'' illness is simultaneously presented as the excuse for unprecedented social change under the banner of ''The Great Reset''!
And although they explicitly declare that Covid-19 does not constitute a major ''shock'', the authors repeatedly deploy the same term to describe the broader impact of the crisis.
Schwab and Malleret place Covid-19 in a long tradition of events which have facilitated sudden and significant changes to our societies.
They specifically invoke the Second World War: ''World War II was the quintessential transformational war, triggering not only fundamental changes to the global order and the global economy, but also entailing radical shifts in social attitudes and beliefs that eventually paved the way for radically new policies and social contract provisions (like women joining the workforce before becoming voters). There are obviously fundamental dissimilarities between a pandemic and a war (that we will consider in some detail in the following pages), but the magnitude of their transformative power is comparable. Both have the potential to be a transformative crisis of previously unimaginable proportions''. (94)
They also join many contemporary ''conspiracy theorists'' in making a direct comparison between Covid-19 and 9/11: ''This is what happened after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. All around the world, new security measures like employing widespread cameras, requiring electronic ID cards and logging employees or visitors in and out became the norm. At that time, these measures were deemed extreme, but today they are used everywhere and considered 'normal'''. (95)
When any tyrant declares the right to rule over a population without taking their views into account, they like to justify their dictatorship with the claim that they are morally entitled to do so because they are ''enlightened''.
The same is true of the Covid-fuelled tyranny of Schwab's great reset, which the book categorises as ''enlightened leadership'', adding: ''Some leaders and decision-makers who were already at the forefront of the fight against climate change may want to take advantage of the shock inflicted by the pandemic to implement long-lasting and wider environmental changes. They will, in effect, make 'good use' of the pandemic by not letting the crisis go to waste''. (96)
The global capitalist ruling elite have certainly been doing their best to ''take advantage of the shock inflicted by the panic'', assuring us all since the very earliest days of the outbreak that, for some unfathomable reason, nothing in our lives could ever be the same again.
Schwab and Malleret are, inevitably, enthusiastic in their use of the New Normal framing, despite their admission that the virus was only ever ''mild''.
''It is our defining moment'', they crow. ''Many things will change forever''. ''A new world will emerge''. ''The societal upheaval unleashed by COVID-19 will last for years, and possibly generations''. ''Many of us are pondering when things will return to normal. The short response is: never''. (97)
They even go as far as proposing a new historical separation between ''the pre-pandemic era'' and ''the post-pandemic world''. (98)
They write: ''Radical changes of such consequence are coming that some pundits have referred to a 'before coronavirus' (BC) and 'after coronavirus' (AC) era. We will continue to be surprised by both the rapidity and unexpected nature of these changes '' as they conflate with each other, they will provoke second-, third-, fourth- and more-order consequences, cascading effects and unforeseen outcomes. In so doing, they will shape a 'new normal' radically different from the one we will be progressively leaving behind. Many of our beliefs and assumptions about what the world could or should look like will be shattered in the process''. (99)
Back in 2016, Schwab was looking ahead to ''new ways of using technology to change behavior'' (100) and predicting: ''The scale and breadth of the unfolding technological revolution will usher in economic, social and cultural changes of such phenomenal proportions that they are almost impossible to envisage''. (101)
One way in which he had hoped his technocratic agenda would be advanced was, as we have noted, through the phoney ''solutions'' to climate change proposed by fake green capitalists.
Under the title ''environmental reset'', Schwab and Malleret state: ''At first glance, the pandemic and the environment might seem to be only distantly related cousins; but they are much closer and more intertwined than we think''. (102)
One of the connections is that both the climate and virus ''crises'' have been used by the WEF and their like to push their agenda of global governance. As Schwab and his co-author put it, ''they are global in nature and therefore can only be properly addressed in a globally coordinated fashion''. (103)
Another link is the way that the ''the post-pandemic economy'' and ''the green economy'' (104) involve massive profits for largely the same sectors of big business.
Covid-19 has evidently been great news for those capitalists hoping to cash in on environmental destruction, with Schwab and Malleret reporting: ''The conviction that ESG strategies benefited from the pandemic and are most likely to benefit further is corroborated by various surveys and reports. Early data shows that the sustainability sector outperformed conventional funds during the first quarter of 2020''. (105)
The capitalist sharks of the so-called ''sustainability sector'' are rubbing their hands together with glee at the prospect of all the money they stand to make from the Covid-pretexted great fascist reset, in which the state is instrumentalised to fund their hypocritical profiteering.
Note Schwab and Malleret: ''The key to crowding private capital into new sources of nature-positive economic value will be to shift key policy levers and public finance incentives as part of a wider economic reset''. (106)
''A policy paper prepared by Systemiq in collaboration with the World Economic Forum estimates that building the nature-positive economy could represent more than $10 trillion per year by 2030'... Resetting the environment should not be seen as a cost, but rather as an investment that will generate economic activity and employment opportunities''. (107)
Given the intertwining of climate and Covid crises set out by Schwab, we might speculate that the original plan was to push through the New Normal reset on the back of the climate crisis.
But evidently, all that publicity for Greta Thunberg and big business-backed Extinction Rebellion did not whip up enough public panic to justify such measures.
Covid-19 serves Schwab's purposes perfectly, as the immediate urgency it presents allows the whole process to be speeded up and rushed through without due scrutiny.
''This crucial difference between the respective time-horizons of a pandemic and that of climate change and nature loss means that a pandemic risk requires immediate action that will be followed by a rapid result, while climate change and nature loss also require immediate action, but the result (or 'future reward', in the jargon of economists) will only follow with a certain time lag''. (108)
For Schwab and his friends, Covid-19 is the great accelerator of everything they have been wanting to foist upon us for years.
As he and Malleret say: ''The pandemic is clearly exacerbating and accelerating geopolitical trends that were already apparent before the crisis erupted''. (109)
''The pandemic will mark a turning point by accelerating this transition. It has crystallized the issue and made a return to the pre-pandemic status quo impossible''. (110)
They can barely conceal their delight at the direction society is now taking: ''The pandemic will accelerate innovation even more, catalysing technological changes already under way (comparable to the exacerbation effect it has had on other underlying global and domestic issues) and 'turbocharging' any digital business or the digital dimension of any business''. (111)
''With the pandemic, the 'digital transformation' that so many analysts have been referring to for years, without being exactly sure what it meant, has found its catalyst. One major effect of confinement will be the expansion and progression of the digital world in a decisive and often permanent manner.
''In April 2020, several tech leaders observed how quickly and radically the necessities created by the health crisis had precipitated the adoption of a wide range of technologies. In the space of just one month, it appeared that many companies in terms of tech take-up fast-forwarded by several years''. (112)
Fate is obviously smiling on Klaus Schwab as this Covid-19 crisis has, happily, succeeded in advancing pretty much every aspect of the agenda he has been promoting over the decades.
Thus he and Malleret report with satisfaction that ''the pandemic will fast-forward the adoption of automation in the workplace and the introduction of more robots in our personal and professional lives''. (113)
Lockdowns across the world have, needless to say, provided a big financial boost to those businesses offering online shopping.
The authors recount: ''Consumers need products and, if they can't shop, they will inevitably resort to purchasing them online. As the habit kicks in, people who had never shopped online before will become comfortable with doing so, while people who were part-time online shoppers before will presumably rely on it more. This was made evident during the lockdowns. In the US, Amazon and Walmart hired a combined 250,000 workers to keep up with the increase in demand and built massive infrastructure to deliver online. This accelerating growth of e-commerce means that the giants of the online retail industry are likely to emerge from the crisis even stronger than they were in the pre-pandemic era''. (114)
They add: ''As more and diverse things and services are brought to us via our mobiles and computers, companies in sectors as disparate as e-commerce, contactless operations, digital content, robots and drone deliveries (to name just a few) will thrive. It is not by accident that firms like Alibaba, Amazon, Netflix or Zoom emerged as 'winners' from the lockdowns''. (115)
By way of corollary, we might suggest that it is ''not by accident'' that governments which have been captured and controlled by big business, thanks to the likes of the WEF, have imposed a ''new reality'' under which big businesses are the ''winners'''...
The Covid-inspired good news never stops for all the business sectors which stand to benefit from the Fourth Industrial Repression.
''The pandemic may prove to be a boon for online education,'' Schwab and Malleret report. ''In Asia, the shift to online education has been particularly notable, with a sharp increase in students' digital enrolments, much higher valuation for online education businesses and more capital available for 'ed-tech' start-ups'... In the summer of 2020, the direction of the trend seems clear: the world of education, like for so many other industries, will become partly virtual''. (116)
Online sports have also taken off: ''For a while, social distancing may constrain the practice of certain sports, which will in turn benefit the ever-more powerful expansion of e-sports. Tech and digital are never far away!''. (117)
There is similar news from the banking sector: ''Online banking interactions have risen to 90 percent during the crisis, from 10 percent, with no drop-off in quality and an increase in compliance''. (118)
The Covid-inspired move into online activity obviously benefits Big Tech, who are making enormous profits out of the crisis, as the authors describe: ''The combined market value of the leading tech companies hit record after record during the lockdowns, even rising back above levels before the outbreak started'... this phenomenon is unlikely to abate any time soon, quite the opposite''. (119)
But it is also good news for all the businesses involved, who no longer have to pay human beings to work for them. Automation is, and has always been, about saving costs and thus boosting profits for the capitalist elite.
The culture of the fascist New Normal will also provide lucrative spin-off benefits for particular business sectors, such as the packaging industry, explain Schwab and Malleret.
''The pandemic will certainly heighten our focus on hygiene. A new obsession with cleanliness will particularly entail the creation of new forms of packaging. We will be encouraged not to touch the products we buy. Simple pleasures like smelling a melon or squeezing a fruit will be frowned upon and may even become a thing of the past''. (120)
The authors also describe what sounds very much like a technocratic profit-related agenda behind the ''social distancing'' which has been such a key element of the Covid ''reset''.
They write: ''In one form or another, social- and physical-distancing measures are likely to persist after the pandemic itself subsides, justifying the decision in many companies from different industries to accelerate automation. After a while, the enduring concerns about technological unemployment will recede as societies emphasize the need to restructure the workplace in a way that minimizes close human contact. Indeed, automation technologies are particularly well suited to a world in which human beings can't get too close to each other or are willing to reduce their interactions. Our lingering and possibly lasting fear of being infected with a virus (COVID-19 or another) will thus speed the relentless march of automation, particularly in the fields most susceptible to automation''. (121)
As previously mentioned, Schwab has long been frustrated by all those tiresome regulations which stop capitalists from making as much money as they would like to, by focusing on economically irrelevant concerns such as the safety and well being of human beings.
But '' hooray! '' the Covid crisis has provided the perfect excuse for doing away with great swathes of these outmoded impediments to prosperity and growth.
One area in which meddlesome red tape is being abandoned is health. Why would any right-minded stakeholder imagine that any particular obligation for care and diligence should be allowed to impinge on the profitablity of this particular business sector?
Schwab and Malleret are overjoyed to note that telemedicine will ''benefit considerably'' from the Covid emergency: ''The necessity to address the pandemic with any means available (plus, during the outbreak, the need to protect health workers by allowing them to work remotely) removed some of the regulatory and legislative impediments related to the adoption of telemedicine''. (122)
The ditching of regulations is a general phenomenon under the New Normal global regime, as Schwab and Malleret relate:
''To date governments have often slowed the pace of adoption of new technologies by lengthy ponderings about what the best regulatory framework should look like but, as the example of telemedicine and drone delivery is now showing, a dramatic acceleration forced by necessity is possible. During the lockdowns, a quasi-global relaxation of regulations that had previously hampered progress in domains where the technology had been available for years suddenly happened because there was no better or other choice available. What was until recently unthinkable suddenly became possible'... New regulations will stay in place''. (123)
They add: ''The current imperative to propel, no matter what, the 'contactless economy' and the subsequent willingness of regulators to speed it up means that there are no holds barred''. (124)
''No holds barred''. Make no mistake: this is the language adopted by capitalism when it abandons its pretence at liberal democracy and switches into full-on fascist mode.
It is clear from Schwab and Malleret's work that a fascistic merging of state and business, to the advantage of the latter, underpins their great reset.
Phenomenal sums of money have been transferred from the public purse into the bulging pockets of the 1% since the very start of the Covid crisis, as they acknowledge: ''In April 2020, just as the pandemic began to engulf the world, governments across the globe had announced stimulus programmes amounting to several trillion dollars, as if eight or nine Marshall Plans had been put into place almost simultaneously''. (125)
They continue: ''COVID-19 has rewritten many of the rules of the game between the public and private sectors. '... The benevolent (or otherwise) greater intrusion of governments in the life of companies and the conduct of their business will be country- and industry-dependent, therefore taking many different guises''. (126)
''Measures that would have seemed inconceivable prior to the pandemic may well become standard around the world as governments try to prevent the economic recession from turning into a catastrophic depression.
''Increasingly, there will be calls for government to act as a 'payer of last resort' to prevent or stem the spate of mass layoffs and business destruction triggered by the pandemic. All these changes are altering the rules of the economic and monetary policy 'game'.'' (127)
Schwab and his fellow author welcome the prospect of increased state powers being used to prop up big business profiteering.
They write: ''One of the great lessons of the past five centuries in Europe and America is this: acute crises contribute to boosting the power of the state. It's always been the case and there is no reason why it should be different with the COVID-19 pandemic''. (128)
And they add: ''Looking to the future, governments will most likely, but with different degrees of intensity, decide that it's in the best interest of society to rewrite some of the rules of the game and permanently increase their role''. (129)
The idea of rewriting the rules of the game is, again, very reminiscent of fascist language, as of course is the idea of permanently increasing the role of the state in helping the private sector.
Indeed, it is worth comparing Schwab's position on this issue with that of Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, who responded to economic crisis in 1931 by launching a special emergency body, L'Istituto mobiliare italiano, to aid businesses.
He declared this was ''a means of energetically driving the Italian economy towards its corporative phase, which is to say a system which fundamentally respects private property and initiative, but ties them tightly to the State, which alone can protect, control and nourish them''. (130)
Suspicions about the fascistic nature of Schwab's great reset are confirmed, of course, by the police-state measures that have been rolled out across the world to ensure compliance with ''emergency'' Covid measures.
The sheer brute force that never lies far beneath the surface of the capitalist system becomes increasingly visible when it enters it fascist stage and this is very much in evidence in Schwab and Malleret's book.
The word ''force'' is deployed time and time again in the context of Covid-19. Sometimes this is in a business context, as with the statements that ''COVID-19 has forced all the banks to accelerate a digital transformation that is now here to stay'' or that ''the micro reset will force every company in every industry to experiment new ways of doing business, working and operating''. (131)
But sometimes it is applied directly to human beings, or ''consumers'' as Schwab and his ilk prefer to think of us.
''During the lockdowns, many consumers previously reluctant to rely too heavily on digital applications and services were forced to change their habits almost overnight: watching movies online instead of going to the cinema, having meals delivered instead of going out to restaurants, talking to friends remotely instead of meeting them in the flesh, talking to colleagues on a screen instead of chit-chatting at the coffee machine, exercising online instead of going to the gym, and so on'...
''Many of the tech behaviours that we were forced to adopt during confinement will through familiarity become more natural. As social and physical distancing persist, relying more on digital platforms to communicate, or work, or seek advice, or order something will, little by little, gain ground on formerly ingrained habits''. (132)
Under a fascist system, individuals are not offered the choice as to whether they want to comply with its demands or not, as Schwab and Malleret make quite clear regarding so-called contact-tracing: ''No voluntary contact-tracing app will work if people are unwilling to provide their own personal data to the governmental agency that monitors the system; if any individual refuses to download the app (and therefore to withhold information about a possible infection, movements and contacts), everyone will be adversely affected''. (133)
This, they reflect, is another great advantage of the Covid crisis over the environmental one which might have been used to impose their New Normal: ''While for a pandemic, a majority of citizens will tend to agree with the necessity to impose coercive measures, they will resist constraining policies in the case of environmental risks where the evidence can be disputed''. (134)
These ''coercive measures'', which we are all expected to go along with, will of course involve unimaginable levels of fascistic surveillance of our lives, particularly in our role as wage slaves.
Write Schwab and Malleret: ''The corporate move will be towards greater surveillance; for better or for worse, companies will be watching and sometimes recording what their workforce does. The trend could take many different forms, from measuring body temperatures with thermal cameras to monitoring via an app how employees comply with social distancing''. (135)
Coercive measures of one kind or another are also likely to be used to force people to take the Covid vaccines currently being lined up.
Schwab is deeply connected to that world, being on a ''first-name basis'' with Bill Gates and having been hailed by Big Pharma mainstay Henry McKinnell, chairman and CEO of Pfizer Inc, as ''a person truly dedicated to a truly noble cause''.
So it is not surprising that he insists, with Malleret, that ''a full return to 'normal' cannot be envisaged before a vaccine is available''. (136)
He adds: ''The next hurdle is the political challenge of vaccinating enough people worldwide (we are collectively as strong as the weakest link) with a high enough compliance rate despite the rise of anti-vaxxers''. (137)
''Anti-vaxxers'' thus join Schwab's list of threats to his project, along with anti-globalization and anti-capitalist protesters, Gilets Jaunes and all those engaged in ''class conflicts'', ''societal resistance'' and ''political backlash''.
The majority of the world's population have already been excluded from decision-making processes by the lack of democracy which Schwab wants to accentuate through his stakeholderist corporate domination, his ''agile governance'', his totalitarian ''system management of human existence''.
But how does he envisage dealing with the ''sombre scenario'' of people rising up against his great newnormalist reset and his transhumanist Fourth Industrial Revolution?
What degree of ''force'' and ''coercive measures'' would he be prepared to accept in order to ensure the dawning of his technocratic new age?
The question is a chilling one, but we should also bear in mind the historical example of the 20th century regime into which Schwab was born.
Hitler's new Nazi normal was meant to last for a thousand years, but came crashing down 988 years ahead of target.
Just because Hitler said, with all the confidence of power, that his Reich would last for a millennium, this didn't mean that it was so.
Just because Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret and their friends say that we are now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution and our world will be changed for ever, this doesn't mean that it is so.
We don't have to accept their New Normal. We don't have to go along with their fearmongering. We don't have to take their vaccines. We don't have to let them implant us with smartphones or edit our DNA. We don't have to walk, muzzled and submissive, straight into their transhumanist hell.
We can denounce their lies! Expose their agenda! Refuse their narrative! Reject their toxic ideology! Resist their fascism!
Klaus Schwab is not a god, but a human being. Just one elderly man. And those he works with, the global capitalist elite, are few in number. Their aims are not the aims of the vast majority of humankind. Their transhumanist vision is repulsive to nearly everyone outside of their little circle and they do not have consent for the technocratic dictatorship they are trying to impose on us.
That, after all, is why they have had to go to such lengths to force it upon us under the false flag of fighting a virus. They understood that without the ''emergency'' justification, we were never going to go along with their warped scheme.
They are scared of our potential power because they know that if we stand up, we will defeat them. We can bring their project crashing down before it has even properly started.
We are the people, we are the 99%, and together we can grab back our freedom from the deadly jaws of the fascist machine!
FURTHER READING
Resist the Fourth Industrial Repression!
Fascism, newnormalism and the left
Liberalism: the two-faced tyranny of wealth
Organic radicalism: bringing down the fascist machine
NOTES
1. Klaus Schwab with Nicholas Davis, Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Guide to Building a Better World (Geneva: WEF, 2018), e-book.2. Klaus Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Geneva: WEF, 2016), e-book.3. Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.4. Schwab, Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.5. Ibid.6. Ibid.7. Ibid.8. Ibid.9. Ibid.10. Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.11. Ibid.12. Ibid.13. Ibid.14. Schwab, Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.15. Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.16. Ibid.17. Ibid.18. Schwab, Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.19. Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.20. Ibid.21. Ibid.22. Ibid.23. Schwab, Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.24. Ibid.25. Ibid.26. Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.27. Schwab, Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.28. Ibid.29. Ibid.30. Ibid.31. Ibid.32. Ibid.33. Ibid.34. Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.35. Schwab, Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.36. Ibid.37. Ibid.38. Ibid.39. Ibid.40. Ibid.41. Ibid.42. Ibid.43. Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.44. Schwab, Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.45. Ibid.46. Ibid.47. Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.48. Ibid.49. Ibid.50. Kevin Warwick, I, Cyborg (London: Century, 2002), p. 4. See also Paul Cudenec, Nature, Essence and Anarchy (Sussex: Winter Oak, 2016).51. Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.52. Ibid.53. Schwab, Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.54. Ibid.55. Ibid.56. Klaus Schwab, Thierry Malleret, Covid-19: The Great Reset (Geneva: WEF, 2020), e-book. Edition 1.0.57. Ibid.58. Ibid.59. Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.60. Ibid.61. Schwab, Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.62. Ibid.63. Ibid.64. Schwab, Malleret, Covid-19: The Great Reset.65. Ibid.66. Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.67. Schwab, Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.68. Ibid.69. Ibid.70. Ibid.71. Ibid.72. Schwab, Malleret, Covid-19: The Great Reset.73. Ibid.74. Ibid.75. Ibid.76. Ibid.77. Ibid.78. Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.79. Ibid.80. Schwab, Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.81. Ibid.82. Ibid.83. Ibid.84. Ibid.85. Ibid.86. Ibid.87. Ibid.88. Ibid.89. Ibid.90. Schwab, Malleret, Covid-19: The Great Reset.91. Ibid.92. Ibid.93. Ibid.94. Ibid.95. Ibid.96. Ibid.97. Ibid.98. Ibid.99. Ibid.100. Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.101. Ibid.102. Schwab, Malleret, Covid-19: The Great Reset.103. Ibid.104. Ibid.105. Ibid.108. Ibid.107. Ibid.108. Ibid.109. Ibid.110. Ibid.111. Ibid.112. Ibid.113. Ibid.114. Ibid.115. Ibid.116. Ibid.117. Ibid.118. Ibid.119. Ibid.120. Ibid.121. Ibid.122. Ibid.123. Ibid.124. Ibid.125. Ibid.126. Ibid.127. Ibid.128. Ibid.129. Ibid.130. Benito Mussolini, cit. Pierre Milza and Serge Berstein, Le fascisme italien 1919-1945 (Paris: Editions de Seuil, 1980), p. 246.131. Schwab, Malleret, Covid-19: The Great Reset.132. Ibid.133. Ibid.134. Ibid.135. Ibid.136. Ibid.137. Ibid.
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As Boris Johnson announces Britain's 'great reset', were the Covid 'conspiracy theorists' right all along? '-- RT Op-ed
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:51
Neil Clark
is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66
is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66
The UK Prime Minister's remote speech to his party conference saw him dismiss the idea of returning to normality. Is he using Covid-19 to follow the World Economic Forum's 'Great Reset' agenda, as many have warned?
'It's not really about public health or a virus. They have another agenda.' That's what the so-called 'conspiracy theorists' have been saying since March, when the first British lockdowns were imposed and our lives were turned upside down.
Those 'conspiracy theorists' were denounced, as always, as 'cranks' and 'flat-Earthers' but here we are in October, and, let's face it, there is absolutely no sign, despite very low numbers of deaths 'with' Coronavirus, that we are returning to anything like normal. In fact, in his keynote speech yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson specifically ruled out a return to normal, not even with a vaccine.
''After all we have been through, it isn't enough just to go back to normal. We have lost too much. History teaches us that things of this magnitude '' wars, famines, plagues, events that affect the vast bulk of humanity, as this virus has '' they do not just come and go. They can be the trigger for economic and social change.''
When I heard Johnson utter those words I thought, 'where have I heard this stuff before?' Well, the answer is in the book 'Covid-19: The Great Reset' by Klaus Schwab, the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, and Thierry Malleret. They too, like Johnson, invoked the Second World War as the trigger for fundamental changes, not only to the global order and global economy, but to society and the way human beings interact with one another. Like Johnson, they don't want to return to normal. ''Many of us are pondering when things will return to normal. The short response is never.''
