Cover for No Agenda Show 1317: Mutants
January 31st, 2021 • 3h 8m

1317: Mutants


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

Let Us Out!
Dutch curfew angered the moped drug dealers
Biden, Teachers' Unions, and the $630 Billion Shakedown
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 05:14
For all their devastating, long-term side effects, the various failed remedies to COVID-19 have been clarifying.
The ''expert'' class, in case it was still unclear to anyone, is overrun not with critical thinkers devoted to scientific inquiry but hyperpartisan hacks with a hive mind no better than that of a typical seventh-grade cheer squad. The scientific method is dead; in its place is a multitiered campaign to bully, silence, and cancel anyone who dares to challenge their unchallengeable expertise.
Political leaders on both sides of the aisle are as clueless as they are callous. Little daylight exists between Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo and Republican Governor Mike DeWine.
The majority of Americans, sadly, quickly submit to the whims of the expert class to the point of self-destruction. Millions of Americans are doubling up on face coverings because Master Fauci said to do so and they are prepared to harass others into compliance as well.
But the biggest takeaway is this: The Democratic Party will never again get away with claiming that their number one priority is ''the children.''
Joe Biden and the Democrats just lost their most overused political prop'--exploited to advance every policy from climate to health care'--as tens of millions of American children, locked out of their classrooms for almost a year, act as human pawns in the unions' biggest, most brazen shakedown yet.
The hustle has been underway since March 2020; unbeknownst both to students and parents, America's youth of all ages walked out of classrooms and off college campuses not to return for months on end.
Back then, as today, no scientific justification existed to shut down schools. The decision was based on the now-discredited Imperial College model created by now-discredited British scientist Neil Ferguson. Armed with no reliable data, Ferguson nonetheless warned that unless schools were closed in the United States, millions would die of the disease.
Teachers' unions and their stooges in Congress wasted no time exploiting the crisis'--and the gravy train quickly delivered. Over the past 10 months, colleges and K-12 schools have received at least $114 billion in federal COVID ''relief'' funding; the CARES Act allocated roughly $34 billion for shuttered schools and the bipartisan package passed in December gave away another $80 billion'--despite no disruption in the flow of federal, state, and real estate tax revenues that fund the nation's public school systems.
And now that their Big Guy is in the White House, teachers' unions across the country have their hands out again with a boot on the collective neck of helpless families suffering under the burden of ''remote'' learning. Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion relief package includes another $170 billion to schools and colleges to ''open safely'' in the first 100 days of the Biden Administration.
''We need new ventilation for those schools, we need testing for those coming in and out of the classes, we need testing for teachers, as well as students, and we need the capacity, the capacity to know the fact of the circumstance in the school is safe and secure for everyone,'' Biden said in a response to a question about Chicago public school teachers refusing to return to class. ''So it is not so much about the idea of teachers not going to work. The teachers I know, they want to work.''
Makes you wonder how many teachers he knows.
But that's not all. Biden's kickback to the teachers' unions includes an additional $350 billion in ''state and local relief funds to help school districts close budget gaps and provide additional resources for reopening.'' In other words, more pay raises and major bailouts of big city pension liabilities. (Chicago owes $32 billion in unpaid pension debt to city workers, including teachers. New York City is a whopping $51 billion in the hole.)
So in less than a year, public school systems could, if Biden's plan wins congressional approval, rake in at least $630 billion while American schoolchildren fall further behind, struggle with depression and loneliness, miss out on extracurricular activities, and irretrievably lose rites of passage central to a healthy childhood.
All for the kids, they say!
Despite Biden's solemn pledge to ''follow the science,'' continued school closures are backed not by data but by greed'--and politics. When President Trump began calling for schools to reopen last spring, Democrats and teachers' unions pushed back hard. His demands, school officials claimed, backfired. ''Mr. Trump's aggressive, often bellicose demands for reopening classrooms helped to harden the views of many educators that it would be unsafe'--and give their powerful unions fodder to demand stronger safety measures or to resist efforts to physically reopen,'' the New York Times reported last August.
Just as children were supposed to be headed back in the fall, one of the nation's largest teachers' unions issued its ransom demands. ''We all want to get back to in-person learning, but that should not happen until there are COVID-19 safety measures in place and the funding to pay for them,'' Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, said in September. ''While the president never misses an opportunity to threaten schools, or to sow confusion or chaos, he and [Education Secretary Betsy] DeVos were missing in action when it came to planning and resourcing what should have been the country's biggest priority: reopening schools for our kids.''
Hostage takers disguised as teachers' unions are defiantly keeping kids out of school until Biden comes through, just as more research proves school settings do not act as vectors for the virus. Teachers in Fairfax County, Virginia insisted on being at the top of the state's vaccination list before they'd go back to work; as vaccines are administered to teachers and staff, the school system still refuses to open up, threatening to extend closures into the fall of 2021.
Maryland's education association is fighting with Governor Larry Hogan over his calls to open the schools. One union official in Washington state said reopening schools is a sign of ''white supremacy.''
Cruel, unscientific school closures are taking a major, even deadly, toll on the country's youth. The Times reported over the weekend that Las Vegas schools finally opened after a spike in student suicides. Other states report similar surges in suicide attempts, drug overdoses, and emergency room visits for mental health issues.
A new study confirms what everyone already knows; poor and minority children are hardest hit by ''remote'' learning. Researchers at Yale University predict that ''one year of school closures will cost ninth graders in the poorest communities a 25% decrease in their post-educational earning potential, even if it is followed by three years of normal schooling. By contrast, their model shows no substantial losses for students from the richest 20% of neighborhoods.''
But the party of the poor and the party of the children and the party of science has one word for families suffering across the country. ''Money,'' Ron Klain, Biden's chief of staff, told CNN's Erin Burnett on January 26 when asked why public schools are closed while many private schools have been open for months. Not until Congress passes Biden's massive proposal, Klain said, will ''most'' schools open in the next 100 days.
Biden not only is using children as pawns to force Congress to greenlight another federally-funded kickback to the unions, he's burdening these very same children with trillions in debt to repay in the future.
Voters should remember this the next time a Democratic lawmaker or candidate claims his agenda is ''for the children.''
Masks and Muzzels
PTFE in masks does not pose a health risk, unless you get it very hot - Full Fact
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 14:23
26 October 2020
What was claimedBlue surgical masks are sprayed with PTFE, which is harmful to humans.
Our verdictSome masks contain PTFE, but ordinary surgical masks are often made from other materials. PTFE is not generally harmful to humans.
What was claimedPTFE in masks can lead to symptoms such as fever, chest tightness, shortness of breath, headache, cough, chills, sore throat.
Our verdictThis appears to be describing polymer fume fever, which only happens if someone is exposed to PTFE heated to high temperatures.
A post on Facebook has claimed that disposable masks are sprayed with Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) - and that exposure to this can lead to symptoms including fever, chest tightness, shortness of breath, headache, cough, chills and a sore throat.
It is true that PTFE is used in some masks, but it is extremely unlikely to cause illness during normal use.
PTFE is found in items such as non-stick cookware, some clothing, and various medical instruments, and is most commonly associated with the brand name Teflon. However, the Teflon brand refers to a number of products, not all of which are PTFE, and not all PTFE is Teflon.
Blue surgical face masks, like the ones featured in the Facebook post, are most commonly made out of a different type of plastic called polypropylene rather than PTFE, although PTFE is used in the making of some reusable masks, and some disposable masks can have PTFE filters.
The post seems to be referring to the symptoms of polymer fume fever, which is a rare ailment caused by inhaling fumes from PTFE heated above 300 to 400 degrees Celsius, such as when a PTFE pan is overheated. Symptoms can resemble flu, like those in the post.
There is no evidence that anyone would suffer from this condition as a result of the normal wearing of a mask made with PTFE.
This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this'--and find out how to report Facebook content'--here. For the purposes of that scheme, we've rated this claim as partly false because PTFE can only cause these symptoms if it is heated to a very high temperature.
Correction 13 November 2020
A previous version of this article used PTFE and Teflon interchangeably which is not accurate as not all Teflon-branded products contain PTFE and not all PTFE is Teflon. The article has been updated to reflect this.
Can you chip in to help us do more?You've probably seen a surge in misleading and unsubstantiated medical advice since the Covid-19 outbreak. If followed, it can put lives at serious risk. We need your help to protect us all from false and harmful information.
We've seen people claiming to be health professionals, family members, and even the government '' offering dangerous tips like drinking warm water or gargling to prevent infection. Neither of these will work.
The longer claims like these go unchecked, the more they are repeated and believed. It can put people's health at serious risk, when our services are already under pressure.
Today, you have the opportunity to help save lives. Good information about Covid-19 could be the difference between someone taking the right precautions to protect themselves and their families, or not. Could you help protect us all from false and harmful information today?
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Vaccines and such
China's coronavirus vaccine diplomacy takes an anti-vax turn '-- Quartz
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 12:40
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, China sent millions of masks and protective equipment to countries around the world in an effort to leverage the Covid-19 crisis for diplomatic gains. People dubbed it ''mask diplomacy,'' as Beijing jostled to control the pandemic na>>rrative and use the crisis to boost its vision for the new world order.
Mask diplomacy has now given way to vaccine diplomacy'--but not only of the positive kind. Though much of China's efforts have revolved around championing the Covid-19 vaccines of three domestic pharmaceutical firms, in recent days state propaganda has sought to undermine public trust in the vaccine developed by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech.
Over the past week, major propaganda outlets including Xinhua, People's Daily, and China Daily have all published articles about the deaths of elderly shot recipients in Norway, and accused English-language media of downplaying the deaths even though multiple outlets carried reports of them. Nevertheless, an editorial from the nationalistic tabloid Global Times questioned why US media were ''silent on Pfizer deaths,'' and another article several days later quoted Chinese urging Australia to halt the use of the Pfizer vaccine.
Chinese state media reports also distorted the words of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, Oslo's national drug regulatory body, to suggest a causal link had been established. China Daily, for example, said in its headline that health authorities said the deaths were ''likely related to vaccine.'' This is inaccurate at best.
While Norway's regulators said they ''cannot rule out'' that typical and mild reactions such as fever could contribute to death in a frail patient, they also explicitly stated (pdf) that reports of adverse reactions ''[do] not necessarily imply that a causal relationship has been established between the event and the vaccines.'' On Monday (Jan. 18), Norway reiterated that there was no evidence of a direct link between the vaccine and the deaths, and said its vaccine guidelines remained unchanged. The first vaccine doses in Norway, as in many places, have been given to the oldest and most ill citizens, who are also therefore the most likely to die of any cause in the weeks and months following.
Numerous international outlets that have since reported on the at least 33 elderly deaths among more than 48,000 people who have received the vaccine, but have been careful to note that it is as yet unclear how directly related the deaths are to the jab. But Chinese state media, by insinuating that the Pfizer vaccine had deadly effects, plays a dangerous game of spreading disinformation, fanning the flames of the anti-vaccine movement at a time when the World Health Organization has declared vaccine hesitancy as one of the world's greatest health threats.
In a similar vein, a prominent state-television anchor, Liu Xin'--perhaps best known abroad for her 2019 debate with Fox television host Trish Regan'--tweeted last weekend demanding to know why foreign media were ignoring news of 10 deaths in Germany shortly after receiving the Pfizer vaccine. The tweet was also shared by the Chinese foreign ministry's most abrasive voice.
So far, however, there is no evidence linking the vaccine to the German deaths. As Brigitte Keller-Stanislawski, head of medical products and devices safety at Germany's Paul Ehrlich Institute, the country's vaccines body, noted (link in German), all deaths were of seriously ill patients and ''we assume that the patients died of their underlying disease.''
China's focus on the Norway deaths comes in the wake of English-language reporting on the efficacy results of the Chinese vaccines, and the sparse data accompanying them'--which have been seen by some as a concerted effort to cast doubt on the Chinese vaccines. These vaccines are an important source of national pride, a sign that the country is competitive in science and technology with other advanced economies in the race to develop safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines that are widely used. They also offer the perfect opportunity to repair diplomatic ties damaged by its perceived failures in the early days in the pandemic, and strengthen strategic relationships amid intensifying global criticism of its human rights violations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
The country has sent millions of doses of the Sinopharm and Sinovac shots to countries around the world, even though the latter's CoronaVac shot reported disappointing efficacy data earlier this month. Meanwhile, Sinopharm has claimed in a sparse disclosure that its vaccine is over 79% effective.
This week, one of the purchasers of China's Sinovac vaccines, Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte used the deaths to scorn senators who were urging authorities to prioritize securing Pfizer vaccines by asking them if they ''want'' the same situation as Norway. The Chinese edition of Global Times quickly reported on the exchange, writing in its headline (link in Chinese), ''Duterte: You want the Pfizer vaccine? Remember Norway? I'll order it for you.''
This isn't the first time China's tried to influence understanding of the pandemic, both at home and abroad. Notably, Chinese officials have spread conspiracy theories that suggest that the coronavirus might have been brought to China from the US, rather than originating in Wuhan, where the first outbreak occurred. Just days after the arrival in China of a WHO team in the city to investigate the pandemic's origins, the Chinese foreign ministry began publicly pushing a conspiracy theory that a US military lab could well be the origin of Covid-19.
It's understandable, given hostility to people of Chinese origin during the pandemic, why a theory that China's not to blame might get traction at home. But China has already has experience of the dangers of disinformation in the pandemic'--quashing genuine information circulated among doctors as ''rumors'' at an early and crucial state of the outbreak. With the stakes so high for the successful global rollout of Covid-19 vaccines'--tens of thousands of lives and a semblance of some form of return to normality'--an effort to intentionally sow doubts about their safety could be China's most dangerous pandemic disinformation strategy yet.
Vaccine Shortage Derails European Inoculation Drive - WSJ
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 14:50
Europe's vaccine plans are unraveling amid a shortage of doses that is raising concerns about the continent's ability to immunize its most vulnerable populations and reopen its economy in the near term.
In the latest blow for the continent, advisers to the German government warned on Thursday that AstraZeneca PLC's vaccine shouldn't be given to people over the age of 64 because of a lack of data about its efficacy in this group.
The European Union's medicines agency is expected to recommend use of the company's vaccine on Friday. A recommendation from the European agency not to use the shot in older people would upend national vaccination plans that are tilted toward protecting those most at risk of dying from the disease.
In a sign of the urgency spreading across the continent, German Chancellor Merkel will hold a national vaccination summit with representatives of manufacturers on Feb. 1 in an effort to resolve the shortage of vaccines, her office said late on Thursday.
Europe is already lagging behind the U.K. and the U.S., which have vaccinated 11.3% and 7.1% of their populations respectively, according to data from Oxford University. By comparison, the EU has vaccinated just 2.2 % of its 450 million people.
The EU, which centralizes vaccine procurement for its members, has ordered 2.3 billion doses from six manufacturers and set a target for the region's governments to immunize 70% of adults in the bloc by the summer, a goal that seems increasingly out of reach.
This means there is little hope of an end to lockdowns and other constraints on public life soon, spelling trouble for the region's economy, large parts of which depend on services, including travel and tourism, especially in the less-affluent south.
The shortage of doses has shut down vaccination centers across the region or restricted their activities, causing frustration among those who are theoretically allowed to get a shot but haven't been able to secure an appointment.
''I have old people who have always refused the vaccination against the flu, but now they are all calling. Some of them are really desperate. It's become something like a golden egg. You hunt for it,'' said Jana Bendova, a Slovak doctor.
The Slovak Health Ministry said its vaccine hotline received 500 calls a second after the country made people 74 and older eligible for a vaccine this month.
The delays began this month when Pfizer Inc. announced a temporary reduction in deliveries of the vaccine it developed with Germany's BioNTech SE, the first to be approved in the region, because of an upgrade the U.S. company was undertaking at its manufacturing plant in Belgium.
Then, the European Commission, the EU's executive body, began sparring with AstraZeneca after the company announced last week that it may only be able to deliver as few as 30 million of the 80 million doses it pledged in the first quarter of 2021 due to manufacturing problems at a contractor's plant in Belgium.
The Commission has since accused the British-Swedish company of shipping doses made in the EU to the U.K. It has said it would ask drugmakers to notify authorities before exporting doses out of the EU. On Thursday, an EU official told reporters that they would introduce new criteria allowing national governments to block such exports.
AstraZeneca said it hasn't diverted any European supply to countries outside the EU.
Manufacturers and politicians critical of the EU's procurement have pointed out that the Commission signed its purchasing contracts later than the U.S. and the U.K., is paying less for doses, and has generally taken longer to approve shots, putting it at the back of the distribution queue.
Europe was counting on the AstraZeneca shot to jolt its vaccination effort as the region is registering some of the world's highest daily rates of deaths and new cases. Increasingly, European officials are worried the shot will do little to ease those woes.
The standing vaccination committee of Germany's Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said in an advisory note to the government leaked on Thursday that the AstraZeneca vaccine should be given only to people aged 18 to 64. A spokeswoman for the institute confirmed the leak but refused to comment on it.
The guidance will be published on Friday, if and when the European Medicines Agency rules on the AstraZeneca vaccine. The German government would have to make a formal decision on withholding the vaccine from people over 65. In this case, it would likely give it to medical workers and people aged 60 to 65. Those over 60 make up more than a quarter of Germany's 83 million inhabitants, according to government data.
Germany is currently vaccinating people over 80, as well as nursing home residents and staff and medical workers who have close contacts with highly vulnerable patients. It has only vaccinated some two million people since Dec. 28, less than half the 5.7 million people over 80 in the country and about 2.4% of its population.
Many vaccination centers in the country have stopped giving appointments or cut their opening hours due to the shortage of vaccines.
''Given the shortage of vaccines, we have at least 10 hard weeks ahead of us,'' German Health Minister Jens Spahn wrote in a tweet on Thursday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said this week every adult in the country who wants a vaccine would be able to get one by the end of the summer as long as manufacturers delivered on their promises. Two thirds of the doses the Commission said it had ordered are for vaccines that have yet to be approved.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, which is already in use in Britain, was developed together with Oxford University, but human trial data documenting the vaccine's efficacy in people 65 and older has been sparse so far, according to independent experts.
In December, peer-reviewed efficacy results published in the Lancet medical journal showed the vaccine to be safe and effective, but independent researchers said not enough trial results in the elderly were available to draw statistically significant conclusions. The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca said at the time they expected more data to become available as trials progressed. They said elderly volunteers were enrolled later in the trials as a safety measure.
AstraZeneca executives argued that the vaccine had already proven safe in the elderly, and that countries need to vaccinate all age groups, from adolescence to the oldest adults, to dent the pandemic globally.
Since Tuesday, the EU's drug regulator has been holding discussions over whether to recommend the vaccine for use in the bloc's 27 countries. The agency has said that given the scale of the pandemic, it would be willing to approve a vaccine that showed even modest effectiveness in preventing Covid-19.
But the agency is also worried about antivaccine sentiment and has asked drugmakers to make sure that at least 7,500 test subjects in their clinical trials were older than 65, or had serious health issues. AstraZeneca has struggled to recruit elderly volunteers and to present data on whether the vaccine was effective in those groups.
France has administered 1.2 million vaccine doses since it began inoculations at the end of December. That is slightly more than half the doses it has received, mostly from Pfizer and BioNTech. France has also received tens of thousands of doses from Moderna Inc., which developed the other Covid-19 vaccine that has been authorized in the European Union.
France's mass vaccination campaign limped out of the starting gate, hamstrung by complicated procedures adopted to get the consent of nursing home residents and personnel, the country's first target population. The campaign accelerated when the government allowed all health-care workers and everyone 75 and older to get the shot.
Italy planned to vaccinate 45% of its population in the first half of the year, starting with medical workers, nursing home staff and residents and those aged 80 and older. Now it says delays in vaccine deliveries could push these plans back by four weeks to eight weeks depending on the age group.
Spain is sticking to its goal of vaccinating 70% of the population by this summer and said on Thursday it was confident manufacturers could recoup the current delays, something experts see as optimistic.
''It's very hard to set goals when there are variables that you can't control, like the regular delivery of the vaccines by the pharmaceutical companies,'' said Am"s Garc­a, a Spanish epidemiologist and president of the Spanish Association of Vaccinology.
'-- Giovanni Legorano in Rome contributed to this article.
Write to Bojan Pancevski at, Drew Hinshaw at and Jenny Strasburg at
CNA Nursing Home Whistleblower: Seniors Are DYING LIKE FLIES After COVID Injections!(SHARE)
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 15:25
James (he gives his last name in the video) is a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), and he recorded this video as a whistleblower because he could not keep silent any longer.
James reports that in 2020 very few residents in the nursing home where h'...
James (he gives his last name in the video) is a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), and he recorded this video as a whistleblower because he could not keep silent any longer.
James reports that in 2020 very few residents in the nursing home where he works got sick with COVID, and none of them died during the entire year of 2020.
However, shortly after administering the Pfizer experimental mRNA injections, 14 died within two weeks, and he reports that many others are near death.
He makes it very clear that these were patients he knew and cared for (he is also a "lay pastor"), and that after being injected with the mRNA shot, residents who used to walk on their own can no longer walk. Residents who used to carry on an intelligent conversation with him could no longer talk.
And now they are dying. "They're dropping like flies."
James calls upon other CNAs, Nurses, and family members to go public and tell the world what is going on with these experimental mRNA COVID injections.
"How many more lives need to be lost before we say something?"
If you know what is happening, but are not speaking out, then you are part of the problem.Full story:
EMAILS FROM PFIZER AND THE EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY : The emails included information about Pfizer's VIDOC vaccine. documents allow a better understanding of Pfizer's interests, its strategy to conquer the vaccine market against other competitors...
Most importantly, the documents suggest that the vaccine's actual efficacy rate is much lower than the official figure of 90%. A recent study ( would have further confirmed that the vaccine's efficacy is only 19%
Source: (MSM) , EMAIL FILES:
BREAKING PROOF That HCQ Could Have Saved Tens of Thousands of Lives in the US from Coronavirus '-- Jail Fauci:
Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread:
If you need more proof check out this video:Patient Gail Meyer Being Held Hostage In Hospital For Refusing Covid Test By Police and Staff:
(Overview)Dr. Morgan at West Point Academy Speaking On Neurological Weapon Systems:
SPARS Pandemic Hopkins Exercise
Johns Hopkins SPARS pandemic exercise
The Millennials
Texas Lawsuit Robinhood
Robinhood is still severely limiting trading, customers can only buy one share of GameStop
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 14:38
Restrictions on Robinhood traders got tighter throughout the day on Friday, only allowing clients to buy a single share of GameStop.
The stock trading app also expanded its list of restricted stocks from 13 earlier in the day to 50.
"The table below shows the maximum number of shares and options contracts to which you can increase your positions," Robinhood wrote. CNBC recreated the table.
The restricted list tells clients how many shares and options contracts they can buy pertaining to a particular security. Robinhood customers can only buy one share and up to five options contracts of GameStop; however, if a customer already owns one or more share of GameStop, they are not able to buy any more shares.
Robinhood's restrictions could take the wind out of point-and-click traders trying to jack up the price of GameStop. Robinhood, however, will not sell any client's shares of GameStop that are already over the one-share limit from a previous position.
The stock, which closed up 67%, was off its highs of the session as the new more severe limits were implemented. Earlier in the day, clients could buy five shares of GameStop.
The most shares clients could buy of any of the 50 stocks was five. Clients without existing shares can only buy one share and 10 options contracts in AMC Entertainment, which is down from an earlier 115 shares. Shares of AMC Entertainment closed up 53% but also well off their highs of the day. Clients can only buy one share of American Airlines, Bed Bath & Beyond and Koss.
The stock trading app has also expanded its list of restricted stocks. Some of the new names include Advanced Micro Devices, Starbucks, Novavax, General Motors and Beyond Meat.
On Thursday, Robinhood told clients it was only allowed to sell shares, not buy new ones, in certain securities that were garnering social media attention from Reddit crowds. The firm also raised margin requirements, or the amount of money in a client's account when they will be using leverage to buy a security. Robinhood's decision was met with outrage, with many users taking their grievance to Twitter.
Robinhood said the trading restrictions were risk management decisions to protect Robinhood and its clearinghouses, but touted that the restrictions would be eased on Friday.
The free trading pioneer raised $1 billion in investor money and tapped more credit lines overnight for its clients to be able to trade names like GameStop and AMC Entertainment on Friday.
However, the restrictions got tighter throughout the trading day, as the list of limited securities grew and the number of shares clients could buy shrunk for certain stocks.
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Congress plans hearings after GameStop stock frenzy and Robinhood trading freeze - CBS News
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 10:26
A partisan Congress was unified by outrage after the app Robinhood and other retail stock trading companies froze some individual trading in response to a massive spike in GameStop and AMC stock fueled by internet chat rooms. Some hedge funds had bet big on the downfall of those companies, and the resulting volatility and the willingness of Robinhood to impose restrictions in a way that seemed to favor big investors and punish smaller ones irked Democrats and Republicans alike.
"Fully agree," tweeted Senator Ted Cruz, one of the most conservative Senators, in response to a tweet from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a democratic socialist who scolded Robinhood for deciding to "block retail investors from purchasing stock while hedge funds are freely able to trade the stock as they see fit."
Click here to view related media. click to expand
The leaders of the House and Senate committees responsible for financial industry oversight plan to hold hearings looking into Robinhood's decision and the circumstances that led to the market changes.
"We must deal with the hedge funds whose unethical conduct directly led to the recent market volatility and we must examine the market in general and how it has been manipulated by hedge funds and their financial partners to benefit themselves while others pay the price," said Maxine Waters, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee.
Representative Patrick McHenry, the ranking Republican on the committee, said in a statement that he had asked Waters to call for a hearing.
On Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon, Cruz called for transparency and said lawmakers demand to know why Robinhood had halted the trading of the stocks championed on Reddit by WallStreetBets and other chat rooms.
Moderate Republican Senator Pat Toomey called the retail investor freeze "very disturbing" but also raised concerns about how the trading frenzy would end. "By the way it's going to end badly for most, that's a bubble, that's gonna burst and it's gonna end up collapsing in price," Toomey said.
Incoming Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown also said he plans to hold a hearing on the issue.
"American workers have known for years the Wall Street system is broken. They've been paying the price. It's time for the SEC and Congress to make the economy work for everyone not just Wall Street," his statement read.
During a television interview on Thursday, Senator Elizabeth Warren took direct aim at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, accusing the agency of failing to articulate rules and letting the stock market turn into a "casino."
"We need an SEC that's gonna step up, that's gonna put some clear rules in place and then that will be willing to enforce those rules," Warren said.
Late Wednesday, the SEC issued a statement saying it was "monitoring the ongoing market volatility" and would work with regulators to assess the situation.
On Thursday during the White House press briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki referred reporters to the SEC statement and declined to provide additional comment. On Wednesday, Psaki said members of the economic team including Secretary Janet Yellen were also monitoring the situation.
On Thursday evening, an email from Robinhood to users of the service said it would allow "limited buys" of GameStop and AMC securities Friday.
Despite their common response to the actions by online trading services, tensions between the political parties remained after the January 6 Capitol riots.
"I am happy to work with Republicans on this issue where there's common ground, but you almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago so you can sit this one out," Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a tweet responding to Cruz's support of her stance on Robinhood.
22-Year-Old Dupes NY Post Into Thinking He Risked His Parents' Mortgage On GameStop And AMC Stocks '' BroBible
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 11:16
Jack West laid it all out on the line by taking a second mortgage out on his parents' behalf to invest in both GameStop and AMC stock, or at least that's what the New York Post thought.
The Post published an interview with West that seemed legitimate, but according to his own Twitter, he completely fooled the publication into thinking the story was real.
just took out a second mortgage on my parent's house while they were at work to buy more $AMC and $GME LETS GOOOO
'-- Jack (@JackoWest_3) January 27, 2021
According to the story, his intention was ''to live in the moment,'' and take a stand against the Wall Street establishment.
Here's a breakdown of the story he appears to have completely made up:
''As of right now I am terrified, but optimistic,'' West told New York Post, adding that his parents have no clue about his decision to take out a second mortgage on their behalf. West apparently made the move on Monday via a zoom call (without the camera on) with his hometown bank.
''I bought into the hype. Why not? You only live once,'' West said. ''Value investing isn't a thing anymore, and it's really all about the hype.''
Thanks to his parents, West was able to invest $70,000 into GameStop and AMC stocks while using their mortgage as collateral.
The 22-year-old spoke in depth about the market and his decision to risk it all.
''I am afraid right now. Everything is changing by the minute.''
''Unfortunately, we can see again today that the free market isn't free and once again our economy revolves around saving the rich.''
''I feel like this is a monumental day in the trading industry to show that modern economic theory regarding it all can be proven wrong,'' West said. ''Robinhood was a reputable app (not anymore as of this morning). These are the consequences of investing in stocks that don't follow their true value.''
Robinhood has recently been hit with a class-action lawsuit after restricting the buying of stocks that were highlighted in a Reddit forum that started it all. This is just one lawsuit of many that the company is expecting to receive before this is all done.
Discord Bans WallStreetBets, the Group That Boosted GameStop - Decrypt
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 14:45
In briefWallStreetBets is the group that has pushed GameStop stock up.Its server has been banned on Discord for hosting "hateful and discriminatory content."Discord says this has nothing to do with market manipulation. Discord, a group chat application, has banned the server associated with r/WallStreetBets, the group of dilettante day traders who have banded together to push the price of GameStop stock up over 1,000% in two weeks.
Before this month, WallStreetBets was a little-known subreddit for everyday people to talk about stocks. But, according to Discord, chatter for the group over on Discord was ''hateful and discriminatory.''
In a statement to the Financial Times and other media outlets, a Discord spokesperson wrote:
"The WallStreetBets server has been on our Trust & Safety team's radar for some time due to occasional content that violates our Community Guidelines, including hate speech, glorifying violence, and spreading misinformation'....To be clear, we did not ban this server due to financial fraud related to GameStop or other stocks."
For those interested, here's the full statement from Discord when I asked if they had taken down any content or banned/restricted users for involvement in the Gamestop saga:
'-- Hannah Murphy (@MsHannahMurphy) January 27, 2021
While the explanation is plausible, the timing raises eyebrows. The Securities and Exchange Commission, without naming GameStop or WallStreetBets, referenced the situation in a one-sentence public statement today:
"We are aware of and actively monitoring the on-going market volatility in the options and equities markets and, consistent with our mission to protect investors and maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, we are working with our fellow regulators to assess the situation and review the activities of regulated entities, financial intermediaries, and other market participants."
And Adena Friedman, CEO of stock exchange Nasdaq (which does not list GameStop stock) told CNBC today there's an open question whether social media-boosted buying sprees fit the regulatory definition of pump-and-dump schemes.
Meanwhile, it's hard for the public to get a read on what's going on inside r/wallstreetbets. As of today, the Reddit group is invite-only.
''We are experiencing technical difficulties based on unprecedented scale as a result of the newfound interest in WSB,'' the subreddit page now reads. ''We are unable to ensure Reddit's content policy and the WSB rules are enforceable without a technology platform that can support automation of this enforcement. WSB will be back.''
This all comes amid a quickly changing landscape for social media and internet forums. Purges of QAnon and alt right accounts on Twitter led users to find safe havens elsewhere, such as on Parler and Gab, but also to messaging apps.
The ability of tech platforms to unilaterally sanction speech, hateful and violent or otherwise, has even some tech CEOs concerned, given the ubiquity of a handful of platforms. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, a proponent of Bitcoin, has initiated the Bluesky initiative in a bid to create a decentralized social media standard.
A recently released ecosystem review for Bluesky, authored by former Zcash software engineer Jay Graber, explored federated servers such as Mastodon as well Reddit alternatives such as Aether. Such systems would guard against censorship of groups like WallStreetBets, leaving them free to pump whatever stock they wish in whatever manner they wish.
