1341: Bunny Hugging

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 7m
April 25th, 2021
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Executive Producers: Sir Onymous of Dogpatch and Lower Slobbovra, Harvey Cody, Sir John, Baron of South London, Francis Hess, Sir and Dame Savage, Sir Karys, Baron of Greater Boston, Sir Mac, Sir Mista Bob Dobalina, Sir Jonny B, Mike Bruer, Sir Vito, Baronet Errant, Christian Sorensen

Associate Executive Producers: Anonymous, Sir Ever of the What, Dave Schwanebeck, Maxine Waters Gravel, Sir Tony Knight of South Jersey, Jeff Alicea, Sir Soothsayer, Tyler Sink, Caitlin Hawkins, Sir Michael of Calgary, Andrea Cody

Cover Artist: Korrekt Da Rekard

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India
Newsletter error? Italy vs India
Willow's Indian Colleagues
Positive, some staying home
CTO briefly hospitalized
Italy is coming back
India BOTG
Adam,
Part of my job requires working closely with our India team. This week one of the guys I work with was telling me about how corona things are where he is (Chennai).
What struck me was how similar things were:
- he told me about how there were curfews in place
- places of worship and schools being closed
- how nobody wants to go back into the office
My ears perked up when he said “ya everyone is getting a pet because they are at home” — as you and John have discussed repeatedly.
Here’s the kicker; at the end of the week after I told him ‘Have a good weekend’, he replies to me” have a good weekend too and STAY SAFE”.
Another IT BOTG Report
Sorry for this getting sent on a show day. I just wanted to give you an update on my experience working with Indian dudes named Ben our company outsources some of our programming to. Feel free to share on the show, but please keep me anonymous. Sorry in advance for war and peace.
I manage a team of programmers and QA analysts that work from India. Since the start of COVID, I was waiting for something bad to happen with the guys working overseas since everything is so close together over there and they take their religious festivals very seriously. For some reason, none of the guys on my team got covid throughout 2019-2020. They would tell me about how they were stuck in their homes and had curfews and were only allowed to go out on certain days to get groceries at the worst of the pandemic. In the past 3 months, I’ve watched 5 of our team members go down with covid. They would be out for at least 2-3 weeks and some just never came back. One of the guys got “covid” and miraculously ended up with a new job after getting better. At the moment, I’m down to 1 programmer and 2 QA guys.
My point is simply that things seemed totally fine for a while, but the last few months the virus is ripping through India. One of the guys said he was feeling sick and got tested. In the meantime he called the hospital and spoke to management who told him if he had to be admitted, they have no beds for him or his family. The funny thing is, this guy had a doctor living in his house who gave him some medicine and he said he felt much better. He said it was that “ready pack” thing you guys have been talking about on the show.
There are reports that the Indian variant of the virus impacts the heart more than the US strain. A lot of those infected end up having heart attacks. Not to mention the lack of oxygen supply isn’t helping anything.
I asked what vaccines they have available and they said the most prevalent is covax. But they also said they’re still in the early stages of the rollout and there’s limited supply so they can’t get it.
All I know is it’s really bad over there at the moment. I just found it suspicious that we got through a whole year with no one on my team testing positive for covid, but the last few months we’ve had so many go down and get really sick from it.
As Covid-19 Devastates India, Deaths Go Undercounted - The New York Times
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 15:31
Fatalities have been overlooked or downplayed, understating the human toll of the country's outbreak, which accounts for nearly half of all new cases in a global surge.
NEW DELHI '-- India's coronavirus second wave is rapidly sliding into a devastating crisis, with hospitals unbearably full, oxygen supplies running low, desperate people dying in line waiting to see doctors '-- and mounting evidence that the actual death toll is far higher than officially reported.
Each day, the government reports more than 300,000 new infections, a world record, and India is now seeing more new infections than any other country by far, almost half of all new cases in a global surge.
But experts say those numbers, however staggering, represent just a fraction of the real reach of the virus's spread, which has thrown this country into emergency mode. Millions of people refuse to even step outside '-- their fear of catching the virus is that extreme. Accounts from around the country tell of the sick being left to gasp for air as they wait at chaotic hospitals that are running out of lifesaving oxygen.
The sudden surge in recent weeks, with an insidious newer variant possibly playing a role, is casting increasing doubt on India's official Covid-19 death toll of nearly 200,000, with more than 2,000 people dying every day.
Interviews from cremation grounds across the country, where the fires never stop, portray an extensive pattern of deaths far exceeding the official figures. Nervous politicians and hospital administrators may be undercounting or overlooking large numbers of dead, analysts say. And grieving families may be hiding Covid connections as well, adding to the confusion in this enormous nation of 1.4 billion.
Image Relatives mourning outside a hospital mortuary in Delhi after seeing bodies of Covid-19 victims on Friday.''It's a complete massacre of data,'' said Bhramar Mukherjee, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan who has been following India closely. ''From all the modeling we've done, we believe the true number of deaths is two to five times what is being reported.''
At one of the large cremation grounds in Ahmedabad, a city in the western Indian state of Gujarat, bright orange fires light up the night sky, burning 24 hours a day, like an industrial plant that never shuts down. Suresh Bhai, a worker there, said he had never seen such a never-ending assembly line of death.
But he has not been writing down the cause of death as Covid-19 on the thin paper slips that he hands over to the mournful families, even though the number of dead is surging along with the virus.
''Sickness, sickness, sickness,'' Mr. Suresh said. ''That's what we write.''
When asked why, he said it was what he had been instructed to do by his bosses, who did not respond to requests for comment.
Image Bodies awaiting cremation on Friday in East Delhi.On Saturday, officials reported nearly 350,000 new infections, and the deaths continued to rise. At one hospital in New Delhi, the capital, doctors said 20 patients in a critical care unit had died after oxygen pressure dropped. The doctors blamed the deaths on the city's acute oxygen shortage.
Months ago, India seemed to be doing remarkably well with the pandemic. After a harsh initial lockdown early last year was eased, the country did not register the frightening case-count and death numbers that sent other big countries into crisis mode. Many officials and ordinary citizens stopped taking precautions, acting as if the worst days were over.
Now, countless Indians are turning to social media to send out heartbreaking S.O.S. messages for a hospital bed, medicine, some oxygen to breathe. '''National Emergency,''' blared a banner headline in one of India's leading papers, The Hindustan Times. Across India, mass cremations are now taking place. Sometimes dozens of fires go up at once.
At the same time, India's Covid vaccine campaign is struggling: Less than 10 percent of Indians have gotten even one dose, despite India being the world's leading vaccine manufacturer. India's dire needs are already having ripple effects across the world, especially for poorer countries. It had planned to ship out millions of doses; now, given the country's stark vaccination shortfall, exports have essentially been shut down, leaving other nations with far fewer doses than they had expected.
Doctors worry that the runaway surge is being at least partly driven by the emergence of a virus variant known as the ''double mutant,'' B.1.617, because it contains genetic mutations found in two other difficult-to-control versions of the coronavirus. One of the mutations is present in the highly contagious variant that ripped through California earlier this year. The other mutation is similar to one found in the South African variant and believed to make the virus more resistant to vaccines.