Also on rt.com 'No peasants, please': BoJo's love-in with Bill Gates on Twitter shows just how broken UK democracy really is Instead, Schwab and Malleret want a world changed forever by a virus which they admit is only 'mild' compared to others in history. Covid-19 is seen as the catalyst for the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution'.
As to where all this is heading, I recommend you read Schwab's 'Great Reset', and his earlier 'The Fourth Industrial Revolution', but please don't do so late at night, because they will probably give you nightmares. Schwab's elitist Davos-man utopia is a trans-human, socially distanced, utterly soulless dystopia for the rest of us. Think of the most terrifying sci-film you've ever watched and that still doesn't go anywhere near it. And the worst thing is that it is sold to us as some kind of 'progressive' vision.
Johnson, in his speech yesterday, showed he's a fully-signed up 'Great Resetter'. It was, for me, the most chilling oration ever made by any British prime minister at a party conference.
The man who justified a national lockdown in March on a purely temporary three-week basis to 'flatten the curve', and 'protect the NHS', and who said in the summer, after the lockdown had lasted three months, that he hoped Britain would return to 'significant normality' by November, now tells us: ''We have been through too much frustration and hardship just to settle for the status quo ante '' to think that life can go on as it was before the plague; and it will not'... We are resolving not to go back to 2019.''
For Johnson, using the globalists' phrase 'Build Back Better', this is the time to launch Britain on the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution'. ''From internet shopping to working from home, it looks as though Covid has massively accelerated changes in the world of work'... as old jobs are lost and as new ones are created'... The Covid crisis is a catalyst for change'...'' he said.
Did Schwab actually write his speech? It looks like it. Although Johnson didn't use the phrase 'The Fourth Industrial Revolution', he did mention a 'Green Industrial Revolution' twice.
Johnson foresees a future in which every home in Britain relies on wind power (he certainly produces a lot of that), and ''instead of being dragged on big commutes to the city'' people can ''start a business in their home town'... and bring up their children in the neighbourhoods where they grew up themselves.''
Working from home is here to stay, with ''gigabit broadband,'' shopping from home, conferencing from home'... in fact, let's do everything from home. Who needs to meet other human beings? Not that there'd be anywhere to meet, with pubs, cinemas and theatres all closed down due to the never-ending coronavirus restrictions.
Johnson pledged to make Britain ''the greatest place on Earth'' but to me it sounds more like hell. The question, as ever, is who benefits?
Also on rt.com Boris Johnson's £100bn Operation Moonshot needs to be shot down '' fast The World Economic Forum, founded by Schwab, has been incredibly influential when it comes to the changes we've already seen in 2020, and what is being openly planned for the future. It was the WEF which co-hosted the 'Event 201' conference in New York in October 2019, which modelled a fictional global pandemic.
It was at the WEF's annual meeting in Davos on January 24, 2020 that Bill Gates' Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI) held a press conference to announce a 'new partnership' to develop vaccines for the virus, when the number of confirmed worldwide cases was still in the hundreds.
It was the WEF's Schwab who declared in June: ''The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine and reset our world.''
It was the WEF that in July was promoting a Covid-19 'Health Passport' app, the 'brainchild' of one of its 'Young Global Leaders', as the future for travel and attending events.
And for those who don't have the app or a 'negative' test result? Well, you can just stay at home.
Conspiracy theorists eh?"The World Economic Forum-backed project aims to create the first globally recognised proof that a passenger has tested negative for the virus before a flight, using a digital certificate downloaded to a mobile phone" https://t.co/4RHLzeXeCv
'-- Simon Dolan #KBF (@simondolan) October 7, 2020If you take a look at the 'founding partners' of the WEF's Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution you'll see names such as Microsoft, Palantir, Facebook, Netflix and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Yes, that's right, hi-tech online giants and hi-tech multi-billionaires supporting a big shift towards a stay-at-home, 'do everything on the Internet' society.
Is it a 'conspiracy theory' to say that Covid-19 is being used as a convenient opportunity to introduce long-planned changes to the economy and society, when those pushing for such changes like Schwab openly talk of there being a ''rare but narrow window'' for a major 'reset'?
Actually, after Johnson's speech yesterday, the biggest 'conspiracy theorists' now are those who DON'T think the British government is working to another agenda.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Not another beeping scanner... at intu Braehead
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 16:01
We have recently introduced temporary security scanners at entrances at intu Braehead and Soar. These are not currently permanent features and are only being deployed for an hour or two per week as part of a trial.Keeping people safe is our absolute priority and we're always looking at new ways to improve security and provide reassurance to our customers.
We have already used scanners at the entrance to the arena and are trialling the same technology at the centre for a short time only. We don't expect it to cause disruption to people coming and going.
It's normal for us to test different security measures throughout the year and it's important to stress that this doesn't relate to a specific threat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are we introducing scanners in the centre? Keeping people safe is our absolute priority and we're always looking at new ways to improve security and provide reassurance to our customers
Is this a new procedure?We have already used scanners at the entrance to the arena and we are trialling the same technology at the centre. We don't expect it to cause disruption to people coming and going.
When will the scanners be installed in the shopping centre environment? How long for?The scanners will be installed for short periods of 1-1.5 hours for testing per week. If or when there is a raised security level, we may choose to deploy these on a more permanent basis for public protection.
Do we have security teams on the doors to pull people aside if they set off the scanners, like airports? Yes. The security team will be present to assist you. If the scanners are set off, they will conduct further searches.
Will customers be manually searched if they activate a sensor?Yes. A certified member of staff will ask to search your person. You have the right to refuse such a search.
What happens if someone refuses? Will they be refused entry?Yes, the person/s will be refused entry.
Is it compulsory to go through the scanner before you enter the shopping centre? Yes, as per site procedure.
Will shoppers have to empty their pockets, purses etc for metal objects like keys and coins?No. The smart technology can differentiate between everyday items and items that may be deemed dangerous. If the scanner is set off, the person will then be searched further.
Will people's bags be searched before they go through the scanners like they do at the Sheriff and High Court buildings?No. However if the scanners are set off, bags and other personal items may be searched.
Surely everyone walking in would set off a metal detector if they didn't have to empty pockets, remove belts and watches, etc'... How will we handle the volume of potential searches in a shopping centre environment, without causing massive disruption for customers?It's smart technology so it can differentiate between anything dangerous and normal everyday items. The scanners will not be triggered by keys, wallets etc.
Are we prepared for queues outside the door if people start backing up?Security will be present for any crowd control; however, we do not expect these scanners to cause any delays.
Are these walk through full body scanners?Yes. However these are not intrusive. It is jut like walking through a doorway and are the same as the permanent scanners in the Arena.
Is Braehead the first shopping centre in Scotland or the UK to introduce these scanners?Yes, customer safety is paramount, and we look to be as innovative as possible to ensure the greatest level of protection for our patrons.
Are other intu centres introducing these scanners?Not as this stage.
Is this a pilot project/trial or are the scanners permanent?This is currently a permanent fixture for the arena, aligning with most major event arenas in the UK. These will also be randomly deployed in the centre for short periods of time. The scanners may become a permanent fixture if national security threats rise.
Has there been a specific threat made to Braehead? No, it is normal for us to test different security measures throughout the year and it's important to stress that this doesn't relate to a specific threat.
Has Braehead liaised with police and other security services over the introduction of these scanners? Yes. intu Braehead work closely with Police Scotland when implementing any new security measures. There will also be police present when using this technology in centre.
What is the company policy when media ask to film/photograph these scanners and come into the centre to interview shoppers about having to go through the scanners? The policy for filming/photography in the mall does not change. All enquiries should be directed to centre management (0141 885 1441)
The Coronavirus (Retention of Fingerprints and DNA Profiles in the Interests of National Security) (No. 2) Regulations 2020
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 16:03
National Security
Made
at 2.54 p.m. on 10th September 2020
Laid before Parliament
at 4.00 p.m. on 10th September 2020
Coming into force
1st October 2020
The Secretary of State makes the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by section 24(2), (4) and (8) of the Coronavirus Act 2020(1).
The Secretary of State, in accordance with section 24(3) of that Act, considers that coronavirus is having, or is likely to have, an adverse effect on the capacity of persons responsible for making national security determinations to consider whether to make, or renew, national security determinations and that it is in the interests of national security to retain the fingerprints or DNA profiles as provided for in these Regulations.
The Secretary of State has consulted the Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material in accordance with section 24(6) of that Act.
Citation, commencement and interpretation1. '--(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Coronavirus (Retention of Fingerprints and DNA Profiles in the Interests of National Security) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 and come into force on 1st October 2020.
(2) In these Regulations, ''the first retention Regulations'' means the Coronavirus (Retention of Fingerprints and DNA Profiles in the Interests of National Security) Regulations 2020(2).
Extension of the effect of a national security determination2. '--(1) Paragraph (3) applies in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that satisfy the condition in paragraph (2).
(2) The condition is that the fingerprints or DNA profiles are retained in accordance with a national security determination that will (ignoring the effect of these Regulations) cease to have effect on a date during the period that starts with 1st October 2020 and ends with 24th March 2021.
(3) The retention of the fingerprints or DNA profiles under the national security determination may continue for a further period of six months starting with the date on which the national security determination would otherwise have ceased to have effect.
(4) In paragraphs (2) and (3), references to the date on which a national security determination ceases to have effect include the date on which a national security determination whose effect has been extended in accordance with regulation 2 of the first retention Regulations (extension of the effect of a national security determination) ceases to have effect.
Extension of a current statutory retention period3. '--(1) Paragraph (4) applies in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that satisfy the conditions in paragraphs (2) and (3).
(2) The first condition is that the fingerprints or DNA profiles are retained'--
(a) under any of the following provisions'--
(i) paragraph 20B(3) or paragraph 20C(3) of Schedule 8 to the Terrorism Act 2000 (retention of paragraph 20A material)(3);
(ii) section 18A(1) of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 (retention of section 18 material)(4);
(iii) paragraph 8(2) of Schedule 6 to the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (retention of paragraph 6 material)(5), or
(b) under section 63F(3) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (retention of section 63D material)(6) if the fingerprints or DNA profiles satisfy the national security retention condition (see regulation 5).
(3) The second condition is that the final day of the period for which the fingerprints or DNA profiles may be retained (''the retention period'') will (ignoring the effect of these Regulations) fall on a date during the period that starts with 1st October 2020 and ends with 24th March 2021.
(4) The retention of the fingerprints or DNA profiles may continue for a further period of six months starting with the date on which the final day of the retention period would otherwise have fallen.
(5) In paragraphs (3) and (4), references to the retention period include a retention period as extended in accordance with regulation 3 of the first retention Regulations (extension of a current statutory retention period).
Retention in advance of a requirement to destroy4. '--(1) Paragraph (4) applies in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that satisfy the conditions in paragraphs (2) and (3).
(2) The first condition is that the fingerprints or DNA profiles satisfy the national security retention condition (see regulation 5).
(3) The second condition is that the fingerprints or DNA profiles must (ignoring the effect of these Regulations) be destroyed under any of the following provisions on a date during the period that starts with 1st October 2020 and ends with 24th March 2021'--
(a) section 18(3) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (destruction of relevant physical data)(7);
(b) Article 64(3), 64ZB(2), 64ZC(3), 64ZD(3), 64ZE(3), 64ZF(3), 64ZG(3) or 64ZH(3) of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (destruction of fingerprints and samples)(8).
(4) The fingerprints or DNA profiles may be retained for a further period of six months starting with the date on which the requirement to destroy the fingerprints or DNA profiles would otherwise have arisen.
(5) In the case of fingerprints or DNA profiles retained for a further period in accordance with regulation 4 of the first retention Regulations (retention in advance of a requirement to destroy), the relevant date for the purposes of paragraph (3) of this regulation is the day after the final day of that further period.
National security retention condition5. '--(1) For the purposes of regulations 3(2)(b) and 4(2), fingerprints or DNA profiles satisfy the national security retention condition if, prior to these Regulations coming into force, the controller of the fingerprints or DNA profiles has been notified by a constable or a member of the civilian staff of a police force that the fingerprints or DNA profiles may be relevant to the interests of national security.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1) notification may be given in any form.
(3) In this regulation'--
(a) ''controller'' is to be construed in accordance with Part 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018(9); and
(b) ''police force'' means a police force in England and Wales, the Police Service of Scotland or the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
James Brokenshire
Minister of State
Home Office
At 2.54 p.m. on 10th September 2020
EXPLANATORY NOTEThese Regulations provide for extension of the time limits that apply to the retention of certain fingerprints or DNA profiles. The Regulations apply in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that are retained under certain counter-terrorism provisions, or that may otherwise be relevant to the interests of national security.
These Regulations are the second set of Regulations made using the powers conferred by section 24 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 (c. 7). The Coronavirus (Retention of Fingerprints and DNA Profiles in the Interests of National Security) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/391) (''the first retention Regulations'') provided for an extension of the retention time limits for six months.
These Regulations apply only to fingerprints or DNA profiles that would (ignoring the effect of these Regulations) fall to be destroyed in the period that starts with 1st October 2020 and ends with 24th March 2021. The period ends with 24th March 2021 in order to satisfy the condition found in section 24(5) of the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Regulation 2 makes provision in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that are retained in accordance with a national security determination. Paragraph (3) provides for the continued retention of fingerprints or DNA profiles under the national security determination for a further period of six months. Paragraph (4) confirms that regulation 2 applies to a national security determination the effect of which was extended in accordance with regulation 2 of the first retention Regulations (extension of the effect of a national security determination).
Regulation 3 makes provision in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that are retained under a statutory retention period. Paragraph (4) provides that the fingerprints or DNA profiles may be retained under that retention period for a further period of six months. Paragraph (5) confirms that regulation 3 applies to a retention period that was extended in accordance with regulation 3 of the first retention Regulations (extension of a current statutory retention period).
Regulation 4 makes provision in respect of fingerprints or DNA profiles that are currently retained and in respect of which a requirement to destroy would arise under certain provisions. Paragraph (4) provides that the fingerprints or DNA profiles may be retained for a further period of six months. Paragraph (5) confirms that regulation 4 applies to fingerprints and DNA profiles that have been retained for a further period in accordance with regulation 4 of the first retention Regulations (retention in advance of a requirement to destroy).
Regulation 5 provides the meaning of the national security retention condition, which is used in regulations 3 and 4. It provides that fingerprints or DNA profiles are retained in the interests of national security if a constable or a civilian staff member of a police force has notified the controller of the fingerprints and DNA profiles that they may be relevant to the interests of national security.
A full impact assessment has not been produced for this instrument as no, or no significant, impact on the private, voluntary or public sector is foreseen.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Twitter: "Thank you to the European Union 🇪🇺 for your continuous, steady support for @WHO and global health. Indeed, only in solidarity can we end the #COVID19 pandemic, save lives and build back better. Together! #WHA7
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 17:11
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus : Thank you to the European Union 🇪🇺 for your continuous, steady support for @WHO and global health. Indeed, only in'... https://t.co/Q2RfeBKzHz
Tue Nov 10 14:11:44 +0000 2020
EU at the UN - Geneva #MultilateralismMatters on Twitter: "The EU is fully engaged in (fully virtual) World Health Assembly #WHA73 kicking off today. Convening during the second wave of the pandemic sends a strong signal: World comes together in #solidari
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 17:12
EU at the UN - Geneva #MultilateralismMatters : The EU is fully engaged in (fully virtual) World Health Assembly #WHA73 kicking off today. Convening during the sec'... https://t.co/XQNqJKvhP2
Mon Nov 09 11:41:14 +0000 2020
Christophe Lecomte : @EU_UNGeneva @EU_Health Quelle deuxi¨me vague????
Tue Nov 10 15:51:15 +0000 2020
EU at the UN - Geneva #MultilateralismMatters : At #WHA73 EU will cosponsor a decision designating 2021 international year of #health & #care workers to recognize'... https://t.co/maXxXtl8zO
Mon Nov 09 11:45:20 +0000 2020
No 10 exit much more than a random resignation - BBC News
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:08
Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Lee Cain (right) with Dominic Cummings Uncertainty has reigned over exactly who is in charge in Downing Street.
The director of communications, Lee Cain, is out. But it is much more than a random resignation. He was Boris Johnson's longest serving aide in No 10, and very close to his most senior adviser Dominic Cummings.
Despite those longstanding relationships, the possibility that Mr Cain would be promoted to chief of staff met resistance from some MPs and ministers and he quit.
His promotion was also being resisted, it's understood, by the prime minister's fiancee, Carrie Symonds and his incoming press spokesperson, Allegra Stratton.
Senior Johnson adviser to leave Downing Street PM's new spin doctor was Daily Mirror chickenArguments and rivalry in any Downing Street operation are not unusual. This feels different though, like a final act has started to play out after months of building tension.
One insider, who until now has kept their counsel, spoke out in frustration saying: "I just can't describe to you how much of a mess it is."
This is about who is running the country. It's not just about whether a man, who you probably haven't heard of, has fallen out with a politician.
The wider issue now though is not just Mr Cain's departure. It is the unhappiness it leaves behind - anger about what has unfolded shared by other key advisers like the prime minister's most senior aide, Dominic Cummings, and the Brexit negotiator, Lord Frost.
Neither are leaving their jobs - for now. But after months of strain, and fractures inside a government under pressure, tensions are spilling fully into the open.
Rather than a government united in trying to confront a pandemic, a picture emerges instead of rival groups vying for influence over the prime minister himself.
Dystopian "Great Reset": "Own Nothing and Be Happy", Being Human in
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:34
Originally published on www.globalresearch.ca
The World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, Switzerland, brings together international business and political leaders, economists and other high-profile individuals to discuss global issues. Driven by the vision of its influential CEO Klaus Schwab, the WEF is the main driving force for the dystopian 'great reset', a tectonic shift that intends to change how we live, work and interact with each other.
The Great Reset entails a transformation of society resulting in permanent restrictions on fundamental liberties and mass surveillance as entire sectors are sacrificed to boost the monopoly and hegemony of pharmaceuticals corporations, high-tech/big data giants, Amazon, Google, major global chains, the digital payments sector, biotech concerns, etc.
Using COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions to push through this transformation, the great reset is being rolled out under the guise of a 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' in which older enterprises are to be driven to bankruptcy or absorbed into monopolies, effectively shutting down huge sections of the pre-COVID economy. Economies are being 'restructured' and many jobs will be carried out by AI-driven machines.
In a short video below, the WEF predicts that by 2030, "You'll own nothing and you'll be happy." A happy smiling face is depicted while a drone delivers a product to a household, no doubt ordered online and packaged by a robot in a giant Amazon warehouse: 'no humans were involved in manufacturing, packaging or delivering this product'; rest assured, it is virus- and bacteria-free - because even in 2030, they will need to keep the fear narrative alive and well to maintain full-spectrum dominance over the population.
The jobless (and there will be many) could be placed on some kind of universal basic income and have their debts (indebtedness and bankruptcy on a massive scale is the deliberate result of lockdowns and restrictions) written off in return for handing their assets to the state or more precisely the financial institutions helping to drive this great reset. The WEF says the public will 'rent' everything they require: stripping the right of ownership under the guise of 'sustainable consumption' and 'saving the planet'. Of course, the tiny elite who rolled out this great reset will own everything.
Hundreds of millions around the world deemed 'surplus to requirements' are to be robbed (are currently being robbed) of their livelihoods. Our every movement and purchase are to be monitored and our main dealings will be online.
The plan for individual citizens could reflect the strategy to be applied to nation states. For instance, World Bank Group President David Malpass has stated that poorer countries will be 'helped' to get back on their feet after the various lockdowns that have been implemented. This 'help' will be on condition that neoliberal reforms and the undermining of public services are implemented and become further embedded.
On 20 April, the Wall Street Journal ran the headline 'IMF, World Bank Face Deluge of Aid Requests From Developing World. Scores of countries are asking for bailouts and loans from financial institutions with $1.2 trillion to lend. An ideal recipe for fuelling dependency.
In return for debt relief or 'support', global conglomerates along with the likes of Bill Gates will be able to further dictate national policies and hollow out the remnants of nation state sovereignty.
Identity and meaning
What will happen to our social and personal identity? Is that to be eradicated in the quest to commodify and standardise human behaviour and everything we do?
The billionaire class who are pushing this agenda think they can own nature and all humans and can control both, whether through geoengineering the atmosphere, for example, genetically modifying soil microbes or doing a better job than nature by producing bio-synthesised fake food in a lab.
They think they can bring history to a close and reinvent the wheel by reshaping what it means to be human. And they think they can achieve this by 2030. It is a cold dystopian vision that wants to eradicate thousands of years of culture, tradition and practices virtually overnight.
And many of those cultures, traditions and practices relate to food and how we produce it and our deep-rooted connections to nature. Consider that many of the ancient rituals and celebrations of our forebears were built around stories and myths that helped them come to terms with some of the most basic issues of existence, from death to rebirth and fertility. These culturally embedded beliefs and practices served to sanctify their practical relationship with nature and its role in sustaining human life.
As agriculture became key to human survival, the planting and harvesting of crops and other seasonal activities associated with food production were central to these customs. Freyfaxi marks the beginning of the harvest in Norse paganism, for example, while Lammas or Lughnasadh is the celebration of the first harvest/grain harvest in Paganism.
Humans celebrated nature and the life it gave birth to. Ancient beliefs and rituals were imbued with hope and renewal and people had a necessary and immediate relationship with the sun, seeds, animals, wind, fire, soil and rain and the changing seasons that nourished and brought life. Our cultural and social relationships with agrarian production and associated deities had a sound practical base.
Prof Robert W Nicholls explains that the cults of Woden and Thor were superimposed on far older and better-rooted beliefs related to the sun and the earth, the crops and the animals and the rotation of the seasons between the light and warmth of summer and the cold and dark of winter.
We need look no further than India to appreciate the important relationship between culture, agriculture and ecology, not least the vital importance of the monsoon and seasonal planting and harvesting. Rural-based beliefs and rituals steeped in nature persist, even among urban Indians. These are bound to traditional knowledge systems where livelihoods, the seasons, food, cooking, processing, seed exchange, healthcare and the passing on of knowledge are all inter-related and form the essence of cultural diversity within India itself.
Although the industrial age resulted in a diminution of the connection between food and the natural environment as people moved to cities, traditional 'food cultures' - the practices, attitudes and beliefs surrounding the production, distribution and consumption of food - still thrive and highlight our ongoing connection to agriculture and nature.
'Hand of God' Imperialism
If we go back to the 1950s, it is interesting to note Union Carbide's corporate narrative based on a series of images that depicted the company as a 'hand of god' coming out of the sky to 'solve' some of the issues facing humanity. One of the most famous images is of the hand pouring the firm's agrochemicals on Indian soils as if traditional farming practices were somehow 'backward'.
Despite well-publicised claims to the contrary, this chemical-driven approach did not lead to higher food production according to the paper 'New Histories of the Green Revolution' written by Prof Glenn Stone. However, it has had long-term devastating ecological, social and economic consequences (see Vandana Shiva's book 'The Violence of the Green Revolution' and Bhaskar Save's now famous and highly insightful open letter to Indian officials).
In the book 'Food and Cultural Studies' (Bob Ashley et al), we see how, some years ago, a Coca Cola TV ad campaign sold its product to an audience which associated modernity with a sugary drink and depicted ancient Aboriginal beliefs as harmful, ignorant and outdated. Coke and not rain became the giver of life to the parched. This type of ideology forms part of a wider strategy to discredit traditional cultures and portray them as being deficient and in need of assistance from 'god-like' corporations.
What we are seeing in 2020, is an acceleration of such processes. In terms of food and agriculture, traditional farming in places like India will be under increasing pressure from the big-tech giants and agribusiness to open up to lab-grown food, GMOs, genetically engineered soil microbes, data harvesting tools and drones and other 'disruptive' technologies.
