1299: King Mitch

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 27m
November 29th, 2020
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Executive Producers: Baronette Patrick of the Pugner Order, Sir Olimus of the Rapa Nui Islands, Marco Schnepf, Sir Aighead, Knight Of The Long Shadows Of Trash Mountain, in Dayton, Ohio, Sir JD, Baron of Silicon Valley

Associate Executive Producers: Ms. B. the Bag Lady, Anonymous, Tabitha Soapes, Sir Shaun, Knight of the cis-gendered third world jungle, DameGerous of the Nether Regions

Cover Artist: Farm Slave

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
6:30
Johns Hopkins Covid Deaths vs all deaths
Guest producer
12:04
Shared Verified
Guest producer
16:28
Guest producer
23:23
Making Primers
Guest producer
24:52
The Freedom Pass
Guest producer
35:46
The Emmy Award
Guest producer
1:12:35
Buzzkill can't handle the truth
Guest producer
1:44:02
Buzzkill can't handle the truth
Guest producer
2:19:36
Birthday Kazoo Solo
Guest producer
2:27:06
End of 1st donations seg
Guest producer
2:27:16
shut up slave...
Guest producer
2:54:30
Disturbing Obama
Guest producer
3:18:01
End of 2nd donations segment and meetups pitch
Guest producer
3:25:56
We Can't Get No Education: End of show song
Guest producer
Suggest a new chapter
TODAY
The Simulation is real - It's media Mainstream and Social
The revolution will not be televised
New Gitmo Nation Book
ITM Adam and John
I'm pleased to report the publication of the latest No Agenda novel called Cockroach Milk. I think the real-life product got its first mention on the show in episode 846. Here's the blurb...
Cockroach Milk is the new superfood, rich in proteins and nutrients, but it is impossible to produce on an industrial scale, for all but one secretive corporation. When a factory worker goes missing, the FDA send in their new inspector Polly Benton to investigate. Polly has secrets of her own, but nothing compared to what's waiting for her at the cockroach milk factory...
It's available in paperback and as a Kindle giblet:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08NVXCCPK
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08NVXCCPK
Paperback copies are on their way to your PO boxes right now.
TYFYC
Sir Scott McKenzie
PS December 2020 is the 10 YEAR anniversary of the first edition of One Day in Gitmo Nation!
Let Us Out!
Johns Hopkins removes truth article excess deaths
This article has been removed from John's Hopkins website shortly after publication. Reason being but not given is that the conclusions expose the truth summed up by the author.
"These data analyses suggest that in contrast to most people's assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming. In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States.
This comes as a shock to many people. How is it that the data lie so far from our perception? "
https://web.archive.org/web/20201126163323/https://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2020/11/a-closer-look-at-u-s-deaths-due-to-covid-19
Music Legends Eric Clapton, Van Morrison Team For Anti-Lockdown Single - Variety
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 19:21
Music legends Van Morrison and Eric Clapton have announced a new single, ''Stand and Deliver,'' in support of Morrison's Save Live Music campaign. The blues track was written by Morrison and is performed by Clapton.
Morrison, best known for songs like ''Brown Eyed Girl,'' ''Domino'' and ''Wild Night,'' as well as seminal albums ''Moondance'' and ''Astral Weeks,'' released three songs protesting the U.K. lockdown over September and October, titled ''Born To Be Free,'' ''As I Walked Out'' and ''No More Lockdown.''
Proceeds from ''Stand and Deliver'' will go to the Morrison's Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, which helps musicians facing difficulties as a result of the coronavirus and resulting lockdown measures.
Clapton '-- the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame '-- called the dearth of live events due to lockdown restrictions ''deeply upsetting.''
''There are many of us who support Van and his endeavors to save live music; he is an inspiration,'' Clapton said. ''We must stand up and be counted because we need to find a way out of this mess. The alternative is not worth thinking about. Live music might never recover.''
''Eric's recording is fantastic and will clearly resonate with the many who share our frustrations,'' said Morrison. ''It is heart-breaking to see so many talented musicians lack any meaningful support from the government, but we want to reassure them that we are working hard every day to lobby for the return of live music, and to save our industry.''
England on Thursday announced a return to the three-tier system after lockdown lifts on Dec. 2. A number of cities, including the capital region of London and Liverpool, fall under the lesser restrictions of Tier 2. The virus has so far claimed more than 57,000 lives in the U.K.
Clapton and Morrison performed together at London's O2 Arena in March, to raise funds for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, weeks before the first U.K. lockdown was imposed.
''Stand and Deliver'' will be available for download and streaming from iTunes, Amazon Music, Deezer and all other outlets from Dec. 4.
Adam Skelly defied Canada's lockdown, opened BBQ restaurant - TheBlaze
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 20:31
The owner of a barbecue restaurant in Canada remained open during the coronavirus pandemic, and defied government lockdown orders. Adam Skelly, the owner of Adamson Barbecue in Etobicoke, was arrested on Thursday and dragged away in handcuffs in front of a crowd that gathered to show support of his defiance of coronavirus restrictions.
For two days this week, Skelly served customers despite government orders to shut down operations, including a prohibition on indoor dining for at least 28 days. Early Thursday morning, police changed the locks to Adamson BBQ. Police completely surrounded the restaurant, even deploying a dozen horses to prevent Skelly and his patrons from accessing the restaurant. A crowd of lockdown protesters showed up at the restaurant to rally around Skelly.
Police literally have the building surrounded.Tyrannical BBQ at 7 Queen Elizabeth Ave. in Etobicoke. https://t.co/AMU6sjI9G3
'-- LΞIGH (@LΞIGH)1606419107.0https://t.co/NETIYwfPcz
'-- Joe Warmington (@Joe Warmington)1606411345.0At 1 p.m., Toronto police announced that they had arrested Skelly.
"A 33-year-old man was arrested for Attempting to Obstruct Police. He has been taken into custody. More details will follow. Officers remain in the area. We continue to ask for calm," Toronto Police wrote in a tweet.
Video shows Skelly being taken away in handcuffs as the crowd yells in anger, "Shame!" One man got into a physical altercation with the cops and was arrested for assaulting a police officer.
Adamson BBQ owner Adam Skelly arrested at 12:25pm today, here's another angle. He has a big smile on his face as he'... https://t.co/7I9WysWFgh
'-- Tina Yazdani (@Tina Yazdani)1606416762.0Sad day for Canada. @ezralevant @joe_warmington @TheMenzoid https://t.co/T1cqtxeUPZ
'-- Herbert RH (@Herbert RH)1606414154.0Skelly was charged with 13 offenses, including criminal and non-criminal charges: trespassing, intent to obstruct police, violating indoor dining rules, holding an illegal gathering, and operating a business without a license, as reported by CBC.
There were two operating without a business license charges, the fine is up to $50,000 for a corporation and up to $25,000 for an individual or officer/director, according to city spokesperson Brad Ross.
At 9PM, the city has finally issued a press release about Adamson, detailing charges, which has some very unusual w'... https://t.co/pTwqxCMbhL
'-- Jennifer Pagliaro (@Jennifer Pagliaro)1606356822.0After allegedly being detained for over 30 hours, Skelly was released on $50,000 bail. Skelly claims that one of the conditions for release was that he is not permitted to use social media.
#NEW: Adam Skelly speaks to Global News after getting released on bail tonight, said one of his conditions for rele'... https://t.co/XVJ2Zr8qPX
'-- Kamil Karamali (@Kamil Karamali)1606528481.0Toronto Police Supt. Dom Sinopoli justified Skelly's arrest by saying, "We have formed a baseline as to how Mr. Skelly chooses to operate. We have now cautioned him up until today that our enforcement will progress and it did."
Skelly's next court appearance will be on Jan. 4.
A GoFundMe campaign was launched to help pay for Skelly's legal defense with a goal of $10,000. In the two days since it was launched, the campaign has raised over $225,000.
Randy Hillier, an elected member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, voiced his support for Skelly by stating, "I'm certain that these unlawful orders will be struck down by the courts."
Today I recognized Adam Skelly of Adamson BBQ for his courage & conviction. He tested the law & I encourage others'... https://t.co/HoG9xrdYL1
'-- Randy Hillier (@Randy Hillier)1606320482.0
The Germans Are Back! '' OffGuardian
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 01:59
CJ HopkinsBreak out the Wagner, folks'...the Germans are back! No, not the warm, fuzzy, pussified, peace-loving, post-war Germans '... the Germans! You know the ones I mean. The ''I didn't know where the trains were going'' Germans. The ''I was just following orders'' Germans. The other Germans.
Yeah'...those Germans.
In case you missed it, on November 18, the German parliament passed a law, the so-called ''Infection Protection Act'' (''Das Infektionsschutzgesetz'' in German) formally granting the government the authority to issue whatever edicts it wants under the guise of protecting the public health.
The government has been doing this anyway '-- ordering lockdowns, curfews, travel bans, banning demonstrations, raiding homes and businesses, ordering everyone to wear medical masks, harassing and arresting dissidents, etc. '-- but now it has been ''legitimized'' by the Bundestag, enshrined into law, and presumably stamped with one of those intricate official stamps that German bureaucrats like to stamp things with.
Now, this ''Infection Protection Act,'' which was rushed through the parliament, is not in any way comparable to the ''Enabling Act of 1933,'' which formally granted the government the authority to issue whatever edicts it wanted under the guise of remedying the distress of the people.
Yes, I realize that sounds quite similar, but, according to the government and the German media, there is absolutely no equivalence whatsoever, and anyone who suggests there is is ''a far-right AfD extremist,'' ''a neo-Nazi conspiracy theorist,'' or ''an anti-vax esotericist,'' or whatever.
As the Protection Act was being legitimized (i.e., the current one, not the one in 1933), tens of thousands of anti-totalitarian protesters gathered in the streets, many of them carrying copies of the Grundgesetz (i.e., the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany), which the parliament had just abrogated. They were met by thousands of riot police, who declared the demonstration ''illegal'' (because many of the protesters were not wearing masks), beat up and arrested hundreds of them, and then hosed down the rest with water cannons.
The German media '-- which are totally objective, and not at all like Goebbels' Ministry of Propaganda in the Nazi era '-- dutifully reminded the German public that these protesters were all ''Corona Deniers,'' ''far-right extremists,'' ''conspiracy theorists,'' ''anti-vaxxers,'' ''neo-Nazis,'' and so on, so they probably got what they deserved.
Also, a spokesperson for the Berlin police (who bear absolutely no resemblance to the Gestapo, or the Stasi, or any other notorious official-ideology-enforcing goons) pointed out that their water cannons were only being used to ''irrigate'' the protesters (i.e., not being aimed directly at them) because there were so many ''Corona Denier'' children in their ranks.
According to the government, the German media, the intelligentsia, and, basically, anyone in public life who wants to remain there, these ''Corona Deniers'' are becoming a problem. They are spreading baseless ''conspiracy theories'' that are threatening the public health and causing distress to the German people (e.g., that the vast majority of those infected suffer only mild to moderate flu symptoms or, more commonly, no symptoms at all, and that over 99.7% survive).
They are walking around without medical-looking masks, which is making a mockery of the government and media's efforts to convince the public that they are under attack by an apocalyptic plague. They are posting scientific facts on the Internet. They are staging these protests and otherwise challenging the government's right to declare a ''health emergency,'' suspend the German constitution indefinitely, and rule society by decree and force.
Despite the German government and media's efforts to demonize anyone not obediently parroting the official ''New Normal'' narrative as a ''dangerous neo-Nazi Corona Denier,'' the ''Corona Denialism'' movement is growing, not just in Germany, but all throughout Europe.
Clearly, the time is coming for Germany to take stronger measures against this threat. The health of the Vater '... uh, the nation, is at stake! Fortunately, this ''Infection Protection Act'' will provide the government with the authority it needs to conceive and carry out some kind of '... well, you know, solution. Allowing these degenerate anti-social deviants to run around challenging the German government's absolute power is not an option, not in a time of national health emergency! These ''Nazi-sympathizing Corona Deniers'' must be rooted out and dealt with, mercilessly!
I'm not privy to the details, of course, but, it being Germany, I imagine some sort of Special Task Force has been set up to efficiently deal with the ''Corona Denier Problem.'' Steps are clearly already being taken. Alternative media outlets are being deplatformed (because, according the media, they are ''Querfront magazines'').
In April, a well-known dissident lawyer was forcibly committed to a psychiatric ward (but the authorities and the media assured us that it had nothing to do with her dissident views, or with the lawsuits she was filing against the government; she just coincidentally became completely paranoid). Heavily-armed police are arresting YouTubers (although it isn't clear exactly what for, as the authorities have released no details and the mainstream media is not reporting it).
In the run-up to the 29 August demonstration, at which the government granted some neo-Nazis de-facto permission to ''storm the Reichstag,'' so that the media could film it and discredit the real protest, one German politician went so far as to call for ''Corona Deniers'' to be deported '... presumably on trains, somewhere to the east.
For the benefit of those who don't read German, this is Aziz Bozkurt, SPD politician and Chairman of the Migration and Diversity Working Group in the SPD, calling for people who refuse to conform to the insane "New Normal" ideology to be deported. Do you get what's happening yet? https://t.co/qvZw78P0mD
'-- Consent Factory (@consent_factory) August 4, 2020
But seriously, I don't mean to pick on the Germans. I love the Germans. I live in Germany. And they're hardly the only ones implementing the new pathologized totalitarianism.
It's just that, given their not-too-distant history, it is rather depressing, and more than a little frightening, to watch as Germany is once again transformed into a totalitarian state, where the police are hunting down the mask-less on the streets, raiding restaurants, bars, and people's homes, where goose-stepping little Good German citizens are peering into the windows of Yoga studios to see if they are violating ''social distancing rules,'' where I can't take a walk or shop for groceries without being surrounded by hostile, glaring, sometimes verbally-abusive Germans, who are infuriated that I'm not wearing a mask, and otherwise mindlessly following orders, and who robotically remind me, ''Es ist Pflicht! Es ist Pflicht!''
Yes, I am fully aware that it is ''Pflicht.'' If I had any doubt as to whether it was ''Pflicht,'' the Berlin Senat cleared that up when they commissioned and ran this charming advert instructing me to fuck myself if I don't want to follow their ''Corona orders'' and profess my belief in their new Big Lie.
And OK, before the Literalist Society starts flooding me with outraged emails, no, I'm not calling these Germans ''Nazis.'' I am calling them ''totalitarians.'' Which, at this point, given everything we know, if you're still pretending that this coronavirus in any way warrants the increasingly ridiculous ''emergency measures'' we are being subjected to, I'm sorry, but that is what you are.
You may not believe that is what you are '... totalitarians never do, not until it is far too late.
It functions like a cult, totalitarianism. It creeps up on you, little by little, little lie by little lie, accommodation by accommodation, rationalization by rationalization '... until one day you find yourself taking orders from some twisted little narcissistic nihilist on a mission to remake the entire world. You don't surrender to it all at once. You do it over the course of weeks and months.
Imperceptibly, it becomes your reality. You do not recognize that you are in it, because everything you see is part of it, and everyone you know is in it '... except for the others, who are not part of it. The ''deniers.'' The ''deviants.'' The ''foreigners.'' The ''strangers.'' The ''Covidiots.'' The ''virus spreaders.''
See, although the narratives and symbols may change, totalitarianism is totalitarianism. It doesn't really matter which uniform it wears, or which language it speaks '... it is the same abomination. It is an idol, a simulacrum of the hubris of man, formed from the clay of the minds of the masses by megalomaniacal spiritual cripples who want to exterminate what they cannot control.
And what they want to control is always everything.
Everything that reminds them of their weakness and their shame. You. Me. Society. The world. Laughter. Love. Honor. Faith. The past. The future. Life. Death. Everything that will not obey them.
Unfortunately, once this kind of thing gets started, and reaches the stage we are currently experiencing, more often than not, it does not stop, not until cities lie in ruins or fields are littered with human skulls. It might take us ten or twelve years to get there, but, make no mistake, that's where we're headed, where totalitarianism is always headed '... if you don't believe me, just ask the Germans.
CJ Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing and Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. His dystopian novel, Zone 23, is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. Volume I of his Consent Factory Essays is published by Consent Factory Publishing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amalgamated Content, Inc. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org.
Interim Operational Considerations for Implementing the Shielding Approach to Prevent COVID-19 Infections in Humanitarian Settings | CDC
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 02:03
This document presents considerations from the perspective of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) for implementing the shielding approach in humanitarian settings as outlined in guidance documents focused on camps, displaced populations and low-resource settings.1,2 This approach has never been documented and has raised questions and concerns among humanitarian partners who support response activities in these settings. The purpose of this document is to highlight potential implementation challenges of the shielding approach from CDC's perspective and guide thinking around implementation in the absence of empirical data. Considerations are based on current evidence known about the transmission and severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and may need to be revised as more information becomes available. Please check the CDC website periodically for updates.
What is the Shielding Approach1?The shielding approach aims to reduce the number of severe COVID-19 cases by limiting contact between individuals at higher risk of developing severe disease (''high-risk'') and the general population (''low-risk''). High-risk individuals would be temporarily relocated to safe or ''green zones'' established at the household, neighborhood, camp/sector or community level depending on the context and setting.1,2 They would have minimal contact with family members and other low-risk residents.
Current evidence indicates that older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.3 In most humanitarian settings, older population groups make up a small percentage of the total population.4,5 For this reason, the shielding approach suggests physically separating high-risk individuals from the general population to prioritize the use of the limited available resources and avoid implementing long-term containment measures among the general population.
In theory, shielding may serve its objective to protect high-risk populations from disease and death. However, implementation of the approach necessitates strict adherence1,6,7, to protocol. Inadvertent introduction of the virus into a green zone may result in rapid transmission among the most vulnerable populations the approach is trying to protect.
A summary of the shielding approach described by Favas is shown in Table 1. See Guidance for the prevention of COVID-19 infections among high-risk individuals in low-resource, displaced and camp and camp-like settings 1,2 for full details.
Table 1: Summary of the Shielding Approach1
Level
Household (HH) Level:
A specific room/area designated for high-risk individuals who are physically isolated from other HH members.
Movement/ Interactions
Low-risk HH members should not enter the green zone. If entry is necessary, it should be done only by healthy individuals after washing hands and using face coverings. Interactions should be at a safe distance (approx. 2 meters). Minimum movement of high-risk individuals outside the green zone. Low-risk HH members continue to follow social distancing and hygiene practices outside the house.
Level
Neighborhood Level:
A designated shelter/group of shelters (max 5-10 households), within a small camp or area where high-risk members are grouped together. Neighbors ''swap'' households to accommodate high-risk individuals.
Movement/ Interactions
Same as above
Level
Camp/Sector Level:
A group of shelters such as schools, community buildings within a camp/sector (max 50 high-risk individuals per single green zone) where high-risk individuals are physically isolated together.
Movement/ Interactions
One entry point is used for exchange of food, supplies, etc. A meeting area is used for residents and visitors to interact while practicing physical distancing (2 meters). No movement into or outside the green zone.
Operational ConsiderationsThe shielding approach requires several prerequisites for effective implementation. Several are addressed, including access to healthcare and provision of food. However, there are several prerequisites which require additional considerations. Table 2 presents the prerequisites or suggestions as stated in the shielding guidance document (column 1) and CDC presents additional questions and considerations alongside these prerequisites (column 2).
Table 2: Suggested Prerequisites per the shielding documents and CDC's Operational Considerations for Implementation
Suggested Prerequisites
*As stated in the shielding document*
Considerations as suggested by CDC
Suggested Prerequisites
*As stated in the shielding document*
Each green zone has a dedicated latrine/bathing facility for high-risk individualsConsiderations as suggested by CDC
The shielding approach advises against any new facility construction to establish green zones; however, few settings will have existing shelters or communal facilities with designated latrines/bathing facilities to accommodate high-risk individuals. In these settings, most latrines used by HHs are located outside the home and often shared by multiple HHs.If dedicated facilities are available, ensure safety measures such as proper lighting, handwashing/hygiene infrastructure, maintenance and disinfection of latrines.Ensure facilities can accommodate high-risk individuals with disabilities, children and separate genders at the neighborhood/camp-level.Suggested Prerequisites
*As stated in the shielding document*
To minimize external contact, each green zone should include able-bodied high-risk individuals capable of caring for residents who have disabilities or are less mobile. Otherwise, designate low-risk individuals for these tasks, preferably who have recovered from confirmed COVID-19 and are assumed to be immune.Considerations as suggested by CDC
This may be difficult to sustain, especially if the caregivers are also high risk. As caregivers may often will be family members, ensure that this strategy is socially or culturally acceptable.Currently, we do not know if prior infection confers immunity.Suggested Prerequisites
*As stated in the shielding document*
The green zone and living areas for high-risk residents should be aligned with minimum humanitarian (SPHERE) standards.6Considerations as suggested by CDC
The shielding approach requires strict adherence to infection, prevention and control (IPC) measures. They require, uninterrupted availability of soap, water, hygiene/cleaning supplies, masks or cloth face coverings, etc. for all individuals in green zones. Thus, it is necessary to ensure minimum public health standards6 are maintained and possibly supplemented to decrease the risk of other outbreaks outside of COVID-19. Attaining and maintaining minimum SPHERE6 standards is difficult in these settings for the general population.8,9,10 Users should consider that provision of services and supplies to high risk individuals could be at the expense of low-risk residents, putting them at increased risk for other outbreaks.Suggested Prerequisites
*As stated in the shielding document*
Monitor and evaluate the implementation of the shielding approach.Considerations as suggested by CDC
Monitoring protocols will need to be developed for each type of green zone.Dedicated staff need to be identified to monitor each green zone. Monitoring includes both adherence to protocols and potential adverse effects or outcomes due to isolation and stigma. It may be necessary to assign someone within the green zone, if feasible, to minimize movement in/out of green zones.Suggested Prerequisites
*As stated in the shielding document*
Men and women, and individuals with tuberculosis (TB), severe immunodeficiencies, or dementia should be isolated separatelyConsiderations as suggested by CDC
Multiple green zones would be needed to achieve this level of separation, each requiring additional inputs/resources. Further considerations include challenges of accommodating different ethnicities, socio-cultural groups, or religions within one setting.Suggested Prerequisites
*As stated in the shielding document*
Community acceptance and involvement in the design and implementationConsiderations as suggested by CDC
Even with community involvement, there may be a risk of stigmatization.11,12 Isolation/separation from family members, loss of freedom and personal interactions may require additional psychosocial support structures/systems. See section on additional considerations below.Suggested Prerequisites
*As stated in the shielding document*
High-risk minors should be accompanied into isolation by a single caregiver who will also be considered a green zone resident in terms of movements and contacts with those outside the green zone.Considerations as suggested by CDC
Protection measures are critical to implementation. Ensure there is appropriate, adequate, and acceptable care of other minors or individuals with disabilities or mental health conditions who remain in the HH if separated from their primary caregiver.Suggested Prerequisites
*As stated in the shielding document*
Green zone shelters should always be kept clean. Residents should be provided with the necessary cleaning products and materials to clean their living spaces.Considerations as suggested by CDC
High-risk individuals will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining their own living space and facilities. This may not be feasible for persons with disabilities or decreased mobility.11 Maintaining hygiene conditions in communal facilities is difficult during non-outbreak settings.7,8,9 consequently it may be necessary to provide additional human resource support.Suggested Prerequisites
*As stated in the shielding document*
Green zones should be more spacious in terms of shelter area per capita than the surrounding camp/sector, even at the cost of greater crowding of low-risk people.Considerations as suggested by CDC
Ensure that targeting high-risk individuals does not negate mitigation measures among low-risk individuals (physical distancing in markets or water points, where feasible, etc.). Differences in space based on risk status may increase the potential risk of exposure among the rest of the low-risk residents and may be unacceptable or impracticable, considering space limitations and overcrowding in many settings.Additional ConsiderationsThe shielding approach outlines the general ''logistics'' of implementation ''who, what, where, how. However, there may be additional logistical challenges to implementing these strategies as a result of unavailable commodities, transport restrictions, limited staff capacity and availability to meet the increased needs. The approach does not address the potential emotional, social/cultural, psychological impact for separated individuals nor for the households with separated members. Additional considerations to address these challenges are presented below.
Population characteristics and demographicsConsideration: The number of green zones required may be greater than anticipated, as they are based on the total number of high-risk individuals, disease categories, and the socio-demographics of the area and not just the proportion of elderly population.
Explanation: Older adults represent a small percentage of the population in many camps in humanitarian settings (approximately 3-5%4,5), however in some humanitarian settings more than one quarter of the population may fall under high risk categories13,14,15 based on underlying medical conditions which may increase a person's risk for severe COVID-19 illness which include chronic kidney disease, obesity, serious heart conditions, sickle cell disease, and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, many camps and settlements host multiple nationalities which may require additional separation, for example, Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya accommodates refugees from 19 countries.16
Timeline considerationsConsideration: Plan for an extended duration of implementation time, at least 6 months.
Explanation: The shielding approach proposes that green zones be maintained until one of the following circumstances arises: (i) sufficient hospitalization capacity is established; (ii) effective vaccine or therapeutic options become widely available; or (iii) the COVID-19 epidemic affecting the population subsides.
Given the limited resources and healthcare available to populations in humanitarian settings prior to the pandemic, it is unlikely sufficient hospitalization capacity (beds, personal protective equipment, ventilators, and staff) will be achievable during widespread transmission. The national capacity in many of the countries where these settings are located (e.g., Chad, Myanmar, and Syria) is limited. Resources may become quickly overwhelmed during the peak of transmission and may not be accessible to the emergency affected populations.
Vaccine trials are underway, but with no definite timeline. Reaching the suppression phase where the epidemic subsides can take several months and cases may resurge in a second or even third wave. Herd immunity (the depletion of susceptible people) for COVID-19 has not been demonstrated to date. It is also unclear if an infected person develops immunity and the duration of potential immunity is unknown. Thus, contingency plans to account for a possibly extended operational timeline are critical.
Other logistical considerationsConsideration: Plan to identify additional resources and outline supply chain mechanisms to support green zones.
Explanation: The implementation and operation of green zones requires strong coordination among several sectors which may require substantial additional resources: supplies and staff to maintain these spaces '' shelters, IPC, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), non-food items (NFIs) (beds, linens, dishes/utensils, water containers), psychosocial support, monitors/supervisors, caretakers/attendants, risk communication and community engagement, security, etc. Considering global reductions in commodity shortages,17 movement restrictions, border closures, and decreased trucking and flights, it is important to outline what additional resources will be needed and how they will be procured.
ProtectionConsideration: Ensure safe and protective environments for all individuals, including minors and individuals who require additional care whether they are in the green zone or remain in a household after the primary caregiver or income provider has moved to the green zone.
Explanation: Separating families and disrupting and deconstructing multigenerational households may have long-term negative consequences. Shielding strategies need to consider sociocultural gender norms in order to adequately assess and address risks to individuals, particularly women and girls. 18,19,20 Restrictive gender norms may be exacerbated by isolation strategies such as shielding. At the household level, isolating individuals and limiting their interaction, compounded with social and economic disruption has raised concerns of potential increased risk of partner violence. Households participating in house swaps or sector-wide cohorting are at particular risk for gender-based violence, harassment, abuse, and exploitation as remaining household members may not be decision-makers or responsible for households needs.18,19,20
Social/Cultural/Religious PracticesConsideration: Plan for potential disruption of social networks.
Explanation: Community celebrations (religious holidays), bereavement (funerals) and other rites of passage are cornerstones of many societies. Proactive planning ahead of time, including strong community engagement and risk communication is needed to better understand the issues and concerns of restricting individuals from participating in communal practices because they are being shielded. Failure to do so could lead to both interpersonal and communal violence.21,22
Mental HealthConsideration: Ensure mental health and psychosocial support*,23 structures are in place to address increased stress and anxiety.
Explanation: Additional stress and worry are common during any epidemic and may be more pronounced with COVID-19 due to the novelty of the disease and increased fear of infection, increased childcare responsibilities due to school closures, and loss of livelihoods. Thus, in addition to the risk of stigmatization and feeling of isolation, this shielding approach may have an important psychological impact and may lead to significant emotional distress, exacerbate existing mental illness or contribute to anxiety, depression, helplessness, grief, substance abuse, or thoughts of suicide among those who are separated or have been left behind. Shielded individuals with concurrent severe mental health conditions should not be left alone. There must be a caregiver allocated to them to prevent further protection risks such as neglect and abuse.
SummaryThe shielding approach is an ambitious undertaking, which may prove effective in preventing COVID-19 infection among high-risk populations if well managed. While the premise is based on mitigation strategies used in the United Kingdom,24,25 there is no empirical evidence whether this approach will increase, decrease or have no effect on morbidity and mortality during the COVID-19 epidemic in various humanitarian settings. This document highlights a) risks and challenges of implementing this approach, b) need for additional resources in areas with limited or reduced capacity, c) indefinite timeline, and d) possible short-term and long-term adverse consequences.
Public health not only focuses on the eradication of disease but addresses the entire spectrum of health and wellbeing. Populations displaced, due to natural disasters or war and, conflict are already fragile and have experienced increased mental, physical and/or emotional trauma. While the shielding approach is not meant to be coercive, it may appear forced or be misunderstood in humanitarian settings. As with many community interventions meant to decrease COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, compliance and behavior change are the primary rate-limiting steps and may be driven by social and emotional factors. These changes are difficult in developed, stable settings; thus, they may be particularly challenging in humanitarian settings which bring their own set of multi-faceted challenges that need to be taken into account.
Household-level shielding seems to be the most feasible and dignified as it allows for the least disruption to family structure and lifestyle, critical components to maintaining compliance. However, it is most susceptible to the introduction of a virus due to necessary movement or interaction outside the green zone, less oversight, and often large household sizes. It may be less feasible in settings where family shelters are small and do not have multiple compartments. In humanitarian settings, small village, sector/block, or camp-level shielding may allow for greater adherence to proposed protocol, but at the expense of longer-term social impacts triggered by separation from friends and family, feelings of isolation, and stigmatization. Most importantly, accidental introduction of the virus into a green zone may result in rapid transmission and increased morbidity and mortality as observed in assisted care facilities in the US.26
The shielding approach is intended to alleviate stress on the healthcare system and circumvent the negative economic consequences of long-term containment measures and lockdowns by protecting the most vulnerable.1,24,25 Implementation of this approach will involve careful planning, additional resources, strict adherence and strong multi-sector coordination, requiring agencies to consider the potential repercussion among populations that have collectively experienced physical and psychological trauma which makes them more vulnerable to adverse psychosocial consequences. In addition, thoughtful consideration of the potential benefit versus the social and financial cost of implementation will be needed in humanitarian settings.
*Specific psychosocial support guidance during COVID-19 as specific subject areas are beyond the scope of this document.
Faruk Firat on Twitter: "#BREAKING: The central bank in #Paris is on fire. Reports of serious mass rioting! #ParisCentre #Centralbanks #CentralBanking #Francia #France #Frankreich https://t.co/mmcCrXW7xi" / Twitter
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 03:28
Faruk Firat : #BREAKING: The central bank in #Paris is on fire. Reports of serious mass rioting!#ParisCentre #Centralbanks'... https://t.co/qBXhR4e1q6
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Freedom Pass
Freedom Passes Show How a City's Trial Could Unlock the U.K. - Bloomberg
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 20:29
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Travel Agency Boycotts Qantas Airlines Over 'Forced' Vaccinations - Travel Off Path
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 15:34
The Announcement That Sparked a BoycottThe Australian airline's chief executive, Alan Joyce, said in an interview that ''We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travelers, we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft,'' and that he believes that other airlines will follow suit in this demand.
The Response From Trade Winds Travel AgencyUK based Tradwinds Travel said in a statement on their website that travelers who wish to book with Qantas Airlines will have to take their business elsewhere after learning of the Airline's plans for 'forced' vaccinations.
A bold statement on their company website read ''On 23rd November 2020, following the statement from Qantas that they would not allow passengers on their flights without a vaccination for Covid-19 we decided as a company that we would no longer offer Qantas flights to our customers.''
The independent travel agency immediately sparked ferocious debate on social media as the article went viral across multiple platforms.
Tradewinds Travel insists that the company does not support anti-vaccination but instead support pro-choice.
''We are not anti-vaccination but we are pro-choice. There is a huge difference between coercion and making a free choice.''-Tradewinds Travel
Australia's Strict Health Measures QuestionedAustralia's laws have come into question in recent months but have shown success in curbing the spread of COVID-19 transmission. The restrictions including prohibiting citizens from leaving the country and banning protests have been questioned by Human Rights Watch .
In September, Melbourne police arrested 74 people after taking part in an illegal anti-lockdown protest . The protest was in response to a measure that gave police additional powers to enforce public health orders.
Other Developed Nations Haven't Followed
Although Australia has been the pioneer of some of the strictest lockdown measures in the developed world, other developed nations including the United States and Canada haven't followed suit.
In an interview with hosts of 'The Start' which airs on Canada's Global Television Network, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau said that a travel advisory is as far as the government is willing to go.
''Ultimately, if someone chooses to travel, we're not going to keep them imprisoned in Canada. There's freedom of movement in this country,'' he said.
Subscribe to our Latest PostsDisclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality's entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories
China Pushing For A Global COVID QR Code To Track Travel, Limit Exposure To Coronavirus | The Daily Caller
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 01:58
Chinese President Xi Jinping wants other nations to adopt a coronavirus tracking system that uses QR codes to track travel during the pandemic.
Speaking at the virtual G20 leaders' summit Saturday, Xi said that nations need to ''harmonize policies'' to track those infected with the coronavirus, according to a transcript of Xi's speech from a state-run news agency Xinhua.
''China has proposed a global mechanism on the mutual recognition of health certificates based on nucleic acid test results in the form of Internationally accepted QR codes,'' Xi said, according to Xinhua. ''We hope more countries will join this mechanism. We also support the G20 in carrying out institutionalized cooperation and building global cooperation networks to facilitate the flow of personnel and goods.''
BEIJING, CHINA '' OCTOBER 25: Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the podium during the unveiling of the Communist Party's new Politburo Standing Committee at the Great Hall of the People on October 25, 2017 in Beijing, China. China's ruling Communist Party today revealed the new Politburo Standing Committee after its 19th congress. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
China introduced the use of QR-based health certificates earlier this year, according to CNN. The system uses a QR code to store data on a person's travel and health history, according to the same report.
The software also designates a color to each person that dictates whether they should be quarantined or allowed out in public spaces, according to The New York Times (NYT). (RELATED: Google Is Launching A Tool To Help Government Officials Track People's Movements Amid Virus Pandemic)
People sign up through the wallet app, Alipay, and are assigned either green, yellow or red, although it is unclear what each color specifically means, according to the NYT.
The NYT found that once a user grants the software access to their personal data, the ''reportInfoandLocationToPolice'' part of the program reportedly sends a person's location, city name and identifying code number to a server, but users are reportedly not aware that the app is connected to the police.
China isn't the only nation to use a coronavirus tracking app to try to fight off a second wave.
Japan introduced the Contact-Confirming Application (COCOA) which was designed by Microsoft this year, according to Reuters. If an individual tests positive for the coronavirus, the app will use Bluetooth signals to detect any prior contact with other users that lasted more than 15 minutes and will notify them, according to Reuters.
Singapore also uses a tracing app, TraceTogether, which notifies users if they've been exposed to COVID-19.
Ticketmaster Walks Back Plans to Require COVID-19 Testing or Vaccination - The Vaccine Reaction
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:00
On Nov. 11, 2020, Billboard magazine reported that Ticketmaster, the world's largest ticket agency, revealed it wants to require proof that ticket purchasers have tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus within 24-72 hours before attending an event or have received a COVID-19 vaccine with a year of the event.1 This would mean that gone are the days when the biggest concern for teens attending concerts was scraping together the money for overpriced tickets and pleading with their parents for permission to stay out late. Adults planning to attend a play in a theater or families going to football games together would have a lot more to worry about than what to wear or where to park.
However, the swift reaction from outraged consumers put pressure on Ticketmaster to walk back the earlier comments made by president Mark Yonich to Billboard that ticket purchasers to events would have their medical history accessed and screened by the U.S.-based ticket agency.
Yonich had told Billboard, ''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.'' He added, ''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.''
By Nov. 16, TicketNews reported that a statement was issued by Ticketmaster clarifying that the company was ''just exploring the ability to enhance our existing digital ticket capabilities'' and that event organizers, not Ticketmaster, would have the power to require testing or vaccination as a condition of attending an event:2
We are not forcing anyone to do anything. Just exploring the ability to enhance our existing digital ticket capabilities to offer solutions for event organizers that could include testing and vaccine information with 3rd party health providers. Just a tool in the box for those that may want to use. There is absolutely no requirement from Ticketmaster mandating vaccines/testing for future events'... Ticketmaster does not have the power to set policies around safety/entry requirements, which would include vaccines and/or testing protocols. That would always be up to the discretion of the event organizer, based on their preferences and local health guidelines.
Ticketmaster Evaluating Partnerships with Health CompaniesRegardless of the weak non-denial denial, it is a fact that Ticketmaster is evaluating options for partnering with health companies to offer concert halls, theaters, stadiums and other large public event organizers the option of requiring people purchasing tickets to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination. Ticket purchasers using Ticketmaster could be required to submit personal medical information and have a lab provide the COVID-19 test results or vaccination history to a third-party health company via a digital app.