Still, scientists caution it is too early to know for sure how pernicious the new variant emerging in India really is.
Image Family members praying for a man who died of Covid-19 in New Delhi.The result could be the worst of both worlds, faster-spreading and less controllable. This is worrying scientists around the globe, who see people starting to relax their guard in well-inoculated countries even as huge setbacks in India, Brazil and other places raise the likelihood that the coronavirus will mutate in ways that could outflank the current vaccines.
In Bhopal, a large city in central India that was the site of a catastrophic gas leak in the 1980s that killed thousands, residents say the cremation grounds haven't been as busy since that disaster.
Over 13 days in mid-April, Bhopal officials reported 41 deaths related to Covid-19. But a survey by The New York Times of the city's main Covid-19 cremation and burial grounds, where bodies were being handled under strict protocols, revealed a total of more than 1,000 deaths during the same period.
''Many deaths are not getting recorded and they are increasing every day,'' said Dr. G.C. Gautam, a cardiologist based in Bhopal. He said that officials were doing this because ''they don't want to create panic.''
The same phenomenon appeared to be happening in Lucknow and Mirzapur '-- major cities in Uttar Pradesh State '-- and across Gujarat, where, during a similar period in mid-April, the authorities reported between 73 and 121 Covid-related deaths each day.
But a detailed count compiled by one of Gujarat's leading newspapers, Sandesh, which sent reporters to cremation and burial grounds across the state, indicated that the number was several times higher, around 610 each day.
Image A body is lowered into a grave in New Delhi.The biggest newspapers in India have seized on the discrepancies. ''COVID-19 deaths in Gujarat far exceed government figures,'' read a recent front-page headline in The Hindu.
India's population is, on average, much younger than in most Western nations. Experts say that is the most likely reason that deaths per million in India had seemed relatively low. But the number is quickly climbing.
According to excess mortality studies, Covid-19 deaths have been underestimated in many countries, including in the United States and Britain.
But India is a much bigger and poorer country. And its people are spread across 28 states and several federal territories in a highly decentralized system of governance, with different states counting deaths in different ways.
Even in a good year, experts say, only about one-fifth of deaths are medically investigated, meaning that the vast number of Indians die without a cause of death being certified.
According to the World Health Organization, a death should be recorded as Covid-19-related if the disease is assumed to have caused or contributed to it, even if the person had a pre-existing medical condition, such as cancer.
In many places in India, that doesn't seem to be happening.
Rupal Thakkar tested positive for Covid-19 in mid-April. On April 16, she was admitted to Shalby Limited, a private hospital in her home city of Ahmedabad, but her oxygen levels suddenly dropped. The next day Ms. Thakkar, 48, died.
The hospital listed her cause of death as ''sudden cardiac death,'' which left the Thakkar family outraged.
''It was a lifetime shock,'' said her younger brother, Dipan Thakkar. ''Why would a private hospital connive with the government in hiding the real death numbers? It was an organized crime. It was an illegal act.''
Officials at Shalby didn't respond to requests for comment.
Image Waiting at a New Delhi crematorium to perform last rites for a relative.After her situation was widely publicized in Indian newspapers, the hospital issued a second death certificate, this time including Covid-19 as a contributing cause.
Some families don't want the truth to come out, said Dr. Mukherjee of the University of Michigan. Some want to cremate loved ones outside strict Covid-19 government protocols, and so they hide the fact that their family member died from the coronavirus. Others may feel ashamed about losing a loved one, as if it were their fault.
A political agenda may also be at play, experts said. States controlled by India's governing Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, may face pressure to underreport, according to some analysts. Dr. Mukherjee cited the very public scandal in 2019 when Mr. Modi's government tried to suppress data showing a rise in the unemployment rate.
When it comes to Covid data, she said, ''there is tremendous pressure from the central government on the state governments for projecting progress.''
Several officials from the governing party did not respond to messages seeking comment.
But manipulating death numbers seems to be happening in other places, too. One example is the state of Chhattisgarh, in central India, which is run by the leading opposition party, Congress.
Officials in Chhattisgarh's Durg district, home to a large steel plant, reported more than 150 Covid-19 deaths from April 15 to April 21, according to messages sent to local media that were seen by The Times. The state reported less than half that number for Durg.
Chhattisgarh's health minister, T.S. Singh Deo, denied any intentional underreporting. ''We have tried to be as transparent as humanly possible,'' he said. ''We stand to be corrected at any point in time.''
Image At a makeshift ward for Covid-19 patients in Delhi.Cremations are an important part of Hindu burial rituals, seen as a way to free the soul from the body. Those working at the burning grounds said they were utterly exhausted and could never remember so many people dying in such a short span of time.
In Surat, an industrial city in Gujarat, the grills used to burn bodies have been operating so relentlessly that the iron on some has actually melted. On April 14, Covid-19 crematories in Surat and another district, Gandhi Nagar, told The Times that they cremated 124 people, on a day when the authorities said 73 had died of Covid-19 in the entire state.
In Kanpur, in Uttar Pradesh State, bodies are now being burned in some of the city's parks; the crematories are that backed up.
In Ahmedabad, at the Vadaj crematory, huge smokestacks pump out black smoke. Mr. Suresh, a clerk, sits in a tiny office, the door closed firmly shut.
When reached by telephone, he said he put ''beemari,'' or sickness in Hindi, on all the death certificates, and he referred questions to a sanitation official who then referred questions to another official who declined to answer calls.
Mr. Suresh said that his crematory handled 15 to 20 bodies of Covid-19 patients every day. As he spoke on Friday, three bodies burned on separate pyres, next to a large and growing stack of freshly chopped wood.
Image Last rites in East Delhi.
India's Massive COVID Surge Puzzles Scientists - Scientific American
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 15:54
The pandemic is sweeping through India at a pace that has staggered scientists. Daily case numbers have exploded since early March: the government reported 273,810 new infections nationally on 18 April. High numbers in India have also helped drive global cases to a daily high of 854,855 in the past week, almost breaking a record set in January.
Just months earlier, antibody data had suggested that many people in cities such as Delhi and Chennai had already been infected, leading some researchers to conclude that the worst of the pandemic was over in the country.
Researchers in India are now trying to pinpoint what is behind the unprecedented surge, which could be due to an unfortunate confluence of factors, including the emergence of particularly infectious variants, a rise in unrestricted social interactions, and low vaccine coverage. Untangling the causes could be helpful to governments trying to suppress or prevent similar surges around the world.
European countries such as France and Germany are also currently experiencing large outbreaks relative to their size, and nations including Brazil and the United States are reporting high infection rates at around 70,000 a day. But India's daily totals are now some of the highest ever recorded for any country, and are not far off a peak of 300,000 cases seen in the United States on 2 January.
'Ripple in a bathtub'COVID-19 case numbers started to drop in India last September, after a high of around 100,000 daily infections. But they began to rise again in March and the current peak is more than double the previous one.