The great reset includes farmerless farms being manned by driverless machines, monitored by drones and doused with chemicals to produce commodity crops from patented GM seeds for industrial 'biomatter' to be processed and constituted into something resembling food. What will happen to the farmers?
Post-COVID, the World Bank talks about helping countries get back on track in return for structural reforms. Are tens of millions of smallholder farmers to be enticed from their land in return for individual debt relief and universal basic income? The displacement of these farmers and the subsequent destruction of rural communities and their cultures was something the Gates Foundation once called for and cynically termed "land mobility".
Cut through the euphemisms and it is clear that Bill Gates - and the other incredibly rich individuals behind the great reset - is an old-fashioned colonialist who supports the time-honoured dispossessive strategies of imperialism, whether this involves mining, appropriating and commodifying farmer knowledge, accelerating the transfer of research and seeds to corporations or facilitating intellectual property piracy and seed monopolies created through IP laws and seed regulations.
In places like India - still an agrarian-based society - will the land of these already (prior to COVID) heavily indebted farmers then be handed over to the tech giants, the financial institutions and global agribusiness to churn out their high-tech, data-driven GM industrial sludge? Is this part of the 'own nothing, be happy' bland brave new world being promoted by the WEF?
With the link completely severed between food production, nature and culturally embedded beliefs that give meaning and expression to life, we will be left with the individual human who exists on lab-based food, who is reliant on income from the state and who is stripped of satisfying productive endeavour and genuine self-fulfilment.
Technocratic meddling has already destroyed or undermined cultural diversity, meaningful social connections and agrarian ecosystems that draw on centuries of traditional knowledge and are increasingly recognised as valid approaches to secure food security (for example, see 'Food Security and Traditional Knowledge in India' in the Journal of South Asian Studies). The massive technocratic transformation currently envisaged regards humans as commodities to be controlled and monitored just like the lifeless technological drones and AI being promoted.
But do not worry - you will be property-less and happy in your open prison of mass unemployment, state dependency, track and chip health passports, cashlessness, mass vaccination and dehumanisation.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
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China
China Extends Reach in the Caribbean, Unsettling the U.S. '' DNyuz
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 00:55
MEXICO CITY '-- China has offered Jamaica loans and expertise to build miles of new highways. Throughout the Caribbean, it has donated security equipment to military and police forces, and built a network of Chinese cultural centers. And it has dispatched large shipments of test kits, masks and ventilators to help governments respond to the pandemic.
The initiatives are part of a quiet but assertive push by China in recent years to expand its footprint and influence in the region through government grants and loans, investments by Chinese companies, and diplomatic, cultural and security efforts.
But while governments in the region have welcomed Beijing's interest, the Trump administration has viewed China's growing presence '-- and its potential to challenge Washington's influence in the region '-- with concern and suspicion.
The Caribbean markets are generally small, and most of the nations there lack the sizable reserves of minerals and other raw materials that often draw Chinese attention. But the region has strategic importance as a hub for logistics, banking and commerce, analyst say, and could have great security value in a military conflict because of its proximity to the United States.
''There are a lot of reinforcing reasons that go beyond balance sheets,'' said R. Evan Ellis, research professor of Latin American studies at the U.S. Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute. ''China understands intuitively the strategic importance of that space.''
China's efforts in the region are part of its global strategy to forge deep economic ties and strong diplomatic relationships around the world, in part through the building of major infrastructure projects under its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.
A crucial motivation for China's Caribbean strategy also is winning over the remaining nations that officially recognize Taiwan instead of China, most of which are in the Caribbean and Latin America, said Richard L. Bernal, a professor at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica and former Jamaican ambassador to the United States.
China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and has long sought to reduce the number of countries that recognize it. But recently Taiwan's international stature has grown with its aggressive response to the coronavirus pandemic.
''China's objective is to gradually eliminate the recognition of Taiwan,'' Mr. Bernal said.
China's growing interest has come as much-needed help for Caribbean nations that have serious infrastructure needs but whose status as middle-income countries complicates their access to financing for development.
Low-interest loans by the Chinese government totaling more than $6 billion over 15 years have financed major infrastructure projects and other initiatives throughout the Caribbean, according to the Inter-American Dialogue, a research organization based in Washington. The total climbs by $62 billion with the addition of assistance to Venezuela, much of it given in return for long-term oil supplies.
During the same period, Chinese firms have invested in ports and maritime logistics, mining and oil concerns, the sugar and timber industries, tourist resorts and technology projects. Between 2002 and 2019, trade between China and the Caribbean rose eightfold, said Mr. Ellis, the professor at the U.S. Army War College.
China's global push for business and allies has generated criticism, particularly in the United States and Western Europe, which have called the Belt and Road Initiative predatory. In 2018, Sri Lanka, unable to repay Chinese loans, surrendered its major port to China.
But analysts who closely follow Chinese activity in the Caribbean say that while there is some concern about the sustainability of some of the debt assumed by regional governments, they have seen no evidence of a debt trap as in the case of the Sri Lankan port.
''The loans are not only economic business but also a way of building good will,'' said Mr. Bernal, the professor at the University of the West Indies.
Jamaica, which has emerged as an anchor of Chinese activity in the Caribbean, has received more Chinese government loans than any other Caribbean island nation, according to the Inter-American Dialogue, which closely tracks Chinese government financing in the region.
Over the past 15 years, Beijing has lent Jamaica some $2.1 billion for building roads, bridges, a convention center and housing, according to the group. Grants have financed a children's hospital, schools and an office building for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, among other projects, according to the Planning Institute of Jamaica.
And direct investments from Chinese firms in Jamaica poured more than $3 billion into projects like bauxite mining and sugar production, Chinese business leaders said, according to local news reports.
Last November, the Jamaican government announced that it would stop negotiating new loans from China as part of its effort to reduce debt quickly, but would continue to cooperate with the Chinese on major infrastructure projects through joint venture and public-private partnerships, among other arrangements.
But Jamaican officials say outstanding Chinese loans are not putting an extraordinary burden on the country: They amount to only about 4 percent of Jamaica's total loan portfolio and are scheduled to be repaid within a decade.
China has also widened its influence in the Caribbean through security cooperation, including the donation of equipment to military and police forces, and cultural outreach programs, like the expansion of its network of Confucius Institutes. These institutes provide language instruction and cultural programming but have been accused of disseminating Chinese government propaganda.
The pandemic allowed China to strengthen these relationships further by donating or selling personal protective equipment, in what has come to be called ''mask diplomacy.'' The Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, pledged in July that China would extend $1 billion in loans for vaccines to Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Even as it has increased its presence in the region, China has avoided directly challenging the United States in the Caribbean through rhetoric or military and political initiatives, Mr. Ellis said.
Still, China's rise in the Caribbean pushed the Trump administration to forcefully promote its own development programs. These include ''Growth in the Americas,'' an investment initiative begun last year that many analysts viewed as a direct response to China's diplomatic and trade efforts in the Caribbean and Latin America.
And in October, a Trump administration delegation visited Suriname, Guyana, Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic to tout American private sector investment.
The United States has also stepped up warnings to allies in the region about the risks of doing business with Beijing, underscoring what it says are potential hazards ranging from shoddy construction to predatory loans and espionage.
In recent weeks, the American ambassador to Jamaica, Donald Tapia, has cautioned that country against installing fifth-generation mobile networks made by Huawei and ZTE, two Chinese firms, warning in a Twitter post that ''Huawei has a history of spying, stealing, and supporting authoritarian regimes.''
Last November, Mr. Tapia, in an interview with the Jamaica Gleaner, called China ''a dragon with two heads,'' the newspaper reported.
During a visit to Jamaica in January, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was ''tempting to accept easy money from places like China.''
''But what good is it if it feeds corruption and undermines your rule of law?'' he asked. ''What good are those investments if in fact they ruin your environment and don't create jobs for your people?''
The Chinese Embassy in Kingston, in a statement responding to Mr. Pompeo's remarks, said it had deepened its involvement with Caribbean states ''on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.'' And it accused the United States of picking fights.
''It seems that some U.S. politicians cannot go anywhere without attacking China, tarnishing China's reputation, starting fires and fanning the flames and sowing discords,'' the Chinese Embassy said. ''They can go on talking the talk if they so wish, but we will continue walking the walk. The world will tell plainly who is stirring up trouble and who is trying to make a difference.''
The deepening competition between the two superpowers has put Caribbean nations in an awkward position, and they do not want to be forced to pick sides, said Pepe Zhang, an associate director at the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.
''They want to be able to work with both the United States and China in areas that make sense,'' he said. ''And I think that's something that will be even more true now that the region is going through a very difficult economic recession.''
The post China Extends Reach in the Caribbean, Unsettling the U.S. appeared first on TheTodayNews.
EuroLand
EU mulls Europe-wide 'imam training' body to crack down on 'ideology of hatred' '-- RT World News
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 14:47
Brussels needs to set up a new institute to train imams and curb the spread of Islamic extremism across Europe, said European Council head Charles Michel, calling for a new crackdown on glorifying terrorism online as well.
''To fight the ideology of hatred, we need to set up as soon as possible a European institute to train imams in Europe,'' Michel, who chairs the council of 27 EU heads of government, said on Twitter on Monday.
To fight the Ideology of Hatred, we need to setup as soon as possible a European Institute to train imams in Europe. Online messages glorifying terrorism must be quickly removed. There must be no impunity for terrorists and those praising them on internet. pic.twitter.com/O6E1dn13Um
'-- Charles Michel (@eucopresident) November 9, 2020He was visiting Vienna in the wake of the November 2 terrorist attack that saw a jihadist kill four people before being shot by police.
Michel did not reveal the details of what he called a ''concrete proposal,'' but said that ''several proposals are on the table'' already, adding that he hopes something will be adopted ''by the end of the year.''
The European Council head also said that those spreading messages glorifying terrorism on the internet should not do so with impunity and any such content should be promptly deleted.
The Vienna attacker had pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and announced his attack on Instagram.
Also on rt.com Lawmakers warn of 'greater surveillance' as EU governments seek access to encrypted messages after Islamist attacks Earlier reports suggested that the EU governments sought access to encrypted messages following the recent wave of terrorist attacks in France and Austria. The initiative, however, sparked fears of greater state surveillance over law-abiding people, as well as concerns about creating potential backdoors for hackers and intelligence services that could then access private communications.
Michel made his remarks during a visit to the Austrian capital aimed at demonstrating solidarity with the Austrian people and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who was praised by the European Council head for his response to what he called ''an extremely difficult situation.''
Ma pr(C)sence Vienne est un t(C)moignage de l'amiti(C) et du soutien de l'Europe envers la population autrichienne et @sebastiankurz.Cet acte terroriste ignoble a vis(C) d(C)truire des vies et les valeurs qui fondent le projet europ(C)en.Nous ne ferons preuve d'aucune faiblesse. pic.twitter.com/FTqIz3NF3N
'-- Charles Michel (@eucopresident) November 9, 2020''Terrorist attacks are aimed at destroying lives '... but also at undermining the values of the European project,'' Michel said. ''But we will not give in.''
The attacker was identified as 20-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai, an ethnic Albanian from North Macedonia who had deceived the authorities about being a terrorist sympathizer by enrolling in a government 'deradicalization' program.
Also on rt.com 'End to misunderstood tolerance': Austria's Kurz doubles down on vow to fight 'political Islam' following Vienna attack Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Den Haag FM >> Aanslag op ambassade Saoedi-Arabi aan Koninginnegracht
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:24
12 nov 2020, 08:47
Door Ivar Lingen
Er is donderdagochtend meerdere keren geschoten op de ambassade van Saoedi-Arabi aan de Koninginnegracht in Den Haag. In meerdere ruiten zijn kogelinslagen te zien.
'We kregen rond 6.00 uur een melding dat er geschoten zou zijn', vertelde een politiewoordvoerster donderdagochtend in West Wordt Wakker op Radio West . Daarop sloot de politie een deel van de Koninginnegracht af en werd er onderzoek gedaan. 'Daarbij zijn inderdaad hulzen gevonden.'
Volgens een verslaggever van Omroep West zijn er zeker twintig kogelgaten in het gebouw te zien. 'Er zijn inslagen op verschillende etages. Er zijn kogels door de ramen gegaan.' Er is bij het schietincident niemand gewond geraakt. Getuigen die informatie hebben, wordt verzocht zich te melden.
Bij de Saudische ambassade wordt nog altijd onderzoek gedaan. Een hond zoekt naar sporen pic.twitter.com/1KUK3AedDU
'-- Sander K. (@sanderknura) November 12, 2020
Gen Z
Millennial Questions
Hi Adam,
At the end of the show, John asked if there were any Gen-Z kids he could ask questions. My two younger sisters are born in 2003 and 2005, typical 'nakomertjes'.
Upfront a few observations about them:
They always have had a smart(phone) or another device connected to social media on them. I've never seen them without it. Although they don't use social media as much as their peers.
They never watch things like movies or play games together. They always watch or consume media alone. If I ask them to watch a movie together they refuse, because they want to watch alone. They have or organize movie nights.
Their whole life they lived in the period of war, the war on terror, and the war on populism. If I talk with them, they view the world as if it is in a constant war.
Difference between the oldest and the youngest. The oldest is to say it in SJW terms, not woke.
The youngest is extremely woke, she has a complementary septum-piercing and biased worldviews. She can not handle any form of discussion and calls my dad regularly a racist. I've intervened to say that she can not do that.. with little to no effect. Furthermore, she also has a huge anxiety problem. Which was mentioned in the show. She is not the only one in the class. They all get medications.
Most of their peers are equally woke. This wokeness is supported by their new milleninal teachers. With racial education, and equality lessons during economics. There are multiple LGBTQ+ people in the class.
Both don't know how to write and really don't care about it. For a school project, they asked my help. I noticed the wrong translation of the word queue. I said it needed correction because it was sloppy. The reaction was, it is about the meaning of the sentence and not if it is correct. And she did not correct it and the teacher also did not distract point for the wrong translation, because the meaning and purpose of the project were clear.
They don't act rebellious against my parents, they accept the rules. For example, the drinking age changed from 16 to 18. And have never secretly drunk any alcohol to the point where they got wasted. They use my parents to change rules to their advantage, instead of rebelling against it. They look punk, but they don't act that way.
You can share it with John. If he has any questions for them or my parents, I will ask them. But please keep this anonymous. I think my dad also listens to the show and he is very upset about being called a racist by his daughter.
Keep up the work.
--
Samuel
Histrionic personality disorder - Wikipedia
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 17:38
Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive attention-seeking behaviors, usually beginning in early childhood, including inappropriate seduction and an excessive desire for approval. People diagnosed with the disorder are said to be lively, dramatic, vivacious, enthusiastic, and flirtatious. HPD is diagnosed four times as frequently in women as men.[1] It affects 2''3% of the general population and 10''15% in inpatient and outpatient mental health institutions.[2]
HPD lies in the dramatic cluster of personality disorders.[3] People with HPD have a high desire for attention, make loud and inappropriate appearances, exaggerate their behaviors and emotions, and crave stimulation.[3] They may exhibit sexually provocative behavior, express strong emotions with an impressionistic style, and can be easily influenced by others. Associated features include egocentrism, self-indulgence, continuous longing for appreciation, and persistent manipulative behavior to achieve their own needs.
Signs and symptoms Edit People with HPD are usually high-functioning, both socially and professionally. They usually have good social skills, despite tending to use them to manipulate others into making them the center of attention.[4] HPD may also affect a person's social and romantic relationships, as well as their ability to cope with losses or failures. They may seek treatment for clinical depression when romantic (or other close personal) relationships end.[5][citation needed ]
Individuals with HPD often fail to see their own personal situation realistically, instead dramatizing and exaggerating their difficulties. They may go through frequent job changes, as they become easily bored and may prefer withdrawing from frustration (instead of facing it). Because they tend to crave novelty and excitement, they may place themselves in risky situations. All of these factors may lead to greater risk of developing clinical depression.[6]
Additional characteristics may include:
Exhibitionist behaviorConstant seeking of reassurance or approvalExcessive sensitivity to criticism or disapprovalPride of own personality and unwillingness to change, viewing any change as a threatInappropriately seductive appearance or behavior of a sexual natureUsing factitious somatic symptoms (of physical illness) or psychological disorders to garner attentionA need to be the center of attentionLow tolerance for frustration or delayed gratificationRapidly shifting emotional states that may appear superficial or exaggerated to othersTendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually areMaking rash decisions[4]Blaming personal failures or disappointments on othersBeing easily influenced by others, especially those who treat them approvinglyBeing overly dramatic and emotional[6]Influenced by the suggestions of others[7]Some people with histrionic traits or personality disorder change their seduction technique into a more maternal or paternal style as they age.[8]
Mnemonic Edit A mnemonic that can be used to remember the characteristics of histrionic personality disorder is shortened as "PRAISE ME":[9][10]
Provocative (or seductive) behaviorRelationships are considered more intimate than they actually areAttention-seekingInfluenced easily by others or circumstancesSpeech (style) wants to impress; lacks detailEmotional lability; shallownessMake-up; physical appearance is used to draw attention to selfExaggerated emotions; theatricalCauses Edit Little research has been done to find evidence of what causes histrionic personality disorder and from where it stems. Although direct causes are inconclusive, there are a few theories and studies conducted that suggests there are multiple possible causes. There are neurochemical, genetic, psychoanalytical, and environmental causes contributing to histrionic personality disorder. Traits such as extravagance, vanity, and seductiveness of hysteria have similar qualities to women diagnosed with HPD.[11] HPD symptoms do not fully develop until the age of 15 with treatment only beginning at approximately 40 years of age.[12][13]
Neurochemical/physiological Edit Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between the function of neurotransmitters and the Cluster B personality disorders such as HPD. Individuals diagnosed with HPD have highly responsive noradrenergic systems which is responsible for the synthesis, storage, and release of the neurotransmitter, norepinephrine. High levels of norepinephrine leads to anxiety-proneness, dependency, and high sociability.[14]
Genetic Edit Twin studies have aided in breaking down the genetic vs. environment debate. A twin study conducted by the Department of Psychology at Oslo University attempted to establish a correlation between genetic and Cluster B personality disorders. With a test sample of 221 twins, 92 monozygotic and 129 dizygotic, researchers interviewed the subjects using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R Personality Disorders (SCID-II) and concluded that there was a correlation of 0.67 that histrionic personality disorder is hereditary.[15]
Psychoanalytic theory Edit Though criticised as being unsupported by scientific evidence, psychoanalytic theories incriminate authoritarian or distant attitudes by one (mainly the mother) or both parents, along with conditional love based on expectations the child can never fully meet.[3] Using psychoanalysis, Freud believed that lustfulness was a projection of the patient's lack of ability to love unconditionally and develop cognitively to maturity, and that such patients were overall emotionally shallow.[16]He believed the reason for being unable to love could have resulted from a traumatic experience, such as the death of a close relative during childhood or divorce of one's parents, which gave the wrong impression of committed relationships. Exposure to one or multiple traumatic occurrences of a close friend or family member's leaving (via abandonment or mortality) would make the person unable to form true and affectionate attachments towards other people.[17]
HPD and antisocial personality disorder Edit Another theory suggests a possible relationship between histrionic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Research has found 2/3 of patients diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder also meet criteria similar to those of the antisocial personality disorder,[11] which suggests both disorders based towards sex-type expressions may have the same underlying cause. Women are hypersexualized in the media consistently, ingraining thoughts that the only way women are to get attention is by exploiting themselves, and when seductiveness isn't enough, theatrics are the next step in achieving attention.[18] Men can just as well be flirtatious towards multiple women yet feel no empathy or sense of compassion towards them.[11] They may also become the center of attention by exhibiting the "Don Juan" macho figure as a role-play.[18]
Some family history studies have found that histrionic personality disorder, as well as borderline and antisocial personality disorders, tend to run in families, but it is unclear if this is due to genetic or environmental factors.[19] Both examples suggest that predisposition could be a factor as to why certain people are diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder, however little is known about whether or not the disorder is influenced by any biological compound or is genetically inheritable.[19] Little research has been conducted to determine the biological sources, if any, of this disorder.
Diagnosis Edit The person's appearance, behavior and history, along with a psychological evaluation, are usually sufficient to establish a diagnosis. There is no test to confirm this diagnosis. Because the criteria are subjective, some people may be wrongly diagnosed.[20]
DSM 5 Edit The current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM 5, defines histrionic personality disorder (in Cluster B) as:[2]
A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attentioninteraction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behaviordisplays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotionsconsistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to selfhas a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detailshows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotionis suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstancesconsiders relationships to be more intimate than they actually areThe DSM 5 requires that a diagnosis for any specific personality disorder also satisfies a set of general personality disorder criteria.
ICD-10 Edit The World Health Organization's ICD-10 lists histrionic personality disorder as:[21]
A personality disorder characterized by:
shallow and labile affectivity,self-dramatization,theatricality,exaggerated expression of emotions,suggestibility,egocentricity,self-indulgence,lack of consideration for others,easily hurt feelings, andcontinuous seeking for appreciation, excitement and attention.It is a requirement of ICD-10 that a diagnosis of any specific personality disorder also satisfies a set of general personality disorder criteria.