The third-party health company would then relay the health information to Ticketmaster, which would issue digital tickets to purchasers who were vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19. Tickets and entry to an event would be denied for those who tested positive or did not submit to testing or vaccination.3
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved the third-party health care companies that Ticketmaster would employ to collect data about ticket purchaser's vaccine status or test results. The specific regulations, such as how far in advance testing must be done, would vary according to state laws. State health officials and event organizers would determine the new rules that would be in place at events, such as regulations regarding social distancing, staggered entrance times, contact tracing, mask requirements and sanitization.4
Event tickets would need to be purchased prior to submitting vaccination status or testing results to the third-party health care provider. Ticketmaster has not indicated how they would process payments or if they would refund ticket purchasers who tested positive or were unable to get tested or vaccinated prior to the event.5
Ticketmaster Denies Requiring COVID-19 Testing or VaccinationAfter media outlets broke the story about Ticketmaster's COVID-19 testing and vaccination plan, the news quickly generated pushback from consumers that it was an assault on medical privacy with substantial potential for abuse. The company then took steps to publicly deny it will require mandatory testing or vaccination of those purchasing tickets to attend events, claiming that providing health information to establish COVID-19 test results or vaccination status will be left up to the event organizer.
''Ticketmaster does not have the power to set policies around safety/entry requirements, which would include vaccines and/or testing protocols,'' it said. ''That is up to the discretion of the event organizer. Ticketmaster continues to work with event organizers on all COVID safety measures and it will be up to each event organizer to set future requirements, based on their preferences and local health guidelines.''6
Ticketmaster management further explained that they are looking into a digital medical status entrance requirement as one of several, ''potential ideas'' that would allow resumption of public events.7
Ticketmaster's Use of SmartEvent Indicates Desire to Monitor Health Status of Ticket HoldersDespite denying that it plans to implement a digital health tracking system, it seems inevitable that Ticketmaster will use advanced digital technology to run events and monitor attendees. According to a recent press release by Ticketmaster:
Ticketmaster's robust API capabilities combined with its foundation of digital ticketing allow for the roll out of new features at record speed. Operating in over 30 countries, Ticketmaster has a front-row seat to new tech, health and logistical developments around the world that may be ripe to integrate into its platform.8
In fact, Ticketmaster has already implemented SmartEvent, a digital platform that monitors events by determining seating capacity limits, staggering entry times and conducting contact tracing.9 Smart Event is essentially a remote box office that has a number of tools that can be used to optimize safety at events. Utilizing algorithms to determine the distance between seats, the Social Distance Seating Tool will set out safe seating arrangements at events.
The Timed Entry Tool will stagger attendees arrival times; the Entry Rate Monitoring Tools will prevent lines from being too crowded; and the Contactless Scanners will check guests in via their cell phone. SafeTix's Secure Ticket Transfer, ''gives organizers the capability to know every fan in the building'' and easily conduct contact tracing.10 As many as 250 organizations including the NFL, MLS and universities have already started using SmartEvent.11
As the world's largest ticketing agency implements digital technology to monitor the health status of event attendees, NVIC co-founder and president Barbara Loe Fisher's prophetic warning comes to mind'...
Tomorrow, the ''new normal'' in America may well include the order to ''Show me your vaccine papers before you can enter a store or restaurant, go to school, attend a football game, get on a plane, train or subway, obtain a driver's license, be admitted to a hospital or nursing home, get a room at a hotel or walk on a public beach, if health policy and lawmakers do not use common sense to adopt a more balanced approach to dealing with a virus that, so far, has changed everything.12
References:
1 Brooks D. How Ticketmaster Plans to Check Your Vaccine Status for Concerts: Exclusive. Billboard Nov. 11, 2020.2 Clark D. Ticketmaster Walks Back COVID Requirements After Fierce Backlash. TicketNews Nov. 15, 2020.3 See Footnote 1.4 Ibid.5 Lam S. Live show behemoth Ticketmaster will require PROOF of vaccine or negative Covid-19 test to attend events '' report. Reuters Nov. 12, 2020.6 Neale M. Ticketmaster clarifies future safety policy for concert-goers. NME Nov. 12, 2020.7 Ibid.8 Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster Introduces 'SmartEvent' Solutions to Help Live Events Welcome Back Fans. Press Release Oct. 29, 2020.9 Savage M. No, Ticketmaster won't force you to have a Covid vaccine. BBC Nov. 12, 2020.10 See Footnote 8.11 Iahn B. Ticketmaster Creates 'Smartevent' Solutions To Welcome Back Fans. The Music Universe Oct. 29, 20230.12 Fisher BL. How Fear of a Virus Changed Our World. NVIC Newsletter June 1, 2020.
API, Barbara Loe Fisher, Billboard, Carolyn Hendler, COVID-19, Mark Yonich, National Vaccine Information Center, NVIC, SafeTix, The Vaccine Reaction, Ticketmaster, TicketNews
Vaccines and such
Denmark Citizens Refuse Law Mandating Forced COVID-19 Vaccine - The Vaccine Reaction
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:00
With a COVID-19 vaccine possibly rolling out to the public by December or early next year, some governments are pushing for a mandatory vaccine program, as in Denmark where it was met with protests.
The national government in Denmark had to abandon a new law that would require a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine after Danish citizens took to the streets to protest by banging on pots and pans against an updated Epidemic Act (pdf) that gave the government an unprecedented amount of power to implement rules and extreme measures to fight against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.
The new Epidemic Act would replace the temporary amended law (pdf) that was unanimously and quickly passed back on March 12 in response to the pandemic. At that time, one of the major revisions made involved transferring all the authority from the five regional Epidemic Commissions around the country to the Danish Minister of Health to allow for a quicker response to COVID-19.
But this gave a lot of power to the minister of health who is able to ''access a person's home with the police assistance without prior court order,'' and ''use police assistance to isolate, examine or treat a person who is infected or believed to be infected with one of the communicable diseases listed in the appendix to the Act,'' according to a blog by Janne Rothmar Herrmann a professor of the University of Copenhagen.
The minister of health through a Ministerial Order was also able to limit the gathering of more than 10 people at indoor or outdoor public spaces except for ''political meetings/protests, supermarkets, and places of work, etc.''
The new Act would continue keeping the centralized powers with the Danish Minister of Health that was passed in March, with the addition of allowing forced COVID-19 vaccinations as the Danish Health Authority can define ''who must be vaccinated to contain and eliminate a dangerous disease.'' Compliance with these orders can be achieved with police assistance.
Both the Danish Medical Association and the Danish College of General Practitioners spoke out against the new law saying ''mandatory vaccination should be an 'absolute last resort''' and that it gave too much power to the government, particularly the minister of health, over people's healthcare, according to The Local.
The nine consecutive days of protest to the new law'--broke away from the high level of trust Nordic countries are known to have with their government'--resulted in the Danish government scrapping the law.
As the protest was just beginning in Denmark, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) approved a resolution (pdf) on Nov. 7, asking the state to consider making a COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for all New Yorkers except those medically exempted ''once a scientific consensus emerges that it is safe, effective, and necessary,'' but only after voluntary vaccinations failed to illicit a sufficient level of herd immunity to keep the public safe.
In addition, the bar association is requesting that ''older persons and persons with disabilities who are incarcerated or living with advance illness who do not pose a danger to the community'' to be released.
According to the organization's news release, the public health authorities would decide whether to make vaccines mandatory and who it should apply to, which is normally up to the state legislature to enact a law approving the mandate.
New York has over 600,000 COVID-19 cases and the highest death rate in the United States at 34,058 as of Nov. 18.
TicketMaster, in hopes of helping people ''stay safe'' at future performances, announced on Nov. 11 that it was developing tools to allow event organizers to verify COVID-19 vaccine status, a test result, or other approved vetting methods before tickets can be purchased online.
In Israel, the Health Minister is considering a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine law to address a percentage of Israelis unwilling to vaccinate, although the country has one of the highest immunization rates, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Vaccine Mandatory ConcernsWith claims of their trials being over 90 percent effective against the CCP virus by Moderna and Pfizer, and after an emergency authorization usage is granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Association's (FDA) for the public, it will be a matter of time before more states and businesses may mandate Americans to get a vaccine.
''With polls showing that about half of Americans either do not want to get a new COVID-19 vaccine or have reservations about getting vaccinated, there will be those who want societal sanctions to be levied against those who refuse to take it,'' Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-Founder and President of the National Vaccine Information Center, told The Epoch Times in an email.
Fisher is one of the original group of parents who worked with Congress on the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which has been amended so much that it no longer serves its original purpose: to allow parents of vaccine-injured children to easily file a claim for compensation as an alternative to the civil courts.
Instead, the vaccine injury act now mainly protects manufacturers of mandated vaccines from lawsuits, especially after the Supreme Court declared that vaccines were ''unavoidably unsafe'' in a 2011 decision (pdf).
Fisher says the ''public-private business partnerships'' between the governments and pharmaceuticals for more than 35 years has been a ''powerful lobby for forced vaccination'' in the United States and around the world.
''That lobby has been putting pressure on U.S. lawmakers to mandate all federally recommended vaccines and eliminate informed consent protections in public health laws,'' Fisher says.
Every state has a mandatory vaccine schedule for students to attend school, with around 50 vaccine doses given from birth to 18 years old according to Kids Health. People working in the healthcare industry are also mandated to take flu vaccines annually.
''The draconian COVID-19 vaccination law enacted in Denmark last spring that threatened to imprison people for refusing to comply is a warning of what could happen here. Americans must rise up and resist this kind of tyranny in great numbers like the people of Denmark have done this week,'' Fisher says.
Note: This article was reprinted with permission. It was originally published in the Epoch Times.
Narcolepsy Fiasco Spurs Covid Vaccine Fears In Sweden | Barron's
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 14:40
Take a vaccine developed in haste? Never again, says Meissa Chebbi, who, like hundreds of other young Swedes suffered debilitating narcolepsy after a mass vaccination campaign against the 2009-2010 swine flu pandemic.
The experience has shaken Swedes' confidence in any future vaccine against the new coronavirus, compounding fears about unknown long-term side effects.
"I will never recommend that," 21-year-old Chebbi told AFP when asked about taking a speedily developed vaccine. "Unless you really have to take it because of life-threatening circumstances."
The Swedish case highlights the complex task governments face in rolling out vaccines against the coronavirus, especially at a time when rabid social media misinformation is feeding scepticism in state institutions and even about the disease itself.
A poster with a portrait of Anders Tegnell, the face of the country's response to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 Jonathan NACKSTRAND The trauma over vaccines is particularly notable in Sweden, which normally boasts participation of more than 90 percent in its voluntary children's vaccination programme.
But a recent survey conducted by the Novus polling institute suggested that 26 percent of Swedes do not plan to take any of the Covid-19 vaccines being developed and 28 percent are undecided.
Forty-six percent said they would get a jab.
Of those opposed, 87 percent said it was due to fears over as-yet unknown side effects.
Health authorities in the Scandinavian country in 2009 urged the public to voluntarily take the Pandemrix vaccine against swine flu, made by British drug company GlaxoSmithKline.
More than 60 percent heeded the call -- the highest level in the world.
But Chebbi and hundreds of others, primarily children and young adults under 30, were later diagnosed with narcolepsy as a side effect of the vaccine.
While the rest of Europe went into lockdown, Sweden took a lighter approach to curbing the virus Jonathan NACKSTRAND A link was eventually established to an adjuvant, or booster, in the Pandemrix vaccine which was intended to strengthen the immune response.
Narcolepsy is a chronic disorder of the nervous system that causes excessive and often uncontrollable drowsiness.
"I have sleep attacks all the time in all kinds of situations and at inappropriate times... In my food, at job interviews, at lectures, seminars, at university. I've fallen asleep at my workplace, I fall asleep on buses and everywhere," Chebbi says.
"It has destroyed my life."
The Swedish Pharmaceutical Insurance has so far approved 440 of 702 narcolepsy claims linked to Pandemrix, paying out a total of 100 million kronor (9.8 million euros, $11.6 million) in compensation.
Side effects accompany all vaccines, but serious ones are proportionally very rare, as with the narcolepsy cases in Sweden.
The effectiveness of vaccines are also widely agreed upon and they have led to the eradication of many diseases.
If only we had knownAnders Tegnell, Sweden's state epidemiologist and the face of the country's controversial 'softer' response to the new coronavirus, was among a group of experts at the Board of Health who called for the mass vaccination in 2009-2010.
"Of course the decision would have been completely different if we had known about the side effects. But they were completely unknown, they were a surprise to everybody," Tegnell told AFP in an interview.
Swedish health workers carried out tests for the swine flu virus in 2009 prior to the vaccine programme STIG-AKE JONSSON "There has been an international consensus for many years that the best thing to do during a pandemic is to vaccinate, and that's really the only long-term solution we have."
Babis Stefanides, a 36-year-old Stockholm resident, said he's too wary to take a Covid jab.
"I'm not planning to take the vaccine," he told AFP. "There are just too many questions."
Tegnell said he understood Swedes' concerns.
"Of course when you have a new vaccine that we don't know very much about yet -- against a disease that we don't know very much about -- everybody ... wants to have more information before they make a decision on this," he said.
"We are going to inform about these vaccines when we know a little bit more about them."
Tegnell ruled out making any future vaccine mandatory.
According to the director of the Swedish Public Health Agency, Johan Carlson, 60 to 70 percent of the population would have to be vaccinated in order to stop the spread of the virus.
"Everyone needs to have a think and decide what to do. Usually in Sweden, most people end up getting vaccinated," Carlson told Swedish Television on Sunday.
In a bid to assuage fears, Sweden plans to set up a register to quickly detect any side effects from a future Covid vaccine.
Solidarity in questionHannah Laine, a 37-year-old social worker in Stockholm, said she, her husband and their three kids would definitely be getting the vaccine -- despite her fears.
"If it's approved for the market and we notice that the public health agency and society is saying that we should take the vaccine, we'll do it," she told AFP.
Covid-19: over 250,000 deaths in Europe Robin BJALON "We have to take our moral responsibility for the elderly and the sick. We'll take it, maybe not for our sake but for society's."
That kind of thinking worries Elisabeth Widell, chairperson of the Narcolepsy Association.
She says health authorities were not wrong to call for a mass vaccination in 2009, but they appealed too heavily to Swedes' sense of solidarity and she hopes they won't do that again.
"People who choose not to get vaccinated should not be blamed and shamed. Because it's not mandatory, which means it's a free choice."
She urged Swedes to "do your own risk and benefit analysis".
Narcolepsy sufferer Chebbi remains determined.
"I'm not going to take the (Covid) vaccine until after about five years when we know what the risks are."
Masks and Muzzles
Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era | NEJM
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 18:50
5 References57 Citing Articles Letters Related ArticlesArticleAs the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to explode, hospital systems are scrambling to intensify their measures for protecting patients and health care workers from the virus. An increasing number of frontline providers are wondering whether this effort should include universal use of masks by all health care workers. Universal masking is already standard practice in Hong Kong, Singapore, and other parts of Asia and has recently been adopted by a handful of U.S. hospitals.
We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.
The calculus may be different, however, in health care settings. First and foremost, a mask is a core component of the personal protective equipment (PPE) clinicians need when caring for symptomatic patients with respiratory viral infections, in conjunction with gown, gloves, and eye protection. Masking in this context is already part of routine operations for most hospitals. What is less clear is whether a mask offers any further protection in health care settings in which the wearer has no direct interactions with symptomatic patients. There are two scenarios in which there may be possible benefits.
The first is during the care of a patient with unrecognized Covid-19. A mask alone in this setting will reduce risk only slightly, however, since it does not provide protection from droplets that may enter the eyes or from fomites on the patient or in the environment that providers may pick up on their hands and carry to their mucous membranes (particularly given the concern that mask wearers may have an increased tendency to touch their faces).
More compelling is the possibility that wearing a mask may reduce the likelihood of transmission from asymptomatic and minimally symptomatic health care workers with Covid-19 to other providers and patients. This concern increases as Covid-19 becomes more widespread in the community. We face a constant risk that a health care worker with early infection may bring the virus into our facilities and transmit it to others. Transmission from people with asymptomatic infection has been well documented, although it is unclear to what extent such transmission contributes to the overall spread of infection.1-3
More insidious may be the health care worker who comes to work with mild and ambiguous symptoms, such as fatigue or muscle aches, or a scratchy throat and mild nasal congestion, that they attribute to working long hours or stress or seasonal allergies, rather than recognizing that they may have early or mild Covid-19. In our hospitals, we have already seen a number of instances in which staff members either came to work well but developed symptoms of Covid-19 partway through their shifts or worked with mild and ambiguous symptoms that were subsequently diagnosed as Covid-19. These cases have led to large numbers of our patients and staff members being exposed to the virus and a handful of potentially linked infections in health care workers. Masking all providers might limit transmission from these sources by stopping asymptomatic and minimally symptomatic health care workers from spreading virus-laden oral and nasal droplets.
What is clear, however, is that universal masking alone is not a panacea. A mask will not protect providers caring for a patient with active Covid-19 if it's not accompanied by meticulous hand hygiene, eye protection, gloves, and a gown. A mask alone will not prevent health care workers with early Covid-19 from contaminating their hands and spreading the virus to patients and colleagues. Focusing on universal masking alone may, paradoxically, lead to more transmission of Covid-19 if it diverts attention from implementing more fundamental infection-control measures.
Such measures include vigorous screening of all patients coming to a facility for symptoms of Covid-19 and immediately getting them masked and into a room; early implementation of contact and droplet precautions, including eye protection, for all symptomatic patients and erring on the side of caution when in doubt; rescreening all admitted patients daily for signs and symptoms of Covid-19 in case an infection was incubating on admission or they were exposed to the virus in the hospital; having a low threshold for testing patients with even mild symptoms potentially attributable to a viral respiratory infection (this includes patients with pneumonia, given that a third or more of pneumonias are caused by viruses rather than bacteria); requiring employees to attest that they have no symptoms before starting work each day; being attentive to physical distancing between staff members in all settings (including potentially neglected settings such as elevators, hospital shuttle buses, clinical rounds, and work rooms); restricting and screening visitors; and increasing the frequency and reliability of hand hygiene.
The extent of marginal benefit of universal masking over and above these foundational measures is debatable. It depends on the prevalence of health care workers with asymptomatic and minimally symptomatic infections as well as the relative contribution of this population to the spread of infection. It is informative, in this regard, that the prevalence of Covid-19 among asymptomatic evacuees from Wuhan during the height of the epidemic there was only 1 to 3%.4,5 Modelers assessing the spread of infection in Wuhan have noted the importance of undiagnosed infections in fueling the spread of Covid-19 while also acknowledging that the transmission risk from this population is likely to be lower than the risk of spread from symptomatic patients.3 And then the potential benefits of universal masking need to be balanced against the future risk of running out of masks and thereby exposing clinicians to the much greater risk of caring for symptomatic patients without a mask. Providing each health care worker with one mask per day for extended use, however, may paradoxically improve inventory control by reducing one-time uses and facilitating centralized workflows for allocating masks without risk assessments at the individual-employee level.
There may be additional benefits to broad masking policies that extend beyond their technical contribution to reducing pathogen transmission. Masks are visible reminders of an otherwise invisible yet widely prevalent pathogen and may remind people of the importance of social distancing and other infection-control measures.
It is also clear that masks serve symbolic roles. Masks are not only tools, they are also talismans that may help increase health care workers' perceived sense of safety, well-being, and trust in their hospitals. Although such reactions may not be strictly logical, we are all subject to fear and anxiety, especially during times of crisis. One might argue that fear and anxiety are better countered with data and education than with a marginally beneficial mask, particularly in light of the worldwide mask shortage, but it is difficult to get clinicians to hear this message in the heat of the current crisis. Expanded masking protocols' greatest contribution may be to reduce the transmission of anxiety, over and above whatever role they may play in reducing transmission of Covid-19. The potential value of universal masking in giving health care workers the confidence to absorb and implement the more foundational infection-prevention practices described above may be its greatest contribution.
Funding and Disclosures Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available at NEJM.org.
This article was published on April 1, 2020, at NEJM.org.
Author AffiliationsFrom the Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute (M.K.), Brigham and Women's Hospital (M.K., C.A.M., J.S., M.P.), Harvard Medical School (M.K., C.A.M., E.S.S.), and the Infection Control Unit and Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital (E.S.S.) '-- all in Boston.
Supplementary Material References (5)1. Rothe C , Schunk M , Sothmann P , et al. Transmission of 2019-nCoV infection from an asymptomatic contact in Germany. N Engl J Med 2020 ;382: 970 - 971 .
2. Bai Y , Yao L , Wei T , et al. Presumed asymptomatic carrier transmission of COVID-19. JAMA 2020 February 21 (Epub ahead of print).
3. Li R , Pei S , Chen B , et al. Substantial undocumented infection facilitates the rapid dissemination of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2). Science 2020 March 16 (Epub ahead of print).
4. Hoehl S , Rabenau H , Berger A , et al. Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in returning travelers from Wuhan, China. N Engl J Med 2020 ;382: 1278 - 1280 .
5. Ng O-T , Marimuthu K , Chia P-Y , et al. SARS-CoV-2 infection among travelers returning from Wuhan, China. N Engl J Med 2020 ;382: 1476 - 1478 .
Citing Articles (57) Letters
Pet COVID
Oregon mink farm, staff infected in COVID-19 outbreak
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:29
November 28, 2020 | 10:27pm
COVID-19 has found its way to an Oregon mink farm, where both staff and animals are getting infected, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The USDA's National Veterinary Service Laboratory has confirmed the presence of the virus in 10 samples it received from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and the state veterinarian, Dr. Ryan Scholz, put the farm under quarantine until further notice.
''We have been engaged with the Oregon mink industry for some time, providing information on biosecurity to prevent the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 and were ready to respond,'' Scholz said.
''The farmer did the right thing by self-reporting symptoms very early and he is now cooperating with us and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) in taking care of his animals and staff.
''So far, we have no reports of mink mortalities linked to the virus but that could change as the virus progresses.''
COVID-19 has been found on farms in three other states, including Utah, where 8,000 minks were lost to the virus, as well as in Michigan and Wisconsin.
Outbreaks have also occurred on farms in the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Spain, and Denmark, where the virus forced the slaughter of 17 million mink.
How Coronavirus Mutations in Animals Affect Human Health | The National Interest
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 15:12
The importance of commercially raised animals in the COVID-19 pandemic has received much attention in the past few weeks, when a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 was detected in farmed mink. Unfortunately, mink tend to be relatively susceptible to respiratory infections, and these can readily spread through mink farms due to high-density housing.
Data from from the Netherlands earlier in the pandemic have revealed that mink can be readily infected with SARS-CoV-2 and then pass the virus to humans. In Denmark, 214 people people have been infected by a variant of SARS-CoV-2 that is presumed to have mutated in Danish mink. Over 200 mink farms had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and at least five different mink variants of the virus have been detected so far.
These events initiated a mass culling of farmed mink in that country (although this was limited due to legal issues), and cast a spotlight on the disturbing scenario of human-to-mink-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2, with potential for the virus to change in mink prior to re-infecting people.
Specifically, this latest occurrence unveils the possibility that mink can serve as an alternate host to promote mutations of SARS-CoV-2, which can be passed back to humans and other animals, both domestic and wild and potentially placing the wild mustelid (minks, ferrets and related species) population at risk.
Bridging Human and Animal Health
We are researchers in the fields of virology, immunology and pathology. Our research programs bridge human and animal health and study the transmission of viruses, immune responses to viruses, how viruses cause diseases, and developing strategies such as vaccines to prevent infectious diseases. The recent news linking mink to the current pandemic highlights the importance of research at the interface of animal and human health.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has learned much about virology, as well as the concept of One Health. At the core of One Health is the idea that human and animal health are intertwined in a shared environment, and that we need to broaden our perspectives beyond human health alone.
Indeed, animals have been at the centre of this pandemic from the beginning. Overwhelming evidence suggests that this coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, originated from bats. There is debate about whether an intermediate animal host might have harboured additional changes to SARS-CoV-2 to produce the current virus that spreads efficiently person to person. The leading candidate for this is a scaly anteater known as a pangolin.
What is known for sure is that changes to coronaviruses can occur over time due to inherent and purposeful errors in these viruses' ability to copy their genetic codes. This allows a virus to make small changes over time and is an efficient way for them to adapt to new environments.
Changes in the Spike Protein
One of the recently identified Danish mink strains is particularly concerning because changes in the genome occurred in what is called the virus's spike protein, which it uses to enter human cells. These changes have been detected in 12 human cases related to this particular mink variant. Fortunately, this change does not seem to correlate with worse clinical outcomes, based on a small number of cases.
The spike protein is also the primary target of natural and vaccine-induced immune responses to the virus. In theory, if SARS-CoV-2 mutates too much, the immunity derived from the parental virus, acquired either by natural infection or vaccination, could become less effective against the new strain.
The good news is that, so far, there's no evidence that the mink-derived SARS-CoV-2 mutant can bypass natural or vaccine-induced immunity. Fortunately, our immune systems are designed to generate antibodies against multiple parts of the spike protein. This means that if only a small part of the spike protein is mutated, antibodies against other parts of the protein should still confer at least some protection.
'Plug-and-Play' Vaccine Technology
The fact that SARS-CoV-2 can change highlights the need for vaccines that not only induce protective antibodies but that can also elicit robust T cell responses, which is the other major mechanism by which our immune systems can kill viruses. Like antibodies, T cells will target multiple parts of viral proteins, thereby increasing the chance of maintaining immunity against non-mutated regions of the proteins.
It might also be important to consider making vaccines that target more than one of the proteins from SARS-CoV-2. It's very difficult for a virus to make major changes to multiple proteins without compromising its fitness.
The other issue that the mink SARS-CoV-2 brings to the forefront of the vaccine development effort is the need for vaccines that are ''plug-and-play.'' These are vaccine technologies where the viral protein the vaccine is designed to target can be readily swapped with a different version of the viral protein.
Once approved by health regulators as being safe and efficacious against a highly pathogenic coronavirus, such technologies could, in theory, be rapidly modified to target emerging mutant viruses; akin to the annual flu vaccine that gets modified every year to target emerging influenza virus variants.
Addressing Threats and Managing Health
With mink being confirmed only recently as a possible reservoir for SARS-CoV-2, more research is urgently needed to inform rationally based decisions to cull millions of these animals. Even if mass cullings continue, it is unlikely that mink farms will be completely phased out at the global level in the near future. So the question becomes how do we manage the potential threat to human health of SARS-CoV-2 in mink over the long term?
First, enhanced biosecurity measures should be implemented on mink farms.
Second, screening of farmed mink for coronaviruses should be added to the surveillance programs of animal health regulatory agencies, with this information made available to human health regulators.
Third, consideration could be given to tailoring COVID-19 vaccines for animal reservoirs, which would now include farmed mink. These recommendations would not only reduce the potential spread of coronaviruses from mink to humans, it would simultaneously address SARS-CoV-2-related health issues for mink. Indeed, mink can develop COVID-19 after becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 and it can sometimes be severe and lethal, with no effective current treatment.
Unless future evidence suggests otherwise, it may be best to stay the course with current vaccine development programs with the goal of getting multiple technological platforms approved for use in humans. Then these platforms can be readily modified, akin to the annual influenza vaccine, to target emerging mutant viruses, if warranted.
Simultaneously, public health agencies with any interest in promoting human health should expand their visions to include the health and surveillance of domestic animals and wildlife at the point where human and veterinary medicine interface.
In the case of SARS-CoV-2, humans are currently the largest reservoir of the virus on Earth, and the threat of spillover from human hosts to farmed animals and wildlife species is now made evident. This is an opportune time to take stock in our relationships with animals and the natural world and take action to ensure health for all and this biosphere we share.
Byram W. Bridle, Associate Professor of Viral Immunology, Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph; Leonardo Susta, Associate professor, Pathobiology, University of Guelph; Samira Mubareka, Clinician-scientist, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto; Sarah Wootton, Associate Professor, Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, and Shayan Sharif, Professor of Immunology and Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, University of Guelph
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
Image: Reuters.
PCR
COVID-19 testing dip could show deceptive decline in spread
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:37
November 28, 2020 | 10:44am | Updated November 28, 2020 | 4:03pm
Enlarge Image Travelers get tested for COVID-19 at a mobile testing site in Penn Station on Tuesday. Mary Altaffer/AP
Sign up for our special edition newsletter to get a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic.
A dip in COVID testing over the holidays may result in the false perception that the spread of the virus is slowing, experts warn.
''I just hope that people don't misinterpret the numbers and think that there wasn't a major surge as a result of Thanksgiving, and then end up making Christmas and Hanukkah and other travel plans,'' said Dr. Leana Wen, a professor at George Washington University and an emergency physician.
Testing numbers are typically lower on Saturdays and Sundays, and a long holiday weekend for Thanksgiving is likely to increase the typical lag.
Already, the number of tests and new positive cases has declined significantly. As of Friday, positive case numbers had dropped by about a third, according to Johns Hopkins University.
About 1.2 million people were tested Thursday, down from 2 million per day a few days before Thanksgiving '-- a record high as the number of people seeking reassurance before the holidays flooded testing centers.
With Post wires
COVID BOTG Report
J from the Sierra Nevadas
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COVID PS - boots-on-the-ground note:
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I have been sick with a virus for almost 2 weeks. The symptoms were low grade fever (not ever reaching 100F) and mild congestion. I had major body aches which were miserable. Just when I thought I was getting better, the fever returned and my asthma was triggered. If anything is going to trigger my asthma, it's a virus, but I haven't had my asthma triggered this badly in decades. I went to the doctor for the asthma/meds, and they tried to convince me to go to the ER. I refused because of the many reasons discussed on this show, as well as many friends with terrible experiences once their loved ones were confined to the hospital. The doctor also wanted to give me a COVID test, which I refused. I couldn't stand the thought of something going up my nose when I'm already struggling for air. I asked her if the asthma treatment would be any different if I tested COVID-positive, and she replied, "No."
You have been talking on the show recently about people being embarrassed having a positive COVID test. I'm not embarrassed to test positive. Who cares? However, what I *do* want to avoid with a positive test is the *pressure* from literally everyone: Will you be quarantining for two weeks? Will you be informing your son's school (my son goes to an in-person private school which keeps pods home if there has been a positive test)? Will your husband tell his work? Are you going to get medicine? And the questions and pressure goes on and on.
When is my medical condition suddenly everyone else's business? So I am not wanting to get a COVID test because: 1) I don't trust the results anyway, and 2) I don't want to deal with the pressure. People, stay out of my business! It is amazing how everyone wants to know if I've been tested. And if I *had* been tested, I would feel pressured to give people an answer even though it's my private medical information.
I very well might have COVID, but I figure when my symptoms are gone, I am no longer contagious. Isn't that true of all viruses that present with symptoms? So I am avoiding testing to avoid the social pressure to answer the questions that come along with it.
Landmark legal ruling finds that Covid tests are not fit for purpose. So what do the MSM do? They ignore it '-- RT Op-ed
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 22:09
By Peter Andrews, Irish science journalist and writer based in London. He has a background in life sciences, and graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in genetics.
Four German holidaymakers who were illegally quarantined in Portugal after one was judged to be positive for Covid-19 have won their case, in a verdict that condemns the widely-used PCR test as being up to 97-percent unreliable.
Earlier this month, Portuguese judges upheld a decision from a lower court that found the forced quarantine of four holidaymakers to be unlawful. The case centred on the reliability (or lack thereof) of Covid-19 PCR tests.
The verdict, delivered on November 11, followed an appeal against a writ of habeas corpus filed by four Germans against the Azores Regional Health Authority. This body had been appealing a ruling from a lower court which had found in favour of the tourists, who claimed that they were illegally confined to a hotel without their consent. The tourists were ordered to stay in the hotel over the summer after one of them tested positive for coronavirus in a PCR test - the other three were labelled close contacts and therefore made to quarantine as well.
Unreliable, with a strong chance of false positivesThe deliberation of the Lisbon Appeal Court is comprehensive and fascinating. It ruled that the Azores Regional Health Authority had violated both Portuguese and international law by confining the Germans to the hotel. The judges also said that only a doctor can ''diagnose'' someone with a disease, and were critical of the fact that they were apparently never assessed by one.
Read more
They were also scathing about the reliability of the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, the most commonly used check for Covid.
The conclusion of their 34-page ruling included the following: ''In view of current scientific evidence, this test shows itself to be unable to determine beyond reasonable doubt that such positivity corresponds, in fact, to the infection of a person by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.''
In the eyes of this court, then, a positive test does not correspond to a Covid case. The two most important reasons for this, said the judges, are that, ''the test's reliability depends on the number of cycles used'' and that ''the test's reliability depends on the viral load present.'' In other words, there are simply too many unknowns surrounding PCR testing.
Tested positive? There could be as little as a 3% chance it's correct This is not the first challenge to the credibility of PCR tests. Many people will be aware that their results have a lot to do with the number of amplifications that are performed, or the 'cycle threshold.' This number in most American and European labs is 35''40 cycles, but experts have claimed that even 35 cycles is far too many, and that a more reasonable protocol would call for 25''30 cycles. (Each cycle exponentially increases the amount of viral DNA in the sample).
Earlier this year, data from three US states '' New York, Nevada and Massachusetts '' showed that when the amount of the virus found in a person was taken into account, up to 90 percent of people who tested positive could actually have been negative, as they may have been carrying only tiny amounts of the virus.
The Portuguese judges cited a study conducted by ''some of the leading European and world specialists,'' which was published by Oxford Academic at the end of September. It showed that if someone tested positive for Covid at a cycle threshold of 35 or higher, the chances of that person actually being infected is less than three percent, and that ''the probability of'... receiving a false positive is 97% or higher.''
While the judges in this case admitted that the cycle threshold used in Portuguese labs was unknown, they took this as further proof that the detention of the tourists was unlawful. The implication was that the results could not be trusted. Because of this uncertainty, they stated that there was "no way this court would ever be able to determine" whether the tourist who tested positive was indeed a carrier of the virus, or whether the others had been exposed to it.
Read more
Sshhh '' don't tell anyoneIt is a sad indictment of our mainstream media that such a landmark ruling, of such obvious and pressing international importance, has been roundly ignored. If one were making (flimsy) excuses for them, one could say that the case escaped the notice of most science editors because it has been published in Portuguese. But there is a full English translation of the appeal, and alternative media managed to pick it up.
And it isn't as if Portugal is some remote, mysterious nation where news is unreliable or whose judges are suspect '' this is a western EU country with a large population and a similar legal system to many other parts of Europe. And it is not the only country whose institutions are clashing with received wisdom on Covid. Finland's national health authority has disputed the WHO's recommendation to test as many people as possible for coronavirus, saying it would be a waste of taxpayer's money, while poorer South East Asian countries are holding off on ordering vaccines, citing an improper use of finite resources.
Testing, especially PCR testing, is the basis for the entire house of cards of Covid restrictions that are wreaking havoc worldwide. From testing comes case numbers. From case numbers come the 'R number,' the rate at which a carrier infects others. From the 'dreaded' R number comes the lockdowns and the restrictions, such as England's new and baffling tiered restrictions that come into force next week.
The daily barrage of statistics is familiar to us all by this point, but as time goes on the evidence that something may be deeply amiss with the whole foundation of our reaction to this pandemic '' the testing regime '' continues to mount.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
University COVID 'outbreak' due to more than 50 false positive results
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 01:35
November 25, 2020 | 11:04pm | Updated November 26, 2020 | 8:52am
Concordia University in California said more than 50 rapid COVID-19 tests offered to asymptomatic students and faculty came back with false positive results '-- sparking fears of a potential outbreak on campus.
The Lutheran university in Irvine reported six active cases '-- four students and two employees '-- as of Wednesday.
President Michael Thomas thought an outbreak was on the rise when he ordered the tests.
''We wanted to protect families so we offered the rapid, antigen test here at Concordia out of abundance of caution,'' he told the Orange County Register. ''It was the right thing to do for our students and their families.''
On Saturday, 48 students and 16 staff members tested positive in the last two days after they took the antigen exam, according to the university's COVID-19 dashboard.
REUTERS/Fabrizio BenschThe students self-isolated while waiting for their results from the PCR test, which can detect the virus' genetic material within days.
The school then canceled sports practices until the spring semester, and urged students not to travel out of state for Thanksgiving.
University officials said students will return to remote learning on Monday until the end of the semester.
Sucharit Bhakdi - Wikipedia
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 14:01
Sucharit Bhakdi (born Sucharit Punyaratabandhu, 1 November 1946, in Washington, D.C.) is a retired Thai-German microbiologist.[1] In 2020 Bhakdi became a prominent exponent of ideas about coronavirus pandemic that ran counter to the agreed science.[2] He studied at the Universities of Bonn, GieŸen, Mainz and Copenhagen, and at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg. He was professor of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and from 1991 to 2012 was head of the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene there.[3]
Over his career, Bhakdi has produced scientific work in fields such as bacteriology and atherosclerosis, and has published multiple scientific articles in these areas. Awards he has received include the Order of Merit of Rhineland-Palatinate.[4]
During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Bhakdi started a Youtube channel proposing that the number of deaths stemming from SARS-CoV-2 infection had been overstated. Writing for Foreign Policy, Tyson Barker described Bhakdi as a prominent example from a "crop of debunked but credentialed so-called experts minting conspiracy theories and undermining fact-based information".[5] The German non-profit Correctiv fact-checked one of Bhakdi's Youtube videos, and found a number of problematic claims, including the claim that any COVID-19 vaccine would be "pointless", and that the virus posed no more threat than influenza.[6]
Awards 1979 Preis der Justus-Liebig-Universit¤t GieŸen[7]1980 Konstanzer Medizinischer F¶rderpreis[7]1987 Preis der Deutschen Gesellschaft f¼r Hygiene und Mikrobiologie[8]1988 Dr.-Friedrich-Sasse-Preis[7]1989 Ludwig-Schunk-Preis f¼r Humanmedizin[7]1989 Robert-Koch-F¶rderpreis of Clausthal-Zellerfeld[9]1991 Gay-Lussac Humboldt Prize[10]2001 Aronson Prize for 'žwegweisende Arbeiten auf dem Gebiet des Komplementsystems und bakterieller Toxine'' (tr. "pioneering work in the field of the complement system and bacterial toxins")[11][12]2005 H. W. Hauss Award[13]2005 Verdienstorden des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz[4]2009 Rudolf-Sch¶nheimer Medal of the Deutschen Gesellschaft f¼r Arterioskleroseforschung[14][15]References
All Denver Broncos QBs ineligible vs. New Orleans Saints because of coronavirus
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 14:12
6:22 PM ET Jeff Legwold ESPN Senior Writer
Close Covered Broncos for nine years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Previously covered Steelers, Bills and TitansMember of Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors since 1999ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In the on-field scenario many in the league feared the most with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Denver Broncos plan to play the New Orleans Saints on Sunday with no available quarterbacks for the game.