''The second wave has made the last one look like a ripple in a bathtub,'' says Zarir Udwadia, a clinician-researcher in pulmonary medicine at P D Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre in Mumbai, who spoke to Nature during a break from working in the intensive-care unit. He describes a ''nightmarish'' situation at hospitals, where beds and treatments are in extremely short supply.
Shahid Jameel, a virologist at Ashoka University in Sonipat, agrees that the intensity of the current wave is startling. ''I was expecting fresh waves of infection, but I would not have dreamt that it would be this strong,'' he says.
Studies that tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies'--an indicator of past infection'--in December and January estimated that more than 50% of the population in some areas of India's large cities had already been exposed to the virus, which should have conferred some immunity, says Manoj Murhekar, an epidemiologist at the National Institute of Epidemiology in Chennai, who led the work. The studies also suggested that, nationally, some 271 million people had been infected '-- about one-fifth of India's population of 1.4 billion.
These figures made some researchers optimistic that the next stage of the pandemic would be less severe, says Ramanan Laxminarayan an epidemiologist in Princeton University, New Jersey, who is based in New Delhi. But the latest eruption of COVID-19 is forcing them to rethink.
One explanation might be that the first wave primarily hit the urban poor. Antibody studies may not have been representative of the entire population and potentially overestimated exposure in other groups, he says.
The antibody data did not reflect the uneven spread of the virus, agrees Gagandeep Kang, a virologist at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India. ''The virus may be getting into populations that were previously able to protect themselves,'' she says. That could include wealthier urban communities, in which people isolated during the first wave but had started mingling by the second.
Fast-moving variants?But some researchers say that the speed and scale of the current outbreak suggest a new ingredient: emerging variants of the virus.
Udwadia has anecdotally observed that entire households are now getting infected'--unlike in the first wave of COVID-19, when single individuals would test positive. He attributes this to the presence of more-infectious variants. ''If one person in the family has it, I can guarantee that everyone in the family has it,'' he says.
Genomic surveillance data show that the variant B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the United Kingdom, has become the dominant form of the virus in the Indian state of Punjab.
And a new and potentially concerning variant first identified in India late last year, known as B.1.617, has become dominant in the state of Maharashtra. B.1.617 has drawn attention because it contains two mutations that have been linked to increased transmissibility and an ability to evade immune protection. It has now been detected in 20 other countries. Laboratories in India are trying to culture it to test how fast it replicates, and whether blood from vaccinated individuals can block infection, says Jameel.
The situation in India looks similar to that late last year in Brazil, he adds, where a resurgence of COVID-19 in the city of Manaus coincided with the spread of a highly transmissible variant known as P.1, which might have been able to evade immunity conferred by infections with earlier strains.
But others say that the existing sequencing data are not sufficient to make such claims. ''As the numbers of sequences available are low, relative to the number of cases in India, we do need to be cautious,'' says David Robertson, a virologist at the University of Glasgow, UK.
Mixing, moving and travellingSome say that emerging variants account for only a small part of India's surge in infections. In many regions that are experiencing outbreaks, they don't make up the majority of genomes sequenced, says Anurag Agrawal, director of the CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in New Delhi.
Srinath Reddy, an epidemiologist and head of the Public Health Foundation of India in New Delhi, argues that people letting their guards down is a bigger driver. ''The pandemic resurfaced in a fully open society where people were mixing and moving and travelling,'' he says.
With cases declining after last September's peak, ''there was a public narrative that India had conquered COVID-19'', says Laxminarayan. In recent months, large crowds have gathered indoors and outdoors for political rallies, religious celebrations and weddings.
The nationwide vaccination campaign, which kicked off in January, might even have contributed to an uptick in cases, if it caused people to ease public-health measures. ''The arrival of the vaccine put everyone into a relaxed mood,'' says Laxminarayan.
More than 120 million doses have been administered, mostly of an Indian-produced version of the Oxford''AstraZeneca vaccine called Covishield. But that's less than 10% of India's population, so there is still a long way to go. In particular, India needs to ramp up vaccinations in the hardest-hit regions, says Kang.
Some people might have become infected while getting vaccines, says Udwadia, because crowds often share clinic waiting areas with ill people who are waiting to be seen.
This article is reproduced with permission and was first published on April 21 2021.
Let Us Out!
Canadian Red Cross phone operator BOTG
I'm working with Red Cross over the phone on the Canadian quarantine hotel situation. In my
previous donation note I believe I came off as somewhat ignorant, as I was naïve & did not know
exactly what I was in for, but now I can clearly see now how messed up this is. Essentially we are
doing the dirty work for the government, having to give people entering the country the harsh
reality of exactly what they are in for.
People are not being told that if they cannot afford to book a 3 day stay at a hotel, they will be
sent to a "quarantine facility", which is just another hotel, but instead is assisted by Red Cross.
Here they will wait 3 days for their test results, and then ANOTHER 3 days (most times more) to
receive a call from a "quarantine officer" working for public health. This is if they have tested
NEGATIVE. They do not have a direct line to reach this person, and neither do we. The food they are
getting comes from a catering company, and we do not know what is being served. I get many
complaints a day that people had received a cold meal, or no meal at all. Up until the other day,
there weren't even any Red Cross staff at one of the hotels for us to communicate with, only public
health.
This is not a "humanitarian effort" by the Red Cross; this is an ARBITRARY DETENTION. Red Cross has
been hired by the government to soften any blowback they may receive from understandably angry
people who's freedom of movement is being infringed. I will be handing in my two weeks notice very
shortly, as things are only getting worse, and I cannot sit by idly as this goes on. While the
money was nice, no amount of money is worth being a part of this insanity.
Side note, the vast majority of the people coming back to Canada at the moment are from India. Why,
I do not know, but they are flooding into Toronto & Winnipeg.
Thank you,
Oregon Hospital Weekly Rona Report
450+ bed regional hospital.
Note #1: They’ve recently stopped reporting staff infection numbers.
Note this hospital is in a High Risk Rona Zone because of all the supposed Rona cases, Oregon has four risk levels, Low, Medium, High and Extreme. We only recently came down from extreme, and it’ll be a long time before we come down again. Look at our SURGE! :)
Also note that masks were not required at the hospital during early Rona thanks to shortages. I’ve added a red line to the census graph roughly indicating when masks became required at work, and a purple line where they became required at all indoors locations by executive order of our Governor Brown. Note the lack of any dramatic change in cases.
ICU about 99% full (target capacity)
Hospital overall: 93%
Note: the above numbers reflect our real capacity. None of our overflow/surge areas are open currently.
Total number of COVID-19+ admitted = 1347
Total number of COVID-19+ recovered and discharged = 1180
Total number of COVID-19+ deaths (at Salem Hospital) = 127
ITM,
(Anonymous)
Covid Production Bonanza
I was listening to the show from Thursday and you were talking about COVID money makers. Just to give you an example of how much money is being made, just from my experience on set. The cost of COVID testing and compliance was more than 10% of a 3M + budget.