Comorbidity Edit Most histrionics also have other mental disorders. Comorbid conditions include: antisocial, dependent, borderline, and narcissistic personality disorders,[22] as well as depression, anxiety disorders, panic disorder, somatoform disorders, anorexia nervosa, substance use disorder[23] and attachment disorders, including reactive attachment disorder.[citation needed ]
Millon's subtypes Edit Theodore Millon identified six subtypes of histrionic personality disorder. Any individual histrionic may exhibit none or one of the following:[24]
SubtypeDescriptionPersonality TraitsAppeasing histrionicIncluding dependent and compulsive featuresSeeks to placate, mend, patch up, smooth over troubles; knack for settling differences, moderating tempers by yielding, compromising, conceding; sacrifices self for commendation; fruitlessly placates the unplacatable.Vivacious histrionicThe seductiveness of the histrionic mixed with the energy typical of hypomania. Some narcissistic features can also be presentVigorous, charming, bubbly, brisk, spirited, flippant, impulsive; seeks momentary cheerfulness and playful adventures; animated, energetic, ebullient.Tempestuous histrionicIncluding negativistic featuresImpulsive, out of control; moody complaints, sulking; precipitous emotion, stormy, impassioned, easily wrought-up, periodically inflamed, turbulent.Disingenuous histrionicIncluding antisocial featuresUnderhanded, double-dealing, scheming, contriving, plotting, crafty, false-hearted; egocentric, insincere, deceitful, calculating, guileful.Theatrical histrionicVariant of ''pure'' patternAffected, mannered, put-on; postures are striking, eyecatching, graphic; markets self-appearance; is synthesized, stagy; simulates desirable/dramatic poses.Infantile histrionicIncluding borderline featuresLabile, high-strung, volatile emotions; childlike hysteria and nascent pouting; demanding, overwrought; fastens and clutches to another; is excessively attached, hangs on, stays fused to and clinging.Treatment Edit Treatment is often prompted by depression associated with dissolved romantic relationships. Medication does little to affect the personality disorder, but may be helpful with symptoms such as depression. The only successful method studied and proven to succeed is to fully break contact with their lovers in order to gain a sense of stability and independence once again.[20][failed verification ] Treatment for HPD itself involves psychotherapy, including cognitive therapy.[3]
Interviews and self-report methods Edit In general clinical practice with assessment of personality disorders, one form of interview is the most popular; an unstructured interview.[25] The actual preferred method is a semi-structured interview but there is reluctance to use this type of interview because they can seem impractical or superficial.[25] The reason that a semi-structured interview is preferred over an unstructured interview is that semi-structured interviews tend to be more objective, systematic, replicable, and comprehensive.[25] Unstructured interviews, despite their popularity, tend to have problems with unreliability and are susceptible to errors leading to false assumptions of the client.[25]
One of the single most successful methods for assessing personality disorders by researchers of normal personality functioning is the self-report inventory following up with a semi-structured interview.[25] There are some disadvantages with the self-report inventory method that with histrionic personality disorder there is a distortion in character, self-presentation, and self-image.[25] This cannot be assessed simply by asking most clients if they match the criteria for the disorder.[25] Most projective testing depend less on the ability or willingness of the person to provide an accurate description of the self, but there is currently limited empirical evidence on projective testing to assess histrionic personality disorder.[25]
Functional analytic psychotherapy Edit Another way to treat histrionic personality disorder after identification is through functional analytic psychotherapy.[26] The job of a Functional Analytic Psychotherapist is to identify the interpersonal problems with the patient as they happen in session or out of session.[26] Initial goals of functional analytic psychotherapy are set by the therapist and include behaviors that fit the client's needs for improvement.[26] Functional analytic psychotherapy differs from the traditional psychotherapy due to the fact that the therapist directly addresses the patterns of behavior as they occur in-session.[26]
The in-session behaviors of the patient or client are considered to be examples of their patterns of poor interpersonal communication and to adjust their neurotic defenses.[26] To do this, the therapist must act on the client's behavior as it happens in real time and give feedback on how the client's behavior is affecting their relationship during therapy.[26] The therapist also helps the client with histrionic personality disorder by denoting behaviors that happen outside of treatment; these behaviors are termed "Outside Problems" and "Outside Improvements".[26] This allows the therapist to assist in problems and improvements outside of session and to verbally support the client and condition optimal patterns of behavior".[26] This then can reflect on how they are advancing in-session and outside of session by generalizing their behaviors over time for changes or improvement".[26]
Coding client and therapist behaviors Edit This is called coding client and therapist behavior.[26] In these sessions there is a certain set of dialogue or script that can be forced by the therapist for the client to give insight on their behaviors and reasoning".[26]Here is an example from"[26] the conversation is hypothetical. T = therapist C = Client This coded dialogue can be transcribed as:
ECRB '' Evoking clinically relevant behaviorT: Tell me how you feel coming in here today (CRB2) C: Well, to be honest, I was nervous. Sometimes I feel worried about how things will go, but I am really glad I am here.CRB1 '' In-session problemsC: Whatever, you always say that. (becomes quiet). I don't know what I am doing talking so much.CRB2 '' In-session improvementsTCRB1 '' Clinically relevant response to client problemsT: Now you seem to be withdrawing from me. That makes it hard for me to give you what you might need from me right now. What do you think you want from me as we are talking right now?''.TCRB2 '' Responses to client improvementT: That's great. I am glad you're here, too. I look forward to talking to you.[26]Functional ideographic assessment template Edit Another example of treatment besides coding is functional ideographic assessment template.[26] The functional ideographic assessment template, also known as FIAT, was used as a way to generalize the clinical processes of functional analytic psychotherapy.[26] The template was made by a combined effort of therapists and can be used to represent the behaviors that are a focus for this treatment.[26] Using the FIAT therapists can create a common language to get stable and accurate communication results through functional analytic psychotherapy at the ease of the client; as well as the therapist.[26]
Epidemiology Edit The survey data from the National epidemiological survey from 2001''2002 suggests a prevalence of HPD of 1.84 percent.[27][medical citation needed ] Major character traits may be inherited, while other traits may be due to a combination of genetics and environment, including childhood experiences.[8] This personality is seen more often in women than in men.[28] Approximately 65% of HPD diagnoses are women while 35% are men. In Marcie Kaplan's A Women's View of DSM-III, she argues that women are overdiagnosed due to potential biases and expresses that even healthy women are often automatically diagnosed with HPD.[29]
Many symptoms representing HPD in the DSM are exaggerations of traditional feminine behaviors. In a peer and self-review study, it showed that femininity was correlated with histrionic, dependent and narcissistic personality disorders.[30] Although two thirds of HPD diagnoses are female, there have been a few exceptions.[31] Whether or not the rate will be significantly higher than the rate of women within a particular clinical setting depends upon many factors that are mostly independent of the differential sex prevalence for HPD.[32] Those with HPD are more likely to look for multiple people for attention, which leads to marital problems due to jealousy and lack of trust from the other party. This makes them more likely to become divorced or separated once married.[33] With few studies done to find direct causations between HPD and culture, cultural and social aspects play a role in inhibiting and exhibiting HPD behaviors.
History Edit Although it is said that the history of histrionic personality disorder stems from the word hysteria,[34] actually it comes from Etruscan histrio which means an actor. Hysteria can be described as an exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion that people, especially in groups, experience. Beliefs about hysteria have varied throughout time. It wasn't until Sigmund Freud who studied histrionic personality disorder in a psychological manner.[34] ''The roots of histrionic personality can be traced to cases of hysterical neurosis described by Freud.''[16] He developed the psychoanalytic theory in the late 19th century and the results from his development led to split concepts of hysteria. One concept labeled as hysterical neurosis (also known as conversion disorder)[35] and the other concept labeled as hysterical character (currently known as histrionic personality disorder).[34] These two concepts must not be confused with each other, as they are two separate and different ideas.[16]
Histrionic personality disorder is also known as hysterical personality. Hysterical personality has evolved in the past 400 years[36] and it first appeared in the DSM II (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2nd edition) under the name hysterical personality disorder. The name we know today as histrionic personality disorder is due to the name change in DSM III, third edition. Renaming hysterical personality to histrionic personality disorder is believed to be because of possible negative connotations to the roots of hysteria, such as intense sexual expressions, demon possessions, etc.[37]
Histrionic personality disorder has gone through many changes. From hysteria, to hysterical character, to hysterical personality disorder, to what it is listed as in the most current DSM, DSM-5.[clarification needed ] "Hysteria is one of the oldest documented medical disorders.''[34] Hysteria dates back to both ancient Greek and Egyptian writings.[34] Most of the writings related hysteria and women together, similar to today where the epidemiology of histrionic personality disorder is generally more prevalent in women and also frequently diagnosed in women.[25]
Ancient times Edit Ancient Egypt '' first description of the mental disorder, hysteria, dates back to 1900 BC in Ancient Egypt. Biological issues, such as the uterus movement in the female body, were seen as the cause of hysteria. Traditional symptoms and descriptions of hysteria can be found in the Ebers Papyrus, the oldest medical document.[38]Ancient Greece '' Similar to ancient Egyptians, the ancient Greeks saw hysteria being related to the uterus. Hippocrates (5th century BC) is the first to use the term hysteria. Hippocrates believed hysteria was a disease that lies in the movement of uterus (from the Greek ὑσÏέρα hystera "uterus"). Hippocrates's theory was that since a woman's body is cold and wet compared to a man's body which is warm and dry, the uterus is prone to illness, especially if deprived from sex. He saw sex as the cleansing of the body so that being overemotional was due to sex deprivation.[38]According to History Channel's Ancients Behaving Badly, Cleopatra and Nero had histrionic personality disorder.[39]Middle Ages Edit The Trotula '' a group of three texts from the 12th century'--discusses women's diseases and disorders as understood during this time period, including hysteria. Trota of Salerno, a female medical practitioner from 12th-century Italy, is an authoritative figure behind one of the texts of the Trotula. (Authoritative in that it is her treatments and theories that are presented in the text). Some people believe Trota's teachings resonated with those of Hippocrates.[38]Renaissance Edit The uterus was still the explanation of hysteria, the concept of women being inferior to men was still present, and hysteria was still the symbol for femininity.[38]Modern age Edit Thomas Willis (17th century) introduces a new concept of hysteria. Thomas Willis believed that the causes of hysteria was not linked to the uterus of the female, but to the brain and nervous system.[38]Hysteria was consequence of social conflicts during the Salem witch trials.[38]Witchcraft and sorcery was later considered absurd during the Age of Enlightenment in the late 17th century and 18th century. Hysteria starts to form in a more scientific way, especially neurologically. New ideas formed during this time and one of them was that if hysteria is connected to the brain, men could possess it too, not just women.[38]Franz Mesmer (18th century) treated patients suffering from hysteria with his method called mesmerism, or animal magnetism.[38]Jean-Martin Charcot (19th century) studied effects of hypnosis in hysteria. Charcot states that hysteria is a neurological disorder and that it is actually very common in men.[38]Contemporary age Edit Sigmund Freud's work with Josef Breuer, Studies on Hysteria, contributes to a psychoanalytic theory of hysteria.Freud believed that hysteria was caused by a lack of libidinal evolution.[38] Edit The prevalence of histrionic personality disorder in women is apparent and urges a re-evaluation of cultural notions of normal emotional behaviour. The diagnostic approach classifies histrionic personality disorder behaviour as ''excessive'', considering it in reference to a social understanding of normal emotionality.[40]
See also Edit Acting outReferences Edit ^ Seligman, Martin E.P. (1984). "Chapter 11". Abnormal Psychology. W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-94459-4. ^ a b "Chapter 16: Personality Disorders". DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. American Psychiatric Publishing. 2000. ^ a b c d Bienenfeld, David (2006). "Personality Disorders". Medscape Reference. WebMD. Archived from the original on 2007-02-08 . Retrieved 10 January 2007 . ^ a b "Histrionic Personality Disorder". The Cleveland Clinic. Archived from the original on 2011-10-03 . Retrieved 23 November 2011 . ^ Tartakovsky, M (9 January 2020). "Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment". PsychCentral . Retrieved 10 May 2020 . ^ a b "Histrionic personality disorder". A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. PubMed Health. Archived from the original on 2012-08-29 . Retrieved 17 June 2012 . ^ "Histrionic Personality Disorder | Psychology Today". Psychology Today . Retrieved 2018-04-24 . ^ a b Arthur, Melissa (2006). "Histrionic Personality Disorder". Histrionic Personality Disorder: Description, Incidence, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Causes, Associated Conditions, Diagnosis, Signs and symptoms and treatment. Armenian Medical Network. Archived from the original on 2007-02-12 . Retrieved 10 January 2007 . ^ Pinkofsky, HB (September 1997). "Mnemonics for DSM-IV personality disorders". Psychiatric Services. 48 (9): 1197''1198. doi:10.1176/ps.48.9.1197 . PMID 9285984. ^ "Personality Disorders". March 2001. Archived from the original on 2006-04-24 . Retrieved May 2, 2006 . ^ a b c Barlow, H.D. & Durand, V.M. (2005). Personality Disorders. (pp. 443''444). Abnormal Psychology: An Integrative Approach (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomas Wadsworth. ^ Lumen Learning. "Histrionic Personality Disorder". Lumen Learning. Archived from the original on 2018-03-16 . Retrieved 2018-03-13 . ^ Fancher, R.E. & Rutherford, A. (2012). Pioneers of psychology. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company. ^ "Histrionic Personality Disorder". Courses Lumen. Archived from the original on 2018-03-16. ^ Torgersen, Lygren, ien, Skre, Onstad, Edvardsen, Tambs, Kringlen, Svenn, Sissel, Per Anders, Ingunn, Sidsel, Jack, Kristian, Einar (November 2000). "A Twin Studies of Personality Disorders". Comprehensive Psychiatry. 41 (6): 416''425. doi:10.1053/comp.2000.16560. PMID 11086146. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) ^ a b c Pfohl, B. (1995). Histrionic personality disorder. The DSM IV Personality Disorders, 173''192. ^ Nickert, J. (n.d.) Histrionic Personality Disorder. ^ a b Bornstein, R.F. & Widiger, T.A. (2001). Comprehensive Handbook of Psychopathology. Adams, H.E. & Sutker, P.B. (Ed.) New York, NY. ^ a b Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2014). Personality Disorders. (pp. 266''267). Abnormal Psychology (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. ^ a b "Psych Central: Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment". Psych Central. 2017-12-17. Archived from the original on 2008-08-29 . Retrieved 2008-07-09 . ^ "Chapter V: Mental and behavioural disorders (F00-F99)". International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10). World Health Organization. 2010. Archived from the original on 2014-11-02 . Retrieved 2012-06-05 . (F60.4) ^ Hales E and Yudofsky JA, eds, The American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Psychiatry, Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc., 2003 ^ "Armenian Medical Network". Archived from the original on 2007-02-12 . Retrieved 2007-01-11 . ^ Millon, Theodore (2004). Personality Disorders in Modern Life. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. ISBN 0-471-23734-5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Sutker, P.B. (2002). Histrionic, Narcissistic, and Dependent Personality Disorders. Comprehensive handbook of psychopathology (3rd ed., pp. 513''514). New York: Kluwer Academic. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Callaghan G.M.; Summers C.J.; Weidman M. (2003). "The treatment of histrionic and narcissistic personality disorder behaviors: A single-subject demonstration of clinical improvement using functional analytic psychotherapy". Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy. 33 (4): 321''339. doi:10.1023/b:jocp.0000004502.55597.81. ^ Grant, Bridget F.; Hasin, Deborah S.; Stinson, Frederick S.; Dawson, Deborah A.; Chou, S. Patricia; Ruan, W. June; Pickering, Roger P. (2004-07-15). "Prevalence, Correlates, and Disability of Personality Disorders in the United States". The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 65 (7): 948''958. doi:10.4088/jcp.v65n0711. ISSN 0160-6689. PMID 15291684. ^ Suinn, Richard M. (1984). Fundamentals of abnormal psychology (Updated ed.). Chicago: Nelson-Hall. pp. 335''336. ISBN 978-0-8304-1071-2. ^ Kaplan, Marcie (July 1983). "A Women's View on DSM-III" (PDF) . American Psychologist. 38 (7): 786''792. doi:10.1037/0003-066x.38.7.786. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-03-16 . Retrieved 2018-03-16 . ^ Klonsky, Jane, Turkheimer, Oltmanns, E. David, J. Serrita, Eric, Thomas (2002). "Gender Role and Personality Disorders". J Pers Disord. 16 (5): 464''76. doi:10.1521/pedi.16.5.464.22121. PMC 4364134 . PMID 12489312. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Corbitt, E., Widiger, T. (1995). "Sex differences among the personality disorders: An exploration of the data". Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. 2 (3): 225''238. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2850.1995.tb00041.x. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Widiger, T. (1998). "Sex biases in the diagnosis of personality disorders". Journal of Personality Disorders. 12 (2): 95''118. doi:10.1521/pedi.1998.12.2.95. PMID 9661097. ^ Disney, K.L., Weinstein, Y., & Oltmanns, T.F. (2012). "Personality disorder symptoms are differentially related to divorce frequency". Journal of Family Psychology. 26 (6): 959''965. doi:10.1037/a0030446. PMC 3569846 . PMID 23244459. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) ^ a b c d e Blais M.A.; Hilsenroth M.; Fowler C. (1998). "Rorschach correlates of the DSM-IV histrionic personality disorder". Journal of Personality Assessment. 70 (2): 355''365. doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa7002_12. PMID 9697335. ^ Crimlisk H.; Ron M. (1999). "Conversion hysteria: history, diagnostic issues, and clinical practice". Cognitive Neuropsychiatry. 4 (3): 165''180. doi:10.1080/135468099395909. ^ Alam C.M.; Merskey H. (1992). "The development of hysterical personality". History of Psychiatry. 3 (10): 135''165. doi:10.1177/0957154x9200301001. PMID 11623028. ^ Bakkevig J.F.; Sigmund K. (2010). "Is the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition, histrionic personality disorder category a valid construct?". Comprehensive Psychiatry. 51 (5): 462''470. doi:10.1016/j.comppsych.2009.11.009. PMID 20728002. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Tasca C.; Rapetti M.; Carta M.G.; Fadda B. (2012). "Women and hysteria in the history of mental health". Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health. 8: 110''119. doi:10.2174/1745017901208010110. PMC 3480686 . PMID 23115576. ^ "Cable on the Ancients - Pagans". Archived from the original on 2017-06-27 . Retrieved 2016-10-07 . ^ 'Histrionic Personality Disorder', in American Psychiatric Association, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, American Psychiatric Association, Arlington, VA, pp. 667. External links Edit
The fast-falling New York Times has gone mad
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 00:06
We are in a whipsaw-fast news cycle, events breaking and churning faster than ever '-- but over at the New York Times, self-regarding reporters, columnists and editors have spent this most incredible year fighting among themselves over the New York Times.
A jaw-dropping piece in New York Magazine reveals just how far and fast the paper has fallen, executive editor Dean Baquet somehow allowing his millennial social justice warriors to dictate not just how stories are covered but who writes them, edits them, or whether they should run at all.
Make no mistake: The Times is engaging in self-censorship, which extends to outright censorship. The paper has been steadily morphing from a news organization into a far-left propaganda sheet that can please no one but the truest believers. Think about ''All the President's Men'' or ''Spotlight,'' cinematic depictions of buzzy newsrooms, journalists hot to expose corruption at the highest levels, grizzled editors interested in only one thing: Does the story stand up? Is it bulletproof?
Over at the Times, the No. 1 concern is hurt feelings. No. 2 is what Twitter thinks.
As Bari Weiss wrote in her open resignation letter, the Times, post-Trump, has not recalibrated but hardened and calcified.
''The lessons that ought to have followed the election '-- lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society '-- have not been learned,'' Weiss wrote. ''Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor . . . Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions.''
This is a perfect distillation of what's gone so grievously wrong at the Times.
''Should JB be replaced?'' This debate began on an internal Slack channel this summer, after editorial page editor James Bennet ran a column by Sen. Tom Cotton.
This was right after George Floyd was killed, the nation already traumatized by a global pandemic and a cratering economy. Cotton called for a military response to nationwide rioting and looting.
Controversial? Depends on your politics, but that's what op-eds are for '-- exposure to all kinds of arguments and ideas, especially ones debated on Capitol Hill.
Unless, that is, you work at the Times, where publishing an op-ed by a Taliban leader is A-OK, but one by a sitting Republican senator should be thrown in the trash.
Cotton's column ran on June 3, 2020. Two days later, the Times added a lengthy, insufferable, self-righteous preamble, claiming that negative reader response led to the new conclusion that the column should never have been published.
Swap out ''reader response'' for ''internal staff upset'' and you have something closer to the truth.
And yes, editorial page editor James Bennett '-- ''JB'' '-- resigned soon after, his superiors crouching in fear of their woke staff.
It's all so cowardly, childish and ahistorical (see The 1619 Project). The Times couldn't believe any right-thinking person would vote for Donald Trump in 2016 and has spent the past four years not reporting and fostering healthy debate but remonstrating what they see as a dumb, gullible, racist body politic in how to think correctly.
That always goes over well.
To quote Andrew Sullivan '-- who resigned from New York Magazine in July over this very same institutional problem '-- ''We all live on campus now.''
His colleagues and bosses, Sullivan wrote, ''seem to believe, and this is increasingly the orthodoxy in mainstream media, that any writer not actively committed to critical theory in questions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is actively, physically harming co-workers merely by existing in the same virtual space . . . I miss a readership that truly was eclectic '-- left, liberal, centrist, right, reactionary '-- and that loved to be challenged by me and by each other.''
As this razor-thin election proves, the country is still deeply divided. It hardly helps that Big Tech is further curating news, manipulating and siloing us into immovable positions and opinions. We are ever certain of our own moral and intellectual superiority, unable to engage with '-- let alone countenance '-- the other side, no matter the issue. We are in dire need of a course correction. Who among us wants to be pandered to like this, indoctrinated and patronized?
The New York Times, as they have made quite clear, believes that Rome is burning. If so, they are Nero.
NYTimes noodle story
Reporters found that suddenly it was the Times' programmers and developers, rather than their editors, who were critiquing their work. During the town hall about the Cotton op-ed, one data engineer said on Slack, "How many such process failures would be tolerated in tech?"
Many of the techsurrectionists had come from Facebook or Uber or Amazon to join the Times out of a sense of mission, leaving the ethical quandaries of the tech industry for what they thought were more virtuous pastures. "I joined the company for one reason, and it's because I feel a responsibility to be a part of a mission that I believe in," a product manager who previously worked at Apple wrote in #newsroom-feedback after the Cotton op-ed. "This feels like the rug's been pulled out from under us — not just because it feels like that
GO PODCASTING!
Wondery CEO vows to fight federal corruption charges - Los Angeles Times
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 13:45
When former TV executive Hernan Lopez heard the gripping true crime podcast ''Serial,'' he was hooked. He believed the public radio series was the start of new form of storytelling that would inspire the idea behind his start-up.
Four years after its launch, Wondery has grown into one of the nation's largest podcast publishers, drawing acclaim for producing compelling audio programs based on real-life stories. Some, like the medical malpractice investigation ''Dr. Death'' and the true crime story ''Dirty John,'' which was produced in partnership with the L.A. Times and reported by staff writer Christopher Goffard, have been developed into TV shows.
Now, the West Hollywood business is at a crossroads as it explores a possible sale during a period of rapid consolidation in the podcasting industry.
Lopez also is facing a legal battle that has clouded his own future at the company he founded. He is among two former Fox TV executives charged with money laundering and wire fraud over alleged bribes involving broadcasting rights to the World Cup and other high profile soccer tournaments. Lopez has pleaded not guilty to the charges filed in March.
''I'm completely confident that when I have the chance to be before a jury, if it ever gets to trial, I'll be vindicated,'' Lopez said in an interview with The Times.
He added that the charges have not changed his role at the company and that he has no intention of stepping down.
''I poured my heart and my soul into this company that I've built from the ground up, and I intend to do that for as long as I can and for many years,'' Lopez said.
The podcast industry, once fragmented and scattered with smaller publishers, is now dominated by a few large players. In recent years, Spotify, iHeartMedia and SiriusXM have spent millions buying podcast businesses to beef up their platforms. Last year, Spotify bought the New York-based podcast production company Gimlet Media for about $230 million and recently announced a partnership with Chernin Entertainment to turn some of Spotify's original podcasts into TV shows and films.
The competitive climate has made it tougher for smaller independent players like Wondery to survive on their own, potentially making it an attractive target for studios or other companies seeking to expand their content libraries.
''It shouldn't be surprising that we continue to get approached over the years by companies that just want to directly take us private or make us part of their company [or] funds that want to invest in Wondery to help us continue our growth,'' Lopez said.
Wondery executives declined to disclose finances, but they said that the business is profitable and that it has raised $15 million from investors. Last year, after raising $10 million, Wondery was valued at more than $100 million.
Bloomberg, which first reported on Wondery exploring a sale, said the company could fetch $300 million to $400 million.
Wondery has had discussions with companies including Sony, according to two people familiar with the matter who declined to be named because they were not authorized to comment. Other potential buyers could include Spotify and Apple, sources said. A person close to Spotify said they are not considering buying Wondery. Apple declined to comment.
''We have heard a wide variety of valuations,'' said Norm Pattiz, executive chairman of PodcastOne, a Beverly Hills-based podcast network that was purchased by LiveXLive in an all-stock transaction in July. ''A lot of deals have been done, so clearly it's a good time to be a seller. The next couple of years will show whether the buyers made the right deals or not.''
Lopez, of Los Angeles, was previously head of Fox International Channels, a division of 21st Century Fox. He left the company in 2016. That same year, he founded Wondery, later receiving financial backing from Fox and other investors.
He recalled when the digital video recorder TiVo came onto the market and series like ''The Sopranos'' changed the way TV shows were made and consumed.
''There was a change in technology in television that changed not only the way people watch television but the kind of television that got made and watched and was popular,'' Lopez said. ''I had the idea that the same thing was going to happen to audio.''
The studio scored a hit with ''Dirty John'' '-- it also produced and marketed two other Times podcasts, ''Man in the Window'' and ''Detective Trapp.'' Wondery's own originals also proved popular, including ''Dr. Death,'' which premiered in 2018. The series, which focused on a Texas doctor accused of medical malpractice, attracted 17.5 million listeners in its first season.
The podcast has been developed into a TV show that will run on Peacock, NBCUniversal's new streaming service and stars Joshua Jackson, Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater.