Consequences'--and hedge funds'--be damned.
Editor's note: This article has been updated from its original version to provide additional context.
'Meme Stock' rally saves AMC theaters from $ 600 million debt | FR24 News English
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 14:39
This week's bizarre ''meme stock'' rally, which brought windfall gains to holders of GameStop shares, also wiped out $ 600 million in debt from the AMC theater chain.
Indeed, on Wednesday, a private equity firm named Silver Lake '' and private equity firms are generally seen as the ''bad guys'' in this snobbish versus slob drama '' chose to convert the corporate bonds it held. in AMC Entertainment Holdings shares. Although the theater chain's stock price has fallen and skyrocketed since the move, debt relief is permanent.
Last Monday, AMC warned investors that ''there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue to operate.'' The reason is obvious: The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the movie theater industry, and the U.S. government's broader stimulus, payroll and recovery measures have done little to support it.
Forgetting more than half a billion dollars in debt, however, should ease a lot of pressure on AMC in the near term. ''A week ago it wasn't crazy to think this company was doomed,'' Bloomberg's Matt Levine wrote Thursday. ''Now it's entirely possible that he will survive and thrive and show movies in theaters for decades to come because everyone has gone mad and bought stocks of meme this week.''
As of this weekend, AMC was third on a list of the most sold short US stocks; The editors of the r / WallStreetBets subdirectory, and elsewhere, have piled on these short stocks because, essentially, institutional investors are betting that companies will fail and their stock prices will go down. Collective action by Reddit day-traders (''retail investors,'' as the industry calls them) drove some stock prices higher, with the GameStop front page rally leading the charge.
Yet by converting its AMC debt into AMC shares, investment firm Silver Lake also suffered from the decline in stock prices. The conversion price of the bonds held by Silver Lake was $ 13.51; Silver Lake cashed in on Wednesday, when AMC shares ended the day at $ 19.90, over 400% better than the previous day. Smart movement, right?
Well, AMC's share price at the time of publication on Friday was around $ 15 '' but it closed at $ 8.63 on Thursday. So unless Silver Lake finds another sucker to buy the stock before it hits bottom, they've been on a roller coaster ride which at best has them about 5% to 7% ahead of the game. their original position, without any guarantee of remaining there.
''I don't really know what those convertible owners were thinking, but there you go,'' Levine wrote. ''Maybe they were thinking, 'Wow, the Redditors really want to buy this stock, we better buy some to sell them.'''
GameStop's share price was $ 19.95 on January 12 when investors concerned about Reddit's disruption made their choice. It closed at $ 193.60 on Thursday after eclipsing $ 400 that morning, the first major drop for the stock since the food frenzy began. GME, at time of publication, is still $ 348.
The company released its first public comments on Thursday since its stock became headline news around the world. GameStop's statement, however, concerned the score of 100 it received from the Human Rights Campaign for its equality practices in the LGBTQ workplace. The company has avoided talking entirely about its stocks, even though its market cap is (on paper, of course) now at $ 24.2 billion.
Analysts speculate that the hype for GameStop, AMC and other stocks will subside as short sellers give up, are no longer forced to buy the stock to cover their losses, or as U.S. regulators eventually step in. The Biden administration said Wednesday that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and her economic advisers were monitoring the situation.
The Robinhood mobile trading app on Thursday suspended or restricted trading in GameStop, AMC and other stocks in response to the mania, a move that has drawn condemnation from lawmakers as disparate as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ( D-NY) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Now Reddit Investors Are Talking About Targeting Silver, And That Could Change EVERYTHING
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 16:18
For decades, the big fish on Wall Street have been able to do virtually anything that they want, but now the small fish are fighting back and it has been a beautiful thing to watch. Finally it is payback time, and the losses have been absolutely staggering. In fact, Reuters is reporting that short sellers have lost more than 70 BILLION dollars so far this year. But nobody should be crying for the short sellers. As Charles Payne pointed out during an epic rant on Fox Business, the short sellers have ruthlessly crushed countless businesses over the years, and they did so without showing any mercy whatsoever.
So now the big hedge funds want mercy themselves?
It's not likely to happen.
After sending GameStop, AMC and other beleaguered stocks into the stratosphere, now investors on Reddit are talking about going after a really huge whale.
The silver market is perfectly primed for an epic short squeeze, and a coordinated assault by retail investors could make it happen.
The following is an excerpt from the post on the ''WallStreetBets'' Reddit subgroup that everyone is talking about'...
The silver futures market has oscillated between having roughly 100-1 and 500-1 ratio of paper traded silver to physical silver, but lets call it 250-1 for now. This means that for every 250 ounces in open interest in the futures market, only 1 actually gets delivered. Most traders would rather settle with cash rather than take delivery of thousands of ounces of silver and have to figure out to store and transport it in the future.
The people naked shorting silver via the futures markets are a couple of large banks and making them pay dearly for their over leveraged naked shorts would be incredible. It's not Melvin capital on the other side of this trade, its JP Morgan. Time to get some payback for the bailouts and manipulation they've done for decades (look up silver manipulation fines that JPM has paid over the years).
The way the squeeze could occur is by forcing a much higher percentage of the futures contracts to actually deliver physical silver. There is very little silver in the COMEX vaults or available to actually be use to deliver, and if they have to start buying en masse on the open market they will drive the price massively higher. There is no way to magically create more physical silver in the world that is ready to be delivered. With a stock you can eventually just issue more shares if the price rises too much, but this simply isn't the case here. The futures market is kind of the wild west of the financial world. Real commodities are being traded, and if you are short, you literally have to deliver thousands of ounces of silver per contract if the holder on the other side demands it. If you remember oil going negative back in May, that was possible because futures are allowed to trade to their true value. They aren't halted and that's what will make this so fun when the true squeeze happens.
That post has already been upvoted more than 9,400 times, and it appears that a consensus is building that this is going to be the next big thing after the raid on GameStop short sellers is done.
On Thursday, the price of gold was up 4.5 percent in anticipation that something might happen, and much of that price movement was apparently caused by short sellers that feverishly rushed to close their positions'...
''After watching GameStop (NYSE:GME) and other shorts getting blasted, rumours that silver could be targeted has traders preemptively covering shorts just in case,'' said Tai Wong, a trader at investment bank BMO in New York.
As Eric King has pointed out, if Reddit investors really do decide to go all-in on silver, they could do some serious damage'...
''Chris, I just calculated the last 4 trading days in GameStop (GME) in dollar terms and it totals $82.3 billion. I think annual silver production is roughly 1 billion ounces and at current prices that would total about $25 billion. That means yesterday's trading volume in GameStop of $29.9 billion would have purchased more than the entire annual silver mine production! And the last 4 trading days in GameStop ($82.3 billion in dollar terms) would have purchased more than a staggering 3-times the entire annual global silver mine production! This type of buying would obviously create one hell of a violent short squeeze in the silver market.''
Of course the other side doesn't exactly play fair.
On Thursday, Robinhood and other trading platforms suddenly restricted trading in some of the key stocks that retail investors have been targeting'...
Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings, BlackBerry Ltd., Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., Express Inc., GameStop Corp., Koss Corp., Naked Brand Group and Nokia Corp. have been restricted to ''position closing only,'' Robinhood said in a blog post.
The decision means traders cannot initiate new positions in shares of those companies and can only sell existing holdings. The company also raised margin requirements for certain securities.
There are allegations that Robinhood and other trading platforms were persuaded to shut down trading in those stocks by the big fish on Wall Street, but Robinhood and the other trading platforms are denying this.
And Robinhood is also denying that it forced some users to suddenly dump their shares in GameStop and other key stocks'...
No, Robinhood tells The Verge, it didn't sell off full shares of GameStop, AMC, and other buzzy stocks without permission from its traders.
That contradicts the stories of twelve people who spoke with The Verge, saying that the app unexpectedly sold off their holdings in some of these companies. Quite a number of Robinhood users expressed their surprise on social media today that the app was selling off their stakes, and we tracked down a dozen of them. These traders didn't believe they had prompted the sales, and they said they weren't aware of anything on their account that would have automatically triggered them.
Hopefully authorities will investigate and get to the bottom of what actually happened.
At this point, Robinhood has already been slapped with two lawsuits because of what took place on Thursday'...
Two Robinhood users filed separate lawsuits against the brokerage app Thursday after it and other apps restricted trading of certain securities.
The first lawsuit filed in the Southern District Court of New York alleges that Robinhood ''purposefully, willingly, and knowingly'' restricted certain securities transactions, including GameStop. The other filed in the Northern District Court of Illinois alleges that the app manipulated its platform.
And it is being reported that the House and the Senate will both be holding hearings on the matter'...
The U.S. House Financial Services and Senate Banking committees said on Thursday they will hold hearings on the stock market after users of investment apps faced trading limits following the ''Reddit rally'' that put a charge into GameStop and other volatile stocks that were touted in online forums.
''We must deal with the hedge funds whose unethical conduct directly led to the recent market volatility and we must examine the market in general and how it has been manipulated by hedge funds and their financial partners to benefit themselves while others pay the price,'' said Representative Maxine Waters, a Democrat who heads the House panel.
After everything that just went down, I don't know how Robinhood is going to survive.
There are also rumors of a ''liquidity crisis'' at Robinhood, but the company insists that those rumors are simply not true.
Meanwhile, the firm has ''tapped at least several hundred million dollars'' in emergency credit in recent days'...
Robinhood Markets, the trading app that's popular with investors behind this month's wildest stock swings, has drawn down some of its bank credit lines to ensure it has enough cash to clear trades, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The firm, according to one of the people, has tapped at least several hundred million dollars, a significant amount of money for a firm that was valued at about $12 billion a few months ago. Robinhood's lenders include JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Representatives for Robinhood and those banks declined to comment.
I have a feeling that this story is not going to end well for Robinhood.
But for the retail investors that are changing the course of history, this is truly an amazing time.
Finally, the small fish are standing up for themselves and are fighting back against the big fish, and the big fish have good reason to be quite scared.
***Michael's new book entitled ''Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America'' is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***
About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled ''Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America'' is now available on In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe. I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this ''About the Author'' section with each article. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help. During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.
Important factor which triggered the GameStop event
From what I understand the triggering event which started the wallstreetbets madness was a live stream by Citron Research on Jan 20.
"On today's show, special guest Andrew Left, founder of Citron Research, was LIVE on the Power Hour, with Hot Stocks Luke Jacobi & Jason Raznick. Andrew Left has an incredible track record of calling stocks, whether he's shorting or going long, Left has an opinion everyone wants to hear. $GME (Gamestop) is trading near all-time highs, considered way overpriced, and Andrew Left offers his bearish thesis on why the stock is dropping to $20 a share."
The day before they tweeted:
"Tomorrow am at 11:30 EST Citron will livestream the 5 reasons GameStop $GME buyers at these levels are the suckers at this poker game. Stock back to $20 fast. We understand short interest better than you and will explain. Thank you to viewers for pos feedback on last live tweet"
This triggered millennial heads to explode as most millennials grew up with GameStop and it represented destroying a significant part of their childhood (or something like that).
We warned about robinhood in 2017
We've witnesses d a historic moment. An outbreak of sanity
They did the impossible. They united Americas future
They don't have leaders, they have allies
The Stimmy checks were their swords
Grew up with Monopoly and Led Misrables
Memes as weapons
GME is game theory in practice
Diamond hands
Stimmy Kids
Its a Mexican standoff. Look at the chart
Time to give the millennial their props
Corporate wokeism is thinly veiled. They see right through it
JCD has been am incredible influence
You made a career of demeaning corporations and the overlords
A lot of the Bernie Sanders support is here as well
Tulip mania - Wikipedia
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 12:07
"Tulip fever" redirects here. For the film set during the period of tulip mania, see
Tulip Fever.
Tulip mania (Dutch: tulpenmanie) was a period during the Dutch Golden Age when contract prices for some bulbs of the recently introduced and fashionable tulip reached extraordinarily high levels, and then dramatically collapsed in February 1637.[2] It is generally considered to have been the first recorded speculative bubble or asset bubble in history.[3] In many ways, the tulip mania was more of a hitherto unknown socio-economic phenomenon than a significant economic crisis. It had no critical influence on the prosperity of the Dutch Republic, which was the world's leading economic and financial power in the 17th century, with the highest per capita income in the world from about 1600 to 1720.[4][5][6] The term "tulip mania" is now often used metaphorically to refer to any large economic bubble when asset prices deviate from intrinsic values.[7][8]
A tulip, known as "the Viceroy" (
viseroij), displayed in the 1637 Dutch catalog
Verzameling van een Meenigte Tulipaanen. Its bulb was offered for sale for between 3,000 and 4,200
guilders (florins) depending on weight (
gewooge). A skilled craftsworker at the time earned about 300 guilders a year.
[1]In Europe, formal futures markets appeared in the Dutch Republic during the 17th century. Among the most notable centered on the tulip market, at the height of tulip mania.[9][10] At the peak of tulip mania, in February 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled artisan. Research is difficult because of the limited economic data from the 1630s, much of which come from biased and speculative sources.[11][12] Some modern economists have proposed rational explanations, rather than a speculative mania, for the rise and fall in prices. For example, other flowers, such as the hyacinth, also had high initial prices at the time of their introduction, which then fell as the plants were propagated. The high asset prices may also have been driven by expectations of a parliamentary decree that contracts could be voided for a small cost, thus lowering the risk to buyers.
The 1637 event gained popular attention in 1841 with the publication of the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, written by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, who wrote that at one point 12 acres (5 ha) of land were offered for a Semper Augustus bulb.[13] Mackay claimed that many investors were ruined by the fall in prices, and Dutch commerce suffered a severe shock. Although Mackay's book is a classic, his account is contested. Many modern scholars feel that the mania was not as extraordinary as Mackay described and argue that not enough price data is available to prove that a tulip bulb bubble actually occurred.[14][15][16][17]
History Edit A Satire of Tulip Mania by
Jan Brueghel the Younger (ca. 1640) depicts speculators as brainless monkeys in contemporary upper-class dress. In a commentary on the economic folly, one monkey urinates on the previously valuable plants, others appear in debtor's court and one is carried to the grave.
The introduction of the tulip to Europe is often questionably attributed to Ogier de Busbecq, the ambassador of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, to the Sultan of Turkey, who sent the first tulip bulbs and seeds to Vienna in 1554 from the Ottoman Empire.[18][19] Tulip bulbs, along with other new plant life like potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables, came to Europe in the 16th century.[20] These bulbs were soon distributed from Vienna to Augsburg, Antwerp and Amsterdam.[21] Their popularity and cultivation in the United Provinces (now the Netherlands)[22] is generally thought to have started in earnest around 1593 after the Southern Netherlandish botanist Carolus Clusius had taken up a post at the University of Leiden and established the hortus academicus.[23] He planted his collection of tulip bulbs and found that they were able to tolerate the harsher conditions of the Low Countries;[24] shortly thereafter, the tulip began to grow in popularity.[25]
The tulip was different from other flowers known to Europe at that time, because of its intense saturated petal color. The appearance of the nonpareil tulip as a status symbol coincides with the rise of newly independent Holland's trade fortunes. No longer the Spanish Netherlands, its economic resources could now be channeled into commerce and the country embarked on its Golden Age. Amsterdam merchants were at the center of the lucrative East Indies trade, where one voyage could yield profits of 400%.[26]
Anonymous 17th-century
watercolor of the
Semper Augustus, famous for being the most expensive tulip sold during the tulip mania.
As a result, tulips rapidly became a coveted luxury item, and a profusion of varieties followed. They were classified in groups: the single-hued tulips of red, yellow, or white were known as Couleren; the multicolored Rosen (white streaks on a red or pink background); Violetten (white streaks on a purple or lilac background); and the rarest of all, the Bizarden (Bizarres), (yellow or white streaks on a red, brown or purple background).[27] The multicolor effects of intricate lines and flame-like streaks on the petals were vivid and spectacular, making the bulbs that produced these even more exotic-looking plants highly sought-after. It is now known that this effect is due to the bulbs being infected with a type of tulip-specific mosaic virus, known as the "tulip breaking virus", so called because it "breaks" the one petal color into two or more.[28][29]
Growers named their new varieties with exalted titles. Many early forms were prefixed Admirael ("admiral"), often combined with the growers' names: Admirael van der Eijck, for example, was perhaps the most highly regarded of about fifty so named. Generael ("general") was another prefix used for around thirty varieties. Later varieties were given even more extravagant names, derived from Alexander the Great or Scipio, or even "Admiral of Admirals" and "General of Generals". Naming could be haphazard and varieties highly variable in quality.[30] Most of these varieties have now died out.[31]
Tulips grow from bulbs and can be propagated through both seeds and buds. Seeds from a tulip will form a flowering bulb after 7''12 years. When a bulb grows into the flower, the original bulb will disappear, but a clone bulb forms in its place, as do several buds. Properly cultivated, these buds will become flowering bulbs of their own, usually after a couple of years. The Tulip breaking virus spreads only through buds, not seeds, and propagation is greatly slowed down by the virus. Cultivating the varieties that were most appealing at the time therefore takes years. In the Northern Hemisphere, tulips bloom in April and May for about one week. During the plant's dormant phase from June to September, bulbs can be uprooted and moved about, so actual purchases (in the spot market) occurred during these months.[32] During the rest of the year, florists, or tulip traders, signed contracts before a notary to buy tulips at the end of the season (effectively futures contracts).[32] Thus the Dutch, who developed many of the techniques of modern finance, created a market for tulip bulbs, which were durable goods.[22] Short selling was banned by an edict of 1610, which was reiterated or strengthened in 1621 and 1630, and again in 1636. Short sellers were not prosecuted under these edicts, but futures contracts were deemed unenforceable, so traders could repudiate deals if faced with a loss.[33]
Wagon of Fools by
Hendrik Gerritsz Pot, 1637. Followed by Haarlem weavers who have abandoned their looms, blown by the wind and flying a flag emblazoned with tulips,
Flora, goddess of flowers, her arms laden with tulips, rides to their destruction in the sea along with tipplers, money changers and the two-faced goddess Fortuna.
A standardized
price index for tulip bulb contracts, created by Earl Thompson. Thompson had no price data between February 9 and May 1, thus the shape of the decline is unknown. The tulip market is known to have collapsed abruptly in February.
[34]As the flowers grew in popularity, professional growers paid higher and higher prices for bulbs with the virus, and prices rose steadily. By 1634, in part as a result of demand from the French, speculators began to enter the market.[35] The contract price of rare bulbs continued to rise throughout 1636, but by November, the price of common, "unbroken" bulbs also began to increase, so that soon any tulip bulb could fetch hundreds of guilders. That year the Dutch created a type of formal futures market where contracts to buy bulbs at the end of the season were bought and sold. Traders met in "colleges" at taverns and buyers were required to pay a 2.5% "wine money" fee, up to a maximum of three guilders per trade. Neither party paid an initial margin, nor a mark-to-market margin, and all contracts were with the individual counter-parties rather than with the Exchange. The Dutch described tulip contract trading as windhandel (literally "wind trade"), because no bulbs were actually changing hands. The entire business was accomplished on the margins of Dutch economic life, not in the Exchange itself.[36]
By 1636, the tulip bulb became the fourth leading export product of the Netherlands, after gin, herrings, and cheese. The price of tulips skyrocketed because of speculation in tulip futures among people who never saw the bulbs. Many men made and lost fortunes overnight.[37]
The Tulip Folly, by
Jean-L(C)on G(C)r´me, 1882. A nobleman guards an exceptional bloom as soldiers trample flowerbeds in a vain attempt to stabilize the tulip market by limiting the supply.
Tulip mania reached its peak during the winter of 1636''37, when some bulb contracts were reportedly changing hands ten times in a day. No deliveries were ever made to fulfill any of these contracts, because in February 1637, tulip bulb contract prices collapsed abruptly and the trade of tulips ground to a halt.[38] The collapse began in Haarlem, when, for the first time, buyers apparently refused to show up at a routine bulb auction. This may have been because Haarlem was then suffering from an outbreak of bubonic plague. The existence of the plague may have helped to create a culture of fatalistic risk-taking that allowed the speculation to skyrocket in the first place;[39] this outbreak might also have helped to burst the bubble.[40]
Available price data Edit The lack of consistently recorded price data from the 1630s makes the extent of the tulip mania difficult to discern. The bulk of available data comes from anti-speculative pamphlets by "Gaergoedt and Warmondt" (GW) written just after the bubble. Economist Peter Garber collected data on the sales of 161 bulbs of 39 varieties between 1633 and 1637, with 53 being recorded by GW. Ninety-eight sales were recorded for the last date of the bubble, February 5, 1637, at wildly varying prices. The sales were made using several market mechanisms: futures trading at the colleges, spot sales by growers, notarized futures sales by growers, and estate sales. "To a great extent, the available price data are a blend of apples and oranges", according to Garber.[41]
Mackay's Madness of Crowds Edit Basket of goods allegedly exchanged for a single bulb of the Viceroy[42]Two lasts of wheat448Æ'Four lasts of rye558Æ'Four fat oxen480Æ'Eight fat swine240Æ'Twelve fat sheep120Æ'Two hogsheads of wine70Æ'Four tuns of beer32Æ'Two tuns of butter192Æ'1,000 lbs. of cheese120Æ'A complete bed100Æ'A suit of clothes80Æ'A silver drinking cup60Æ'Total2500Æ'The modern discussion of tulip mania began with the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, published in 1841 by the Scottish journalist Charles Mackay; he proposed that crowds of people often behave irrationally, and tulip mania was, along with the South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Company scheme, one of his primary examples. His account was largely sourced from a 1797 work by Johann Beckmann titled A History of Inventions, Discoveries, and Origins.[14] In fact, Beckmann's account, and thus Mackay's by derivation, was primarily sourced to three anonymous pamphlets published in 1637 with an anti-speculative agenda.[43] Mackay's vivid book was popular among generations of economists and stock market participants. His popular but flawed description of tulip mania as a speculative bubble remains prominent, even though since the 1980s economists have debunked many aspects of his account.[43]
According to Mackay, the growing popularity of tulips in the early 17th century caught the attention of the entire nation; "the population, even to its lowest dregs, embarked in the tulip trade".[13] By 1635, a sale of 40 bulbs for 100,000 florins (also known as Dutch guilders) was recorded. By way of comparison, a ton of butter cost around 100 florins, a skilled laborer might earn 150''350 florins a year, and "eight fat swine" cost 240 florins.[13]
By 1636, tulips were traded on the exchanges of numerous Dutch towns and cities. This encouraged trade by all members of society; Mackay recounted people selling possessions in order to speculate on the tulip market, such as an offer of 12 acres (49,000 m2) of land for one of two existing Semper Augustus bulbs, or a single bulb of the Viceroy that, he said, was purchased in exchange for a basket of goods (shown in table) worth 2,500 florins.[42]
Many individuals suddenly became rich. A golden bait hung temptingly out before the people, and, one after the other, they rushed to the tulip marts, like flies around a honey-pot. Every one imagined that the passion for tulips would last for ever, and that the wealthy from every part of the world would send to Holland, and pay whatever prices were asked for them. The riches of Europe would be concentrated on the shores of the Zuyder Zee, and poverty banished from the favoured clime of Holland. Nobles, citizens, farmers, mechanics, seamen, footmen, maidservants, even chimney sweeps and old clotheswomen, dabbled in tulips.[13]
Pamphlet from the Dutch tulipomania, printed in 1637
The increasing mania generated several amusing, if unlikely, anecdotes that Mackay recounted, such as a sailor who mistook the valuable tulip bulb of a merchant for an onion and grabbed it to eat. According to Mackay, the merchant and his family chased the sailor to find him "eating a breakfast whose cost might have regaled a whole ship's crew for a twelvemonth"; the sailor was jailed for eating the bulb.[13] In fact, tulips are poisonous if prepared incorrectly, taste bad, and are considered to be only marginally edible even during famines.[44]
People were purchasing bulbs at higher and higher prices, intending to re-sell them for a profit. Such a scheme could not last unless someone was ultimately willing to pay such high prices and take possession of the bulbs. In February 1637, tulip traders could no longer find new buyers willing to pay increasingly inflated prices for their bulbs. As this realization set in, the demand for tulips collapsed, and prices plummeted'--the speculative bubble burst. Some were left holding contracts to purchase tulips at prices now ten times greater than those on the open market, while others found themselves in possession of bulbs now worth a fraction of the price they had paid. Mackay says the Dutch devolved into distressed accusations and recriminations against others in the trade.[13]
In Mackay's account, the panicked tulip speculators sought help from the government of the Netherlands, which responded by declaring that anyone who had bought contracts to purchase bulbs in the future could void their contract by payment of a 10 percent fee. Attempts were made to resolve the situation to the satisfaction of all parties, but these were unsuccessful. The mania finally ended, Mackay says, with individuals stuck with the bulbs they held at the end of the crash'--no court would enforce payment of a contract, since judges regarded the debts as contracted through gambling, and thus not enforceable by law.[13]
According to Mackay, lesser tulip manias also occurred in other parts of Europe, although matters never reached the state they had in the Netherlands. He also thought that the aftermath of the tulip price deflation led to a widespread economic chill throughout the Netherlands for many years afterwards.[13]
Modern views Edit Mackay's account of inexplicable mania was unchallenged, and mostly unexamined, until the 1980s.[45] Research into tulip mania since then, especially by proponents of the efficient-market hypothesis,[17] suggests that his story was incomplete and inaccurate. In her 2007 scholarly analysis Tulipmania, Anne Goldgar states that the phenomenon was limited to "a fairly small group", and that most accounts from the period "are based on one or two contemporary pieces of propaganda and a prodigious amount of plagiarism".[11] Peter Garber argues that the trade in common bulbs "was no more than a meaningless winter drinking game, played by a plague-ridden population that made use of the vibrant tulip market."[46]
While Mackay's account held that a wide array of society was involved in the tulip trade, Goldgar's study of archived contracts found that even at its peak the trade in tulips was conducted almost exclusively by merchants and skilled craftsmen who were wealthy, but not members of the nobility.[47] Any economic fallout from the bubble was very limited. Goldgar, who identified many prominent buyers and sellers in the market, found fewer than half a dozen who experienced financial troubles in the time period, and even of these cases it is not clear that tulips were to blame.[48] This is not altogether surprising. Although prices had risen, money had not changed hands between buyers and sellers. Thus profits were never realized for sellers; unless sellers had made other purchases on credit in expectation of the profits, the collapse in prices did not cause anyone to lose money.[49]
Still Life with Flowers (1639), by
Hans Bollongier (1623''1672), showcases the prized
Semper Augustus tulip.
Rational explanations Edit It is well established that prices for tulip bulb contracts rose and then fell between 1636''37; however, such dramatic curves do not necessarily imply that an economic or speculative bubble developed and then burst. For the then tulip market to qualify as an economic bubble, the price of bulbs would need to have been mutually agreed and surpassed the intrinsic value of the bulbs. Modern economists have advanced several possible reasons for why the rise and fall in prices may not have constituted a bubble, even though a Viceroy Tulip was worth upwards of five times the cost of an average house at the time.[50]
The increases of the 1630s corresponded with a lull in the Thirty Years' War.[51] In 1634/5 the German and Swedish armies lost ground in the South of Germany; then Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria moved north. After the Peace of Prague the French and the Dutch decided to support the Swedish and German Protestants with money and arms against the Habsburg empire, and to occupy the Spanish Netherlands in 1636. Hence market prices, at least initially, were responding rationally to a rise in demand. The fall in prices was faster and more dramatic than the rise. Data on sales largely disappeared after the February 1637 collapse in prices, but a few other data points on bulb prices after tulip mania show that bulbs continued to lose value for decades thereafter.[citation needed ]
Natural volatility in flower prices Edit Garber compared the available price data on tulips to hyacinth prices at the beginning of the 19th century when the hyacinth replaced the tulip as the fashionable flower and found a similar pattern. When hyacinths were introduced florists strove with one another to grow beautiful hyacinth flowers, as demand was strong. As people became more accustomed to hyacinths the prices began to fall. The most expensive bulbs fell to 1 to 2 percent of their peak value within 30 years.[52] Garber also notes that, "a small quantity of prototype lily bulbs recently was sold for 1 million guilders ($US480,000 at 1987 exchange rates)", demonstrating that even in the modern world, flowers can command extremely high prices.[53] Because the rise in prices occurred after bulbs were planted for the year, growers would not have had an opportunity to increase production in response to price.[54]
Critiques Edit Other economists believe that these elements cannot completely explain the dramatic rise and fall in tulip prices.[55] Garber's theory has also been challenged for failing to explain a similar dramatic rise and fall in prices for regular tulip bulb contracts.[7] Some economists also point to other factors associated with speculative bubbles, such as a growth in the supply of money, demonstrated by an increase in deposits at the Bank of Amsterdam during that period.[56]
Legal changes Edit Admirael van der Eijck from the 1637 catalog of P.Cos., sold for 1045 guilders on February 5, 1637
Earl Thompson argued in a 2007 paper that Garber's explanation cannot account for the extremely swift drop in tulip bulb contract prices. The annualized rate of price decline was 99.999%, instead of the average 40% for other flowers.[50] He provided another explanation for Dutch tulip mania. Since late 1636, the Dutch parliament had been considering a decree (originally sponsored by Dutch tulip investors who had lost money because of a German setback in the Thirty Years' War[57]) that changed the way tulip contracts functioned:
On February 24, 1637, the self-regulating guild of Dutch florists, in a decision that was later ratified by the Dutch Parliament, announced that all futures contracts written after November 30, 1636, and before the re-opening of the cash market in the early Spring, were to be interpreted as option contracts. They did this by simply relieving the futures buyers of the obligation to buy the future tulips, forcing them merely to compensate the sellers with a small fixed percentage of the contract price.[58]
Before this parliamentary decree, the purchaser of a tulip contract'--known in modern finance as a forward contract'--was legally obliged to buy the bulbs. The decree changed the nature of these contracts, so that if the current market price fell, the purchaser could opt to pay a penalty and forgo receipt of the bulb, rather than pay the full contracted price. This change in law meant that, in modern terminology, the futures contracts had been transformed into options contracts'--contracts which were extremely favorable to the buyers.
Thompson argues that the "bubble" in the price of tulip bulb futures prior to the February 1637 decree was due primarily to buyers' awareness of what was coming. Although the final 3.5% strike price was not actually settled until February 24, Thompson writes, "as information ... entered the market in late November, contract prices soared to reflect the expectation that the contract price was now a call-option exercise, or strike, price rather than a price committed to be paid."[58] Thompson concludes that "the real victims of the contractual conversion" were the investors who had bought futures contracts prior to November 30, 1636, on the incorrect assumption that their contracts would benefit from the February 1637 decree.[58] In other words, many investors were making an "additional gamble with respect to the prices the buyers would eventually have to pay for their options"[59]'--a factor unrelated to the intrinsic value of the tulip bulbs themselves.
Using data about the specific payoffs present in the futures and options contracts, Thompson argued that tulip bulb contract prices hewed closely to what a rational economic model would dictate: "Tulip contract prices before, during, and after the 'tulipmania' appear to provide a remarkable illustration of efficient market prices."[59]
Social mania and legacy Edit A modern-day field of tulips in the Netherlands; the flower remains a popular symbol of the Netherlands.
The popularity of Mackay's tale has continued to this day, with new editions of Extraordinary Popular Delusions appearing regularly, with introductions by writers such as financier Bernard Baruch (1932), financial writer Andrew Tobias (1980),[60] psychologist David J. Schneider (1993), and journalist Michael Lewis (2008).