Not only is there the testing every two days, there is now a covid compliance officer, a covid coordinator and PPE kits for every crew member. ($20 per kit.It’s a face mask, gloves, and a small sanitizer. RIP-OFF.) Mandatory PCR testing, they won’t accept any other type of testing. Oh and then there is the hall monitor, some walks around set and tells you to put your mask on or your not six feet apart. Fun times.
Long story short, we spent 300k+ on COVID testing and personnel but no one got sick.
Northern Ireland lockdown: No dancing or live music allowed when pubs reopen outdoor areas - Belfast Live
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 10:31
A hospitality representative expressed concern on the impact the restriction could have on some venues
The Morning Star Bar in Belfast city centre (Image: Justin Kernoghan/Belfast Live)
Dancing and live music will not be permitted in pub beer gardens when they reopen next week, according to Stormont's coronavirus regulations.
Outdoor hospitality venues including bars and restaurants are due to open on Friday in the next phase of relaxations to lockdown restrictions.
The Covid-19 regulations say premises must not allow dancing, the provision of music for dancing, or any live music.
But the restriction on live music will not apply to wedding or civil partnership ceremonies.
Colin Neill, chief executive of industry body Hospitality Ulster, said background or ambient music will be permitted at venues when they reopen.
He said: "They're allowed to have background music but it must be at a level where a customer could speak normally."
The hospitality representative said, for example, a DJ would be able to play music but the volume would be reduced.
He expressed concern on the impact this could have on some venues.
"People want to come out from home and work and escape the humdrum, and there are premises that specialise in music," he said.
"Obviously they can't put that on so there is less attraction for people to come out."
Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster. (Image: Justin Kernoghan/Belfast Live)Mr Neill said he hoped this restriction could be removed in future, in a similar way to how venues no longer need to close earlier or provide food for customers to have an alcoholic drink.
He said: "We had hoped that would be lifted this time round. We have seen it removed in England and we had hoped we would see that here.
"We had raised that with the curfew and main meal requirements, and they have been removed.
"It is very much a case that we hope we would be able to get that removed soon."
The reopening of outdoor hospitality is among several relaxations of Covid-19 restrictions taking effect from April 30.
Non-essential retail, gyms for individual training and self-contained tourist accommodation will also be reopened as part of the changes.
On Friday, close-contact services including hairdressers and barbers reopened for the first time since lockdown restrictions were imposed last Christmas.
For the latest breaking news straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter here.
Thousands in London protest against virus lockdown
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 11:03
Thousands of protesters marched through the streets of central London on Saturday, calling for an immediate ease of the coronavirus lockdown. There already has been some easing of the restrictions in the UK. (April 24)
Vaccines and such
MRI's false positives for Breast cancer after vax
Hi Adam,
This is from my sister's friend that works as an MRI technician. (Hearsay to me) Earlier this year MRI technicians were seeing what looked like lots of positive breast cancer results. So painful biopsies were ordered, but they kept coming back negative. After a while they realized that people who had the vaccine were getting false positives from the MRI technicians. Essentially the vaccine made it look like they had breast cancer. My understanding is that the MRI technicians now know what to look for (or at least I hope they do) so they don't order so many unnecessary painful breast cancer biopsies.
I believe this to be true. But I would be curious if others in noAgenda community also ran into that situation first hand.
Pfizer psychosis
From a friend of mine: “If you’re thinking of taking the Pfizer vaccine I have close secondhand
info from someone who has seen two people go into psychotic episodes three days after second dose.
Both patients are elderly. Neither had history with psychosis.”
This is thirdhand info from me so take it for what it’s worth. I’m only passing it on because I’ve
searched for any news stories about this possible side effect / reaction and found zero.
Maybe some other producers have heard of this or have more direct experience or evidence of this?
Facebook deletes 120,000-member group where people posted stories of alleged adverse vaccine reactions
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 14:48
If you're tired of cancel culture and censorship subscribe to Reclaim The Net.Facebook has removed a popular, rapidly growing group where members would post stories about alleged negative COVID-19 vaccine side effects.
The group, ''COVID19 VACCINE VICTIMS AND FAMILIES,'' had over 120,000 followers when it was shut down and had been gaining more than 10,000 followers per week.
The shutdown of the page follows Facebook introducing a ban on a wide range of claims about the coronavirus vaccine in February. The list of prohibited claims includes claims that the vaccines cause blood clots and claims that the coronavirus vaccine change people's DNA (something that even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Facebook staff during a July 2020 internal meeting).
Not only is Facebook restricting a wide range of vaccine-related claims but it's also adding labels to all posts about coronavirus vaccines. These labels state that vaccines are safe and direct users to sources that Facebook has deemed ''authoritative'' such as the World Health Organization (WHO).
Facebook's actions are similar to those of other Big Tech platforms which have also cracked down on vaccine-related conversations over the last few months. YouTube prohibits videos that go against the WHO ''consensus'' on coronavirus vaccines and adds information panels to some videos that direct viewers to the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twitter also bans ''harmful misleading'' posts about vaccines.
Politicians have actively encouraged this Big Tech crackdown on vaccine skepticism. Days ago, Democrats pushed Facebook and Twitter to ''address'' 12 prominent vaccine skeptics. State Attorneys General also told Facebook and Twitter to kill vaccine skepticism earlier this month.
These crackdowns on vaccine skeptic conversations come amid mass pushes from global governments to introduce digital vaccine passports that force people to prove their vaccination or test status to enter business premises.
If you're tired of cancel culture and censorship subscribe to Reclaim The Net.
Vaccines for Maple Syrup? We'll Throw in a Drake. - WhoWhatWhy
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 15:46
Reading Time: 5 minutes ''OPINION''
Dear Texas,
We hope this letter finds you well. We're writing to you from the province of Ontario in Canada, one of the nation's 13 provinces and territories, and home to one of the two Canadian cities that US celebrities visit: Toronto.
First off, we would like to say sorry that our Blue Jays beat your Rangers in the season opener earlier this month. Baseball is infamously America's game, and you folks played wonderfully. We found the display of athleticism nothing if not admirable.
To be frank, that's not the only thing we admire about your state. We'd also like to offer our congratulations on managing to open up your state at 100 percent capacity '-- the first in the country to do so, as well! What a testament to the values that Texans hold so dear: Anything can be overcome with determination, grit, and wearing an elaborate disguise on the flight home from Cancun.
Now, in addition to lifting regulations, you have also made vaccines available to the general public . Any adult is welcome to book an appointment, yet we know that many have not jumped at the opportunity and it's requiring a bit of persuasion from your government.
This brings us to the reason for this letter.
Photo credit: Leslie Agan / WhoWhatWhy
This is our formal proposal for a cross-continental vaccination alliance between the province of Ontario and the state of Texas. Because of our difficulty with organizing the vaccine rollout here, we are happy to offer up our Canadian immune systems so that none of your supply goes to waste. You have shots, we have arms!