To date, Wondery has produced more than 50 original podcasts and has 16 shows in TV development. Many have reached No. 1 on Apple Podcasts.
Wondery had a U.S. audience of more than 8 million listeners in October, making it the sixth largest podcasting publisher in the country, according to Podtrac.
With employees based in West Hollywood, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Ore., and London, Wondery now employs 70 people. Earlier this year, it expanded its West Hollywood office, adding a new recording studio, to keep pace with the growth.
Many of Wondery's podcasts are available on multiple platforms, a contrast to a growing number that are exclusive to just one service.
''I see opportunities, because we're in the unique position of being able to give our talent, our creators, the widest possible audience,'' Lopez said.
Last year, Universal Music Group announced a partnership with Wondery to create podcasts based on its song library, labels and roster of artists. The collaboration's first podcast, ''Jacked: Rise of the New Jack Sound,'' will premiere Nov. 17.
''We felt like Wondery had done a good job of carving a niche out for themselves and becoming like the HBO of podcasting,'' said Barak Moffitt, executive vice president of content strategy and operations for Universal Music Group.
In June, Wondery launched its own app (with paid and ad-free options) featuring more than 12,000 podcast episodes by the company and its partners, providing more data on how users consume its podcasts.
But the indictment against Lopez '-- the reason many investors backed Wondery '-- has created uncertainty about the company's future leadership. Also named in the indictment was Carlos Martinez, the former chief executive of Fox Networks in Latin America.
Attorneys for both men have said their clients were innocent and would be exonerated. A federal judge recently denied a motion by the former Fox executives to have a separate trial from a sports marketing group also involved in the government's corruption investigation.
Some podcast executives are surprised that Lopez remains Wondery's chief executive, said Nick Quah, founder of Hot Pod, which publishes newsletters about the podcast industry.
''People feel weird about it,'' Quah said. ''He is not just the leader of the company, he is the face of the company.''
Lopez, however, appears to have the support of key investors.
''Everybody respects him both internally and externally,'' said Jon Goldman, board partner of Greycroft, an investor in Wondery. ''His instincts are amazing, and his execution is flawless.''
Lopez is looking ahead, saying he wants to expand Wondery internationally. Already, the company has translated such shows as ''Dr. Death'' and ''Business Wars'' into other languages and plans to do local language productions. It's also working with partners to adapt podcasts into other properties such as TV shows or books.
''Every time we launch a new show, we're creating this evergreen IP that really can go different places,'' said Chief Operating Officer Jen Sargent. ''Our goal still is to become the leader in the podcast space globally, with a brand that is synonymous with immersive storytelling, and that's really what we're aiming for.''
Spotify to buy podcast ad company Megaphone for $235 million
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 16:57
Daniel Ek, chief executive officer and co-founder of Spotify AB.
Akio Kon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Spotify is making yet another podcast acquisition.
The company said on Tuesday it has entered into an agreement to acquire ad tech company Megaphone in a $235 million deal. The companies declined to say whether the deal was in cash, stock or a mix of both. Spotify shares were down more than 5% Tuesday morning.
Megaphone offers technology for podcast publishers and advertisers seeking targeted slots on podcasts. It offers podcast hosting, distribution and ad-insertion tools for podcast publishers like ESPN and the Wall Street Journal, and advertisers can use the company's technology to find audiences across the podcast content of those publishers.
Spotify has been on a podcast acquisition tear in the past couple years, striking deals for shows from those including Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian and Michelle Obama and buying companies like The Ringer and Gimlet Media. Now, it's taking steps further to monetize all that content with the help of a new acquisition.
Megaphone, previously called Panoply Media, rebranded in 2019 after laying off its podcast production team to focus on the technology platform side of its business. The company has been owned by Virginia-based Graham Holdings Company.
The deal should give advertisers more scale in terms of who they can reach on Spotify and let podcast publishers opt-in to have their shows monetized.
After the transaction closes, Spotify said it will make its "Streaming Ad Insertion" tool available to all podcast publishers through Megaphone's technology, the first time it will open that tool beyond its own original and exclusive podcasts. The company has said that tool makes ads "targetable'--they'll be relevant to the people who get them; measurable'--we'll more easily prove that they're effective; and interactive'..."
Advertising has constituted a relatively small portion of Spotify's revenue, but the company's leadership has said it's optimistic about the advertising opportunity. During its third quarter earnings, the company said 22% of its total monthly average users engaged with podcasts last quarter and that podcast ad revenue was up nearly 100% year-over-year. The company says its podcast catalog has more than 1.9 million titles.
"I think there's been very little innovation, particularly on the podcasting side in terms of how to better target advertising and allow creators to actually monetize their product in a much higher way," the company's CFO Paul Vogel said on its recent third quarter earnings call. "And I think our ability to help bring those tools and services into the ecosystem will be great for the overall growth of business, it will allow creators to actually make more money off of their podcasts. And I think it will benefit us as well."
Should Spotify Be Responsible for What Joe Rogan Does?
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 17:23
This article first ran in Hot Pod, an industry-leading trade newsletter about podcasting by Nick Quah.
Photo: PowerfulJRE/YouTube
When Spotify signed The Joe Rogan Experience to a hundred million dollar exclusive distribution deal this summer, practically everyone wondered how the audio streaming platform would handle the next time Rogan brought on Alex Jones, the notorious conspiracy theorist whose provably false and harmful provocations got his ass de-platformed by several major tech companies '-- including Spotify itself '-- in 2018.
Rogan had proven willing to give Jones a platform a few times before, engaging the conspiracy theorist in a distinctly Roganian ''you've said some crazy stuff before but you've also said some controversial stuff I think you were right about so it all evens out for me'' style of discourse that typically allows Jones to get off a high volume of conspiracy claims with Rogan only contesting some of those claims to the extent he's interested enough to do so.
It took just under two months since The Joe Rogan Experience officially debuted on Spotify for the show to vault the company into that exact controversy everyone knew was coming. Last Tuesday, the podcast dropped a three hour-long episode with Jones, in which the conspiracy theorist, accompanied by the comedian Tim Dillon, did all the things you'd expect from the face of Infowars. Here's The Verge with a partial summary:
Jones, who previously claimed that Sandy Hook was a hoax, also said that ''a lot of studies show'' that masks won't protect people in large groups from getting COVID. (The CDC recommends people wear a mask ''anywhere they will be around other people.'')
At another point, Jones exaggerates an incident in which an oral vaccine caused polio in recipients. Jones says the vaccine caused 100 percent of recipients to get sick after taking it, before Rogan pulls up an AP article that details the cases of two children who were paralyzed after receiving the vaccine. Dillon and Jones also claim that the Democrats are intentionally trying to keep the US economy down in order to get Trump out of office.
The episode drew a ton of criticism and negative coverage, as you would expect, but as The Verge points out, Rogan did again engage in some form of fact-checking, which does somewhat complicate the narrative around this specific situation, since Rogan advocates could argue (justifiably, I guess) that this isn't simply a case where Jones was given free rein to spread misinformation. Indeed, the logic system does get a little tricky for those who wish to structurally push back against Rogan here: Spotify denying Rogan the ability to give Jones an appearance means that news organizations would not theoretically be free to engage Jones in a ''properly'' fact-checked podcast appearance should they wish to do so and still get distributed on the platform. Meanwhile, leaning on a framework where only news organizations get to do such things on the platform means that someone has to designate who gets to be a news organization on Spotify, which can be a dicey proposition.
That trickiness likely informed Spotify CEO Daniel Ek's response to a question raised about the incident during the company's earnings call last Thursday, which leaned heavily on the notion of policy consistency. ''We obviously review all the content that goes up'' he said. ''It doesn't matter if you're Joe Rogan or anyone else. We do apply those policies, but it's important to note that this needs to be evenly applied, no matter if it's an internal pressure or an external pressure as well, because otherwise we are a creative platform for lots of creators, and it's important that they know what to expect from our platform. If we can't do that, then there are other choices for creators to go to so that consistency is super important.''
That response, by the way, was foreshadowed in a BuzzFeed News report that came out the day before the earnings call, which contained leaked emails featuring the company's chief legal officer, Horacio Gutierrez, defending the show internally and providing talking points to Spotify management should they be made to publicly comment on the situation. One of those talking points was the aforementioned lean on content policy consistency.
Here's the thing about this story for me: practically everybody knew in their bones that a Jones-Rogan situation was going to be inevitable under Spotify's watch. So, why does it seem like the company didn't entirely expect to handle something like this when they signed Rogan?
You can't say the company didn't have ample warning. In addition to Rogan's entire track record, The Joe Rogan Experience gave Spotify two incidents around this general area the very month it debuted on the platform: the first is Rogan inadvertently reciting a debunked conspiracy theory about ''left-wing people'' being arrested for intentionally starting wildfires in Oregon, which he later apologized for, and the second is a guest spot by Abigail Shrier, whose book ''Irreversible Damage'' has been criticized for describing gender dysphoria as a ''social contagion.'' Furthermore, according to a Motherboard report, as a result of signing Rogan, Spotify started experiencing emerging tension with its workforce over content policy questions, which partly came through in a company town hall in which some employees raised concerns over Rogan's history with comments considered transphobic. These things were light brushes compared to the Jones-Rogan situation, which presents the company with most extreme manifestation of this content moderation problem, but they nevertheless were signals that should've prompted Spotify to ramp up some process around pulling together a clear, consistent, and communicable content moderation policy as soon as humanly possible.
Let's pull back for a second. Now, I don't believe there's any future in which Spotify does anything to rock the Joe Rogan boat. Don't forget: Rogan is Spotify's premiere signing in its push into podcasting, and as I've argued previously, The Joe Rogan Experience, whose intense popularity is uniquely significant for its capacity to draw new listeners onto the platform, is the piece that's supposed to pull the company's entire podcast bet together and take it to the next level. So, with that in mind, Spotify is more likely to tailor its content policy approach around Rogan's needs than around anything else, because Spotify likely sees the upside of keeping Rogan happy being greater than the downsides he could bring to the business'... even the risk of employee unrest, perhaps.
But however they land on content moderation, they have to land somewhere '-- and soon, too, because the Jones-Rogan situation is only one type of many, many big content risks the company will inevitably have to deal with in the days to come.
It's often been asked of Spotify whether it's a Netflix or a YouTube, with that inquiry generally being used as a way to think through how they should be held accountable for the content that flows through their pipes. That binary is false, I think, as the company has built its push into podcasting on the twin prongs of serving as a publisher of original content (substantiated by talent deals and various acquisitions) and serving as a platform (substantiated by acquiring the hosting platform Anchor). In other words, Spotify is effectively both Netflix and YouTube, and as such, they are exposed to being held accountable to either paradigm depending on the situation. In this specific context, they are responsible for The Joe Rogan Experience as a publisher in much the same way that'... oh, I don't know, YouTube is responsible for Cobra Kai. And someday '-- perhaps sooner than you might expect '-- they should be held responsible for hosting unambiguously bad or harmful actors on Anchor.
It's a lot to think through, and for more insight, I thought I'd call up an expert source who's been covering this type of stuff for years and years: Casey Newton.
I've been following Casey Newton's work for closely quite some time now, particularly over the past few years as he's zeroed in on covering tech platforms and content moderation as a senior editor at The Verge. Among his many achievements there, he broke huge stories about the horrible working conditions for Facebook's outsourced content moderators as part of his broader reporting on Facebook, and he also started a newsletter called The Interface that focused on the intersection of social media and democracy.
Newton recently left The Verge to launch Platformer, his own independent newsletter on Substack '-- which, by the way, is another platform that I personally believe should be held to the same kinds of platform-publisher questions nowadays '-- where he continues to stay on the beat. In case it isn't crystal clear by now, podcasting falls well within this discussion these days, as perhaps they should always have been, and I figured Newton's insight into Spotify's predicament would be useful to set the frame for what's to come.
***
Hot Pod: Based on your experience, what do you see when you look at Spotify's situation over the past week?
Casey Newton: I think we're in the early stages of seeing Spotify eventually come around to implementing many more restrictions on the content that even their own podcasts will include.
So, let's back up for a second and talk about the bigger shift that we've been seeing in the tech industry more broadly. At the beginning of a tech platform, we mostly just see that company as infrastructure. It is a tool that helps put a thing into the world. The early days of Twitter, certainly. Substack is in that zone right now, though recent developments suggest that people are beginning to see it a little differently now.
That early stage is the Wild West. People will post whatever and the platform is barely going to investigate abuse because they see themselves as a tool and not responsible for the content of anything its users publish. As the years go on, these platforms get bigger and more powerful. As their audience share grows, we stop thinking of them as simple infrastructure and start thinking of them as true publishers who should be responsible for the content on their platforms.
This is all preamble to talk about where Spotify is right now. Before they started buying, licensing, and hosting podcasts, you could argue they were a podcast player like any other. Now, there are a lot of bad actor podcasts out there, and if one of them were on Spotify's platform, they could argue they were just a tool for spreading the thing. We saw this with Alex Jones when they took him off the platform a few years ago.
For the most part, though, Spotify has been generally reluctant to intervene in things like this. They had the whole R. Kelly issue on the music side a few years ago, but they were able to just say: ''Have your feelings about artists, but we believe in making a super broad range of content available and we're not going to weigh in every time an artist does a bad thing, and we're not going to necessarily remove them from playlists.
None of those music controversies ultimately went anywhere, and while there may have been angry blog posts and critical news reports, they haven't been called before Congress or whatever. It hasn't been a major scandal.
I think you're going to start to see that turn with the Joe Rogan thing. This is their show pony. This is their biggest original content deal ever, and he is a problematic figure. In this Alex Jones situation, Rogan brought on somebody who has been de-platformed by many of the biggest platforms in the world. So I suspect this is the moment where Spotify is crossing over being understood as infrastructure towards being regarded as a publisher in a big way. Because they're paying Joe Rogan's salary, they're responsible for him in a way that even YouTube is not responsible for hosting Joe Rogan, as he was just uploading videos there.
HP: What does it mean to be responsible for Rogan?
Newton: That's a great question, and I think it mostly hinges on another question, which is: what should Spotify's publishing standards be?
That should be a process that involves a lot of stakeholders and a lot of thought. They should be bringing in people who have worked on this issue for other platforms. They need to be gaming out scenarios. Of course, they could land in a bunch of places in that process '-- and, by the way, one of those places could be, ''We don't care if our podcast hosts bring on people who have been deplatformed elsewhere, we're going to enable more speech than any other platform, and here's why.'' They can say that, and it feels like they basically tried out that argument on the earnings call this week.
I've seen this play out so many times before, and I feel like I'm watching the first act of a movie I've already seen. Now, the second act of that movie is: there will be more controversies about more podcasts, and then there will be a series of articles laying out the most problematic podcasts on Spotify and how much is being paid for each of them, and then there's a continuous drumbeat of leaks from inside Spotify. Some employees quit, some employees write Medium posts about why they quit and how toxic the environment has become, and then Spotify comes out and says, ''We hear you, we're going to adopt some real community standards now, here are the new rules going forward.''
Of course, maybe that won't happen. But right now, I don't see a world in which it doesn't.
HP: I get the sense from what you're saying that there are two layers to dig through here. The first is Spotify not yet having a coherent content policy that can be consistently applied across their various business lines. The second layer, which is perhaps more the heart of it, is how it feels like Spotify still hasn't really committed to the reality of the situation they got when they pushed into podcasting both as a publisher and a platform. There's a bit of wanting to have its cake and eat it too: ''We're for all sorts of speech, but we're still the friendly Swedes in the room.'' Having seen this movie several times before, what's the appropriate move for a platform at this point in the story?
Newton: I think platforms would do well to approach these problems with humility, especially at this early stage. It should be okay for them to say: ''We're relatively early in our journey as a publisher that is acquiring and promoting podcasts under our own name, we understand that there are valid questions about the kinds of podcasts are being distributed on our platform, and we want to think about what the rules should be for that so we can adequately communicate them.''
I would start there. You could look at what Zoom did earlier this summer when they experienced all that crazy growth during the pandemic and journalists started uncovering all these problems: encryption issues, security holes, so on. Then Zoom said, ''You know, you're right, we were not prepared for this level of scrutiny, we're going to take the next ninety days, we're not going to ship a new feature, we're going to bring in a bunch of security consultants and stress test the platform, and then we'll go back to making new features after we figure all that out.''
And that's exactly what they did. They later publicized what they found and the changes they made, and I would argue that Zoom is on better footing now than before they undertook that process.
I've been sort of laughing as I've watched Spotify's early responses to its situation, because all those responses seem to suggest that they think they're only going to get this problem once. Like, ''if we can just get through the controversy around this one Joe Rogan episode, we can put this issue to rest forever.'' That's just not what's going to happen here.
HP: Who would be the key player within Spotify to watch on this specific issue moving forward?
Newton: So, the kinds of folks within big companies who typically work on problems like this'... well, they go by many names, and there still isn't really a consistent name for this team, but the name you hear the most is ''Trust and Safety.''
The weird thing about Trust and Safety is that it's a baby industry. There wasn't a professional trade association for employees working in Trust and Safety until this year. It was founded by this woman named Clara Tsao, who is a really interesting thinker. One of the big points that she's made over the years is that one of the reasons these [content policy] issues have been so acute is that it's not even seen as a proper career path for people. If you want to be in the business of managing content policies inside platforms, the path to do so is really murky.
Content moderation is usually a backwater. It's usually the first thing a tech founder will give up as soon as they can, because the tradeoffs are hard and people will be unhappy no matter the decision you take.
My sense is that Spotify doesn't really have a Trust and Safety team or equivalent. I'm sure they have people working on these issues, but the question is whether they are empowered. I believe there hasn't been real community standards set for podcasters on the platform just yet. Will they undertake a real process to carve out actual community standards? Because over the long run, they're not going to find it workable for Daniel Ek to keep responding on earnings calls to a quarter's worth of complaints about that.
HP: Does it bother you to keep seeing this story play out over and over again?
Newton: Nah, it just makes me excited. I feel like I ended up in this weird niche as a journalist where I'm always writing about these same issues, and I'm happy to repeat myself, you know? I don't actually have to do a lot of work. It's just, ''We're in act one now, class, anybody wants to guess what happens next?''
For this Jones-Rogan situation, I'm not really that bothered. I think Jones has actually been effectively de-platformed, and yeah, Rogan has said some anti-trans stuff that's gross and upsetting, but I wouldn't put Joe Rogan on my top ten list of worst content problems on the internet. There are other ones that have definitely bothered me way more, a lot of it on Facebook.
But I was talking with someone a few years ago '-- I won't say his name, but he's a billionaire tech founder '-- and he was saying, ''You guys really aren't studying podcasts enough.'' He brought up people like Joe Rogan, Sam Harris, and Jordan Peterson, and he said, ''People are spending four or five hours a week with these guys, and most journalists aren't listening to these podcasts, so there are these huge surging currents of thought in America that are really underexplored.''
And I started thinking about that for myself. A podcast I've listened to for over ten years now is the Savage Lovecast, and I'm now at a point where all my opinions about sex and relationships are just Dan Savage's opinions. That is one situation where I thought I had really firm opinions about certain things, but over ten years, Dan just wore me down, and now all my opinions are basically his opinions.
Now, I believe his opinions are good, and if he's radicalized me about anything, it's just to be, like, a good and loving partner, you know? But if you apply that framework to listeners of these other kinds of podcasts'... The scariest stuff here isn't when a podcast host has a bad guest on, but when you get somebody with a genuinely pernicious ideology podcasting that maybe starts out being really innocuous but gets really dark over time. That's a much harder problem for a platform like Spotify to solve, because you don't want them policing thought, but what happens when you get something like a Stefan Molyneux? What happens when you have certain kinds of people banned on YouTube, and they start becoming the next generation of popular podcasts on Anchor? Will Spotify intervene there?
That, I think, is the bigger and more interesting question.
***
You can find Platformer, Newton's newsletter, here.
News, broadly'...
'ž½ Jason Concepcion (of Binge Mode fame, among many other things) has left The Ringer to join Crooked Media later this month.
'ž½ Steve Lickteig, the executive producer of audio at NBC and MSNBC, has left the organization to start his own production company, Small Good Thing.
'ž½ PRX has published an excerpt of the external investigation into the allegation of systemic and specific racism at the organization on its Medium page. The investigation was catalyzed by the recent departure of a Black employee, who publicly shared a letter in August detailing her negative experiences while working there.
'ž½ Slate has announced a new upcoming season of Slow Burn: Joel Anderson will return to host an entire season on the 1992 LA riots, which will follow Noreen Malone's upcoming season on the run-up to the Iraq War.
'ž½ VICE has a fascinating new project out that's produced entirely from user-generated content to tell global stories from the ground level. It's called Source Material.
For today's election'... A quick and incomplete list of stuff various podcasts are doing for tonight's vote count:
'ž½ The Daily is doing a four hour-long live broadcast over the internet, which is technically streaming radio, but in any case Jody Avirgan is vindicated.
'ž½ Axios will be dropping five minute-long episode updates on its Axios Today and Axios Re:Cap feeds throughout the night.
'ž½ Slate is taping episodes of The Gist and Trumpcast to drop this evening, while What Next and the Slate Political Gabfest are taping tonight for an AM drop tomorrow. (Shout-out to Slate's 2016 election night rolling podcast experiment, which was hosted by Zoe Chace and Alison Stewart. That was a fascinating idea that should be tried again'... count to think of it, I think Axios' five minute updates are a variation on this.)
'ž½ There's always NPR's many various digital audio outputs.
'ž½ WNYC's On the Media is also doing a livestream tonight.
'ž½ As are Futuro Media's In The Thick with Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Valera.
'ž½ As are Chapo Trap House.
'ž½ Radio Ambulante's El Hilo is planning a quick turnaround episode for whenever the results are in. (Assuming it's within the week, and not, you know, a 2000 revival.)
'ž½ KQED's The Bay is following three poll volunteers throughout the day, and those recordings will be packaged as an episode for the next drop.
'ž½ Pantsuit Politics is doing a live show on something called the Hot Mic app.
'ž½ And because there is a god, Jon Mooallem is gracing us with a four hour-long special election episode of WALKING.
We're still dropping an episode of Servant of Pod tomorrow'... The Atlantic's Vann Newkirk II is the focus of our profile this week, where we dug deep into his spectacular podcast series from March, Floodlines.
We taped this a while back but saved the episode for Election Week '-- a thematically appropriate time, maybe, to run a conversation about Hurricane Katrina, government failure, unequal impacts, and the long legacy of large-scale disasters. We also talked about the show's music and sound design, which, quite honestly, is some of the best I've ever heard on a podcast.
You can find Servant of Pod on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or the great assortment of third-party podcast apps that are hooked up to the open publishing ecosystem. Desktop listening is also recommended. Share, leave a review, so on.
By Caroline Crampton
In search of an occasional break from all that listening to people talking generally required to keep up with podcasting, I've found myself increasingly interested in the more experimental, ''sound art'' corner of the audio universe. The term ''sound art'' is a broad one, of course, and can be stretched to include everything from soundscape-dominated shows like Field Recordings and Jon Mooallem's Walking to found tape or archival pieces such as those put out by Centuries of Sound, along with straight up audio collages and installations. All of these feeds and more have become remarkably important to me in recent months, and I prioritise new episodes from those projects in much the same way that I used to drop everything to listen to my favourite comedy podcasts back in 2009.
Beyond just the sheer pleasure of listening to someone silently taking a walk in a place I've never been (as in the case of Field Recordings), I like the way these shows prompt me to think differently about the podcast business. Monetisation, audience, and IP potential are usually top of mind for me when assessing a new launch or acquisition, but none of those approaches really seem to apply to this corner of podcasting, which nevertheless cultivates a strong base of fans and dedicated practitioners. More than that, it seems to function in part as a counterpoint to everything else that is going on with podcasting: a kind of pressure valve for the industry.