Goldgar argues that although tulip mania may not have constituted an economic or speculative bubble, it was nonetheless traumatic to the Dutch for other reasons: "Even though the financial crisis affected very few, the shock of tulipmania was considerable. A whole network of values was thrown into doubt."[61] In the 17th century, it was unimaginable to most people that something as common as a flower could be worth so much more money than most people earned in a year. The idea that the prices of flowers that grow only in the summer could fluctuate so wildly in the winter, threw into chaos the very understanding of "value".[62]
Many of the sources telling of the woes of tulip mania, such as the anti-speculative pamphlets that were later reported by Beckmann and Mackay, have been cited as evidence of the extent of the economic damage. These pamphlets were not written by victims of a bubble, but were primarily religiously motivated. The upheaval was viewed as a perversion of the moral order '-- proof that "concentration on the earthly, rather than the heavenly flower could have dire consequences".[63]
Nearly a century later, during the crash of the Mississippi Company and the South Sea Company in about 1720, tulip mania appeared in satires of these manias.[64] When Johann Beckmann first described tulip mania in the 1780s, he compared it to the failing lotteries of the time.[65] In Goldgar's view, even many modern popular works about financial markets, such as Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street (1973) and John Kenneth Galbraith's A Short History of Financial Euphoria (1990; written soon after the crash of 1987), used the tulip mania as a lesson in morality.[66][67][68] Tulip mania again became a popular reference during the dot-com bubble of 1995''2001.[66][69] and the subprime mortgage crisis.[70][71] In 2013, Nout Wellink, former president of the Dutch Central Bank, described Bitcoin as "worse than the tulip mania", adding, "At least then you got a tulip, now you get nothing."[72] Despite the mania's enduring popularity, Daniel Gross has said of economists offering efficient-market explanations for the mania, "If they're correct ... then business writers will have to delete Tulipmania from their handy-pack of bubble analogies."[73]
Notes Edit ^ Nusteling, H. (1985) Welvaart en Werkgelegenheid in Amsterdam 1540''1860, pp. 114, 252, 254, 258. ^ Tulipomania: The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower & the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused. Mike Dash (2001). ^ Shiller 2005, p. 85 More extensive discussion of status as the earliest bubble on pp. 247''48. ^ In Karl Marx's own words, "Its [17th-century Dutch Republic's] fisheries, marine, manufactures, surpassed those of any other country. The total capital of the Republic was probably more important than that of all the rest of Europe put together." (Das Kapital) ^ Kaletsky, Anatole: Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis. (PublicAffairs, 2010), pp. 109''10. Anatole Kaletsky: "The bursting of the tulip bubble in 1637 did not end Dutch economic hegemony. Far from it. Tulipmania was followed by a century of Dutch leadership in almost every branch of global commerce, finance, and manufacturing." ^ Gieseking, Jen Jack; Mangold, William; et al.: The People, Place, and Space Reader. (Routledge, 2014, ISBN 978-0415664974), p. 151. As Witold Rybczynski (1987) notes, the 17th-century Dutch Republic "had few natural resources'--no mines, no forests'--and what little land there was needed constant protection from the sea. But this "low" country surprisingly quickly established itself as a major power. In a short time it became the most advanced shipbuilding nation in the world and developed large naval, fishing, and merchant fleets. (...) The Netherlands introduced many financial innovations that made it a major economic force'--and Amsterdam became the world center for international finance. Its manufacturing towns grew so quickly that by the middle of the century the Netherlands had supplanted France as the leading industrial nation of the world." ^ a b French 2006, p. 3 ^ Fowler, Mark; Felton, Bruce (August 1, 2004). The Best, Worst, & Most Unusual: Noteworthy Achievements, Events, Feats & Blunders of Every Conceivable Kind. Galahad. ISBN 978-0883658611. ^ Chew, Donald H.: Corporate Risk Management. (Columbia University Press, 2008, ISBN 0231143621) ^ Pavaskar, Madhoo: Commodity Derivatives Trading: Theory and Regulation. (Notion Press, 2016, ISBN 1945926228) ^ a b Kuper, Simon "Petal Power" (Review of Goldgar 2007), Financial Times, May 12, 2007. Retrieved on July 1, 2008. ^ A pamphlet about the Dutch tulipomania Wageningen Digital Library, July 14, 2006. Retrieved on August 13, 2008. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Tulipomania", Chapter 3, in Mackay 1841. ^ a b Goldgar, Anne (2008). Tulipmania: Money, Honor, and Knowledge in the Dutch Golden Age. London: University of Chicago Press. pp. 5, 6. ISBN 978-0226301303. ^ Goldgar, Anne (February 12, 2018), "Tulip mania: the classic story of a Dutch financial bubble is mostly wrong", The Conversation, Boston, MA , retrieved February 13, 2018 ^ Thompson 2007, p. 99 ^ a b Kindleberger & Aliber 2005, p. 115 ^ Pavord, Anna (2014). The Tulip: The Story of a Flower That Has Made Men Mad. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. Introduction p.4. ISBN 9781408859032. ^ Panic, Prosperity, and Progress- Timothy Knight, p.1 ^ Harford, Tim (March 4, 2020). "Are we wrong about what happened with Tulip Mania?". BBC News . Retrieved March 4, 2020 . ^ Brunt, Alan; Walsh, John, "'Broken' tulips and Tulip breaking virus", Microbiology Today, May 2005, p. 68. ^ a b Garber 1989, p. 537 ^ Dash 1999, pp. 59''60 ^ Goldgar 2007, p. 32 ^ Goldgar 2007, p. 33 ^ Ricklefs, M. C. (1991). A History of Modern Indonesia Since c. 1300, 2nd Edition. London: MacMillan. p. 27 ^ Dash 1999, p. 66 ^ Phillips, S. "Tulip breaking potyvirus Archived February 20, 2009, at the Wayback Machine", in Brunt, A. A., Crabtree, K., Dallwitz, M. J., Gibbs, A. J., Watson, L. and Zurcher, E. J. (eds.) (1996 onwards). Plant Viruses Online: Descriptions and Lists from the VIDE Database. Version: August 20, 1996. Retrieved on August 15, 2008. ^ Garber 1989, p. 542 ^ Dash 1999, pp. 106''07 ^ Garber 2000, p. 41 ^ a b Garber 1989, pp. 541''42 ^ Garber 2000, pp. 33''36 ^ Thompson 2007, pp. 101, 109''11 ^ Garber 1989, p. 543 ^ Goldgar 2007, p. 322 ^ Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (1997) pp. 350''66 esp p. 362 ^ Garber 1989, pp. 543''44 ^ De Vries 1976, p. 226, quoted in Garber 2000, p. 38 ^ Garber 2000, pp. 37''38, 44''47 ^ Garber 2000, pp. 49''59, 138''44 ^ a b This basket of goods was actually exchanged for a bulb according to Chapter 3 of Mackay 1841 and also Schama 1987, but Krelage (1942) and Garber 2000, pp. 81''83 dispute this interpretation of the original source, an anonymous pamphlet, saying that the commodity bundle was clearly given only to demonstrate the value of the florin at the time. ^ a b Garber 1990, p. 37 ^ Deane, Green. "Tulips". Eat the Weeds. Archived from the original on December 25, 2013 . Retrieved December 4, 2013 . ^ Garber 1989, p. 535 ^ Garber 2000, p. 81 ^ Goldgar 2007, p. 141 ^ Goldgar 2007, pp. 247''48 ^ Goldgar 2007, p. 233 ^ a b Thompson 2007, p. 100 ^ Thompson 2007, p. 103 ^ Garber 1989, pp. 553''54 ^ Garber 1989, p. 555 ^ Garber 1989, pp. 555''56 ^ Kindleberger & Aliber 2005, pp. 115''16 ^ French 2006, pp. 11''12 ^ Thompson 2007, pp. 103''04 ^ a b c Thompson 2007, p. 101 ^ a b Thompson 2007, p. 109 ^ Introduction by Andrew Tobias to Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (New York: Harmony Press, 1980) available at Andrew Tobias: Money and Other Subjects Archived September 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on August 12, 2008 ^ Goldgar 2007, p. 18 ^ Goldgar 2007, pp. 276''77 ^ Goldgar 2007, pp. 260''61 ^ Goldgar 2007, pp. 307''09 ^ Goldgar 2007, p. 313 ^ a b Goldgar 2007, p. 314 ^ Galbraith 1990, p. 34 ^ Malkiel 2007, pp. 35''38 ^ Frankel, Mark (April 4, 2004). "When the Tulip Bubble Burst", Business Week. ^ "Bubble and Bust; As the subprime mortgage market tanks, policymakers must keep their nerve", The Washington Post, August 11, 2007. Retrieved on July 17, 2008. ^ Horton, Scott. "The Bubble Bursts", Harper's, January 27, 2008. Retrieved on July 17, 2008. Archived June 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine ^ "Bitcoin hype worse than 'tulip mania', says Dutch central banker", The Guardian, December 4, 2013. ^ Gross, Daniel. "Bulb Bubble Trouble; That Dutch tulip bubble wasn't so crazy after all", Slate, July 16, 2004. Retrieved on November 4, 2011. References Edit Cos, Pieter (1637), Verzameling van een meenigte tulipaanen, naar het leven geteekend met hunne naamen, en swaarte der bollen, zoo als die publicq verkogt zijn, te Haarlem in den jaare A. 1637, door P. Cos, bloemist te Haarlem (in Dutch), Haarlem: [s.n.], 75 pl, archived from the original on April 4, 2005 , retrieved August 11, 2008 Dash, Mike (1999), Tulipomania: The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower and the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused, New York: Three Rivers Press, ISBN 978-0-307-56082-7 De Vries, Jan (1976), The Economy of Europe in an Age of Crisis, 1600''1750, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521290500 French, Doug (2006), "The Dutch monetary environment during tulipomania" (PDF) , The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 9 (1): 3''14, doi:10.1007/s12113-006-1000-6, S2CID 153904651 , retrieved June 24, 2008 Galbraith, J. K. (1990), A Short History of Financial Euphoria, New York: Penguin Books, ISBN 0-670-85028-4 Garber, Peter M. (1989), "Tulipmania", Journal of Political Economy, 97 (3): 535''60, doi:10.1086/261615, S2CID 222435339 Garber, Peter M. (1990), "Famous First Bubbles", The Journal of Economic Perspectives, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 4, No. 2, 4 (2): 35''54, doi:10.1257/jep.4.2.35, JSTOR 1942889. Garber, Peter M. (2000), Famous First Bubbles: The Fundamentals of Early Manias, Cambridge: MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-07204-1 Goldgar, Anne (2007). Tulipmania: money, honor, and knowledge in the Dutch golden age. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-30125-9 . Retrieved February 21, 2015 . Hooper, William R. (April 1876), "The Tulip Mania" , Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 52 (340), pp. 743''46 Krelage, E. H. (1942), Bloemenspeculatie in Nederland, Amsterdam: P. N. van Kampen & Zoon Kindleberger, Charles P.; Aliber, Robert (2005), Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises (5th ed.), Hoboken: Wiley, ISBN 0-471-46714-6 Mackay, Charles (1841), Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, London: Richard Bentley Malkiel, Burton G. (2007), A Random Walk Down Wall Street (9th ed.), New York: W. W. Norton, ISBN 978-0-393-06245-8 Pavord, Anna (2007), The Tulip, London: Bloomsbury, ISBN 978-0-7475-7190-2 Pollan, Michael (2002), The Botany of Desire , New York: Random House, ISBN 0-375-76039-3 Schama, Simon (1987), The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, New York: Alfred Knopf, ISBN 0-394-51075-5 Shiller, Robert J. (2005), Irrational Exuberance (2nd ed.), Princeton: Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-12335-7 Thompson, Earl (2007), "The tulipmania: Fact or artifact?" (PDF) , Public Choice, 130 (1''2): 99''114, doi:10.1007/s11127-006-9074-4, S2CID 154546566 , retrieved August 15, 2008 External links Edit Wageningen Tulip Portal, an extensive collection of historical resources, including scanned images of 17th-century Dutch tulip books and pamphlets, from Wageningen UR LibraryCharles Mackay's The Madness of Crowds is available from Project GutenbergBoissoneault, Lorraine (September 18, 2017). "There Never Was a Real Tulip Fever". Smithsonian Magazine . Retrieved December 10, 2017 .
The Purge
Marjorie Taylor Greene's 'Jewish Space Lasers' Conspiracy Theory Met With Derision, Jokes
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 12:54
House Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene has faced criticism and ridicule for posting a wide-ranging conspiracy theory tinged with anti-Semitic tropes, leading to the #JewishSpaceLasers hashtag trending on Twitter.
Georgia Rep. Greene has on several occasions drawn criticism for espousing inflammatory views on race, promoting Qanon conspiracy theories, and inciting hatred on rival lawmakers. QAnon peddles the unfounded conspiracy theory that former U.S. President Donald Trump is waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping pedophiles in government, business and the media.
Media Matters on Thursday revealed one of Greene's old Facebook posts from 2018, where she made several baseless claims about the cause of California's wildfires. She simultaneously implied that the fires could have been started deliberately or accidentally by a solar power generating satellite, but either way the fires were conveniently along the route of the planned California High-Speed Rail project.
In the post, which has now been deleted, Greene implied that the Rothschilds, a wealthy Jewish banking family frequently referred to in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric), space solar power company Solaren, and California officials all had a hand in profiting from the fires.
She specifically mentioned Roger Kimmel on the PG&E board, U.S. Senator for California Dianne Feinstein, her husband Richard Blum, former California governor Jerry Brown, and Michael Peevey who is on the board of Solaren.
"Then oddly there have been all these people who have said they saw what looked like lasers or blue beams of light causing the fires, and pictures and videos," Greene continued on Facebook. "I don't know anything about that but I do find it really curious that PG&E's partnership with Solaren on space generators starting in 2009. They announced the launch into space in March 2018, and maybe even put them up before that."
The derogatory 2018 Facebook post from Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. Media Matters for AmericaSolaren was planning to launch for PG&E in 2016 but this never came to fruition, Wired reported in 2019.
Greene suggested that if laser beams caused the fires, it could have been a mistake by Solaren when it was trying to transmit the sun's energy back to Earth. "That wouldn't look so good for PG&E, Rothschild Inc, Solaren or Jerry Brown who sure does seem, fond of PG&E. Good thing for Solaren that Michael Peevey is on their board since he is former President of California Public Utilities Commission, California's most powerful energey regulatory agency. Great connections right there!" she wrote.
Following the news of her outburst, the "Jewish Laser Beam" began trending on Twitter as many people on the platform ridiculed Greene's comments.
Marc E. Elias, founder Democracy Docket, a platform for progressive advocacy and information about voting rights, said: "Whoever borrowed my secret Jewish space laser, please return it. I need it for something tomorrow."
Brian Schatz, U.S. Senator for Hawaii, also commented on Greene's conspiracy theories.
"A member of congress thinks there is a Jewish Laser beam to clear space or something for high speed rail and on Sunday TV pundits will ask democrats why they can't find middle ground on Covid relief. All of these otherwise smart people will pretend not to know the answer," he said.
A member of congress thinks there is a Jewish Laser beam to clear space or something for high speed rail and on Sunday TV pundits will ask democrats why they can't find middle ground on Covid relief. All of these otherwise smart people will pretend not to know the answer.
'-- Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) January 29, 2021Responding to him, prominent Jewish academic and writer Norman Ornstein said: "I think it is time to start a Jewish Laser Beam Caucus in Congress. Will not be difficult to get a minyan."
Comedian Randy Rainbow wrote: "'Jewish Space Laser' was the theme of my Bar Mitzvah party."
Twitter user Patton Oswalt referenced the popular Beatles song "Paperback Writer."
"S*** I'm gonna be muttering, 'Jewish Space Laser' to the tune of "Paperback Writer" all weekend," he wrote.
Filmmaker Avishai Weinberger said: "Mom says it's my turn on the Jewish Space Laser."
Another user on the social media site, Minerva P Kelley, said: "Apparently Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) thinks that the wildfires in California were started by, and I'm paraphrasing here, a Jewish Space Laser and I gotta say, I feel like I would have been far more inclined to go to hebrew school as a kid if I'd known there'd be a space laser."
This Jewish space laser thing makes no sense to me. Because, as every Jewish mother knows, you could put an eye out with that.
'-- Ruth Marcus (@RuthMarcus) January 29, 2021Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday slammed GOP Congressional leaders for not doing more to condemn Greene's incendiary comments.
"What I'm concerned about is the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, who is willing to overlook, ignore those statements," she said in her weekly media briefing.
CNN reported on Wednesday that Greene has also indicated her support for executing prominent Democrats, including Pelosi. In a January 2019 Facebook post, Greene liked a comment that said "a bullet to the head would be quicker" to remove Pelosi. Greene also liked comments about executing FBI agents, who she has accused of being part of the "deep state" that had been working to oust former President Donald Trump.
A video posted on Greene's YouTube channel on January 21 shows her confronting David Hogg, who survived a 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed in the shooting.
In the video, Greene repeatedly accuses Hogg of supporting Red Flag gun laws, which she says threaten her Second Amendment Rights. After following him as he visited Senators in the U.S. Capitol, Greene calls him a coward for refusing to reply to her and said he was being paid by George Soros, who is often referred to in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and other rich liberal figures.
Hogg doesn't respond to Greene in the video but later he tweeted: "As we fight for peace we also face massive amounts of death threats and armed intimidation simply for not wanting our friends to die anymore. This is not the country we should be, and it's not the country we have to be."
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) shouts at journalists as she goes through security outside the House Chamber at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on January 12, 2021. The Congresswoman has been derided for using a conspiracy theory to explain the 2018 California wildfires. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/GettyUpdate 1/29/21, 11:15 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include a screencap of Marjorie Taylor Greene's Facebook post.
Actual Jewish quote
Lobby Group Sues Apple To REMOVE Telegram From App Store For Allowing 'Hate Speech' - NewsCetera
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 22:50
by SnapBridge January 20, 2021, 6:01 am 80.7k Views
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A lobbyist group is suing Apple in an effort to get free speech messaging platform Telegram removed from the app store, claiming that it allows 'extremists' to spread 'hate speech'.
Telegram has seen a surge in users since Twitter and Facebook permanently suspended President Trump. Last week the service gained more than 25 million new users in just 72 hours, taking the total users to over 500 million.
The platform promotes itself as a service that believes in free speech and a strong privacy ethic, often polarising itself from the likes of Facebook owned Watts App and Microsoft owned Skype.
Now, amid calls for the platform to be restricted, lobby group The Coalition for a Safer Web has called for it to be completely deleted from big tech app stores.
In particular, the group has filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging that it has failed to hold Telegram accountable for violating its terms of service.
The complaint, filed in the US District Court for Northern California, accuses Telegram of allowing anti-Semites, neo-nazis and white supremacists to use the platform to foment hate.
''Telegram currently serves as the preferred neo-Nazi/white nationalist communications channel, fanning anti-Semitic and anti-black incitement during the current wave of protests across America,'' the lawsuit claims.
It also states that 'extremists' are set to ''migrate to Telegram'' in bigger numbers following Apple, Google and Amazon's attempts to wipe Parler off the internet completely.
The lawsuit further alleges that Telegram ''is currently being used to coordinate and incite extreme violence before the inauguration of President [-elect] Joe Biden.''
The Coalition for a Safer Web's President, Marc Ginsberg, who is a former US ambassador to Morocco and deputy senior adviser to the US president on Middle East Policy, has claimed that ''By continuing to host Telegram on the Apple App Store, [the] defendant (Apple) facilitates religious threats against him and his family that has caused Ambassador Ginsberg to fear for his life.''
The lawsuit points to the purging of Parler as a precedent, noting that ''Apple has not taken any action against Telegram comparable to the action it has taken against Parler to compel Telegram to improve its content moderation policies.''
The group, which also has a Council on Foreign Relations executive, a former Chairman of the RNC, and a former Homeland Security chief on its advisory board, is [ '... ]
Build Back Better
AMAZON WHOLE FOODS boots on the ground report ANONYMOUS
I have worked on the front end at a whole foods in the Midwest region for about 5.5 years, so I at least saw what working here was like pre-amazon for a few years, although it was already going downhill by the time I got on. Since the pandemic started, I got red pilled back in April and then got hit in the mouth sometime in June, and with those perspectives in mind I've noticed a few interesting things:
1. They installed new cameras in March in our store. The company that makes the cameras we got installed is Clinton Electronics. I could not find any relation to the Clinton's but still interesting, especially when you consider the social distancing tech/cameras Amazon uses st their warehouses.
2. they have been making arbitrary policies like crazy and constantly contradicting themselves. If an employee gets covid, all employees who were within 6ft of the individual for 15+ minutes has to also take 2 weeks off work. We have plexiglass in between all our cashiers, but if they are separated by cashiers AND are still within 6ft, the plexiglass does nothing and the not-sick person still has to take 2 weeks off work. So we have spent countless time, money and energy putting up plexiglass that they are admitting does nothing.
3. the most interesting part: they had began implementing the prime grocery delivery service at my store before the pandemic started; for quick background some whole foods have third party Amazon employees that are hired separately from our in store hiring and do all the delivery shopping, and some stores have an in-store team that does the delivery shopping. my store has third party shoppers but on the front end team we still have to schedule some of our team members to assist the shoppers if they are short staffed. our leadership is now scheduling anywhere from 5-10 of our limited employees a day to do shopping, and although they are all cashiers and can help on the front end, we are instructed to have them always available to shop. They have even proposed the scenario that if we have one cashier and a few prime shoppers, we are NOT to have them ring unless we have zero cashiers available. Even better, our leadership has to keep track of the metrics, how many shops we are helping on, how many denied shops, etc; the employees scheduled as prime shoppers all have an iPhone they use to do the shopping and it will ring if the Amazon third party shoppers need help, but if they do not check the phone often enough it will boot them out and count that we are denying shops. we are told the employees scheduled as prime shoppers have to refresh the app every 2 or 3 minutes. the amount of micromanaging Amazon is doing with us is something you would think only happens in manufacturing and warehouses.... which is what I think they're working towards.
I believe they plan on closing our doors and forcing everyone to order delivery or curb side pickups. the main motivation could be the pandemic but also, Adam, you mentioned the food shortages rumors on a recent episode. All I have to say is after the first initial panic stock up back in March 2020, our shelves have never filled back up. they are worse than they ever had and we continue to get in strange brands that our order writers aren't even ordering. we also have item limits on a lot of animal, frozen, canned, soy and grain products which are hard to enforce bc it requires our cashiers to catch every customer who is buying too much of something and then someone hasto put it back if it is cold. What would be a better way to handle item limits/rations? not allowing you in the store and if you try and order too much of something through Amazon prime, it does not allow you to place it.
Chirpin' Cheddar
Visa May Add Cryptocurrencies to Its Payments Network, Says CEO - CoinDesk
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 15:22
The card giant works with wallets and exchanges to enable crypto purchases, and could eventually use digital currencies over blockchain in the same way it processes traditional money.
Visa HQ(Shutterstock)
Jan 30, 2021 at 3:43 p.m. UTC Updated Jan 30, 2021 at 4:51 p.m. UTC
Visa May Add Cryptocurrencies to Its Payments Network, Says CEOVisa CEO Al Kelly said the payments giant is in a position to make cryptocurrencies more ''safe, useful and applicable'' and may add them to the company's payments network.Speaking on the company's fiscal first-quarter 2021 earnings call, Kelly described cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as ''digital gold'' which are ''not used as a form of payment in a significant way at this point.''
''Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally,'' Kelly said.
The payments executive also said stablecoins could be used for ''global commerce'' and that ''digital currencies running on public blockchains as additional networks just like RTP or ACH networks.''
Kelly added:
''Today, 35 of the leading digital currency platforms and wallets have already chosen to issue Visa, including coin-based, BlockFi, Fold and BitPanda. These wallet relationships represent the potential for more than 50 million Visa credentials. The next leading network has a fraction of that. And it goes without saying, to the extent a specific digital currency becomes a recognized means of exchange, there's no reason why we cannot add it to our network, which already supports over 160 currencies today.''
New Spotify Patent Involves Monitoring Users' Speech to Recommend Music | Pitchfork
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 22:42
Spotify has been granted a patent with technology that aims to use recordings of users' speech and background noise to determine what kind of music to curate and recommend to them, Music Business Worldwide reports. The company filed for the patent in 2018; it was approved on January 12, 2021.
The patent outlines potential uses of technology that involves the extraction of ''intonation, stress, rhythm, and the likes of units of speech'' from the user's voice. The tech could also use speech recognition to identify metadata points such as emotional state, gender, age, accent, and even environment'--i.e., whether someone is alone, or with other people'--based on audio recording.
The patent filing outlines how Spotify currently uses a decision tree'--showing users different artists, genres, and more'--to help refine its recommendation algorithm for the user. ''What is needed is an entirely different approach to collecting taste attributes of a user, particularly one that is rooted in technology so that the above-described human activity (e.g., requiring a user to provide input) is at least partially eliminated and performed more efficiently,'' reads the filing. Find the patent below.
It's currently unclear whether Spotify has established a roadmap for the implementation of this tech into its desktop or mobile apps, or what form this implementation might take. It is also unclear if the technology currently exists or if the patent is speculative. It should be noted that it is not abnormal for tech companies to patent technology that does not end up making it to market.
A Spotify spokesperson provided the following statement to Pitchfork:
Spotify has filed patent applications for hundreds of inventions, and we regularly file new applications. Some of these patents become part of future products, while others don't. Our ambition is to create the best audio experience out there, but we don't have any news to share at this time.
Read ''Could Spotify's New Discovery Mode Be Considered Payola?'' over on the Pitch.
VIDEO - (51) Rep. Stephen Lynch Tests Positive For COVID-19 - YouTube
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 15:42
VIDEO-The Stand | The Truth About the COVID-19 Vaccine '' America's Frontline Doctors
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 13:47
January 14, 2021 | Comments Off on The Stand | The Truth About the COVID-19 Vaccine
VIDEO-How Trumpism explains the GameStop stock surge - CNNPolitics
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 13:41
(CNN)At the core of Donald Trump's angry populist appeal was -- and is -- this sentiment: The elites think they know better than you. They think they can tell you how to live and what to believe. But guess what? We the people are smarter than the elites!
"I meet these people they call them 'the elite.' These people. I look at them, I say, 'That's elite?' We got more money, we got more brains, we got better houses, apartments, we got nicer boats, we're smarter than they are, and they say they're elite? We're the elite. You're the elite. We're the elite."
"So I said the other day, let's keep calling these people'--and let's face it, they've been stone-cold losers, the elite, the elite'--so let them keep calling themselves the elite. But we're going to call ourselves'--and remember you are indeed, you work harder, but you are indeed smarter than them'--let's call ourselves from now on the super-elite. We're the super-elite."
What made Trump's argument so potent, politically speaking, is that he wasn't just calling out the elites. He was saying that Average Joes needed to rise up and actually show them how wrong they were -- that voting him for him was the best way to express their anger and frustration with the condescension of their alleged bettors. Donald Trump offered himself up as a collective middle finger to the elites. And he won.
All of which brings me to the current -- seemingly inexplicable --
stock surge of GameStop, the video-game seller that has made its money over the years thanks to its locations in malls.
The origins of the surge are in the prevalent belief among Wall Street sharps -- professional investors -- that GameStop's stock, even before this recent spike, was overvalued. After all, shopping malls are in a long decline --
"Malls are doomed: 25% will be gone in 5 years," read a CNN headline in
2017 -- that has only been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a result of the belief among the pro investor crowd that GameStop was, essentially, doomed, they began shorting the stock -- essentially betting on it to fail. This happens all the time to a variety of stocks with very little fanfare. It is the way of the modern stock market.
Except that this time, amateur investors decided to revolt against the pros. Using Reddit -- and a subreddit known as
r/wallstreetbets -- the amateurs began a coordinated effort of buying GameStop stock to drive its price higher and higher. (It's worth noting that Reddit was also a
gathering spot for some of the most ardent Trump supporters in 2016.)
That effort to screw the pros -- people with a short position on a stock that is surging have major vulnerabilities the higher the stock goes -- got an unexpected boost from none other than iconoclast-in-chief and Tesla founder Elon Musk, who
tweeted "Gamestonk!" with a link to the "wallstreetbets" subreddit on Tuesday.
And there's no question that the populist revolt has worked for GameStop stock. On December 28, it was trading at $20.99 a share. On Wednesday, it was a shade under $335 a share.
What's the end game for the GameStop surgers? Like, now that they have proven the point that they can take a stock that the pros have declared moribund and revive it -- at least for a moment -- what do they do now? Because they don't really believe that GameStop is suddenly the new Amazon or Apple or Google. It's still mostly a business that derives its value from brick and mortar stores in malls. Which, again, is not exactly a big growth area in the coming years.
The point is that there is no real point beyond showing up the pros -- proving to them that they aren't as smart as they think they are and that they don't have the ability to control everything.
Which, again, has its roots in Trumpism. The entire notion of Trump's candidacy and presidency was to stick it to the elites. And then, well, uh, there wasn't really a plan beyond that. The screwjob
was the point. (
Montreal screwjob reference!)
That strategy -- if that is even a word that can be associated with what this is -- has massive limits. Sticking it to the man will only get you so far. It's not a solution to any problem. It's just a way to express frustration, anger and a feeling of helplessness.
Think of it this way: Giving someone the finger might make you feel good in the moment. But it doesn't solve anything.
VIDEO-What Still Works Cold Open - SNL - YouTube
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 12:47
VIDEO-Lame Cherry: Fanatiscism 2021
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 12:13
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
Lies of a feather flock together: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s nonsense and the “big lie” of a stolen election.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) January 30, 2021
And what feather are you flocking to Mr. Romney? 
“This is not somebody that should be in office, you know,” she continued “someone said yesterday instead of being in Congress this person needs to be on a watch list.”
“And if the Republican Party and its leadership is not going to do the work of removing her from Congress, we must do it,”
Aside from Mitt Romney looking "square" which is his generation in trying to be "hip", Muslim Omar, should be aware that Republicans can not remove elected officials from Congress. The only means is impeachment Muslim Omar putting a House member on a watch list, does not remove her from Congress. The lack of understanding of this Muslim is troubling. Perhaps her "we" is Mormon Romney joining her with Liz Cheney to impeach Marjorie Greene, because otherwise it sounds like Muslim Omar is like Cowboy Couy Griffin who is being held in prison for saying things that sound like a threat.
Romney's thread on Twitter is filled with numbers of fanatics. It will give you an idea what is a world without Constitutional Rights.(We are no longer in a nation of even fascists, whose ideology is one of hierarchy and a sort of order. This is fanaticism in hunting down Americans for having opposing views and destroying them.)
Fanaticism: Excessive intolerance of opposing views
Deliberately invading somebody's space if you're not wearing a mask should be considered assault.
— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) January 29, 2021 How can we expect a jury to convict Trump if some of the jurors are complicit in his crimes?
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 29, 2021
Nuff Said
VIDEO-Max Keiser on Twitter: "Russophobia is the new anti-Semitism. Sad to see American media go down this self-destructive path. 🁠" / Twitter
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 15:39
Max Keiser : Russophobia is the new anti-Semitism. Sad to see American media go down this self-destructive path. 🁠
Sat Jan 30 13:25:26 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "Rep. @CoriBush is the leader of the St. Louis Black Lives Matter terrorist mob who trespassed into a gated neighborhood to threaten the lives of the McCloskey's. She is lying to you. She berated me. May
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 15:31
Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 : Rep. @CoriBush is the leader of the St. Louis Black Lives Matter terrorist mob who trespassed into a gated neighbor'...
Fri Jan 29 18:18:53 +0000 2021
Clif28 : @mtgreenee @CoriBush If you have receipts jim crow barbie show them instead of talking about them
Sat Jan 30 15:31:21 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Marxist Democrat Cori Bush Screams at Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Then Lies About It -- Not Knowing Taylor Greene Caught it All on Video!