The Broncos' three eligible quarterbacks -- Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles -- were each deemed to be high-risk COVID-19 close contacts and none of the three can be in uniform for Sunday's game, the team announced on Saturday night.
Denver's statement didn't say who the players came in contact with but sources told ESPN it was quarterback Jeff Driskel. Driskel tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and was moved to the team's reserve/COVID-19 list later that day.
The Broncos will not be forfeiting Sunday's game, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Lock, Rypien and Bortles, who is on the practice squad, were pulled off the field early in Saturday's practice and told to isolate at home after contact-tracing concerns had arisen, sources told ESPN. The three were discovered to have not worn masks at one point during contact with Driskel, team sources told ESPN, but it was unclear if that occurred during practice or a meeting.
The team's statement on Saturday said Lock, Rypien and Bortles aren't experiencing any symptoms.
"All three have consistently tested negative for COVID-19 via both daily PCR testing and additional POC testing administered as a precaution," the Broncos said.
Lock, Rypien, Bortles and Driskel are usually closest to each other when the players stretch to open practice each day -- they are all next to each other in the front row at that time -- and the Broncos have conducted some socially distant position-group meetings at their facility.
Broncos coach Vic Fangio has previously said running back Royce Freeman is the team's emergency quarterback.
The Broncos also have wide receiver Kendall Hinton on their practice squad. He was a quarterback during his first three seasons at Wake Forest.
While Broncos tight end Noah Fant seemed apprehensive in a Twitter post about the team's situation, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and linebacker Von Miller took to social media to try to make light of it.
I'm not one to complain, but @NFL y'all can't possibly send us into a game without a QB. The most important position to a offense. We don't even got a back up....
'-- Noah Fant (@nrfant) November 29, 2020 Guess ima have to get my Lamar Jackson on
'-- Jerry Jeudy'´ (@jerryjeudy) November 28, 2020 Been waiting my whole life for this moment! "Von ELWAY". Ima passing QB don't need to run much! Ankle is good for QB pic.twitter.com/Kc3ww0fOkp
'-- Von Miller (@VonMiller) November 28, 2020The Saints were 6-point favorites before the Broncos' quarterback situation was disclosed Saturday night, causing most sportsbooks to halt betting on the game. Las Vegas sportsbook Circa Sports reopened the line at New Orleans -13. The point spread quickly grew to Saints -14. Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill reposted the line with the Saints favored at -14.5.
It all came on fast for the Broncos, who had been given clearance by the NFL to practice Saturday. They opened the workout, which began about 1 p.m. Mountain time, with the plan of having all three of their quarterbacks participate.
On Saturday, Fangio said the quarterbacks are more than six feet apart from each other during meetings and that "all our meetings are set up to where everybody's spread out."
Fangio said the NFL had cleared the Broncos to practice both Thursday and Friday after positive tests by Driskel and wide receiver Diontae Spencer. Fangio, however, elected to cancel Friday's practice and all other on-site activities.
Friday was the third time the Broncos have canceled practices and other on-site activities at their facility this season.
ESPN's David Purdum contributed to this report.
Voting Machines
United States European Command (USEUCOM) did Take Control of 'Vote Switching' Servers in Germany
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 02:19
Quick follow up'--the SCYTL server seizure referenced in our article November 16th (https://richardsonpost.com/howellwoltz/18908/fbi-director-elect-sidney-powell-pledges-to-release-the-kraken/) is no longer speculation by Texas Congressman, Louie Gomert'--or The Richardson Post'--and we can now publish it as fact'--but they were CIA servers. Surprised?
Pamela Geller (GellerReport) has now confirmed not only that the servers are in U.S. hands'--but handsunder the control of President Donald J. Trump'--not the Deep State deadbeats ofthe CIA and FBI.
Twenty-two year intel veteran, Larry Johnson, confirmed that this seizure did occur and that specifically, Gina Haspel'--CIA Chief'--and Christopher Wray, the FBI Director-hack refusing to release documents proving that agency's participation in the Russia Hoax, were unaware of this, by intent.
Servers were 'legally' taken by USEC, U.S. military with DOJ taking possession of them, meaning people will be indictedHere are Mr. Johnson'sown words:
The U.S. Army did not conduct a raid in Germany oneither Sctyl or Dominion offices or servers. They are foreign nationals and wemust operate in accordance with German law. Moreover, the U.S. Army does nothave law enforcement powers with respect to such entities.
So what happened?
I am reliablyinformed that a unit under the command of USEUCOM (i.e., United States EuropeanCommand) did in fact conduct an operation to take control of computer servers.But these servers belong to the CIA, not Dominion or Sctyl. The U.S. militaryhas full authority to do this because any CIA activity in the European theateris being conducted using military cover. In other words, CIA officers would beidentified to the German government (and anyone else asking) as militaryemployees or consultants.
Such an operation would have been carried out withU.S. law enforcement present to take custody of the evidence. That means thatthe evidence will be under the control of the Department of Justice through USAttorneys and can be used in court or other judicial proceedings.
And guess who is still Executive over the Department of Justice for the foreseeable future?
And the victim does not seem very pleased about what was done to him by his own CIA and FBIIt's late here in Eastern Europe, and I'm just out of hospital withknee surgery (sorry Libs'--nothing deadly) but promised our wonderful readersthis information as soon as we had confirmation.
The evidence to prove President Donald Trump won by a landslide in thisElection was known before deployed, and is probably being reviewed in the WhiteHouse right now.
And from very good sources, this is how the Election Map will look once the fraud is put into evidence by Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani over the next two days.
Trump wins by over 400 electoral votes'--a recordPlease share this because it appears that the Tech Tyrants aresquelching our content.
With best regards, you are a great audience!
Howell Woltz
howell@therichardsonpost.uk
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Smartmatic CEO Introduces Creepy Bill Gates at Global Citizen Conference in June 2015
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 06:41
A photo resurfaced on Friday night of Smartmatic CEO introducing creepy Bill Gates at the Global Citizen Conference in June 2015.
The Global Citizen is a globalist social justice organization aimed at ridding global poverty through socialism.The organization includes the support of prominent leftist leaders including Bill Gates, the Obamas and Pope Francis.
In 2015 Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica introduced Bill Gates at the Global Citizen conference.
Antonio Mugica is a former Chavez lackey and is the founder and CEO of Smartmatic voting systems.
TRENDING: BREAKING HUGE: Pennsylvania Judge Rules 2020 PA Election Likely Unconstitutional - Trump Case "Likelihood to Succeed" - Gives State Legislators Power to Choose Electors!
In 2017 Antonio Mugica admitted their system was able to create ''at least one million'' phantom votes in that year's Venezuelan election.
Smartmatic Director Admitted in 2017 that Their System Was Able to Create ''At Least One Million'' Phantom Votes in that Year's Venezuela Election
And here is Mugica with Bill Gates at a globalist convention.
It's all starting to make sense now.
Our CEO introduces @BillGates to Smartmatic's efforts to improve elections around the world. At the @GlblCtzn meeting pic.twitter.com/XEUw8P8lPA
'-- Smartmatic (@smartmatic) June 23, 2015
Venezuela fire: Thousands of voting machines burned - BBC News
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 15:55
media caption The fire tore through the warehouse east of CaracasThe electoral council in Venezuela says a fire in its main warehouse near the capital, Caracas, has destroyed most of the voting machines held there.
Almost 50,000 voting machines and 582 computers used in the country's elections went up in flames, electoral council chief Tibisay Lucena said.
She did not say if parliamentary elections due later this year could be affected by the loss of the machines.
She also asked prosecutors to investigate the cause of the fire.
What happened?
The fire broke out in the 6,000 sq m (65,000 sq ft) warehouse in Mariche, east of Caracas, on Saturday.
"Burnt in this fire were 582 computers belonging to the civil registry, 49,408 voting machines, 400 electronic ballots," Ms Lucena said in a news conference on Sunday.
What could be the effect?
image copyright AFP
image caption CNE chief Tibisay Lucena said: "The electoral process is far from being destroyed"While the warehouse is the main storage facility of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Ms Lucena said, "The electoral process is far from being destroyed."
She told reporters electoral procedure in Venezuela consisted of three steps and "only two of its processes" had been affected.
However, she did say that "little" had been salvaged from the fire despite great efforts made.
What caused it?
"Nothing is being ruled out," Ms Lucena said, telling reporters that ahead of elections for Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly, the CNE and its infrastructure had been targeted.
"In 2017, those who did not want elections were vicious against the voting machines. They attacked operators, they burned vehicles, they made death threats, they burned voting machines, but the election took place.
"If there are groups who think that they can stop the electoral processes they're mistaken, they haven't accounted for the determination of the men and women of the electoral branch".
Why does it matter?
image copyright EPA
image caption Critics of the CNE say it is made up of stooges of the governmentThere were also allegations of vote-rigging in the 2018 presidential election in which incumbent President Nicols Maduro won another six years in power.
The CNE has also been the target of much criticism.
Under the Venezuelan constitution, the CNE is the official independent body responsible for overseeing and guaranteeing the transparency of all elections.
But critics of the government of President Maduro say that four of the CNE's five members are government stooges.
When is the next election?
Elections for the National Assembly are due to be held before the end of the year. No date has been set yet.
The National Assembly is the only Venezuelan institution which is not currently controlled by the Maduro government.
Its leader, Juan Guaid", is the main opposition figure and has been recognised by more than 50 countries as Venezuela's legitimate president.
Many in the opposition fear that if elections are held later this year without the CNE and the electoral processes being reformed first, the poll could be rigged and the government could seize control of the National Assembly.
Situation Update '' Nov. 27th '' DoD vs. CIA firefight in Frankfurt as covert war against the deep state RAGES across the globe '' NaturalNews.com
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 18:21
Friday, November 27, 2020 by: Mike AdamsTags: CIA, covert war, deep state, DoD, military, national defense, national security, Open Skies treaty, Pentagon, President Trump, secrets, Situation Update
Bypass censorship by sharing this link:
(Natural News) At this very minute, a covert war is raging across the globe, pitting Trump's DoD and DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) against black hat deep state factions running the CIA.
The good news is: Trump is winning.
As you know by now, the DoD launched a raid on a CIA-run server farm in Frankfurt, Germany, to secure servers that contain proof of CIA interference with the 2020 election (i.e. backdoor manipulations of election results via Dominion voting machines). But new information is now surfacing that indicates there was a firefight at the server farm facility, involving US Army Special Forces units, engaging with CIA-trained paramilitary units that were flown in from Afghanistan in an emergency effort to defend the facility.
One CIA officer was killed during the firefight, and he is now being reported across the mainstream media as being ''killed in Somalia.'' Five US Army soldiers were also killed, and they are being explained away as dying in a ''helicopter crash'' in Egypt.
Despite the deaths, the servers were successfully acquired by the DoD, and those servers were turned over to President Trump's private intelligence group, which is now once again led by Gen. Michael Flynn, recently pardoned and now allowed to process top secret information, since his security clearance has been restored.
Here's where this gets good:
Sidney Powell is about to roll out expert witnesses in the Georgia and Michigan lawsuits. One of these witnesses has been handed details of the vote theft which were acquired through two means: 1) The ''Kraken'' cyberwarfare program run by the DoD, and 2) Information found in the servers which were acquired during the multiple raids. (There were also server farm raids in Bercelona and Toronto, we are told.)
One of these witnesses is Dr. Keshavarz-Nia, a well-known cybercrimes investigator, who has a long history of working with U.S. military counterintelligence, as well as the NSA and CIA.
He has now offered sworn statements to Sidney Powell, which can be viewed at this link.
His statements include:
I have previously discovered major exploitable vulnerabilities in DVS and ES&S that permit a nefarious operator to perform sensitive functions via its built-in covert backdoor. The backdoor enables an operator to access to perform system updates and testing via the Internet without detection. However, it can also be used to conduct illicit activities such as shifting votes, deleting votes, or adding votes in real-time'... I conclude with high confidence that the election 2020 data were altered in all battleground states resulting in a hundreds of thousands of votes that were cast for President Trump to be transferred to Vice President Biden.
And so the circle is complete: DoD forces deploy cyber warfare weapons (''Kraken'') as well as kinetic troops (Special Forces, under the US Army) to acquire physical servers, all the information derived from these operations is extracted by DIA forensic analysts, it is then handed over to various expert witnesses who are prepared to testify under oath, resulting in the courts nullifying the fraudulent vote manipulations in the swing states.
This is how Trump gets to 300+ electoral votes and secures his second term as President. If successful, these revelations will also utterly destroy the Democrat party and result in thousands of treasonous actors going to prison for their roles in this attempted cyber warfare election theft to overthrow the United States government.
Listen to my full Situation Update for the full, point-by-point explanation of all the details:
Brighteon.com/f3ec1ad8-c2b9-4b2a-8e00-befae671189d
See previous day's Situation Update podcasts at the Health Ranger Report channel on Brighteon.com:https://www.brighteon.com/channels/hrreport
I will also be posting another Situation Update tomorrow (Saturday), based on all the intelligence being gathered today.
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False claims spread online about election tech firm Dominion Voting Systems | abc7ny.com
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:45
As poll workers tallied votes from the U.S. presidential election, many social media users interpreted a clerk's error in a small, Republican-leaning Michigan county as vote-rigging because it wrongly favored Joe Biden before being fixed.
A week later, that misinterpreted mistake has snowballed into a deluge of false claims that Democrats have deep ties to Dominion Voting Systems, the company that supplies election equipment to Michigan and dozens of other states nationwide.
Claims that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the Clinton Foundation have interest or influence in Dominion are all unsubstantiated. But that didn't stop tens of thousands of social media users from amplifying them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this week.
Here's what you need to know about the falsehoods spreading around Dominion Voting Systems.
CLAIM: Prominent Democrats including Pelosi, Feinstein and the Clinton family have a stake in or a deep relationship with Dominion Voting Systems, the second-largest voting vendor in the U.S., whose equipment was used in several battleground states in the 2020 election.
AP'S ASSESSMENT: False. Dominion made a one-time philanthropic commitment at a Clinton Global Initiative meeting in 2014, but the Clinton Foundation has no stake or involvement in Dominion's operations, the nonprofit confirmed to The Associated Press. A former aide to Pelosi has represented Dominion as a lobbyist, but so have lobbyists who worked for Republicans. Claims that Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum, holds a stake in Dominion are baseless.
THE FACTS: When Michigan's Antrim County initially reported a landslide win for Joe Biden in the U.S. presidential election, social media users grew suspicious about the Dominion election management system used to tabulate the data.
As it turned out, Dominion was not to blame, according to the Michigan Department of State. "There was no malice, no fraud here, just human error," County Clerk Sheryl Guy told the AP.
The issue was quickly corrected, and President Donald Trump won a majority of votes in that county. However, in the days since Biden won Michigan and the presidential election, Trump supporters have continually tried to undermine trust in Dominion, which is used in at least 30 states, including key battlegrounds like Georgia.
Several widely shared social media posts this week exaggerated a one-time connection six years ago between Dominion and the Clinton Foundation in order to claim the election software should not be trusted.
"Is it a coincidence that Dominion Voting is in bed with you guessed it... The Clinton Foundation?" read one tweet shared more than 7,000 times.
Some posts shared a screenshot from the Clinton Foundation's website. It shows that in 2014, at a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, Dominion made a philanthropic commitment to donate its election technology to emerging democracies outside the United States as part of a three-year project.
However, that one-time commitment is not proof of any lasting relationship between the Clinton Foundation and Dominion, nor of any foul play in the 2020 election.
The Clinton Foundation told the AP in an email that it does not help fund, receive funding from, or participate in implementing commitments like this one.
"The Clinton Foundation has never had any stake in Dominion Voting Systems; we have never been involved in the company's operations; and we can confirm that we are not currently working together," the nonprofit said.
Dominion did donate between $25,001 and $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation in 2014, according to reporting by the Washington Post, but its lobbyists have also donated to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Other social media sleuths pointed to Dominion's hiring of Nadeam Elshami, Pelosi's former chief of staff, as part of its lobbying team as alleged evidence of a link between the company and Pelosi.
"What's the name of the company with all the voting machines that 'glitch' to create more votes for Biden? Dominion Voting Systems," read a tweet from Emerald Robinson, a reporter for the conservative cable network Newsmax. "Who is their DC lobbyist? Nancy Pelosi's aide."
It's true that Elshami is part of a lobbying team representing Dominion, according to public disclosures.
However, that team also includes Brian Wild, who counts Republicans such as former House Speaker John Boehner and former Vice President Dick Cheney among his past bosses.
Jared Thomas, a longtime aide to Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, has also lobbied for Dominion.
A third category of social media posts circulating this week attempted to link Feinstein to Dominion by claiming her husband, investment banker Richard Blum, is a "major shareholder" holding a 60% stake in the company.
"Can someone tell me why Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum, owns Avid Technologies (which provides the voting machines for our election)?" read an Instagram post viewed nearly 60,000 times.
In fact, Avid Technology does not provide election software for Dominion or any other company - nor does Blum's firm currently own a stake in it.
"To officially correct a misconception that arose on Twitter in the last 24 hours, Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) definitively states that we do not develop software for vote counting," AVID wrote in a statement on Twitter on Saturday. "Further, while Blum Capital was an investor in our company, it has no holdings today."
Dominion did not respond to requests for comment on these claims. It's privately held and does not disclose its financials. But in an April letter responding to a request by the House Committee on Administration, Dominion CEO John Poulos said Dominion is 75.2% owned by the New York-based private equity firm Staple Street Capital and that he, a Canadian citizen, holds a 12% stake. No other investor owns more than a 5% stake, he said. Staple Street Capital did not return emails and phone calls for this story.
On Saturday, Chris Krebs, the director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, urged Americans to stop spreading baseless claims that minor vote counting issues indicated fraud.
"Seeing #disinfo that some isolated voting day issues are tied to some nefarious election hacking and vote manipulation operation," Krebs posted on Twitter. "Don't fall for it and think twice before sharing!"
___
AP technology writer Frank Bajak contributed to this report from Boston.
___
This is part of The Associated Press' ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.Click here for more information on Facebook's fact-checking program.
Copyright (C) 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
Steal the Vote
The Definitive Case Proving Donald Trump Won the Election - Revolver
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 20:28
ATTENTION NEWS JUNKIES: We are the new Drudge, be sure to check our news feed by CLICKING HERE
If Joe Biden taking the lead in Michigan and Wisconsin was the moment the dynamic of the Presidential race changed, this may be the moment the dynamic changes again.
A thorough and damning new analysis just published calls the legitimacy of this critical period into question and shows just how completely ridiculous and far-fetched the core of Joe Biden's comeback really was in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia. It flags four individual vote dumps critical to Joe Biden's ''victory'' in these states and shows, convincingly, that their ratios of Biden votes to Trump votes were profoundly anomalous when compared to other dumps in those states and virtually every other vote dump across the country.
The report is written in dry and academic language, filled with graphs, footnotes, and various hedges, but its implications could not be more obvious. Indeed, if the authors were less tepid, they might have fairly titled it:
Joe Biden's Victory Was Not Legitimate. And Now We Can Prove it.
Because that's exactly what the report does. It looks at election data and shows what many would expect: the states and cities that had the most suspicious circumstances on election night and into the next day are precisely where the analysis flags extreme anomalies.
Summary and Background of the Report
It starts out with the background on Michigan and Wisconsin '-- the famous ''vote spikes'' that were plainly ridiculous and fundamentally changed both the electoral reality and the narrative. The report reminds us of the infamous vote spikes in Michigan and Wisconsin.
Michigan
Wisconsin:
The report is based on an analysis of the difference between successive updates in each state, each of which it calls ''vote updates.'' In online discourse, these are often referred to as ''vote dumps'' or ''vote batches.''
It examines them across states and, controlling for how big a state is and how Democratic it is, does the following:
Defines, mathematically, what a ''vote spike'' isShows just how rare those areShows how, during a five-hour period, four particularly extreme vote spikes arrived favoring Joe BidenShows how crucial these were to Joe Biden's election in MI, WI, and GAMost damningly, shows how Joe Biden likely would have lost these states '-- and the election '-- were these only more ''spiky'' than 99% of all vote dumps The report describes a measurement for showing the relationship between the number of votes Biden wins by (or loses by) in any given vote dump, and how well he did as a ratio of Trump's votes in that vote dump, while controlling for size and political lean of a state. It thus normalizes the data across states, allowing for apples to apples comparisons. The key mathematical reason why these vote spikes are anomalous is that for every large vote dump heavily favoring Biden in any given area, you also would expect to have smaller vote dumps in the same area which favor him by similar margins. Quoting from the report:
The believability of these updates relies on the premise that the one or two most Biden-favoring parts of the state (perhaps by ballot type) were counted entirely in these two batches. If it cannot be shown that the ballots counted during these spikes were qualitatively different from all other vote updates in Michigan, then the results are likely too extreme along multiple dimensions to be accepted at face value. [Vote Integrity]
It goes on to describe how the same logic applies for the other updates as well. Large ballot dumps which heavily favor a candidate make sense, if there are also smaller ones which favor the candidate more . The ''standardization'' process used by the researchers here takes care of that, and shows how points up and to the right of the graph are the more ''co-extreme'' vote dumps, in the language of the report:
That dotted black line at the top is the 99.5th percentile. In other words, only one out of every two-hundred points are above it. The four vote dumps in question are all at or above the 99.92th percentile. With these ratios, if they were at the 99th percentile only, they would each be dragged down to the middle of the three lines shown. Critically, they account for more than the margin of victory in all three states, and thus forty-two electoral votes, and with them, the Presidency.
Making Sense of This
The analysis is incredibly dense but contains several key points, which American Patriots must remember in the coming days and weeks. The most important points are:
Four of the seven most extreme vote dumps decided the election for Joe Biden. This alone is bizarre and fundamentally cuts against his narrative of moderate increases in suburban and exurban areas . Moreover, the distribution is ''heavy-tailed'' and these vote dumps are vastly more ''co-extreme'' than even the points around the 99.5th percentile (the dotted black line in the graph above). These four vote dumps were quantifiably far more extreme than virtually every other vote dump, with only a few others as extreme in their aberration from the inverse pattern observed elsewhere. The odds of these three states (GA, WI, MI) being so well-represented at the top of the distribution is just over 1%. And when you factor in that a vote dump in GA is the 9th most extreme point, the odds that these three states have five of the top ten most extreme vote dumps drop to less than 1%. Clearly, there's something different about these states than others, including other blue states, or even other Midwestern states where a deep-blue urban population offsets the red rest of the state (e.g. Illinois, Minnesota), or states like Colorado, Texas, or Oregon, where the urban areas are also vastly more Democratic than the rest of the state. These vote spikes all occurred in the same five-hour period . Wisconsin and Michigan both spent around eighteen hours counting votes, and the count took several days in Georgia. We have since learned that the ''pipe burst'' story in deep-blue Georgia was never in fact true. This five hour period remains a period of great controversy surrounding how the vote counting was ''stopped.'' Recently, we learned that the story of a ''pipe bursting'' in Georgia was in fact not true. Combine that with the results shown in this piece, and an obvious picture comes into view: In all three states, the count was ''stopped'' to give cover for electoral fraud on the scale of hundreds of thousands of votes which were released in the middle of the night, hoping few would notice.Let me repeat. Fulton County elections officials told the media and our observers that they were shutting down the tabulation center at State Farm Arena at 10:30 p.m. on election night only to continue counting ballots in secret until 1:00 a.m.
'-- David Shafer (@DavidShafer) November 10, 2020
The burden of proof is now on Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, the Democratic party, and their various urban machine operatives to defend these results as legitimate. The on-the-ground circumstances in these states had been suspicious for weeks and warranted investigation in their own right. We now have the math to confirm our suspicions. This report, in winding sentences and hedged language, lays it bare for all of us to see: Joe Biden's election ''victory'' relied on a fraudulent counting process in the dead of night.
The media has no interest in covering this, and indeed are trying actively to suppress it. An attempt to Google search for ''precincts that stopped the count'' makes this clear. The steal of this election, perpetrated in the middle of the night in several states, was allowed to happen only because of the extraordinary assistance given to the Democrats by Big Media and Big Tech. Nonetheless, thanks to what appears to be an anonymous group of researchers, we can definitively state what we knew all along:
President Donald J. Trump is the legitimate winner of this election. Republican state legislators in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia must refuse to seat electors for Joe Biden until a complete forensic audit has been conducted.
Never give up. Never back down. And never concede.
Revolver News is dedicated to news aggregation and analysis. We are dedicated to providing Americans of all backgrounds and political persuasions with timely, common-sense, accurate and compelling information. Be sure to check out our news feed.
Please be aware that although we do not like to censor comments, we reserve the right to remove any that are uncivil, vulgar, or completely off-topic.
Georgia toilets
RUMOR: This sounds silly, but . . .It now appears the "water main break" in Georgia was in fact an overflowing toilet that got plugged by flushing ballots. At least that's the rumor, and quite frankly, I believe it.
I kid you not. And IF it all comes clean, I'll bet that is what really happened. Do not go reporting this as fact until it is actually proven, but for now that's what the rumor is. We now know there was no water main break and it was in fact a flooded toilet. Having it get plugged by ballots really does make sense.
It looks like those stupid "environmentally friendly" 1.6 gallon flush toilets BACKFIRED on the left.
REVEALED: Video Released of Phone Call Recording to Chinese Manufacturer Requesting a Bulk Order of Fake US 2020 Ballots
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 00:18
A video was released on Friday in Mandarin Chinese of a phone call request for fake ballots customized by Chinese factory.
The manufacturer is reportedly in Kwangtung, China.
In the video a caller is heard requesting a bulk order of ballots to ship to the United States.
The video is just starting to make the rounds.Here is the video with the translation.
TRENDING: BREAKING HUGE: Pennsylvania Judge Files Memorandum Stating 2020 PA Election Likely Unconstitutional - Trump Case "Likelihood to Succeed" - Gives State Legislators Power to Choose Electors!
FYI- Our Mandarin speaker confirmed the translation is accurate.
éå‹æ'‰å­—幕 pic.twitter.com/znYBxM8uYq
'-- ä¾'å' (@Navalosalan) November 27, 2020
From a TGP reader: Our friend happens to be Chinese, but does not like the Chinese Communist Party. My wife showed me an intriguing video which I have enclosed. There is an English translation on the side'... It is too bad that there is not a way to get a closer view of the ballot to see the candidates! Then you could detect the destination state. Hopefully you have some digital experts that solve the problem.
中å'‹å·¥å>> 定å¶å½é 選票çšé›>>è(C)±éŒéŸ" pic.twitter.com/YGRRkifWMD
'-- 薇羽ç'‹ä¸–é–' (@weiyuksj1) November 27, 2020
More'... Two readers say at the 0.54 second mark you can see Charlotte County Florida on the ballots.
Here is a sample ballot from Charlotte Votes'... https://www.charlottevotes.com/Portals/Charlotte/91-G54.1.pdf?ver=SFazMkgaufsRQWxEDvRYXA
Pennsylvania State Judge Upholds Halt To Certification, Finds Likelihood Mail-In Balloting Procedures Violate PA Constitution
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 15:24
A Pennsylvania state court Judge has issued a preliminary injunction preventing Pennsylvania from taking any further steps to perfect its certification of the election, including but not limited to appointment of electors and transmission of necessary paperwork to the Electoral College, pending further court hearings and rulings. The ruling upholds an injunction from earlier in the week, and is significant because of the findings made in the Opinion released tonight.
You can read the Opinion here.
The case has been somewhat under the radar, because it doesn't involve claims of fraud. It appears to be a pretty straight legal argument. This is not the federal court case that has received a lot of press attention and in which the Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied relief.
The issue in this case is whether legislative expansion of absentee balloting to broad mail-in balloting violated the Pennsylvania Constitution. It's not clear what the relief would be; the petitioners seek to preclude the Secretary of State from transmitting the certification or otherwise perfecting the electoral college selections.
Earlier in the week, Judge Patricia McCollough issued a temporary halt to the certification process, and that now is on appeal to the PA Supreme Court. The Judge issued this Opinion to extend that halt pending futher hearings, and to set forth the basis for the injunction, which could be relevant to the appeal:
As this Court's November 25, 2020, Order of an Emergency Preliminary Injunction has been appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, this opinion shall set forth the basis for said Order and shall also satisfy the requirements of Rule 1925 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure, Pa.R.A.P. 1925'....
Here is the Judge's description of the claim:
In the Petition, Petitioners allege that the Act of October 31, 2019, P.L. 552, No. 77 (Act 77), which added and amended various absentee and mail-in voting provisions in the Pennsylvania Election Code (Election Code),1 is unconstitutional and void ab initio because it purportedly contravenes the requirements of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Petitioners allege that Article VII, section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution provides two exclusive mechanisms by which a qualified elector may cast his or her vote in an election: (1) by submitting his or her vote in propria persona at the polling place on election day; and (2) by submitting an absentee ballot, but only if the qualified voter satisfies the conditions precedent to meet the requirements of one of the four, limited exclusive circumstances under which absentee voting is authorized under the Pennsylvania constitution. (Petition, ¶16.) Petitioners allege that mail-in voting in the form implemented through Act 77 is an attempt by the legislature to fundamentally overhaul the Pennsylvania voting system and permit universal, no-excuse, mail-in voting absent any constitutional authority. Id., ¶17. Petitioners argue that in order to amend the Constitution, mandatory procedural requirements must be strictly followed. Specifically, pursuant to Article XI, Section 1, a proposed constitutional amendment must be approved by a majority vote of the members of both the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate in two consecutive legislative sessions, then the proposed amendment must be published for three months ahead of the next general election in two newspapers in each county, and finally it must be submitted to the qualified electors as a ballot question in the next general election and approved by a majority of those voting on the amendment. According to Petitioners, the legislature did not follow the necessary procedures for amending the Constitution before enacting Act 77 which created a new category of mail-in voting; therefore, the mail-in ballot scheme under Act 77 is unconstitutional on its face and must be struck down. Id., ¶¶27, 35-37. As relief, Petitioners seek, inter alia, a declaration and/or injunction that prohibits Respondents from certifying the November 2020 General Election results, which include mail-in ballots that are permitted on a statewide basis and are allegedlyimproper because Act 77 is unconstitutional.
The Judge found, among other things, that the plaintiffs were likely to prevail on their PA constitutional claims, and that the matter was not moot even though PA had ''certified'' the results, because there were more steps to be taken [emphasis added]:
Accordingly, in careful consideration [on November 25] of the exigencies and time constraints in this matter of statewide and national import, and the longstanding constitutional mandate that every citizen of this Commonwealth is entitled to no less than a fair and free election, it was necessary [on November 25] to preliminarily enjoin, on an emergency and temporary basis, Executive Respondents from undertaking any other actions with respect to the certification of the results of the presidential and vice presidential elections, if indeed anything else needs to be done, pending an evidentiary hearing to ascertain the facts of this matter and to determine if the dispute is moot'....Based upon the record before it, this Court has sufficient grounds to enjoin Respondents from further certification activities on an emergency preliminary basis, pending the results of the evidentiary hearing it had scheduled for this date, after which the Court would have determined if a preliminary injunction should issue.4 Since the Court is sitting in equity it has the power to fashion such relief as it is vitally important that the status quo be preserved pending further judicial scrutiny'....Additionally, Petitioners appear to have established a likelihood to succeed on the merits because Petitioners have asserted the Constitution does not provide a mechanism for the legislature to allow for expansion of absentee voting without a constitutional amendment. Petitioners appear to have a viable claim that the mail-in ballot procedures set forth in Act 77 contravene Pa. Const. Article VII Section 14 as the plain language of that constitutional provision is at odds with the mail-in provisions of Act 77. Since this presents an issue of law which has already been thoroughly briefed by the parties, this Court can state that Petitioners have a likelihood of success on the merits of its Pennsylvania Constitutional claim.
The Judge expressed grave concern as to what a remedy would be if she were to rule the mail-in balloting unconstitutional, so even if she ruled for the petitioners on the merits, it's not clear if that would change the result:
That being said, this Court is mindful that one of the alternative reliefs noted by Petitioners would cause the disenfranchisement of the nearly seven million Pennsylvanians who voted in the 2020 General Election. Specifically, Respondents claim that a temporary stay would disenfranchise voters as the legislature would appoint the electors to the Election College. However, as noted, the legislature is not authorized to appoint the electors to the Electoral College until December 8, the ''Federal Safe Harbor'' date for certifying results for presidential electors. The Court agrees it would be untenable for the legislature to appoint the electors where an election has already occurred, if the majority of voters who did not vote by mail entered their votes in accord with a constitutionally recognized method, as such action would result in the disenfranchisement of every voter in the Commonwealth who voted in this election '' not only those whose ballots are being challenged due to the constitutionality of Act 77. However, this is not the only equitable remedy available in a matter which hinges upon upholding a most basic constitutional right of the people to a fair and free election. Hence, Respondents have not established that greater harm will result in providing emergency relief, than the harm suffered by the public due to the results of a purportedly unconstitutional election.5
The Judge concluded:
For all of the above reasons, the Court respectfully submits that the emergency preliminary injunction was properly issued and should be upheld pending an expedited emergency evidentiary hearing
This is not a final ruling on the merits. It's meant to prevent PA from taking more steps until the court finally rules.
Given how the PA Supreme Court has ruled previously on election matters, expanding procedures beyond what even the legislature adopted, I don't see how this survives the PA Supreme Court. From there, the next stop is the U.S. Supreme Court where we know John Roberts and the three liberal Justice will defer to the state supreme court. But the Court is now 6-3, so a Roberts defection would not result in a 4-4 deadlock again if the 5 conservative Justices voted together.
[The title has been updated to clarify that the Judge is upholding and continuing her prior halt to certification.]
CLICK HERE FOR FULL VERSION OF THIS STORY
Data Scientist: 'Weird' Spike in Incomplete Nevada Voter Registrations, Use of 'Casinos' as Home Addresses
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 15:54
An affidavit filed by Republicans in Nevada, citing a data scientist, shows an allegedly inexplicable jump in voter registrations in the state.
The scientist, Dorothy Morgan, referenced in their affidavit, said she spotted a ''historically strange'' increase in voter registrations missing the sex and age of the voter, as well as registrations where casinos and RV parks are provided as ''their home or mailing addresses'' in the Third Congressional District, which covers much of Clark County and Las Vegas.
Citing the other presidential elections as a reference point, Morgan said there were 68 voter registrations missing the critical data in 2016. But in 2020, there were 13,372 voters missing that data, she said.
About 74 percent of the allegedly incomplete registrations occurred between July 2020 and September 2020, Morgan found, according to the affidavit.
''This investigation found over 13,000 voters whose voter registration information revealed no sex or date of birth. Not only does this mean we cannot verify whether these voters are old enough to vote, it is also historically strange: While one does not expect voter registration information to be perfect, it is very strange that there were very, very few of these kinds of imperfect records with missing or invalid information until this year'--when there are 13,372 of them,'' the data scientist said, according to an affidavit obtained by the Washington Examiner.
Morgan noted the unusual address, saying that casinos and RV parks were listed.
''I have also identified dozens of voters who listed as their home or mailing addresses a temporary RV park and casino,'' she wrote.
In an interview with the newspaper, Morgan said on Thanksgiving Day that she found the data ''weird.'' There were ''just a lot of people who have zero birthdays, zero birth month, and then, unknown sex,'' she continued.
''I saw is that you have a handful of people and then all of a sudden you have 13,000 people making that error in 2020, and that's just, that's not right,'' Morgan added.
The scientist said that her findings are merely scratching the surface.
''Based on the results I have found in the limited time I have had to analyze this dataset, I expect to find additional oddities in the election data as I conduct further analysis,'' she wrote.
Nevada's Secretary of State's office has not responded to a request for comment on Friday.
Nevada's election data shows Democrat Joe Biden with a more than 30,000-vote lead over President Donald Trump. Earlier this week, the state's Supreme Court certified Biden's win.
Jesse Binnall, an attorney for the Trump campaign in Nevada, said on Nov. 24 that he will prove that many fraudulent votes were cast in the Silver State, asserting that Trump is the rightful winner of Nevada's six Electoral College votes.
Situation Update '' Nov. 28th '' ART OF WAR: How Trump won the election BEFORE Nov. 3rd'... now it's just playing out for all to see '' NaturalNews.com
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 00:40
Saturday, November 28, 2020 by: Mike AdamsTags: Art of War, caught, cheaters, cyber war, election theft, elections, Joe Biden, national security, President Trump, rigged, Sun Tzu, treason
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(Natural News) President Trump won the 2020 election well before Nov. 3rd, and he did it by knowing his enemy and the tactics they would try to use to steal votes and rig the outcome.