Accordingly, when I was asked to guest on the BBC's Podcast Radio Hour recently I chose this very idea of audio art and found sound as my theme for the programme. One of the interviews that I conducted for the show, with Michelle Macklem, the artistic director and co-founder of Constellations, really stuck with me, so with permission I'm going to unpack it in more detail here than was possible in the time available on the Podcast Radio Hour.
Macklem explained that Constellations had its origins in conversations between herself and co-founder Jess Shane when they were both living in Toronto and working at the CBC. (Macklem has since relocated to Melbourne, Australia.) ''We were finding that with a lot of our peers who were working and podcasting as the industry was becoming more and more commercial, there was less space for experimentation and less space for thinking about sound critically and how we experience sound in the world critically,'' she said.
This fed the desire for a project that stood apart from the commercial pressures audiomakers were experiencing elsewhere in the industry '-- a refuge from the increasingly homogenised sound that was developing as podcasting grew in popularity in the US and Canada. Macklem and Shane started asking friends and contacts if they could release their audio art on a new feed, and found that creators were enthusiastic about offering work to such an outlet while they worked in a very different way for their day jobs.
Another driving force behind the founding of Constellations that really intrigued me was burnout. Longtime readers will know that I've been tracking this phenomenon with respect to podcasting for some time now, and it was fascinating to hear that Constellations was in part an expression of the fact that while demand for audio content has been ramping up everywhere, key things like compensation and healthy working practices have remained out of step for many creators. ''We saw a lot of our peers becoming really burnt out,'' Macklem said. ''We work and need to make money and do our jobs and stuff, but I think that something about the creative aspects were feeling a bit lost for us.''
Constellations has now put out four seasons of work since it launched in July 2017, as well as organising a physical exhibition in Toronto and arranging various remixing projects. It has remained a non-commercial outlet for the creators involved, a dispersed network of people who want a home for their audio experiments.
I asked Macklem about how listeners respond to the works, since it is a feed primarily conceived with creators rather than the audience in mind. ''We have really varied listener feedback and I think that's exciting because I think Constellations being a non-commercial space can be a space where people can actively dislike the works, and that's totally fine and great,'' she said. ''I think the joy in that is being able to talk and discover why you don't like things rather than trying to fit a mould of things that you think you should like, which I think culturally is something that we all do because we, you know, want to get behind things that seem great and critically robust.''
I'm very familiar with this dynamic. It's perhaps less noticeable these days, but when I first started writing about podcasts there was very much a sense that it was necessary to be mostly positive so as not to denigrate this up-and-coming medium in case it put off new adopters. Even now, I think podcast critics are perhaps less willing to write off a show they have issues with than their counterparts in film or book criticism might, for myriad understandable reasons such as scarcity, the amateur/professional crossover, and more. As a space where listeners are free to just'... not feel positive about everything, Constellations also seems to offer a respite in that sense too.
Of course, commercially funded work elsewhere is what makes a feed like Constellations possible on a practical level '-- the creators who release their audio art through this show are also using their skills in other directions that pay the bills. The show does do some crowdfunding, but it mostly leans back on the ethos that getting paid matters less than releasing ideas into the world that wouldn't have a home anywhere else. For those efforts, and how it hopes to expand the horizon of what could be, Constellations deserves our attention.
MIC
An F-35 pilot explains why the jet's bad press misses the point - Sandboxx
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 14:44
There's no other jet I'd want to go into combat in than the F-35A, the Air Force's newest supersonic stealth fighter. As a fighter pilot who's flown several variants of the legendary F-16 as well as the F-35, I can say that, between the two aircraft, it's not even a close competition. Comparing the two is like comparing a 90's corvette to a brand new Tesla'--the corvette may have the edge in a few niche categories, but the Tesla is a much more capable car. The general public, however, doesn't share this sentiment'--yet. Let's look at why.
Over the last decade, there has been a paradigm shift for combat aircraft. This isn't a new phenomenon, but has happened several times throughout history. In the '50s and '60s, the emphasis was on how high and fast a fighter could fly. This led to interceptors such as the F-104 that could travel over twice the speed of sound (1,500 mph) at 50,000+ feet. In the '70s, '80's, and 90's, it became about how tightly a fighter could turn and how long it could sustain that turn. This led to the development of incredible dogfighters such as the F-16 and F-15.
The 64th and 65th Aggressor Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15 Eagles head to the fight after refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald)Since around 2005, there has been another shift taking place. Survivability and lethality in a contested environment now have more to do with stealth, sensors, data fusion, and the ability to network, than just pure turn performance. Unfortunately, it's difficult to quantify these capabilities in an unclassified environment. Likewise, these attributes don't showcase well during airshows or while on display.
The next reason has to do with how new technology matures. When new technology is introduced, it often takes several years to work out all the ''bugs.'' Nearly every piece of technology around you was initially criticized for being inferior when it first came out: the laptop, streaming music, the LCD monitor, the smartphone, the LED light bulb, the list goes on. It takes time to fix the many unforeseen issues that arise from the introduction of new technology.
Fighter aircraft are no different. The F-16, the first fly-by-wire production fighter, was initially known as the ''lawn dart'' because of the hundreds of crashes that occurred over the first decade of its life. Engineers were able to eventually fix the problems, and the aircraft went on to become the backbone of the U.S. Air Force, as well as many other air forces around the world.
A static test explosion of an F-16 Fighting Falcon (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)When the F-35 debuted, it was inferior to the F-16 and other 4th generation aircraft. However, its potential has been steadily unlocked by the engineers, and several years ago, it surpassed the F-16's capability. As the F-35 continues to mature, the difference will continue to grow considerably.
Lockheed did, however, build many of these ''inferior'' F-35's by choosing to merge the development and production of the aircraft. Instead of building a test fleet of prototypes, finalizing the design, and then producing the aircraft, they merged the steps into what is known as concurrency. This had the effect of shortening the F-35 timeline by several years, however, it came at the cost of knowing that early production F-35's would need to be retrofitted as problems were identified.
(U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)The jury is still out as to whether this collapsed timeline was worth it, however, it had the effect of appearing for several years as though an inferior fighter was being built.
The last major reason the F-35 has seen so much criticism is that it was the first jet developed in the social media age. The paradigm shift, cost, and early problems, coupled with concurrency, led to an explosion of negative social media that grew into mainstream media coverage.
We probably shouldn't be making national security decisions based on how fire the memes will be.Just imagine how the F-16 program would have been covered today when they were crashing an aircraft almost every two weeks during several years in the '80s and '90s (the F-35, by comparison, has only crashed 3 times in over a decade of flying).
If you separate the noise and talk to current fighter pilots who've flown with or against F-35's in the last few years, they will tell you the impact and value the jet has on the battlefield. This isn't theoretical or something that may happen in a few years; the transition has already occurred. The F-35, along with the F-22, is now the premier fighter aircraft in the world.
Justin LeeJustin Lee is an active duty U.S. Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter pilot. Lee has earned four Air Medals over the span of more than 400 hours of combat flight time throughout his eight+ years at the stick of the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35, and now he's bringing his unique insight to the audio world with his incredible new podcast, ''The Professionals Playbook.''
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VIDEO - (1606) RAW AUDIO: USPS Whistleblower Richard Hopkins FULL COERCIVE INTERROGATION By Federal Agents - YouTube
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 14:23
VIDEO-Cuomo Prime Time on Twitter: "Pres. Trump is "like a cornered cat'...he's going to lash out and the fact...that he has the powers of the presidency in his hands is quite worrisome." Former CIA dir. John Brennan calls on VP Pence and the cabinet to in
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:28
Cuomo Prime Time : Pres. Trump is "like a cornered cat'...he's going to lash out and the fact...that he has the powers of the presidency'... https://t.co/q2k9rbSPGs
Tue Nov 10 03:06:53 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Cabbie Says It Is His Right To Wear Nazi Armband - YouTube
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:27
VIDEO-MUST SEE: Connections of Dems to Ballot Counting Systems PROVE This Election is Far From Legit - YouTube
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:15
VIDEO-Interview with Source on Electronic Vote Fraud - YouTube
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:09
VIDEO-Biden coronavirus advisory board member said living past 75 has virtually no value | Disrn
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:07
Last Updated Nov 11th, 2020 at 11:26 pmOne of Joe Biden's recently announced coronavirus advisory board members, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, is facing criticism for remarks he made in a 2014 article from The Atlantic.
There, the oncologist and bioethicist complained about how "living too long" would negatively impact society.
"Doubtless, death is a loss," Emanuel wrote. "It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children. In short, it deprives us of all the things we value. But here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic."
Emanuel also lamented the "real and oppressive financial and caregiving burdens" inflicted upon many middle-age adults, saying Americans' desire to live a long life is imprudent.
"I think this manic desperation to endlessly extend life is misguided and potentially destructive," Emanuel wrote. "For many reasons, 75 is a pretty good age to aim to stop. '... We are growing old, and our older years are not of high quality."
The man who will be advising a potential President Biden on how to deal with a disease disproportionately endangering the health of elderly people reaffirmed his views that elderly people are not doing any "meaningful work" during a 2019 interview.
"These people who live a vigorous life to 70, 80, 90 years of age '' when I look at what those people 'do,' almost all of it is what I classify as play," he remarked. "It's not meaningful work. They're riding motorcycles; they're hiking. Which can all have value '' don't get me wrong. But if it's the main thing in your life? Ummm, that's not probably a meaningful life."
ðŸ--... Biden, the man who has tabbed Emanuel to serve on his advisory board, is 77.
VIDEO-How Trump's transition of power delay threatens national security and public safety - CNNPolitics
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:04
A version of this story appeared in CNN's What Matters newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here. (CNN)President Donald Trump is doing everything he can to obstruct and delay the transition of President-elect Joe Biden to the White House.
But more consequential than his multi-pronged legal strategy to overturn results in multiple states could be the effort by members of his administration to forestall Biden's
effort to get his team up to speed to take over running the US government on January 20 -- which is when Trump's term officially ends. (
Here's the legal timeline.)
This is an issue that can have real consequences. When the contested 2000 election delayed George W. Bush's transition, it delayed his national security team and was a contributing factor to the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, according to a finding in the official 9/11 Commission Report.
CNN talked to Max Stier, who is director of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit and nonpartisan group that oversees the Center for Presidential Transition, which advocates for policy to smooth out this process. It's got an
online guide for how presidential transitions should happen. What you're seeing right now is not it.
The conversation, lightly edited for flow, follows:
The most complex organization on the planet
WHAT MATTERS: People have been thinking about this and putting elements of law in place with regard to presidential transition since the 1960s. So it's not a brand-new issue, figuring out how to navigate the the peaceful transfer of power. What sort of legislation exists and how is it supposed to work? This bipartisan code is supposed to make it so that the two sides work together, right?
STIER: The federal government is the most complex organization on our planet in terms of mechanics. You're talking about a $5 trillion-plus budget, 4 million people if you include the military and reservists. That's 2 million career civil servants in hundreds of operating units. And traditionally the president appoints their own 4,000 political people.
So it's a massive, massive operation that requires a lot of work and preferably a lot of time. One piece of legislation that we were able to help with -- and actually Ted Kaufman, who is the chair of the Biden transition, was the chairman of this -- was legislation that moved the point of support for transition planning from Election Day, which had been the historical approach, to right after the conventions. The goal was to encourage and provide support for campaigns to address transition planning earlier in the election with the recognition that is impossible to be ready on Inauguration Day -- January 20 -- if you start only on the Election Day. The amount of things you have to do, the complexity, is such that you can't do it.
And indeed, the Biden team has been preparing actively since the springtime on the transition planning. And they have been working with General Services Administration as the legislation provides, before the actual convention. So the legislation was really important in providing political cover and support for something that is good for everybody.
A delayed transition contributed to 9/11
WHAT MATTERS: What happens if transitions aren't handled well?
STIER: You can argue who should be president. But we all have a real interest in whoever is president being ready on Day One. The stakes are very high.
You look back to 9/11 and the 9/11 Commission. It was very clear, looking back, that some of the delays that then-President George W. Bush experienced during the transition resulted in his delaying getting his national security team in place. And that hurt us. That's a finding from the 9/11 Commission report.
What's at stake, really, is our security, our safety. And with the world we're in today, with economic challenges that are incredibly severe, we have a lot that we should be worried about.
Having a president that right away has a team in place, that is able to own the problems well, is really important in terms of transition planning.
What is actually being delayed?
WHAT MATTERS: What are the specifics of delay? What are the specific things that are getting gummed up? Are we talking the idea of transition people not being paid with federal funds? Are we talking Senate appointments? If things don't get started right on time, how does it impact the transition going forward?
STIER: There are three buckets that are at play in the failure of GSA to ascertain Biden and enable him to get these resources.
The first bucket is access to the agencies themselves. I mentioned earlier there are over 100 operating in the government -- big agencies, subagencies -- and the Biden team needs to understand what's happening inside them.
Each and every one of them have different urgent issues that they're addressing, and problems and decisions that would have to be made right away following the inauguration. So understanding the state of play, what's happening inside these agencies, is critical. And getting access to them is something that they have to wait on this decision by GSA.
The second major bucket is in the processing of their personnel. I talked about the 4,000 political appointments, 1,200 of them being Senate-confirmable positions. Those will need security clearances and financial agreements with the Office of Government Ethics to make sure there are no conflicts. Access to those personnel processing resources is also constrained without the GSA decision.
In my view, this is easily the most important area of attention because having your team on the field, real time, is really fundamental. I referenced the 9/11 Commission report as an example. It's hard going in the ordinary world. It's even harder going in a world where you have to do all this virtually. Now add even more complexity and difficulty because GSA has shortened the time frame because it hasn't made the resources available.
And the third and final bucket is the money itself. And that's necessary for paying the staffers to do the work. The Biden team will be raising private money in addition to the public money they will be receiving. But it makes it harder.
You can add to that the President's Daily Brief, which is typically given to the president-elect. There's a lot of information sharing that should be taking place that can wind up being withheld.
What does the obstruction actually look like?
WHAT MATTERS: Is what we're seeing right now from a single, intransigent person who has a strange amount of power for a relatively low-level government official in the GSA administrator, or is this a more widespread obstruction of transition in your mind?
STIER: I mentioned earlier that GSA has been a really active partner in helping this transition process, up until this point. And they do get kudos for that. And the head of GSA, Emily Murphy, is a serious person. I think the circumstances of a President that appears to be resisting the transition moving forward is a real challenge, but I think the right decision for our country, for the American people, is to unlock these resources for transition planning.
I think it's really critical for people of all political sides to recognize the President can pursue whatever litigation he wants to try to overturn the election results. And there is no conflict with the Biden team getting the resources that it needs to be ready to go on Day One.
They need to be prepared to run our country, and if President Trump somehow manages to change that election outcome then there's no harm there. But there is real harm if they don't get these resources. The logic is very straightforward. The Biden team should get these resources, the President can then pursue whatever litigation he wants and then we have the maximum opportunity for our country to be well-set on January 20.
It's not clear how long this transition blockade could last
WHAT MATTERS: How long can this running out the clock last? Could we go until January 20 without a transition? Or is there another mechanism in place?
STIER: I don't know. The Biden team is going to do everything it can to be ready without access to these resources. But it causes real harm. It's a short time to begin with and every day matters.
This is unique, in my view. Up until now, they haven't let these resources go. So it's unclear how long this can last. Clearly it can't last past January 20 because the Constitution says there will be a president on January 20.
But the transition cooperation really ought to be seen as nonpartisan, and baseball apple pie good proof of the American people. One hopes they'll move on this fast because it matters.
There is continuity of government between administrations. But leadership is key.
WHAT MATTERS: In addition to the 4,000 political appointees who really give the federal government direction there are, as you said, millions of people who are going to keep their jobs, and they'll be there on January 19 and they'll be there on January 21. I mean, the government will not essentially cease to function. So is this just a matter of how easy it is for the Biden team to take over?
STIER: It is a good way to look at it. The career workforce, the professional career workforce, is the engine of our government. And obviously the poster child of that career workforce is Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The leadership of our government, however, is largely political. In my view there are too many political appointees, and no other country has anywhere close to the 4,000 that we have. No other democracy has.
But in our system, those leaders really matter. And so the career workforce, they're going to serve whoever is in charge. And having those people in place quickly and having them up to speed is really important.
So you're right. The American people should feel comfort in the fact that the career workforce will be there January 19, 20 and 21. But we also want to make sure they are well-led. And that means having fewer political appointees -- that's for a later day -- but the Biden team as the presumed President-elect in place and ready to go.
It's not just the Biden team that is responsible for Senate-confirmable positions. Obviously the Senate moving with great dispatch on whoever Biden appoints is also critical.
Trump is trying to change the government on his way out the door
WHAT MATTERS: The President has also tried to reclassify a large portion of the federal workforce. Do you think that that will continue to be a storyline, or is that going to go away now that he's lost?STIER: I'm glad that you asked that. It's not going away. And I think people should be worried because, to your point, the professionalized career workforce is really the heart of our government and that executive order strikes a blow at the core principle that we should have professionals in charge of government and working in our government. It doesn't go away unless a President Biden overturns that executive order.
Meanwhile I think the American public should be vigilant that that executive order is not used for political purposes, meaning getting rid of important career civil servants on the basis of cronyism and replacing them with political cronies as opposed to the most qualified civil servants that we have today.
The notion of burrowing, picking political appointees and putting them in career positions or hiring people who are effectively political and not chosen on the basis of merit -- at this stage of the game having hypervigilance around that is really important.
How seriously should Americans take this? Very seriously.
WHAT MATTERS: One last thing, just to quantify for people, because I kind of struggle to decide how worried Americans should be about this. Is this more of an inside-the-Beltway kind of a story or is this something that could have bearing on everybody's life? Is this a five-alarm fire?
STIER: This is a five-alarm fire. I used to be a a volunteer fireman, so I'm not sure how many alarms you're actually allowed to claim. But this is way up there.
The reason why is that our government is essential to our health and safety. Everyone who walks on an airplane wants to expect it has been inspected by someone who is a real professional and not chosen on the basis of the political stripes. Everyone who is being audited by the IRS should want to be assured that decision to audit them was on the basis of facts and evidence as opposed to a political vendetta.
Everyone should want safe vaccines approval not because there was someone with political power to push it through.
All these decisions affect Americans and then some. And the validity of those decisions are based on career professionals making them. So this is not an inside-the-Beltway issue. This is real-life concern for Americans.
VIDEO-BREAKING: Project Veritas Releases Shocking Recordings of Federal Agents Trying to Intimidate USPS Whistleblower Into Recanting Election Fraud Claim
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:56
Project Veritas has released a video with USPS whistleblower Richard Hopkins asserting that he did not recant his allegations of election fraud, a lie that was published by the Washington Post.Additionally, the organization posted recordings of federal agents attempting to coerce and intimidate Hopkins into recanting.
RECORDING: Federal agents ''coerce'' USPS whistleblower Hopkins to water down story. Hopkins doubles down'...
Agent Strasser: ''I am trying to twist you a little bit''
''I am scaring you here'''...'' we have Senators involved'...DOJ involved'...reason they called me is to try to harness.'' pic.twitter.com/tK2JPu6Wqm
'-- James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 11, 2020
TRENDING: BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Open Records Request Finds NO INVOICES OR WORK ORDERS on Reported Election Day Water Main Break in Atlanta -- Here's What We Found...
Hopkins made major waves when he went on record about Postmaster Rob Weisenbach's orders to backdate ballots to November 3rd in Erie, Pennsylvania, so that late ballots would be accepted.
Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Election Day to be considered valid and counted, per US law.
In the newly released recording, Agent Russell Strasser says that ''I am trying to twist you a little bit.''
''We have senators involved. We have the Department of Justice involved. We have-'' Strasser says.
''Hopkins interjects that Trump's lawyers have also been in contact with him.
''I am not '-- I am actually. I am trying to twist you a little bit because in that, believe it or not, your mind will kick in,'' Strasser says. ''We like to control our mind. And when we do that, we can convince ourselves of a memory. But when you're under a little bit of stress, which is what I'm doing to you purposely, your mind can be a little bit clearer. And we're going to do a different exercise too, to make your mind a little bit clearer. So, this is all on purpose,'' Strasser said.
BREAKING: Pennsylvania @USPS Whistleblower Richard Hopkins Goes Public; Confirms Federal Investigators Have Spoken With Him About Postmaster Rob Weisenbach's Order To Backdate Ballots To November 3rd, 2020#ExposeUSPS pic.twitter.com/wdO8vUx2Vj
'-- James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 6, 2020
In the newly released video, Hopkins asserts, in no uncertain terms, that he did not recant. Claims that he did are fake news.
Project Veritas has said that they also have recordings of federal agents attempting to intimidate and coerce him into recanting '-- but that he held firm. They have said that they will be releasing those recordings shortly.
''The recordings are explosive evidence of retaliation, 'scaring' him,'' O'Keefe wrote of the intimidation. ''Whistleblower has received a letter putting him on suspension without pay.''
The whistleblower says that he even tried to contact reporters from the Washington Post to let them know their story was false, but that he was ignored.
''They refuse to even talk to him or include his comment,'' Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe tweeted.
In 15 mins USPS Hopkins to release recordings of fed agents coercing him & violating his rights.
He tried contact WaPo reporters @ShawnBoburg and @jacobbogage to include his statement that HE DID NOT RECANT
They refuse to even talk to him or include his comment. Tapes imminent!
'-- James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 11, 2020
In a back-and-forth exchange on Twitter with James LaPorta, an Associated Press reporter, O'Keefe said, ''so you know Richard, a marine combat veteran, was crying in an interview this afternoon by what these fed agents did to him and said this was harder than what he endured in Afghanistan.''
My money is on Project Veritas.
So you know Richard, a marine combat veteran, was crying in an interview this afternoon by what these fed agents did to him and said this was harder than what he endured in Afghanistan.
Tapes in 10 minutes, @JimLaPorta.
You'll eat your words https://t.co/0j97kHNInC
'-- James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 11, 2020
VIDEO-Vaseline TV Commercial, 'Equitable Care for Skin of Color' - iSpot.tv
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:29
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Vaseline TV Spot, 'Equitable Care for Skin of Color'
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VIDEO-Cuomo Orders New COVID-19 Restrictions As Cases In New York Climb '' CBS New York
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:29
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) '-- With coronavirus pandemic rage soaring in New York and all the surrounding states, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday ordered new restrictions, including on indoor dining, and threatened an even stronger measures if that doesn't work.
Call it the first step to try and stop a second wave of COVID-19 infection '-- a pullback that could lead to more stringent measures.
The statewide COVID positivity rate is 2.93%. On Tuesday, 21 people died.
''If the national numbers are going up and the states around you are going up, be prepared,'' Cuomo said.
MORE: Read More About Yellow, Orange, Red Zone Restrictions
Starting Friday, all bars and restaurants will be forced to close at 10 p.m. Restaurants can still do takeout and delivery overnight but without alcohol.
Gyms also must close at 10 p.m.
Watch Marcia Kramer's report '--
Private gatherings inside homes are limited to 10 people or fewer, unless they are a household. Cuomo says this restriction brings New York in line with neighboring states, including Connecticut.
''If you do the contact tracing, you'll see they're coming from three main areas, and we're going to act on those three areas,'' Cuomo said.
Staten Island has been labeled a micro-cluster '-- a yellow zone.
''Staten Islanders spend a lot of time going back and forth to New Jersey, and New Jersey has a very high rate, and I think that's part of what's driving the high rate in Staten Island,'' Cuomo said.
The village of Port Chester in Westchester County has been upgraded from a yellow to an orange zone.
NEW ACTIONS from @NYGovCuomo in NY:
'ž¸ Any establishment w an SLA license including Bars & restaurants: close at 10pm statewide
'ž¸Gyms: close at 10pm
'ž¸private residents gatherings limited to TEN people.
'-- Melissa DeRosa (@melissadderosa) November 11, 2020
And Cuomo told CBS2's Marcia Kramer that's not all.