We request a dedicated shuttle bus from the Windsor-Detroit border (leaving at whatever time of the day or night is convenient) that would travel to a vaccination site within your wonderful state, where we are happy to swap stories of our respective frontiers while we accept your inoculations and world-famous barbecue.
In exchange for this medical hospitality, we can offer items of Canadian national pride and value. Whether this is authentic maple syrup, Canadian rye, lumber, a discount on Alberta oil, snowplows, several members of the Blue Jays, more snowplows, Drake himself, or the entire province of Quebec (further information provided upon request), we're willing to make the trade. Just let us know what would spark the most joy.
We know that you're big fans of our socialized medical system, Texas. We bet you're as surprised as we are that we find ourselves in this pickle. How'd we get here, you ask? It's a bit of a funny story.
'--
As of December, Canada had purchased enough vaccines to cover the province several times over. However, our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (think Beto but fluent in French and with longer hair) and his team opted to order from the European Union. He was worried that buying from the US during Trump's ''America First'' push would land Canada at the back of the queue. But my golly , if this year has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected! Which brings us to our next point: Europe has been struggling with meeting vaccine demand , leaving us Canadians at the mercy of foreign shipments as we do not have production capability.
Ontario's Premier Doug Ford and his team have been extremely critical of the Canadian federal government and its ineffectiveness in securing the vaccine supply. His exact words? '' It's a joke .''
Our supply has been trickling in '-- in fits and starts. Moderna has been delayed three times, leaving us with Pfizer, which is used for frontline workers and the most vulnerable elderly population, and AstraZeneca, which only recently became available to adults aged 40-60 (previously available only for adults aged 60-65).
Photo credit: Leslie Agan / WhoWhatWhy
You're probably wondering, well hey'... what about those adults under 40? Many of them have to go out to work to make rent, put food on the table for young kids, or even pay tuition.
My goodness, it is an even funnier story!
'--
We Canadians have a cute habit of keeping a positive outlook, so when it became clear that vaccines would not be coming as we'd expected, and we had to keep rolling with the public-health guidelines, we said, ''Huzzah! We love routines!'' And when Ford's science advisers suggested we close large factories and warehouses, and offer paid sick days for employees, we said, ''Huzzah! Basically a vacation!''
And when, on April 16, Ford announced that parks and playgrounds would be closing and police would now be able to stop passersby at random, asking why they were not in their homes, we said, ''Huzzah! More time for kids to sit quietly indoors with their parents in our extremely friendly police state!''
But ultimately, it was felt that this was maybe a little too much. Therefore, amid a massive '-- but polite '-- outcry, leadership rolled back the playground closures and assured everyone that police would not be stopping us at random.
'--
We can confide in you: Tensions are high! Additionally, faith in our leadership has gotten spotty, as the infection rate in the province climbs past 10 percent.
We know you love publicly supported media, Texas, so you surely caught Michael Warner, medical director at Michael Garron Hospital, telling NPR last week: ''I'm tired of [lockdowns] and so are my colleagues, and unless that changes, this four weeks [shutdown] is going to be a complete waste, because we will not have gone after the root cause, which is transmission in essential workplaces.''
You see, Texas, we're now in a position where expert advice isn't being taken seriously. There is an issue not only with supply, but with clearly communicating to the public what is happening. When will shots be arriving? When will they be available? Do we have enough trained medical staff province-wide to get those shots into arms? True story '-- we're all relying on a sole Twitter account called Vaccine Hunters to keep us up to date on the availability of shots.
It all raises the question of whether our elected officials have the answers. Do you know this feeling, Texas? Your leaders have made some questionable choices, too, over the years. But we're not here to point fingers! We're here to exchange maple syrup and Drake for some syrupy sweet vaccinations. Sure, you defied public health guidelines by reopening the entire state outrageously early! And sure, you haven't done the best job of vaccinating your Hispanic population, but then, neither has California ! Still, in general, you've done better than we have. And believe us, we know it's easy to make crazy and unwise decisions sometimes. We all ''fly to Cancun'' every now and then.
Photo credit: Leslie Agan / WhoWhatWhy
Finally, our dear Southern Brethren, as you consider our situation, we hope that you also think of this as the beginning of a long-standing, meaningful friendship. Once the pandemic is through, we hope to keep the shuttle system going, bringing Ontarians to Austin, bringing Texans up to Algonquin. We are sure you will like it up here, vaccine passports or no . Like you, we work hard, we know the value of being folksy, and we're ready to get back to normal life. Doesn't it make sense to just hop on a bus and head to Texas? We think so. Looking forward to enjoying a margarita with you soon.
Go Rangers!
Sincerely,
The Citizens of Ontario
Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Leslie Agan / WhoWhatWhy.
Our Comment PolicyKeep it civilized, keep it relevant, keep it clear, keep it short. Please do not post links or promotional material. We reserve the right to edit and to delete comments where necessary.
Jimmy Dore on Twitter: "I had my second Moderna shot last Saturday, I am still experiencing flulike symptoms, bodyaches, mild headaches, & waves of exhaustion that come out of nowhere. Should I be concerned that this is lasting for a week? Anybody els
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 10:42
Jimmy Dore : I had my second Moderna shot last Saturday, I am still experiencing flulike symptoms, bodyaches, mild headaches, &'... https://t.co/8c0hakIAik
Sat Apr 24 21:13:33 +0000 2021
Shin Li : @jimmy_dore Jimmy you can not say anything anti vaccine or you are a conspiracy theory so just do what you are told'... https://t.co/pRisThJdRb
Sun Apr 25 10:39:13 +0000 2021
Jeffrey Jay Blatt : @jimmy_dore I would happily trade places as where I am in Asia there are no vaccines available and we are in the mi'... https://t.co/zvgDCySkmj
Sun Apr 25 10:35:14 +0000 2021
Rational Minds Prevail : @jimmy_dore Thanks for being such a forward thinking guinea pig, @jimmy_dore. Good luck!
Sun Apr 25 10:34:03 +0000 2021
Marg Rheen ðŸ"¸'ðŸŒðŸ...¹ðŸ¼ðŸ–•ðŸ‡...🇺 : @jimmy_dore You were well aware this would happen
Sun Apr 25 10:31:07 +0000 2021
Scott Curtis : @jimmy_dore I'd rather get Covid than feel like shit for over a week due to an untested new technology.
Sun Apr 25 10:29:11 +0000 2021
TruthSeeker : @jimmy_dore Oh no...
Sun Apr 25 10:28:54 +0000 2021
Officials say 77 inmates in Iowa prison given COVID-19 vaccine overdose | TheHill
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 12:18
Officials in Iowa said this week that 77 inmates in a state prison were given overdoses of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine.
Cord Overton, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Corrections, said in a statement to The Hill that the inmates at the Iowa State Penitentiary were given doses of the vaccine on Tuesday that exceeded the recommended dose. The Department is investigating how much the dosage exceeded the recommendation, though initial reports say it may have been six times the recommended dose.
Overton said that upon learning of the error, the department contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Pfizer for guidance, and the affected inmates are being monitored by medical staff.