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 15:28
Marxist Democrat Cori Bush is making a splash her first big month as a Democrat lawmaker.
During the sham impeachment of President Trump Cori Bush openly smeared President Trump as a racist and the ''white-supremacist-in-chief.''
Bush later drafted a resolution to punish anyone who challenged the fraudulent 2020 election.
On Friday Rep. Cori Bush accused Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of berating her in the hallway of the US Capitol.
TRENDING: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Publishes Statement Addressing the Mob That's Trying to 'Take Her Out'
A maskless Marjorie Taylor Greene & her staff berated me in a hallway. She targeted me & others on social media.
I'm moving my office away from hers for my team's safety.
I've called for the expulsion of members who incited the insurrection from Day 1. Bring H.Res 25 to a vote.
'-- Cori Bush (@CoriBush) January 29, 2021
Unfortunately, for the freshman Marxist '-- it was all a lie.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene even posted video to prove it!
You can plainly see and hear Cori Bush screaming across the hall at Marjorie Taylor Greene.And then you can clearly hear Greene scream back at her to quit allowing COVID patients in the US House to vote for Nancy Pelosi.
Greene was referring to Pelosi forcing COVID patient Rep. Gwen Moore into the House to vote for her for speaker earlier in the month.
Rep. @CoriBush is the leader of the St. Louis Black Lives Matter terrorist mob who trespassed into a gated neighborhood to threaten the lives of the McCloskey's.
She is lying to you. She berated me.
Maybe Rep. Bush didn't realize I was live on video, but I have the receipts.
'-- Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) January 29, 2021
Cori Bush is going to have to up her game if she wants to take on Rep. Greene.Marjorie Taylor Greene is no pushover.
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Sat, 30 Jan 2021 15:25
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VIDEO-Full Measure News on Twitter: "Serious questions about the CDC posting wrong information about Covid vaccine studies. Misinformation or an ''honest mistake''? An original investigation Sunday on Full Measure." / Twitter
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 14:32
Full Measure News : Serious questions about the CDC posting wrong information about Covid vaccine studies. Misinformation or an ''honest'...
Fri Jan 29 20:00:45 +0000 2021
VIDEO-17mins-ACSA Interview with Governor Gavin Newsom & Staff - YouTube
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 13:43
VIDEO-Subway tuna sandwiches and wraps contain no actual tuna, lawsuit claims - CBS News
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 13:12
There's something fishy about Subway's tuna salad sandwiches and wraps, but the menu items don't happen to include any actual fish, according to a lawsuit filed against the fast-food chain.
What Subway bills as tuna is a "mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by defendants to imitate the appearance of tuna," according to the complaint.
Filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of two California residents, Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin, the lawsuit contends the two "were tricked into buying food items that wholly lacked the ingredients they reasonably thought they were purchasing," based on its labeling.
"Consumers are consistently misled into purchasing the products for the commonly known and/or advertised benefits and characteristics of tuna when in fact no such benefits could be had, given that the products are in fact devoid of tuna," the suit claims.
Click here to view related media. click to expand
"Conducting tests"Alex Brown, an attorney with the Lanier Law Firm who is representing Dhanowa and Amin in the case, said they are trying to determine what ingredients are used in Subway's tuna. "We are conducting tests to figure out what it is. The lab tests thus far have only told us what it isn't," he said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.
A spokesperson for the company denied the claims laid out in the lawsuit. "There simply is no truth to the allegations in the complaint that was filed in California," Maggie Truax, director of Global PR, said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch "Subway delivers 100% cooked tuna to its restaurants, which is mixed with mayonnaise and used in freshly made sandwiches, wraps and salads that are served to and enjoyed by our guests."
According to the company's website, the tuna salad in the chain's sandwiches is made with flaked tuna in brine, mayonnaise and a flavor-protecting additive.
"Unfortunately, this lawsuit is part of a trend in which the named plaintiffs' attorneys have been targeting the food industry in an effort to make a name for themselves in that space," Truax said.
If certified as a class-action, the suit could potentially represent thousands of Subway customers who bought tuna sandwiches or wraps after January 21, 2017, in California, where it has 2,266 locations.
The suit isn't the first legal dispute that raised questions about Subway's products. Ireland's Supreme Court in September ruled that the bread Subway uses in its sandwiches could not legally be called bread because of its high sugar content. And in 2017, an appeals court threw out a class-action settlement over claims the chain's "footlong subs" where an inch shy of the length advertised.
VIDEO-Les Mis(C)rables | Do You Hear the People Sing? - YouTube
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 00:35
VIDEO-Jay D. Flannery on Twitter: "@Mrtdogg @MaryamHenein @adamcurry Party Planner Poppa!" / Twitter
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 22:38
Jay D. Flannery : @Mrtdogg @MaryamHenein @adamcurry Party Planner Poppa!
Fri Jan 29 20:44:16 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Indoor dining to return to NYC on Valentine's Day, governor says
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 22:34
Coronavirus Restaurants in the five boroughs have been limited to sidewalk and street seating, trying to adapt with yurts, heaters and blankets.
Jan. 29, 2021, 1:17 PM EST
By Elisha Fieldstadt
Indoor dining at New York City restaurants can start back up on Feb. 14 '-- Valentine's Day '-- at 25 percent capacity as long as coronavirus positivity rates in the city do not rise, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.
The latest ban on indoor dining in the city of 8.4 million people came in December when cases surged after Thanksgiving and end-of-the-year holiday gatherings promised to bring more virus spread.
Restaurants in most of the rest of New York state remained open, enraging owners in the city, where indoor dining had only just resumed in September after the shutdown in March.
Owners also complained that start-ups and shutdowns were announced with little time for them to prepare.
"The restaurants want a period of time so they can notify workers, they can get up to speed for indoor dining, order supplies, et cetera," Cuomo said at a press conference Friday.
Restaurants in the five boroughs have been limited to sidewalk and street seating, trying to adapt with yurts, heaters and blankets '-- anything to keep the customers coming as the mercury continued to fall.
As Cuomo also announced that wedding receptions of up to 50 percent capacity, up to 150 people, could resume March 15 as long as all guests are tested, he said Feb. 14 might be an excellent time to propose. "No pressure," Cuomo quipped. "But, it's just an idea."
Cuomo said pre-testing will allow more venues and stadiums to reopen after successfully allowing fans to attend two Buffalo Bills home playoff games earlier this month with strict testing and tracing rules. No cases were reported in connection to the games.
Recommended"We're not going to have the full vaccine for many many months. In New York, we want to use testing as the key to reopening events, and we tested it in Buffalo and ... we're going to extend it in the New York state safe marriage receptions," Cuomo said.
"Promise of marital bliss is returning," he said.
The lift on restrictions is contingent on case rates staying low.
According to New York City data, total cases in New York City are down 4.2 percent over the last seven days compared with the weekly average for the month prior, while hospitalization numbers are down 5.4 percent. Death rates remained mostly the same.
Elisha Fieldstadt Elisha Fieldstadt is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 16:01
Fri Jan 29 14:08:26 +0000 2021
dietcokegate! : @The_Real_Fly @JackPosobiec Arrest people for trading.
Fri Jan 29 16:01:42 +0000 2021
Vivek Kumar : @The_Real_Fly
Fri Jan 29 16:00:00 +0000 2021
21 Million : @The_Real_Fly 1st rule of investing. Do not risk what you are not prepared to lose.
Fri Jan 29 15:59:06 +0000 2021
The Laughing Man : @The_Real_Fly
Fri Jan 29 15:58:49 +0000 2021
Michael Callahan : @The_Real_Fly @JackPosobiec ''Kinda feels like what is happening here, much different....''?! 🧐ðŸ¤--
Fri Jan 29 15:55:48 +0000 2021
Kemikazii : @The_Real_Fly Police? I didn't know buying stocks was illegal.
Fri Jan 29 15:53:23 +0000 2021
BeReel : @The_Real_Fly The right thing to do? An unbiased SEC & justice system would prosecute the funds that had naked shor'...
Fri Jan 29 15:48:38 +0000 2021
BlockOfWoodðŸ§ðŸ' : @The_Real_Fly BULLSHIT
Fri Jan 29 15:47:46 +0000 2021
McSqueeze : @The_Real_Fly You can probably draw a line between those that understand what's going on, and those that don't. Ow'...
Fri Jan 29 15:46:05 +0000 2021
zi paris : @The_Real_Fly How about you police the assholes who crashed the market and got bailed out??? Why don't they return'...
Fri Jan 29 15:45:55 +0000 2021
SabotheHungarian'''¸ðŸ¤¼ : @The_Real_Fly it's like blockbuster looking at Netflix. they know it's coming. they cannot stop #defi. they will be rendered useless
Fri Jan 29 15:44:43 +0000 2021
Dave Vek : @The_Real_Fly BUFFOON
Fri Jan 29 15:43:38 +0000 2021
Paul : @The_Real_Fly So who's been policing the hedge funds for the last 100 years lady?
Fri Jan 29 15:43:32 +0000 2021
Scott LaVallee : @The_Real_Fly Little guy gets a piece, big guy hates it. They all need to be marched to jail.
Fri Jan 29 15:42:04 +0000 2021
Jacob Edelen : @The_Real_Fly @JackPosobiec Embarrassing.
Fri Jan 29 15:41:34 +0000 2021
Felipe Escobar : @The_Real_Fly Any regulator that imposes restrictions on the retail investor is asking for a tar and feathering! Le'...
Fri Jan 29 15:41:22 +0000 2021
Levi Hart : @The_Real_Fly attempted coupe v hedge fund making a bad bet that backfires... How are they the same?
Fri Jan 29 15:39:54 +0000 2021
Team #WSB ðŸ' : @The_Real_Fly This is what rich bitches say when their money is under attack and they smell a big loss coming. Make'...
Fri Jan 29 15:38:55 +0000 2021
Alex : @The_Real_Fly they start to be afraid🤣🤣🤣
Fri Jan 29 15:37:55 +0000 2021
TheLaureate 🌎 : @The_Real_Fly Is that Leonard's mom?
Fri Jan 29 15:37:38 +0000 2021
Jack of Spades : @The_Real_Fly @JackPosobiec Nice nose lol.
Fri Jan 29 15:36:57 +0000 2021
bydney : @The_Real_Fly horrible take
Fri Jan 29 15:36:18 +0000 2021
missli'‚erty : @The_Real_Fly Can we blame this on Russia yet? Or white supremacists? Or Trump? Or Nazis? Because this is what th'...
Fri Jan 29 15:35:30 +0000 2021
SatoshiManifesto : @The_Real_Fly Cancel this women. She is part of the problem.
Fri Jan 29 15:35:24 +0000 2021
LaLaLi_Berlin : @The_Real_Fly fck the money
Fri Jan 29 15:35:24 +0000 2021
iie : @The_Real_Fly In a way, she admited that the election was rigged??
Fri Jan 29 15:32:52 +0000 2021
Victor Noguera : @The_Real_Fly
Fri Jan 29 15:32:25 +0000 2021
WokeGamerHS : @The_Real_Fly Integrity is only questioned when retail figures out how to make money, got it.
Fri Jan 29 15:32:04 +0000 2021
davidwalker : @The_Real_Fly She is crazy!
Fri Jan 29 15:31:27 +0000 2021
Shirou Emiya : @The_Real_Fly @TheGatorGamer Karen need to find her a hobby
Fri Jan 29 15:30:52 +0000 2021
Dovi Gordon : @The_Real_Fly Wait. What???
Fri Jan 29 15:30:38 +0000 2021
Tim F. : @The_Real_Fly Wow she's crazy
Fri Jan 29 15:29:54 +0000 2021
Dr. JCash : @The_Real_Fly So out of touch.
Fri Jan 29 15:29:25 +0000 2021
Claire Mckeown : @The_Real_Fly Seriously ðŸ"ðŸ¤...''¸
Fri Jan 29 15:29:12 +0000 2021
A M : @The_Real_Fly relax karen...everybody is allowed to make money 🤷🏽''‚¸
Fri Jan 29 15:26:24 +0000 2021
VIDEO-The Recount on Twitter: "Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on the House Minority Leader: "That photo you showed of Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump ... What Kevin McCarthy is saying in that photo is, 'I don't stand for anything, I don't care about anything, I
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 15:59
The Recount : Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on the House Minority Leader: "That photo you showed of Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump ...'...
Thu Jan 28 22:33:45 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Why People Will Start Dying A Few Months After The First mRNA "Vaccinations"
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 13:10
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VIDEO-Mathematician: Election numbers don't add up
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 11:45
Rumble '-- An expert mathematician said s the election results for Joe Biden at the precinct level are "impossible" and "cannot occur naturally." One America's Christina Bobb has more.
... and disable advertisements! No kidding :)
VIDEO-51MINS-ITM-RSBN TV: "RSBN LIVE in Cheyenne, WY: Rep. Matt Gaetz at the Wyoming State Capitol 1/28/21"
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 11:12
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VIDEO-Joe Biden's Wobbly $2,000 Stimulus Pledge Is a Replay of Obama's 'Public Option' Fail
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 10:56
This story is co-published with The Daily Poster
On January 4, Joe Biden made an unequivocal pledge, telling voters that by electing Democrats to Georgia's senate seats, "you can make an immediate difference in your own lives, the lives of people all across this country because their election will put an end to the block in Washington on that $2,000 stimulus check, that money that will go out the door immediately to people who are in real trouble."
Less than four weeks later:
Biden is pushing $1,400 checks, rather than using his election mandate to demand new, full $2,000 checks.Democrats are now suggesting that it could take at least until March to even pass the legislation, even as the economic crisis worsens.Biden is now responding to threats of Republican obstructionism by floating the idea of reducing the number of people who would even get the checks. "He is open to negotiating the eligibility requirements of his proposed $1,400 COVID stimulus check, a nod to lawmakers who have said they should be more targeted," reported Reuters.The signals of retreat are happening even as new polling data show that the original promise for a full $2,000 stimulus check is wildly popular.Feel familiar? We've gotten into a flux-capacitor-powered DeLorean, flown back in time and dropped ourselves into 2009.
Back then, Barack Obama and Biden had gotten themselves elected in the middle of an economic crisis after promising to pass a public health insurance option. It was a promise as clear and explicit as the $2,000 checks promise is today'--their platform was explicit in pledging that "any American will have the opportunity to enroll in the new public plan."
A portrait of former President Abraham Lincoln stands behind U.S. President Joe Biden in the State Dining Room of the White House on January 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. Will the new president wobble on his pledge to deliver $2,000 stimulus checks? Doug Mills-Pool/Getty ImagesBut then over the course of the year, as Republicans in the congressional minority kicked and screamed, the administration ever so gradually started backing down, rather than using the election mandate to try to shame the GOP into submission.
By the middle of the year, Obama said: "The public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health care reform." His Health and Human Services secretary said that it was "not the essential element" of health care reform.
By the winter, Obama lied, insisting "I didn't campaign on a public option."
And then by 2010, the Obama White House had killed the plan, and Senate Democrats refused to even bring it up for a floor vote when they had the chance. Soon after, voters delivered what Obama called a "shellacking" in the midterm election, effectively foreclosing on the possibility of transformative change during Obama's presidency.
A little more than a decade later, the public option fight should be a harrowing cautionary tale for Biden'--on both the policy and the politics.
The question is: Can he and Democrats learn from the past?
The $2,000 checks initiative does not have to go down the same way the public option went down. The president and congressional Democrats do not have to negotiate against themselves, word-parse their way out of campaign pledges and delude themselves into thinking that Republicans are good-faith legislative partners.
They could instead try to use their election mandate'--and the weakened state of the GOP'--to demand full stimulus checks. They could remember the truism once voiced by none other than Karl Rove, who correctly said that when it comes to political capital, "If you don't spend it, it's not like treasure stuck away at a storehouse someplace. It is perishable. It dwindles away."
In short, they could wield the power they've been granted, and give themselves the best possible chance to win the policy and the politics.
But doing that would require a psychological shift. Biden and his party would need to unequivocally and unapologetically prioritize making material gains for the country rather than prioritizing the kind of bipartisan comity and etiquette in Washington that Beltway pundits love but that ends up stopping progress.
They have to choose which side they are on'--and there is no middle ground.
VIDEO-Tim Cook condemns Facebook business model, says valuing engagement over privacy leads to 'polarization' and 'violence' - 9to5Mac
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 05:01
Speaking at the EU data protection conference CPDP today, Tim Cook gave the opening keynote with his talk entitled ''A path to empowering user choice and boosting user trust in advertising.'' Cook covered Apple's concerns about privacy and security in the technology industry, the hope it sees for change going forward, what it is doing to protect privacy, its deep concerns and consequences with Facebook's business model, and much more.
Tim Cook touched on a variety of concerning issues Apple sees when it comes to privacy and security across the technology industry. He reiterated the point that in many cases, people aren't customers anymore but rather the product that businesses are selling to advertisers.
''As I've said before, if we accept as normal and unavoidable that everything in our lives can be aggregated and sold, we lose so much more than data, we lose the freedom to be human. And yet, this is a hopeful new season, a time of thoughtfulness and reform.''
Cook praised GDPR for being the most concrete progress in consumer privacy and security and said it's time for the US and the rest of the world to pass similar legislation.
Together, we must send a universal, humanistic response to those who claim a right to users' private information about what should not and will not be tolerated.
Cook made the point that advertising thrived for decades without invading personal privacy. And detailed Apple's recent privacy features like privacy nutrition labels and the upcoming iOS 14 ad tracking transparency feature.
While Cook didn't call out Facebook by name, he condemned its business model that any engagement is good engagement and capturing as much user data as possible.
If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise, it deserves reform.
Going further he said:
Too many are still asking the question, ''how much can we get away with?'' when they should be asking ''what are the consequences?''
Cook believes the end result of this approach to technology is the polarization of society, loss of trust, and violence.
The tension between Apple and Facebook has been growing over the recent months, and particularly even more since yesterday. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during the company's earnings call that ''Apple has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do to preference their own. This impacts the growth of millions of businesses around the world, including with the upcoming iOS 14 changes, many small businesses will no longer be able to reach their customers with targeted ads.''
He also said that Facebook increasingly sees ''Apple as one of our biggest competitors.'' And just this morning we learned that Facebook may be preparing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple regarding the new ad tracking transparency in iOS 14. However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and many others have sided with Apple on this.
Working to contrast Apple with Facebook and others' approach, Cook elaborated on what the company sees as ethical technology:
At Apple, we made our choice a long time ago. We believe that ethical technology is technology that works for you. It's technology that helps you sleep, not keeps you up. It tells you when you've had enough, it gives you space to create, or draw, or write or learn, not refresh just one more time. It's technology that can fade into the background when you're on a hike or going for a swim but is there to warn you when your heart rate spikes or help you when you've had a nasty fall. And with all of this, always, it's privacy and security first, because no-one needs to trade away the rights of their users to deliver a great product.
Check out the full speech from Cook below (-41:00 minute marker):
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VIDEO-Wake Up From COVID on Twitter: "@FatEmperor Create a problem -> Anger -> Provide the "solution" Dr. Schwablove & the people that pay 19 thousand dollars to attend to his closed-door party." / Twitter
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 04:43
Wake Up From COVID : @FatEmperor Create a problem -> Anger -> Provide the "solution"Dr. Schwablove & the people that pay 19 thousand d'...
Thu Jan 28 22:39:26 +0000 2021
' Champ Xi Doggg 🐶 🌌 : @wakeupfromcovid @mckdeb4 @FatEmperor
Fri Jan 29 03:39:34 +0000 2021
Just Lookin : @wakeupfromcovid @FatEmperor @ProfKlausSchwab GFY w a non lubed blunt object.
Fri Jan 29 02:21:39 +0000 2021
The Government Is Globalist Controlled Treason : @wakeupfromcovid @FatEmperor
Fri Jan 29 01:27:22 +0000 2021
The Government Is Globalist Controlled Treason : @wakeupfromcovid @FatEmperor Ol Klaus shoulda stayed as lady Penelope's driver - yes ma lady
Fri Jan 29 01:26:08 +0000 2021
Name cannot be blank : @wakeupfromcovid @FatEmperor 🂠why did Boris have to be the only one with the f'd up teeth... just feeding into the British stereotype.
Fri Jan 29 01:19:17 +0000 2021
Ingemar Nilsson Ward : @wakeupfromcovid @FatEmperor Memes are the new nuclear weapons 🤣👍
Fri Jan 29 01:18:25 +0000 2021
ColinBMk3 : @wakeupfromcovid @FatEmperor He bases himself on a mixture of emperor Ming, Dr evil and the leader of the nation he was born too.
Fri Jan 29 01:10:23 +0000 2021
Tara : @wakeupfromcovid @FatEmperor 🤣🤣🤣
Fri Jan 29 01:07:47 +0000 2021
VIDEO-YouTube on Twitter: "Looking for some planet-sized ideas? 🌎👠Join @lilly and explore @wef's #DavosAgenda, where subjects like gender equity and pandemic relief collide. Keep up with videos here:
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 21:42
YouTube : Looking for some planet-sized ideas? 🌎👠Join @lilly and explore @wef's #DavosAgenda, where subjects like gender equ'...
Thu Jan 28 21:03:53 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Cars line up on opening day of Chick-fil-a in Shelby Township - YouTube
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 13:27
IOC and Florida CFO Discuss Potential Of A Florida-Hosted 2020 Olympics
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 14:07
According to a report from Fox Business, representatives from the International Olympic Committee have met with Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis regarding the possibility of Florida taking over as hosts of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The Games were originally scheduled for the summer of 2020 but were pushed back a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting between the IOC and Patronis comes a few days after the state originally put forth the idea of taking over the Games from Tokyo. The offer came following a number of conflicting reports, some suggesting the Games would go ahead and some suggesting that they were to be canceled.
Discussing his meeting with the IOC, Patronis explained that ''the Olympics are in a tough place '' 80% of the Japanese people do not want the games to move forward.'' Patronis is referencing two recent polls conducted in early January by Japanese news agency Kyodo and the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS). Said polls indicated the low level of support for the Games from Japanese citizens.
''I know the Olympics want Japan,'' he said. ''I'm just concerned Japan doesn't want the Olympics.''
The IOC, which has remained steadfast in its commitment to a Tokyo Olympics, did not comment on any meetings with Patronis.
Patronis noted that Florida has already had success in hosting visitors throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Orlando, Florida played host for the 2020 NBA playoffs wherein 22 teams spent several months competing within a spectator-free bubble. Upon the conclusion of the NBA bubble, a report by the LA Times considered the initiative to be a success as the league reported 0 positive tests among those players, referees, coaches, nor any other individuals involved.
Patronis also made reference to the fact that Florida has welcomed over 131 million tourists to the state during the pandemic, a number far higher than Japan reported for the year. According to Japan Tourism Statistics, between January and October of 2020, Japan welcomed a total of 4,000,482 travelers of foreign nationality, excluding those with permanent residence in Japan.
To date, the state of Florida has reported roughly 1.69 million cases of COVID-19 and 26,034. On January 28, 2021, the state reported 11,423 new cases and 202 deaths. The country of Japan has so far reported around 381,000 cases of the virus and 5,503 deaths. On January 28, 2021, the country reports 4,162 new cases and 115 deaths.
While we know that the meeting between Patronis and the IOC occurred, no news has yet been released on whether or not how seriously the IOC is in considering moving forward with plans to relocate the Games to Florida.
Justin Trudeau: Travelers with Positive Coronavirus Tests Must 'Quarantine in Designated Government Facilities'
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 13:33
Canadians returning from abroad will be required to provide negative PCR test results for the coronavirus, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday. Those testing negative will still be required to self-quarantine for two weeks.
Anyone with a positive coronavirus test '' will be immediately required to quarantine in designated government facilities,'' Trudeau declared.
Trudeau said:
As soon as possible in the coming weeks, we will be introducing mandatory PCR testing at the airport for people returning to Canada. Travelers will then have to wait for up to three days at an approved hotel for their test results at their own expense, which is expected to be more than $2,000.
Those with negative test results will then be able to quarantine at home under significantly increased surveillance and enforcement. Those with positive tests will be immediately required to quarantine in designated government facilities to make sure they're not carrying variants of potential concern. We will also in the coming weeks be requiring nonessential travelers to show a negative test before entry at the land border with the U.S., and we're working to stand up additional testing requirements for land travel.
WATCH (relevant portion begins at 4:10):
Trudeau repeatedly referred to the coronavirus ''variants'' as a cause of ''potential concern'' while describing his decrees as ''grounded in science and evidence.''
Transport Canada's website states, ''Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorized to enter Canada must still complete the full, mandatory 14-day quarantine. Canada's government ''will be further increasing surveillance efforts to ensure travellers entering Canada complete the applicable mandatory 14-day quarantine period under the Quarantine Act.''
Travelers deemed ''not suitable'' by a ''government official'' are ''required to quarantine in a federal quarantine facility,'' adds Canada's Transportation Ministry. It warns that violations of such instructions ''could lead to up to six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines'':
(1/4) Government of Canada announced today new #COVID19 testing and #quarantine requirements for travellers to Canada, further enhancing the multi-layered strategy to reduce the risk of importation and transmission of the virus.
'-- Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) January 29, 2021
(1/4) Government of Canada announced today new #COVID19 testing and #quarantine requirements for travellers to Canada, further enhancing the multi-layered strategy to reduce the risk of importation and transmission of the virus.
'-- Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) January 29, 2021
(3/4) Travellers will also be required to reserve a hotel room approved by the Government of Canada for 3 nights at their own cost, while awaiting their test results, before moving on to their approved place of #quarantine.
'-- Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) January 29, 2021
(4/4) These new measures are in addition to requiring a negative #COVID19 test result 72-hours prior to boarding a flight to Canada.
'-- Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) January 29, 2021
Federal authorities will enforce 14-day quarantines by visiting Canadians' homes or other ''quarantine locations'' with ''screening officers'' procured by the Public Health Agency of Canada from private security firms:
To ensure travellers' awareness and compliance with quarantine requirements, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is working with security companies to help complete compliance checks for travellers arriving in Canada. Employees of these companies were trained by PHAC and authorized as Screening Officers under the Quarantine Act. These Screening Officers will visit travellers' quarantine locations to establish contact, confirm identity and confirm that travellers are at the place of quarantine they identified upon entry into Canada. These new officers will conduct visits in 35 cities across the country, starting in Montr(C)al and Toronto.
No exemptions were announced for Canadians who have received a coronavirus vaccine.
Canada's new travel restrictions include termination of flights to Mexico and the Caribbean until at least April 30.
Facebook is banning leftwing users like me '' and it's going largely unnoticed | Facebook | The Guardian
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 13:23
I n response to the fascist riot at the US Capitol, Facebook engaged in a flurry of dangerous and misguided corporate authoritarianism. I, along with a number of other leftwing organizers, was deemed a threat to the inauguration of Joe Biden and placed on a restricted list that limited my ability to communicate with others. My account could no longer create Facebook groups or events, two tools that I've used over the last decade to coordinate protests and build entire organizations. I was also banned from commenting in Facebook groups, liking Facebook pages, and messaging Facebook pages. The restriction was to be removed the Saturday after the inauguration, but it only fully ceased apparently after public backlash. This is part of a long history of Facebook treating leftwing activists as if they were far-right extremists, and a pattern of silencing those who speak out against racism and fascism.
Facebook's latest sweep went relatively unnoticed by most media outlets and was simply framed as a restriction of events in and around Washington DC leading up to the inauguration. Gizmodo was one of the first publications to pick up the story but the majority of its article barely mentions the fact that leftwing users in the United States were targeted and effectively silenced. Most of the relevant content of the article was pulled directly from a blogpost from Facebook itself. Gizmodo, like most other outlets that reported on the decision, seemed to imply that these bans were a net positive and, if anything, a little later than it would have preferred.
The lack of in-depth reporting on what was a massive new development in Facebook's struggle to monitor itself is unfortunate. This sweep wasn't as simple as restricting events around a certain location, which should be a troubling development on its own. Facebook targeted users across the US, and while Facebook has publicly claimed it sought out users with past violations, many of the leftwing users targeted had no such violations, according to Facebook itself. Attempts to seek clarity or appeal the decisions have been shut down by Facebook, and the scope of the restrictions have not been made public.
Strictly speaking, this may not be a legal or constitutional infringement on free speech; Facebook, as a private company, sets its own policies about who can use its platform and what opinions they can express. But it sets a dangerous precedent, one made more alarming by Facebook's history of suppressing Black viewpoints and its tendency to see far-left and far-right activists as the same.
In August 2020, Facebook expanded its ''Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy'', aimed at removing the presence of far-right extremists from its website. It rid itself of many QAnon groups and far-right militias. But it is also struck at leftwing organizations, seeming to accept Trump's post-Charlottesville ''both sides'' moral equivalency with little thought. Facebook removed It's Going Down, a platform that has long provided on-the-ground analysis of mass protests. It also removed CrimethInc, an anarchist publication that provided a teenage me with a new lens in which to view formative events like the invasion of Iraq and the 2008 economic crisis. While both these sites are keystones of the left, they were quickly disappeared from Facebook with little public attention or reaction.
Facebook has also targeted individuals for merely speaking out against racism or responding to hate crimes. Natasha Marin, a Black anti-racism consultant, was temporarily banned for sharing a screenshot of a racist message she received. In response to Liam Neeson's confession that he once roamed the streets looking for Black men to harm, Carolyn Wysinger, an activist and high school teacher, posted that ''White men are so fragile and the mere presence of a Black person challenges every single thing in them.'' It was a reasonable response to Neeson's remarks and the long history of white men murdering random Black men. Facebook responded by deleting the post and threatening Wysinger with a temporary ban. The list goes on.
While Facebook may place the blame on complicated algorithms that they are working to address, it is clear the problem is deeper than that. In 2018, Mark Luckie, a Black former Facebook employee, illustrated a racist culture at Facebook. He and other Black employees have made frequent complaints about being aggressively accosted by security, dissuaded from joining Black working groups, and being called aggressive or hostile for simply sharing their thoughts in meetings. One employee shared a story in which they were asked to clean up after two white employees, despite being a program manager. In June 2020, Mark Zuckerberg declared that Black Lives Matter. A few months later, he restricted political posts in Facebook's internal employee forum and banned the placement of text on profile pictures, preventing both employees who wanted to ''Make America Great Again'' or proclaim that ''Black Lives Matter'' from expressing themselves outside of specific, moderated groups '' or through the use of pre-approved profile frames.
The conflation of the far-right with those speaking out and organizing against injustice continues to this day. On top of restricting my profile, and the profiles of others, Facebook has also moved to ban a new slate of leftwing organizations and individuals. The Socialist Equality party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality were banned earlier this month with no warning or reason. Facebook has recently reversed this decision, but only after inquiries from the Financial Times. And now, Facebook is considering removing posts that critique Zionism.
Facebook has significant power and influence, and decisions like this are a clear argument for the desperate need to regulate the tech behemoths that increasingly decide who and what is heard. While my restriction was temporary, what is stopping Facebook from instating such measures again in the future, particularly during a moment of mass upheaval? The inauguration was such an event; Black radicals and others had every reason to protest the inauguration, but Facebook determined that any such protests were unacceptable. An organization which finds it so difficult to distinguish fascists from Black leftwing activists should not be trusted to make such decisions.
Akin Olla is a Nigerian-American political strategist and organizer. He is the host of This is The Revolution podcast
Navalny, WHO and Thunberg among nominees for Nobel Peace Prize | Reuters
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 13:21
OSLO (Reuters) - Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, the World Health Organization and climate campaigner Greta Thunberg are among those nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, all backed by Norwegian lawmakers who have a track record of picking the winner.
FILE PHOTO: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg takes part in the rally ''Europe Climate Strike'' in Brussels, Belgium, March 6, 2020. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo
Thousands of people, from members of parliaments worldwide to former winners, are eligible to propose candidates. Nominations, which close on Sunday, do not imply an endorsement from the Nobel committee.