He knew them so well that he signed an executive order on September 12, 2018 which described the very acts of vote rigging and fraud in which the Democrats sloppily engaged.
That executive order, found at this link on WhiteHouse.gov, specifically finds that, ''the ability of persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States to interfere in or undermine public confidence in United States elections, including through the unauthorized accessing of election and campaign infrastructure or the covert distribution of propaganda and disinformation, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.''
In that order, Trump declared a national emergency, meaning the 2020 election took place under a national emergency order. This allowed Trump and white hat elements inside the DoD to set up a SCIF and monitor the election theft happening in real time. Trump allowed the Democrats to steal the election, in other words, so that they would entrap themselves in a grand scheme of treason and cyber warfare that would ultimately lead to the downfall of the entire Democrat party.
Trump then dispatched DoD personnel to raid server farms in Frankfurt, Barcelona and Toronto, acquiring the physical servers that recorded all the digital proof of the election fraud. These servers, along with results from Kraken, the DoD's cyber warfare information gathering system, were handed over to DIA cyber crimes and counterterrorism analysts, who produced irrefutable, bombshell evidence that was turned over to Sidney Powell for use in her lawsuits. Powell is going to roll out these military intelligence witnesses during the trials, sending shockwaves around the world.
Trump, it turns out, is running an ''Art of War'' scenario on the Democrats. He feigns weakness where he has strength. He feigns strength where he is weak. He attacks in unexpected ways, and he already planned the full victory of this entire election battle long before the election even began. Democrats vastly underestimated Trump because they believed their own characterizations of him as a ''stupid'' person. So they carried out wholesale, brazen election theft under the assumption that Trump was too stupid to notice, while in reality, Trump had laid the trap for them to walk right into. And emboldened by their own arrogance and lust for power, they fell for it.
Now, Trump has everything. He has the CIA's servers, the proof of cyber warfare, the names of those who carried out these crimes and all the evidence that will allow SCOTUS to overturn the results in most of the swing states. Trump is now calmly watching Democrats and GOP turncoats continue to hang themselves with acts of betrayal and treason, even as Trump already knows the end result: A second term for Donald J. Trump, and the destruction of the Democrat party as hundreds (or even thousands) of top Democrats are arrested and imprisoned.
Soon, you will see nationwide calls for Biden to concede. As the Kraken evidence comes out, the world will be stunned. The People will be outraged, and Biden will be very lucky to escape without ending up in prison. America will overcome this insidious attempt at an illegal cyber warfare attack, and elections will be secured from this day forward.
Listen to today's Situation Update to learn even moreI'm posting today's Situation Update in two parts, each about 45 minutes in duration. (There's a lot to cover today.) I will also be posting another Situation Update tomorrow (Sunday).
This is Part One:
Brighteon.com/55940a6c-a58e-422e-9b11-b0218206fbb5
Part Two:
Brighteon.com/216661b6-a019-476d-bcef-a10cd131067a
In the mean time, enjoy this fascinating new interview with Monkey Werx, an expert in military flight traffic analysis, who talks about covert ''rendition flights'' that are under way right now.
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2020 Election Rigged: Growing Evidence '' Deep Capture
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 02:15
Patrick Byrne A concerned citizen who has been hunting the oligarchy and Deep State since 2004. November 24, 2020 4 min read
Decisive (but targeted, non-ubiquitous) election fraud occurred on November 3. What follows is its story and the evidence behind it:
Starting in 1997, Smartmatic systems were developed in Venezuela with porous security and built-in functionality permitting precinct administrators to override security features it appeared to incorporate. Among the extraordinary privileges it gave administrators were abilities:to shave votes continuously from one candidate to another;to batch ballots for later ''adjudication'' but which instead became a pool of votes that the administrator could simply assign to the candidate of choice;to generate blank ballots.Through a series of licensing agreements, bankruptcies, and corporate mergers and acquisitions, that code ended up in various US election systems (e.g., Dominion, ES&S) which (branding aside) still derive from Smartmatic (a.k.a. Sequoia). Thus, they brought to US elections not only the generous functionalities permitting manipulation by administrators, but porous security, extending such powers to those abroad.[i]Since 2006 the fact that systems developed for Hugo Chavez were managing any US elections began striking some prescient Americans as unfortunate.[ii] Their trepidation was well-placed: on November 3, 2020 those systems were used strategically & aggressively to rig our election.It was strategic in that it was not ''widespread'' but targeted at six locations[iii] which, if flipped, also would flip the swing states in which they are found (and thus, the electoral college);It was aggressive for the simple reason that Trump broke their algorithm, because he was on his way to a win that exceeded their ability to overcome through minor cheats alone. It is for that reason that in those six locations the bad guys went full-on-goon (e.g., thugs intimidating observers, newspapers taped over windows, ''water main breaks'' shutting down counting then immediately reopened once Republican observers had departed, etc.)Three forms of evidence[iv] backing these claims dovetail perfectly;Documentation of extraordinary privileges Dominion provides administrators;Affidavits describing voters' and workers' experiences that match exactly what they would experience in precincts being gooned by the measures I describe;[v]Data (such as that below)[vi] expressing outrageous statistical oddities (e.g., strings of thousands of sequential Biden votes that occur with quadrillion-to-1 improbability, ballot processing velocity spikes that were physically impossible given available site equipment) that coincide with windows of intense intimidation of and interference with those observing the voting and counting.In each of several swing states Biden achieved a come-from-behind victory with a margin in the tens-of-thousands of votes thanks to getting hundreds of thousands of votes through these measures.Conclusion: Election 2020 is an egg that can't be unscrambled.
[i] By way of example:
Dominions machines have glaring design flaws making them vulnerable to hacking. The machines have a slot on their motherboards that should be sealed with glue, but instead is left open: anyone with physical access to the machines can slide in the right chip for a few seconds, and that machine is thereafter completely compromised. In addition, there are R232 ports which would allow someone who accesses that port to connect and get root-level access to the machine without a password.Dominion's servers are widely infected with QSnatch malware (see ''CISA says 62,000 QNAP NAS devices have been infected with the QSnatch malware'', ZDNet, July 27, 2020). As poll-workers (e.g., administrators) log-in, QSnatch steals their credentials. Thus not only can administrators override (with no audit trail) election security in a precinct, so can anyone who steals those credentials (which, given the ubiquity of QSnatch on Dominion servers, happens everywhere). Dominion sends out software patches that continuously (deliberately?) allow QSnatch to beat their patches.[ii] In a 2006 New York Times article (''U.S. Investigates Voting Machines' Venezuela Ties''), Brad Golden wrote:
''The federal government is investigating the takeover last year of a leading American manufacturer of electronic voting systems by a small software company that has been linked to the leftist Venezuelan government of President Hugo Chvez. The inquiry is focusing on the Venezuelan owners of the software company, the Smartmatic Corporation, and is trying to determine whether the government in Caracas has any control or influence over the firm's operations'...''
In 2008, VoterAction (an activist group based in Massachusetts and Washington State) issued a public report (''SEQUOIA VOTING SYSTEMS, INC. USES VOTE-COUNTING SOFTWARE DEVELOPED, OWNED, AND LICENSED BY FOREIGN-OWNED SMARTMATIC, A COMPANY LINKED TO THE VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT OF HUGO CHVEZ'') where they noted:
''U.S. national security is potentially at risk because software used to count votes in 20% of the country during U.S. elections is owned and controlled by a Venezuelan-run company with ties to the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chvez,1 which has been described as 'the foremost meddler in foreign elections in the Western hemisphere.'2 Foreign-owned and foreign-run Smartmatic's control over vote counting software used in the voting machines of Sequoia Voting Systems'... presents a potential national security risk now just as it did in 2006 when the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (''CFIUS'') opened an investigation of Smartmatic's ownership of Sequoia.3 CFIUS is a U.S. government inter-agency committee led by the U.S. Department of Treasury that addresses national security risks posed by foreign ownership of or influence over U.S. business, including companies providing the means by which voters in the U.S. elect their President and Congressional Representatives.4 Rather than answer to CFIUS regarding the ultimate owners of the Smartmatic conglomerate5 and its ties to the Chvez government, an investment group led by Sequoia management reportedly bought Sequoia from Smartmatic in late 2007 under terms that were not made public.6 Since then, however, it has come to light that Smartmatic continues to own the software that counts the votes on Sequoia voting machines and licenses to Sequoia that software, which Smartmatic develops in Venezuela.7 Concern, now, is that Smartmatic's sale of Sequoia ''was fraudulent'',8 ''a sham transaction designed to fool regulators.''9 Efforts to date have not succeeded in determining the ultimate owners of Smartmatic or the extent to which Smartmatic and the Chvez government of Venezuela have influence over U.S. elections through Smartmatic's control of the software that counts votes for Sequoia voting machines'...''
See also this 2015 Philippines TV interview where Smartmatic's chairman Mark Malloch-Brown (who, oddly enough, also serves as Vice-Chairman of George Soros's investment fund and Open Society Institute) initially danced around such Venezuelan connections (note his oh-so-careful parsing of words in this regard) before eventually acknowledging a licensing arrangement between Dominion and Smartmartic.
[iii] Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee, Maricopa County Arizona (Greater Phoenix), Clark County Nevada (Greater Las Vegas).
[iv] Due to my impatience waiting for these facts to bubble up through legal proceedings, and due to the extraordinary nature of the circumstances, I felt it was appropriate to create on article and get it live as soon as possible in order to make the Big Picture available to the public, then add charts and links and other evidence as time and opportunity allowed. As a result, I first posted this essay on the evening of Monday, November 23 and since then have been adducing further evidence since then. That way there will be one article that both tells the story succinctly, yet also gathers in one place much detail backing my claims.
[v] By way of example: Sharpie/Bic switcheroos experienced in Maricopa precincts reflect a wish to generate a large pool of ''adjudicated ballots'' for administrators, who could drag-and-drop them later to Candidate Biden.
[vi]
MICHIGAN
ARIZONA
October 22 Maricopa County election official: '''...we've heard you and we know you're hearing issues and concerns about the Sharpie Markers. We NEED to use Markrs on Election Day, but for now and through 11/2 hand voters a Ballpoint Pen. You have plenty of pens in your supplies right now'...Please message this to your inspectors and ensure they cascade this change down to everyone on the Board'...''GEORGIA
Election officials in Georgia have a history of quickly wiping their tracks: ''APNewsBreak: Georgia election server wiped after suit filed'' (AP, 10/2017).
PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania official votes (@11/24 8 PM):
Pennsylvania reported having mailed out 1,823,148 ballots, of which 1,462,302 were returned. Yet total mail-in votes number 2,589,242? From where did the extra 2,589,242 '' 1,462,302 = 1,126,940 votes come?
Kraken Lawsuits
RELEASE THE KRAKEN: HAMMER / SCORECARD Whistleblower Montgomery Gave Sworn Testimony To FBI And DOJ About SCORECARD, Dominion, Smartmatic In 2015 - The American Report
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 16:02
By Mary Fanning and Alan Jones | November 19, 2020
Dennis Montgomery, the CIA / DoD contractor-turned-whistleblower who designed and built THE HAMMER foreign surveillance system and its exploit known as SCORECARD, provided sworn testimony to the FBI and the DOJ in 2015 about THE HAMMER, SCORECARD, and SCORECARD's capability to hack into election systems from Dominion, Smartmatic, and other voting system vendors.
In a 2015 classified debriefing, Montgomery told FBI and DOJ officials that individuals with access to THE HAMMER supercomputer system can utilize THE HAMMER's SCORECARD application to hack into election systems in order to change election outcomes in foreign countries and in the United States, according to Montgomery.
Montgomery testified that U.S. intelligence community operatives were utilizing SCORECARD to hack, via back doors, into election systems from Clear Ballot, Dominion Voting Systems Corp., Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S), MicroVote General Corp., Smartmatic USA Corporation, and Voting Works in order to monitor and change election outcomes in real time.
In December 2015, under the protection of immunity agreements provided to Montgomery and his attorney by the FBI and the DOJ, Montgomery provided sworn testimony about THE HAMMER and SCORECARD to FBI and DOJ officials inside a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) at the FBI Washington DC Field Office. The FBI, led at that time by Director James Comey, made a video recording inside the SCIF of Montgomery's classified debriefing regarding THE HAMMER and SCORECARD.
Montgomery states that he also provided detailed technical information to FBI and DOJ officials about the manner by which THE HAMMER and SCORECARD change votes. Montgomery specifically testified that THE HAMMER's SCORECARD application changes votes by hacking into the transfer points within the electronic chain of command that connects secretary of states' computer systems and outside third-party election data vaults.
Montgomery also provided to the FBI physical evidence in the form of 47 computer hard drives containing tens of millions of records. Some of the data on those hard drives prove that personnel acting on behalf of President Barack Obama and Vice Biden Joe Biden covertly used THE HAMMER and SCORECARD to change the outcome of the 2012 U.S. presidential election in Florida, according to Montgomery.
With that evidence in hand since 2015, FBI and DOJ officials did nothing to stop election theft, making them complicit in a conspiracy to steal an election, an attempted communist coup d'(C)tat.
Montgomery's statements are even more relevant to the 2020 election in light of a sworn affidavit from a former member of Venezuela's military, released by attorney Sidney Powell. The former Venezuelan military official stated that Smartmatic worked closely with the Hugo Chavez regime to guarantee that Chavez won the election.
Between 2006 and 2007, Dennis Montgomery had the State Secrets Privilege and a Government Protective Order invoked against him. The government muzzled Montgomery in order to protect secrets about its own malfeasance against the citizenry.
If the U.S. government was not concerned about the information that CIA whistleblower Montgomery possesses, it would not have taken the extraordinary measures of invoking the States Secret Privilege, invoking a Government Protective Order, and sending a team of FBI agents and personnel from other federal agencies to raid Montgomery's home and storage units. Robert Mueller's FBI agents tied Montgomery to a tree for forty minutes while they searched his premises. U.S. Magistrate Valerie Cooke reprimanded the FBI for falsifying search warrant affidavits, threatened to throw FBI agents in jail, and ordered the FBI to return Montgomery's seized property.
It is clear that Dennis Montgomery had something that Robert Mueller desperately wanted. What Mueller wanted back in his own hands was the evidence regarding THE HAMMER and SCORECARD. That evidence was on the 47 computer hard drives that Mueller's close friend, FBI Director James Comey, got in hand from Montgomery in exchange for Montgomery's immunity. Director Comey then buried that evidence. Director Robert Mueller's FBI supplied the computers for THE HAMMER, according to Montgomery.
Montgomery Provided Sworn Testimony To FBI And DOJ In 2015 Under Immunity AgreementsIn 2020, FBI Special Agent William Barnett provided testimony to U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Jeffrey Jensen. U.S. Attorney General William Barr appointed Jensen to review the criminal case against Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser.
General Flynn and Donald Trump were under illegal surveillance by THE HAMMER. ''There has been a wiretap on Trump for years,'' Montgomery says.
Special Agent Barnett, who was a member of then-special counsel Robert Mueller's hoax Russian collusion investigation team, said that the prosecution of General Flynn was part of a ''get Trump'' mindset.
Barnett made his statement exposing the ''get Trump'' attitude inside Mueller's Special Counsel during a September 17, 2020 interview with U.S. Attorney Jensen.
Montgomery received immunity from the FBI and DOJ in exchange for coming forward with information about illegal domestic surveillance with THE HAMMER and stolen elections with SCORECARD.
On November 24, 2015, Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Curtis sent an email to Dennis Montgomery's attorney at the time, Larry Klayman. Curtis CC'd that email to FBI Special Agents Walter Giardina and William Barnett.
In her email, Assistant U.S. Attorney Curtis confirmed that Montgomery and Klayman were scheduled to meet with her at the FBI Washington DC Field Office on December 3, 2015 at 10:30 am. The fact that Curtis CC'd FBI Special Agents Giardina and Barnett indicates that FBI Special Agents Giardina and Barnett were also scheduled to attend that meeting.
Politico later confirmed that Barnett interviewed Montgomery about illegal surveillance.
''In 2015, Barnett debriefed former intelligence agency contractor Dennis Montgomery, who claimed to have information about illegal surveillance being conducted by the Obama administration,'' Politico reported in a May 17, 2018 article titled ''Inside Mueller's FBI team.''
In her email, Curtis requested that Montgomery provide records of his contracts with government agencies of the intelligence community, Montgomery's communications with and orders from the intelligence community, the phone numbers of government officials Montgomery had worked with since 2005, and records related to Montgomery's residency in Fort Washington, Maryland.
Curtis concluded her email to Montgomery's then-attorney by writing ''In order to allow for more direct discussions between FBI and your client, my office may be in a position to now offer a standard letter immunity agreement for purposes of this meeting.''
If, as The New York Times claims, Montgomery was a fraudster who sold hoax technology to the CIA, then why did Assistant U.S. Attorney Curtis set up a debriefing with Montgomery and Montgomery's then-attorney and offer Montgomery immunity? The New York Times' fake news narrative that Montgomery sold hoax technology to the CIA was debunked by the National Geographic television special ''Bin Laden's Hard Drives'' that featured CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen and debuted on September 10, 2020.
A July 28, 2015 letter from Assistant U.S. Attorney Curtis and U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen Jr. provides further evidence of Montgomery's immunity deals.
Sidney Powell, who is investigating the 2020 election on behalf of President Trump's campaign, spoke to Greg Kelly of NEWSMAX on November 17, 2020 about electronic vote theft, the CIA, THE HAMMER, SCORECARD, and government interference in foreign and U.S. elections.
NEWSMAX HOST GREG KELLY:
I heard you say today Dominion, the software was actually designed to be hacked and I'm looking at one of the agreements they had with the County of Santa Clara, this is a contract between them and Dominion. Item 226 allows staff to adjust tally based on review of scanned ballot images'...
SIDNEY POWELL:
And worse than that, it had a back door so it could be manipulated by anyone who could access it through that back door, and that was a deliberate feature. The affidavit of the young [Venezuelan] military officer we provided yesterday to the public explains how it was created for that very purpose so Hugo Chavez would never lose another election. And he did not after that software was created. He won every single election and then they exported it to Argentina and other countries in South America, and then they brought it here. It's a foreign company no matter how you look at it so they have already violated the President's order against foreign interference in our elections. Our votes were actually eventually counted in Barcelona, Spain or Frankfurt, Germany on foreign servers.
It's absolutely stunning, and what's really stunning is the effort that is being mounted against getting the truth out on this. But you have to realize that every tech company, every media company, every social media company, scads of globalist corporations have been doing business in countries with these dictators that have been installed through this rigged election system for decades. The corruption is actually worldwide. It is going to upset a countless number of elections across this country and around the world'...
'...The founder of the company admits that he can change a million votes no problem at all.
NEWSMAX HOST GREG KELLY:
You mentioned the CIA today'...You want the CIA director fired'...
SIDNEY POWELL:
'...The tie in is that there is no way these programs could have been run around the world to affect elections without the CIA. We also have had people disclose to us the whole HAMMER program that was created for the CIA and SCORECARD which is essentially the same thing. It seems like every country has used something like this to do what it wants to do. Supposedly ours was invented to influence foreign elections, but that too could have been turned on this election.
It's all part of the same part and parcel of government interference in elections to make choices against the will of the people. And the will of the people in this country was that Donald Trump win in a landslide. If we can get to the bottom of it, and I am determined to do that. I think we will find that he had at least 80 million votes.
The only reason the glitch has happened in the system is because he had so far many more votes than they had calculated in advance, their algorithms wouldn't perform the functions they had originally performed or were set to perform. They couldn't make up the vote count he had gotten so many hundreds of thousands more than they planned. So that's when they had to stop the counting and come up with a way to backfill the votes or destroy votes for Trump while they fabricated votes for Biden'...
'...We have witnesses that are scared. We have witnesses that are afraid for their lives. Afraid for their family back in Venezuela. There are all kinds of concerns. People have been threatened. It's very serious. We are talking about trillions of dollars of worldwide wealth here that was all corrupt and every force in the world except 80 million voters, We The People, and my little team seem to be against us.
Stealing AmericaThe Democratic Party establishment and the mainstream media fear exposure of THE HAMMER and SCORECARD because it will not only upend the 2020 election, it will also reveal that President Barack Obama's intelligence chiefs John Brennan and James Clapper were using THE HAMMER to illegally spy on President Trump, General Michael Flynn, and all of America for the purpose of 'blackmail and leverage.'
The attempted theft of the 2020 election is yet another coup d'(C)tat against President Trump and the American people.
The communist plot to steal America is underway.
COPYRIGHT 2020 MARY FANNING AND ALAN JONES
Sidney Powell Suit Makes 30 Allegations in Bid to Invalidate Georgia Election Results
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 00:44
Sidney Powell, author of the bestseller "Licensed to Lie" and lead counsel in more than 500 appeals in the 5th Circuit, in Washington on May 30, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
A lawsuit released by lawyers led by former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell makes 30 allegations of electoral fraud and other illegal and irregular activities and features pertaining to the 2020 general elections in Georgia (pdf).
The allegations, most of which are based on witness and expert statements, relate to mail-in ballot fraud and insecurities, recount irregularities and deficiencies, and security hazards of the Dominion Voting Systems machines used by the state.
The suit alleges the following:
The software used by the Dominion machines was accessed by agents of malicious actors, such as China and Iran, ''in order to monitor and manipulate elections,'' including the 2020 election. The allegation is based on a redacted declaration of a former electronic intelligence analyst under 305th Military Intelligence.''By using servers and employees connected with rogue actors and hostile foreign influences combined with numerous easily discoverable leaked credentials, Dominion neglectfully allowed foreign adversaries to access data and intentionally provided access to their infrastructure in order to monitor and manipulate elections, including the most recent one in 2020,'' the suit says.An affiant, whose name was redacted for security reasons, alleged that the software used by Dominion was designed for Venezuelan government with the specific purpose to rig elections without the risk of getting caught. The affiant said he was part of a national security detail to former Venezuelan socialist dictator Hugo Chavez.''The purpose of this conspiracy was to create and operate a voting system that could change the votes in elections from votes against persons running the Venezuelan government to votes in their favor in order to maintain control of the government,'' he said.The allegation was corroborated by another witness who ''was in an official position related to elections and witnessed manipulations of petitions to prevent a removal of President Chavez.''Another affiant said he's the cousin of the former chief executive of Smartmatic, the company that developed the software adopted by Dominion. He said he has personal knowledge that the executive manipulated the company ''to ensure the election for Chavez in the 2004 Referendum in Venezuela,'' the suit says.He also testified that the executive, Anthony Mugica, ''received tens of millions of dollars from 2003''2015 from the Venezuelan government to ensure Smartmatic technology would be implemented around the world, including in the U.S.,'' the suit says.The vote tallies produced by the Dominion machines can be manipulated by imputing a malicious code with just ''7 minutes alone with [the voting machine] and a screwdriver,'' according to Andrew Appel, Princeton professor of computer science and election security expert.A ballot can be spoiled or altered by the Dominion machine because ''the ballot marking printer is in the same paper path as the mechanism to deposit marked ballots into an attached ballot box,'' a study by University of California''Berkeley said. It indicates that after a voter submits a ballot to the machine, the machine can add additional marks on it.The voting machines are susceptible to hacking or remote tampering because they are connected to the internet, even though they're not supposed to be.''Voting machines were able to be connected to the internet by way of laptops that were obviously internet accessible,'' the suit says. ''If one laptop was connected to the internet, the entire precinct was compromised.''Affiant Hari Hursti, a Finnish computer programmer and election security expert, said, ''There is evidence of remote access and remote troubleshooting, which presents a grave security implication.''The voting machines have activity logs that can be overwritten, according to Hursti. That means hackers or malevolent operators can tamper with the results and then erase their steps.Ronald Watkins, a software and cyber-security expert who reviewed the Dominion software manual, said the machine operators can change the setting to exclude certain ballots from being counted (based on how much of the ''bubble'' they had filled in to indicate a vote for a candidate). Scans of the excluded ballots are placed in a separate folder and the operator can delete them simply using Windows File Manager.Watkins said that to report the final vote counts, the machine operator would copy and paste the ''Results'' folder from the machine onto a USB drive.''While a simple procedure, this process may be error-prone and is very vulnerable to malicious administrators,'' he said.There are no procedures that would ensure the security of the USB drives used to report vote tallies from precincts. In one Georgia County, 3,300 votes were found on memory sticks not loaded into the central vote tally system, the suit says.The test report and secretary of state certificate for the voting machines are undated.Smartmatic faces litigation over ''glitches'' that allegedly affected the 2010 and 2013 mid-term elections in the Philippines, ''raising questions of cheating and fraud,'' the suit says.Between 31,559 and 38,886 absentee ballots were returned by Republican voters, but were not counted, according to an analysis by expert witness Williams Briggs, a statistician and former Cornell Medical School professor, based on a phone survey of potentially affected GOP voters by the team of former Trump campaign member Matt Braynard.Between 16,938 and 22,771 Republican voters received absentee ballots they didn't request, based on the same analysis. That indicates unlawful absentee requests, the suit alleges.Based on Braynard's analysis of voter registrations and change-of-address requests, 20,311 absentee or early voters in Georgia voted even though they had moved out of state, which the state prohibits.Georgia entered into an unlawful consent agreement with Democratic Party agencies that gutted the effectiveness of matching signatures on absentee ballot envelopes with signatures on record with the authorities. The matching was reduced ''to a broad process with discretion, rather than enforcement of the signature requirement as statutorily required,'' the suit says.The signature matching procedure was influenced by ''guidance and training materials'' produced by the Democratic Party.Gov. Brian Kemp illegally authorized election officials to open outer envelopes of absentee ballots three weeks before the election. Georgia law ''clearly prohibits opening absentee ballots prior to election day,'' the suit says.Georgia's hand recount of the presidential race was illegitimate for a lack of meaningful observation.''Democrat-majority counties provided political parties and candidates, including the Trump Campaign, no meaningful access or actual opportunity to review and assess the validity of mail-in ballots during the pre-canvassing meetings,'' the suit says.The allegation is based on multiple recount observer testimonies.Votes for President Donald Trump were placed during the recount into vote piles for Trump's opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden. The allegation is based on multiple observer testimonies, as well as an undercover video produced by Project Veritas, an undercover journalism nonprofit.Some ballots from the ''No Vote'' and ''Jorgensen'' trays were moved to the ''Biden'' tray. One witness made the allegation.Many voters weren't allowed to cancel their mail-in ballot on Election Day and vote in person. One witness made the allegation.The same witness alleged that many voters were denied the option to cast a provisional ballot on Election Day ''when a mail-in ballot has already been received for them, but when they did not cast those mail-in ballots,'' the suit says.Signatures on mail-in ballot envelopes weren't verified during the recount, one witness alleged. ''At no time did I witness any Recounter or individual participate in the recount verifying signatures [on mail-in ballots],'' the affiant said.Some counties didn't actually recount the ballots by hand, but instead used machines.One batch of ballots was suspiciously ''pristine.'' Almost all were for Biden. The allegation is based on an observer testimony, who professed ''20 years of experience of handling ballots.''One batch of ballots ''was pristine'' and ''there was a difference in the texture of the paper,'' according to the witness.''I observed that the markings for the candidates on these ballots were unusually uniform, perhaps even with a ballot-marking device,'' she said.The ballots also ''included a slight depressed pre-fold so they could be easily folded and unfolded for use in the scanning machines.''The same witness also alleged that at one precinct in Milton, Georgia, poll workers were ''asked to sign the chain of custody letter on Sunday, even though the machines were not delivered until 2:00 AM in the morning on Election Day.''In addition, the machines ''were not sealed or locked, the serial numbers were not what were reflected on the related documentation,'' she said.Many batches of ballots were ''100% for Biden,'' one witness alleged.The same witness also alleged ''that the watermark on at least 3 ballots were solid gray instead of transparent, leading me to believe the ballot was counterfeit.'' Local elections director offered the explanation that the ballots in question came from a different printer.Authorities lied by claiming vote counting was paused in Fulton County because of ''a water leak affecting the room where absentee ballots were being tabulated.''''The only water leak that needed repairs at State Farm Arena from November 3 '' November 5 was a toilet overflow that occurred earlier on November 3. It had nothing to do with a room with ballot counting,'' the suit says.After everyone was ''sent home,'' one witness ''saw election workers remaining behind after people were told to leave, the suit says, alleging that several people stayed behind to continue counting ballots without any observers present.DemandsThe lawsuit asks the court to order Georgia to do the following:
de-certify the election resultsnot transmit the currently certified election results to the Electoral Collegetransmit instead certified election results that state that Trump is the winner of the electionimpound all the voting machines and software in Georgia for expert inspection by the plaintiffsnot count votes received or tabulated by machines that weren't certified as required by federal and state lawproduce 36 hours of security camera footage of all rooms used in the voting process at State Farm Arena in Fulton County
Sidney Powell Releases Lawsuit in Georgia, Alleging 'Massive Election Fraud'
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:47
Attorney Sidney Powell released a federal lawsuit late on Nov. 25 that alleges ''massive election fraud'' and multiple violations of the Constitution and Georgia's state laws in the 2020 general election, as well as issues pertaining to Dominion Voting Systems.
The civil action claims that the purpose of the alleged actions was for ''illegally and fraudulently manipulating the vote count to make certain the election of Joe Biden as president of the United States.'' A similar, separate suit was filed in Michigan.
The Georgia suit (pdf) released on Powell's website is intended to be filed in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, against Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and other election officials.
The suit asks the court to de-certify the election results in Georgia and impound all the voting machines and software in Georgia for expert inspection by the plaintiffs, among other requests. Plaintiffs include Republican Party nominees for the Electoral College, Cobb County Republican Party Chairman Jason Shepherd, and the assistant secretary of the state Republican Party, Brian Jay Van Gundy.
The 104-page complaint argues that ''incontrovertible evidence Board of Elections records demonstrates that at least 96,600 absentee ballots were requested and counted but were never recorded as being returned to county election boards by the voter. Thus, at a minimum, 96,600 votes must be disregarded.''
According to the suit, fraud also was allegedly ''executed by many means'' but the ''most troubling, insidious, and egregious'' way was the ''systemic adaptation of old-fashioned 'ballot-stuffing.''' It alleges computerized ballot-stuffing and manipulation by software created and run by domestic and foreign actors. The complaint cited affidavits from multiple witnesses, documentation, as well as expert testimony that raised ''sheer mathematical impossibilities'' in the election results supporting the claims.
''Especially egregious conduct arose in Forsyth, Paulding, Cherokee, Hall, and Barrow County,'' the complaint reads. ''This scheme and artifice to defraud affected tens of thousands of votes in Georgia alone and 'rigged' the election in Georgia for Joe Biden.''
In particular, the suit took issue with election software and hardware from Dominion, which it noted was recently purchased and ''rushed into use'' by Kemp, Raffensperger, and the Georgia Board of Elections.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference in Atlanta, on Nov. 11, 2020. (Brynn Anderson/AP Photo)Plaintiffs allege that the design and features of the Dominion software don't allow for a simple audit to see whether votes were misallocated, redistributed, or deleted, pointing to a Jan. 24 decision by the Texas secretary of state to deny certifying the software ''because of a lack of evidence of efficiency and accuracy and to be safe from fraud and unauthorized manipulation.''
''First, the system's central accumulator does not include a protected real-time audit log that maintains the date and time stamps of all significant election events. Key components of the system utilize unprotected logs,'' the filing reads. ''Essentially, this allows an unauthorized user the opportunity to arbitrarily add, modify, or remove log entries, causing the machine to log election events that do not reflect actual voting tabulations'--or more specifically, do not reflect the actual votes of or the will of the people.''
The suit also alleges ''incontrovertible physical evidence that the standards of physical security of the voting machines and the software were breached, and machines were connected to the Internet in violation of professional standards and state and federal laws.''
Part of the suit mentions a delay in voting at State Farm Arena in Fulton County, where video on Nov. 3 shows that election workers ''falsely claimed a water leak required the facility to close.'' It adds: ''All poll workers and challengers were evacuated for several hours at about 10:00 PM. However, several election workers remained unsupervised and unchallenged working at the computers for the voting tabulation machines until after 1:00 AM.''
Another part of the complaint says that cybersecurity expert Navid Keshavarz-Nia testified that ''U.S. intelligence services had developed tools to infiltrate foreign voting systems including Dominion.'' Pointing to vulnerabilities in the Dominion's software, he claims that ''hundreds of thousands of votes'' were transferred to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden from President Donald Trump in battleground states.
The complaint also cites a former electronic intelligence analyst under the 305th Military Intelligence Battalion, who declared that the Dominion software was accessed by agents acting on behalf of China and Iran to monitor and manipulate elections, including the 2020 U.S. general election.
A former U.S. military intelligence expert, who analyzed the Dominion software system, concluded that the system and software ''were certainly compromised by rogue actors, such as Iran and China,'' according to another part of the complaint.
''By using servers and employees connected with rogue actors and hostile foreign influences combined with numerous easily discoverable leaked credentials, Dominion neglectfully allowed foreign adversaries to access data and intentionally provided access to their infrastructure in order to monitor and manipulate elections, including the most recent one in 2020,'' the filing says.
The lawsuit also claims: ''Georgia's election officials and poll workers exacerbated and helped, whether knowingly or unknowingly, the Dominion system carry out massive voter manipulation by refusing to observe statutory safeguards for absentee ballots. Election officials failed to verify signatures and check security envelopes. They barred challengers from observing the count, which also facilitated the fraud.''
The Georgia secretary of state and Dominion Voting Systems didn't immediately respond to requests by The Epoch Times for comment on the suit.
Dominion released a statement on Nov. 25 saying: ''Claims that Dominion deleted or switched votes are completely false. Dominion systems are 100 percent auditable.''
Election results were certified by Georgia on Nov. 20. At the time, Kemp didn't clearly endorse the results but said the law required him to ''formalize the certification, which paves the way for the Trump campaign to pursue other legal options and a separate recount if they choose.''
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the status of the lawsuit in Georgia. There is no indication as of Nov. 26 that the suit in Georgia has been filed. The Epoch Times regrets the error.
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Sun, 29 Nov 2020 12:12
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United Nations Launches Global Initiative to Combat Misinformation - Purpose
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 22:59
NEW YORK, 21 MAY 2020'-- Today the United Nations is launching 'Verified', an initiative to combat the growing scourge of COVID-19 misinformation by increasing the volume and reach of trusted, accurate information.
''We cannot cede our virtual spaces to those who traffic in lies, fear and hate,'' said UN Secretary-General, Ant"nio Guterres, who announced the initiative. ''Misinformation spreads online, in messaging apps and person to person. Its creators use savvy production and distribution methods. To counter it, scientists and institutions like the United Nations need to reach people with accurate information they can trust.''
Verified, led by the UN Department for Global Communications, will provide information around three themes: science '' to save lives; solidarity '' to promote local and global cooperation; and solutions '' to advocate for support to impacted populations. It will also promote recovery packages that tackle the climate crisis and address the root causes of poverty, inequality and hunger.
The initiative is calling on people around the world to sign up to become ''information volunteers'' to share trusted content to keep their families and communities safe and connected. Described as digital first responders, the volunteers will receive a daily feed of verified content optimized for social sharing with simple, compelling messaging that either directly counters misinformation or fills an information void.
Verified will partner with UN agencies and UN country teams, influencers, civil society, business and media organizations to distribute trusted, accurate content and work with social media platforms to root out hate and harmful assertions about COVID-19.
''In many countries the misinformation surging across digital channels is impeding the public health response and stirring unrest. There are disturbing efforts to exploit the crisis to advance nativism or to target minority groups, which could worsen as the strain on societies grows and the economic and social fallout kicks in,'' Melissa Fleming, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, said. ''The Verified initiative will also work to address this trend with hopeful content that celebrates local acts of humanity, the contributions of refugees and migrants, and makes the case for global cooperation.''
The initiative is a collaboration with Purpose, one of the world's leading social mobilization organizations. It is supported by the IKEA Foundation and Luminate.
Share Verified
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 23:01
As the world confronts its biggest challenge in living memory, there has never been a greater need for accurate, verified information. Like the virus itself, misinformation spreads from person-to-person, heightening the risk to health and spreading fear and division. The world cannot contain the disease and its impacts without access to trusted, accurate information that promotes science and real solutions - and builds solidarity within and between nations.Verified is an initiative of the United Nations, in collaboration with Purpose, to provide content that cuts through the noise to deliver life-saving information, fact-based advice and stories from the best of humanity.
By promoting and sharing Verified content, everyday people can play a crucial role in the work of Verified by spreading reliable information about COVID-19 to their friends, families and social networks, with the goal of saving lives and countering misinformation. Organisations, businesses, civil society and media platforms partner with Verified to spread information that helps protect people, communities and forges connections across the planet.
Verified's team of communicators, creatives and researchers produce content based on the latest information and guidance from the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and other UN agencies. We work with leading experts on misinformation First Draft.
Verified works with the support of Luminate, IKEA Foundation and UN Foundation and partners all over the world.
Where's the cure for the infodemic? Our World Vs Virus podcast | World Economic Forum
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 14:54
Fake news about COVID, its origins, treatment and prevention, has gone viral. UN has launched counter-attack, wants you to help. Storyful founder says algorithms and human editors can help turn the tide. Subscribe to the World Vs Virus podcast. What is spreading across the globe, can be passed on unwittingly from one person to countless others, is potentially deadly, yet can be stopped if everyone takes the right steps?
Misinformation. The subject of the new episode of World Vs Virus.
Heard of the miracle cure for COVID that the mainstream media doesn't want you to know about? Or that the pandemic is in fact a 'plandemic' - deliberately created to make someone a fortune or to subjugate the masses? Then you've come up against the virus of misinformation that has spread around the world as fast as the coronavirus itself.