''If the numbers keep going up, would you consider drawing back and reducing the number of people who can eat indoors in the suburbs around the city?'' Kramer asked.
''If the measures are not sufficient to slow the spread, we will turn the valve more and part of that would be reducing the number of people in indoor dining,'' Cuomo answered.
The governor also demanded that localities step up enforcement and zeroed in on the need for the NYPD to take an active role.
A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio told Kramer the city was hoping to come up with a team of people to handle the enforcement.
The latest NYC COVID-19 numbers for Veterans Day.
A second wave is knocking at the door. pic.twitter.com/4Vbuvf17Fs
'-- Bill Neidhardt (@BNeidhardt) November 11, 2020
The mayor's press secretary tweeted, ''City Hall has been in discussions with the state on these guidelines and fully supports these actions.''
But there was immediate push-back.
Staten Island Councilman Joe Borelli, a Republican, tweeted, ''I'll be having more than 10 people at my house on Thanksgiving. My address is public record. Some family will come from (gasp!) NJ.''
The councilman told CBS2's Ali Bauman, ''The governor won't affect our Thanksgiving plans. We're gonna be about 12 people as of yesterday, we'll be about 12 people as of tomorrow.''
His attitude is a stark contrast to Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo.
''As tired and fatigued as Staten Islanders are by this COVID experience, we all have to dig a little deeper and control what we can control, and that's our behavior,'' he said.
With the borough's infection rate averaging above 2.5%, Staten Island Catholic schools are switching fully remote effective immediately.
MORE: NYC Officials Urge People Not To Travel For Thanksgiving As De Blasio Says City Is Seeing Worrisome COVID Increase
But in New York City and the suburbs, the question is how to enforce the restrictions on bars and restaurants. Cuomo said it's simple: if it's after 10 p.m. and you see a light on inside, issue a summons.
Craig Kafton says it has not been easy to own a restaurant in New York City.
''It's been challenging, to say the least,'' he told CBS2's Andrea Grymes.
He got word about the new restrictions as work was underway on his outdoor dining area at Citroen in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
''It takes an hour to break down, so that means we'd have to literally stop service at nine to get out to have the place shut by ten,'' Kafton said.
Watch Andrea Grymes' report '--
''We've constantly adapted. That's how we've managed to survive, but I don't know where we will be in a month,'' said Jason Clark, operating partner of Hold Fast in Hell's Kitchen.
Clark says his restaurant may not be able to hold on much longer with the new round of restrictions.
''Where are these people going to go if they want to hang out or enjoy time with their friends? Not somewhere as controlled as here. They're going to their apartment, and nobody is taking their temperature at the door there, I promise you,'' Clark said.
Some applaud the move.
''I think it's good. I think we need to do whatever we can to get through this disease,'' Greenpoint resident Howard Begun said.
Many others disagree, especially online.
One person tweeted at the governor, ''My house, I paid for it, I pay taxes on it, I pay your salary, I will not be told who I can have in my own home!!''
''There's really no reason why this is necessary right now, so honestly, it just doesn't make sense,'' another Greenpoint resident said.
The city's infection rate in a seven-day average is roughly 2.5%.
If that average reaches 3%, de Blasio said public schools could be forced to go all-remote.
Upstate, Syracuse University is suspending in-person instruction, and the University of Connecticut is locking down its dorms after seeing the largest number of new COVID cases in one day.
MORE FROM CBS NEW YORK
Family: Upstate Woman Missing A Week After Going Bowling In QueensAggressive Effort To Curb COVID-19 infection Rates Begins On Staten Island; N.J. Restrictions LoomingNYC Sees Long Lines At Some COVID Testing Sites As Cases Keep ClimbingYou can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.
VIDEO-Information on US election being censored by 'powerful interests' in the media - YouTube
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:27
VIDEO-How Ticketmaster Plans to Check Your Vaccine Status for Concerts: Exclusive | Billboard
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:23
Here's how it would work, if approved: After purchasing a ticket for a concert, fans would need to verify that they have already been vaccinated (which would provide approximately one year of COVID-19 protection) or test negative for coronavirus approximately 24 to 72 hours prior to the concert. The length of coverage a test would provide would be governed by regional health authorities -- if attendees of a Friday night concert had to be tested 48 hours in advance, most could start the testing process the day before the event. If it was a 24-hour window, most people would likely be tested the same day of the event at a lab or a health clinic.
Once the test was complete, the fan would instruct the lab to deliver the results to their health pass company, like CLEAR or IBM. If the tests were negative, or the fan was vaccinated, the health pass company would verify the attendee's COVID-19 status to Ticketmaster, which would then issue the fan the credentials needed to access the event. If a fan tested positive or didn't take a test to verify their status, they would not be granted access to the event. There are still many details to work out, but the goal of the program is for fans to take care of vaccines and testing prior to the concert and not show up hoping to be tested onsite.
Ticketmaster would not store or have access to fans' medical records and would only receive verification of whether a fan is cleared to attend an event on a given date. Different states will have different requirements. The main role of companies like health pass companies will be to collect data from testing and medical providers and deliver status updates to partner companies in a secure, encrypted way that complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
To date, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved any third-party companies to provide the complex technology needed to deliver real-time vaccination results, but Ticketmaster president Mark Yovich expects the demand for digital screening services -- which will be needed for airline travel, employment verification and theme park entry -- will attract a new wave of investors and entrepreneurs to fuel the growth of a new COVID-19 technology sector.
"We're already seeing many third-party health care providers prepare to handle the vetting -- whether that is getting a vaccine, taking a test, or other methods of review and approval - which could then be linked via a digital ticket so everyone entering the event is verified," Yovich tells Billboard. "Ticketmaster's goal is to provide enough flexibility and options that venues and fans have multiple paths to return to events, and is working to create integrations to our API and leading digital ticketing technology as we will look to tap into the top solutions based on what's green-lit by officials and desired by clients."
For Ticketmaster, two new technologies at the companies will help its clients scale the program. The first is digital ticketing that's linked to a fan's identity, eliminates paper tickets and can be restricted from being transferred or resold. Ticketmaster also plans to deploy its new SmartEvent system, which helps event organizers and fans manage social distancing, delayed entry and provide possible opportunities for contact tracing. Many of the safety parameters will be set by regional health officials and event organizers. Event organizers also have the ability to set their own prevention protocols, like sanitation, mask compliance and social distancing.
Because Ticketmaster tickets the vast majority of sports leagues in the United States, as well as concert venues and Live Nation owned properties, the implementation of their COVID-19 plan will be an important milestone for the live entertainment industry.
''In order for live events to return, technology and science are going to play huge roles in establishing integrated protocols so that fans, artists, and employees feel safe returning to venues," says Marianne Herman, co-founder and principal reBUILD20, which focuses on helping entertainment and live events companies develop COVID-19 strategies. "Integrating ticketing platforms with the guests verified testing results is one key way to reimagine how we're going to get fans back to live events. The experience of attending live events will look completely different, but innovation married with consistent implementation will provide a framework to get the live sports and event industry back to work.''
VIDEO-Why Trump is filing so many flimsy lawsuits in battleground states - CNNPolitics
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:05
By Katelyn Polantz and Kara Scannell, CNN
Updated 6:37 AM EST, Thu November 12, 2020
(CNN) The Trump campaign is moving from state to state to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's win, in a series of increasingly wild legal maneuvers without credible claims that face astronomical odds and carry little precedent.
Lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona now are attempting to advance a smattering of accusations and legal theories, some based upon vague and unsupported allegations of fraud or complaints of minor ballot processing access, as a way to prevent state officials from certifying the popular vote results, which currently all favor Biden.
"As the Trump campaign has come forward with its legal arguments, they haven't really produced any facts or legal theory that's stronger than when they started," election lawyer and CNN analyst Rick Hasen said.
President Donald Trump's campaign strategy increasingly appears to be to cast enough doubt over vote counts so it can find judges to block states from certifying the choice its voters made, according to elections experts, including longtime Republican lawyer-turned-CNN analyst Ben Ginsberg. The Electoral College doesn't formally select the president until December 14, with a key deadline December 8.
If that worked, in theory, it could then open the path for state legislatures -- especially the Republicans in power in Michigan and Pennsylvania -- to argue they should make their own choice for their Electoral College slate, handing Trump a victory that goes against Biden's win in more than one state. But it couldn't come close to giving Trump the electoral win without lots of help.
"I suspect the Trump campaign's pipe dream is to force all these issues that have never before been litigated to the Supreme Court," Ginsbergr said.
Both liberal and conservative legal experts say the theoretical approach Trump appears to be trying is extremely unlikely. Even longtime GOP strategist Karl Rove wrote in The Wall Street Journal Wednesday night that Biden's win wouldn't be overturned.
"To win, Mr. Trump must prove systemic fraud, with illegal votes in the tens of thousands. There is no evidence of that so far. Unless some emerges quickly, the president's chances in court will decline precipitously when states start certifying results," wrote Rove, who is long considered a mastermind of political maneuvering during the presidency of George W. Bush.
Lawyers for the Biden campaign have called the Trump campaign lawsuits theater, and nothing more.
PennsylvaniaThe Keystone State has seen the most attempts by the Trump campaign to muddle Biden's apparent win in the state in court, and now has its boldest case to attempt to block state leaders from certifying the vote results.
However, top Republicans in the Pennsylvania Legislature have said the state's presidential electors will follow the outcome of the popular vote.
Biden leads by 50,000 votes in Pennsylvania and CNN has projected him to win the state.
The Trump campaign filed a federal court case on Monday laying out many grievances about the election in Pennsylvania with little evidence. The case alleges that voters have faced constitutional rights violations, because counties took different approaches to process absentee ballots and that observers at times were unable to fully see ballot processing -- the same types of arguments that have faced skeptical judges in other courts.
The Trump campaign asked federal Judge Matthew Brann in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, to stop the certification of election results. Brann will hold arguments and a hearing for witnesses to testify on next Tuesday and Thursday.
Other live Trump campaign or Republican cases in the state deal with the handling of absentee ballots with defects or other special situations, such as missing privacy envelopes, lack of an address on the outside envelope or corrected with a provisional vote, or mailed ballots received after Election Day. Even if all of the cases -- including a lingering challenge at the US Supreme Court over the late-arriving votes -- were to be successful, the amount of ballots affected would be a few thousand. That wouldn't be enough to surmount Biden's lead over Trump.
Another lingering case in the state is an appeal by Democrats after the Trump campaign's election observers in Philadelphia won the ability to stand slightly closer to ballot processors, which the Trump campaign has used to further its public relations effort to create doubt in the election process.
MichiganTwo court cases from the Trump campaign -- in Michigan's state and federal courts -- are seeking to slow down or prevent the state and Wayne County, which includes heavily Democratic Detroit, from certifying votes there. Officials in Michigan have said the election was run properly.
In a federal court case filed Wednesday, the Trump campaign is asking the court essentially to force a do-over of the absentee vote count in Michigan and to block the state from certifying its election results.
CNN has projected Biden as the winner of the state by almost 3% over Trump, with nearly a 150,000 vote lead.
A judge in Michigan's Court of Claims already dismissed the state-level lawsuit within two days of its filing, calling the "evidence" the Trump campaign touted regarding the counting of absentee votes as hearsay.
On Wednesday in a state court hearing, two individual plaintiffs made a similar bid as the Trump campaign and asked for an audit and to prevent the certification of the result.
Attorney David Fink, representing Detroit, explained to the judge at that hearing that blocking the finalization of Michigan's votes would either knock the state out of the Electoral College, kicking the selection of the president to the US House of Representatives, or to allow the Republican-held state legislature to try to seat its own slate of electors.
Judge Timothy Kenny said he would release his opinion on Friday.
Attorney David Fink, representing Detroit, explained at that hearing that blocking the finalization of Michigan's votes would either knock the state out of the Electoral College, kicking the selection of the president to the US House of Representatives, or to allow the Republican-held state legislature to try to seat its own slate of electors.
ArizonaThe Trump campaign filed a lawsuit on Saturday seeking to block the canvass or certification of all ballots cast in person on Election Day in Maricopa County, the most populous county in the battleground state and includes Phoenix, until they could be reviewed.
Biden is leading Trump in the state by more than 12,000 votes. CNN has not projected a winner in the state. But the Trump campaign alleges that a review of almost 166,000 ballots cast in person on Election Day "would yield up to thousands of additional votes for President Trump and other Republican candidates in the November 3, 2020 general election."
In the lawsuit, which revived disproven claims that Sharpie pens were disenfranchising voters, the campaign argued that some voters' ballots were rejected by tabulation machines due to defects, such as stray marks or ink blots from Sharpie pens. The campaign is trying to make their case using statements to from two voters who suspected but did not have evidence that their ballot wasn't counted.
A Maricopa County elections official has told the court only 180 cast on Election Day were even reviewable, and that there was no systemic problem with the election.
The Trump campaign has tried to delay a court hearing and a Trump attorney sought to seal the identities of individuals he wanted to call to testify at a hearing scheduled for Thursday.
Lawyers for Maricopa County objected.
"The public has a right to know how flimsy Plaintiffs' evidence actually is," they wrote.
The Trump campaign previously in took part in an Arizona lawsuit brought by a dozen voters who alleged that Sharpies may have caused ballot problems. They ultimately dropped that lawsuit.
GeorgiaGeorgia has no lingering litigation, but a hand recount is happening, the state announced Wednesday morning. Biden leads by about 14,000 votes in the state, or .3%. CNN has not called the state for either candidate.
Even with a recount, a margin of votes above even 1,000 is a large and apparently insurmountable gap for Trump to overcome. In recounts since 2000, the average change in the number of votes has been a few hundred, according to research from the nonpartisan group FairVote.
"Everything is a step along the way of the ultimate goal of the president being reelected," campaign legal counsel Stefan Passantino said Wednesday regarding the recount.
CNN's Jessica Schneider, Annie Grayer, Michael Warren and Pamela Brown contributed to this report.
VIDEO-TheSharpEdge on Twitter: "This is an excellent analysis of how "the glitch" worked by @va_shiva and team. 2/4 https://t.co/M0dhalfjHO" / Twitter
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 05:10
TheSharpEdge : This is an excellent analysis of how "the glitch" worked by @va_shiva and team.2/4 https://t.co/M0dhalfjHO
Wed Nov 11 13:50:40 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Miguel on Twitter: "@UNWatch @adamcurry now China trying to belittle 'Merica without looking at themselves" / Twitter
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 05:07
Miguel : @UNWatch @adamcurry now China trying to belittle 'Merica without looking at themselves
Thu Nov 12 01:49:51 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Thomas Sowell on White Liberals - YouTube
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 22:44
VIDEO-CNN's Sciutto: Trump Not Conceding Could Put America in 'Potential Danger' for Another 9/11
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 22:37
CNN anchor Jim Sciutto said Wednesday on CNN's ''Newsroom'' that President Donald Trump's refusal to concede the 2020 presidential election could put America at risk for a terrorist attack like the 9/11 attacks.
Co-anchor Poppy Harlow asked, ''Yes or no, are the actions of the president is taking now putting this country in danger?''
Former Bush administration assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith said, '' ''Clearly, it's not great for our democracy.''
Sciutto said, ''Yep, that's it fair. Let's put some teeth on that if we can for a moment because they are sitting members of Congress who were around in their positions at the time of 9/11, and the 9/11 commission report specifically cited the shortened transition after the 2000 election for having an impact on national security. I'm quoting here, 'It hampered the new administration in identifying, recruiting, clearing and obtaining Senate confirmation of key appointees.' The fact is we have experienced for how shortened transition makes a difference in national security. Why aren't we hearing from Republicans about that, granting that potential danger?''
Goldsmith said, ''I mean you're absolutely right, the 9/11 commission were in a situation very analogous to this, where the General Services Administration would not certify the winner and therefore delayed access by the president-elect to intelligence briefings and early pre-clearances for classified information. They said that that was one of the reasons that may have led to 9/11, and we're going to be doing basically the same thing because they're not allowing the Biden'' president-elect Biden to have access to these resources. I can't explain why some Republicans are acting this way. Maybe they don't understand the implications. It's a very dangerous game that they're playing.''
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
VIDEO-'Call RCMP or bylaws': B.C.'s new COVID-19 orders raise questions on enforcement | Globalnews.ca
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 22:26
With people in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley having to pause all social gatherings outside of their immediate households, many in the public are questioning how the latest COVID-19 rules will be enforced.
During a public health emergency under the Public Health Act, orders can be enforced by police or other compliance and enforcement officials. People who don't follow the order could be fined.
On Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said more people can enforce the new rules, including bylaw officers, RCMP officers, public safety officers, public health inspectors and WorkSafeBC inspectors, as past of both the Public Health Act and Emergency Program Act.
2:21 Dr. Bonnie Henry on additional law enforcement of regional COVID-19 restrictions Dr. Bonnie Henry on additional law enforcement of regional COVID-19 restrictions Read more: B.C. reports 998 new COVID-19 cases over two days as hospitalizations surge
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''We want people and we need people to pay attention to these things, particularly now,'' Henry said.
[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]
When it comes to enforcement, officials are asking people that if they see someone violating a public health order to contact them.
Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu told Global News there are two options '-- call the RCMP non-emergency line or the Surrey bylaw department.
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''You can contact our non-emergency line, that's the best way to get a hold of us and if you don't want to contact us you can call the City of Surrey bylaws, but either of us,'' she said, adding it is better to make the call than try to enforce the rules yourself.
2:21 How is the pandemic is being managed in B.C. How is the pandemic is being managed in B.C.Sidhu said even on Friday, Surrey RCMP received a call after someone spotted a van filled with people arriving at a Whalley home.
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Officers checked on the house and found 15 people had gathered indoors for a party.
The person responsible for the party was fined $2,300, Sidhu said.
Read more: Lower Mainland rec centres suspend group physical activities amid new COVID-19 order
In Port Coquitlam, bylaw officers will be out and about checking on gatherings and restrictions.
''We have activated our bylaw officers again,'' Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West said.
''Throughout the pandemic, they have been eyes and ears throughout the community and trying to deal with issues that have arisen.''
2:42 Coronavirus: B.C. imposes 2-week regional ban on social gatherings, indoor activities Coronavirus: B.C. imposes 2-week regional ban on social gatherings, indoor activitiesHenry added Monday that enforcement may be stepped up in areas such as workplaces where they saw previous outbreaks and where it can be difficult to socially-distance due to the nature of the work.
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''The focus is going to be in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health region, because that's where we're seeing community spread at a higher level now,'' Henry added.
View link >>(C) 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
44minsVIDEO-LIVE: Boris Johnson and Bill Gates hold keynote speeches at Virtual World Vaccine Summit - YouTube
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 22:20
VIDEO-Angela Stanton King 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "This is Mayor De Blasio's daughter in New York... and I'm the lady in the yellow hat ðŸ‘' https://t.co/0iY99PDHBS" / Twitter
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 20:35
Angela Stanton King 🇺🇸 : This is Mayor De Blasio's daughter in New York...and I'm the lady in the yellow hat ðŸ‘' https://t.co/0iY99PDHBS
Tue Nov 10 22:04:29 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Dr.SHIVA LIVE: MIT PhD Analysis of Michigan Votes Reveals Unfortunate Truth of U.S. Voting Systems. - YouTube
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 14:58
VIDEO-Philly Health Officials Say 'Complete Lockdown' Is On The Table As COVID-19 Cases Spike In City '' CBS Philly
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 14:47
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) '-- With the Garden State tightening restrictions on indoor dining in response to recent spikes in COVID-19 cases, many are wondering if Philadelphia will be doing the same. The warning bells are being sounded by Pennsylvania's health officials.
''We are now seeing the highest case counts of the COVID-19 pandemic that we have seen since the beginning,'' said Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.
More than 3,400 new COVID-19 cases were reported Monday in the commonwealth.
''This is a virus that hunts humans. It's still out there hunting. It's hunting more aggressively now than it has been in months,'' Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.
He also says the virus is spiking here in the city as well.
''We had several days where we had more than 600 cases per day. Just a few weeks ago we were about 70 cases a day, so this is a very rapid rise,'' he said.
The protests, celebrations and demonstrations over the election and vote tallying are also a concern. Farley is urging anyone who participated '-- even while wearing a mask '-- to get tested for COVID-19 after seven days and quarantine for two weeks.
''We're worried about gatherings of all sorts, particularly gatherings indoors, but even gathering outdoors,'' said Dr. Farley.
And now with neighboring New Jersey making drastic changes to help stop the spread, Dr. Farley and city officials are determining what could change here if positive cases keep rising.
''Everything is on the table, right down to a complete lockdown to very targeted restrictions,'' he said.
Greg Argos Comments (21)
VIDEO-The Recount on Twitter: "If the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that we can do almost everything online, from paying bills to teaching classes. So why can't we do the same with voting? Turns out, voting over the internet is possible '-- we
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 06:18
The Recount : If the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that we can do almost everything online, from paying bills to teaching'... https://t.co/VrVObUYnPK
Tue Oct 27 00:00:01 +0000 2020
Chazbags : @therecount Don't worry....once we do this, and it is hacked, they'll offer you 6 months of LifeLock for FREE!!!Idiots.....
Wed Nov 11 06:09:26 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Nicholas Fondacaro on Twitter: "There was some very disgusting speculation happening on ABC World News Tonight and on CNN with Chris Cuomo. Both suggested Trump might be gearing up for a military conflict. "There is concern about what this means, is
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 06:17
Nicholas Fondacaro : There was some very disgusting speculation happening on ABC World News Tonight and on CNN with Chris Cuomo. Both su'... https://t.co/ANmmXsnLV6
Wed Nov 11 03:20:59 +0000 2020
No, **I** am PRESIDENT-ELECT!!!! : @NickFondacaro THIS IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS RHETORIC!!!!!!!!!!!Are they wanting to start an internal war??
Wed Nov 11 05:40:01 +0000 2020
President-Elect Invisible Friend🇺🇲🇮🇱 : @NickFondacaro They are going to enrage the liberal left into violence, and scare the elderly. They are sick.
Wed Nov 11 05:31:29 +0000 2020
CDFI : @NickFondacaro @Melissa80074227 Trump is not backing down and there scared!Treason is life in prison!
Wed Nov 11 05:21:42 +0000 2020
CHARLIE COLEMAN : @NickFondacaro Its called Insurrection Act. When Trump wins the election after all the fraud is exposed in many sta'... https://t.co/x8QwU9gAee
Wed Nov 11 05:05:13 +0000 2020
Cel Beta : @NickFondacaro Bahahaha! There out to pick up the bad guys. Welcome home!!! GITMO Home Sweet Home.
Wed Nov 11 05:02:41 +0000 2020
Marty Perry : @NickFondacaro @Melissa80074227 These awful people never stop.
Wed Nov 11 05:01:01 +0000 2020
PT Sarcasmus : @NickFondacaro @newsbusters These people are sick. #trunalimunumaprzure
Wed Nov 11 04:56:55 +0000 2020
Miguel A. Trujillo : @NickFondacaro @newsbusters The Media Is Agitating The Other Half Of The Country While They Sit Down And Enjoy The'... https://t.co/VA3x8JqS9C
Wed Nov 11 04:37:02 +0000 2020
TEK10 : @NickFondacaro "Proud Boys, stand by to get droned."
Wed Nov 11 04:18:07 +0000 2020
TEK10 : @NickFondacaro No doubt that Trump is sick enough to try it. If Generals Mattis and Kelly are indicative of the Jo'... https://t.co/9phuVEUo8a
Wed Nov 11 04:12:17 +0000 2020
Juli La Porte : @NickFondacaro @CurtisHouck Oh but that's not a conspiracy theory and not flagged by @Twitter
Wed Nov 11 04:10:52 +0000 2020
Dan Houbre : @NickFondacaro Someone needs to find and expose the source that provides the narratives that these news agencies ar'... https://t.co/Ic67G6WDCI
Wed Nov 11 04:10:28 +0000 2020
Jennifer Fratangelo : @NickFondacaro Idiots
Wed Nov 11 04:08:50 +0000 2020
Rafterman : @NickFondacaro @derekahunter Coordinated psyop. Plain and simple. We are SO onto their crap. It's getting old real quick.