Norwegian lawmakers have nominated the eventual laureate every year since 2014, with the exception of 2019, said Henrik Urdal, Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo. ''The pattern from recent years is quite stunning.''
The Norwegian Nobel Committee, which decides who wins the award, does not comment on nominations, keeping secret for 50 years the names of nominators and unsuccessful nominees.
But nominators can choose to reveal their picks.
According to a Reuters survey of Norwegian lawmakers, nominees include Thunberg, Navalny, the WHO and its COVAX programme to secure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines for poor countries.
Thunberg was named as one of ''the foremost spokespeople in the fight against the climate crisis'', with the campaigning group she co-founded, Fridays for Future, also receiving a nod.
Navalny, nominated by Russian academics, was named for his ''efforts for a peaceful democratisation of Russia'' by Norwegian former minister Ola Elvestuen.
The battle against COVID-19 is front and centre, including a nomination for the GAVI vaccine alliance.
Other names are Belarusian activists Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Maria Kolesnikova and Veronika Tsepkalo for their ''fight for a fair election and inspiration for peaceful resistance'', one nominator, Geir Sigbjoern Toskedal, said.
Another, Jette Christensen, also named the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights group, and IUSTITIA, a group of Polish judges defending civil rights.
''My nomination this year is ... for the fight to preserve democracy as a form of government in Europe,'' Christensen said.
Freedom of information is a recurring theme with nominees including the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists; former Charlie Hebdo journalist Zineb el Rhazoui; news website Hong Kong Free Press, the U.S.-based International Fact-Checking Network and Paris-based Reporters without Borders (RSF).
Other nominees include former U.S. President Donald Trump, NATO and the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR).
Also on the list is Aminatou Haidar, for her peaceful campaigning towards an independent Western Sahara, the International Space Station and the International Scout Movement.
The 2021 laureate will be announced in October.
(GRAPHIC - Distribution of Nobel prizes: here)
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'It's endemic': state-level Republican groups lead party's drift to extremism | Republicans | The Guardian
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 12:38
Show caption Kelli Ward, center, was re-elected as chair of the Arizona Republican party and is among the most unabashed promoters of Trump's election lies. Photograph: Jonathan J Cooper/AP
RepublicansDespite national failures at the ballot box, radicalised state parties are fighting for Trump's election lies and defending QAnon followers
In Arizona and Oregon, they rebuked opponents of Donald Trump's assault on democracy. In Hawaii, they defended followers of the QAnon conspiracy movement. And in Texas, they adopted a slogan with dark historical connotations: ''We are the storm.''
To understand the future of the Republican party, start with the army of increasingly radicalised foot soldiers who shape it at state level.
Far from responding to the loss of the White House to Joe Biden by tacking to the political centre, local parties appear to be racing to the extreme right by giving safe harbour to white nationalism, QAnon '' an antisemitic theory involving Satan-worshipping cannibals and a child sex trafficking ring '' and ''the big lie'' that the presidential election was stolen by Democrats.
''The central story of American politics right now is that one of the two parties is 'radicalizing against democracy' in front of our eyes,'' tweeted Chris Hayes, an author and host on the MSNBC network. ''There are tons of other stories as well, but they all come after that, I think.''
Republicans do battle: Trump ally whips up Wyoming crowd against Liz Cheney The Republican party has been drifting towards rightwing populism for years, with notable examples including the Tea Party movement, the nomination of Sarah Palin for vice-president and the total capitulation to Trump.
Moderate Republicans hoped that Trump's failures at the ballot box '' he was the first president since 1932 to lose re-election, the House and the Senate '' might generate an ''autopsy'' similar to that which followed Mitt Romney's defeat eight years ago and a reset aimed at broadening its appeal.
But recent evidence suggests that state parties are embracing Trumpism with renewed zeal, along with the fantasies of the far-right fringe. The most explosive demonstration came on 6 January, when a violent mob stormed the US Capitol in Washington in a bid to overturn Trump's election defeat while displaying the Confederate flag, a sweatshirt that said ''Camp Auschwitz'' and ''Q'' shirts and ''Q'' banners.
The evidence is overwhelming that local parties across the country are radicalized Tim Miller, former political director of Republican Voters Against Trump, said: ''The evidence is overwhelming that local parties across the country, in blue states and red states, are radicalized and support extremely far outside the mainstream positions like, for example, ending our our democratic experiment to install Donald Trump as president over the will of the people.
''They believe in insane Covid denialism and QAnon and all these other conspiracies. It's endemic, not just a couple of state parties. It's the vast majority of state parties throughout the country.''
In the internal battle between conservatives and extremists, the extremists appear to be winning. The state party in Oregon recently condemned Liz Cheney and nine other House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the Capitol insurrection. It cited a groundless conspiracy theory that the riot was a ''false flag'' operation staged to discredit the president's supporters.
A protester shouts in agreement with the Republican representative Matt Gaetz as he gives a speech during a rally against Representative Liz Cheney on Thursday. Photograph: Michael Cummo/AP In Hawaii, the party's official Twitter account claimed that QAnon followers were merely displaying misguided patriotism and ''largely motivated by a sincere and deep love for America''. QAnon has been identified by the FBI as a domestic terrorism threat. (Following a backlash, the state party's vice-chairman, Edwin Boyette, resigned and the tweets were deleted.)
In Minnesota, Jennifer Carnahan, the state party chairwoman, suggested that Mike Lindell, the chief executive of MyPillow and a Trump ally and election denier, should run for governor. In Michigan, Meshawn Maddock, who joined a pro-Trump rally near the US Capitol a day before the riots, is set to become party co-chair.
In Kentucky, Republicans in Nelson county voted to censure Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, over his statements on the Senate floor criticising Trump for his role in the Capitol violence. In Pennsylvania, Republican leaders ''are all-in for Trump more than ever'', the New York Times reported, noting that they ''have made loyalty to the defeated ex-president the sole organizing principle of the party''.
Then there is Arizona, where last weekend Republicans voted to censure Governor Doug Ducey, who certified Trump's defeat in the state, as well as the Trump critics Jeff Flake, a former senator, and Cindy McCain, the widow of Senator John McCain. The state party also re-elected its chair, Kelli Ward, a self-described ''Trump Republican'' who is among the most unabashed promoters of his election lies.
Arizona has become an election battleground that narrowly flipped from Trump to Biden last November with the help of young Latinos, newcomers to the state and growing suburban communities. A Republican shift to the far right is therefore seen by many as electoral suicide.
Mark Salter, who was a close friend and adviser to McCain, said: ''Trump lost re-election because because minority voters turned out in greater numbers than they did in 2016 and because the suburbs, especially suburban women, turned decisively against him.''
Extremists screw up elections. If you're a Republican seeking power, you've got to do something about these people Ward and other extremists ''screw up elections'' for Republicans, Salter added. ''So if you're a Republican who's interested in power and exercising it and advancing whatever your policy principles are, you've really got to do something about these people.''
Texas is another example with huge electoral implications. The party chairman is now Allen West, a former Florida congressman who in 2014 described Barack Obama as ''an Islamist'' who is ''purposefully enabling the Islamist cause''. When the supreme court threw out Trump's challenge to the election, West hinted at secession, arguing that ''law-abiding states should bond together and form a union of states that will abide by the constitution''.
Under West, the state party posted a tweet urging people to follow it on Gab, a social media app known to be used by white supremacists, and adopted the provocative slogan: ''We are the storm''.
Steve Schmidt, a founder of the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group, noted that the term echoes both the Sturmmann (storm troopers) and der St¼rmer (the Stormer) newspaper of Nazi Germany. ''So the idea of being the storm is deeply embedded in the mythology of the extremist Nazi fascistic ideologies of both past and present,'' he said.
More recently ''the storm'' is also a phrase used by devotees of QAnon predicting an apocalyptic showdown between Trump and his foes. Schmidt added: ''In every state party there are QAnon adherents. Some state parties are being consumed by them. You can certainly say four '' Texas, Oregon, Arizona and big parts of California '' at a minimum and it's likely to be more.
''There will be more candidates who subscribe to the theories of the movement in 2022 and beyond. It will continue to metastasise to some degree. Shutting off the Twitter account, while a good thing, is just another game of Whac-a-Mole that puts it deeper underground where more extreme and virulent strains emerge in various places. The river flows to the ocean.''
Some local parties insist that it is possible to express solidarity with Trump while rejecting QAnon. Republicans in Palm Beach county in Florida are ''pretty united'' in support for the former president, said chairman Michael Barnett, who does not blame him for the sacking of the US Capitol. ''I don't get any kind of sense that there was any upset or anger with the president whatsoever.
A man in a QAnon T-shirt walks among Trump supporters as they wait for Donald Trump to arrive and visit Mariotti Building Products in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, in August. Photograph: Jacqueline Larma/AP ''We have a lot of Trump supporters on the ground, a grassroots movement that wave signs and knock doors and are very active locally, who are waving Trump 2024 signs. They want him to run for re-election.''
Barnett confirmed that he has seen evidence of QAnon's presence but it has not come close to taking over the state party. ''Some of them have run for office but they don't have any influence on what we do as a county party and certainly not what the state party does, as far as who we support for elections, our policies, our platform or anything like that.''
He added: ''They are a fringe and I wish they would go away. We have nothing to do with QAnon and we want nothing to do with QAnon or their supporters. I have served seven years as the first Black chairman of the Republican party of Palm Beach county and anybody you speak to knows that we don't tolerate or put up with any of that racist nonsense.''
Trump was the avatar for this radicalisation that was already happening in various offshoots of the Republican voter base Trump himself, however, has repeatedly failed to condemn QAnon while bragging that its supporters ''like me very much''. Experts suggest that it is not clear where fealty to Trump ends and fealty to the extremist ideology begins. The process of Republican radicalisation has been going on for years, according to Jared Holt, an investigative reporter at Right Wing Watch.
''These far-right beliefs embodied themselves in a candidate which was Trump,'' he said. ''He was the avatar for this radicalisation that was already happening in various offshoots of the Republican voter base. To some degree Trump was a leader and a coalescing figure for these far-right ideas and movements but I don't think that those ideas are necessarily unique to Trump.''
Parkland survivors call for GOP extremist Marjorie Taylor Greene's resignation The grassroots trend is manifesting itself in Washington. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a freshman congresswoman from Georgia, has previously endorsed QAnon, approved calls for the execution of Democrats and harassed a survivor of a school mass shooting. She is now calling for Biden's impeachment. Yet she has been rewarded with a seat on the House education committee.
The New York Times reported this week that Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona visited the Oath Keepers, a rightwing militia group that believes America is already fighting a second civil war. Gosar and a handful of other Republican House members have ''ties to extremist groups who pushed violent ideas and conspiracy theories and whose members were prominent among those who stormed the halls of Congress'', the paper said.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic congresswoman from New York, has warned that white supremacist sympathisers now sit at the heart of the Republican caucus. ''This is extremely dangerous, an extremely dangerous threshold we have crossed because we are now away from acting out of fealty to their president that they had in the Oval Office, and now we are talking about fealty to white supremacist organizations as a political tool,'' Ocasio-Cortez told Hayes on MSNBC.
Trump's continued grip on the party was evident this week when 45 out of 50 Republican senators, including McConnell, voted to dismiss his impeachment trial before it began, implying that his eventual acquittal is guaranteed '' likely to provide him with fresh political momentum. It was a final surrender of the Republican establishment: whatever senators' private thoughts, few dare defy the state parties' cult of Trump.
Miller, a writer-at-large at the Bulwark website, said: ''I didn't ever think that there was any momentum to convict him because I looked at what the local Republicans were saying. I remember saying to folks in the days after January 6, 'Compare the statements that are coming out from Republican state parties to what the senators are saying' '' and there was a big disconnect.
''The state parties were in defence of Trump. They were advancing conspiracy theories about how it was really Antifa in disguise. They were the canary in the coalmine for me as far as the fact that these senators were not going to to convict Trump. Everybody represents their own constituency. What's notable is that the state parties are closest to the constituents so they know what the constituents want. What the constituents want is fealty to Trump.''
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Moderna asks FDA to allow 5 extra doses per Covid vaccine vial: Source
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 12:29
Published Fri, Jan 29 2021 6:27 PM EST
Updated Fri, Jan 29 2021 8:20 PM EST
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Moderna is said to have asked the FDA to allow it to put additional doses in its vaccine vials.The move is aimed at alleviating a bottleneck in Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing.The change would add up to five doses to the 10-dose vials.Moderna has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for permission to fill its Covid-19 vaccine vials with up to five additional doses to ease a bottleneck in manufacturing, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The change would allow Moderna to put 15 doses in the same size vials now cleared to hold 10, alleviating pressure on the part of the manufacturing process known as fill/finish, said the person, who declined to be named because the application isn't yet public.
The availability of Covid-19 vaccines has been a source of frustration since their clearance in the U.S. in mid-December. While the pace of administration has picked up to more than 1 million a day on average, constrained supply has hindered states' ability to operate mass vaccination sites. As of Friday, the U.S. had distributed 49.2 million doses, and 27.9 million had been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We are having trouble producing these mRNA vaccines," said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and a physician at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "We're up to about 1.2 million doses a day when we need to be at 3 million doses a day."
The FDA declined to comment, deferring questions to the company. Moderna didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The move from Moderna comes after Pfizer sought and obtained a change from the FDA in its emergency use authorization to specify its Covid-19 vaccine vials contain six doses, rather than five, after pharmacists observed a bonus dose could be extracted with the right syringes. Pfizer then said it would deliver fewer vials to the U.S., but the same number of doses specified in its contracts.
Moderna's vials were also found to contain a bonus dose, but it's seeking a regulatory change to add more volume to the vials.
The bottleneck isn't the vials themselves, according to the person familiar, it's the manufacturing capacity to fill the vials. The fill/finish process in manufacturing must be done under aseptic conditions to assure no contamination, and capacity is at a premium.
Companies have begun to strike manufacturing partnerships focused on this step in the process to increase output. Novartis said Friday it signed an initial agreement to fill vials for BioNTech, Pfizer's partner in Europe on the Covid-19 vaccine.
"We expect this to be the first of a number of such agreements," said Steffen Lang, head of Novartis Technical Operations.
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Tesla's Profits Are Not From Selling Cars | The Motley Fool
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 12:26
Don't be impressed by Tesla's first annual profit. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is a car company worth over $800 billion that has never turned a profit selling cars. Despite a cult following and intense brand loyalty, Tesla has been unable to wring any profits out of the half a million cars it now sells annually.
To be clear, Tesla did report a profit for 2020, under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), marking the company's first full year of profitability. But that profit did not come from the core business of manufacturing cars. Tesla booked a whopping $1.58 billion of revenue from selling regulatory credits last year, more than the previous three years combined. Tesla's net income of $721 million in 2020 turns into a substantial loss if those regulatory credit sales are backed out.
A regulatory bonanzaCertain U.S. states award regulatory credits to automakers for selling electric vehicles. Automakers must acquire a minimum number of these credits to comply with regulatory requirements. These credits can be bought and sold, so an automaker that doesn't sell enough electric vehicles can buy credits from other automakers that do.
This regulatory credit system is an attempt by governments to encourage electric vehicle production and reduce emissions. It's ended up essentially subsidizing Tesla's money-losing car operation. Since Tesla only produces electric cars, it's able to sell reams of credits to other automakers that are unwilling or unable to produce enough electric cars.
It should be obvious that this situation is not going to last forever. Automakers are aggressively ramping up their electric vehicle efforts, and there's little reason to believe that Tesla has any real advantage beyond its brand. One example: General Motors is pouring billions into its electric vehicle efforts, with plans for dozens of models over the next few years. GM also recently unveiled a new commercial electric vehicle brand, and it already has delivery giant FedEx as a customer.
This regulatory credit windfall for Tesla will start to vanish as other automakers ramp up their electric vehicle sales. Tesla will then need to figure out how to profitably manufacture cars.
An extreme valuationTesla's valuation of more than $800 billion is quadruple that of Toyota. Toyota sold nearly 10 million cars in 2020, compared to half a million for Tesla.
I would argue that it probably won't matter how well Tesla does over the coming years because the valuation is so extreme that a positive result for investors would require absolutely everything to go right. The company can do well, even very well, and the stock could still fall apart.
Here's an example from the dot-com bubble. Cisco Systems stock hit an all-time high around $80 in early 2000. The networking hardware company was valued at nearly $550 billion at its peak.
Today, Cisco is the dominant provider of enterprise networking hardware. The company's share of the enterprise switch market hovers around 50% despite no shortage of low-cost competition. Cisco's revenue has soared from about $19 billion in 2000 to nearly $50 billion today. Net income has shot up from $2.7 billion to over $11 billion. Cisco the company has been an unquestionable success story.
Cisco the stock, on the other hand, has been an unmitigated disaster. If you bought Cisco stock at its peak, you're down over 40% more than 20 years later. The company is worth around $200 billion today. You were right about the company, but very wrong about the stock.
Tesla the company doing well in the long run does not in any way guarantee that Tesla the stock does well. You can be right about Tesla becoming a top automaker and still lose your shirt investing in the stock. Even if Tesla does wean itself off regulatory credits and starts manufacturing millions of cars annually at a profit, the valuation is so deep into the stratosphere that it may not even matter.
Should you invest $1,000 in Tesla, Inc. right now?
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Investing legends and Motley Fool Co-founders David and Tom Gardner just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Tesla, Inc. wasn't one of them.
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*Stock Advisor returns as of November 20, 2020
Timothy Green owns shares of Cisco Systems and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends FedEx and Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Lame Cherry: Gamestonk is a Cover
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 12:10
Tell It To The Elon
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
The Lame Cherry has informed you, that there is not any way, that one tweet from Elon Musk, and gamers investing off of a Gaytube investment portfolio operated out of someones basement shifted the markets over nothing.
'Gamestonk!!' : Shares of GameStop surge after hours ... /news/gamestop-surge-following-elon-musk-tweet GameStop shares, already on a historic tear, spiked in after-hours trading after a one-word tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. "Gamestonk !!" Musk tweeted Tuesday afternoon, linking to the Reddit ...
Elon Musk is an insider. Elon Musk is a gamer. Elon Musk is the richest man in the world, and he just got that way in tapping into US Treasury money dumps which is the DIA, which is what ran the Trump operation, and more to the point is what Elon Musk has game on in what is coming, which is a market collapse.
Biden's green policies are going to cause this and China speculation is what is going to be blamed for this.
I'm going to take you back to our archives here, and ask you bright know it all first I will inform you that , it is the Hedge Fund managers which are being looted in this Robin Hood. Now the question, "Who created the Hedge Fund Fag Billionaires and why?"
I will first inform you that it was HW Bush who put his CIA cronies into all the government, and featured in the FBI.
That should sound familiar as this Mueller, Comey, Wray dog and pony show which has been covering up crimes by the insiders, while shooting Americans and Malheur and the Capitol, is the featured component to this.
Now who was it that created the Hedge Fund Fags? And by the way, blogger just froze the cursor as I am posting this, as they are interested again in what is being analyzed here OFF OF STORIES TRENDING ONLINE.
The answer is Karl Rove, for Bush43 created the billionaires to funnel money into the Bush party for Jeb and Jorge. These were created money pits robbing Americans and piracy of other nations.
Now look at the CIA Reuters story, in referring this to a TULIP and this is the lords and the priests. Don't ever think that the people you never hear of, who appoint the CIA and FBI, who decide who is paid a fortune in media, or who steal elections for Joe Biden, do not have a sense of humor, irony and satire, and an appreciation for history. When they screw someone over, they want to make certain the people know it, and they do it on dates of significance.
Tulip if you read the Reuters Mockingbird refers to the Dutch, their tulip market bust, and ye olde Black Plague. The Dutch invented Fractal Lending, which is our banking system in loaning money which you only have a part of.........sort of like buying margins in speculation in shorting the market.
So in 2020, we had the Obama Wuhan Flu, biological weapon, and now the hint is that our Tulip market is going to bust, which means Wall Street in New Amsterdam as the Dutch settled New York. What is taking place is an overthrow of the old banking system, a crash of economies, and plagues, and the lords and the priests want you to know this. They want you to know that the Elon Musk cover Gamestonk is a cover, to what is going on, and the people being robbed in the system are the Gay Hedge Fund billionaires who rule the system.
Someone might have gotten rid of Donald Trump, but someone is going to pay like a blackmailed john caught with a whore balanced on their pelvis.
ANALYSIS-A tulip by another name? 'Gamestonk'  and the case ... /article/retail-trading-bubbles-idUSL1N2K42M3 'Gamestonk'  and the case for investor caution. By David Randall. 8 Min Read. NEW YORK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - It sounds like the start of a parable: Investors stuck inside during a pandemic begin to ...
The date: February 3, 1636. On that day, the infamous Dutch tulip bubble burst during an outbreak of the bubonic plague, illustrating that asset prices can plummet just as quickly as they soar, leaving only pain behind.
Now, almost exactly 385 years and another pandemic later, Wall Street waits to see how long it will take for history to repeat itself.
 Keep watching this stuff as the adults have entered the room. Forget Trump as you have seen his lawsuits have disappeared and so will the investigations as he worked a deal and is progressing what the lords and the priests want, which is what he should do as it is unhealthy to do so.
Do not think of this as as fight, but think of this as your current retribution in people who can not be caught as they are above the law, are running an operation, not against you, but against the folk who have the FBI hunting you.I have told you to keep your head down and behave as Joe Biden is Trumpskin, he is being blackmailed, and all of this is smoke and mirrors, and the lords and the priests will handle this in sorting things out, and while they are doing it for their agenda, you will get a happy ending.
It appears they are disassembling the Fag billionaires. That means someone does not have a slush fund to promote their Bush fam fellow travelers to rule over you. That means a new system is coming as the Dutch in their London banking which is Rothschild, in Anglo American finance is going to change. This does not mean the Rothschilds are out. It simply means that the lords and priests the Rothchild and Schiff bank for, are initiating a new form of managing the world.
See is not this more fun than sulking? Is not Elon Musk just dreamy as his role of scamp with a secret? Is it not thoughtful that the lords and the priests put this all into Reuters so a poor orphan girl could give you this exclusive and inform you of what is really going on in this kabuki theater.
Rhetorical as you do not question the lords and the priests and you thank them for hosing you down with virus a few times to save you.
This is once again another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
Nuff Said
Analysis: A tulip by another name? 'Gamestonk' and the case for investor caution | Reuters
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 11:59
NEW YORK (Reuters) - It sounds like the start of a parable: Investors stuck inside during a pandemic begin to bid up an asset until its price becomes untethered to reality. The value soars until one day the market runs out of buyers and freezes, causing prices to plummet and some unlucky few to lose fortunes more than ten times their annual incomes in the span of a few hours.
FILE PHOTO: A GameStop store is pictured amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
The date: February 3, 1636. On that day, the infamous Dutch tulip bubble burst during an outbreak of the bubonic plague, illustrating that asset prices can plummet just as quickly as they soar, leaving only pain behind.
Now, almost exactly 385 years and another pandemic later, Wall Street waits to see how long it will take for history to repeat itself.
Shares of video game retailer GameStop Corp have soared 1,625% since the start of January. Driving the rally are individual investors who have been stuck at home for the last ten months. Many have turned to online forums like WallStreetBets on Reddit and are buying the stock, some as a form of protest against hedge fund managers who wagered that it would fall.
These amateur investors are buoyed by savings built up over the coronavirus pandemic, two rounds of stimulus payments and near zero interest rates. Some, such as billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, have referred to the phenomenon as 'Gamestonk', a play on the intentional misspelling of the word 'stock' on social media.
The stock price rally to above $300 per share has emboldened some small investors to pour even more money into a company that Wall Street analysts tracked by Refinitiv believe is worth slightly more than $13 per share. The surge increases the risk that individuals will get caught up in the euphoria and look past the warning signs and consequences of an eventual crash.
"I dumped my savings into GME, paid my rent for this month with my credit card, and dumped my rent money into more GME (which for the people here at WSB, I would not recommend)," a Reddit user with the handle ssauron here wrote Thursday on WallStreetBets. "And I'm holding. This is personal for me, and millions of others."
A form of class warfare waged through the shares of a video game retailer is notably different than financial market manias, such as the dotcom bubble in 2000 or the U.S. real estate bubble that culminated in the 2008 financial crisis, both which were fueled by assumptions of broad economic growth.
Yet for those who buy GameStop at the wrong time, the results will likely be the same.
''The reality is that GameStop doesn't hurt Wall Street. It might hurt a couple of hedge fund managers out there, but no one is going to cry for them. The people who will be losing their life savings are small retail investors,'' said Ben Inker, head of asset allocation at GMO.
The total value of short positions in Reddit-favored stocks such as GameStop is about $40 billion, limiting the pain among professional investors to a handful of hedge funds, according to Barclays.
Overall, GameStop shorts were down about $5 billion for the year through Tuesday, according to S3 Partners. By comparison, Tesla Inc, another heavily-shorted stock among professional investors, caused short sellers $245 billion in losses in 2020, the firm noted.
''While we expect some more deleveraging, ultimately the scale of the problem appears quite limited,'' Barclays said.
The likelihood that most of the losses from the rally in GameStop will come among the same group of retail investors who prodded it higher is leaving many on Wall Street baffled as the bubble continues to grow. GameStop surged 67.9% higher Friday to close at $325 per share.
''GameStop is not worth $500, not worth $400, not worth $300, not worth $200, not even worth $100, not even worth $50,'' billionaire investor Leon Cooperman said on CNBC Thursday. ''I'm not damning them. I'm just saying from my experience, this will end in tears,'' he added.
BURSTING BUBBLESThe dotcom bubble peaked in March 2000 and over the next two years the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index slid nearly 77% as companies that were touted as can't miss investments ran out of financing. By the time the Nasdaq bottomed in October 2002, some $6.2 trillion in household wealth had been destroyed, according to Amir Sufi, a professor at the University of Chicago.
The 2008 financial crisis, meanwhile, wiped away approximately $16.4 trillion from American households through a combination of steep stock market losses and plummeting home equity, according to the Federal Reserve.
No one expects that the GameStop bubble will cause anything close to the same levels of economic pain as the financial crisis or dotcom bust before it, in part because the company has a low share count and was not widely held by institutional or retail investors prior to the start of the year. With $6.5 billion in revenues in its last fiscal year and fewer than 53,000 employees worldwide, it does not have an outsized economic impact.
Yet a fall will be concentrated on those who helped upend Wall Street's notion of what retail investors can do.
''There's going to be some blood on the floor when this is all over, but that's going to be some hedge fund blood and a lot of retail blood,'' said Donald Langevoort, a professor at Georgetown Law who studies retail investors and securities regulation.
Melvin Capital and Citron Research, two prominent GameStop short-sellers, said earlier this week that they had already closed out their positions.
Securities laws that typically protect smaller investors from fraud may be of little help for investors who buy shares of GameStop at elevated levels, Langevoort said.
''I don't know if there is an organization or orchestrator that is using deceit and trickery, especially when the motivation seems to be 'Let's support GameStop and show them,''' he said. ''The SEC has to take a deep breath and ask itself whether it has a strong enough case to put a stop to this.''
The outsized rally in GameStop is happening at a time when valuations across financial markets appear to be stretched. The S&P 500 index trades at a forward price to earnings ratio of 23.1, near its peak during the dotcom bubble, while the cryptocurrency bitcoin jumped 14% Friday after gaining 265% over the past 12 months.
The rise of commission-free trading platforms such as Robinhood have helped inflate asset market bubbles by lowering the bar for retail investors to trade, said Ronnie Sadka, a finance professor at Boston College.
''Retail investors are becoming a systemic risk,'' that the SEC is ill-prepared to handle, he said. ''The challenge with regulation is that this is not a case where Wall Street is squeezing the mom and pops, this is a case where the short-sellers are getting squeezed.''
The surging value of GameStop shares is luring investors who will most likely be burned in the end, said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities who has a $16 price target for the company.
''This is the tulip bubble all over again,'' he said, adding that he received a call from a friend who bragged that he put $1,000 into Reddit favorites such as GameStop, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc and BlackBerry Ltd and was now up $400,000 in two weeks. ''He doesn't even know what GameStop sells,'' Pachter said.
How will the GameStop mania end? If it is like the original tulip bubble, it could lead to a ''short-term crisis of trust'' in financial markets, said Anne Goldgar, a professor at the University of Southern California.
Every jump in the price of GameStop, meanwhile, brings in more short-sellers enticed by ever-growing potential gains and more buyers looking to stick a thumb in the eye of Wall Street, causing the cycle to continue, Pachter said.
''This thing has a life of its own,'' Pachter said.
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Beating Back Cancel Culture: A Case Study from the Field of Artificial Intelligence '' Quillette
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 05:49
It's easy to decry cancel culture, but hard to turn it back. Thankfully, recent developments in my area of academic specialty'--artificial intelligence (AI)'--show that fighting cancel culture isn't impossible. And as I explain below, the lessons that members of the AI community have learned in this regard can be generalized to other professional subcultures.
To understand the flash point at issue, it's necessary to delve briefly into how AI functions. In many cases, AI algorithms have partly replaced both formal and informal human decision-making systems that pick who gets hired or promoted within organizations. Financial institutions use AI to determine who gets a loan. And some police agencies use AI to anticipate which neighborhoods will be afflicted by crime. As such, there has been a great focus on ensuring that algorithms won't replicate their coders' implicit biases against, say, women or visible minorities. Citing evidence that, for instance, ''commercial face recognition systems have much higher error rates for dark-skinned women while having minimal errors on light skinned men,'' computer scientist Timnit Gebru, formerly the co-lead of Google's ethical AI team, has argued that AI systems are contaminated by the biases of the mostly white male programmers that created them. In a paper authored with colleagues at Google and my university, she warned that large language-based AI systems in particular encourage a ''hegemonic worldview'' that serves to perpetuate hate speech and bigotry.
These issues have also been taken up by the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), the leading conference in the AI community. As of this writing, the NeurIPS home page is dominated by a statement attesting to the organizers' commitment to ''principles of ethics, fairness, and inclusivity.'' This year, NeurIPS has started requiring paper authors to include a section describing the ''broader impacts'' on society that the underlying science might present, no matter how obscurely technical the underlying content. There is also an ethics board to evaluate whether any paper runs afoul of such concerns. ''Regardless of scientific quality or contribution,'' the organizers have announced, ''a submission may be rejected for ethical considerations, including methods, applications, or data that create or reinforce unfair bias'' (or, less controversially, ''that have a primary purpose of harm or injury'').
It's alarming that NeurIPS papers are being rejected based on ''ethics reviews''. How do we guard against ideological biases in such reviews? Since when are scientific conferences in the business of policing the perceived ethics of technical papers?
'-- Pedro Domingos (@pmddomingos) December 8, 2020
In early December, I used social media to push back against this fairly obvious use of ideological litmus tests to limit what can and cannot get published. At first, I found plenty of support'--as evidenced by the results of an (admittedly unscientific) Twitter survey. That was when a small mob of social-justice radicals'--already well-known within the field'--came after me, led by a California Institute of Technology academic who is also research director at a major tech company.
As so often happens in these confrontations, the discussion was derailed by hyperbolic accusations of racism. Naturally, the mob went after my university, and my own department distanced itself from my critique of the NeurIPS policy. In a matter of just a few days, submission protocols at an academic conference had attained the status of social-justice holy writ, with naysayers'--myself foremost among them'--denounced as heretics. The mob leader even wrote lengthy Twitter threads listing off the names of anyone who'd liked or retweeted my critiques of her position, suggesting they were all bigots.