In a world where social media is increasingly where most of us get so much of our information, and where we value freedom of speech as a cornerstone of democracy, what can be done to combat dangerous misinformation?
"When COVID-19 emerged, it was clear from the outset this was not just a public health emergency, but a communications crisis as well," says Melissa Fleming, who leads global communications for the United Nations.
With a huge public demand for information about the pandemic and the rapid spread of false information, the 'infodemic' is putting lives at risk, so Fleming is heading a campaign to help true information surface out of the deluge of rumours and lies.
She has launched 'Verified' - where people can sign up for daily emails on the latest COVID news that comes from reliable sources: "science-based information" that might otherwise be buried on "page 125 of a PDF" presented "in formats that are optimized for sharing on social media."
"It is front-and-centre in your social media feeds. So it can compete with the slick misinformation content," Fleming says.
The UN is also encouraging us to stop rushing to re-post potentially dubious content, promoting the hashtag #PledgetoPause.
"We're trying to create this new social norm called 'pause - take care before you share'," Fleming says. "We're equipping people, through this new social norm, with a bit of 'information scepticism'."
The UN is also encouraging social media influencers to help spread real news about the pandemic.
"So far, we've recruited 110,000 information volunteers, and we equip these information volunteers with the kind of knowledge about how misinformation spreads and ask them to serve as kind of 'digital first-responders' in those spaces where misinformation travels," Fleming says.
Image: UN
Also on the podcast, journalist and entrepreneur Mark Little sets out potential solutions to the infodemic.
He's worked for Twitter and founded Storyful, a social media news agency that had fact-checking at its heart. He has now launched a new company called Kinzen which aims to get the best out of artificial intelligence and human editors to combat online rumours and lies.
"I've started to see the spread of misinformation as a global health crisis," Little tells World Vs Virus. " Misinformation is that serious a threat to our society.
"If people cannot trust information about the critical challenges in our world today, whether it's coronavirus or climate change, then we cannot make reasoned decisions as a democracy."
Image: Statista
Little says we should be wary of any move towards censorship that would curb freedom of speech but, instead, we need to equip people with the tools to see fact from fiction.
"Misinformation is happening within our friends and families. So we have to find strategies to, first of all, recognize it. And, secondly, as active citizens, just like we wear masks to protect others, we need to be the good citizen, the active vector fighting back in our daily lives."
As well as promoting 'media literacy', Little says social media platforms have to ensure they are working for the good of democracy, rather than against it. He applauds Twitter for labelling some misleading tweets, but says more is needed and calls for a "root-and-branch audit of the way that information is distributed on all the different platforms".
"There is no easy solution. The business model of the platforms, unfortunately, encourages the spread of this kind of outrageous information. But that has to change.
"I hope technology platforms realize that they need radical change to get back to the original roots and democratic promise of these platforms they created."
Find all our podcasts here.
Subscribe: World Vs Virus; Meet the Leader; The Great Reset; House on Fire.
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The Covid-19 celebrity humanitarianism '' Sean Penn and the Great Reset, funded by Bill Gates and the Clinton Foundation - unlimitedhangout.com
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 19:41
Sean Penn and his altruistic aspirations '' valiant, misguided or corrupt?The Clinton connection
Sean Penn established Community Organised Relief Effort (CORE) in January 2010 in response to the earthquake that devastated the island of Haiti that same year. Formerly called the J/P Haitian Relief Organisation, CORE claims that ''our life-saving programs revolve around building healthier and safer neighbourhoods to mitigate the scale of devastation caused by disaster.''
What CORE fails to mention is that the destabilisation and eradication of Haitian culture, heritage, communities and self-sufficiency began long before the earthquake of 2010. It might have something to do with the funding that CORE receives from USAID, a CIA power expansion agency, and Penn's close relationship with the Clintons whose foundation has been instrumental in the ''rapacious role of US imperialism in that impoverished semi-colonial country.''
CORE partners taken from their websitePenn declines to mention that Clinton, Bush and Obama have the blood of Haitians on their hands or that Clinton and Bush were deeply involved in ''perpetuating the poverty, backwardness and repression in Haiti'' that exacerbated the crisis in January 2010 that Penn responded to.
According to journalist, Patrick Martin:
''Clinton took office in the immediate aftermath of the military coup which ousted Haiti's first democratically elected president, the populist cleric Jean-Bertrand Aristide. That coup was backed by the administration of Bush's father, who saw Aristide as an unwanted and potentially dangerous radical.''
The Clinton's influence on the island of Haiti has been one of unmitigated predation and political piracy '' a legacy entirely ignored by Penn, who endorsed Hilary Clinton in the 2016 elections and who visited the imperialism-stricken island with robber baron, Bill Clinton, in 2015. Penn appears to be blissfully ignorant of the scandal surrounding the Clinton response to the 2010 earthquake that left the already scavenged island in tatters.
The Clintons stepped up to lead the global response to the Haiti earthquake. At President Obama's request, Clinton and George W. Bush created the ''Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund,'' and began ''aggressively fundraising around the world to support Haiti''. The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) selected Bill Clinton as its co-chair. Hillary Clinton was still Secretary of State and was therefore responsible for funnelling USAID ''relief'' funding to Haiti. A whopping $ 13.3 billion was pledged by international donors to allegedly rebuild Haiti and to restore dignity to the lives of the forcibly impoverished Haitian people. Unsurprisingly, the IHRC response was mired in controversy and accusations of embezzlement levied against the Clintons who, effectively, held the purse strings of the incoming donations.
The IHRC collected and estimated $ 9.9 billion in three years but the deplorable misery and poverty that Haitians endure did not improve. It is widely believed that the Clintons cynically robbed and destroyed Haiti for their own gain. Haitian author, journalist, and historian, Dady Chery, expressed the general view thus:
''In 2016, by all estimates, the cost of the US presidential elections doubled or quadrupled to about $5-10 billion. This is the most expensive presidential bid in history, and Hillary Clinton has vastly outspent Donald Trump. Where did the money come from?''
Rather than express outrage at the Clinton potential involvement in defrauding the people of Haiti, Penn continued a campaign of genuflection to the Clintons. In 2015, at a Haiti benefit event, Penn introduced Bill Clinton as a ''once-in-a-generation leader with laser focus, immense curiosity, courage and compassion that can be unequivocally measured by sustainable benefits and the improvement of so many lives around the world.''
During his twenty minute speech, Clinton praised Penn for his work in Haiti and encouraged the star-studded audience to contribute to what is now CORE by stating that ''you will never contribute to an organisation that will give you a higher probability of having your good intentions turned into real positive changes in other people's lives''. The hypocrisy oozed from every honeyed word.
Also present at the fundraising gala was sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer who was sentenced to 23 years in prison for first-degree criminal sexual acts and third-degree rape earlier this year. This will connect to the other two men on the beach (i.e. Jack Dorsey and Vivo Nevo) in Part 2.
In 2012, Hillary Clinton's aides lavished praise on Penn who had just received the 2012 ''Peace Summit Award'' from former Soviet Union President, Mikhail Gorbachev, for his work in Haiti. A number of media reports pointed out that the email address had been redacted but was listed as ''CIA''.
Whether Penn participated knowingly in the imperialist rape of Haiti or was nothing more than a useful celebrity idiot who served the agenda of the Clinton/Bush vulture policy is a question for serious debate. Penn certainly didn't slum it when travelling to Haiti. HRO or CORE paid out more than $ 126,000 in first class flights in 2013. This luxury travel was justified by Penn's celebrity status and ''consideration for his safety''.
Penn's close relationship with the Clintons also apparently brought him into the nefarious orbit of child-sex provider and elite blackmailer, Jeffrey Epstein. It has been claimed that Penn was on the guest list of an intimate dinner between Epstein's under-age girl procurer, Ghislaine Maxwell and Bill Clinton in 2014.
Covid-19 ''response'' and a potential ulterior motive for CORE Covid-19 testsFast forward to 2020, and we find Sean Penn and CORE intimately involved in Covid-19 drive-through testing centres. In September 2020, CORE had conducted more than one million Coronavirus tests, by November, this had increased to 2.5 million.
Since March, CORE has administered nearly 2.5 million COVID-19 tests across the country. On top of testing, we are also providing contact tracing and wrap-around services to vulnerable communities. pic.twitter.com/63hlKmvVuf
'-- CORE (@CoreResponse) November 12, 2020The PCR test, DNA harvesting and false positives
The validity of the PCR tests in diagnosing Covid-19 has been the subject of much scientific discussion with a growing number of medical experts and analysts dismissing the PCR test as unreliable and inconclusive due to the high percentage of false positives. It is also claimed that this widespread DNA collection under the pretext of Covid-19 could be a covert genetic information harvest on the pretext of extracting viral DNA from all the genetic material.
I spoke with a medical expert who will remain anonymous for security reasons and he informed me that the PCR test is ''not designed to diagnose disease.'' He told me:
''The test identifies a genetic sequence being present in a sample and then copies it, thereby increasing the amount of genetic material. Each test cycle copies and increases the genetic material. A specific amount of GM is required to meet a threshold of detection. The test will keep copying until it is possible to say the virus is ''detected''. Therein lies the problem. After ''Covid'' infection, when the virus has been removed by the immune system, some viral genetic debris can remain for many months. A tiny fragment viral, genetic material debris will be found and multiplied by many, many cycles until the detection threshold is reached. This is a false positive.''
He informed me that most labs are running upwards of 40 cycles. ''In at least 4 examples of RT PCR testing in the US, it was found that 90% of the positive tests were actually false.''
He also told me ''the real reason they are pushing the testing is control. They want a rapid test to be used every day, multiple times per day to gain entry to school, work, restaurants, entertainment centres etc. It is conditioning.''
The sinister question is whether all this genetic DNA information is passed on to undisclosed entities for ''research purposes'' without the patient's knowledge.
Prior to the Covid-19 ''crisis'', patient privacy in the US was protected by federal laws like the Common Rule and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The Emergency laws or orders introduced on the back of Covid-19 haveenabled a widespread genome harvesting strategy with little or no accountability for how the DNA information collected is ultimately used.
The issue of DNA collection is not new. An article by Off-Guardian from 2017 asked why the US Air-force was collecting samples of Caucasian Russian DNA. Predictably, the story was ignored by US/UK state media. At the time, Russian President Putin, speculated that the US was preparing an anti-Russian bioweapon. That theory is no longer so ''conspiratorial'' with the looming threat of a potential bio terror false flag which will, inevitably, plunge the world into even greater engineered chaos.
As part of my research for this article, I sent an email to CORE asking them what they did with the DNA collected from their testing procedures. Until now, no response has been forthcoming.
CORE now receives funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Jack Dorsey, the Twitter CEO donated $ 10 million to Penn's initiative. Further sponsors include the Clinton Foundation. The CORE testing site at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles is the largest in the US '' ''three times the size of any other location in LA'' and can test up to 6,000 people per day. Mouth swabs are used in place of the nasal swabs to avoid the need for medical staff to perform the test.
Penn's funding from Covid-19 impresario, Bill Gates, is an indicator of the depth of Penn's involvement in what is the Covid-19 portal to the World Economic Forum's ''Great Reset''. Penn is no stranger to the Gates world of ''philanthropy''. When Melinda Gates spoke about gender inequality at a 2015 Hollywood Report ''women in entertainment'' breakfast, it was Penn who introduced her. Penn went on to extol the Gates global immunisation projects. That Penn is wholly supportive of the Covid-19 class war should come as no surprise.
To those who reject masks:Please change your minds. People are suffering and dying, and the economy is totally collapsing entirely due to YOU.
'-- Sean Penn (@SeanPenn) November 17, 2020One cannot help but wonder what happened to Penn. In 2002, Penn placed a $56,000 advertisement in the Washington Postasking President George W. Bush to end a cycle of violence. In 2003, he wrote an impassioned anti-imperialist full-page statement for the New York Times opposing the Bush military interventionism in Iraq.
Penn wrote:
''We see Bechtel. We see Halliburton. We see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell, Rice, Perle, Ashcroft, Murdoch, many more. We see no WMDs. We see dead young Americans. We see no WMDs. We see dead Iraqi civilians. We see no WMDs. We see chaos in the Baghdad streets. But no WMDs.''
This could simply be a result of Penn's fervent support for the Democrats or it could indicate that, once upon a time, Penn had genuine anti-war principles. I will cover Penn's pro-Democrat-bias and possible connections later in this article.
Today, in 2020, Penn appears to be a fully fledged member of the billionaire and Big Pharma complex that is pushing a high-risk global vaccination roll-out. He has demanded that the ''military must be tasked with a full offensive against this virus.'' Penn has described the military intervention in Haiti as the US deployment of ''the most effective logistical and humanitarian organization the world has ever seen: the US military.'' Penn's own terminology in relation CORE's Covid-19 response has been littered with military analogy, describing it as a ''mission to save lives'', an interesting allusion to ''an active shooter scenario'' and finally ''you become a gun.'' That might be a little closer to the truth than Penn intended.
CORE is backed by USAID, the Clintons, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This is not a grass roots volunteer organization, it is an instrument of power. Co-founder of CORE, or J/P HRO as it was in 2010, is a notorious character by the name of Sanela Diana Jenkins ( the J/P stood for Jenkins-Penn).
Jenkins who is of Bosnian (Bosnia and Herzegovina) origin, has consistently underpinned the narratives that led to the NATO bombing of former Yugoslavia in 1999 including the much disputed Srebenica ''genocide.'' For a greater understanding of the complexities of this dark period in Yugoslav history, I highly recommend ''Media Cleansing, Dirty Reporting,'' by Peter Brock. Jenkins raised $ 1 million for the Clinton Foundation in Haiti and together with actor, George Clooney, she raised $ 10 million for the ''Not on Our Watch'' organisation, which intervened in Darfur on behalf of US imperialist interests. Jenkins actively supported regime change in Libya which resulted in the brutal murder of its President, Muammar Gaddafi, which was famously celebrated by Hillary Clinton, who said : ''we came, we saw, he died''.
I mentioned Penn's support for the Democrats earlier in the article. A deeper delve into Penn's ''journalism'' reveals a possible political agenda that is in lock-step with the Democrat policies. On October 23rd 2008, Penn met with President Raul Castro of Cuba, less than two weeks before Barack Obama was elected as the first black US President. During the seven-hour meeting, Castro expressed a desire to meet with Obama who had said that he would reverse some of the draconian policies imposed by the preceding Bush administration during his election campaign.
The Mexican drug cartels and the US banking cartel cover-up
According to Penn's biography as it appears in his controversial Rolling Stone interview with Mexican drug lord, Joaqu­n Archivaldo Guzmn Loera, i.e. El Chapo, ''Actor, writer and director Sean Penn has written from the front lines in Haiti, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba.'' El Chapo's arrest almost immediately after meeting with Penn drew accusations of Penn's involvement in his detection. However, there is evidence that El Chapo was actually not that hard to find and that the entire capture may have been nothing more than elaborate cover for the real billionaire criminals behind the global drug dealing industry, the US banking cartel.
As journalist, Richard Becker, wrote in 2019:
''Joaquin Guzman, also known as ''El Chapo,'' will likely spend the rest of his life in isolation inside a ''supermax'' prison in Colorado, after his sentencing on July 17 for drug trafficking, money laundering, and other crimes. No US bankers will be in the adjoining cells, although without vast assistance from the latter, the Mexico-based drug cartels could never have achieved the size and profitability they have.
Despite the banks reaping huge profits as financiers and accomplices of the cartels, the number of bank executives criminally prosecuted for laundering hundreds of billions of dollars in illegal drug money is exactly zero.''
One could be forgiven for speculating that the Penn scandal provided spectacular cover for the oligarchs behind the scenes of El Chapo's Sinaloa cartel. In March 2010, Wachovia bank agreed ''in a settlement to having laundered at least $ 378 billion in drug money from 2004-2007 for Mexican drug cartels.'' The case never went to court.
There is also the additional issue of claims of the discovery of a 50-caliber sniper rifle associated with Obama's ''Operation Fast and Furious'' at the hideout of El Chapo. Operation Fast and Furious involved the sale of firearms at retail stores which could then allegedly be tracked to prominent drug cartel figures in Mexico. The operation was an abject failure which resulted in the murder of various individuals with US-supplied weapons, not dissimilar to the Obama ''train and equip'' programme in Syria, which squandered $ 500 million on weapons and equipment for the non-existent ''moderate opposition.'' These weapons, they say, inexplicably fell into the hands of the global terror organisation, ISIS. The US National Rifle Association accused Obama and former Attorney General, Eric Holder of hatching the operation as cover to increase gun violence in Mexico and thus justify more restrictive gun-laws in the US.
At the very least, the timing of Penn's intervention and the subsequent arrest of El Chapo is interesting.
Penn always in the ''right'' place at the right time?U.S. actor and director Sean Penn (R) holds an Egypt flag as he walks with Egyptian actor Khaled al-Nabawi in Tahrir Square during a protest against the ruling military council, after Friday prayers in Cairo September 30, 2011. REUTERS/StringerHaiti
In 2012, Penn met with US-approved, former Haiti President, Jean Claude ''Baby Doc'' Duvalier whose father Francois ''Papa Doc'' Duvalier, had been instated as President-for-life in 1957 with US backing. US warships were reportedly stationed ''just off the coast of Haiti to oversee a smooth transition of power to Duvalier's son.'' Under the Duvalier dynasty, more than 60,000 Haitians were murdered and tortured by death squads known as the Tonton Macoutes who regularly burned dissenters alive or publicly hung them. ''Baby Doc'' had been removed from power in 1986 by a popular uprising. After his meeting with ''Baby Doc'', Penn recommended ''reconciliation'' with this neo-colonialist instrument of injustice, despite the fact that Haitian human rights group and civilians wished to see ''Baby Doc'' prosecuted for ''crimes against humanity'' and widespread corruption.
Penn does not specify the date of his 2012 ''chance'' meeting with ''Baby Doc'' but perhaps coincidentally, President Bill Clinton met ''Baby Doc'' in January 2012 in Titanyen, the site of mass graves for the bodies of men, women and children massacred by the Duvalier tyrants over the course of three decades of US-orchestrated and sponsored dictatorship. On the same stage with ''Baby Doc'' and Clinton was the latest in the line of US-approved puppet leaders, President Michel Martellyalso highly promoted by Penn.
Egypt
In 2011, Penn just happened to be in Tahrir Square as the Arab Spring gathered momentum in Egypt. Penn called on military leaders for a ''faster transition to democracy''. Penn told the Egyptian daily, Al Ahram, that ''the world is inspired by the call for freedom by the courageous revolution of Egypt [..] a transition of power from the military to the people.'' Effectively, Penn came out in favour of yet another US/UK-orchestrated regime change '' one that would ultimately lead to the reduction of Egypt to a poverty-stricken nation dependent upon foreign aid, conveniently for the US and Israel who alongside the UK, were instrumental in fomenting the uprising as explained by the Journeyman documentary '' ''The Revolution Business''.
Iran, Syria and Chavez
In 2009, two American ''hitch-hikers'', Josh Fattel and Shane Bauer, were arrested by Iranian border guards after they were accused of entering Iranian territory on the border with Iraqi ''Kurdistan'' without permission and were jailed for espionage. Penn flew to Venezuela to ask President Hugo Chavez to negotiate their release with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Penn had allegedly been alerted to the plight of Bauer and Fattel by friends in ''US intellectual circles.'' Penn's support for Chavez was the subject of much controversy in American media, but that controversy likely provided him with the credibility he needed to be afforded an audience with Syria's US-media-maligned President Bashar Al Assad in the midst of the US/UK-driven ''regime change'' war against Syria. The meeting is believed to have taken place during the summer of 2016.
Perhaps it is yet another coincidence, but one of thePenn-rescued ''hitch hikers,'' Shane Bauer, went on to become a ''journalist'' member of the western media ''regime change'' chorus invested in the criminalization of the Syrian government and its elected President Bashar Al Assad. A ''journalist'' who, without hesitation, regurgitated the now discredited 2018 Douma ''chemical weapon'' story despite serious doubts from acclaimed journalist, Robert Fisk, who was one of the first to visit the scene of the alleged attack. Evidence that the attack was, almost certainly, a staged event, produced by the UK FCO-midwived White Helmets and Douma's dominant armed group, Jaish Al Islam, seemed to escape Bauer's ''in depth'' journalism. One Syrian commentator on Twitter responded succinctly to Bauer's tweet:
Bauer, himself, reported that he had been denied a visa by the Syrian authorities because his ''journalism'' was not considered objective enough. It is quite possible that the decision could also have been influenced by his history of illegal entry into Iran. True to form, Bauer entered Syria illegally with the help of US-proxies, the Kurdish contra forces, the so-called ''Syrian Democratic Forces'' occupying much of north-east Syria, including the oil fields in order to produce his undercover report which served as thinly veiled PR for the continuation of a ten-year US/UK-led war against Syria.
Celebrity humanitarianism: PR for neoliberal capitalism and US hegemonyIs Sean Penn a Hollywood ''honey trap'' for the five eyes intelligence alliance, as he was colourfully described by a Twitter commenter recently? Or is Penn nothing more than a member of the rising celebrity cult-humanitarian complex spearheaded by entertainment stars, billionaires and activist ''NGOs'' that include Bill Gates, George Soros, Angelina Jolie, Bono and Penn's ex-wife, Madonna? The line between being an intelligence asset and an ''innocent'' promoter of US hegemony and neoliberal capitalism is an indistinct one in either case.
The three men on the beach, Sean Penn, Jack Dorsey and Vivi Nevo. Photo: the Daily MailIn many instances, the timing of Penn's ''happenstance'' meetings with figures key to US foreign policy and military adventurism raises obvious questions. I have not covered all of Penn's political publicity stunts in this article, only those I consider to be the primary ones. Effectively, Penn's political involvement has furthered the foreign policy objectives of the US predatory class, which inevitably result in global inequality, food insecurity and devastation for countries in the cross-hairs, the same global insecurity that Penn's version of celebrity altruism claims to fight against.
As described in the book, ''Celebrity Humanitarianism '' the ideology of global charity'' by Byllan Kapoor:
''[..]celebrity humanitarianism, far from being altruistic, is significantly contaminated and ideological: it is most often self-serving, helping to promote institutional aggrandizement and the celebrity 'brand'; it advances consumerism and corporate capitalism, and rationalizes the very global inequality it seeks to redress; it is fundamentally depoliticizing, despite its pretensions to 'activism'; and it contributes to a 'post-democratic' political landscape, which appears outwardly open and consensual, but is in fact managed by unaccountable elites.''
Penn is a Covid-19 fearmongering fanatic. Aside from demanding that the military be involved in the response, Penn has issued an array of stinging attacks on Twitter against President Trump's Covid-19 measures, deeming them ineffective and disproportionate to the Penn-perceived magnitude of the threat. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Penn is supportive of the Biden power bid, which will bring in a Covid-19 task force comprised of individuals who have voiced support for eugenics and population control.
Had it only been his histrionic man-child narcissism, he'd have been a punchline prissy president. It's his sociopathy & murder of 100's of thousands of Americans & his vainglorious crew of smarmy sycophants that will define him in infamy. That's my last tweet on this demagogue.
'-- Sean Penn (@SeanPenn) November 16, 2020Who persuaded Penn to take to Twitter earlier this year? None other than Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, who will be the main subject of Part 2 of this article, which will cover Dorsey's role in funding and promoting the Covid-19 Big Pharma programmes and draconian US government population suppression measures.
Sean Penn with Vivi Nevo and Leonardo Di Caprio at the Haiti Rising Gala, 2017. Photo: Getty images, Vogue.The three men on the beach are instrumental in paving the way for the Great Reset and Dorsey should be held responsible for much of the Twitter censorship of dissenting voices during this unprecedented power grab by the powers that be. Celebrities like Penn and influencers like Dorsey enable their expansionism rather than call for their accountability for the damage being inflicted upon the world's most vulnerable and increasingly disenfranchised human beings under the guise of ''relief.''
Biden plans swift moves to protect and advance LGBTQ rights - ABC News
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 03:13
As vice president in 2012, Joe Biden endeared himself to many LGBTQ Americans by endorsing same-sex marriage even before his boss, President Barack Obama
By
DAVID CRARY and ELANA SCHOR Associated Press
November 28, 2020, 1:30 PM ET
' 5 min read
As vice president in 2012, Joe Biden endeared himself to many LGBTQ Americans by endorsing same-sex marriage even before his boss, President Barack Obama.
Now, as president-elect, Biden is making sweeping promises to LGBTQ activists, proposing to carry out virtually every major proposal on their wish lists. Among them: Lifting the Trump administration's near-total ban on military service for transgender people, barring federal contractors from anti-LGBTQ job discrimination, and creating high-level LGBTQ-rights positions at the State Department, the National Security Council and other federal agencies.
In many cases the measures would reverse executive actions by President Donald Trump, whose administration took numerous steps to weaken protections for transgender people and create more leeway for discrimination against LGBTQ people, ostensibly based on religious grounds.
In a policy document, the Biden campaign said Trump and Vice President Mike Pence ''have given hate against LGBTQ+ individuals safe harbor and rolled back critical protections.''
Beyond executive actions he can take unilaterally, Biden says his top legislative priority for LGBTQ issues is the Equality Act, passed by the House of Representatives last year but stalled in the Senate. It would extend to all 50 states the comprehensive anti-bias protections already afforded to LGBTQ people in 21 mostly Democratic-governed states, covering such sectors as housing, public accommodations and public services.
Biden says he wants the act to become law within 100 days of taking office, but its future remains uncertain. Assuming the bill passes again in the House, it would need support from several Republicans in the Senate, even if the Democrats gain control by winning two runoff races in Georgia. For now, Susan Collins of Maine is the only GOP co-sponsor in the Senate.
Critics, including prominent religious conservatives, say the bill raises religious freedom concerns and could require some faith-based organizations to operate against their beliefs.
The Equality Act ''is a dangerous game changer'' in its potential federal threat to religious liberty, said the Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
Rep. Chris Stewart, a Utah Republican, tried to strike a compromise last year that would have expanded LGBTQ rights nationwide while allowing exemptions for religious groups to act on beliefs that could exclude LGBTQ people. His proposal won support from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Seventh-day Adventist Church but was panned by liberal and civil rights groups.
''Anti-equality forces are trying to use the framework of religious liberty to strip away individual rights,'' said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBTQ-rights organization.
Among the actions that Biden pledges to take unilaterally, scrapping Trump's transgender military ban would be among the most notable.
Jennifer Levi, a Massachusetts-based transgender-rights lawyer, said it's clear Biden has the authority to do so after taking office.
Nicolas Talbott, a transgender man whom Levi has represented in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the ban, called that ''a huge relief.''
''I look forward to being allowed to re-enroll in ROTC so I can continue to train, keep up my fitness to serve, and become the best Army officer I can possibly be,'' Talbott said via email.
Some of Biden's other promises:
'-- Appoint an array of LGBTQ people to federal government positions. There's wide expectation that Biden will nominate an LGBTQ person to a Cabinet post, with former presidential contender Pete Buttigieg among the possibilities.
'-- Reverse Trump administration policies carving out religious exemptions allowing discrimination against LGBTQ people by social service agencies, health care providers, adoption and foster care agencies and other entities.
'-- Reinstate Obama administration guidance directing public schools to allow transgender students to access bathrooms, locker rooms and sports teams in accordance with their gender identity. The Trump administration revoked this guidance.
'-- Allocate federal resources to help curtail violence against transgender people, particularly transgender women of color. Rights groups say at least 38 transgender or gender-nonconforming people have been killed in the U.S. this year.
'-- Support legislative efforts to ban so-called conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors.
'-- Bolster federal efforts to collect comprehensive data about LGBTQ people in the U.S. by adding questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to national surveys.
'-- Ensure that LGBTQ rights are a priority for U.S. foreign policy and be prepared to use pressure tactics, including sanctions, against foreign governments violating those rights.
Whatever happens in Washington, some activists worry that Republican-controlled state legislatures may push anti-LGBTQ bills, such as curtailing the ability of transgender youth to access certain medical treatments or participate in school sports. They are also concerned that an influx of conservative federal judges appointed by Trump might lead to rulings allowing religious exemptions.
Earlier this month the Supreme Court '-- now with a solid conservative majority '-- heard arguments on whether a Catholic social services agency in Philadelphia should be able to turn away same-sex couples who want to be foster parents, while still receiving local government funding.
Tim Schultz, a religious freedom advocate, outlined two potential paths for the debate over the Equality Act: ''ongoing legislative gridlock, regulatory trench warfare and judicial decisions, which will happen independently of what the president does,'' or active engagement by Biden for a new strategy that can win bipartisan support in the Senate.
The first path would provide only ''temporary satisfaction,'' given that regulatory moves can be undone by future presidents, said Schultz, president of the nonprofit 1st Amendment Partnership.
Nathan Diament, executive director of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, cited Biden's campaign-trail appeals for unity '-- and his commitment to faith outreach '-- as positive signs for more engagement on the issue next year.
''He and his team will be very well-positioned to broker compromise if they want to, to get this done,'' said Diament, who has advised both the Trump and Obama administrations.
'--'--'--
Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for this content.
Iran
Iran promises revenge for assassinated nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh - Vox
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 18:14
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pledged retaliation for the killing of Iran's top nuclear scientist in remarks Saturday, promising a response ''to the martyrdom of our scientist at the proper time.''
The scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was killed near Tehran on Friday, authorities said, just weeks after an international monitoring agency confirmed that the country had taken new steps in its nuclear development, moving even further past limits on nuclear research imposed by a now discarded 2015 nuclear deal.
According to Iran's Defense Ministry, Fakhrizadeh was ambushed by gunmen while traveling to a town about 40 miles away from Tehran, and died after being taken to a hospital.
No country or group has claimed responsibility for Fakhrizadeh's death, but in a statement on Twitter, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif described the killing as ''an act of state terror.'' In his televised address Saturday, Rouhani accused Israel of being behind the attacks.
Experts say Rouhani's accusation is likely not wrong. According to the New York Times, at least one American official, as well as two other intelligence officials, have indicated that Israel was responsible for Fakhrizadeh's death.
Such an attack would seem to be within Israel's abilities. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that Israeli assassins in the Tehran '-- Iran's capital '-- killed a top Al Qaeda leader living there on behalf of the US. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Fakhrizadeh as a figure of interest and import in a 2018 speech. Israeli officials, however, have largely refused to comment on whether the country played any role in the killing. Cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi told Israel's Meet the Press on Saturday that he has ''no clue'' who is behind the attack.
Whoever is responsible for Fakhrizadeh's death '-- the latest loss in a long-running US-led campaign of ''maximum pressure'' on Iran under President Donald Trump '-- Iranian military leaders like Iranian Gen. Mohammed Bagheri see his killing as a ''huge blow to the Iranian defense establishment,'' as Axios reported Friday.
And it's also just the latest in a series of setbacks for Iran's nuclear program, including a summer fraught with mysterious explosions at testing and research sites, for which experts believe Israel is likely responsible.
Among other targets, Natanz, Iran's underground chief nuclear facility, was rocked by an explosion in early July. A missile facility, Khojir, was also the site of a major explosion in June.
As Dalia Dassa Kaye, the director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the RAND Corporation, told Vox's Alex Ward in July, ''there is a pattern of escalation and a context'' to this summer's explosions ''that would suggest a motive on the Israeli side to target the Iranians.''
Israel has long been anxious about the prospect of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, concern that may have intensified on Wednesday last week, when the International Atomic Energy Agency '-- a UN agency charged with monitoring Iran's compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal '-- reported that Iran had taken yet another stride toward potentially producing nuclear weapons.
The report says that Iran is using a type of advanced centrifuge prohibited by the deal to enrich uranium at Natanz, the same facility that suffered an explosion in July this year.
In 2018, Trump moved to tear up the nuclear deal and reimpose US sanctions on Iran. Subsequently, Iran has also abandoned portions of the deal, arguing that because the US exited the agreement that it was no longer valid. In January the country indicated that it was enriching uranium at a higher level than before it entered the deal.
Fakhrizadeh's death comes at a delicate time for US-Iran relationsDespite Iran's promise to retaliate, it's somewhat unclear what happens next as tensions in the region remain high. While Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promised ''definitive punishment of the perpetrators and those who ordered it,'' it is not clear what form that might take.
Following the US assassination of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, Iran retaliated with an airstrike on US military bases this past January.
Even before Fakhrizadeh's death, Iran had indicated as recently as September that it plans to retaliate further for Soleimani's killing. But that doesn't mean Iran will choose to act now '-- particularly as it deals with the Middle East's worst coronavirus outbreak '-- which as of last week had caused more than 37,000 officially confirmed deaths.
And as Iran has also laid blame for Fakhrizadeh's death on the US, according to the Times, there's the incoming US presidential administration to consider. President-elect Joe Biden, who was vice president to President Barack Obama when the Iran nuclear deal was negotiated, will take office in January 2021 '-- and has said he hopes to reenter the deal as president.
Iran hasn't ruled out the possibility. In early November Zarif, the country's foreign minister, told CBS News that ''We can find a way to reengage, obviously. But reengagement does not mean renegotiation. It means the US coming back to the negotiating table.''
Whether that reengagement is still an option is no longer clear, however, and with nearly two months left in office, Trump represents something of a wildcard when it comes to the US-Iran relationship. Earlier this month, he reportedly asked advisers about options for a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities at Natanz, though officials now believe such an attack is ''off the table,'' according to the New York Times.
Neighboring Iraq also remains a possible flashpoint. Last week, rockets believed to have been fired by an Iran-linked militia group ''landed in the U.S. Embassy complex within Baghdad's fortified Green Zone,'' according to the Washington Post. No embassy personnel were harmed in the attack, and '-- for now '-- the US remains on track to further draw down its troop presence in Iraq in coming months.
In a statement reported by Al Jazeera Saturday, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ant"nio Guterres called for caution.
''We have noted the reports that an Iranian nuclear scientist has been assassinated near Tehran today,'' UN spokesman Farhan Haq said. ''We urge restraint and the need to avoid any actions that could lead to an escalation of tensions in the region.''
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John Brennan Is Furious at the Killing of Iranian Nuclear Scientist, What He Says Has Some Crying 'Logan Act'
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 20:25
I have one basic rule. Anytime John Brennan is upset about something, you know it's good for the United States.
As we reported earlier, ''someone,'' likely the Israelis, took out out Iran's top nuclear scientist, the father of their military nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
First photos of the car where the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh took place today are circulating on Tabnak's Telegram account. #Iran pic.twitter.com/0iE0Aqtzwg
'-- Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) November 27, 2020
Now at a time when there's a possibility that Joe Biden might come in and re-up the Iran Deal and throw open the doors to all Iran's predations once again, it's not hard to imagine that someone might be trying to head off more possible Iranian nuclear build-up. That they did it because they knew that Biden would likely endanger everyone in the area cosying up to Iran and letting them get away with everything once again.
That's why John Brennan was so completely infuriated, he knows the effort was to head off empowering Iran and that steams him, big time. Check this out. Have you ever seen him this upset about any actions against the United States? I daresay not.
Putting the terrorist mullahs in check by is a ''criminal act,'' according to John. Sorry for your loss.
This was a criminal act & highly reckless. It risks lethal retaliation & a new round of regional conflict.Iranian leaders would be wise to wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage & to resist the urge to respond against perceived culprits. https://t.co/0uZhyBTM3S
'-- John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) November 27, 2020
But apparently, bending over for them and sending pallets of cash to keep the terrorist mullahs in power isn't.
I do not know whether a foreign government authorized or carried out the the murder of Fakhrizadeh. Such an act of state-sponsored terrorism would be a flagrant violation of international law & encourage more governments to carry out lethal attacks against foreign officials.
'-- John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) November 27, 2020
These assassinations are far different than strikes against terrorist leaders & operatives of groups like al-Qaida & Islamic State, which are not sovereign states. As illegitimate combatants under international law, they can be targeted in order to stop deadly terrorist attacks.
'-- John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) November 27, 2020
Is he kidding? No, he isn't. He's running down taking out the leading agent of a terrorist state. Of course, he was against taking out another Iranian enemy who had just attacked us too, Qassem Soleimani.
Oh you really are something 👇👇👇 Iran is the worlds top state sponsor of terror and you assisted in aiding/abetting the enemy with the Iran deal '' how much money did the Obama admin turn over to the regime? Sad and criminal were those actions 👇👇👇 https://t.co/RWxqakzzHu
'-- Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) November 27, 2020
John Brennan is on the other side, folks. https://t.co/Z98G9BiPWr
'-- Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) November 27, 2020
John Brennan is against assassinating people without trial now? It's a Thanksgiving Miracle.
'-- Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) November 27, 2020
Let's also look at what John Brennan just said. Does it sound like a Logan Act question to you?
Did John Brennan just violate the Logan Act? pic.twitter.com/UdBfPgbXMa
'-- Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) November 27, 2020
This, ironically, is *exactly* the message that Flynn gave to Russia during the 2016 transition '-- hey, guys, don't get crazy with retaliation: wait until we're in power shortly and things will be different.
Maybe the FBI should investigate Brennan for Logan Act violations? https://t.co/W6ltqKpsw9
'-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 27, 2020
Some enterprising journalist should ask John Brennan if this tweet constitutes a Logan Act violation by John Brennan according to the standards articulated over the last four years by John Brennan. pic.twitter.com/N3aLFHXcCB
'-- Omri Ceren (@omriceren) November 27, 2020
Surely sounds far worse than anything that Obama/Biden tried to pin on Gen. Michael Flynn.