He said none of the inmates at the maximum-security prison for men became sick to the point where they needed outside medical care.
"At this time, the only side effects experienced by the inmates are those commonly associated with the Pfizer vaccine," he said. "These include sore arm, body aches, and one inmate has experienced a low-grade fever which was treatable with Tylenol. No inmates have required hospitalization."
Vaccine distribution at the prison has since been halted, Overton said, and two nursing staff employees who allegedly administered the vaccines were placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
The Hill has reached out to the Department of Corrections, Pfizer and the CDC for comment.
According to a local ABC affiliate , 200 inmates at the Iowa State Penitentiary received their first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, and 48 have received their second dose. Statewide, 1,964 inmates have received their first dose and 214 have had their second dose.
States across the country have taken different approaches to vaccinating incarcerated people. Last month, a judge in New York ruled that state officials must start vaccinating all incarcerated people in the state's jails and prisons, whereas Massachusetts had already offered the vaccine to all inmates.
--Updated at 12:04 p.m.
(16) Ziverdo Kit Store on Twitter: "Now people can use this affordable combo kit of all-in-one viral care pills. https://t.co/TECkDf76ts" / Twitter
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 13:47
Ziverdo Kit Store : Now people can use this affordable combo kit of all-in-one viral care pills.https://t.co/TECkDf76ts
Thu Apr 22 12:57:29 +0000 2021
wellness MD : @ziverdo Are doctors in India using this?
Sun Apr 25 07:13:16 +0000 2021
H(C)rcules : @ziverdo What countries is available?
Fri Apr 23 05:54:38 +0000 2021
RogerCharlesLUCIANI : @ziverdo ?
Fri Apr 23 05:31:28 +0000 2021
Jorge Arancibia H, : @ziverdo #Zelenkoprotocol 👍👍👍
Thu Apr 22 20:49:09 +0000 2021
Alice 🇨ðŸ‡...🇵🇱🇬🇧 : @ziverdo I wish #Canada politicians were open to such alternatives @fordnation @MaximeBernier @PierrePoilievre'... https://t.co/qXae9gkqa8
Thu Apr 22 15:45:26 +0000 2021
Freedom Pass
NYS vax info request denied
ITM Adam and John,
Yesterday I flew from Schiphol to JFK. After border control and collecting my luggage an employee of New York State handed me a NEW YORK STATE TRAVELER HEALTH FORM rev. 4/1/21. She said that I needed to fill it out and give it back to them.
I have flown trans-Atlantic several times during the pandemic and am familiar with that form and the procedure. However, yesterday I noticed two new questions (found on page 2 of the attachment). The first asks about travelers vaccination status and the second asks details of a COVID-19 diagnosis. These questions made me so angry that I told the NYS employee, "I refuse to answer these questions. My medical record is private and is none of your business." I received zero push back about that.
I also noticed an alarming spelling error on the official NYS document, "QUARNATINE".
Please find the document attached.
Sincerely,
Tanya
Pfizer Marketing
Thomas Massie on Twitter: "NOTHING TO SEE HERE... Former director of CDC is now CEO of the foundation that funds FACTCHECK. org's vaccine fact checking program. Roughly 15% of said foundation's assets are J&J stock. Bless your heart if you think f
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 20:13
Thomas Massie : NOTHING TO SEE HERE...Former director of CDC is now CEO of the foundation that funds FACTCHECK. org's vaccine fac'... https://t.co/bijfH5IrVz
Sat Apr 24 17:50:49 +0000 2021
Covid: Rich countries are refusing to waive IP rights on vaccines
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 13:26
Medical workers converse among themselves at a quarantine center for Covid-19 coronavirus infected patients at a banquet hall that was converted into an isolation center to handle the rising cases of infection on April 15, 2021 in New Delhi, India.
Anindito Mukherjee | Getty Images News | Getty Images
LONDON '-- The U.S., Canada and U.K. are among some of the high-income countries actively blocking a patent-waiver proposal designed to boost the global production of Covid-19 vaccines.
It comes as coronavirus cases worldwide surge to their highest level so far and the World Health Organization has repeatedly admonished a "shocking imbalance" in the distribution of vaccines amid the pandemic.
Members of the World Trade Organization will meet virtually in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday to hold informal talks on whether to temporarily waive intellectual property and patent rights on Covid vaccines and treatments.
The landmark proposal, which was jointly submitted by India and South Africa in October, has been backed by more than 100 mostly developing countries. It aims to facilitate the manufacture of treatments locally and boost the global vaccination campaign.
Six months on, the proposal continues to be stonewalled by a small number of governments '-- including the U.S., EU, U.K., Switzerland, Japan, Norway, Canada, Australia and Brazil.
"In this Covid-19 pandemic, we are once again faced with issues of scarcity, which can be addressed through diversification of manufacturing and supply capacity and ensuring the temporary waiver of relevant intellectual property," Dr. Maria Guevara, international medical secretary at Medecins Sans Frontieres, said in a statement on Wednesday.
"It is about saving lives at the end, not protecting systems."
The urgency and importance of waiving certain intellectual property rights amid the pandemic have been underscored by the WHO, health experts, civil society groups, trade unions, former world leaders, international medical charities, Nobel laureates and human rights organizations.
Why does it matter?The waiver, if adopted at the General Council, the WTO's highest-level decision-making body, could help countries around the world overcome legal barriers preventing them from producing their own Covid vaccines and treatments.
Advocates of the proposal have conceded the waiver is not a "silver bullet," but argue that removing barriers toward the development, production and approval of vaccines is vital in the fight to prevent, treat and contain the coronavirus.
Conversely, pharmaceutical industry trade associations are against the waiver.
In a statement published late last year, Thomas Cueni, director-general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, argued that diluting national and international intellectual property frameworks would be "dangerous and counterproductive."
Instead, he argued the focus should be on science and innovation rather than "undoing the very system that supports it."
To date, an average of one-in-four people in high-income nations has received a Covid vaccine, compared to one-in-over-500 for people in low-income countries.
At the current rate, the bulk of the adult population in advanced economies is expected to have been vaccinated against the virus by the middle of next year, whereas the timeline for poorer economies is likely to stretch to 2024 '-- if it happens at all.
'A scandal that affects us all'The world leaders opposed to the policy are coming under intensifying pressure to change course.
In one possible shift in tone, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said last week that "significant inequities we are seeing in access to vaccines between developed and developing countries are completely unacceptable."
Tai added that mistakes that had resulted in "unnecessary deaths and suffering" during the HIV/AIDS epidemic must not be repeated. However, the U.S. is yet to clarify whether it has changed its position on the waiver.
The European Commission has previously said waiving patents will not solve production capacity problems, reportedly claiming instead that policymakers need to find measures "to preserve the incentives to innovate."
A spokesperson was not immediately available when contacted by CNBC on Thursday.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
Thierry Monasse | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Andrew Stroehlein, European media director of Human Rights Watch, said via Twitter on Thursday the fact that high-income countries were "throttling vaccine production globally by blocking the TRIPS waiver '-- a proposal at the WTO to temporarily waive some intellectual property rules for medical products '-- is a scandal that affects us all."