But as the days passed, and it became clear who the real radicals were, something interesting happened. Many of the usually reticent moderates in our community began to speak up, and denounce the unhinged and ruthless tactics applied against me and my supporters. In the end, I suffered no professional consequences (at least not in any formal way). And the cancel crowd's ringleader even issued a public apology and promised to mend her ways. She is no longer on Twitter, and we're rid of the most vicious cancel-culture bully in the AI community. Topics that had been suppressed are now being freely discussed again in our forums. Dozens of computer-science faculty have even signed a letter to the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), our professional society, calling for an end to ''the increasing use of repressive actions aimed at limiting the free and unfettered conduct of scientific research and debate.''
It's a tale that illustrates a number of useful principles for those seeking to combat cancel culture. These include:
Find your friends. There's nothing worse than facing a mob alone. Build your network in advance, so that you don't have to cold-call free-speech advocates when a crisis already is upon you. Create relationships with people in your workplace and field who share your views. Find out whether there are unions or other groups that are responsible for protecting your rights, and find out what they can do to help if a mob ever comes after you. Join and support organizations such as Heterodox Academy, the National Association of Scholars, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Connect with like-minded people on social media. Your friends may come to your aid publicly or privately. Both are good. Even just receiving words of encouragement from like-minded individuals can make a big difference when you're under attack.
Pick your battles. All workplaces and professional fields can present their share of dogmatists and unpleasant personalities. You can't take on all of them, and not all battles are worth fighting. Pick the ones with high symbolic value'--which is to say, battles that act as proxies for some larger principle'--and which you think you have a reasonable chance of winning. In my case, I knew that taking on a notorious bully in the AI community was worth it because her rout would send a message to imitators. I also knew we had an advantage going in, because this individual already had hurt and angered many people. Moreover, her position as research director at a prominent company made her more vulnerable than me.
Know what to expect. The cancel crowd has its own bullet-point playbook. And they'll respond aggressively to any symbolic act that threatens their status, or erodes the impression that they are the ones calling the shots. Remember that behind the social-justice veneer lies the brutal logic of power and ego. To maximize the pain you feel, they'll tag activist groups on social media to inflate their numbers and reach. They'll bombard every organization you're part of with demands to censure, discipline, disown, fire, or expel you'--often phrasing their appeals in the passive aggressive guise of ''concern'' and ''disappointment.'' At other times, they will insult, taunt, and, threaten you in a manner resembling middle-school children having a recess meltdown. In my case, the ringleader called me ''a full on misogynist and racist,'' ''shameful bigot,'' ''hypocrite,'' ''clueless,'' ''tone-deaf,'' ''snowflake,'' and ''soulless troll.'' She assailed my ''privilege and patriarchy,'' ''lack of basic empathy and ethics,'' and ''zero self-awareness.'' She also questioned whether I'm really a human, and called on NeurIPS to ban me, and for my department to expunge me. Her goal, in short, was to ruin my life. The cancelers will dig up anything they can from your past. And if they can't find any, they'll make it up. This will all seem terrifying, but much less so if you realize that you're just the latest victim in what is basically a mechanical and dehumanizing process. Insofar as you don't actually get fired from your job or suffer some other equivalent setback, these are all just words, and they don't define who you are.
Don't back down. Don't apologize. Don't make clarifications, and don't try to appease the mob. All of these will only be taken as concessions, and embolden the mob to demand more. The real Achilles's Heel of the cancel crowd is its short attention span. Once they bully someone into submission, they move on to the next victim. It's a system designed for quick wins. If you don't back down, they'll raise the pitch as far as they can'--but eventually they'll be at a loss for what to do next, and all but the most fanatical will lose interest. The few that remain, now bereft of their backup, are just what you need to teach all of them a lesson, as we did in my case.
Don't let them make it about you. You have the right to defend yourself when attacked, and it's only natural to do so. Fight sanctions against you through the appropriate channels. But focusing your efforts on your own actions, even if they are the subject of spurious accusations, is generally a mistake. That's because it changes the subject from the real underlying issues to your own supposed failings'--and that's what the cancel crowd wants, because it effectively forces you to fight for a draw instead of a win. The appropriate response to low attacks is to point out how low they are. For example, if someone threatens you with Title IX sex-discrimination proceedings on the basis of alleged ''sexism'''--as they did in my case'--don't bother dignifying this kind of ludicrous claim with a substantive rebuttal. Rather, just thank them for illustrating the misuse of Title IX to crush free speech, as I did.
Hold the moral high ground. Never descend to the level of insults, taunts, and ad hominem attacks, no matter how strong the temptation. Let the cancelers do it to their heart's content, and the onlookers will judge accordingly. In my confrontation with the AI cancel crowd, I was particularly helped by the fact that several of the ringleaders are (or call themselves) professional AI ethicists. Some of them are even well-known within their field. When they serially engaged in childish and unethical behavior in full view of their colleagues, they did my job for me.
Mock them mercilessly. Fear is what keeps the silent majority from speaking up, and laughter is the best antidote. The cancelers take themselves extremely seriously, imagining themselves to be social-justice angels whose holy ends justify every imaginable means. Their sanctimonious spirit is a gift to you, if you call it out instead of playing along with its conceit.
Don't let their narrative outrun yours. Once a false narrative is entrenched, it's hard to overturn, no matter how many facts you have on your side. So while, as noted above, I generally would discourage you from focusing too much on defending your own actions, there should be some resource you can point to so that everyone can know the truth. Once you have established that resource'--a blog post, a published article, a podcast, even a set of tweets or Facebook posts'--point people to it where necessary, including your own professional contacts and potential allies. Keep it short, crisp, and compelling so that it gets widely circulated and isn't thwarted by short attention spans. And keep the tone confident (and possibly even funny), so that it's clear who the real inhuman fanatics are.
Goad them into overreaching. The cancelers' overconfidence is your greatest asset, as I learned when the ringleader of the mob that came after me resorted to posting the above-referenced list of people whom she wanted canceled, many of them junior researchers whose only crime was to have followed me or liked one of my tweets. This crossed a line for a lot of observers, and of course the people on the list itself were aghast. Word spread of the shocking behavior. Even people on her side started turning against her.
Turn their weapons against them. You may find this to be the most controversial principle, but it's also arguably the most crucial'--as the cancelers won't stop until they fear that they'll endure the same consequences that they seek to impose on others. In my case, I watched as investors and customers leaned on the ringleader's company to rein her in. Even companies that posture heavily in the area of social justice don't actually want to be stained by the disgraceful behavior of mob leaders. Indeed, I have no doubt that it was an ultimatum from her employer that finally led the ringleader to stop her Twitter outbursts and apologize publicly to her victims, for all to see. Some will say that once we resort to this step, we become as bad as the cancelers. But that's a false equivalence. The cancel crowd tries to ban people because of their views. We try to stop bullying'--behavior that is reprehensible regardless of ideology.
Use the courts. The courts can be your friend when confrontations with the cancel crowd can't be resolved through less formal and expensive means'--for two reasons. One is that they invoke principles of due process, and look askance at show trials and kangaroo courts. They also tend to be less politically skewed than universities, tech firms, and human-resources departments. Even just the threat of a lawsuit can be enough to stop the cancelers. It worked for me when some of them crossed the line from insult to defamation. FIRE and other pro-free-speech organizations employ lawyers whose job is to fight on your behalf. Oh, and universities hate lawsuits. Whether you end up suing or not, moreover, always keep records on the assumption that you will need documents to prove your case. It's easier to gather them at each step rather than after the fact.
Bring administrators around. Some administrators are themselves members of the cancel crowd, and will always be part of the problem until such time that they conclude that this attitude is no longer helpful to their own careers. But most are just decent people trying to do their job and find a path to safe harbor. And in this regard, it's actually useful to them when they can see pressure coming from both sides, not just one. Despite being bombarded with demands, my department ultimately took no action against me (besides dissociating itself from my positions)'--in part, I think, because I helped them see the situation clearly, including what was really at stake and how much the department had to lose by doing the wrong thing.
Don't antagonize. Educate. Even many neutral onlookers who find cancel-culture tactics repellent dismiss the phenomenon as afflicting just a few privileged souls'--acceptable collateral damage, as they see it, in the battle against patriarchy, white privilege, and so forth. (They're just ''false positives,'' as one MIT professor put it when he attempted to dissuade people from signing our letter to ACM.) It's easy to get angry at these na¯ve enablers of the mob, but it's better to make them aware. Point them to resources such as The National Association of Scholars' database of cancellations, the Canceled People website, or Quillette's Panics and Persecutions. Give them examples of cancellations of journalists, tech workers, and even high-school students. Patiently explain what they're missing (as I did in my response to the above-referenced MIT professor).
Get the majority on your side. In the end, most cancelers can't be dissuaded in the short run: They've invested too much in their roles as inquisitors to give them up easily. The goal isn't to win them over'--you won't'--but rather to persuade the much larger number of people in the middle. Just because these people aren't vocal doesn't mean they aren't out there watching, reading, thinking.
Perhaps most importantly, remember that most cancellation attempts end in failure. It's hard to know that, however, because we seldom hear about the mobbings that fizzle out. Instead, the mob relies on its high-status wins to keep everyone in line. They enjoy the illusion that their movement is unstoppable, when in fact it becomes a subject of mockery as soon as a critical mass of people raise their voices against it.
And so even if you're never targeted by the mob, play your part in opposing its attacks. As Solzhenitsyn famously put it, one man who tells the truth can bring down a tyranny. Together, we can bring down cancel culture.
Pedro Domingos is a Professor Emeritus of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington. Follow him on Twitter at @pmddomingos.
Featured image: Graphical depiction of a three-layer neural network.
'Black Lives Matter' Nominated For The Nobel Peace Prize
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 05:16
Authored by Monica Showalter via,
If the Nobel committee's handing over of the Nobel peace prize to newly elected President Obama seemed like the nadir of the prize's prestige, there's now another thing coming.
According to The Guardian:
The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel peace prize for the way its call for systemic change has spread around the world.
In his nomination papers, the Norwegian MP Petter Eide said the movement had forced countries outside the US to grapple with racism within their own societies.
''I find that one of the key challenges we have seen in America, but also in Europe and Asia, is the kind of increasing conflict based on inequality,'' Eide said.
''Black Lives Matter has become a very important worldwide movement to fight racial injustice.
''They have had a tremendous achievement in raising global awareness and consciousness about racial injustice.''
That's right, a group led by self-described "trained Marxists" who literally spent time with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and then triggered night after night of violent looting riots at a cost of at least 25 lives and a record $2 billion in insured property claims, (probably much more in uninsured property), and grotesque Red Guard-style repudiation scenes such as forcing restaurant diners to wave their fists in solidarity or face overturned tables and assault, is somehow ... is worthy of the world's top award for peace.
Back in 1964, when Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the same prize for calls to judge people on the content of their character over color, along with non-violent resistence, there was a recognizable standard for peace. Now, such approaches don't cut it anymore for this Norwegian bunch. And to place BLM in the same league as MLK, Jr., is kind of obscene.
The Norwegian pol who put the nomination out cited BLM's capacity to mobilize as his criteria. But that seems to be pretty shaky grounds, given that so many leftists out there really just wanted to Get Trump. BLM has since morphed into what appears to be a corporate shakedown racket and managed to get its Marxist identity politics party line into every corporate boardroom in America. But the capacity to use muscling community organizer tactics is no evidence of morality, or more pointedly, peace. BLM is never going to be satisfied no matter how much kowtowing is done, each victory it wins brings a bigger demand to its marks, without ceasing, until its will to absolute power is achieved. Sound like peace? Only of the grave.
What it highlights is how low the Nobel peace prize has fallen. Sure, this Norwegian socialist clown doing the nominating likely has no idea what's going on in the states, given that he lives in isolated Norway, takes in meetings with activists, and only reads the leftist press. The idiocy of his proposal tops that of the Norwegians handing out a Nobel prize to Barack Obama just for getting elected president for being black without doing anything else.
In both instances, the Nobel committee nominators seem to relish anyone with the ability to exert leftist power, equating that kind of power-mongering with 'peace.' It's a sorry act they've come to, to worship power over any semblance of authentic peace. If this is peace, what a sorry state of affairs we have, mau-mauing's triumph over actual creating of peace. Will all Nobel peace prize recipients have to show proof of starting riots to qualify now? How, exactly, is riot-making 'peace'? One likes to suppose that this nomination will go nowhere, but with the current nonsense going on, don't bet on it.
White House facing optics issue with Kamala Harris' ambitious niece | Fox News
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 05:00
Published January 30, 2021
Meena, 36, flew to the Inauguration on the private plane of a Biden donor and posted about the trip on her Instagram storiesMeena Harris, the industrious and outspoken niece of Vice President Kamala Harris, is creating an optics issue for the White House.
Meena, 36, flew to the Inauguration on the private plane of a Biden inaugural donor and posted about the trip on her Instagram stories.
The Stanford and Harvard Law graduate has a children's book about her aunt and mother that's No. 4 on the New York Times bestseller list-- "Kamala and Maya's Big Idea."
MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 19: In this screenshot from the DNCC's livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Meena Harris, niece of Kamala Harris, addresses the virtual convention on August 19, 2020. (Photo by DNCC via Getty Images) (Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images) (Getty Images)
The book was published in June 2020, before Kamala was vice president, and thus breaks no laws. But White House officials told Politico the book couldn't have been published today because it uses Kamala's name and likeness. It's unclear whether Meena is allowed to continue to draw royalties for the book, and she won't say if she still is.
After members of President Biden's family appeared to profit off his political sway during his years as senator and vice president, the White House has tried to distance itself from any further ethical violations. "It's the White House's policy that the president's name should not be used in connection with any commercial activities to suggest or in any way, in any way they could reasonably be understood to imply his endorsement or support," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.
In December, transition lawyers said they were drafting new ethics rules for business ventures of the Biden and Harris families that "are likely to be more restrictive than the rules that governed the Obama administration," according to The Washington Post.
The VP's office is taking the same stance. "The Vice President and her family will uphold the highest ethical standards and it's the White House's policy that the Vice President's name should not be used in connection with any commercial activities that could reasonably be understood to imply an endorsement or support," Sabrina Singh, spokesperson for the vice president, said in a statement to Politico.
The day after the inauguration, transition ethics lawyers had to tell Meena she could not continue to sell a number of items for her clothing brand Phenomenal that bared her aunt's name-- the "Kamala Harris Swimsuit," "phenomenal Kamala Tank," and "Kamala T-shirt." The items that appeared last fall are no longer listed on her site.
Phenomenal has sold other items referencing Kamala during the campaign, including a sweatshirt MVP, standing for "Madam Vice President," and another with the phrase "I'm speaking" on the front, alluding to Kamala's repeated line during her debate with former Vice President Mike Pence.
After Biden picked Kamala as his running mate in August, Meena convinced the Biden team to sell a shirt in the campaign store bearing her name and that of fellow influencer Cleo Wade. The shirt read "THE FIRST BUT NOT THE LAST," alongside a picture of a young Kamala, referencing Kamala's historical swearing-in as first female vice president.
The Biden campaign agreed, but by Sept. 6, Meena's name had been removed as a collaborator, according to an internet archive dug up by Politico.
"For appearance sake, Meena's name was removed because we didn't want to make it seem or appear that she would be benefiting or profiting from the campaign," a White House official said, adding that neither Meena nor Wade made any money off the shirt.
This month, Meena was slapped on the hand again by ethics lawyers when in a collaboration with Beats by Dre, her clothing company adorned the same phrase "The First But Not The Last," to Beats headphones they mailed out to influencers and celebrities ahead of the inauguration. The Biden team was not made aware of the collaboration in advance, according to Axios.
In her latest venture, Meena announced weeks after the election she was starting a production company with former Obama White House staffer Brad Jenkins, Phenomenal Productions.
The day before Inauguration Day, Supermajority Education Fund released an ad featuring clips of Kamala that Meena and the company produced. The White House reportedly said it did not know if Meena was paid for her time producing the ad, but if she was it would be a violations of ethics. Asked if she was paid by Supermajority, Meena didn't respond.
Dodger Stadium vaccination site shut down amid protest - Los Angeles Times
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 04:56
Dodger Stadium's mass COVID-19 vaccination site was temporarily shut down Saturday afternoon when about 50 protesters gathered at the entrance, frustrating hundreds of motorists who had been waiting in line for hours.
The Los Angeles Fire Department closed the entrance to the stadium '-- one of the largest vaccination sites in the country '-- for about an hour starting just before 2 p.m. as a precaution, officials said. Several LAPD officers also responded to the scene; a spokeswoman for the department said no arrests were made.
Andrea Garcia, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, said that despite the 55-minute interruption, no appointments were canceled.
''We remain committed to vaccinating Angelenos as quickly and safely as possible,'' she said.
The demonstrators included members of anti-vaccine and far-right groups. While some carried signs decrying the COVID-19 vaccine and shouting for people not to get the shots, there were no incidents of violence.
''This is completely wrong,'' said German Jaquez, who drove from his home in La Verne and had been waiting an hour for his vaccination when the stadium's gates were closed. He said some of the protesters were telling people in line that the coronavirus is not real and that the vaccination is dangerous.
''This is the wrong message,'' Jaquez said. ''I've been waiting for weeks to get an appointment. I am a dentist; I am taking a big risk being around patients. I want to be safe for my patients and for my family. The vaccine is the only way to beat the virus.''
Confirmed coronavirus cases in California have surpassed 3.2 million. More than 40,000 people '-- one in every 1,000 Californians '-- have died from complications of COVID-19. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's official death toll stands at 16,647 after 316 fatalities were confirmed Saturday, along with more than 6,900 new cases.
A fire department official said the Dodger Stadium vaccination site '-- which is usually open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. '-- reopened a few minutes before 3 p.m.
A post on social media described the demonstration as the ''Scamdemic Protest/March.'' It advised participants to ''please refrain from wearing Trump/MAGA attire as we want our statement to resonate with the sheeple. No flags but informational signs only.
''This is a sharing information protest and march against everything COVID, Vaccine, PCR Tests, Lockdowns, Masks, Fauci, Gates, Newsom, China, digital tracking, etc.''
A livestreamed video of the gathering shows a group of protesters on a sidewalk as cars navigate cone-lined lanes toward the stadium, which served as a COVID-19 testing site for months. A Times photographer witnessed much of the incident.
Protesters carried signs that read ''Save Your Soul TURN BACK NOW,'' ''CNN IS LYING TO YOU,'' ''RECALL GAVIN NEWSOM'' and ''TAKE OFF YOUR MASK.'' Some handed out pamphlets to motorists who had their windows down. Some cars blared their horns as they drove by.
Protesters spoke through bullhorns: ''Turn back while you can,'' one man said. ''You're a lab rat.''
Public officials swiftly weighed in, expressing frustration.
''We will not be deterred or threatened,'' Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted. ''Dodger Stadium is back up and running.''
Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Jeff Gorell, who oversees public safety for Garcetti, tweeted a Times article about the closure, writing, ''Its back open, but ..'' and adding a ''face palm'' emoji.
''Unbelievable,'' Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez tweeted. ''If you don't want the vaccine fine, but there are millions of Angelenos that do. 16,000 of your neighbors have died, so get out of the way.''
About an hour after the vaccination site reopened Saturday, health officials released a statement warning that variants of the coronavirus continue to spread in L.A. County, noting that a second case of the highly transmissible U.K. variant B.1.1.7 has been confirmed locally.
''Virus transmission can happen more easily,'' health officials said, urging members of the public to wear masks that cover the nose and mouth, maintain physical distance and avoid gathering with people they don't live with.
''These strategies,'' officials said, ''will only be effective in slowing the spread of any variant strain of COVID-19 if they are used by everyone all of the time.''
The Dodger Stadium incident marked the latest protest by small groups opposed to basic coronavirus safety measures such as face coverings.
Following demonstrations by anti-mask groups at shopping malls, grocery stores and homeless encampments, the Los Angeles City Council earlier this month bolstered restrictions and subjected some violators to financial penalties. Following a unanimous vote, the council ordered city attorneys to draft a law that would impose fines and penalties on those who refuse to wear a mask at indoor businesses when requested to do so by management, as well as on individuals who refuse to wear one when ''invading someone's personal space.''
Earlier in the pandemic, maskless demonstrators gathered at retail outlets, including Erewhon Market in the Fairfax district, a Target on Beverly Boulevard and the Westfield Century City mall, sparking a backlash from shoppers and employees who felt harassed.
In one video, a demonstrator said he had tested negative for the virus and called a customer at the grocery store a ''mask Nazi.''
After the Century City demonstration, Garcetti issued a warning.
''We won't have officers who are standing by witnessing that. We will take action,'' the mayor said. ''And don't test us on this, because you will find yourself in jail, cited or dealing with prosecution.''
Times staff writer Dakota Smith contributed to this report.
Tim Cook May Have Just Ended Facebook |
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 04:51
What happens when an unstoppable force hits an immovable object?
In a recent speech at Brussels' International Data Privacy Day, Apple CEO Tim Cook went on the offensive against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. Cook's speech seems to be a direct response to Facebook's recent attack on Apple, in which the world's largest social network took out full-page ads in several newspapers attacking Apple's new privacy changes.
But what's most fascinating is that Cook took direct aim at Facebook without ever mentioning the company by name.
Just check out the following excerpt:
"Technology does not need vast troves of personal data stitched together across dozens of websites and apps in order to succeed. Advertising existed and thrived for decades without it, and we're here today because the path of least resistance is rarely the path of wisdom.
If a business is built on misleading users on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, then it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform.
We should not look away from the bigger picture and a moment of rampant disinformation and conspiracy theory is juiced by algorithms. We can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good engagement, the longer the better, and all with the goal of collecting as much data as possible.
Too many are still asking the question, 'How much can we get away with?' When they need to be asking, 'What are the consequences?'
What are the consequences of prioritizing conspiracy theories and violent incitement simply because of the high rates of engagement?
What are the consequences of not just tolerating but rewarding content that undermines public trust in life-saving vaccinations?
What are the consequences of seeing thousands of users joining extremist groups and then perpetuating an algorithm that recommends even more?
It is long past time to stop pretending that this approach doesn't come with a cause. A polarization of lost trust, and yes, of violence.
A social dilemma cannot be allowed to become a social catastrophe."
The fact that Cook doesn't name Facebook somehow increases its impact. Because as you hear Cook's 's speech, you can't help but immediately think of the house that Zuckerberg built.
If you're wondering how Apple and Facebook ended up at odds, you can read more of the details here. But the reality is these two tech giants have been heading towards a major conflict for quite some time.
The problem is that Apple's and Facebook's business philosophies are diametrically opposed to each other:
Apple is a lifestyle brand. And part of the lifestyle Apple sells is users having more control over their privacy.
Facebook, on the other hand, is in the data business. The more data they collect on users, the more effectively they can sell targeted ads.
But collecting and selling all that data comes at great cost, as Cook highlights. "The end result of all of this is that you are no longer the customer," said Cook. "You are the product."
Cook went on to further highlight the differences in Apple's and Facebook's philosophies, in no uncertain terms.
"We believe that ethical technology is technology that works for you," said Cook. "It's technology that helps you sleep, not keeps you up. It tells you when you've had enough. It gives you space to create or draw or write or learn, not refresh just one more time."
At first glimpse, it might appear that Apple and Facebook are on diverging paths. But in reality, they're on a collision course.
So, what does happen when an unstoppable force hits an immovable object?
One of them gets destroyed.
The takeaway
There are major lessons here for entrepreneurs and business owners.
As Cook aptly points out, "advertising existed and thrived for decades" without using data that was collected in less than transparent ways. And as customers are offered more choice when it comes to how apps and websites track their data, experts predict that more and more people will opt out of said tracking.
If you're an advertiser, you'll need to adapt. Or die.
But there's also a bigger lesson at stake.
Now is the time to ask yourself:
Which philosophy do I want to pursue?
Do I want a business that serves my customers? Or one that takes advantage of customers to serve my business?
Because in the end, only one of these philosophies is sustainable for the long-term. The other will lead you to crash and burn.
And while the long-term solution may initially prove more challenging, remember:
"The path of least resistance is rarely the path of wisdom."
Trump impeachment defense: Five attorneys leave team less than two weeks before trial - CNNPolitics
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 04:40
By Gloria Borger, Kaitlan Collins, Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Semler, CNN
Updated 11:04 PM EST, Sat January 30, 2021
(CNN) Former President Donald Trump's five impeachment defense attorneys have left a little more than a week before his trial is set to begin, according to people familiar with the case, amid a disagreement over his legal strategy.
It was a dramatic development in the second impeachment trial for Trump, who has struggled to find lawyers willing to take his case. And now, with legal briefs due next week and a trial set to begin only days later, Trump is clinging to his election fraud charade and suddenly finds himself without legal representation.
Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, who were expected to be two of the lead attorneys, are no longer on the team. A source familiar with the changes said it was a mutual decision for both to leave the legal team. As the lead attorney, Bowers assembled the team.
Josh Howard, a North Carolina attorney who was recently added to the team, has also left, according to another source familiar with the changes. Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris, also from South Carolina, are no longer involved with the case, either.
No other attorneys have announced they are working on Trump's impeachment defense.
A person familiar with the departures told CNN that Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud and that the election was stolen from him rather than focus on the legality of convicting a president after he's left office. Trump was not receptive to the discussions about how they should proceed in that regard.
The attorneys had not yet been paid any advance fees and a letter of intent was never signed.
CNN has reached out to the attorneys for comment.
"The Democrats' efforts to impeach a president who has already left office is totally unconstitutional and so bad for our country. In fact, 45 Senators have already voted that it is unconstitutional. We have done much work, but have not made a final decision on our legal team, which will be made shortly," former Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller told CNN.
Bowers, a respected lawyer from Columbia, South Carolina, once worked in the Justice Department under President George W. Bush.
Barbier, a South Carolina litigator, worked closely on several high-profile cases and was a former federal prosecutor for 15 years in the state before opening up her own boutique criminal defense firm.
Gasser and Harris are both former federal prosecutors. Gasser served as the interim US attorney for South Carolina earlier in his career. Both have worked closely with Barbier on the defense side.
Howard worked as an associate independent counsel on the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky investigations during the Clinton presidency and spent a decade in the Justice Department where he worked on the confirmations of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. Howard once served as the chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, leaving the post at the beginning of 2016.
This story has been updated to include reporting on the additional departures from Trump's team.
CNN's Kara Scannell and Manu Raju contributed to this report.
New Study By Dr. Steven Quay Concludes that SARS-CoV-2 Came from a Laboratory
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 04:03
Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
SEATTLE, Jan. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A paper was published today by Dr. Steven Quay, M.D., PhD., CEO of Atossa Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATOS), entitled, ''A Bayesian analysis concludes beyond a reasonable doubt that SARS-CoV-2 is not a natural zoonosis but instead is laboratory derived.'' The 193-page paper can be downloaded from Zenodo, a general-purpose open-access repository operated by CERN, here: . A short 'explainer' video about the paper is here:
The purpose of the analysis was to determine the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Beginning with a likelihood of 98.2% that it was a zoonotic jump from nature with only a 1.2% probability it was a laboratory escape, twenty-six different, independent facts and evidence were examined systematically. The final conclusion is that it is a 99.8% probability SARS-CoV-2 came from a laboratory and only a 0.2% likelihood it came from nature.
''Like many others, I am concerned about what appear to be significant conflicts of interest between members of the WHO team and scientists and doctors in China and how much this will impede an unbiased examination of the origin of SARS-CoV-2,'' said Dr. Quay.
''By taking only publicly available, scientific evidence about SARS-CoV-2 and using highly conservative estimates in my analysis, I nonetheless conclude that it is beyond a reasonable doubt that SARS-CoV-2 escaped from a laboratory. The additional evidence of what appears to be adenovirus vaccine genetic sequences in specimens from five patients from December 2019 and sequenced by the Wuhan Institute of Virology requires an explanation. You would see this kind of data in a vaccine challenge trial, for example. Hopefully the WHO team can get answers to these questions.''
To assist in finding the truth and to get feedback on the methodologies used and conclusions reached in this paper, a pre-publication copy of this paper was sent to twenty-six scientists worldwide, including the WHO investigators currently in Wuhan, Wuhan Institute of Virology scientists, as well as other prominent virologists.
About Steven Quay, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Steven Quay has 360+ published contributions to medicine and has been cited over 10,000 times, placing him in the top 1% of scientists worldwide. He holds 87 US patents and has invented seven FDA-approved pharmaceuticals which have helped over 80 million people. He is the author of the best-selling book on surviving the pandemic, Stay Safe: A Physician's Guide to Survive Coronavirus. He is the CEO of Atossa Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: ATOS), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for treating breast cancer and COVID-19.
He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from The University of Michigan, was a postdoctoral fellow in the Chemistry Department at MIT with Nobel Laureate H. Gobind Khorana, a resident at the Harvard-MGH Hospital, and spent almost a decade on the faculty of Stanford University School of Medicine. A TEDx talk he delivered on breast cancer prevention has been viewed over 220,000 times. For more information, visit
Public Relations Contact:
Dunn Pellier Media| t: 323.481.2307 11620 Wilshire Blvd., 9th Floor, Los Angeles, CA
View original content to download multimedia:
SOURCE Dr. Steven Quay
Twitter Suspends Gateway Pundit for Posting Virginia Court Ruling on Virginia Mail-in Ballots -- Claims the Court Ruling Incites Violence!
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 21:12
Earlier on Friday Gateway Pundit contributor Patty McMurray posted a report on Virginia Court Ruling that prevents officials (Democrats) from accepting late ballots without postmarks.
The case was over a Virginia Board of Elections rule issued in August that allowed mail-in ballots without a postmark to be received up to three days after the November election.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), on behalf of Thomas Reed, a local electoral board member, announced a court-approved consent decree to permanently prevent the Virginia State Board of Elections from accepting absentee ballots received up to three days after Election Day without postmarks in violation of Virginia law.
The report was released on Monday.
On Friday we posted the report on the court ruling on Twitter.
TRENDING: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Publishes Statement Addressing the Mob That's Trying to 'Take Her Out'
Twitter suspended The Gateway Pundit account for a week for posting a tweet on the court ruling.
Twitter says it might promote violence.
Twitter is now suspending accounts that post court rulings in Virginia.
How can this be legal?
Covid-19: People caught trying to holiday abroad will face '‚¬500 fines from Monday
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 21:09
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People caught trying to leave the State to go on holiday will face '‚¬500 fines from Monday under regulations signed last night.
Work continues on drawing up the legal basis for a raft of other Covid-19 measures announced by the Government earlier this week, such as mandatory quarantining for certain air passengers.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly last night signed the first of the regulations to implement measures relating to travel decided on by Government on Tuesday.
An increased fine of '‚¬500 will apply to people caught travelling to a port or airport to leave the State without a reasonable excuse from Monday, February 1st.
The penalty is increased from the '‚¬100 fine that can be imposed for breaches of the 5km travel limit on non-essential domestic travel.
EU move on NI protocol in 'very bitter' vaccine row a mistake, says Martin Coronavirus: 79 further deaths and 1,414 cases reported in Republic Coronavirus: Northern Ireland reports 17 more deaths A spokesman for Mr Donnelly confirmed the move on the '‚¬500 fine targeting holiday-makers, and said: ''Work on other regulations around mandatory quarantine and the operation of same is continuing and should be completed in the coming days.''
Officials have spent the last number of days grappling with complex legal issues presented by the new Covid-19 measures.
Negative testThere will be mandatory quarantining at a designated facility for passengers who cannot provide a negative pre-departure Covid-19 test as well as all those travelling from Brazil and South Africa due to new variants of the virus there. Other passengers are to be required by law to quarantine at home.
The Government has said that applying mandatory quarantine measures to EU or UK citizens requires changes to primary legislation.
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said on Thursday that the Government is exploring ways to impose fines on people travelling more than 5km across the Border from Northern Ireland without a valid reason, but said it was ''not straightforward''. There are plans for Garda checkpoints 5km from the Border to crack down on non-essential travel between the two jurisdictions.