Wed Nov 11 04:05:05 +0000 2020
jrcbill : @NickFondacaro How is that not libel, and what's worse is these fukwads continue to get away with this
Wed Nov 11 04:04:59 +0000 2020
VIDEO-James O'Keefe on Twitter: "RECORDING: Federal agents ''coerce'' USPS whistleblower Hopkins to water down story. Hopkins doubles down... Agent Strasser: ''I am trying to twist you a little bit'' ''I am scaring you here''...'' we have Senators
Wed, 11 Nov 2020 06:16
James O'Keefe : RECORDING: Federal agents ''coerce'' USPS whistleblower Hopkins to water down story. Hopkins doubles down...Agent S'... https://t.co/Bm3M9uCZiX
Wed Nov 11 00:38:19 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Nancy Pelosi's Chief of Staff Is Chief Executive and Feinstein's Husband a Shareholder at Dominion '-- Sidney Powell
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 23:01
Next
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Farage Urges Trump to 'Keep Up the Fight', Highlights Fraud in UK Postal Voting
VIDEO-Crimes Against Humanity: fraudulent PCR Tests Taken To Court - Interview with Lawyer Reiner F¼llmich - YouTube
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 19:12
VIDEO-WHO and the WHA '' an explainer
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 17:14
WHO and the WHA '' an explainer
An introduction to the World Health Organization, its vital role in the fight against COVID-19, and the virtual World Health Assembly
Last updated 9 November 2020
What is WHO?
The World Health Organization (WHO) is the specialized health agency of the United Nations with 194 member states. WHO works worldwide to promote the highest attainable standard of health for all people, regardless of race, religion, gender, political belief, economic or social condition.
WHO's mission is to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable. Access to affordable and adequate health care is a human right and universal healthcare is a key principle guiding WHO's work.
By 2023, WHO aims to attain triple billion targets, with one billion more people benefitting from universal health coverage, one billion more people better protected from health emergencies, and one billion more people enjoying better health and well-being. At least half of the world's population lacks access to essential health services and out-of-pocket expenses drive almost 100 million people into poverty each year.
WHO convenes leading health experts from around the world to produce reference materials on global health issues and make recommendations to improve the health of all people. WHO is comprised of the World Health Assembly, Member States and the Secretariat.
What is the World Health Assembly?
The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the main governing body of the WHO comprising of 194 Member States. Every year, delegates from WHO Member States come together to agree on the Organization's priorities, and policies. At the Assembly, new health goals and strategies are set, and tasks are assigned in order to reach those goals.
Delegations consider and provide guidance on policies and course of action, which are then coordinated by the Secretariat. While WHA can make recommendations and suggest courses of action, particularly in unprecedented times of global health risk, it depends on each government to determine their response and act upon it.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Seventy-third World Health Assembly (WHA73) is being held in two parts this year.
The first virtual de miminis session was held on 18-19 May with an abridged agenda focusing on the global pandemic.
Member states adopted a landmark resolution co-sponsored by more than 130 countries to bring the world together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The consistent message throughout the two-day meeting, including from the 14 heads of state participating, was that global unity is the most powerful tool to combat the outbreak. The resolution is a concrete manifestation of this call, laying out a roadmap for ending the pandemic.
On 9-14 November, Member States are convening a resumed session to discuss the full agenda that has been deferred from May 2020.
Since May, Member States have adopted a number of decisions '' the Immunization Agenda 2030, the Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020-2030, Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property as well as initiatives to tackle cervical cancer, tuberculosis, eye care, food safety, and influenza preparedness.
The resumed session will discuss amongst a total agenda of over 50 items, a 10-year-plan for addressing neglected tropical diseases, as well as efforts to address meningitis, epilepsy and other neurological disorders, maternal infant and young child nutrition, digital health, and the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel, adopted in 2010.
As countries respond to COVID-19, WHO's role has never been more essential. As the United Nations health agency, WHO works to connect the best minds from around the world to solve this crisis together.
WHO is working to gather data and continue communicating science as the pandemic evolves. WHO is guided by the United Nations' principles of neutrality, impartiality and equity, as well as the protection of human rights.
The global pandemic underscores the importance of solidarity to garner support and collaboration. And WHA has a special importance in facilitating discussions to chart an effective strategy to end the pandemic.
COVID-19 threatens the health and wellbeing of everyone on our planet. It requires a rapid, coordinated, evidence-based global response. The World Health Organization is coordinating that response and the efforts to protect all people, everywhere.
WHO is also coordinating scientific solutions to prevent, test and treat COVID-19. WHO gathers global data and brings together evidence and expertise from the world's best scientists to offer advice and guidance to countries according to their unique situations. In a global health crisis, the world is only as strong as its weakest health system.
In responding to the pandemic, WHO and its partners established a new global coalition '' the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. This is a unique partnership of many international health agencies who have come together to share and build on individual expertise to create a powerful global solution that will ensure equity in access to tests, vaccines and treatments across the world.
Because no one is safe until everyone is safe.
VIDEO-Maria Bartiromo Cuts Off Conrad Black - YouTube
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:59
VIDEO-Boris Johnson's speech in full: 'the fight against Covid is by no means over' | Politics | The Guardian
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:56
Good evening, the struggle against Covid is the single biggest crisis the world has faced in my lifetime.
In less than a year this disease has killed almost a million people, and caused havoc to economies everywhere.
Here in the UK we mourn every person we have lost, and we grieve with their families.
And yet I am more certain than ever that this is a struggle that humanity will win, and we in this country will win '' and to achieve what we must I want to talk to you directly tonight about the choices that we face, none of them easy, and why we must take action now.
I know that we can succeed because we have succeeded before.
When the sickness took hold in this country in March, we pulled together in a spirit of national sacrifice and community. We followed the guidance to the letter. We stayed at home, protected the NHS, and saved thousands of lives.
And for months with those disciplines of social distancing we have kept that virus at bay.
But we have to acknowledge this this is a great and freedom-loving country; and while the vast majority have complied with the rules there have been too many breaches '' too many opportunities for our invisible enemy to slip through undetected.
The virus has started to spread again in an exponential way. Infections are up, hospital admissions are climbing.
We can see what is happening in France and Spain, and we know, alas, that this virus is no less fatal than it was in the spring, and that the vast majority of our people are no less susceptible, and the iron laws of geometrical progression are shouting at us from the graphs that we risk many more deaths, many more families losing loved ones before their time.
And I know that faced with that risk the British people will want their government to continue to fight to protect them, you, and that is what we are doing, night and day. And yet the single greatest weapon we bring to this fight is the common sense of the people themselves '' the joint resolve of this country to work together to suppress Covid now.
So today I set out a package of tougher measures in England '' early closing for pubs, bars; table service only; closing businesses that are not Covid secure; expanding the use of face coverings, and new fines for those that fail to comply.
And once again asking office workers to work from home if they can while enforcing the ''rule of six'' indoors and outdoors '' a tougher package of national measures combined with the potential for tougher local restrictions for areas already in lockdown. I know that this approach '' robust but proportionate '' already carries the support of all the main parties in parliament.
After discussion with colleagues in the devolved administrations, I believe this broad approach is shared across the whole UK. And to those who say we don't need this stuff, and we should leave people to take their own risks, I say these risks are not our own.
The tragic reality of having Covid is that your mild cough can be someone else's death knell.
And as for the suggestion that we should simply lock up the elderly and the vulnerable '' with all the suffering that would entail '' I must tell you that this is just not realistic, because if you let the virus rip through the rest of the population it would inevitably find its way through to the elderly as well, and in much greater numbers.
That's why we need to suppress the virus now, and as for that minority who may continue to flout the rules, we will enforce those rules with tougher penalties and fines of up to £10,000. We will put more police out on the streets and use the army to backfill if necessary.
And of course I am deeply, spiritually reluctant to make any of these impositions, or infringe anyone's freedom, but unless we take action the risk is that we will have to go for tougher measures later, when the deaths have already mounted and we have a huge caseload of infection such as we had in the spring.
If we let this virus get out of control now, it would mean that our NHS had no space '' once again '' to deal with cancer patients and millions of other non-Covid medical needs.
And if we were forced into a new national lockdown, that would threaten not just jobs and livelihoods but the loving human contact on which we all depend.
It would mean renewed loneliness and confinement for the elderly and vulnerable, and ultimately it would threaten once again the education of our children. We must do all we can to avoid going down that road again.
But if people don't follow the rules we have set out, then we must reserve the right to go further. We must take action now because a stitch in time saves nine; and this way we can keep people in work, we can keep our shops and our schools open, and we can keep our country moving forward while we work together to suppress the virus.
That is our strategy, and if we can follow this package together, then I know we can succeed because in so many ways we are better prepared than before.
We have the PPE, we have the beds, we have the Nightingales, we have new medicines '' pioneered in this country '' that can help save lives.
And though our doctors and our medical advisers are rightly worried about the data now, and the risks over winter, they are unanimous that things will be far better by the spring, when we have not only the hope of a vaccine, but one day soon '' and I must stress that we are not there yet '' of mass testing so efficient that people will be able to be tested in minutes so they can do more of the things they love. That's the hope; that's the dream. It's hard, but it's attainable, and we are working as hard as we can to get there.
But until we do, we must rely on our willingness to look out for each other, to protect each other. Never in our history has our collective destiny and our collective health depended so completely on our individual behaviour.
If we follow these simple rules together, we will get through this winter together. There are unquestionably difficult months to come.
And the fight against Covid is by no means over. I have no doubt, however, that there are great days ahead.
But now is the time for us all to summon the discipline, and the resolve, and the spirit of togetherness that will carry us through.
VIDEO-Watch Live Stream of Kayleigh McEnany Press Conference
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:42
>>
Watch a live stream of a Trump campaign press conference with campaign communications adviser Kayleigh McEnany and RNC chair Ronna McDaniel from the campaign's headquarters in Virginia.
The press briefing is expected to begin at 4:30 p.m. EST, and you can watch uninterrupted here, via the Trump campaign's YouTube channel.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]
VIDEO-Cyber Election Fraud Expert Investigator Russell Ramsland Explains Exactly How the Nov. 3 Election Was Stolen From Trump | From the Trenches World Report
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:23
Educate Yourself
Russell Ramsland, co-founder of Allied Security Operations (https://asog.us/)
The creation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002 under the Bush-2 Crime Regime removed from the American people any and all resemblance of honest and secure elections in America. The entire election process went cyber with no standards of security or transparency installed to ensure and guarantee election non-tampering. All of our assumed 'secure' election results are handled by private contractors outside of the United States that we have ZERO control or oversight over.
This presentation will blow your mind. You need to listen to it 4 or 5 times until every element that Russell is reviewing fully sinks in.
Download the video and the MP3 audio file
Download this video (R. click screen, 'Save Video as')https://tinyurl.com/yyhkbs38
Download the MP3 Audio of this Interviewhttps://tinyurl.com/y3m3poxb
L. Todd Wood introduces Russell Ramsland in this Nov. 5 2020 Interview
Educate Yourself
Continue ReadingBill of Rights Common Law Explained CD ProjectSpirit of '75Subscribe to From the Trenches
VIDEO-Benford's Law and 2020 Presidential Voter Fraud - YouTube
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:14
VIDEO-Global warming 'is a religion being pushed on our children' - YouTube
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:09
VIDEO-Representatives for President Trump Breaks News That Makes Democrats Lose Their Minds - YouTube
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:09
VIDEO-HOT MIC: Fox News anchor Sandra Smith mocking a Trump supporter. - YouTube
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 04:40
VIDEO-Matt Schlapp on a whistleblower who says he saw suspicious activity at a voting center in Nevada - YouTube
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 03:57
VIDEO-Mary Vought on Twitter: "CNN's @AndersonCooper compares @realDonaldTrump with an evil dictator whose son drives around shooting his enemies with a machine gun. WHAT? Folks, these are the "journalists" responsible for reporting the news. Outrageous!
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 03:21
Mary Vought : CNN's @AndersonCooper compares @realDonaldTrump with an evil dictator whose son drives around shooting his enemies'... https://t.co/fhMD3coNZP
Tue Nov 10 01:43:44 +0000 2020
kwhis : @MaryVought @andersoncooper @realDonaldTrump @andersoncooper A news desk just doesn't seem a natural fit for you an'... https://t.co/JGaBSPee9k
Tue Nov 10 03:20:58 +0000 2020
Susan Moore : @MaryVought @andersoncooper @realDonaldTrump He did say we aren't there. His point was the Trumps are spreading ga'... https://t.co/D8d4olGby8
Tue Nov 10 03:20:49 +0000 2020
Will McGee : @MaryVought @andersoncooper @realDonaldTrump Anderson Cooper has lost his mind.Irresponsible.They say that Trum'... https://t.co/spL90svbXs
Tue Nov 10 03:20:36 +0000 2020
Plumb47Crazy : @MaryVought @andersoncooper @realDonaldTrump Dear god @andersoncooper!! You're a #Journalist! At least you used to be.
Tue Nov 10 03:20:36 +0000 2020
VIDEO-cheddybeef on Twitter: "@Cernovich field report @adamcurry WORDS GONE WILD" / Twitter
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 01:06
cheddybeef : @Cernovich field report @adamcurry WORDS GONE WILD
Mon Nov 09 22:23:27 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Biden Considering New White House Office on Climate Change
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 01:02
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VIDEO-Unclesam on Twitter: "@stillgray The media says #joebiden won Televangelist Kenneth Copeland laughs at the media for declaring that Joe Biden has won the election and will become president. https://t.co/FPW5NsNtdI" / Twitter
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 00:58
Unclesam : @stillgray The media says #joebiden wonTelevangelist Kenneth Copeland laughs at the media for declaring that Joe B'... https://t.co/WL8CI8XnM0
Mon Nov 09 21:32:35 +0000 2020
VIDEO-America's enemies are celebrating Trump's ''loss'' | Ezra Levant breaks down post-election events - YouTube
Mon, 09 Nov 2020 21:45
VIDEO-President-elect Joe Biden COVID-19 Briefing - YouTube
Mon, 09 Nov 2020 19:22
VIDEO-President-Elect Biden Names 13 Experts To COVID-19 Transition Advisory Board : Live Updates: 2020 Election Results : NPR
Mon, 09 Nov 2020 14:15
Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, MD, the 19th Surgeon General of United States, speaking at the 5th annual Lake Nona Impact Forum, in 2017. The former surgeon general is one of three co-chairs of President-elect Biden's COVID-19 advisory board. Alex Menendez/AP Images for Lake Nona Impact Forum hide caption
toggle caption Alex Menendez/AP Images for Lake Nona Impact Forum Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, MD, the 19th Surgeon General of United States, speaking at the 5th annual Lake Nona Impact Forum, in 2017. The former surgeon general is one of three co-chairs of President-elect Biden's COVID-19 advisory board.
Alex Menendez/AP Images for Lake Nona Impact Forum Updated at 9 a.m. ET
President-elect Joe Biden named 13 health experts to his Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board on Monday, advancing his plans despite uncertainty over how much the Trump administration will cooperate amid its ongoing legal challenge to the election results. The coronavirus has spread at alarming rates in the U.S. in recent weeks.
The panel will be co-chaired by three people: former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler of the University of California San Francisco, former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Yale.
"The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations," Biden said in a statement issued early Monday morning.
Biden made COVID-19 a central part of his campaign, calling for a stronger and more coordinated federal response to the pandemic even as President Trump downplayed the virus and criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert.
Nearly 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with coronavirus and infections in recent days have set new records, topping 100,000 per day. Nearly 238,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 since January.
"Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts," Biden said in the statement. "The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations."
The advisory board will work to create a plan to bring the pandemic under control '-- a process Biden says will begin immediately after his Jan. 20 inauguration.
The team includes several people who have served in senior public health positions in the federal government. The rosters includes Dr. Rick Bright, who was ousted as head of the government's leading-edge research agency, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development, or BARDA, earlier this year, after he criticized the federal government's pandemic response.
Also on the advisory board are Luciana Borio, a biodefense and disease specialist who has worked for the National Security Council, and Eric Goosby, who was President Obama's global AIDS coordinator.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced Monday that an experimental vaccine it has been working on has been shown to be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19. Biden, in a statement on Monday separate from the one announcing the advisory board, expressed cautious optimism over the development.
"Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into next year," he said. "Today's news is great news, but it doesn't change that fact."
"That is the reality for now, and for the next few months," the president-elect said. "Today's announcement promises the chance to change that next year, but the tasks before us now remain the same."
Although the vaccine still requires FDA approval and faces other regulatory hurdles, Pfizer said it expects to have 50 million doses of the new vaccine by the end of 2020, enough for 25 million people. In 2021, the company expects to produce 1.3 billion doses.
Murthy, a key adviser to the Biden campaign, recently told NPR that a Biden administration would have "a laser focus on ensuring that people get ... adequate testing and clear information."
"We have to function as one nation. That means having a national plan," Murthy, said.
On Friday night, Biden said, "I want everyone '-- everyone '-- to know on Day 1, we're going to put our plan to control this virus into action."
VIDEO-The WOW Podcast Ep. 009: Pussy Based Business in Quarantine with Julia Wells - YouTube
Mon, 09 Nov 2020 13:32
VIDEO-TOP DEM CAUGHT IN THE ACT! This Video is ALL the Proof You Need - YouTube
Mon, 09 Nov 2020 01:21
VIDEO-Jared Kushner, Melania Trump advise Trump to accept election loss - CNNPolitics
Sun, 08 Nov 2020 21:56
By Kaitlan Collins, Kate Bennett, Jeremy Diamond and Kevin Liptak, CNN
Updated 3:52 PM EST, Sun November 08, 2020
(CNN) President Donald Trump's inner circle is beginning to split over his ongoing refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election, as Jared Kushner and first lady Melania Trump advised him to come to terms with President-elect Joe Biden's victory and his adult sons pressed him and allies to keep fighting.
Kushner, the President's son-in-law and senior adviser, has approached him to concede, two sources told CNN. The first lady, according to a separate source familiar with the conversations, has privately said the time has come for him to accept the election loss.
Meanwhile, Trump's two adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, have urged allies to continue pressing on and they have pushed Republicans and supporters to publicly reject the results even as CNN and other news organizations projected the race for Biden on Saturday.
The President, who was at his golf course in Sterling, Virginia, on Saturday when the race was called, has not denied the outcome of the election privately even as he does so publicly, sources told CNN. But he's continuing to push his attorneys to pursue legal challenges that would delay formal certification of the results, and he has made no public indication that he is ready to accept the results of the election.
Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller in a tweet Sunday morning denied that Kushner has approached Trump, although CNN stands by its reporting. "This story is not true," said Miller. "Jared has advised @realDonaldTrump to pursue all available legal remedies to ensure accuracy."
Trump asserted in a statement from his campaign -- moments after CNN and other networks projected that Biden will become the 46th President of the United States -- that Biden is "rushing to falsely pose as the winner" and that the race is "far from over."
Track the presidential election results
"I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands," Trump said in the statement, which explains that the campaign's legal battle will begin Monday.
Biden-Harris deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said Saturday night that there had been no communication between Biden and Trump, or between any representatives from either campaign, since the race was called earlier in the day.
And Biden campaign senior adviser Symone Sanders, told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of The Union" Sunday that "a number of Republicans from the Hill have reached out," but said, "I don't believe anyone from the White House has."
Biden won the presidency Saturday after the battleground state of Pennsylvania pushed the Democrat over the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the White House.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who recently tested positive for coronavirus, discussed next steps with the legal team Saturday.
Meanwhile, some members of Trump's party on Sunday vocalized their opposition to the President conceding the election, urging him not to do so.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of the President's closest allies in the Senate, said "the President should not concede" during an interview on Fox News.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who was also Trump's one-time primary rival, also advised against concession, saying it would be "premature."
And Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of Republican leadership in the Senate, would not acknowledge on Sunday that Biden is the President-elect, citing both the legal challenges initiated by Trump's lawyers in states across the country and the ongoing vote counting process as reasons.
Trump's adult sons push ahead in fightTrump's two adult sons have been key voices in urging the President and his allies to continue contesting the results of the 2020 election, according to multiple sources.
Beyond public posturing on social media, both Don Jr. and Eric Trump have been digging in their heels, seeking to drum up broad GOP support for contesting the election results and telling allies they genuinely believe the election was fraudulent.
In recent conversations, Eric Trump has told allies he believes the election was "stolen from us," according to a source familiar with his comments, and vowed to fight to overturn the results.
And in the days since Don Jr. called out Republicans -- and in particular "2024 GOP hopefuls" -- for not offering sufficient backing to the President's claims, the eldest son has been waging a lobbying effort among senators and governors to release supportive statements, according to people familiar with the conversations.
So far there has been only a moderate wave of outward support from Republicans, though some -- including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Republican whip Steve Scalise -- have said the President's legal maneuvers must be resolved before the election can be called. And South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who is said to be considering a run in 2024, appeared Sunday on ABC to say the President deserves his day in court.
Many other Republicans are also growing frustrated with the pressure campaign and lack of evidence of voter fraud thus far presented by the Trump team, with some prominent Republicans urging the President's team to put up or shut up.
But Trump's sons are not alone in encouraging the President to wage legal war rather than concede. Meadows is also said to be encouraging an arduous legal fight as have Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and the President's longtime political advisers Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie.
In the days following the election, Don Jr. traveled to Georgia, where two congressional races -- one of which has already advanced to a January 5 runoff and the other likely to -- could determine control of the Senate. While he was there he held a press conference decrying the vote-counting process in the state. People familiar with the matter said he also held meetings focused on the upcoming Senate contests.
The President has privately expressed frustration that some Republican leaders appear ready to move on from his race to focus on the Georgia election, people familiar with the conversations said, insisting they focus on him instead.
This headline and story have been updated with additional reporting.
CNN's Caroline Kelly, Betsy Klein, Keith Allen, Chandelis Duster, Devan Cole and Ali Main contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Robby Starbuck on Twitter: "Sidney Powell is a national treasure. Thank you for fighting @SidneyPowell1! https://t.co/kpo1wOtsqr" / Twitter
Sun, 08 Nov 2020 21:21
Robby Starbuck : Sidney Powell is a national treasure. Thank you for fighting @SidneyPowell1! https://t.co/kpo1wOtsqr
Sun Nov 08 18:25:41 +0000 2020
VIDEO-''¤¸ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸''President Elect'' Tracy🇺🇸'¥¸' on Twitter: "This is classic MSM ... Wait for it.... 🤣🤣🤣 https://t.co/I194tj7X9S" / Twitter
Tue, 10 Nov 2020 19:24
''¤¸ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸''President Elect'' Tracy🇺🇸'¥¸' : This is classic MSM ...Wait for it.... 🤣🤣🤣https://t.co/I194tj7X9S
Tue Nov 10 17:29:31 +0000 2020
Midnight Rider🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 : @BullPup2A @ringsixty ðŸ‚👍🤣
Tue Nov 10 19:21:02 +0000 2020
P'ƒ£O'ƒ£T'ƒ£U'ƒ£S'ƒ£ E'ƒ£L'ƒ£E'ƒ£C'ƒ£T'ƒ£ð''ð''ªð''¼ð''¼ ð''¤ð''·ð'''ð''±ð''ªð''²ð''·ð''®ð''­ : @BullPup2A ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣ðŸ‚🤣 https://t.co/S4UMHaaeuT
Tue Nov 10 19:20:48 +0000 2020
Victor Flores : @BullPup2A @m27731630 ðŸ"ðŸ"ðŸ"ðŸ"ðŸ"
Tue Nov 10 19:15:34 +0000 2020

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