His comments come shortly after The People's Vaccine Alliance found that two-thirds of epidemiologists surveyed at some of the world's leading academic institutions warned Covid mutations could render current vaccines ineffective in a year or less. The survey, published on March 30, interviewed 77 epidemiologists from 28 countries.
"It's galling to hear pharma (companies) moan that a temporary waiver would 'disincentivize' them from making future vaccines. Apart from bordering on extortion, it's ahistorical. What incentivized them last time was our taxes. Our governments poured billions into developing vaccines," Stroehlein said.
"They could be thus incentivized again in future, obviously."
China
Professor die beweert dat corona in lab is gemaakt w(C)(C)r opgesloten
Fri, 23 Apr 2021 14:16
Foto: Unsplash
in Mens en Dier 23 april 2021 06:00
Emeritus hoogleraar en apotheker Jean-Bernard Fourtillan is de Franse autoriteiten een doorn in het oog. Hij zorgde vorig jaar voor ophef door zich in een tv-documentaire zeer kritisch uit te laten over het coronabeleid. De professor zei ook dat corona in een laboratorium is gemaakt om mensen een nog gevaarlijker vaccin te kunnen geven.
De overheid treedt hard op tegen professor Fourtillan. Enkele dagen geleden werd hij voor de tweede keer gearresteerd. Hij claimt dat het Pasteur-instituut 10 jaar heeft gesleuteld aan het coronavirus voordat het werd verspreid.
Mond te snoerenHet instituut verwerpt de aantijgingen en beschuldigt de hoogleraar van laster. In december vorig jaar sleepte Fourtillan het Pasteur-instituut voor de rechter. Kort daarna werd hij gearresteerd en opgesloten in een psychiatrische inrichting.
Tientallen mensen verzamelden zich buiten de inrichting om steun te betuigen voor professor Fourtillan. Ze riepen: 'Lib(C)rez Fourtillan!' (laat Fourtillan vrij). Zijn aanhangers zeiden dat het besluit om hem te laten opnemen 'bewijst dat de regering corrupt is' en 'dat de laboratoria de dienst uitmaken'. E(C)n betoger zei dat de arts is opgenomen 'om hem de mond te snoeren'.
VoorarrestExplosief: de Franse autoriteiten beschuldigen hem ervan illegale farmaceutische experimenten te hebben uitgevoerd. Zijn fans zeggen dat ze hem het zwijgen willen opleggen omdat hij te kritisch is over de coronavaccinaties.
Dinsdag moest Fourtillan voor de rechter verschijnen. Veel mensen protesteerden bij het gerechtsgebouw voor zijn vrijlating. De hoogleraar zit nu in voorarrest in de gevangenis van Aurillac.
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Former Coca-Cola Employee Convicted of Stealing $120 Million Worth of Trade Secrets to Sell in China
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 16:14
A Chinese-born American chemist was found guilty on April 22 for her role in a scheme to steal trade secrets worth an estimated $120 million from American companies for the purpose of setting up a Chinese company that would manufacture the product for the global market.
After a 12-day trial, 59-year-old You Xiaorong'--also known as Shannon You'--of Lansing, Michigan, was convicted of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft, conspiracy to commit economic espionage, possession of stolen trade secrets, economic espionage, and wire fraud, according to the Justice Department.
While working at two U.S. companies'--Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia, and Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tennessee'--she stole trade secrets related to BPA-free (bisphenol-A) coating technology, which lines the insides of cans and other food and beverage containers to prevent flavor loss, corrosion, and reactions to the food or beverage content. In recent years, companies have turned to developing BPA-free coatings because of the potential health risks of BPA.
The trade secrets cost nearly $120 million to develop, and were stolen from major chemical and coating companies including Akzo-Nobel, BASF, Dow Chemical, PPG, Toyochem, Sherwin Williams, and Eastman Chemical Company, prosecutors said. You's role as a principal engineer for global research for Coca-Cola from December 2012 to August 2017 and later as a manager at Eastman Chemical Company from September 2017 to June 2018 allowed her access to these coating companies' BPA-free technology.
You stole the trade secrets to help establish a new BPA-free coating company in China, prosecutors said. She had two co-conspirators, Liu Xiangchen, a 63-year-old man from eastern China's Shandong Province, and an unnamed relative of Liu, according to the department. Liu, who was indicted at the same time as You in February 2019, formed the plan to bring You's stolen technology to China, where Liu would set up and manage a firm that would develop BPA-free packaging. In return, Liu promised You an ownership share in the new company, prosecutors said.
You also found a Chinese corporate partner in Weihai Jinhong Group, which in 2017 agreed to invest 180 million yuan ($26.58 million) for the company's production line manufacturing BPA-non-intent coating, according to a 2018 Chinese media report.
The report also said that Weihai Jinhong Group sponsored You in her application to join the ''Thousand Talents Plan'' in 2018, through which she was to be rewarded 3 million yuan ($443,000) from the central government, Shandong provincial government, and Weihai City government for bringing her stolen BPA-free technology to China. At the same time, the production line also received 50 million yuan ($7.4 million) in funding from those governments, the report said.
The ''Thousand Talents Plan'' is a Chinese-state-sponsored recruitment program designed to entice foreign experts to work in the country. This program, and other similar Chinese plans, have drawn intense scrutiny from the U.S. government over its role in facilitating the transfer of intellectual property to China.
Prosecutors said evidence, including You's Thousand Talents application documents, presented at the trial showed You's intention to benefit not only Weihai Jinhong Group, but also the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
This case is the latest in a raft of prosecutions targeting Chinese state-sanctioned theft of American intellectual property in recent years.
Earlier this week, a hospital researcher was sentenced to 33 months in prison for conspiring to steal trade secrets from an Ohio children's hospital to sell in China. A university math professor was also indicted on charges in relation to failing to disclose support he was receiving from the CCP and a Chinese state-run university.
You is due to be sentenced on Nov. 1.
Climate Emergency
World Leaders Climate Conference
Of course you have seen that Biden is wearing a mask on the Zoom call, poor guy.
But did you notice that there is no US flag in the background? Even the flag hating Chancellor
Merkel has a German flag in her Zoom window.
Biden appears to be only world leader to wear a mask at virtual climate summit | The Independent
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 12:07
US President Joe Biden appeared to be the only world leader wearing a mask during a virtual climate summit hosted by the White House.
Leaders who could be seen maskless on the call Friday included Russian president Vladimir Putin, German chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and EU leaders Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel. Mr Biden may have been wearing a mask to protect others in close proximity, and to model mask-wearing for Americans.
Mr Biden kicked off the proceedings of the two-day summit on Thursday by unveiling a new pledge to cut US emissions in half by 2030. But activists from Extinction Rebellion were unimpressed by his ''bull****'' plans, dumping cow manure near the White House in protest.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates thanked Mr Biden during the summit ''for re-establishing America's leading role on climate change''.