A Government spokesman said some measures agreed by Government on Tuesday, such as increased Garda checks and enforcement and the suspension of visa-free travel from certain countries, had been implemented.
He said: ''Regulations relating to several matters have been finalised and will come into force on Monday, February 1st, including extension of the requirement for a pre-departure test until March 5th.''
The spokesman said legislative measures were ''being finalised urgently as are the operational arrangements necessary to implement the mandatory quarantine regime, which will be implemented as quickly as possible''.
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Alexa Eavesdropping Claims - Zimmerman Reed
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 21:09
Amazon Alexa Eavesdropping ClaimsZimmerman Reed is investigating claims against Amazon relating to its Alexa-enabled devices such as: Alexa, Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Kids Edition, Fire TV Stick, Kindle, and Sonos.
The Washington Post recently queried:
Would you let a stranger eavesdrop in your home and keep the recordings? For most people, the answer is, ''Are you crazy?''
Yet that's essentially what Amazon has been doing to millions of us with its assistant Alexa in microphone-equipped Echo speakers. And it's hardly alone: Bugging our homes is Silicon Valley's next frontier.
According to The Post, Amazon's Alexa devices record everything after hearing anything that sounds like Alexa. Amazon then keeps the recordings forever. The reporter noted that ''[t]here were even sensitive conversations that somehow triggered Alexa's 'wake word' to start recording, including my family discussing medication and a friend conducting a business deal.'' Amazon now has copies of these recordings and plans to store them forever. Most people do not know that.
While it is possible to turn off this intrusive feature, Amazon warns that it will reduce the quality and performance of the Alexa device.
Most consumers order an Amazon Alexa device for convenience or even novelty, such as ''Alexa, play the Beatles.'' Unless they read endless pages of fine print, they never learn that they have unintentionally installed an eavesdropping ''bug'' in their home that can endlessly record and transmit private conversations and moments to Amazon to store forever. If you purchased an Amazon Alexa device without knowledge of these practices or have been in proximity of an Alexa device that you suspect recorded you, please complete a Free Case Review Form. You may be entitled to compensation.
Take Action '' Submit Free Case Review FormRecently, a review of Amazon's patents revealed that Amazon Alexa devices can be used as surveillance equipment for massive information collection and intrusive digital advertising. For example, if Alexa hears you celebrating your team's win, you may see your team's apparel suggested the next time you are on The study warns of an ''Orwellian future in which the gadgets eavesdrop on everything from confidential conversations to your toilet flushing habits.''
Please complete a Free Case Review Form if you have purchased or been near an Amazon Alexa device, as you may be entitled to refunds and other compensation.
How We Can HelpZimmerman Reed is investigating claims against Amazon based on these practices. If you would not have purchased an Amazon Alexa device if you had known of this feature or if you believe you have been eavesdropped on and improperly recorded by someone else's device, you may be entitled to compensation.
To submit a Free Case Review Form and obtain a free and confidential review of your potential claim, please CLICK HERE. It only takes a few minutes.
Take ActionTo submit a free case review form, which only takes few minutes, please CLICK HERE.
Geen boete voor wie met oude auto vaccinatie krijgt in Spoor Oost | VRT NWS: nieuws
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 20:52
De stad Antwerpen gaat een uitzondering toelaten voor wie met een oude auto het vaccinatiedorp Spoor Oost binnenrijdt. Spoor Oost ligt net in de Antwerpse lage-emissiezone. "Maar we gaan een extra camera plaatsen aan de ingang", aldus schepen Tom Meeuws (SP.A). 'We gaan dus geen boetes uitdelen aan bezoekers die gevaccineerd worden."
Artikel van Radio 2
Dennis van den Buijs De stad Antwerpen wil een uitzondering toestaan op de regels van de lage emissiezone voor bezoekers van het vaccinatiedorp op Spoor Oost. Wie met een oude auto rijdt die de LEZ niet binnen mag, zal toch geen boete moeten betalen als hij of zij zich wil laten vaccineren. "We plaatsen een extra camera aan de ingang", zegt schepen voor Leefmilieu Tom Meeuws. "Als de camera de mensen met een te oude auto registreert, dan zullen we die overtreding uiteraard meteen seponeren. Mensen moeten daar dus niets speciaals voor doen en kunnen met een gerust hart zich laten vaccineren."
Op Spoor Oost kunnen 750 mensen per uur gevaccineerd worden. Het openbaar vervoer naar de site is -zeker vanuit de randgemeenten- allesbehalve voorzien op zo'n grote toestroom van mensen een hele dag lang. Bij het Antwerps vaccinatiedorp zijn 600 autoparkeerplaatsen voorzien. Maar het is niet ondenkbaar dat mensen 500m verder een parkeerplaats zoeken in de woonwijken rond het Sportpaleis buiten de lage-emissiezone. Denkt de stad aan een shuttledienst van buiten de LEZ naar het vaccinatiedorp? "We kunnen niet op de zaken vooruitlopen maar werken snel aan een oplossing. We beseffen dat er duidelijkheid moet zijn voor de vaccinatiecampagne van start gaat." De Stad Antwerpen zou vandaag overleggen over de zaak.
'MEDICAL KIDNAPPING': Hospital Refuses to Let Daughter See Her Elderly Mother for Not Taking COVID Test, Crowd Comes and Gets Mom Released (VIDEOS)
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 16:47
A crazy scene unfolded on Friday night in Vancouver, Washington, as a large crowd formed to support a woman who says that her mother was the victim of ''medical kidnapping.''The media rushed to portray the crowd as wild anti-vaxxers '-- without telling the story of what happened or why they were actually there.
A 74-year-old woman named Gayle Meyer was admitted to the Legacy Salmon Creek with a urinary tract infection on Thursday evening. The elderly woman has a brain tumor and her daughter, Satin, is her medical power of attorney.
Somewhere between a dozen and two dozen people showed up sans masks and started demanding the mothers release.
'-- Cory Elia (@TheRealCoryElia) January 30, 2021
TRENDING: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Publishes Statement Addressing the Mob That's Trying to 'Take Her Out'
The hospital refused to allow the daughter to see her mother.
According to a witness at the scene, they first claimed that Gayle refused to take a COVID test, then changed their story to say that she took it '-- but had to be quarantined until the results came in, then changed back to saying that she had refused to take it and would therefore be forced to quarantine.
Other reports on social media say that Satin had refused to sign off on the COVID test and that they conducted it without her permission.
Upset by not being allowed to see her mother who is unwell, the daughter put out a call in the community for people to come and support her and help her get her mother out. Among those who showed up were friends and supporters of Ammon Bundy.
Soon, 30 to 40 people had gathered at the hospital to demand Gayle's release.
That's when an employee of the hospital shows up and tries to enter. The daughter tries to force her way in and is thrown back by officers. A man then tries to forcibly enter and is repeatedly shoved. He is eventually sprayed directly in the mouth with pepper spray.
'-- Cory Elia (@TheRealCoryElia) January 30, 2021
The cops used a heavy hand on them, even pepperspraying a member of the group '-- leading to this group that was most certainly right-wing to refer to them as ''blue ISIS.'' Despite the (rather impressive) video of the man being peppersprayed in the mouth by law enforcement (and defiantly spitting it out), local media falsely claimed that it was the protesters who had fired off the pepperspray.
This part tonight was intriguing. He literally took a mouthful of pepper spray, spit it out like it was nothing, and kept trying to force his way into the hospital.
'-- Cory Elia (@TheRealCoryElia) January 30, 2021
Eventually, the hospital and law enforcement relented and released the woman '-- which drew big applause and celebration from the crowd.
commiessuckit on Twitter: "@adamcurry @THErealDVORAK Oh no, rectal testing is truly happening(they are making fun of the ppl walking after the test); area millions under lockdown, ''20,000 residents of villages in the surrounding Hebei province have been
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 15:52
commiessuckit : @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK Oh no, rectal testing is truly happening(they are making fun of the ppl walking after the'...
Sat Jan 30 15:51:47 +0000 2021
Moderna asks FDA to allow 5 extra doses per Covid vaccine vial: Source
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 15:26
Moderna has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for permission to fill its Covid-19 vaccine vials with up to five additional doses to ease a bottleneck in manufacturing, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The change would allow Moderna to put 15 doses in the same size vials now cleared to hold 10, alleviating pressure on the part of the manufacturing process known as fill/finish, said the person, who declined to be named because the application isn't yet public.
The availability of Covid-19 vaccines has been a source of frustration since their clearance in the U.S. in mid-December. While the pace of administration has picked up to more than 1 million a day on average, constrained supply has hindered states' ability to operate mass vaccination sites. As of Friday, the U.S. had distributed 49.2 million doses, and 27.9 million had been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We are having trouble producing these mRNA vaccines," said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and a physician at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "We're up to about 1.2 million doses a day when we need to be at 3 million doses a day."
The FDA declined to comment, deferring questions to the company. Moderna didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The move from Moderna comes after Pfizer sought and obtained a change from the FDA in its emergency use authorization to specify its Covid-19 vaccine vials contain six doses, rather than five, after pharmacists observed a bonus dose could be extracted with the right syringes. Pfizer then said it would deliver fewer vials to the U.S., but the same number of doses specified in its contracts.
Moderna's vials were also found to contain a bonus dose, but it's seeking a regulatory change to add more volume to the vials.
The bottleneck isn't the vials themselves, according to the person familiar, it's the manufacturing capacity to fill the vials. The fill/finish process in manufacturing must be done under aseptic conditions to assure no contamination, and capacity is at a premium.
Companies have begun to strike manufacturing partnerships focused on this step in the process to increase output. Novartis said Friday it signed an initial agreement to fill vials for BioNTech, Pfizer's partner in Europe on the Covid-19 vaccine.
"We expect this to be the first of a number of such agreements," said Steffen Lang, head of Novartis Technical Operations.
White House Youtube Dislike Manipulation '' Zoe's Insights
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 15:21
I've seen screenshots of YouTube modifying dislikes of White House videos. I decided I would do a thorough analysis myself. I wrote a script to check video stats every 80 seconds for 24 hours '' for all videos on White House's YouTube channel.
The collected data is archived here and here. The format is space-separated ''CSV'', as follows:
VideoURL UnixTimestamp Date,Time Views Likes DislikesHere is a sample of the most egregious manipulation:
Some videos were delisted in minutes!: 1611771197 01/27/2021,13:13:17      1227       437      2963 1611771285 01/27/2021,13:14:45      1463       441      2999 1611771372 01/27/2021,13:16:12      1763       449      3030 1611771459 01/27/2021,13:17:39      2476       455      3060 1611771546 01/27/2021,13:19:06      2640       459      3098 1611771720 01/27/2021,13:22:00      3588       470      3183 1611699362 01/26/2021,17:16:02       918       405      4942 1611699448 01/26/2021,17:17:28      1202       412      4976 1611699534 01/26/2021,17:18:54      1375       415      5026 1611766646 01/27/2021,11:57:26       255       375      1771 1611766733 01/27/2021,11:58:53       455       380      1823 1611766819 01/27/2021,12:00:19       455       383      1852 1611766906 01/27/2021,12:01:46       819       387      1886 1611766992 01/27/2021,12:03:12      1148       393      1932 1611767079 01/27/2021,12:04:39      1462       397      1971 1611767166 01/27/2021,12:06:06      1830       398      2019 1611770591 01/27/2021,13:03:11      1587        83      2040 1611770764 01/27/2021,13:06:04      3014        95      2114Likes+Dislikes was greater than views in some cases. Although that seems impossible, Youtube updates views slower, so they do not reflect real views at the time. For example: 1611720090 01/26/2021,23:01:30     44404       924      8099 1611720176 01/26/2021,23:02:56     44404       924      8118 1611720260 01/26/2021,23:04:20     44404       925      8132 1611720345 01/26/2021,23:05:45     44404       925      8151 1611720429 01/26/2021,23:07:09     44404       925      8168 1611720514 01/26/2021,23:08:34     44556       925      8184 1611720599 01/26/2021,23:09:59     44556       925      8199 1611720683 01/26/2021,23:11:23     44556       928      8219 1611720768 01/26/2021,23:12:48     44556       928      8237So it's possible for likes and dislikes to accumulate while views stays the same. Eventually, views jumps up to better reflect reality.
The record of every time dislikes were removed is archived at
Grant Total         -130321130 Thousand dislikes were removed in a 24hr period!
And this is for the most popular US President of all time!
Enjoy 🂠-Zoe
The timezone for the charts is UTC (London). Did you notice the huge drop at 06 hour (1 AM US Eastern)? Most working people go to sleep by that time. Coincidence? I think not.
# Zoe Phin, 2021/01/26require() { sudo apt-get install curl gnuplot; }stats() { list=$(curl -s '' | grep -o 'watch?v=[^"]*') for i in $list; do link="$i" date=$(date +"%s %x,%R:%S" | tr -d '\n') curl -s $link | tr -d ',' | tr '}' '\n' > new grep -m 1 -o '[0-9,]* views' new > .views grep -m 1 -o '[0-9,]* likes' new > .likes grep -m 1 -o '[0-9,]* dislikes' new > .dislikes paste .views .likes .dislikes | awk -vL=$link -vD="$date" ' NF==6{printf "%s %s %9s %9s %9s\n", L, D, $1, $3, $5}' done}collect() { while true; do stats; sleep 75 done | tee -a data.csv}dislikes() { list=$(cut -c1-44 data.csv | sort -u) for vid in $list; do     echo $vid grep ^$vid data.csv | awk '{ DiffD=$6-D if (DiffD < 0) { printf "%s %+7d\n", $3, DiffD DLost+=DiffD } L=$5; D=$6 } END { printf "%-19s %7d\n", "Total", DLost }' echo done | awk '{ print} $1=="Total" { GT+=$2 } END { printf "%-17s %9d\n", "Grant Total", GT }'}plot() { list=$(cut -c1-44 data.csv | sort -u) let n=0 for vid in $list; do     let n++ awk -vV=$vid '$1==V {print $2" "$4" "$5" "$6}' data.csv > plot.csv echo "set term png size 740,740 set key top left set grid xtics ytics set title '$vid' set timefmt '%s' set xdata time set xtics format '%Hh' plot 'plot.csv' u 1:2 t 'Views' w lines lc rgb 'black' lw 2,\ '' u 1:3 t 'Likes' w lines lc rgb 'green' lw 2,\ '' u 1:4 t 'Dislikes' w lines lc rgb 'red' lw 2 " | gnuplot > example${n}.png done}Run:
$ source; requireCollect data:
$ collect( press Ctrl-C when you're done )Record of dislike drops:
$ dislikesGenerate charts:
$ plot
Huawei, Deloitte publish whitepaper on combating COVID-19 with 5G |
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 15:08
In collaboration with Huawei, Deloitte has published a new whitepaper discussing how key features of 5G can synergise with other technologies to enhance the effectiveness of pandemic prevention and treatment, as well as drive the digital transformation of healthcare systems in response to major public emergencies.
The whitepaper, titled ''Combating COVID-19 with 5G: Opportunities to improve public health systems'', analyses examples of COVID-19 control and treatment in China to ascertain the data demands of different stakeholders during major public emergencies. As well as presenting these findings, the report discusses how key features of 5G'--such as high-speed connection, large arrays of connection points, low latency and expansive data bandwidth'--can synergise with big data, AI, and the Cloud technologies to enhance pandemic prevention efforts. These features can address data transmission challenges during an epidemic, as well as open up possibilities for fresh ideas and new treatment methods.
Amongst its findings, the whitepaper notes that the effectiveness of communication and data exchange has been essential in screening for infected individuals and controlling the outbreak. Robust mobile network infrastructure like 5G is also enabling continuous remote monitoring and diagnosis during patient transfers, and is supporting thermal imaging for contagion monitoring. Supporting pandemic monitoring platforms, natural disaster command centres, and remote medical consultation are three additional applications of 5G that can be taken advantage of after the rapid escalations of COVID-19.
Ultimately, healthcare systems with access to 5G connectivity have benefited from improved response times, patient monitoring, data collection and analytics, remote collaboration, and resource allocation. It sets an example for building digitalised, data-driven, and cloud-based public emergency-response platforms.
The whitepaper notes that the success of 5G applications in the public health domain could inspire businesses in other sectors to leverage 5G's popularity and explore new applications of the technology in smart city management. These may include manufacturing resource allocation to environmental protection and transportation systems maintenance.
Huawei has been leading 5G expansion in the Middle East as part of the first wave of deployments worldwide, and is focusing on vertical industry, ecosystem, and 5G talent development in 2020.
GOP Congresswoman Blamed Wildfires on Jewish Space Laser
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 13:57
Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag
Axios has a small squib about ''The Mischief Makers,'' a handful of idiosyncratic congressional backbenchers who make trouble for their respective party leadership. The leading Democratic mischief-maker is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who advocates some left-wing views I consider simplistic and impractical and, in some cases, poll badly. The top example of a conservative mischief-maker, presented in perfect symmetry, is Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Greene's views are just a bit more controversial. They include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
' The QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds that Donald Trump is secretly fighting a worldwide child-sex-slavery ring that was supposed to culminate in the mass arrest of his political opposition, is ''worth listening to.''
' Muslims don't belong in government.
' 9/11 was an inside job.
' Shootings at Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Las Vegas were staged.
' ''Zionist supremacists'' are secretly masterminding Muslim immigration to Europe in a scheme to outbreed white people.
' Leading Democratic officials should be executed.
The most recent Greene view to be unearthed comes via Eric Hananoki. Just over two years ago, Greene suggested in a Facebook post that wildfires in California were not natural. Forests don't just catch fire, you know. Rather, the blazes had been started by PG&E, in conjunction with the Rothschilds, using a space laser, in order to clear room for a high-speed rail project. Here is Greene's entire post, via Media Matters:
Photo: Marjorie Taylor Greene/Facebook
The Rothschild family has featured heavily in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories since at least the 19th century. Anti-Semites have generally updated the theory by replacing the Rothschilds with George Soros, a more contemporary and plausible-seeming mastermind for a global conspiracy to spread left-wing ideology. Greene's version has instead updated the theory by giving the Rothschilds possession of a secret, powerful space laser.
Now, you might wonder why, if an international cabal of Jewish bankers wanted to finance a rail project, they would go about it by using their space lasers to set a catastrophic blaze. Aren't there easier ways to get your rail stations approved by the state legislature? If you can pull off a massive conspiracy like that and keep it quiet, and you have a space laser you can use to immolate basically any target on Earth, there have to be more direct profit-making opportunities than burning down trees in order to arbitrage the land value for a public-transit contract.
You're probably not going to get Greene's answer, though, because the last news crew that showed up at one of her events was threatened with arrest by the local sheriff.
Anyway, it is true that Marjorie Taylor Greene and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez play equivalent roles within their respective parties. MTG holds down her party's right flank, and AOC holds down her party's left flank. You can somewhat deduce the corresponding beliefs of the two parties' mainstream contingents by moving somewhat to the center of each. Most Democrats are skeptical of defunding the police and question the feasibility of transitioning to a state-run health-care system. Most Republicans are probably quite skeptical that the California wildfires were intentionally set by a Jewish space laser.
The thing is, you can be much more moderate than MTG, and still be extremely crazy.
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By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. GOP Congresswoman Blamed Wildfires on Jewish Space Laser
YouTube deletes videos of doctors testifying in Senate Homeland Committee as "coronavirus misinformation"
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 13:40
Google-owned YouTube has removed several videos on Senator Ron Johnson's channel over coronavirus ''misinformation.''
The videos that were removed featured medical professionals testifying on the effectiveness of COVID-19 treatments. One video features Dr. Pierre Kory testifying in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing. Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, is the chair of the senate committee.
During the hearing, Dr. Kory talked about the effectiveness of Ivermectin, an anti-parasite medication used to treat scabies and other parasitic infections, in the treatment of COVID-19.
''In the last three to four months, emerging publications provide conclusive data on the profound efficacy of the anti-parasite, antiviral drug, anti-inflammatory agent called ivermectin in all stages of the disease,'' Dr. Kory said in the video.
''Social media censorship just ratcheted up to a new level. Google's YouTube removed two videos of doctors testifying under oath at my U.S. Senate hearing on early treatment of COVID. Another body blow to freedom of speech and expression. Very sad and scary. Where does this end?'' Sen. Johnson said in a statement after the video was deleted by YouTube.
''Apparently, the 'doctors' at Google know more about practicing medicine than heroic doctors who have the courage and compassion to actually treat COVID patients and save lives,'' he added.
Google and other big tech platforms consider any coronavirus information not backed by the UN, WHO, and local public health bodies, such as the US CDC and FDA, as false information.
''YouTube doesn't allow content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities' or the World Health Organization's (WHO) medical information about COVID-19,'' a statement on Google's website says.
In a January 26 letter sent to YouTube content creators, the platform's CEO, Susan Wojcicki, said, since February 2020, the platform had removed more than half a million videos for violating the COVID-19 rules.
''It's a priority to continue to update our approach to responsibility so people find high-quality information when they come to our platform,'' Wojcicki wrote in the letter. ''We're always working to strike the right balance between openness and responsibility as we meet the guidelines set by governments around the world.''
DOJ investigating SpaceX after hiring discrimination complaint
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 13:30
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The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Elon Musk's SpaceX over whether the company discriminates against non-U.S. citizens in its hiring, according to court documents filed on Thursday.The DOJ's Immigrant and Employee Rights Section said it received a complaint of employment discrimination from a non-U.S. citizen in May and said SpaceX refused to comply with a subpoena for relevant documents related to hiring.The DOJ is requesting an order from the court to require SpaceX to comply with its subpoena within two weeks.A Falcon 9 rocket launches the Transporter-1 mission in January 2021.
The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating SpaceX over whether the company discriminates against non-U.S. citizens in its hiring practices and said Elon Musk's company is stonewalling a subpoena for information, court documents revealed Thursday.
The DOJ's Immigrant and Employee Rights Section received a complaint of employment discrimination from a non-U.S. citizen claiming that the company discriminated against him based on his citizenship status.
"The charge alleges that on or about March 10, 2020, during the Charging Party's interview for the position of Technology Strategy Associate, SpaceX made inquiries about his citizenship status and ultimately failed to hire him for the position because he is not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident," DOJ attorney Lisa Sandoval wrote in a court document filed Thursday. The document was a request for a judge to order SpaceX to comply with an administrative subpoena for documents related to how the company hires.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. The Department of Justice declined to comment.
SpaceX headquarters in Los Angeles, California.
AaronP/Bauer-Griffin | GC Images | Getty Images
The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section, or IER, said it notified SpaceX via email on June 8 that it had opened an investigation, requesting SpaceX provide information and documents related to its hiring and employment eligibility verification processes.
The filing said SpaceX responded in August, sending the DOJ a Form I-9 spreadsheet of information about employees dating back to June 2019. But SpaceX refused the DOJ's request "to produce any Form I-9 supporting documentation, such as copies of employees' passports, driver's licenses, or Social Security cards," Sandoval wrote.
IER then obtained a subpoena on Oct. 7, but SpaceX refused to produce the subpoenaed documents, the filing said.
SpaceX filed a petition with a DOJ administrative tribunal to dismiss the subpoena on grounds that it exceeded the scope of IER's authority, but that petition was denied, and SpaceX was ordered to comply. IER said SpaceX on Dec. 11 acknowledged the order but told IER "that it 'does not intend to produce any additional information in response to the administrative subpoena.'"
The IER argued that the subpoenaed documents are relevant because they would show the extent to which SpaceX hires non-U.S. citizens, and that it's not a burdensome request, although SpaceX has told the IER that it would have to retrieve each document manually.
The Department of Justice is requesting an order from the court to require SpaceX to comply with the subpoena within two weeks.
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GameStop short sellers not quitting despite $20 billion losses this month
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 13:06
Published Fri, Jan 29 2021 12:15 PM EST
Updated Fri, Jan 29 2021 5:24 PM EST
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Short-selling hedge funds have suffered a mark-to-market loss of $19.75 billion year to date in the brick-and-mortar video game retailer GameStop, according to data from S3 Partners.Still, short sellers mostly are holding onto their bearish positions or they are being replaced by new hedge funds willing to bet against the stock.GameStop shares that have been borrowed and sold short have declined by just about 5 million over the last week, marking an 8% dip in the short interest, according to S3.Most of the short covering occurred on Thursday, when the stock fell for the first time in six days.People walk past a GameStop store in Midtown Manhattan on January 27, 2021 in New York City.
Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images
The astronomical rally in GameStop has imposed huge losses of nearly $20 billion for short sellers this month, but they are not budging.
Short-selling hedge funds have suffered a mark-to-market loss of $19.75 billion year to date in the brick-and-mortar video game retailer, including a nearly $8 billion loss on Friday as the stock kept ripping higher, according to data from S3 Partners.
Still, short sellers mostly are holding onto their bearish positions or they are being replaced by new hedge funds willing to bet against the stock. GameStop shares that have been borrowed and sold short have declined by just about 5 million over the last week, marking an 8% dip in the short interest, according to S3. Most of the short covering occurred on Thursday, when the stock fell for the first time in six days.
"I keep hearing that 'most of the GME shorts have covered' '-- totally untrue," said Ihor Dusaniwsky, S3 managing director of predictive analytics. "In actuality the data shows that total net shares shorted hasn't moved all that much."
"While the 'value shorts' that were in GME earlier have been squeezed, most of the borrowed shares that were returned on the back of the buy to covers were shorted by new momentum shorts in the name," Dusaniwsky added in an email.
Shares of GameStop, along with other heavily shorted stocks, spiked once again Friday, after Robinhood said it was resuming limited trading of previously restricted securities. The gain pushed GameStop's rally this week to over 400% and this month to more than 1,600%.
The video game stock has been the star of the show on the WallStreetBets Reddit forum, whose membership has grown rapidly to over 5 million. A wave of day traders continued to encourage each other to pile into GameStop's shares and call options, creating a massive short squeeze that inflicted pain for hedge funds betting against the stock.
The borrow fee on GameStop's stock '-- or the cost-to-borrow shares for the purpose of selling them short '-- jumped to 29.32% on existing shorts and 50% on new short positions, S3 said.
"If most of the shorts had covered, we would not be seeing stock borrow rates at these high levels '-- by now you would be able to borrow GME stock at single digit levels due to an increase in the lendable stock loan supply due to borrowed shares being returned after all the 'supposed' buy-to-covers," Dusaniwsky said.
GameStop remained the most-shorted name in the market as short interest as a percentage of shares available for trading stands at 113.31%, S3 said.
Short selling is a strategy in which investors borrow shares of a stock at a certain price in expectations that the market value will fall below that level when it's time to pay for the borrowed shares.
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Ex-FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith avoids prison after admitting he doctored email in investigation of Trump campaign - The Washington Post
Sat, 30 Jan 2021 13:03
The J. Edgar Hoover FBI building in Washington. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
The former FBI lawyer who admitted to doctoring an email that other officials relied upon to justify secret surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser was sentenced Friday to 12 months of probation, with no time behind bars.
Prosecutors had asked that Kevin Clinesmith, 38, spend several months in prison for his crime, while Clinesmith's attorneys said probation would be more appropriate. Clinesmith pleaded guilty last summer to altering an email that one of his colleagues used in preparing an application to surreptitiously monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page during the bureau's 2016 investigation of Russia's election interference.
U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg said that Clinesmith's conduct had undermined the integrity of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which approved the FBI's flawed applications to surveil Page. ''Courts all over the country rely on representations from the government, and expect them to be correct,'' Boasberg said.
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Former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe said on Nov. 10 that the bureau had reason to believe in 2017 that the president was a threat to national security. (The Washington Post)But Boasberg also said he agreed with a prior finding by the Justice Department Inspector General that Clinesmith and other FBI officials' actions were not motivated by political bias, and he believed Clinesmith's contention that he thought, genuinely but wrongly, the information he was inserting into the email was accurate. On top of his probation sentence, Boasberg ordered Clinesmith to perform 400 hours of community service.
The case against Clinesmith is the first and only criminal allegation to arise from U.S. Attorney John Durham's review of the FBI's Russia case, and it has become a political lightning rod.
Ex-FBI lawyer admits to falsifying document in probe of Trump's campaign
Clinesmith's lawyers have argued altering the email was a mistake meant to save Clinesmith time and personal embarrassment. But former president Donald Trump and his political allies have highlighted the case as part of their allegations that the bureau was biased and seeking to undermine Trump with the investigation that explored possible ties between Russia and his campaign. The case was ultimately taken over by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
Clinesmith said in a lengthy statement in court that he took ''full responsibility'' for what he termed a ''lapse in judgment.''
''I let the FBI, Department of Justice, my colleagues, the public, and my family down. I also let myself down,'' he said, adding later, ''Please do not let my error reflect on those who continue to serve our country.''
In arguing that Clinesmith deserved to go to prison, Durham's team highlighted anti-Trump texts Clinesmith had sent and argued that it was ''plausible that his strong political views and/or personal dislike of [Trump] made him more willing to engage in the fraudulent and unethical conduct to which he has pled guilty.'' Clinesmith was suspended for two weeks over the messages.
''While it is impossible to know with certainty how those views may have affected his offense conduct, the defendant plainly has shown that he did not discharge his important responsibilities at the FBI with the professionalism, integrity, and objectivity required of such a sensitive job position,'' prosecutors wrote.
Prosecutor Anthony Scarpelli said in court that Clinesmith's conduct was ''more egregious'' than that of George Papadopoulos, whose offhand remark in a London bar in May 2016 helped trigger the Russia investigation and who later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. He was sentenced to 14 days in prison.
Federal sentencing guidelines in Clinesmith's case called for a penalty of anywhere from zero to six months in prison, though the U.S. Probation Office recommended a term of probation, according to court filings.
Justin Shur, Clinesmith's lawyer, argued that probation was appropriate. Clinesmith, he said in court, had otherwise lived a life ''in service of others.'' Raised on a farm in Michigan, Clinesmith was the first of his family to go to college, and he was inspired to work in national security after 9/11, Shur wrote in a court filing. Clinesmith is married and is expecting his first child, a son, in March.
Shur wrote that while Clinesmith acknowledged he had ''made a grievous mistake'' in altering the email, he did so thinking, wrongly, that the information he was adding was accurate. He argued that Clinesmith made the move because of the intense stress that came with the Russia investigation, and because he was trying to help his mother as she dealt with Alzheimer's disease.
''While there is no satisfactory answer, any explanation must start with the considerable pressure he was under at the time '-- both at work and in his personal life,'' Shur wrote.
FBI was justified in opening Trump campaign probe, but case plagued by 'serious failures,' inspector general finds
The basic facts of the case are not in dispute, though prosecutors and defense attorneys seem to disagree on what motivated Clinesmith and how sinister his actions were. Clinesmith was an FBI attorney helping investigators on the Russia probe, and in June 2017, he was asked to clarify whether Page was ever a source for the CIA. That was important because the FBI '-- with the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court '-- had been surveilling Page as a possible agent of a foreign government, and was applying for permission to keep that surveillance going.
If Page was a CIA source, though, that would have to be disclosed to the court, as it would raise significant questions about whether he should be tracked as a possible foreign agent.
Page had provided information to the CIA as ''operational contact,'' and when Clinesmith sought clarity, a CIA liaison told him as much, using jargon and pointing to documents that made his role clear. But, according to Clinesmith's lawyers, Clinesmith believed Page was not a direct source, but rather, a subsource of the agency.
He said as much to an FBI supervisor inquiring about the matter, and '-- when the supervisor asked if the CIA had put that in writing '-- forwarded an email from the liaison, but added the text, ''not a 'source.''‰''
Testifying at the hearing, Page said he had been harassed on the street and while riding the D.C. Metro, and that he received death threats and was called a ''traitor'' after the surveillance of him was publicly disclosed and he was cast in media reports as a possible Russian asset. He said, though, he had no desire to see Clinesmith suffer.