Not to mention that Obama admin, the one Brennan was in, did things like take down governments in Libya and drone kill Americans, including 16 year old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.
Some took off the gloves on Brennan.
It's bizarre to see a former head of the CIA consistently side with Iranian zealots who chant ''Death to America.''
And reflexively condemn Israel.
Does Joe Biden agree? https://t.co/H38OB1ejCr
'-- Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 27, 2020
Flip the politics of John Brennan and Mike Flynn, and Brennan is dying in a Gitmo cell.
'-- Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) November 27, 2020
Nothing happened to Brennan when the CIA was caught spying on Congress and he was caught lying about it because Obama administration. One of the many many scandals that they skated.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) finished Brennan off.
You are a walking, talking danger to America & our allies '' but at least you're open here about saddling up with Iran. Perhaps you can personally deliver $400 million this time instead of dropping it on a runway'... #StandUpForAmerica #StandWithIsrael https://t.co/MSUwmqEkED
'-- Chip Roy (@chiproytx) November 27, 2020
HT: Twitchy
Ministry of Truthiness
Chch mosque attack inquiry: Evidence suppressed for 30 years, gunman's forever
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 22:50
Evidence given by ministers and public sector bosses to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch terrorist attack will be suppressed for 30 years.
And an interview with the Australian-born terrorist will never be released out of concern it could inspire and assist further attacks.
The inquiry's report was provided to Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti yesterday and will be publicly released on December 8, after first being shared with victims' families and political party leaders.
It will detail any failings by police, spies, and other government agencies in the leadup and aftermath to the mosque shootings on March 15, 2019, in which 51 people were killed.
In a final minute issued yesterday, commissioners Sir William Young and Jacqui Caine said evidence and submissions by public sector chief executives and current and former ministers would be subject to non-publication orders for 30 years.
National security was cited as a reason for the suppressions. Full publication of the evidence could provide a "how-to manual for future terrorists", the commissioners said. Those concerns would likely have "dissipated" in 30 years, they said.
They also said they wanted to protect the confidentiality of the people who spoke to the commission.
"We told them that our process was private and that we would not publish in our report what they told us without first going back to them.
"We did this with a view to encouraging candour, which we received."
Islamic Women's Council national coordinator Anjum Rahman said the suppressions raised concerns about accountability.
"If there are significant failings, the people at the top are responsible for that. And so I find it difficult that those people would continue in their roles.
"Also, for past ministers of the Crown who are included in that, there is no accountability for them unless the report itself contains sufficient evidence and submissions that recounts any failings, negligence, incompetence on their part."
A plaque at the Al-Noor Mosque in Hagley Park, Christchurch, honours the 51 people who lost their lives on 15 March 2019.
Rahman said if the inquiry did not provide necessary accountability, a coroner's inquest could be required. She noted that would be a stressful process and could only occur at the request of victims.
A coroner's inquest would also allow exploration of aspects of the attack which the Royal Commission had ruled out, such as the role of social media companies or recommendations for gun reforms.
The commissioners noted that some members of Muslim communities, academics and public sector agencies wanted the inquiry's interview with terrorist Brenton Tarrant to be published.
"Some people are frustrated that, by his guilty pleas, the individual avoided a trial at which the reasons for the terrorist attack might have been explored," their minute said.
The transcript would be provided to the New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS) to help them improve their knowledge of extreme right-wing and lone actor terrorists, the commissioners said.
But it would not be publicly released because it included details about how he planned and prepared for the attack and could enable further attacks.
It also included acknowledgements by the terrorist about what he felt were "mistakes" in the way he carried out the terrorist attack - which could be read by potential terrorists as "advice".
Furthermore, his motives and "reasoning" could be used to provide a platform for the dissemination of his views.
A number of individuals involved in the inquiry would also have their identities suppressed, including the police officers who vetted Tarrant for his firearms licence and the people who provided references for him.
Tinetti will table the report in Parliament on Tuesday, December 8.
"I know this will have been a challenging process for whānau, survivors and witnesses of the terrorist attack and I want to acknowledge their engagement," she said in a statement yesterday."I want to thank Commissioners Sir William Young and Jacqui Caine for seeking out and honouring those voices in their report."
The report would be shared confidentially with families and victims before the public release.
"It is only right that they have the space and opportunity to privately reflect on the findings. We ask people to respect their privacy during this time," Tinetti said.
Party leaders would also receive the report before it was publicly released.
Tarrant was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole in August.
Swamp
Trump Administration Abruptly Ousts Leading Experts From Top Pentagon Advisory Group
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 14:35
Exclusive It's unclear why the Trump administration waited until its final months to shake up the influential group of outside experts advising top Pentagon leaders. the Biden transition
This article is part of The Biden Transition, Foreign Policy's ongoing coverage of how U.S. President-elect Joe Biden builds a new White House administration'--and what the new team's policies might be.
U.S. President Donald Trump and then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis walk into the Pentagon for a meeting with military leaders in Arlington, Virginia, on Jan. 18, 2018. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Jack Detsch is Foreign Policy's Pentagon and national security reporter. Twitter: @JackDetsch
Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @RobbieGramer
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People Drawn to Conspiracy Theories Share a Cluster of Psychological Features - Scientific American
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 15:27
Stephan Lewandowsky was deep in denial. About six years ago the cognitive scientist had thrown himself into a study of why some people refuse to accept the overwhelming evidence that the planet is warming and humans are responsible. As he delved into this climate change denialism, Lewandowsky, then at the University of Western Australia, discovered that many of the naysayers also believed in outlandish plots, such as the idea that the Apollo moon landing was a hoax created by the American government. ''A lot of the discourse these people were engaging in on the Internet was totally conspiratorial,'' he recalls.
Lewandowsky's findings, published in 2013 in Psychological Science, brought these conspiracy theorists out of the woodwork. Offended by his claims, they criticized his integrity online and demanded that he be fired. (He was not, although he has since moved to the University of Bristol in England.) But as Lewandowsky waded through one irate post after another, he discovered that his critics'--in response to his assertions about their conspiratorial tendencies'--were actually spreading new conspiracy theories about him. These people accused him and his colleagues of faking survey responses and of conducting the research without ethical approval. When his personal Web site crashed, one blogger accused him of intentionally blocking critics from seeing it. None of it was true.
The irony was amusing at first, but the ranting even included a death threat, and calls and e-mails to his university became so vicious that the administrative staff who fielded them asked their managers for help. That was when Lewandowsky changed his assessment. ''I quickly realized that there was nothing funny about these guys at all,'' he says.
The dangerous consequences of the conspiratorial perspective'--the idea that people or groups are colluding in hidden ways to produce a particular outcome'--have become painfully clear. The gunman who shot and killed 11 people and injured six others in a Pittsburgh synagogue in October 2018 justified his attack by claiming that Jewish people were stealthily supporting illegal immigrants. In 2016 a conspiracy theory positing that high-ranking Democratic Party officials were involved in a child sex ring involving several Washington, D.C., area restaurants incited one believer to fire an assault weapon inside a pizzeria. Luckily no one was hurt.
The mindset is surprisingly common, although thankfully it does not often lead to gunfire. More than a quarter of the American population believes there are conspiracies ''behind many things in the world,'' according to a 2017 analysis of government survey data by University of Oxford and University of Liverpool researchers. The prevalence of conspiracy mongering may not be new, but today the theories are becoming more visible, says Viren Swami, a social psychologist at Anglia Ruskin University in England, who studies the phenomenon. For instance, when more than a dozen bombs were sent to prominent Democrats and Trump critics, as well as CNN, in October 2018, a number of high-profile conservatives quickly suggested that the explosives were really a ''false flag,'' a fake attack orchestrated by Democrats to mobilize their supporters during the U.S. midterm elections.
One obvious reason for the current raised profile of this kind of thinking is that the U.S. president is a vocal conspiracy theorist. Donald Trump has suggested, among other things, that the father of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas helped to assassinate President John F. Kennedy and that Democrats funded the same migrant caravan traveling from Honduras to the U.S. that worried the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter.
But there are other factors at play, too. New research suggests that events happening worldwide are nurturing underlying emotions that make people more willing to believe in conspiracies. Experiments have revealed that feelings of anxiety make people think more conspiratorially. Such feelings, along with a sense of disenfranchisement, currently grip many Americans, according to surveys. In such situations, a conspiracy theory can provide comfort by identifying a convenient scapegoat and thereby making the world seem more straightforward and controllable. ''People can assume that if these bad guys weren't there, then everything would be fine,'' Lewandowsky says. ''Whereas if you don't believe in a conspiracy theory, then you just have to say terrible things happen randomly.''
Discerning fact from fiction can be difficult, however, and some seemingly wild conspiracy ideas turn out to be true. The once scoffed at notion that Russian nationals meddled in the 2016 presidential election is now supported by a slew of guilty pleas, evidence-based indictments and U.S. intelligence agency conclusions. So how is one to know what to believe? There, too, psychologists have been at work and have uncovered strategies that can help people distinguish plausible theories from those that are almost certainly fake'--strategies that seem to become more important by the day.
The anxiety connectionIn May 2018 the American Psychiatric Association released the results of a national survey suggesting that 39 percent of Americans feel more anxious than they did a year ago, primarily about health, safety, finances, politics and relationships. Another 2017 report found that 63 percent of Americans are extremely worried about the future of the nation and that 59 percent consider this the lowest point in U.S. history that they can remember. These feelings span the political spectrum. A 2018 Pew Research Center survey found that the majority of both Democrats and Republicans feel that ''their side'' in politics has been losing in recent years on issues they find important.
Such existential crises can promote conspiratorial thinking. In a 2015 study in the Netherlands, researchers split college students into three groups. People in one group were primed to feel powerless. The scientists asked them to recall and write about a time in their lives when they felt they were not in control of the situation they were in. Those in a second group were cued in the opposite direction. They were asked to write about a time when they felt totally in control. And still others, in a third group, were asked something neutral: to describe what they had for dinner last night. Then the researchers asked all the groups how they felt about the construction of a new subway line in Amsterdam that had been plagued by problems.
Conspiracy theorists believe plots are behind many situations. Some hold that the Apollo moon landing was faked (left), others that the White House forced Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire (right). Credit: Getty Images (left); Brendan Smialowski Getty Images (right)Others claim that Trump slogans on a mail bomber's van were put there to frame Republicans (left). The gunman who killed 11 synagogue members in 2018 claimed a Jewish group was undermining America (right). Credit: Alamy (left); Jeff Swensen Getty Images (right)Students who had been primed to feel in control were less likely than students in the other two groups to support conspiracy theories regarding the subway line, such as the belief that the city council was stealing from the subway's budget and that it was intentionally jeopardizing residents' safety. Other studies have uncovered similar effects. Swami and his colleagues, for instance, reported in 2016 that individuals who feel stressed are more likely than others to believe in conspiracy theories, and a 2017 study found that promoting anxiety in people also makes them more conspiracy-minded.
Feeling alienated or unwanted also seems to make conspiratorial thinking more attractive. In 2017 Princeton University psychologists set up an experiment with trios of people. The researchers asked all participants to write two paragraphs describing themselves and then told them that their descriptions would be shared with the other two in their group, who would use that information to decide if they would work with the person in the future. After telling some subjects that they had been accepted by their group and others that they had been rejected, the researchers evaluated the subjects' thoughts on various conspiracy-related scenarios. The ''rejected'' participants, feeling alienated, were more likely than the others to think the scenarios involved a coordinated conspiracy.
It is not just personal crises that encourage individuals to form conspiratorial suspicions. Collective social setbacks do so as well. In a 2018 study, researchers at the University of Minnesota and Lehigh University surveyed more than 3,000 Americans. They found that participants who felt that American values are eroding were more likely than others to agree with conspiratorial statements, such as that ''many major events have behind them the actions of a small group of influential people.'' Joseph Uscinski, a political scientist at the University of Miami, and his colleagues have shown that people who dislike the current political party in power think more conspiratorially than those who support the controlling party. Recently in the U.S., a number of unproved conjectures have come from political liberals as conservatives have ascended to control the government. These include the charge that the White House coerced Anthony Kennedy to retire from the U.S. Supreme Court and the allegation that Russian president Vladimir Putin is blackmailing Trump with a video of him watching prostitutes urinate on a Moscow hotel bed.
When feelings of personal alienation or anxiety are combined with a sense that society is in jeopardy, people experience a kind of conspiratorial double whammy. In a study conducted in 2009, near the start of the U.S.'s Great Recession, Daniel Sullivan, a psychologist now at the University of Arizona, and his colleagues told one group that parts of their lives were largely out of their control because they could be exposed to a natural disaster or some other catastrophe and told another group that things were under their control. Then participants were asked to read essays that argued that the government was handling the economic crisis either well or poorly. Those cued about uncontrolled life situations and told their government was doing a bad job were the most likely to think that negative events in their lives would be instigated by enemies rather than random chance, which is a conspiratorial hallmark.
While humans seek solace in conspiracy theories, however, they rarely find it. ''They're appealing but not necessarily satisfying,'' says Daniel Jolley, a psychologist at Staffordshire University in England. For one thing, conspiratorial thinking can incite individuals to behave in a way that increases their sense of powerlessness, making them feel even worse. A 2014 study co-authored by Jolley found that people who are presented with conspiracy theories about climate change'--scientists are just chasing grant money, for instance'--are less likely to plan to vote, whereas a 2017 study reported that believing in work-related conspiracies'--such as the idea that managers make decisions to protect their own interests'--causes individuals to feel less committed to their job. ''It can snowball and become a pretty vicious, nasty cycle of inaction and negative behavior,'' says Karen Douglas, a psychologist at the University of Kent in England and a co-author of the paper on work-related conspiracies.
The negative and alienated beliefs can also promote dangerous behaviors in some, as with the Pittsburgh shootings and the pizzeria attack. But the theories need not involve weapons to inflict harm. People who believe vaccine conspiracy theories, for example, say they are less inclined to vaccinate their kids, which creates pockets of infectious disease that put entire communities at risk.
Telling fact from fictionIt may be possible to quell conspiracy ideation, at least to some degree. One long-standing question has been whether or not it is a good idea to counter conspiracy theories with logic and evidence. Some older research has pointed to a ''backfire effect'''--the idea that refuting misinformation can just make individuals dig their heels in deeper. ''If you think there are powerful forces trying to conspire and cover [things] up, when you're given what you see as a cover story, it only shows you how right you are,'' Uscinski says.
But more recent research suggests that this putative effect is, in fact, rare. A 2016 study reported that when researchers refuted a conspiracy theory by pointing out its logical inconsistencies, it became less enchanting to people. And in a paper published online in 2018 in Political Behavior, researchers recruited more than 10,000 people and presented them with corrections to various claims made by political figures. The authors concluded that ''evidence of factual backfire is far more tenuous than prior research suggests.'' In a recent review, the researchers who first described the backfire effect said that it may arise most often when people are being challenged over ideas that define their worldview or sense of self. Finding ways to counter conspiracy theories without challenging a person's identity may therefore be an effective strategy.
Encouraging analytic thinking may also help. In a 2014 study published in Cognition, Swami and his colleagues recruited 112 people for an experiment. First, they had everyone fill out a questionnaire that evaluated how strongly they believed in various conspiracy theories. A few weeks later the subjects came back in, and the researchers split them into two groups. One group completed a task that included unscrambling words in sentences containing words such as ''analyze'' and ''rational,'' which primed them to think more analytically. The second group completed a neutral task.
Then the researchers readministered the conspiracy theory test to the two groups. Although the groups had been no different in terms of conspiratorial thinking at the beginning of the experiment, the subjects who had been incited to think analytically became less conspiratorial. Thus, by giving people ''the tools and the skills to analyze data and to look at data critically and objectively,'' we might be able to suppress conspiratorial thinking, Swami says.
Analytic thinking can also help discern implausible theories from ones that, crazy as they sound, are supported by evidence. Karen Murphy, an educational psychologist at Pennsylvania State University, suggests that individuals who want to improve their analytic thinking skills should ask three key questions when interpreting conspiracy claims. One: What is your evidence? Two: What is your source for that evidence? Three: What is the reasoning that links your evidence back to the claim? Sources of evidence need to be accurate, credible and relevant. For instance, ''you shouldn't take advice from your mom about whether the yellow color under your fingernails is a bad sign,'' Murphy says'--that kind of information should come from someone who has expertise on the topic, such as a physician.
In addition, false conspiracy theories have several hallmarks, Lewandowsky says. Three of them are particularly noticeable. First, the theories include contradictions. For example, some deniers of climate change argue that there is no scientific consensus on the issue while framing themselves as heroes pushing back against established consensus. Both cannot be true. A second telltale sign is when a contention is based on shaky assumptions. Trump, for instance, claimed that millions of illegal immigrants cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election and were the reason he lost the popular vote. Beyond the complete lack of evidence for such voting, his assumption was that multitudes of such votes'--if they existed'--would have been for his Democratic opponent. Yet past polls of unauthorized Hispanic immigrants suggest that many of them would have voted for a Republican candidate over a Democratic one.
A third sign that a claim is a far-fetched theory, rather than an actual conspiracy, is that those who support it interpret evidence against their theory as evidence for it. When the van of the alleged mail bomber Cesar Sayoc was found in Florida plastered with Trump stickers, for instance, some individuals said this helped to prove that Democrats were really behind the bombs. ''If anyone thinks this is what a real conservative's van looks like, you are being willfully ignorant. Cesar Sayoc is clearly just a fall guy for this obvious false flag,'' one person posted on Twitter.
Conspiracy theories are a human reaction to confusing times. ''We're all just trying to understand the world and what's happening in it,'' says Rob Brotherton, a psychologist at Barnard College and author of Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe in Conspiracy Theories (Bloomsbury Sigma, 2015). But real harm can come from such thinking, especially when believers engage in violence as a show of support. By looking out for suspicious signatures and asking thoughtful questions about the stories we encounter, it is still possible to separate truth from lies. It may not always be an easy task, but it is a crucial one for all of us.
This article was originally published with the title "Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories" in Scientific American 320, 3, 58-63 (March 2019)
doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0319-58
MORE TO EXPLORENASA Faked the Moon Landing'--Therefore, (Climate) Science Is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science. Stephan Lewandowsky et al. in Psychological Science, Vol. 24, No. 5, pages 622''633; May 2013.
The Influence of Control on Belief in Conspiracy Theories: Conceptual and Applied Extensions. Jan-Willem van Prooijen and Michele Acker in Applied Cognitive Psychology, Vol. 29, No. 5, pages 753''761; September/October 2015.
Putting the Stress on Conspiracy Theories: Examining Associations between Psychological Stress, Anxiety, and Belief in Conspiracy Theories. Viren Swami et al. in Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 99, pages 72''76; September 2016.
Suspicion in the Workplace: Organizational Conspiracy Theories and Work-Related Outcomes. Karen M. Douglas and Ana C. Leite in British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 108, No. 3; pages 486''506; August 2017.
FROM OUR ARCHIVESWhat a Hoax. Sander van der Linden; Scientific American Mind, September/October 2013.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)Melinda Wenner MoyerContributing editor Melinda Wenner Moyer wrote "American Epidemic" (May 2018), which won second place for health policy in the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.
Credit: Nick Higgins
BLM
Oscars: Academy to implement diversity standards for eligibility
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 00:52
The Academy is making big changes to itself and the Oscars.
On Friday, amid the national conversation about systemic racism sparked by the death of George Floyd, the Academy announced sweeping plans aimed at swiftly furthering its diversity and inclusion initiatives, including setting the best picture category at 10 nominees, rather than a fluctuating number, starting with the 2021 Oscars ceremony.
The changes are a new phase of the organization's ongoing efforts, known as ''Academy Aperture 2025,'' to tackle issues of equity and diversity within the Academy and its gilded award show. Eligibility for those awards will soon include inclusion standards. The Academy is creating "a task force of industry leaders, appointed by David Rubin" which "will include governor and A2020 Committee chair DeVon Franklin, to develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility by July 31, 2020," it said in a news release.
More:So you want to learn about racism in America? Stream these 20 compelling movies and TV shows
In addition to setting the best picture category at 10 nominees permanently, the Academy will make it easier for its voters to screen movies year-round, increasing the exposure of movies that don't premiere in a traditional "awards season" window.
Internally, the organization also said it is tackling issues of race and diversity within its ranks, requiring board members and staff to take unconscious bias training, establishing an Office of Representation, Inclusion and Equity and setting term limits for governors. They will be allowed to serve on the board for a lifetime maximum of 12 years. The limits take effect with the 2020-2021 term.
More:Will we ever go to movie theaters again? And are the Oscars even happening? We have answers
Other elements of the initiative included setting up an Inclusion Advisory Committee for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and hosting forums for members and the public for "conversations about race, ethnicity, history, opportunity, and the art of filmmaking."
''While the Academy has made strides, we know there is much more work to be done in order to ensure equitable opportunities across the board,'' said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. ''The need to address this issue is urgent. To that end, we will amend '' and continue to examine '' our rules and procedures to ensure that all voices are heard and celebrated.''
Aperture 2025 is an ongoing in initiative that already includes grants to aspiring filmmakers, among other programs.
The Oscars have long been criticized for a failure to represent diverse actors, directors and behind-the-camera artists in its winners and nominees, which has been called out using the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. The organization has responded in the past by extending membership to wider groups of filmmakers over the past few years. At this year's ceremony, South Korean film "Parasite" became the first foreign-language film to win best picture, a milestone many saw as progress for the institution. However in that same night, Black British actress Cynthia Erivo was the lone person of color nominated across 20 acting categories.
More:The Oscars were never meant to be diverse, and we can stop pretending as if they were
Earlier this year, the Academy announced changes to eligibility for the 2021 Oscars due to the coronavirus pandemic. Movies that premiered on digital streaming platforms and didn't receive a conventional release will be eligible for best picture and all various categories at the 93rd Academy Awards (planned for Feb. 28, 2021).
The new requirement is a change from a film's usual theatrical qualifying run of at least seven consecutive days, though one caveat is that streaming movies in consideration would had to have a previously planned theatrical release (such as the "Trolls" sequel and Judd Apatow's upcoming "The King of Staten Island"). Once theaters begin to open, the new rules exemption will no longer apply.
Contributing: Brian Truitt, Andrea Mandell
OTG
Microsoft's Creepy New Feature Gamifies Workplace Surveillance
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 05:15
Photo: Olivier Douliery (Getty Images) Microsoft rolled out its new ''Productivity Score'' feature this month, which lets bosses track how their employees use Microsoft's suite of tools. If that sounds like an Orwellian nightmare in the making to you, you're not alone'--privacy experts are criticizing the company for essentially gamifying workplace surveillance.
When Microsoft first announced the feature in October , the company billed it as a way to provide ''insights that transform how work gets done'' to employers. To do this, the tool gathers data on each employee's behavior across 73 metrics and presents a handy-dandy breakdown to their bosses at the end of each month, Forbes reports .
These metrics include how often workers turn their cameras on during virtual meetings, how frequently they send emails (and how many contain @ mentions), whether they regularly contribute to shared documents or group chats, and the number of days they used Microsoft's tools such as Word, Excel, Skype, Outlook, or Teams in the last month, just to name a few . Microsoft lays out all the ways it monitors you through its office suite in the company's own documentation, though admittedly you'll have to go digging through about a dozen web pages to find them.
Microsoft 365's corporate VP Jared Spataro specified in a blog post that the feature, which debuted to little fanfare on Nov. 17, is ''not a work monitoring tool'' and that Microsoft has incorporated several security measures to demonstrate its commitment to privacy. For example, every employee's productivity score is aggregated over a 28-day period, and there are privacy controls available to anonymize that data or remove it completely.
Of course, what Spataro conveniently fails to mention is that only an administrator , aka your boss, can access those controls in the first place, which is zero comfort for any employee justifiably concerned about potential invasions of privacy. In a statement to Guardian , a Microsoft spokesperson echoed this pretense of choice, calling the feature ''an opt-in experience'' even though workers aren't the ones who can decide whether to opt-in.
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''Productivity score is an opt-in experience that gives IT administrators insights about technology and infrastructure usage,'' the spokesperson said. ''Insights are intended to help organisations make the most of their technology investments by addressing common pain points like long boot times, inefficient document collaboration, or poor network connectivity. Insights are shown in aggregate over a 28-day period and are provided at the user level so that an IT admin can provide technical support and guidance.''
Privacy experts are understandably pissed to see blatant workplace surveillance repackaged as a productivity optimization tool, and one with a cutesy game-themed ''score'' design no less. David Heinemeier Hansson, co-founder of the office suite Basecamp, described the feature's design as ''morally bankrupt at its core'' in a series of tweets this week.
''The word dystopian is not nearly strong enough to describe the fresh hellhole Microsoft just opened up,'' he said. ''Being under constant surveillance in the work place is psychological abuse. Having to worry about looking busy for the stats is the last thing we need to inflict on anyone right now.''
Data privacy researcher Wolfie Christl, who called the feature ''problematic at many levels,'' pointed out that while Microsoft offers employers the option to turn off employee monitoring, it's enabled by default when they first boot up Microsoft 365. He added that Microsoft's new tool may even be illegal in some European Union countries given the region's s trict regulations on how companies can access user data.
Heinemeier Hansson summed up just how unsettling Microsoft's ''Productivity Score'' is in one of his tweets :
''One way to crystalize just how creepy this scheme is is by imagining a person with a stopwatch and a clipboard sitting behind you. Meticulously recording how long you spend on each task, compiling a dossier on everyone doing the same, then reporting the findings to management,'' he said.
Workplace surveillance has become a particularly prevalent concern this year with the pandemic pushing more and more people to work from home. In June, the research firm Gartner found that 16% of employers were using monitoring tools more frequently to track their workers' computer usage, internal communications, and engagement among other data. And with coronavirus cases continuing to climb to record heights in the U.S. , experts expect the development and adoption of these tools to only ramp up further .
Secret Amazon Reports Expose Company Spying on Labor, Environmental Groups
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 14:52
A trove of more than two dozen internal Amazon reports reveal in stark detail the company's obsessive monitoring of organized labor and social and environmental movements in Europe, particularly during Amazon's ''peak season'' between Black Friday and Christmas. The reports, obtained by Motherboard, were written in 2019 by Amazon intelligence analysts who work for the Global Security Operations Center, the company's security division tasked with protecting Amazon employees, vendors, and assets at Amazon facilities around the world.
The documents show Amazon analysts closely monitor the labor and union-organizing activity of their workers throughout Europe, as well as environmentalist and social justice groups on Facebook and Instagram. They also indicate, and an Amazon spokesperson confirmed, that Amazon has hired Pinkerton operatives'--from the notorious spy agency known for its union-busting activities'--to gather intelligence on warehouse workers.
Internal emails sent to Amazon's Global Security Operations Center obtained by Motherboard reveal that all the division's team members around the world receive updates on labor organizing activities at warehouses that include the exact date, time, location, the source who reported the action, the number of participants at an event (and in some cases a turnout rate of those expected to participate in a labor action), and a description of what happened, such as a "strike" or "the distribution of leaflets." Other documents reveal that Amazon intelligence analysts keep close tabs on how many warehouse workers attend union meetings; specific worker dissatisfactions with warehouse conditions, such as excessive workloads; and cases of warehouse-worker theft, from a bottle of tequila to $15,000 worth of smart watches.
The documents offer an unprecedented look inside the internal security and surveillance apparatus of a company that has vigorously attempted to tamp down employee dissent and has previously been caught smearing employees who attempted to organize their colleagues. Amazon's approach of dealing with its own workforce, labor unions, and social and environmental movements as a threat has grave implications for its workers' privacy and ability to join labor unions and collectively bargain'--and not only in Europe. It should also be concerning to both customers and workers in the United States and Canada, and around the world as the company expands into Turkey, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, and India.
Amazon intelligence analysts appear to gather information on labor organizing and social movements to prevent any disruptions to order fulfillment operations. The new intelligence reports obtained by Motherboard reveal in detail how Amazon uses social media to track environmental activism and social movements in Europe'--including Greenpeace and Fridays For Future, environmental activist Greta Thunberg's global climate strike movement'--and perceives such groups as a threat to its operations. In 2019, Amazon monitored the Yellow Vests movement, also known as the gilet jaunes, a grassroots uprising for economic justice that spread across France'--and solidarity movements in Vienna and protests against state repression in Iran.
Protesters from environmentalist groups including Extinction Rebellion, ANV-COP 21, Alternatiba, Attac block an Amazon depot in Saint Priest, near Lyon, France, on Black Friday 2019. (Nicolas Liponne/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The stated purpose of one of these documents is to "highlight potential risks/hazards that may impact Amazon operations, in order to meet customer expectation."
"Like any other responsible business, we maintain a level of security within our operations to help keep our employees, buildings, and inventory safe," Lisa Levandowski, a spokesperson for Amazon told Motherboard. "That includes having an internal investigations team who work with law enforcement agencies as appropriate, and everything we do is in line with local laws and conducted with the full knowledge and support of local authorities. Any attempt to sensationalize these activities or suggest we're doing something unusual or wrong is irresponsible and incorrect."
Levandowski denied that Amazon hired on-the-ground operatives, and said that any claim that Amazon performs the described activities across its operations worldwide was "N/A."
In a report from November 2019, however, an analyst wrote that Amazon hired Pinkerton spies who were "inserted" into a warehouse in Wroclaw, Poland, to investigate an allegation that management coached job candidates on how to complete job interviews and possibly even conducted the process for them.
The Pinkerton spies were posted in a Wroclaw warehouse known as WRO1, operated by the Amazon contractor ADECCO, to investigate the allegation, according to the Amazon report. "PINKERTON operatives were inserted into WRO1 ADECCO between 2019-11-19 and 2019-11-21. No identifiable evidence of coaching on behalf of the agency recruiters was observed," the document states. "Investigative actions to prove/disprove this hypothesis are ongoing."
The report refers to the Pinkerton Detective Agency, which in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States supplied detectives to infiltrate unions and hired violent goon squads to intimidate workers from engaging in union activity in steel mills. Today, Pinkerton is a subsidiary of the Swedish security company Securitas AB, and has supplied operatives to monitor strikes in West Virginia as recently as 2018.
A confrontation between striking steel workers and the Pinkerton agents in Homestead, Pennsylvania, July 6, 1892. This confrontation was over unionization and contract negotiations at the Carnegie Steel Company's Homestead Steel Works. It led to 16 deaths and several dozen injuries. (PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
Levandowski, the Amazon spokesperson, confirmed that Amazon hired the Pinkerton Detective Agency. "We have business partnerships with specialist companies for many different reasons'--in the case of Pinkerton, to secure high-value shipments in transit," she said. "We do not use our partners to gather intelligence on warehouse workers. All activities we undertake are fully in line with local laws and conducted with the full knowledge and support of local authorities."
Some of the internal reports obtained by Motherboard also suggest that Amazon's risk analysts use the same tactics to monitor its hundreds of thousands of warehouse and delivery drivers throughout the Americas, the Middle East, Australia, and East Asia.
"It's not enough for Amazon to abuse its dominant market power and face antitrust charges by the EU; now they are exporting 19th century American union-busting tactics to Europe," Christy Hoffman, general secretary of UNI Global Union, a global federation of trade unions that represents more than 20 million workers, told Motherboard. "This is a company that is ignoring the law, spying on workers, and using every page of the U.S. union-busting playbook to silence workers' voices."
"For years people have been comparing Big Tech bosses to 19th century robber barons," she continued. "And now by using the Pinkertons to do his dirty work, [Amazon CEO Jeff] Bezos is making that connection even clearer."
In October, Le¯la Chaibi, a member of European Parliament from France, wrote a letter to Bezos co-signed by 37 members of European Parliament, condemning recent reports about Amazon's interference with worker organizing in Europe.
"With Jeff Bezos, we're confronted with someone who doesn't simply run a business and sell products but with someone who is threatening our democracy," Chaibi told Motherboard in response to the new reports about Amazon's surveillance of workers and social movements throughout Europe. "This is a big danger to Europe."
"These reports suggest that corporations like Amazon stand in the way of democracies and economies that work for everyone, and that we have every reason to be concerned," said Dania Rajendra, the director of Athena, a coalition of dozens of grassroots organizations in the United States aligned against Amazon. "We have every right to expect that our elected officials will take this information and protect communities who are harmed by Amazon."
Until recently, little had been made public about Amazon's anti-worker initiatives and strategies'--despite years of reports on Amazon's opposition to union activity and alleged retaliation against workers who organize in the United States. In September, after public outcry, Amazon removed two job postings for intelligence analysts for its Global Security Operations Center who could track "labor organizing threats" to the company. "Fluency (written and spoken) of a second language such as Hindi, Tagalog, Spanish, Arabic, French, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese or Brazilian Portuguese highly desired," the posting read, suggesting the company is tracking labor organizing activity around the world.
UNI Europa, a branch of UNI Global Union, which represents 2 million workers in the European Union, responded to news of the job posts by demanding that the European Commission investigate Amazon's effort to spy on workers in Europe, calling it "potentially illegal."
A source with knowledge of the company's intelligence activities told Motherboard that in order to track protests and other labor organizing activity, Amazon intelligence agents create social media accounts without photos and track the online activity of workers leading organizing efforts. Motherboard granted the source anonymity because they feared retaliation from Amazon.
"When that team stalked people, they'd use fake accounts on social media," they said. "They'd use a fake name and a profile with no photo. The worst part is that they read tons of conversations and messages, and knew everything about the private lives of these people. They knew if they had a bad day with their family."
Levandowski, the spokesperson for Amazon, said it is against company policy to create social media accounts with fake names and photo-less profiles.
A team within Amazon's Global Security Operation Center, which includes former military intelligence analysts, according to LinkedIn, closely tracks organized labor and union activity in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia'--noting where organized labor groups are strongest and could influence Amazon workers.
In one set of documents, known as "security risk assessments," analysts gather data on and evaluate potential risks to Amazon operations at the sites of future and currently operating Amazon warehouses, sorting centers, and delivery stations. These documents break down their analyses into at least four categories: crime, cargo crime, extremism and terrorism, and operational environment. For example, as part of its tracking of crime, analysts monitor the drug trade, noting how it could impact its warehouses but also specifically whether its workers are likely to be drug users. Requests for risk assessments of Amazon warehouse sites are sent to the team by email, according to an email viewed by Motherboard.
The "operational environment" category of Amazon's risk assessments covers labor activities, such as the presence of unions as well as protests and demonstrations and civil disobedience and unrest in areas where Amazon has warehouses or plans to build them, according to the documents. Each category is assigned one of five color-coded "risk ratings" "negligible," "low," "moderate," "high," or "critical." The chart defines "critical" risk as "a strong possibility that the threat source will engage in an action that has potential to impact Amazon associates, business continuity, or assets."
In one report from October 2019, an Amazon warehouse in the exurbs of Paris, known as DIF4, was deemed a "moderate" risk in the operational environment category. Although no unions had presence in Amazon logistics warehouses in France, so-called "anarcho-syndicalist groups," including the Conf(C)d(C)ration G(C)n(C)rale du Travail Unitaire (CGTU), one of France's most powerful trade unions, "had attempted to garner the support Paris-based [Amazon Logistics] associates in the past." The report noted that "such campaigns remain rare, limited in scope, and ultimately unsuccessful."
Two months later, in December 2019, warehouse workers at DIF4, in conjunction with CGTU, shut off power to the warehouse for eight hours in protest of the hiring of temporary workers, forcing a line of unfilled Amazon trucks to sit on the side of the highway for hours, according to a report in Le Parisien.
In two reports, the future site of Amazon warehouses on the outskirts of Milan and on the island of Sardinia in Italy were deemed a "moderate" risk in the operational environment category partly because trade unions, including CFGIl and Uiltrasporti, held protests on the sites of other Italian warehouses on behalf of their workers.
"Until now, these labor actions are not of a large enough scale to significantly compromise Amazon operations or to create extensive delivery delays," the reports said. "However, strike actions often take place unannounced or at very short notice."
An Amazon warehouse on September 4, 2014 in Brieselang, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Two other reports from late 2019 on future warehouse sites in Lower Saxony and Bavaria in Germany highlighted the presence of the labor union Verdi (the union has led many multi-city strikes in Germany, including one on Prime Day in October of this year) and the increasing presence of environmentalist groups, including Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion, and Greta Thunberg's youth-led environmentalist group Friday For Future, as a threat, noting that Fridays For Future was "increasing their influence especially on young people and students" and "growing and attracting more and more people rapidly."
While Thunberg's movement hasn't specifically targeted Amazon, her call for a Global Climate Strike in 2019 inspired hundreds of corporate Amazon employees to stage their own walkout in protest of Amazon's climate policies.
"We are flattered that Amazon considers us a threat great enough to justify employing questionable practices like this," Fridays For Future told Motherboard in a statement, responding to the news. "The fact that the youth protesting around the world is something that a multinational corporation feels the need to be surveilling'--that means what we're doing is working."
Since Amazon posted job listings for two intelligence agents who could track "labor organizing threats," journalists have obtained more documents that reveal some of the sophisticated technology and strategies the company has used to surveil its workforce and gain intelligence on worker organizing. In September, Motherboard obtained evidence that Amazon had been using a social media monitoring tool to spy on dozens of private Facebook groups for Amazon Flex drivers in the United States and Europe. Last month, a report in Recode revealed that Amazon has made significant investments in a new geospatial tool that tracks threats to the company. Out of 40 or so data points Amazon that tracks at least half are labor or employee-related, including ''Whole Foods Market Activism/Unionization Efforts,'' ''union grant money flow patterns,'' ''and ''Presence of Local Union Chapters and Alt Labor Groups."
In October, four U.S. senators, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, responded to these reports in a letter to Jeff Bezos demanding Amazon stop "actively interfering with workers' rights by tracking and monitoring employees who might exercise their rights to freedom of association."
"Amazon needs to stop with the empty words, tell the truth about its failures to keep workers safe, and stop undermining its workers' legal right to organize," Warren said of the new reports obtained by Motherboard. "Until then, I won't stop fighting for these workers, their rights, and their safety."
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, who also recently wrote a letter to Bezos requesting information about Amazon's interference with workers' right to organize, sent statements to Motherboard condemning Amazon's interference with workers' right to organize and the findings in the new reports.
"Amazon's spying on its own employees is especially odious," Wyden said. "It's exhibit A for the need to pass new laws that would beef up federal protections for labor organizing and hold bad actors accountable."
''The magnitude of this surveillance, the lengths to which Amazon has gone to keep it hidden from its own workers, and its admitted purpose are extremely disturbing," said Sen. Brown.
"The fact that Amazon has decided to heavily invest in systems and efforts to avoid unionization rather than improve the wages, hours, and working conditions of its employees demonstrates its reckless disregard for the welfare of its workforce,'' Brown continued.
A second type of report written by Amazon intelligence analysts, called the Monthly Business Review, is broken down into sections by region detailing "highlights" and "lowlights" from each month, and how Amazon handled various threats to its operations spotted by the intelligence team that month. Amazon described its use of Pinkerton spies in this type of report.
In the same report that mentioned the Pinkertons, an analyst explained that after receiving intelligence that then-UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had plans to visit an Amazon warehouse, known as DXS1, in Sheffield, Yorkshire in late November 2019, Amazon sent in security officers and members of its Security & Loss Prevention team to monitor the site. In a speech, Corbyn promised workers outside the Amazon warehouse that he would "tackle wage and cheat culture" at multinational corporations in the United Kingdom.
A representative from GMB, the union for Amazon workers, during a protest over what it claims are 'inhuman conditions' at the Amazon Swansea fulfillment centre at Ffordd Amazon on November 23, 2018 in Swansea, Wales. (Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
"No unauthorized access was granted to anyone during the visit and one member of the public was prevented from entering the building by onsite security," the report said of Corbyn's visit to the site.
In 2019, the same report states, Amazon warehouse workers redeemed $37,900 worth of customer gift cards in the United Kingdom, and that six of those employees were identified and fired. In Poland, Amazon "off-boarded" two employees suspected of writing threats "on inventory packaging and in bin locations" that "implied that the author would make a deliberate and malicious attempt to ignite" the warehouse.
For each region, data is also provided on Amazon's loss of inventory in dollars, the total amount of inventory recovered in dollars, the number of arrests and persons of interest fired and investigated, and the number of stolen vehicles. In October 2019, for example, the report states that Amazon lost $173,339.80 worth of inventory in the United Kingdom but regained $131,592.05 of those losses. In the span of that month, four UK employees were arrested, 35 employees "of interest" were "offboarded," and 31 delivery vehicles were stolen.
Employees of Amazon's Global Security Operations also appear to receive regular email updates about the labor organizing activity of workers.
One email obtained by Motherboard included a description of an hourlong incident on March 10, 2020. "Two members of CGT Union [one of France's most powerful unions]" who were also Amazon warehouse workers "distributed leaflets in front of turnstiles" at an Amazon fulfillment center in Amiens, France. The email includes both the exact time of the leaflet distribution as well as the time it was reported to Amazon, and the name of a cluster loss prevention manager who initially reported the incident. "The distribution of leaflets ended and the activists left the site with no impact to operations," the email said.
Another email obtained by Motherboard included a description of a warehouse strike in Leipzig, Germany, on February 28, 2020. According to the email, 339 Amazon associates were assumed on strike, which included no workers in lead positions and was "46.37% of expected" turnout.
Another set of reports, known as "peak-risk assessments," document threats to Amazon between Black Friday and the end of the year. It has become typical for workers across Europe to stage mass strikes against Amazon between Black Friday and Christmas, when Amazon workers experience the highest injury rates and the workload becomes especially grueling.
'Peak season' documents obtained by Motherboard list all potential events that could impact Amazon operations. During this time, Amazon creates lists of dates, times, and the number of participants for protests planned in each country in Europe where Amazon operates, data seemingly gathered from events pages on social media.
Police officers walk past a strike on November 23, 2018 at Amazon's facilities in San Fernando de Henares, the biggest in Spain, on Black Friday. (OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)
The source with knowledge of Amazon's Global Security Operations surveillance practices told Motherboard that in 2019 analysts were sent to France to monitor the activity of the Yellow Vests social movement in an attempt to gain information about where they would stage their protests.
A report on the 2019 peak season that mentioned Amazon believed there were ties between Amazon warehouse workers and Yellow Vests in Paris said, "Protests in Paris are planned, both by striking union members and [Yellow Vests], on 7 December. A march is planned by Yellow Vest activists [sic] from Bercy at 1130 CET to porte de Versailles via Austerlitz, Denfert, Place de la Catalogne and porte de Vanves. It is unclear whether striking unions will participate in the same march organized by [Yellow Vests] but it is expected of them to join starting at Montparnasse."
Protestors block depot in Saint Priest, near Lyon, France, on Black Friday 2019. (Nicolas Liponne/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A report on peak season risks to Amazon in Italy, deeming the risk level "moderate," chronicles in detail ongoing union activities of its warehouse workers and delivery drivers, noting specific complaints made by delivery drivers and warehouse workers in union negotiations, such as Sunday shifts and excessive workloads, as well as the number of delivery drivers who joined unions and attended union meetings.
"It was reported that in October at DLO1, 10 DAs [delivery associates] out of 51 became members of the [Italian General Confederation of Labour] and an assembly was organized with 14 green badge DAs attending," the report reads.
"Potential labor initiatives at Amazon by traditional unions may constitute an attractive opportunity for SiCobas to attend and gain visibility," it continues, referencing an Italian labor union that has organized Amazon warehouse strikes on Black Friday. "The group is known for more disruptive and subversive protest MOs, although history of previous blockages and disruptive actions showed law enforcement generally react in a timely manner."
Another one of these reports from 2019 describes the activity of environmental groups in Germany, highlighting information gathered from social media.
"Greenpeace Germany also posted another video featuring Amazon on their social media on [December 5] in a similar style as previous campaigns. The video features a woman asking 'Alexa' about the best bargains for Christmas presents, to which 'Alexa' responds that they should make their own presents and spend time with family to protect the environment instead of indulging in consumerism," a report from December 2019 says.
"As of writing, the video has received over 100 likes and has been shared 28 times to date. The video does not call for any direct action or indicate any upcoming protest activity, but future action such as boycott cannot be ruled out. It should be noted that increased social media activity by Greenpeace regarding a company or organization has, on occasions, preceded direct action against that company'--this is the 3rd Amazon related post in 2 weeks.''
The international environmental organization Greenpeace has called out Amazon for its contracts with oil and gas companies, and criticized Bezos's "climate pledge" in 2019 to reduce net zero carbon emissions by 2040 for failing to account for the carbon footprint of its supply chain. In 2019, Greenpeace protesters staged a demonstration on the roof of an Amazon warehouse in Germany.
Rolf Skar, campaigns director at Greenpeace USA, told Motherboard, in response to news that Amazon was tracking the activity of the organization, that the company is mistaken in its assessment that Greenpeace is a threat to Amazon.
"We're not violent. We don't destroy property," he said. "Their problem is a lack of climate leadership. I'm not surprised but I'm disappointed that they're putting energy in the wrong place. We have done a lot of work holding the tech giants accountable for their growing footprint. There's a lot to suggest progress. But Amazon is an outlier. Amazon has refused to stop using powerful AI technologies to help fossil fuel companies drill around the world and they have a problem with morale internally on this."
In September 2019, more than one thousand Amazon employees staged a walkout in protest of Amazon's failure to reduce its carbon emissions and its contracts with oil and gas companies.
The report also shared intelligence on a December 6, 2019 protest in Vienna in solidarity with protests in Iran over the rising cost of fuel. The report includes an image of the route for the protest obtained from Google maps. "Clear participation rates are not known," the report reads. "However, no disruption to operations has yet been reported on 6 December."
In response to allegations that Amazon's Global Security Operations Centers tracked environmentalist and social justice movements, Levandowsi, the spokesperson for Amazon said, "Like most companies, we have a team of analysts that help prepare for external events such as weather, power outages, or large community gatherings like concerts or demonstrations that could disrupt traffic or affect the safety and security of our buildings and the people who work at them."
Stefan Clauwaert, a legal and human rights advisor at the European Trade Union Confederation, told Motherboard that Amazon's intelligence activities could potentially violate EU data collection laws and labor conventions and standards outlined by the UN's International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Council of Europe's European Social Charter, both of which guarantee workers the freedom to associate with unions as well as the right to organize and collectively bargain. The European Union's 2018 data privacy law, known as the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, requires companies to disclose their collection and usage of personal data'--and explain why the data is being collected.
"In the EU, we have regulations which protect workers and trade unions," said Clauwaret. "I can envision many legal avenues for actions against Amazon for these activities, many more than exist in the United States. But what we need to do now is make noise to our bodies about the violations and what Amazon is doing."
In addition to Chaibi, five other members of the European Parliament, including Emmanuel Maurel of France, Marie Toussaint of France, Younous Omarjee of France, Brando Benifei of Italy, and Manon Aubry of France who signed onto the October letter to Bezos criticizing Amazon's surveillance of workers, responded to the documents obtained by Motherboard with strong disapproval.
"Amazon's systemic use of military surveillance methods against unionists and activists is deeply alarming," said Aubry, who is also a senior member of France's France Insoumise, France's main radical left party. "Amazon and Jeff Bezos act as if they were above the law because they have accumulated unprecedented levels of wealth and power. This has to stop."
"We already knew that the world within Bezos' [empire] is a world of social suffering and environmental destruction," Toussaint, another member of European Parliament, said. "Now, it becomes clear that this is also a world with no democracy."
Do you work for Amazon's Global Security Operations Center or have a tip to share with us about Amazon's surveillance of labor or social movements? We'd love to hear from you. Please get in touch with the author of this article by emailing lauren.gurley@vice.com or on Signal 201-897-2109.
Hoffman, president of UNI Global Union, which represents more than 20 million trade union workers around the world, says that Amazon's use of anti-union tactics common in the United States in Europe and around the world is creating a global human rights crisis.
"Most American companies that try to succeed in Europe have adapted to the fact that there are strong unions here. Those that haven't, such as Walmart and Toy R' Us have left. But Amazon is an outlier," she said. "This isn't the way companies operate in Europe'--ignoring the law, spying on workers, using every page of the US union busting playbook, as if they don't have enough power and money on their own. They need to know they're not going to get away with that in Europe."
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Section 230
Clarence Thomas wants to reel in Section 230 - Axios
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 14:45
The long-standing but now hotly contested law that keeps online platforms from being held liable for what users post should be narrowed, conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote Tuesday.
Why it matters: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is a growing target of bipartisan ire. Thomas, arguably the most conservative member of the Supreme Court, is laying down a marker as the likely confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett looks set to tip the high court further right.
Driving the news: Thomas wrote about Section 230 in a filing following the court's decision not to hear a Section 230-related case, MalwareBytes Inc. v. Enigma Software Group.
Thomas said his fellow justices were right to pass on the case, which centered on whether MalwareBytes, an internet security company, could be held liable for what Enigma Software said was a wrongful designation of its products as malware.But he said it should welcome the chance to scale back Section 230 from the bench through a different case.What he's saying: "Extending §230 immunity beyond the natural reading of the text can have serious consequences," Thomas wrote, adding that when the right case comes to the court, it would "behoove" the justices to consider a narrower reading of the law.
Thomas wrote that internet companies have been granted "sweeping protection" and that courts are reading more comprehensive immunity into Section 230 than was intended.The other side: Internet companies and the law's authors have long argued that the purpose of Section 230 was to allow companies to moderate online content and remove material as they see fit '-- and that companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Yelp couldn't exist in their current form without the law.
Yes, but: Those defenses have a shrinking constituency in Washington.
Republicans including President Donald Trump now argue the law acts as a license for tech platforms to censor conservative views. (There's little to no evidence for these claims of anti-conservative bias, which the platforms deny.)Democrats including Joe Biden have said Congress should revisit Section 230 to make tech firms more accountable for misinformation and hate speech.Reality check: A number of Section 230-related bills have circulated in Congress in the past year. None stand a change of passing before 2021.
Go deeper:
DOJ proposes Section 230 changes to CongressTech liability fight comes back into focusJustice circles Big Tech with regulatory threats
Pope
Opinion | Pope Francis: The Covid-19 Crisis Reveals What Is in Our Hearts - The New York Times
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 23:11
To come out of this pandemic better than we went in, we must let ourselves be touched by others' pain.
By Pope Francis
Pope Francis is the head of the Catholic Church and the bishop of Rome.
Nov. 26, 2020 Credit... Illustration by Najeebah Al-Ghadban; photographs by Getty Images In this past year of change, my mind and heart have overflowed with people. People I think of and pray for, and sometimes cry with, people with names and faces, people who died without saying goodbye to those they loved, families in difficulty, even going hungry, because there's no work.
Sometimes, when you think globally, you can be paralyzed: There are so many places of apparently ceaseless conflict; there's so much suffering and need. I find it helps to focus on concrete situations: You see faces looking for life and love in the reality of each person, of each people. You see hope written in the story of every nation, glorious because it's a story of daily struggle, of lives broken in self-sacrifice. So rather than overwhelm you, it invites you to ponder and to respond with hope.
These are moments in life that can be ripe for change and conversion. Each of us has had our own ''stoppage,'' or if we haven't yet, we will someday: illness, the failure of a marriage or a business, some great disappointment or betrayal. As in the Covid-19 lockdown, those moments generate a tension, a crisis that reveals what is in our hearts.
In every personal ''Covid,'' so to speak, in every ''stoppage,'' what is revealed is what needs to change: our lack of internal freedom, the idols we have been serving, the ideologies we have tried to live by, the relationships we have neglected.
When I got really sick at the age of 21, I had my first experience of limit, of pain and loneliness. It changed the way I saw life. For months, I didn't know who I was or whether I would live or die. The doctors had no idea whether I'd make it either. I remember hugging my mother and saying, ''Just tell me if I'm going to die.'' I was in the second year of training for the priesthood in the diocesan seminary of Buenos Aires.
I remember the date: Aug. 13, 1957. I got taken to a hospital by a prefect who realized mine was not the kind of flu you treat with aspirin. Straightaway they took a liter and a half of water out of my lungs, and I remained there fighting for my life. The following November they operated to take out the upper right lobe of one of the lungs. I have some sense of how people with Covid-19 feel as they struggle to breathe on a ventilator.
I remember especially two nurses from this time. One was the senior ward matron, a Dominican sister who had been a teacher in Athens before being sent to Buenos Aires. I learned later that following the first examination by the doctor, after he left she told the nurses to double the dose of medication he had prescribed '-- basically penicillin and streptomycin '-- because she knew from experience I was dying. Sister Cornelia Caraglio saved my life. Because of her regular contact with sick people, she understood better than the doctor what they needed, and she had the courage to act on her knowledge.
Another nurse, Micaela, did the same when I was in intense pain, secretly prescribing me extra doses of painkillers outside my due times. Cornelia and Micaela are in heaven now, but I'll always owe them so much. They fought for me to the end, until my eventual recovery. They taught me what it is to use science but also to know when to go beyond it to meet particular needs. And the serious illness I lived through taught me to depend on the goodness and wisdom of others.
This theme of helping others has stayed with me these past months. In lockdown I've often gone in prayer to those who sought all means to save the lives of others. So many of the nurses, doctors and caregivers paid that price of love, together with priests, and religious and ordinary people whose vocations were service. We return their love by grieving for them and honoring them.
Whether or not they were conscious of it, their choice testified to a belief: that it is better to live a shorter life serving others than a longer one resisting that call. That's why, in many countries, people stood at their windows or on their doorsteps to applaud them in gratitude and awe. They are the saints next door, who have awakened something important in our hearts, making credible once more what we desire to instill by our preaching.
They are the antibodies to the virus of indifference. They remind us that our lives are a gift and we grow by giving of ourselves, not preserving ourselves but losing ourselves in service.
With some exceptions, governments have made great efforts to put the well-being of their people first, acting decisively to protect health and to save lives. The exceptions have been some governments that shrugged off the painful evidence of mounting deaths, with inevitable, grievous consequences. But most governments acted responsibly, imposing strict measures to contain the outbreak.
Yet some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions '-- as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom! Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate.
It is all too easy for some to take an idea '-- in this case, for example, personal freedom '-- and turn it into an ideology, creating a prism through which they judge everything.
The coronavirus crisis may seem special because it affects most of humankind. But it is special only in how visible it is. There are a thousand other crises that are just as dire, but are just far enough from some of us that we can act as if they don't exist. Think, for example, of the wars scattered across different parts of the world; of the production and trade in weapons; of the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing poverty, hunger and lack of opportunity; of climate change. These tragedies may seem distant from us, as part of the daily news that, sadly, fails to move us to change our agendas and priorities. But like the Covid-19 crisis, they affect the whole of humanity.
Look at us now: We put on face masks to protect ourselves and others from a virus we can't see. But what about all those other unseen viruses we need to protect ourselves from? How will we deal with the hidden pandemics of this world, the pandemics of hunger and violence and climate change?
If we are to come out of this crisis less selfish than when we went in, we have to let ourselves be touched by others' pain. There's a line in Friedrich HoÌlderlin's ''Hyperion'' that speaks to me, about how the danger that threatens in a crisis is never total; there's always a way out: ''Where the danger is, also grows the saving power.'' That's the genius in the human story: There's always a way to escape destruction. Where humankind has to act is precisely there, in the threat itself; that's where the door opens.
This is a moment to dream big, to rethink our priorities '-- what we value, what we want, what we seek '-- and to commit to act in our daily life on what we have dreamed of.
God asks us to dare to create something new. We cannot return to the false securities of the political and economic systems we had before the crisis. We need economies that give to all access to the fruits of creation, to the basic needs of life: to land, lodging and labor. We need a politics that can integrate and dialogue with the poor, the excluded and the vulnerable, that gives people a say in the decisions that affect their lives. We need to slow down, take stock and design better ways of living together on this earth.
The pandemic has exposed the paradox that while we are more connected, we are also more divided. Feverish consumerism breaks the bonds of belonging. It causes us to focus on our self-preservation and makes us anxious. Our fears are exacerbated and exploited by a certain kind of populist politics that seeks power over society. It is hard to build a culture of encounter, in which we meet as people with a shared dignity, within a throwaway culture that regards the well-being of the elderly, the unemployed, the disabled and the unborn as peripheral to our own well-being.
To come out of this crisis better, we have to recover the knowledge that as a people we have a shared destination. The pandemic has reminded us that no one is saved alone. What ties us to one another is what we commonly call solidarity. Solidarity is more than acts of generosity, important as they are; it is the call to embrace the reality that we are bound by bonds of reciprocity. On this solid foundation we can build a better, different, human future.
Pope Francis is the head of the Catholic Church and the bishop of Rome. This essay has been adapted from his new book ''Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future,'' written with Austen Ivereigh.
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Swine Flu
Pig guts fly as Taiwan lawmakers brawl over US pork imports - BBC News
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 03:56
Published duration 1 day ago
media caption Taiwan's opposition legislators threw pig guts at each other as a row over US pork imports escalatedTaiwan's opposition legislators have thrown pig guts and exchanged blows in parliament amid a heated row over the easing of US pork imports.
They say a recent government decision to allow the import of US pork containing ractopamine - an additive banned for pig use in Taiwan and the European Union - is a health threat.
The ruling party denies the charge and called for a return to rational debate.
It is not uncommon for brawls to erupt in Taiwan's parliament.
Lawmakers from Taiwan's main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party hurled buckets of pig intestines towards Premier Su Tseng-chang on Friday to stop him from taking questions in parliament.
Some also exchanged blows in a "short but vicious" encounter between KMT legislators and Chen Po-wei from the small Taiwan Statebuilding Party, reported Reuters news agency.
It said the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) condemned the "disgusting" protest, calling it a waste of food that "stank up" parliament as they urged a return to rational debate.
image copyright Reuters
image caption The ruling party said the protest was a waste of foodWashington has welcomed the August decision by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to ease US pork imports from 1 January.
But the move has galvanised the opposition, which has tapped into public concerns over food safety after a series of recent scandals.
Last weekend in the annual "Autumn Struggle" demonstrations, protesters held aloft a giant inflatable pig in opposition to the imports.
The additive ractopamine is currently banned for pig use in Taiwan, as well as in China and the European Union, due to concerns about safety for animals and humans.
media caption Protesters oppose US pork imports in Taiwan 'Autumn Struggle' marchTaiwan has become somewhat notorious for fights breaking out on the parliamentary floor.
The Legislative Yuan - or parliament - has seen punching, hair pulling, and the throwing of plastic bottles and water balloons over the years.
In one particularly heated fight in July 2017, legislators lifted up and threw chairs at each other as they argued over an infrastructure spending bill.
BTC
Bitcoin Falls as Mnuchin [Reportedly] Plans to Regulate Private Wallets
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 01:32
Bitcoin prices crashed by almost $1,000 on Thanksgiving eve, logging their worst declines in three weeks as traders grappled with overbought conditions and rumors of tighter regulations.
The flagship cryptocurrency hit an intraday low of $17,150 in early Asian hours Monday, down more than 12 percent from its year-to-date peak of $19,500 established a day before. The plunge further accompanied lower volumes and a toned-down momentum oscillator, suggesting that the market was merely cooling down after rallying relentlessly for seven weeks in a row.
Nevertheless, the Bitcoin market's sell-off accelerated, particularly after Coinbase-fame Brian Armstrong warned about tighter crypto regulations in the US.
Cold Wallets at RiskIn a Twitter-thread, the chief executive said that his firm ''heard rumors'' about the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's plans to introduce fresh rules for ''self-custody wallets'' by the end of his term.
The open nature of cryptocurrencies allows anyone to create a private wallet by downloading third-party software on their computers/smartphones or through hardware devices that store digital assets. These types of self-custodial solutions come cheaper than traditional financial services '-- and they ensure privacy.
But the rumored regulation appears to limit many of those features. Mr. Armstrong noted that '-- if Mr. Mnuchin passes the law '-- they would need to conduct identity verification on every user that downloads its software wallet. This could potentially put their financial privacy at risk.
''[The regulation] sounds like a reasonable idea on the surface,'' he explained. ''Still, it is a bad idea in practice because it is often impractical to collect identifying information on a recipient in the crypto economy.''
Many crypto users are sending crypto to various merchants online, paying for goods and services. Does it make sense to require customers to help verify the identity of a business before they can buy a product there?
'-- Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) November 25, 2020
Bitcoin Bulls DefensiveDespite the growing uncertainty from the US Treasury, Bitcoin posted an attractive rebound upon hitting $17,150.
BTC/USD recovered about 4 percent of its losses immediately after the plunge, leaving behind a long wick famous for calling the fake breakout moves out. It means that traders are still short-term bullish on Bitcoin, believing that the cryptocurrency would continue rallying upwards amid supportive macroeconomic settings.
''All Exchanges Inflow Mean increased a few hours ago,'' said Ki-Young Ju, the CEO of data analytics platform CryptoQuant. ''It indicates that whales, relatively speaking, deposited BTC to exchanges. But long-term on-chain indicators say the buying pressure prevails. I still think we can break 20k in a few days.''
Meanwhile, some traders expected the price to continue further lower before finding a support level to attempt a rebound towards $20K.
Guggenheim Fund Files to Be Able to Invest Up to Almost $500M in Bitcoin Through GBTC - CoinDesk
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 12:18
Nov 29, 2020 at 2:26 a.m. UTC Updated Nov 29, 2020 at 9:58 a.m. UTC
Guggenheim Fund Files to Be Able to Invest Up to Almost $500M in Bitcoin Through GBTCGuggenheim Funds Trust filed an amendment with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to allow its $5 billion Macro Opportunities Fund gain exposure to bitcoin by investing up to 10% of the fund's net asset value in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).
According to the amendment: "The Guggenheim Macro Opportunities Fund may seek investment exposure to bitcoin indirectly through investing up to 10% of its net asset value in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (''GBTC''), a privately offered investment vehicle that invests in bitcoin. To the extent the Fund invests in GBTC, it will do so through the Subsidiary."Given the fund has net assets of $4.97 billion, according to Fidelity, it means mean the fund can invest up to $497 million in GBTC. The Macro Opportunities Fund is part of Guggenheim Investments, the global asset management and investment advisory division of Guggenheim Partners, and has more than $233 billion in total assets across fixed income, equity and alternative strategies.Grayscale is a sister company to CoinDesk.
Out There
Utah monolith: The mysterious silver monolith in the desert has disappeared - CNN
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 12:15
By Alanne Orjoux and Melissa Alonso, CNN
Updated 6:15 AM EST, Sun November 29, 2020
(CNN) A tall, silver, shining metal monolith discovered in the desert in southeastern Utah -- which prompted theories of alien placement and drew determined hikers to its secret location -- has now disappeared, the state's Bureau of Land Management said Saturday.
The monolith was removed by an "unknown party" sometime Friday night, the agency said in a Facebook post.
"We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the 'monolith,' has been removed" from BLM public lands, the post said.
"The BLM did not remove the structure, which is considered private property."
'We've got to go look at it!'The monolith was first discovered November 18 by officers from the Utah Department of Public Safety's Aero Bureau.
They were flying by helicopter, helping the Division of Wildlife Resources count bighorn sheep in southeastern Utah, when they spotted something that seemed right out of "2001: A Space Odyssey."
"One of the biologists ... spotted it, and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it," pilot Bret Hutchings told CNN affiliate KSL. "He was like, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!' And I was like, 'What.' And he's like, 'There's this thing back there -- we've got to go look at it!'"
And there it was -- in the middle of the red rock was a shiny, silver metal monolith sticking out of the ground. Hutchings guessed it was "between 10 and 12 feet high." It didn't look like it was randomly dropped to the ground, he told KSL, but rather it looked like it had been planted.
"I'm assuming it's some new wave artist or something or, you know, somebody that was a big ("2001: A Space Odyssey") fan," he said, referencing a scene in the 1968 film where a black monolith appears.
Still, it is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on public lands "no matter what planet you're from," said Utah DPS in a statement released Monday.
Where is it?The location of the monolith was not disclosed because authorities said they didn't want curiosity seekers to become stranded in the remote landscape and need to be rescued.
But of course, that didn't stop some. Several people already successfully located the monolith, tucked in a redrock slot canyon south of Moab.
The trek involved driving in the darkness over rocky terrain and verifying GPS coordinates, according to three people who went to see it. At least one explorer got lost at first. But the trip was worth it, they said, even if the monolith wasn't the work of aliens.
David Surber may have been among the very first to view the monolith in person. The coordinates to the monolith were circulating on Reddit, but none of the users could confirm they were correct. Surber volunteered to find out.
The coordinates were indeed correct, and Surber eagerly shared the results of his visit with 200 Reddit users who'd flooded his inbox. Among his findings: The monolith wasn't magnetic or solid (he said it sounded "like a cardboard box" when he knocked on it). He also shared step-by-step instructions for the drive out to the monolith.
"At the end of the day, extraterrestrial or made through artistic expression; the monolith provided an opportunity for thousands of people to rally behind something positive again," he told CNN in an email. "It was a good escape from all the negativity we've experienced in 2020."
CNN's Scottie Andrew and Leah Asmelash contributed to this report.
Clips
VIDEO - (1697) A Message for Electors to Unite For America - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 14:59
VIDEO-Goldman Sachs on Twitter: "United Airlines executive chairman Oscar Munoz discusses the future of international air travel during a Talks at GS with Goldman Sachs' President and COO John Waldron: https://t.co/UFCn1uYjex https://t.co/AZyGjH9p1v" /
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 14:07
Goldman Sachs : United Airlines executive chairman Oscar Munoz discusses the future of international air travel during a Talks at G'... https://t.co/7JKGvcUFr3
Fri Nov 20 21:38:07 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Michael Mogren on Twitter: "Nothing to see here. https://t.co/yJiQjMjah8" / Twitter
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 14:05
Michael Mogren : Nothing to see here. https://t.co/yJiQjMjah8
Sun Nov 29 05:46:45 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Prof. Sucharit Bhakdi explains why PCR tests are simply not fit for purpose - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:58
VIDEO-CNN's Zakaria: Killing Iranian Nuclear Scientist Will 'Make' Iran 'Raise Tensions'
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:32
On Friday's broadcast of CNN's ''Situation Room,'' CNN host Fareed Zakaria stated that the assassination of Iranian nuclear program scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was designed to make things harder for Joe Biden, and that by carrying out the assassination now, the Israelis ''force Iran's hand, make it raise tensions in the Middle East, and either Iran will retaliate, or whether it doesn't, it raises the tensions enough that Joe Biden faces a problem.''
Zakaria said, ''This was an effort, I think, by Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel to work with the Trump administration to complicate life for Joe Biden. This man, a very important nuclear scientist, has been around for a long time. Why do this now? By doing it now, they force Iran's hand, make it raise tensions in the Middle East, and either Iran will retaliate, or whether it doesn't, it raises the tensions enough that Joe Biden faces a problem. Does he condemn this attack? Does he do something about it? And, most importantly, does he, in this atmosphere, rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, something he has promised to do. So, this, it seems to me, was Bibi Netanyahu and Donald Trump's effort to stop Joe Biden or to complicate Joe Biden's plan to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons.''
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
VIDEO-WATCH: Diamond and Silk on Election Fraud vs. Voter Fraud - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:24
VIDEO-Gil Scott-Heron - Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Official Version) - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:22
VIDEO-Trump GLITCH -Gets Angry With Disrespectful Reporter and Puts Him in His Place - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:15
VIDEO-A Gun Battle Over the Servers??, 3374 - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:13
VIDEO-Eileen Iorio on Twitter: "This adorable little girl was used by Ireland's state run tv station to promote the "Pfizer" CV vax. The script had her knock her toy dog out with a hammer bcse he wasn't participating. She checked he was still alive then s
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:04
Eileen Iorio : This adorable little girl was used by Ireland's state run tv station to promote the "Pfizer" CV vax.The script had'... https://t.co/lnUGumP2A5
Sat Nov 28 17:33:38 +0000 2020
Greg Tolan : @eileeniorio This should make everyone more aware of what's going on here and it isn't a virus.
Sun Nov 29 12:56:57 +0000 2020
Patrick Heaney : @eileeniorio RT: Gosh you don't waste time do you Saoirse?Your ahead of the 'Game'This is a 'Story' of survival'... https://t.co/m9MPS5jaPI
Sun Nov 29 12:50:06 +0000 2020
Rabiddogg : @eileeniorio @irritatedwoman Hammas used to do similar over in the Palestinian areas of the Middle East
Sun Nov 29 12:34:45 +0000 2020
VIDEO-There May Be Side Effects to a Coronavirus Vaccine - The Vaccine Reaction
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 12:57
Several companies [are racing] to get a [COVID-19] vaccine approved, but early trials show you may need to prepare for side effects. '... These side effects are expected to be mild but could really impact your daily life. Yes, it depends on how you react and how you take that feeling of feeling crummy, because that is what the early data is suggesting'... that several of these vaccines may make you feel crummy for a couple of days, and then you've got to go get that second dose.
coronavirus, COVID-19, side effects, The Vaccine Reaction, Vaccine
8 Responses to " There May Be Side Effects to a Coronavirus Vaccine " Miko November 24, 2020 at 6:29 pmIt's the end of the Republicans freedom when Biden shuts down the country and forces vaccines
Reply JennyM November 24, 2020 at 6:35 pmSo they got everyone wearing masks, spraying and eating hand sanitizer, they keep 'cracking down' and all this B.S., yet they still have ''cases''. Gee, seems the masks aren't working, or maybe it's thanks to 5G and the symptoms of microwave radiation sickness is 'flu-like symptoms''.
Man people are so easily brainwashed. So take the vaccines with God knows what in them, heck it could modify your DNA but we just have to blindly trust the agenda-driven science, I mean, it's the Religion of Scientism, no problems there! Not like ''science'' has ever screwed up in history, right? That little bugaboo with Thalidomide- OH- and DES, well sure thousands of babies were born with no arms or legs, and DES babies ended up with genital malformation and vaginal cancers (and their children are at high risk as well),but gee whiz folks, I mean scientists are ALL trustworthy! They never (well hardly ever) make any mistakes! And they never have any hidden objectives like Bill Gates and his sterilizing vaccines'...well he's not a scientist, but he PLAYS one on TV so I guess that's ok'....
Reply Jamie November 24, 2020 at 7:11 pmThese people have to be out of their minds. Letting themselves be used as lab rats is crazy, can you say unethical? The testing (CSR) is flawed, as stated by the designer of the protocol, it was NEVER meant to be used as a diagnostic tool. It generates huge amounts of false positives!!! This is why the numbers are going up. You are putting your faith in the wrong people! When I hear someone say ''I trust the science'', you have to ask yourself whose science are you talking about? Do you believe Dr. Fauci? The guy that perpetuated the 'gain of function' research in China that was paid for by U.S. tax payers? It is time to wake up!
Reply Cindy November 24, 2020 at 8:28 pmIf you want you can listen on YouTube to Med Cram slides #116, #117, #118 on the different vaccines. Great discussion. Common side effects: pain at injection site, redness, swelling, fatigue, fever, muscle aches. This doctor does state that the longterm effects of the vaccines are unknown. Also, stated was the vaccine is only used to limited the symptoms of SARS-CoV2. It does not prevent viral infection.
Reply Peter November 24, 2020 at 9:35 pmWhat worries me most about the panicky production of vaccines is their reliance on Bill Gates'recipe including mRNA (''modified'' RNA [which = mutated]), which breaks the helix and changes one's genetic setup in ways totally unknown. Contrary to the idea that a genetic change of even 1% can cause a person to become inhuman is a bit off the wall, a valued MD friend of mine says it's a serious consideration, plus the fact that Dr Fauchi & Mr Gates are both involved with the NWO's desire to drastically reduce the population of the earth is quite suspicious. Frankly, I have no desire to change the genetic makeup the Lord gave me, especially since the change goes to places we have no idea of. Peter
Reply Tom November 24, 2020 at 10:03 pmWell gosh golly darn'...thank the Lord there will be no long term affects for a newly created and hardly tested vaccine. My vaccine will be hi-doses vitamin D and that will work without ANY side affects or negative reactions.
Reply Mary November 25, 2020 at 8:25 amGetting the facts to the rest of the population is the problem. So many are clueless. Common sense should tell people NOT to hide away from a virus in the first place. It's absurd. Vaccines have become crimes against humanity and this new one will be the star of the show. I don't know how to fight the ignorance that keeps some cowering inside waiting for the vaccine to save them. It's so ridiculous. It's time to mask off and defend our rights before it's too late.
Reply Dan November 26, 2020 at 8:53 amLet's see '' if you get COVID you have low grade fever, nausea, headache and pain '' but if your a relatively healthy person, you'll survive. If you take the vaccine you get the side effect of low grade fever, nausea, headache and pain '.... so what's the point of the vaccine????
Reply
VIDEO-Governor Cuomo Receives Founders Award at 48th International Emmy Awards - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 12:46
VIDEO-Mask and glove waste starting to pollute the oceans - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 12:45
VIDEO-British COVID lockdown is 'really disturbing' - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 12:36
VIDEO-Clouds - Boy George - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 04:12
VIDEO-USPS® Letter Carrier Stories | Gimlet
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 02:43
as told by Jonathan Goldstein
A partnership between Heavyweight and the United States Postal Service.Each day, thousands of Postal Service workers deliver millions of pieces through all kinds of conditions across the country. These are a few of their stories.
At the onset of the pandemic, ''Mailman Kyle'' used his route to reach out and over-deliver to his community.
As the Chief Elf of USPS Operation Santa, Gail helps bring holiday cheer to children in need.
When wildfires threatened the homes on his mail route, Henry responded with an unforgettable act of generosity.
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VIDEO-Pledge of Allegiance, word-by-word meaning explained by Red Skelton (he includes Under God at end) - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 02:14
VIDEO-Idiot Wind: MSNBC Apologizes for Reporting Bob Dylan Died
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 02:03
MSNBC viewers this weekend were temporarily tangled up in blue after learning that American folk legend Bob Dylan had died in 2019.
The thing is, though, that Dylan did not die last year. He is still very much alive, thankfully, and still producing his unique brand of Americana folk-rock featuring lyrics that are by turn geniusly confusing and confusingly genius.
During a news update about a lost trove of unpublished Bob Dylan documents, including lyrics were sold at auction for $495,000 to an anonymous buyer, MSNBC host Richard Lui said on Saturday that ''Dylan dying last year at the age of 79.'' Curiously, Australias's Today Show also referred to Dylan as the ''late singer'' as it aired a montage of the singer's clips.
Later in the This Week with Joshua Johnson, the host corrected the record and apologized for the error.
You can see both the mistake and the correction above, via MSNBC.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]
VIDEO-Pennsylvania Senator Doug Mastriano explains his attack plan'... '' Centipede Nation
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 01:50
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VIDEO-Animated No Agenda - Don't Spread the Virus of the WEF Conspiracy! - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 01:30
VIDEO-NY Gov. Cuomo Makes it CRYSTAL CLEAR Just How Much He Respects Law Enforcement - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 01:23
VIDEO-Brits singing
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 01:20
VIDEO-Covid-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 00:59
VIDEO-Next Step in Government Data Tracking Is the Internet of Things - WSJ
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 00:51
WASHINGTON'--U. S. government agencies from the military to law enforcement have been buying up mobile-phone data from the private sector to use in gathering intelligence, monitoring adversaries and apprehending criminals.