''I know what it is like to have your life destroyed, although in my case, it didn't happen because of something I myself did,'' Page said.
Shur wrote that Clinesmith genuinely believed Page had not been a source, and doctored the email as part of a ''misguided attempt to save himself time and the embarrassment of having to backtrack on his assurance he had it in writing.'' He vigorously disputed that Clinesmith had acted out of animus toward Trump, noting that Clinesmith had separately sent an un-doctored copy of the CIA liaison's email to the FBI case agent. Shur wrote that Clinesmith had initially resisted surveilling Page, rejected surveillance of another Trump campaign adviser and opposed inserting an FBI source into the Trump campaign.
''Had Kevin been personally motivated to harm President Trump, he would never have done any of those things,'' Shur wrote.
Prosecutors, however, cast Clinesmith's actions as more nefarious, and advocated for a sentence ''of incarceration that is at least between the middle and upper end'' of what sentencing guidelines called for. In discussing whether Page was an FBI source with the FBI supervisor, they wrote, Clinesmith recognized that disclosing such a fact would be ''a terrible footnote,'' because it would mean the FBI had hid that information in prior applications. They wrote that Clinesmith's misconduct had ''fueled public distrust of the FBI and of the entire FISA program itself.''
''The act of altering the email to change its meaning may seem simple and a momentary lapse of judgment on the part of the defendant, but the resulting harm is immeasurable,'' Scarpelli said, adding that Clinesmith's assertion that he genuinely believed Page was not a source was ''fanciful.''
In the wake of the Justice Department inspector general's findings about Clinesmith, along with other significant errors in the applications to surveil Page, lawmakers have questioned whether the FBI should maintain its authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Under pressure from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the bureau has vowed and implemented reforms. Clinesmith apologized in court for imposing that ''additional burden'' on his former colleagues.
Surveillance court adviser says FBI's changes don't go far enough to fix problems
''This Court's sentence should be designed, in part, to send a powerful message to the community that this type of conduct '-- falsifying information to hide facts from a court '-- will not be tolerated,'' prosecutors wrote.
Shur said that Clinesmith's career already is ''in shambles,'' as he has been unemployed for more than a year and his case has received extensive public attention. Boasberg signaled that he was sympathetic to the costs Clinesmith already had paid, noting he went from being a government lawyer with no public profile to ''standing in the eye of a media hurricane.''
Durham's investigation is ongoing, though it is unclear who beyond Clinesmith, if anyone, might face criminal exposure, or what public findings it may ultimately produce. In his final months as Trump's attorney general, William P. Barr appointed Durham as a special counsel, giving him extra legal and political protection from being relieved of his assignment in the Biden administration.
Austin City Council approves hotel for homeless using funds cut from police budget | Fox News
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 22:53
Published January 28, 2021
Last Update a day ago
If both hotels are purchased, it would boost the total of hotels designated to house the homeless to 7 throughout the cityThe Austin City Council is purchasing at least one new hotel to house homeless people and using some $6.5 million slashed from the police budget to do it.
The city council voted in favor of the $6.7 million acquisition of Texas Bungalows Hotel & Suites in North Austin on Wednesday, but postponed a similar vote to purchase the Candlewood Suites in northwest Austin for $9.5 million until councilmembers have a chance to speak to business owners and community members about the project.
If both hotels are purchased, it would boost the total number of hotels designated to house homeless people to seven throughout the city. It would cost $3.8 million annually to run both hotels.
"We'll be using funds diverted from our police budget to run the hotel and provide services like job aid, mental health care, & more," council member Gregorio Casar, who led the effort to make budget cuts to policing and reallocate dollars to housing services, said in a post on Twitter.
"None of this would be possible without your continued advocacy & support. We won the largest affordable housing election in Austin's history, which helps us buy these hotels. We passed a transformative budget that reimagined justice & safety, which allows us to run the hotels," he added.
The Austin Police Department was one of dozens across the country to face significant budget cuts after heavy protests demanded big cities "defund the police" and reinvest dollars into community operations and initiatives, citing distrust between minority communities and police.
The Austin City Council also agreed to pull $20 million from the police department's budget by canceling new classes of incoming police officers and reducing overtime for officers.
Almost $80 million more will be rerouted from civilian policing functions to other civilian priorities under a different umbrella of the city.
Vandana Rambaran is a reporter covering news and politics at She can be found on Twitter @vandanarambaran
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Reddit WallStreetBets creator calls GameStop surge a 'train wreck'
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 20:32
January 28, 2021 | 9:01pm | Updated January 29, 2021 | 10:13am
Enlarge Image Jaime Rogozinski started r/WallStreetBets in 2012. The forum has been at the forefront of boosting the price of GameStop's stock. LinkedIn
The creator of the Reddit forum at the center of the ongoing stock market frenzy called the recent coordinated strategy to pump ailing stocks like GameStop and AMC a ''train wreck.''
Jaime Rogozinski, 39, who established Reddit's r/WallStreetBets in 2012 as a platform to discuss unconventional investing strategies, expressed unease over the forum's astronomical rise in influence in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
''It's a little like watching one of those horror films where you can see the bad guy slowly going up the stairs,'' Rogozinski told the newspaper.
''You see this train wreck happening in real time.''
WallStreetBets has played a prominent role boosting GameStop, and other similar ebbing companies, playing host to many of the amateur investors driving the stock prices up.
The move has resulted in billions of dollars in losses for hedge fund companies that shorted those same businesses.
Rogozinski, a married father of 3-year-old twins who lives in Mexico City, started WallStreetBets while employed as an information technology consultant in Washington, DC, the report said.
In the early stages, just a few thousand users subscribed to the channel. Now, after being shot into the limelight over the GameStop boom, the number of subscribers has ballooned to 2 million.
''A massive group of people have organized where they collectively have a seat at the poker table, which was previously invite-only,'' Rogozinski told the Journal.
''You can't ignore them anymore.''
Despite being its founder, Rogozinski was kicked out of the forum in April for trying to eliminate the hate speech plaguing the community.
''There were a handful of mods who were straight up white supremacists,'' he said.
''I have really thick skin and people can say whatever they want to me, but at some point there's a moral standpoint '-- like with my kids, I don't want them to think, 'Well, they can say whatever they want about you,''' he told the paper.
Adding insult to injury, Rogozinski said he received a call last week from Andrew Left, the founder of Citron Research '-- one of the firms that lost big by shorting GameStop '-- who said WallStreetBets users were threatening his family.
Rogozinski was troubled by and condemned the threats, but could not do much about them.
''It's no longer what it used to be,'' he said of the forum.
Treasury nominee Yellen is looking to curtail use of cryptocurrency | Ars Technica
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 17:12
Crypto crackdown? '-- Yellen argues many cryptocurrencies are used "mainly for illicit financing." Timothy B. Lee - Jan 20, 2021 10:45 pm UTC
Enlarge / Janet Yellen, Joe Biden's nominee to be Secretary of the Treasury, at a December press conference.
Cryptocurrencies could come under renewed regulatory scrutiny over the next four years if Janet Yellen, Joe Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, gets her way. During Yellen's Tuesday confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) asked Yellen about the use of cryptocurrency by terrorists and other criminals.
"Cryptocurrencies are a particular concern," Yellen responded. "I think many are used'--at least in a transactions sense'--mainly for illicit financing."
She said she wanted to "examine ways in which we can curtail their use and make sure that [money laundering] doesn't occur through those channels."
Blockchain-based financial networks are attractive to criminals because they do not require users to identify themselves'--as the law requires most conventional financial networks to do. Because no individual or organization controls these networks, there's no easy way for governments to force them to comply with money-laundering laws.
So instead of trying to force the networks themselves to comply, regulators in the US'--and many other jurisdictions'--have focused on regulating bitcoin exchanges that help users trade between dollars and cryptocurrencies. Once a bitcoin exchange identifies who initially received a particular bitcoin payment, law enforcement can often trace subsequent payments through a blockchain network's open payment ledger.
Advertisement FinCENIn December, Trump's outgoing team at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network'--a unit of the Treasury Department focused on money laundering'--proposed a new set of rules to tighten the screws on cryptocurrency-based money laundering.
Under the new rules, cryptocurrency-based exchanges would need to file transaction reports with FinCEN any time a customer made a cryptocurrency transaction worth more than $10,000. This would mirror existing rules requiring conventional banks to report when customers make cash withdrawals or deposits worth more than $10,000.
Even more controversial in the cryptocurrency world, FinCEN wants to impose new record-keeping requirements for transactions involving users who manage their own private keys'--dubbed "unhosted wallets" by FinCEN. Under FinCEN's proposal, if a cryptocurrency exchange's customer sends more than $3,000 to an unhosted wallet, the exchange would be required to keep a record of the transaction, including the identity of the customer who initiated the payment.
These new rules didn't take effect before Trump left office, so the incoming Biden team will need to decide what to do with them. The Biden administration could sign off on the existing rules, rewrite them, or scrap them altogether. Yellen's Tuesday comments suggest that she is unlikely to scrap the rules. If anything, the Treasury Department is likely to consider additional regulations of the blockchain economy over the next four years.
The History of Podcasting | Podcasting
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 17:04
1st Version of Podcasting Circa 2017Imagine for a moment launching a business with a partner you've never actually met in real life. Now imagine doing it as a passion project while maintaining a full time job. That's exactly how the co-founders of our podcast hosting company started. Alberto Betella and Benjamin Richardson built and launched Podcasting from two different continents without ever meeting. Below is our company's origin story.
It All Started with an Idea ðŸ'
In 2005, while Alberto was at the Italian University of Bergamo, he started working on a software that would allow teachers to share their classes as podcast episodes for students to listen to and refer back to. He decided to distribute his work using an open source license and call it Podcast Generator (PG), a web-based podcast publishing platform that allowed anyone in the world to download and use it. After its launch in April of 2006 , a full year before the launch of iTunes U, hundreds of organizations and institutions all over the world started to use PG.
Announcement of the first release of Podcast Generator on SourceForge (2006)Alberto actively developed and maintained this free software on his own for more than 13 years. During that time, he received and responded to hundreds of support and feature requests which gave him insight into what podcasters really need. He was also realizing that PG could become much better and more powerful if it was moved to the cloud and offered at scale.
In 2019 he delegated development and maintenance of PG to the open source community and still maintains a role of stakeholder in the project.
Fast forward to December 2020, and PG has been downloaded more than one million times, and still powers tens of thousands of active shows.
Meanwhile on the Other Side of the World ...
Throughout the 90s and 2000s, Ben was learning a lot about running a company. He started his first business, Aztex Sharpening in 1996 after seeing an older gentleman in the streets of Teramo, Italy sharpening a set of scissors. Reality soon set in, however, when the neighbors in his South Texas neighborhood chose to sharpen their knives the old fashioned way (fancy old can-openers all came with a sharpening stone).
Ben's next endeavor was a pressure washing business in South Texas that he grew and ultimately sold to focus on completing a business degree in entrepreneurship at Brigham Young University.
Ben attended BYU during the middle of the dot com bubble. Of all the great things he learned in business school, two of particular note sunk in deeply: a fellow student had purchased an internet domain ( and sold it to Microsoft for a reported one million dollars; and concurrently, another student at the university had secured the rights to a phone number that he was using to sell contact lenses (1-800-Contacts). Inspired by his fellow students success, he started looking for a domain of his own to purchase and flip into a healthy profit.
A stroke of luck and serendipity struck when the domain became available and Ben jumped at the opportunity to acquire it in June 2013. At the time, Google Reader (the world's largest RSS feed reader) was shutting down, and as a result, was creating a new ecosystem of paid RSS feed readers. Ben rolled up his sleeves, and took on the challenge of finding a developer to help him build an RSS Feed Reader product on
RSS Feed Reader on (2013)Ben managed all the customer interactions on the site and had several great ideas for improving both the product and experience. For example, Ben's idea for giving every customer an email address that could ingest email newsletters and parse them as if they were RSS feed items turned out to be quite useful, and later adopted more broadly in feed readers.
Over time, however, it became clear that greater market factors were going to dictate the success or failure of RSS readers. Social sites like Facebook developed ''feeds'' that allowed, then encouraged, then propagated news within a user's profile feed. Essentially social media took over and improved the feed reader experience with items curated by friends or algorithms.
Eventually in mid 2016 Facebook, which started out as a microblogging site with RSS interconnected RSS feeds, terminated its RSS notifications feed. The writing seemed to be on the wall for the wider abandonment of RSS feeds in the public space.
Interestingly enough however, it was around this time there was a massive uptick in Google searches for phrases like ''podcast RSS feed.''
A Partnership is Forged ðŸ¤'
As podcasting started to grow in popularity, Ben realized that his domain had the potential to be a space for podcasts to be played or created. With that in mind, in July of 2017 Ben began looking for a partner to shift the focus of the domain and develop something amazing. Because the Podcast Generator open source software was still making waves online, it didn't take long for Alberto to come up in Ben's quest for a partner.
Ben's First Email to Alberto in Spanish, Italian, and EnglishOne email from Ben to Alberto later, and the two began to explore the possibility of leveraging the domain and the technology of Podcast Generator to offer a fully-managed podcast hosting service. The two quickly went to work evaluating interest, and what they learned showed a clear market appetite for a podcast hosting platform.
Product Roadmap for Podcasting is Born
On January 29, 2018 the first version of Podcasting rolled out. Though the first version was basic, it proved to be a solid product-market fit. Over the next year and a half, Alberto and Ben built it up to the point that a new cloud infrastructure and a more modern technology stack was needed to cope with the increasing traffic.
From August 2018 to August 2019, grew over 14,000% (fourteen thousands percent!) in users and MRR!
Due to the need to scale up, and the increased resources to grow the team, in summer 2019, Alberto and Ben started working on a brand new version of RSS Podcasting, completely redesigned and re-architected from the inside out. The new version would move to a new cloud infrastructure leveraging state-of-the-art storage and computation services, as well as a content distribution network. Then, on January 16, 2020, the new version of the Podcasting platform was launched.
Over the next 12 months of 2020, Alberto and Ben, along with their team of programmers, engineers, content creators and marketing gurus, continued updating and refining the podcasting platform.
An Idea is Born Alberto writes a web-based software for his university in Italy (university of Bergamo) to allow the creation of Educational Podcasts where teachers could share their classes as podcast episodes for their students.
Alberto Launches Podcast Generator
Alberto released his web-based podcast publishing software under the name of Podcast Generator (PG) and released it under an open source license, which allowed anyone around the world to download and use it.
April, 2006
Alberto Participates in the First Podcasting Events'‹
In the same year (2006), Alberto started to get involved in the local podcasting scene by participating in the first ''podcasting day'' in Italy in May 2006 and later in other European events, such as the first Podcasting Day in Barcelona (Spain) in October 2006, where he was invited to present Podcast Generator.
May, 2006
Podcast Generator is Used by Hundreds of Organizations'‹
In only a few months after the launch of Podcast Generator (PG), hundreds of organizations and institutions all over the world started to use PG to offer their services including:
University of Aarhus in DenmarkUniversity of DelawareBBCUniversity of VirginiaOhio State UniversityUniversity of MlagaUniversity of AarhusAnd many more! 2006 Podcast Generator is Presented Worldwide'‹The story of Podcast Generator is presented in conferences and events all around the word, from Beijing to Rio de Janeiro.
Ben Acquires the Domain'‹ June, 2013 Ben Reaches out to Alberto and a Partnership Is Formed'‹ July, 2017 The First Version of Podcasting Is Launched
January 29th, 2018
Alberto Delegates Development and Maintenance of Podcast Generator to the Open Source Community'‹ September, 2019 A New Version of the Podcasting Platform Is Launched'‹
January 16th, 2020 Podcasting Introduces Monetization Options for Subscribers'‹ August, 2020 Podcasting Rolls out Podcast Analytics
August, 2020
2020 Was a Record Year for the Company. Highlights Include:'‹New Company design and brandingNew web platform and infrastructureNew Analytics service launchedSwitched to freemium payment modelLaunched in the Spanish and Italian-speaking marketsActive support of Podcast Index to preserve podcasting as a platform for free speech+308% growth in Net volume from sales compared to 2019+150% growth in Subscribers compared to 2019+1,180% in new Sign Ups compared to 2019Over 1,200 improvements, fixes and features successfully rolled outOver 1,000 Quality Assurance test cases executed47 blog posts35 videos on YouTube3110 support tickets resolved with an average of 285 tickets per month8300+ podcast shows hosted with at least 1 episode and a total of 88,000 episodesOver 15 million episodes downloads with an average of 1.4M monthly downloads Today and Beyond The medium of podcasting is still only in its infancy. Like, it too will continue to grow and evolve.
The format that people consume content is slowly shifting away from written to visual and audio '' this is precisely why podcasting is witnessing an unprecedented growth in popularity. In addition, the possibility of accessing content anytime, anywhere makes podcasting one of the most attractive content formats both now and in the years to come.
If you are thinking about starting a business of your own, take Alberto's advice:
Do not fear risk! It's better to say 'whoops' than 'what if?'
When asked about podcasting as a medium and its future, here's what Ben has to say:
Podcasting is the only way you (a host) can sit down at someone's kitchen table and talk while they do the dishes, can run beside them on their morning jog, can lift their spirits on a lonely bus ride, or can share a sad story to a listening ear. Podcasting and the way it can connect on the individual level is powerful in how it can affect the listener and the speaker in a truly timeless and human manner.
With that said, if you are thinking about launching a podcast, we leave you with this question:
What are you waiting for?
ðŸ--´ The Mother of All Short Squeezes is Yet to Come - Ep 650 - YouTube
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 16:26
Working from home is starting to fall apart, top bankers warn | Financial Post
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 16:22
'It feels like it is fraying, it's hard, it takes a lot of inner strength and sustainability every single day to continue to focus'
Author of the article:
Bloomberg News
Silla Brush
Publishing date:
Jan 26, 2021
2 days ago
2 minute read
A man takes part in a video conference as he works from home. Senior bankers are sounding the alarm: working from home is at risk of not working anymore. Photo by Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images filesPostmedia may earn an affiliate commission from purchases made through our links on this page.
Article contentSenior bankers are sounding the alarm: working from home is at risk of not working anymore.
''I don't think it's sustainable,'' Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley said Tuesday at the World Economic Forum. JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s asset- and wealth-management boss, Mary Erdoes, agreed.
In the corporate world, ''if you ask anyone today, it feels like it is fraying, it's hard, it takes a lot of inner strength and sustainability every single day to continue to focus and to not have the energy you get from being around other people,'' she said.
Both executives spoke by videoconference as the pandemic has meant the WEF has gone virtual for the first time, rather than its usual mass gathering of prominent corporate and government figures in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.
Staley said: ''It will increasingly be a challenge to maintain the culture and collaboration that these large financial institutions seek to have and should have.''
He predicted that more people would come back to offices to work, but with flexibility to work from home.
Erdoes said executives believed that part of the initial success of working from home was due to adrenalin from having to adapt so quickly.
Erdoes, citing a conversation a JPMorgan strategist had with drugmaker Moderna Inc., said it's possible that COVID-19 could persist for a long time amid mutating strains '-- and instead of more videoconferencing, ''the world is going to have to open up.''
Staley said small companies and consumers are increasing their deposits and decreasing their borrowing. Amid pent-up demand, economies could come roaring back in the second half of this year '-- ''if we can wrestle the pandemic down.'' He compared that possibility to the ''roaring Twenties'' pulling the world out of a lull after the 1918 influenza epidemic.
Erdoes had another comparison to past decades: the tech-stock froth of 20 years ago, and how it reminds her of the current demand for blank-cheque companies and wild trading in Bitcoin and GameStop Corp.
More On This Topic''Those are asset bubbles much like the crisis of 2000. They can end badly, but they don't affect the actual economy, the actual banking system,'' unlike more dangerous credit bubbles, she said.
Staley said the ''ultimate economic challenge'' will be when enough workers return to employment to send inflation and interest rates higher, and ''governments getting to borrow for free may not continue forever.''
Erdoes warned that economic, social and governance investing shouldn't take the lead in deciding which companies get capital. ''To ask for asset allocators or banks to ask which ones are the right ones, and which ones are the wrong ones, goes against the way the legal system and the framework for government works.'', with a file from Reuters
'QAnon Shaman' willing to testify in impeachment trial, lawyer says | TheHill
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 16:19
A man photographed wearing face paint and a horned headdress during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol said he would be willing to testify at former President Trump Donald Trump'QAnon Shaman' willing to testify in impeachment trial, lawyer says Boebert clashes with Parkland survivor on Twitter: 'Give your keyboard a rest, child' Overnight Defense: FEMA asks Pentagon to help with vaccinations | US says Taliban has 'not met their commitments' | Army investigating Fort Hood chaplain MORE 's impeachment trial in February, his attorney told The Associated Press.
Jacob Chansley, who is known as the ''QAnon Shaman,'' would be willing to testify that he was incited to allegedly storm the Capitol by the then-president, according to attorney Albert Watkins. "QAnon Shaman" is a name that references the far right conspiracy theory known as QAnon.
Watkins said his client has not yet made contact with any members of the Senate.
In a statement to The Hill, Watkins confirmed that his client would be willing to testify during the Senate impeachment trial.
Trump was impeached by the House for a second time earlier in January for his role in the violent riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Trump made remarks before the attack, encouraging a group of his supporters on the National Mall to march to the Capitol and demand that Congress halt its certification of President Biden's electoral victory.
Trump is the only president to be impeached twice in U.S. history. His Senate impeachment trial is slated to begin in February.
During the riot, hundreds of rioters, including Chansley, were photographed inside the Capitol building. Chansley was arrested on Jan. 9 and later charged with civil disorder, obstruction of official proceedings and disorderly conduct in a restricted building. He is set to be arraigned Friday and has yet to enter a plea.
Court records indicate Chansley told investigators he attended the riot specifically "at the request of the president that all 'patriots' come to D.C. on January 6," according to the AP.
Watkins told the AP that after Trump failed to pardon him or other participants in the insurrection, his client ''felt like he was betrayed by the president.''
The attorney last week said that his client felt that he had been "duped" by Trump.
"He regrets very, very much having not just been duped by the president but by being in a position where he allowed that duping to put him in a position to make decisions he should not have made," Watkins said, according to Missouri's NBC-affiliated television station KSDK.
12 colours and the emotions they evoke | Creative Bloq
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 13:08
HomeFeaturesWeb Design(Image credit: Getty Images)Did you know that one of the lesser-known ways to invoke emotion is through colour? It's well-known that poetry can make people swoon and a shocking image can enrage people into action, but the right use of colour can be equally as powerful. You only need to look at the world around you to see, and feel, its impact.
Colours elicit unique responses in the viewer, and a savvy web designer (or any visual professional, actually) will be well versed in the effect of each individual colour, plus how and when to use each.
The discipline of colour theory may be broad (find out more about colour theory here), this article will teach you the fundamentals in a single quick-reference source. However, before we delve into the emotional nuances of 12 separate colours, we need to add a quick note about vibrancy. Want more? Explore these uses of colour in branding.
Different shades of the same colour will also have different effects Simply put, a colour's vibrancy is how dark or light it is. The tricky part about vibrancy is that, just like each individual colour has its own properties, so does each shade of the same colour.
While light green and dark green have more in common than green and purple, they will still have smaller, more subtly different effects on the user.
Below, we'll explain all the noteworthy differences between a colour's shades, and consider their impact on web design. As a general rule, though, brighter shades tend to be more energetic, while darker shades feel more relaxing. The brighter shades of calls-to-action attract the eye, while the darker shades in backgrounds help create an immersive effect.
Now on to the impact of different colours on viewers...
01. Red
Used here, red is playful and stimulating Passionate, aggressive, important
As a dominating colour, red adds gravity and heightened awareness '' quite literally, as the colour increases blood circulation, breathing rates, and metabolism.
Red can take on a variety of meanings, associated with both love and war, but the unifying factor in all meanings is a sense of importance. Think of the red carpet.
Red is a colour best used cautiously. Its knack for attracting attention makes it a priceless tool for designers, but used excessively it will inhibit relaxation. Lighter shades emphasise the energetic aspects of red '' including youthfulness '' while darker shades emphasise power, and even durability, such as a brick wall.
The landing page for the game design company Playtika has an aggressive but potent flair. Playful and stimulating, the red suits the cheetah logo '' a powerful icon itself, softened by its cartoonish qualities and anthropomorphic smile.
02. Orange
Epic uses orange as a highlight colour on its website (Image credit: Epic)Playful, energetic, cheap
Sharing red's energising aspects, but to a safer degree, orange is a good way to add excitement to a site without severity. It is generally playful, and some claim it creates haste and plays on impulse. It can even signify health, suggesting vitality and vibrance.
Creative agency Epic uses orange as the highlight colour on its website. The choice emphasises the team's playfulness and youthfulness.
03. Yellow
Yellow can be revitalising or jarring (Image credit: post-it)Happy, friendly, warning
Yellow is a strange colour: it is often associated with happiness, but also activates the anxiety centre of the brain. Like red and orange, it's able to stimulate and revitalise '' it's the colour of warning signs and taxis '' but use bright yellow sparingly because of the potential negative connotations.
Lighter shades play on the happiness aspects, reminding users of summer and the sun. Darker shades, including gold, add more weight and give a sense of antiquity.
The bright yellow-dominated colour palette on the Post-it website is synonymous with the product itself. It creates an energetic vibe, and is instantly recognisable as that particular brand.
04. Green
The green scheme emphasises Sanhok's outdoor adventure Natural, stable, prosperous
Green mostly represents the environment and outdoors, for obvious reasons, making it the clear choice to suggest nature and an organic quality.
As the bridge between stimulating, warm colours (red, orange, yellow) and calming, cool colours (blue, purple), green is the most balanced of colours, lending it an air of stability. It's also a popular choice as an accent or for calls-to-action because it stands out, but more softly than the warmer colours. In Western culture, it also represents money and financial safety.
The site for game Sanhok uses green to emphasise being outdoors and in the wild, with different subtle hues used throughout.
05. Blue
Image courtesy of Evolve Wealth Serene, trustworthy, inviting
Blue is one of the most popular colours in web design '' and for good reason. You see blue on a lot of websites because, to put it simply, it is the colour of trust. Blue is the colour of calm and serenity, and as such inspires security and a feeling of safety.
For this reason, blue is a colour often used by banks: CitiBank, Chase, Capital One and Barclays, for example, all use blue. However the calming effects also make blue a friendly and inviting colour, which explains its adoption by Facebook and Twitter.
As if that weren't reason enough to use it, blue is also incredibly versatile; its vibrancy has more drastic effects than other colours. Light blue is the colour of water and the sky, so it generally has a refreshing and free feeling '' and can be even energising if bright enough, while still retaining that reliable calm.
Darker blues tend to be more sombre, heightening the security aspects, which makes them an excellent choice for professionalism. Trust is essential for financial advisors such as Evolve Wealth, so most of its site is designed in varying hues of blue.
All this comes at a small price, though: blue shouldn't be used for food-related sites. Because blue foods aren't common in the wild, studies show that the colour actually acts as an appetite suppressant.
06. Purple
Purple has links to wealth and luxury (Image credit: Woo)Luxurious, mysterious, romantic
Long associated with royalty, purple creates an air of luxury, even decadence. Using a purple dominantly is a quick way to create a sense of elegance or high-end appeal, even if your product is budget-minded (an 'expensive' effect that's quite the opposite of orange).
Lighter shades of purple '' especially lavender '' bring to mind spring and romance. Darker shades add more mystery, and can even symbolise creativity. Darkening the shade will also turn the romantic elements more sensual.
With its ties to personal wealth, WooCommerce chose purple as the colour to represent its WooView app, playing on themes like royalty and panache that fit the function of checking how much money you're making in real time.
Next page: 6 more colours and the effects they have on viewers
07. Pink
Pink creates a soft mood on this renting website Feminine, young, innocent
Pink is a specialist colour that won't work for a lot of websites, but will work perfectly with the right audience. Because most people interpret pink as feminine, the colour is popular for targeting female users. However, don't overdo the pink-femininity connection, or else you're walking a fine line between appealing to users and pandering to gender stereotypes.
Its links with childhood and with sugary treats give pink a sweet, sometimes innocent appeal (not surprisingly a self-perpetuating cycle). It is also traditionally used with love and romantic themes, alongside red and light purple.
Rental service Rentberry's website uses pink as its key colour. In this case, it creates a soft, safe vibe, and intentionally distances itself from more corporate, traditional rental services.
08. Brown
B&O Play uses brown in an unexpected way on its site Earthy, sturdy, rustic
While not a popular choice in web design, brown can, under the right circumstances, be effective nonetheless. As the colour associated with the earth and trees, brown can add an outdoorsy feel, maximised by a pairing with green. The tree connotations also give a sturdy and reliable feeling.
In web design, brown is often used in conjunction with wood texturing, giving the same old-fashioned and rustic atmosphere of a wooden cabin.
While tech websites are typically dominated by stronger, bolder shades, the microsite for B&O Play used brown to great effect. The muted tones suggest a classier, more human side to the technology on offer. Natural connotations also remain: wood and leather feature prominently in the hero video, while a marble effect is used in the background.
09. Black
Black creates a real impact on Cartelle's website Powerful, sophisticated, edgy
As the strongest of all colours, black is often used only sparingly '' such as for text '' but it works quite well as a primary colour element (like for backgrounds). Much like purple, black adds an air of sophistication and elegance, and also mystery, though with much bolder confidence.
The heavy use of black for the Cartelle creative agency creates unquestionable impact on its homepage and subsequent animations.
10. White
An off-white background keeps the focus on the shoes here Clean, virtuous, healthy
Literally the opposite of black, white pairs well with just about anything, making it ideal as a secondary colour. In a supporting role, white draws out the elements of more stimulating colours, and can even guide your user's attention if you know how to use it (check out UXPin's Zen of White Space in Web UI Design guide to learn more).
As a primary colour, though, white gives off an impression that is both clean and chaste. White has that 'spotless' feeling that, for the right site, feels completely effortless. Its association with purity can make it seem virtuous, but also sterile and cold.
To soften this feeling of sterility, some web designers will tend towards an ivory or cream instead. These offshoots of white are softer and even less noticeable, but with the same minimalist and complementary aspects. They are the more comforting and less stark alternatives to white.
The shoe company ETQ uses a dominant off-white background to keep the users' attention where it belongs: on the shoes.
11. Grey
Grey is used sensitively on the Galvan Mobili website Neutral, formal, gloomy
As the intermediary between black and white, grey exudes neutrality, or a lack of any particular sensation. However, in the hands of an expert, this intermediary position can be a powerful tool.
By varying the vibrancy, grey can take on the properties of either black or white '' attention grabbing or repelling '' to specific degrees. That means if black is too powerful for your design, try dark grey. If white is too bland, try light grey.
On its own, though, grey is rich with individual characteristics. It is the colour of formality, so sites aiming to look traditional or professional tend to favour it. It can also give a depressing vibe, as it's the colour of gloomy, rainy days. When used dominantly, it can be somewhat subduing, for better or worse.
You can tell the Italian furniture company Galvan Mobili uses grey well because you don't even notice it. The grey background gives a professional air, and keeps attention on the pictures and bright red logo.
12. Beige
Beige here creates a calming backdrop Accentuates surrounding colours
Beige may not be a primary colour, but it's worth mentioning because of its accentuating effects: it takes on the characteristics of the colours around it. While dull on its own, its enhancing effects make it a powerful choice as a background or secondary colour.
The use of beige for the aptly named Tokyo restaurant Beige Alain Ducasse creates a calming, comfortable backdrop to the more relevant elements such as clickable text and photos.
Read more:
The best colour tools for web designersWhat is colour grading? Here's all you need to knowWeb design tools: Work smarter this year

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