Now, the U.S. Air Force is experimenting with the next step.
The Air Force Research Laboratory is testing a commercial software platform that taps mobile phones as a window onto usage of hundreds of millions of computers, routers, fitness trackers, modern automobiles and other networked devices, known collectively as the ''Internet of Things.''
SignalFrame, a Washington, D.C.-based wireless technology company, has developed the capability to tap software embedded on as many as five million cellphones to determine the real-world location and identity of more than half a billion peripheral devices. The company has been telling the military its product could contribute to digital intelligence efforts that weave classified and unclassified data using machine learning and artificial intelligence.
The Air Force's research arm bought the pitch, and has awarded a $50,000 grant to SignalFrame as part of a research and development program to explore whether the data has potential military applications, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Under the program, the Air Force could provide additional funds should the technology prove useful.
SignalFrame has largely operated in the commercial space, but the documents reviewed by the Journal show the company has also been gunning for government business. A major investor is Razor's Edge, a national-security-focused venture-capital firm. SignalFrame hired a former military officer to drum up business and featured its products at military exhibitions, including a ''pitch day'' sponsored by a technology incubator affiliated with U.S. Special Operations command in Tampa, Fla.
SignalFrame's product can turn civilian smartphones into listening devices'--also known as sniffers'--that detect wireless signals from any device that happens to be nearby. The company, in its marketing materials, claims to be able to distinguish a Fitbit from a Tesla from a home-security device, recording when and where those devices appear in the physical world.
Using the SignalFrame technology, ''one device can walk into a bar and see all other devices in that place,'' said one person who heard a pitch for the SignalFrame product at a marketing industry event.
The Air Force's interest in peripheral device tracking is part of a broader move by the military and other government agencies to use the data collection practices of the tech and advertising industries to derive intelligence and insights about global hot spots, targets of interest or even immigration and border enforcement.
''The capturing and tracking of unique identifiers related to mobile devices, wearables, connected cars'--basically anything that has a Bluetooth radio in it'--is one of the most significant emerging privacy issues,'' said Alan Butler, the interim executive director and general counsel of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a group that advocates for stronger privacy protections.
''Increasingly these radios are embedded in many, many things we wear, use and buy,'' Mr. Butler said, saying that consumers remain unaware that those devices are constantly broadcasting a fixed and unique identifier to any device in range.
Any move to extend such tracking to peripherals would spark similar privacy concerns. All internet-ready devices held by average consumers can be identified by a 12-digit number known as a MAC address. Tech companies have taken some steps to restrict phone apps from recording such identifiers, but that hasn't stopped SignalFrame from collecting and tracking nearby devices based on those identifiers.
SignalFrame declined to comment. The Air Force Research Laboratory didn't respond to multiple requests for comment.
Data collection of this type works only on phones running the Android operating system made by Alphabet Inc.'s Google, according to Joel Reardon, a computer science professor at the University of Calgary. Apple Inc. doesn't allow third parties to get similar access on its iPhone line.
Mobile phones running Android represent more than 70% of global market share, according to independent estimates. Google didn't respond to a request for comment.
SignalFrame's data has many applications in the civilian world, including providing insights into what technologies are being adopted and where. It helped Verizon Communications Inc., for example, measure adoption of next-generation home Wi-Fi routers, according to a case study that it posted on SignalFrame's website.
Mobile-phone users facilitate this data collection by granting access, usually in the form of a pop-up when the user opens an app, according to documents reviewed by the Journal and people familiar with the company. Since the phone also knows its own real-world location when it encounters a device, SignalFrame can then record and map where that device appears in space and time.
Such positioning technology is widely used in American corporations. When consumers give their phone apps permission, most are unaware their data about nearby devices is being used to help pinpoint the phone's exact location. Retail outlets collect and analyze phone data to better understand consumer behavior or to send ads to the phones of consumers in their stores when they pass a Bluetooth ''beacon'' placed nearby.
The U.S. government, long interested in exploiting the capabilities of receivers in cellphones, has historically bought specialized devices to capitalize on these technologies and placed those devices in strategic locations. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies often use devices called ''stingrays'' that mimic commercial cellphone towers and collect data about all the cellphones in a given area.
The military uses various kinds of sniffers in war zones for detection, security and intelligence missions, according to people familiar with their use, but is now looking for the first time to turn the mobile phones of ordinary people into specialized sensors that can be tapped by the government for its own purposes.
''The intelligence community has a lot of contractors that have built devices to do this very same thing,'' said one person familiar with the technological capabilities of the U.S. military. ''We would literally just place them all over a city in Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever. But now these phones are so sophisticated, they're basically computers.''
At least some of the data SignalFrame appears to be drawing comes from commercial location brokers who embed tiny packets of software into phones to collect data for marketing purposes, including one vendor called X-Mode Inc.
''We collect Bluetooth and [Wi-Fi] signals on Android devices to better understand indoor location when GPS-signal is weak. This technology is not new'--it's something a lot of publishers use,'' X-Mode said in an emailed statement.
Mr. Reardon, of Calgary University, said his research found at least two apps'--a speedometer and odometer app made by a developer called Cool Niks and a health-tracking app called ''Sickweather'''--transmitted information about nearby computers, Wi-Fi routers and other devices to servers associated with SignalFrame.
The developer of Sickweather confirmed X-Mode software was embedded in its app. The developer of Cool Niks didn't respond to a request for comment, but its privacy policy shows X-Mode as a partner.
Write to Byron Tau at byron.tau@wsj.com
VIDEO-Coronavirus: Vaccine proof required for international travel | 9 News Australia - YouTube
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 00:50
VIDEO-Maddow Blog on Twitter: "Here is Hillary Clinton's hypothetical about a candidate calling on China to hack Trump's taxes, and why Republicans putting partisanship over national security is a dangerous thing. https://t.co/AIjJYRiTfE" / Twitter
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 00:36
Maddow Blog : Here is Hillary Clinton's hypothetical about a candidate calling on China to hack Trump's taxes, and why Republican'... https://t.co/udnWFEpNoC
Thu May 02 02:14:58 +0000 2019
VIDEO-WVW-TV Exclusive: Lt. General Michael Flynn's First Interview Since President Trump's Pardon | Worldview Weekend Broadcast Network
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VIDEO-A COVID-19 Vaccine For Children May Still Be Many Months Away - capradio.org
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 20:35
The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling on researchers to broaden their COVID-19 vaccine trials to include more children.
John Moore / Getty Images
It may only be weeks until a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use in the U.S. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech asked the Food and Drug Administration to grant an emergency use authorization for their vaccine a week ago, and Moderna is expected to follow suit in coming days.
But even when those vaccines hit the market, they will not be available to children. That's because very few children have been part of the clinical trials to date. Pfizer only recently began enrolling children as young as 12.
Earlier this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics called on researchers to broaden their trials to include more children, warning of a significant delay in access to a vaccine should they not act quickly.
"Children are not just small adults," said Dr. Sallie Permar, a professor of pediatrics, microbiology and immunology at the Duke University School of Medicine, in an interview with NPR's All Things Considered.
A child's immune system is different from an adult's, Permar said. "There are certain vaccines that work better in children than adults. And there are certain vaccines that work less well in children compared to adults," she said. "So they do have to be specifically studied in the pediatric population."
Interview Highlights Would you expect that a COVID vaccine for kids could be just a smaller dose of the same vaccine that adults get or a different formula altogether?
That actually needs some investigation to determine what is the right dose and what is going to be also safe in children ... The dose does matter. And so, again, they have to be tested specifically in the pediatric population before being rolled out.
Are we going to see the same kind of large scale vaccine trials for kids that we've seen for adults, like tens of thousands of children enrolled in these trials?
The good news is that the vaccines have been so effective in adults that what we may be able to do in a pediatric population is just look for whether the children respond similarly or even better than adults. And using some of the information that we gather from the adult trials, like what level of immune response is needed to protect against the infection, there may be able to be trial designs that are much smaller for the pediatric population to just establish that the vaccines can be just as effective at eliciting a protective immune response in children compared to adults.
Could you forecast when there might be a safe, effective vaccine widely available for children?
It will be hard to know exactly how long it will take, but I think I'm very hopeful in that we've seen such rapid progress in the adult population. But I do want to encourage our vaccine manufacturers and the funders of these vaccine trials to quickly move to the pediatric populations. I really think there's no reason to delay, but it will be several additional months and likely late into 2021 before we have enough data on pediatric patients to have an approval for that age group.
To get specific, I think a lot of parents understand that the spring semester is going to be a wash, and there won't be a vaccine in time. But fall semester of next year, should they hold out hope?
I think that would be a great target to be able to have some pediatric trial data before the the opening of the school doors next fall ... And I very much hope that that we can stay on track, because we have done such a disservice to our children by closing schools without closing other sectors of our businesses that we know are problematic for transmission, like indoor restaurants and bars.
Children are suffering '-- not as much from the disease itself compared to adults, but really in the way that we've addressed this pandemic. That should be motivation to get these trials underway as soon as possible, get these innovations and these really remarkable products that are being developed to the pediatric population and serve our children, put our children first because they are who we're going to rely on to fight the next pandemics.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
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VIDEO-Animated No Agenda - It's Not Bad, It's Just Super Painful - YouTube
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 20:33
VIDEO - DJ G¼ero on Twitter: "@adamcurry Clip of the day! #SanDiego https://t.co/ay6mbBDr83" / Twitter
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 18:43
DJ G¼ero : @adamcurry Clip of the day! #SanDiego https://t.co/ay6mbBDr83
Sat Nov 28 17:36:20 +0000 2020
VIDEO-VIDEO: PA Sen. Mastriano Unveils Joint Resolution To Assign Electoral Votes In Legislature, Pave Way For Trump Victory - National File
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 15:01
On episode 541 of Steve Bannon's War Room, Senator Doug Mastriano announced that the Pennsylvania state legislature will move to draft a joint resolution to take back the power to appoint presidential electors in a maneuver that could potentially result in President Donald Trump being awarded Pennsylvania's electoral votes.Mastriano explained to Bannon that in 1938, the Pennsylvania General Assembly gave the authority to select delegates to the Electoral College to the Secretary of State. ''Assuming the election is fair,'' the delegates would ''naturally go to that person.'' He noted that if the election isn't fair, the state would be handing the power to the ''same party that cheated.''
Bannon, shocked to hear the news, interrupted the Senator, saying:
''Hold it, I think we have some breaking news here. You're saying you're going to get a joint resolution to actually go forward, and the Republicans control the House and the Senate, to go forward to basically take the power back from the Secretary of State and put it in the state legislature to put forward the electors?''
Mastriano responded: ''That's exactly what we are going to do.''
The Senator elaborated, noting that backlash will ensue and the Governor will ultimately disagree with the decision, including the Secretary of State, Kathy Boockvar, who Mastriano thinks should've resigned ''months ago'' and that she ''should've never been confirmed.''
''There is so much evidence of shenanigans and fraud, and we can't stand aside and just watch this unfold around us here. You know, it's not about disenfranchising anybody, it's making sure every legal vote counted and if there is extensive shenanigans out there, it's up to the General Assembly to step in. So we have a fight in our hands, and we're going to fight, we're going to take that fight all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to.''
Mastriano tells Bannon that there are 50 ''voices'' in the Senate, with 29 of them being ''Republican or independent caucuses with us.'' He adds that ''all we need, you know, are 16 in the Senate, really, to influence the leadership.'' The Senator believes that Republicans in the state legislature are ''getting motivated'' and that ''momentum'' is building to move forward and do ''the right thing.''
''We can't certify an election result that appears to be corrupted'' said Mastriano.
This move could be considered another huge win for the Trump Campaign as they continue to push Republicans in Pennsylvania, as well as other states, to act upon the evidence of widespread voter fraud.
VIDEO-Trump administration removes experts from Defense Policy Board - CNNPolitics
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 14:33
(CNN)Several high profile members of the Defense Policy Board were removed on Wednesday by the Trump administration, in yet another purge of longstanding foreign policy experts and national security establishment figures in the final days of the Trump era, according to three defense officials.
Members who were suddenly removed include former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger, former ranking member of the House Intelligence committee Jane Harman and former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, two of the officials said.
The Defense Policy Board is an outside advisory group of former high profile national security officials who "provide the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense, independent, informed advice and opinions concerning matters of defense policy in response to specific tasks from the Secretary of Defense, the Deputy Secretary of Defense," according to their website.
"As part of long-considered changes, we can confirm that several members of the Department's Defense Policy Board have been removed. We are extremely grateful for their dedicated service, commitment, and contributions to our national security. Future announcements for new members of the board will be made soon," the third official said.
The first two officials said the members removed also included former Chief of Naval Operations, retired Adm. Gary Roughead, former chief operating officer at the Pentagon Rudy De Leon and former Bush deputy national security adviser J.D. Crouch II.
Foreign Policy first reported the removals.
Acting Defense Secretary
Christopher Miller, who made an unannounced trip to Bahrain and Qatar Wednesday nearly a week after
announcing US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would be further reduced, said in a statement Thursday, "I am grateful to the departing board members, many of whom have served for decades."
"As we adapt the Department for great power competition, I look forward to naming new board members in the coming days," Miller said.
After Trump
fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper earlier this month, the Pentagon made sweeping changes in leadership and removed several most senior officials, replacing them with perceived loyalists to the President. The move fueled alarm among military and civilian officials who were concerned about what could come next.
The new appointments include retired
Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, now a top Pentagon official, who once called former President Barack Obama a terrorist leader and suggested that a former CIA director was using a Cicero quote to activate a sleeper agent to kill Trump.
Kash Patel, former aide to Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, is chief of staff to Miller and leading Pentagon transition efforts with the incoming Biden-Harris administration.
Ezra Cohen-Watnick was also named to a new post and will be the acting under secretary of defense for intelligence. Cohen-Watnick
gained notoriety in March 2017 for his alleged involvement in providing intelligence materials to then-House Intelligence Chairman Nunes, who went on to claim that US intelligence officials improperly surveilled Trump associates.
CNN's Chandelis Duster contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Trump refuses to rule out opponents being executed for treason: 'They tried to take down the wrong person' | The Independent | The Independent
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 06:58
Donald Trump conspicuously failed to deny former FBI officials involved in probes into his presidential campaign should be put to death for what he describes as treason.
The US president listed former FBI directors James Comey and Andrew McCabe, as well as agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, when asked who he was accusing of treason.
''Sir, the constitution says treason is punishable by death. You've accused your adversaries of treason. Who specifically are you accusing of treason?'' NBC journalist Peter Alexander asked Mr Trump during a White House event on Thursday.
Mr Trump responded: ''Well I think a number of people, and I think what (sic) you look is that they have unsuccessfully tried to take down the wrong person.
''If you look at Comey, if you look at McCabe, if you look at probably people higher than that. If you look at Strzok, if you look at his lover Lisa Page, his wonderful lover.
Most shocking remarks made by Trump at campaign rallies Show all 7 1 /7 Most shocking remarks made by Trump at campaign rallies Most shocking remarks made by Trump at campaign ralliesDoctors and mothers killing babiesAt a rally in Wisconsin in April 2019, Mr Trump made this extraordinary claim. ''The baby is born, the mother meets with the doctor, they take care of the baby,'' Mr Trump said. ''They wrap the baby beautifully and then the doctor and the mother decide whether they will execute the baby''
Getty
Most shocking remarks made by Trump at campaign rallies"China rapes our country"At a rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2016, Mr Trump said this in reference to the US trade deficit with China: "we can't continue to allow China to rape our country and that's what they're doing. It's the greatest theft in the history of the world"
Getty
Most shocking remarks made by Trump at campaign rallies"EU formed to take advantage of US"At a rally for the midterm elections in October 2018, Mr Trump called the EU a "brutal" alliance that "formed to take advantage of us"
AFP/Getty
Most shocking remarks made by Trump at campaign rallies"I will build a wall and Mexico will pay for it"Mr Trump first made this claim at the launch of his presidential campaign back in 2015: "I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words"
AFP/Getty
Most shocking remarks made by Trump at campaign rallies"Horrible, horrendous people"At a Republican rally in Pennsylvania on August 3 2018, President Trump deemed all journalists in attendance "horrible, horrendous people". He later denounced the "fake, fake, disgusting news" for falsely reporting that he was late to his meeting with the Queen when visiting Britain
AFP/Getty
Most shocking remarks made by Trump at campaign rallies"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody"Mr Trump said this in reference to his popularity during a rally in Iowa in 2016
AFP/Getty
Most shocking remarks made by Trump at campaign rallies"I wish I could punch him"Mr Trump said this in reference to a protester who was escorted out of his rally in Las Vegas on 22 February, 2016. There was often violence between protesters and supporters at Trump's campaign rallies
AFP/Getty
''The two lovers they talked openly. You know they didn't use their private server because they didn't want to get caught, so they used the government server. That was not a good move.''
Your daily US politics newsletter
Mr Trump has long railed against the four officials he falsely accused of treason.
The president's 2017 firing of Mr Comey, who he then blamed for ''this Russia thing'', led to the appointment of both Mr McCabe as FBI chief and the launch of Robert Mueller's investigation.
It was not clear who ''people higher than'' Mr Comey was a reference to, but in the previous administration only the attorney general and former president Barack Obama would rank as more senior.
Mr Strzok and Ms Page have long been the subject of Republican suspicions after it emerged the pair, who were in an extramarital affair while investigating Mr Trump, exchanged texts disparaging of the then presidential candidate.
Mr Mueller later removed Mr Strzok from his team once the texts emerged, including one in which Mr Strzok told Ms Page the probe was an ''insurance policy'' in case Mr Trump won.
Experts have said Mr Trump's treason accusations are baseless, since the founders narrowly defined the crime in the US constitution as ''levying war'' against the US or ''adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort''.
The White House has been contacted for comment.
VIDEO-Cerno on Twitter: "Oh." / Twitter
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 06:39
Miako Chan : @Cernovich CNN has been fake news every day for anything and anywhere ! So we don't need it anymore!
Sat Nov 28 06:32:21 +0000 2020
VIDEO-L.A. County health officials announce 3-week stay-at-home order banning most gatherings set to take effect on Monday | KTLA
Sat, 28 Nov 2020 06:23
Nisha Gutierrez-Jaime, Gene Kang, and John Fenoglio
7 hours ago
With coronavirus cases showing no signs of slowing down in Los Angeles County, health officials on Friday announced a temporary stay-at-home order set to take effect on Monday that urges residents to avoid gathering with people they do not live with.
The temporary order will be in place for three weeks through Dec. 20 and will allow essential and emergency workers, and those securing or providing essential and permitted services, to leave their homes, the county said in a news release.
''Residents are advised to stay home as much as possible and always wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are outside their household and around others,'' officials said.
On Nov. 17, Los Angeles County established thresholds for additional actions if the five-day average of cases reach 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day. Currently, the five-day average of new coronavirus cases is 4,751.
On Friday health officials reported 24 new COVID-19 deaths and 4,544 new cases. Health officials said because cases remain at ''alarming levels'' and hospitalizations continue to increase, tighter safety measures are needed countywide.
The new rules come two days after county officials banned outdoor dining.
''We know we are asking a lot from so many who have been sacrificing for months on end and we hope that L.A. County residents continue following Public Health safety measures that we know can slow the spread,'' Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. ''Acting with collective urgency right now is essential if we want to put a stop to this surge. Please remain home as much as possible and do not gather with others not in your household for the next three weeks.''
Here's what is different come Monday:
Gatherings: All public and private gatherings with individuals not in your household are prohibited, except for church services and protests, which are constitutionally protected rights.Occupancy limits at various businesses; all individuals at these sites are required to wear face coverings and keep at least 6 feet of distance:Essential retail '' 35% maximum occupancyNon-essential retail (includes indoor malls) '' 20% maximum occupancyPersonal care services '' 20% maximum occupancyLibraries '' 20% maximum occupancyFitness centers operating outdoors '' 50% maximum occupancyMuseums galleries, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens operating outdoors '' 50% maximum occupancyMini-golf, batting cages, go-kart racing operating outdoors '' 50% maximum occupancyOutdoor recreation activities all which require face coverings (except for swimming) and distancing:Beaches, trails, and parks remain open; gatherings at these sites with members outside your household are prohibited.Golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball, archery ranges, skate parks, bike parks, and community gardens remain open for individuals or members of a single household. Pools that serve more than one household may open only for regulated lap swimming with one person per lane.Drive-in movies/events/car parades are permitted provided occupants in each car are members of one household.Schools:All schools and day camps remain open adhering to re-opening protocols. K-12 Schools and Day Camps with an outbreak (3 cases or more over 14 days) should close for 14 days.Closed non-essential businesses/activities:Playgrounds (with the exception of playgrounds at childcare and schools)CardroomsThere have been 387,793 positive cases of COVID-19 reported across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 7,604 deaths as of Friday. More than 3,681,714 people have been tested and 10% have tested positive.
On Friday Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took to Twitter to tell Angelenos how sprawling coronavirus infections are and urged residents to slow the spread by tweeting: ''Please stay at home as much as possible.''
VIDEO-Share Verified
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 23:02
As coronavirus turns lives upside down, people all over the world are searching for information on how to keep safe, stay hopeful and help one another. The world can only contain the virus and its impacts if every person has access to accurate, reliable information. That's down to all of us. Verified is a United Nations initiative to encourage us all to check the advice we share. Sign up to receive content you can trust: life-saving information, fact-based advice, and stories from the best of humanity. Look out for the double tick.
Sign upWhy We ExistYou're engaging right now in the biggest project of social collaboration the world has seen. Bigger than the moon landing, than the Olympics, than the building of the tallest skyscraper or longest bridge. Billions of people are working together - the doctor on the other side of the country. The parent homeschooling their child. The scientist working on the vaccine. The nurse working around the clock. You, reading this. Working towards one common goal: to look after each other.In this crisis, sharing trusted and verified information will help keep everyone safe, while misinformation can put lives in danger. If you want to make sure the content you're sharing helps the world, sign up to receive Verified content, and always look out for the Verified tick.
We're doing this for each other - for everyone on the biggest team the world has ever seen.
VIDEO-Police in Rotterdam uses drone to tell people to go home during Black Friday sale: PublicFreakout
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 22:47
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level 1 Another Good Bot Moderator of r/PublicFreakout, speaking officially Score hidden · 3 hours ago · Stickied comment Locked level 1So they permit the stores to open but tell people to go home and don't shop there?
I thought we were backward where I'm from...
level 1Speaking of which, where's all the Black Friday videos of mobs fighting over televisions? I was looking forward to that today.
level 1Definitely feels like covid was a trial and error to see how the population would react once under population control.
level 2Haha.. yeah... we are definitely getting there.
level 1Eat recycled food! Recycled food is good for the environment, and okay for you!
level 1Why would you bring the plague that is Black Friday into your country willingly? I thought you were better than that, Dutch people.
A subreddit dedicated to people freaking out, melting down, losing their cool, or being weird in public.
Reddit Inc (C) 2020. All rights reserved
VIDEO-Victoria eliminates coronavirus - YouTube
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 22:46
VIDEO-Project Controlled Weather - Operation Popeye - YouTube
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 22:45
VIDEO-Bombshell! Joe Biden will admit defeat upon pardon from President Trump - YouTube
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 22:43
VIDEO-Hospitals anticipate surge in coronavirus cases after Thanksgiving - YouTube
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 13:33
VIDEO-Trump Thanksgiving press conference 11/26/20 - YouTube
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 05:29
VIDEO-Minitrue'º on Twitter: "Authoritarian scumbag @Qantas boss Alan Joyce gets pie faced. Australian media pretending they don't know what the motive was.ðŸ That's what you get for being a scumbag and a dickhead trying to bring in covid health pass
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 05:08
Minitrue'º : Authoritarian scumbag @Qantas boss Alan Joyce gets pie faced.Australian media pretending they don't know what the'... https://t.co/8umLENRQld
Thu Nov 26 22:41:39 +0000 2020
ðŸ‡>>ðŸ‡...FranciscusðŸ‡>>ðŸ‡...Suarezius ðŸ‡>>ðŸ‡... : @banthebbc @Qantas Was about to say some naughty stuff, but realized my friends are here.ðŸ‰ðŸ¤
Fri Nov 27 04:32:46 +0000 2020
Not Your Grandma's Conservative : @banthebbc @Qantas https://t.co/72AtZW1nfS
Fri Nov 27 04:09:45 +0000 2020
jimmy : @banthebbc @Qantas If it had of been human feces he would of got excited
Fri Nov 27 04:08:01 +0000 2020
Frankly it's crazy : @banthebbc @Qantas Perfect placement
Fri Nov 27 03:49:14 +0000 2020
Sith Master Elect Darth Pepe : @banthebbc @Qantas King
Fri Nov 27 03:48:13 +0000 2020

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All Clips

General McInerney confirms server farm gun fight.mp3
Maricopa Director of Election Day & Emergency Voting - Dominion Workers are SUBJECT MATTER.mp3
Trump pissed at reporter -1- Not the most important part.mp3
Trump pissed at reporter -2- GLITCHES.mp3
Emmy President Cuomo award.mp3
Fox News Cuomo Emmy Dem then Repub.mp3
Qantas boss Alan Joyce gets pie faced..mp3
Iran assassination CNN.mp3
Limbaugh on whitlock article.mp3
Mike Adams Five China.mp3
Mike Adams Four China.mp3
Mike Adams ONE reparations.mp3
mike Adams Zero Intro.mp3
Mile Adam Lead in Three.mp3
Mile Adams 2A Blue helmets.mp3
Mile Adams 2B Blue helmets.mp3
Nayional Gloabal security Bill art 24 CNN.mp3
Sidney Powel random check stubs.mp3
Zakaria clip sweetened.mp3
ZEL Gary Heavin on Sheila Zelinsky FEMA.mp3
ZEL Steve Quayle on Zelinsji.mp3
COVID no excess deaths JHU.mp3
Excerpt ONE Obama book UI pod.mp3
Excerpt Three sex.mp3
Excerpt TWO the work.mp3
Sidney Powell GA (prt1) Newsmax phonecall 11.21 Georgia first state im gonna blow up (41sec).mp3
Sidney Powell GA (prt2) Kimmel 11.23 crazy Georgia govenor claim (39sec).mp3
Sidney Powell GA (prt3) Lou Dobbs 11.24 kraken to be released in Georgia (52sec).mp3
Sidney Powell GA (prt 4) Newsmax phonecall 11.28 Georgia no bid contract (1min27sec).mp3
85 percent of Canadian covid deaths are long term care.mp3
CNN Dr. Jonathan Reiner (prt1) thanksgiving mother of all super spreaders christmas off (1min15sec).mp3
CNN Dr. Jonathan Reiner (prt2) $1500 to take vaccine(1min34sec).mp3
NV Govenor Sisolak - Done everything to help SPREAD the virus.mp3
Police in Rotterdam uses drone to tell people to go home during Black Friday sale.mp3
Dr. Janes Linden & Ivor Cummins on the Irish Media network COVID cycles covid FART could do it.mp3
F1 Bahrain commentators on Test and App CONVENIENCE.mp3
Prof. Sucharit Bhakdi explains why PCR tests are simply not fit for purpose.mp3
Flynn First Call-in -2- China and Iran.mp3
gov.uscourts.mied.350905.1.0_1.pdf
Nutty actors in 2016 HYPING the electoral college.mp3
Viva Frei on evidence of the Trump lawsuits.mp3
Voter Fraud vs Election Fraud Diamond and Silk.mp3
COMPLAINT-CJ-PEARSON-V.-KEMP-11.25.2020.pdf.html
Fareed Zakari explains the election system in USA.mp3
Flynn First Call-in -1- Presidnet has paths to victory.mp3
apparently comp.mp3
Trump administration removes experts from Defense Policy Board.mp3
Shared Verified WEForum News Network.mp3
World vs Virus WEF Podcast - Tick Tock Influencers.mp3
BBB STINGER Tighter.mp3
Cindy McCain rewarded with Ambassadorship.mp3
The Low Rent Politicians who will be in Bidens administration - Howard Kurtz of Fox News.mp3
Watermelon Head JIngle talk over.mp3
CBS pressures Bill Gates on Moderna Vaccine and he waffles.mp3
RTE One Ireland promotes Phizer vaccine with Toddler.mp3
There May Be Side Effects to a Coronavirus Vaccine.mp3
Bill Gates Vaccine Super painful.mp3
  • 0:00
    leaking. Adam Curry Jhansi devora Sunday November 29 2020.
  • 0:05
    This is your award winning media assassination Episode 1200 99.
  • 0:09
    This
  • 0:10
    is no agenda, reviewing.
  • 0:14
    broadcasting live from opportunity's own 33 here in the
  • 0:17
    frontier of Austin, Texas capital of the drone star stake
  • 0:20
    in the morning, everybody. I'm Adam,
  • 0:22
    from Northern Silicon Valley where I was once media exempt.
  • 0:26
    Now I'm protest exempt. I'm Jhansi devorah.
  • 0:34
    I know you're allowed to protest in California. That's the best
  • 0:37
    exempt Yes, yeah, I got the clip
  • 0:40
    with Coronavirus cases soaring across LA County.
  • 0:43
    public health officials are rolling out new restrictions
  • 0:45
    aimed at slowing the spread. We just figured that it was almost
  • 0:49
    inevitable that this is going to happen. Dr. Thomas yetta Gar is
  • 0:52
    the medical
  • 0:52
    director of the intensive care unit at Providence cedar Sinai
  • 0:56
    Medical Center in Tarzana with the
  • 0:58
    current projections if we continue at this pace. It is
  • 1:00
    very possible that in the next two weeks we will be in critical
  • 1:04
    shortage of intensive care unit that's
  • 1:06
    the new stay at home order takes effect Monday and will last for
  • 1:10
    three weeks. It bans all public and private gatherings with
  • 1:13
    people not in the same household except for religious services
  • 1:17
    and
  • 1:17
    protests. So you can just say I'm protesting
  • 1:24
    well that's what the new agenda meetups are gonna have to be
  • 1:27
    down there and of course arch arch Grand Duke gay Foley got us
  • 1:33
    the website. No agenda protests.com forward it to no
  • 1:39
    agenda meetups calm so if you're gonna meet do any meetups down
  • 1:42
    if you don't do meetups, get a few signs and do a podcast. Yes.
  • 1:46
    It has to say something like down with the virus.
  • 1:50
    anything. Anything just has to be a protest. Oh, my shock would
  • 1:56
    be a great song. No,
  • 1:56
    I think down down with the virus. It's kind of a weird
  • 2:00
    throwback to shit 70s probably. But I am very pleased man.
  • 2:08
    All to champion. Yeah, we
  • 2:10
    do. Hey, whoa, whoa,
  • 2:12
    coronaviruses got to go. Hey, hey, Bo. coronaviruses got to
  • 2:17
    go.
  • 2:18
    I'm so proud of our governors across the nation. So you know,
  • 2:21
    obviously Thank you Gavin Newsome for letting the citizens
  • 2:25
    of getting donation protest and still walk around. And thank you
  • 2:29
    to Nevada Governor sisolak. Pan. This guy has really been working
  • 2:33
    very hard for this cause.
  • 2:35
    Thank you for taking my question. Governor sisal like,
  • 2:38
    how do you plan on enforcing, for example, limitations on
  • 2:45
    private gatherings? And also this stronger masked mandate?
  • 2:50
    You're referring to?
  • 2:51
    What we are certainly not the mass police. But I have done
  • 2:55
    everything I could to help spread this virus.
  • 2:57
    Yeah, yes. Yes. Yes.
  • 3:00
    It's now incumbent upon all of us as residents in Nevada to do
  • 3:04
    our
  • 3:04
    part. Okay,
  • 3:06
    let's go out and spread the virus is no and no correction.
  • 3:11
    By the way. The journalist didn't say, hey, you mean, you
  • 3:15
    mean stop the virus now. And this wasn't even a vaccine
  • 3:18
    related brain fart. This guy means it. I think,
  • 3:23
    well, it's what he said. You should be very proud of why we
  • 3:26
    put those words together unless you meant them.
  • 3:28
    It was very, very funny. This is a big problem. Big problem that
  • 3:33
    they're witnessing everywhere with the with the case as now
  • 3:37
    before Thanksgiving. This was the type of warning you would be
  • 3:40
    hearing cnn medical analysts, Dr. Jonathan Reiner joins me
  • 3:43
    now.
  • 3:44
    He's a professor of medicine at George Washington University.
  • 3:47
    Dr. Reiner, thanks so much for joining us. You describe
  • 3:51
    Thanksgiving as potentially the mother of all super spreader
  • 3:54
    events. There are other major holidays on the way so what
  • 3:58
    should the average American be doing right now? To stay safe?
  • 4:03
    They should be masking up and not traveling.
  • 4:06
    Yeah,
  • 4:06
    they host virus is you know, no longer isolated to certain
  • 4:11
    enclaves in the United States all over the country.
  • 4:14
    And when
  • 4:18
    this guy knows everything, why are you even asking questions,
  • 4:21
    man,
  • 4:21
    they just further that spread. So the next big holiday is
  • 4:26
    obviously the Christmas holiday. Yeah. Where people walk across
  • 4:32
    with family. So we just can't do it this year. You know, we're
  • 4:36
    going to cause needless deaths. And particularly among people we
  • 4:42
    really care about, you know, our most vulnerable, our
  • 4:44
    grandparents. To Granny, our neighbors. We can't travel this
  • 4:49
    year. We need to stay home and sacrifice that Americans can
  • 4:52
    sacrifice for each other. Stay home mask up. We'll have a great
  • 4:57
    series of holidays next year. We'll have we'll have something
  • 4:59
    to celebrate next
  • 5:00
    Well, here's the problem. After the super spreader event of
  • 5:05
    Thanksgiving, the case demick seems to be on the decline. What
  • 5:11
    is going wrong? And thank goodness Associated Press has
  • 5:16
    let us know far and wide. Don't get complacent. This is a false
  • 5:21
    decline because there were less people testing over
  • 5:25
    Thanksgiving. They really want to have it both ways now. Oh, no
  • 5:30
    more testing doesn't mean that's just you'll just get more cases
  • 5:33
    No, this is people are infected infected everywhere infected
  • 5:37
    receiving infections. But when they don't test false fake news,
  • 5:44
    fake false decline, you're kidding yourself. It's really
  • 5:49
    sad. They don't know what to say anymore.
  • 5:55
    Well, my favorite event during the week if I do have a clip,
  • 6:00
    but it's Thomas didn't to possible listen to but the
  • 6:03
    newsletter from of all places, Johns Hopkins, Oh, yes.
  • 6:07
    This was fantastic. Removal of Article right.
  • 6:11
    They remove the article, whether the events went is as follows
  • 6:17
    this woman who's I'll play the clip and I'll try to explain
  • 6:20
    what happened you're gonna have to kind of listen hard. She's
  • 6:22
    got a very tough axe hard to deal with French accent but this
  • 6:26
    is kind of the this is the crux of it is the COVID. no excess
  • 6:30
    deaths. Yeah,
  • 6:31
    this was a webinar, I believe that John's? Yes, the webinars
  • 6:35
    up the article is down
  • 6:37
    and found that there has been no change in the ratio of each age
  • 6:41
    group death numbers over to death numbers. So in other
  • 6:45
    words, no change in the percentage each age group
  • 6:48
    contributes to that. And we looked at the numbers and know
  • 6:52
    that 60,000 deaths per week in the US is normal. It's an
  • 6:57
    equivalent to 3.1 means per year, or at 500 per day. Yeah,
  • 7:05
    you heard that right, at 500 per day, that's no. So we look also
  • 7:11
    at weekly deaths per cause of death. And found that also,
  • 7:17
    heart disease are the leading cause of death in the United
  • 7:20
    States. The number of deaths due to heart disease during the
  • 7:25
    2020s high of two deaths was reported to be less than the
  • 7:30
    number of heart disease deaths during the high of total death
  • 7:34
    in 2018. Also, for three of the four weeks where COVID-19 deaths
  • 7:39
    were reported, has been higher than heart disease, death. So
  • 7:45
    also for the three weeks, three or four weeks that we have covid
  • 7:50
    19 deaths were reported has been higher than heart disease death,
  • 7:54
    the number of deaths due to heart disease, influenza and
  • 7:59
    pneumonia, kornek, Lord are nor respiratory disease and more
  • 8:04
    decreased compared to the previous all these funds to no
  • 8:09
    evidence that COVID-19 created any excess.
  • 8:13
    Oh, this was no
  • 8:15
    evidence, no evidence that COVID-19 created any excess
  • 8:20
    deaths. How can
  • 8:21
    that be? I don't understand a quarter million people Americans
  • 8:25
    needlessly die needlessly.
  • 8:29
    They're murdered by Trump. Let's
  • 8:31
    get that straight. I'm sorry. Yes. I think of course.
  • 8:34
    So she comes out with this Dutch statistical analysis of deaths
  • 8:38
    and shows that the heart disease and these other few things,
  • 8:40
    especially in April went way down for some reason, Bobby,
  • 8:44
    because nobody could go to the hospital, right. And the covid
  • 8:46
    went up proportionately. And then when you start eating out
  • 8:49
    the evening at the numbers that she has a nice chart, once you
  • 8:54
    even out to numbers is it looks as though all the COVID desk can
  • 8:58
    be accounted for. But if there's no COVID event, something else,
  • 9:02
    and we're still running at around an 85 100 deaths a day
  • 9:06
    clip, which is the average in the United States all year
  • 9:10
    round, which is we have 8500 people die a day are dying of
  • 9:14
    COVID
  • 9:15