''This is a promising moment. Climate activists and young people especially are bringing amazing energy and attention to this issue. They are demanding action and rightly so,'' Mr Gates said.
Mr Biden has led a push for Americans to wear masks to stem the spread of Covid-19, instituting a 100-day mask challenge as he entered office. He has dutifully been wearing masks when he appears in public and signed an executive order to mandate mask-wearing on federal properties on his first day in the White House.
More than 100 countries had issued nationwide mask mandates by August of 2020, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. The US was not among those countries as a CNN fact check in November of 2020 stated: ''There appears to be no legal authority that would allow a US president to enact a nationwide mask mandate.''
The first countries to issue national mask mandates as the pandemic was speeding up last spring were Vietnam and the Czech Republic.
Former CDC Director Robert Redfield called masks ''one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus''. But the president Dr Redfield served under, Donald Trump, repeatedly ridiculed masks and refused to wear one for a long time.
Mr Trump first wore a mask in July 2020, but despite that the president himself was infected with the virus in early October, many of his supporters have remained sceptical about wearing face coverings.
Research is increasingly showing that the risk of transmitting Covid-19 while being outside is very low.
CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky told NBC on Thursday: ''We'll be looking at the outdoor masking question, but also in the context of the fact that we still have people who are dying of Covid-19.''
Dr Ashish Jha at the Brown University School of Public Health told the outlet: ''We know that the virus largely spreads indoors and there's very little transmission outdoors, except in some very specific circumstances.
''At this point in the pandemic, with more than half of Americans vaccinated, it's pretty reasonable to start thinking about peeling back outdoor mask mandates.''
Dr Jha said that masks are still necessary during large gatherings outdoors, such as rallies or sports events, but that ''requiring everybody walking down the street to wear one is probably not needed''.
BLM
Detroit 1st grader school questionnaire
Hi Adam,
I live in the metro-Detroit area and I got an email from my daughter’s school district to take a survey on the district’s “equity and inclusion”.
This seems to be a cookie cutter survey conducted by hanover research for the whole district, but did have school specific questions.
As the father of a 1st grade student, some of the questions were disturbing to me. Guessing from the questions, it seems that teaching equity, social justice and activism, and diversity is a priority to them. Meanwhile my 1st grader along with others are having trouble with reading and math because more than half of the school year was virtual learning. Elementary students have almost no focus while doing zoom lessons. Parents have to be with them to make sure they stay on track, and unfortunately parents are busy at times and can’t be there to help the kids the entire day, especially families with multiple kids. I’ve heard the teacher scold a student to make him put his toys away during zoom. I’ve found my own daughter near the end of the day fell asleep while the teacher read a book to the students. Until recently she had a real difficult time with math and reading to the point where she would get frustrated when I was doing homework with her. And to see the school district worrying about teaching about social activism and justice instead of worrying about the academics was infuriating. Here are some of the questions on the survey:
The Questions
In the past week How often did your child spend time in class discussing: Diversity, Implicit Biases, Race-related topics, Social Justice, Social action (e.g., voting, protesting), Systemic discrimination/Institutional Racism
In the past week, how often did your child spend time during lessons…: talking with students from different backgrounds, learning about people from different backgrounds, working on projects with students from different backgrounds
How much do you agree with the following statement: I want my child to collaborate with students from different backgrounds (e.g., ethnicities, races, cultures)
How well do you think the staff is accepting of the following: Gender identities or expressions (e.g., man, transgender man), sexual orientations, disability statuses, cultures, races/ethnicities/skin colors, socioeconomic backgrounds (e.g., how much money they have), religions
How much do you agree that your child’s teacher does the following: empower students to fight for social justice, engage students in meaningful conversations about diversity, encourage students to speak out against discrimination and racism, use books/stories/or lesson materials from many different perspectives
How often does your child do the following: Spend time at school events interacting with students from different backgrounds (e.g., sports events, music performances), spend time out of class interacting with students from different backgrounds (e.g., lunch, recess, study hall)
How much of a priority are the following: The district’s staff reflect the diversity of the student body, The district prioritizes funding for programs and resources that support historically disadvantaged student subgroups.
Those were the more egregious of the questions. Not all of the questions applied to my child but its still concerning considering I was planning on keeping her in the school district through high school.
Tokyo Olympics: Taking the knee for Black Lives Matter will be BANNED | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 23 Apr 2021 13:31
Taking the knee for Black Lives Matter will be BANNED at Tokyo Olympics as IOC seek to punish those who choose to make political protests following consultation with over 3,500 athletesIOC has decided to clamp down on any political gestures made during OlympicsTaking the knee or raising fist in support of Black Lives Matter will be punishedRuling comes following governing body's consultation with over 3,500 athletes IOC Rule 50 forbids 'demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda'By Reuters Reporter
Published: 16:26 EDT, 21 April 2021 | Updated: 03:18 EDT, 22 April 2021
Taking a knee during the Tokyo Olympics or lifting a fist in support of racial equality will be punished as the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday maintained its ban on athletes' protests inside stadiums, at ceremonies and on podiums.
The IOC's Rule 50 forbids any kind of 'demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda' in venues and any other Olympic area and the Games body concluded the rule should be maintained following an athlete consultation.
Against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement protesting racial injustice, calls have increased in recent months for a change to that rule that would allow athletes to protest.
Football players have been taking the knee before matches since the summer of 2020 in gestures to help fight racism (Pictured: Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette
But the Tokyo Olympics will keep its Rule 50 to ban any form of political gesture at the Games
Some international federation chiefs, including World Athletics' President Sebastian Coe, have said that athletes should have the right to make gestures of political protest during the Games.
The IOC's Athletes' Commission chief Kirsty Coventry, who led a review of the rule, said the majority of athletes consulted were against any protests within the fields of play or the podiums.
'I would not want something to distract from my competition and take away from that. That is how I still feel today,' Coventry, a former Olympic swimming champion for Zimbabwe, said in a online presentation of the Rule 50 consultation results.
Coventry said there were a series of recommendations approved by the IOC's Executive Board on Wednesday, including providing clarity on sanctions, more information about Rule 50, a change of wording of the Olympic Oath with messages on inclusion, and producing athlete apparel with inclusive messaging.
Tommie Smith (centre) and John Carlos raised gloved hands as a form of anti-racist protests at the 1968 Games but a similar gesture made by athletes in Tokyo could be punished
When asked, however, if athletes would be punished in Tokyo for making political statements such as taking a knee on the podium in support of racial equality, Coventry said: 'Yes that is correct.'
'That is also because of the majority of athletes we spoke to. That is what they are requesting for,' Coventry said.
The IOC's recommendations are the result of a consultation process that started in June 2020 and involved over 3,500 athletes.
Coventry said some 70 per cent of those athletes did not want protests on podiums, ceremonies and fields of play.
The Tokyo Olympics, delayed by a year due to the pandemic, kick off on July 23.
Advertisement
Dutch wine shop fined thousands of Euros for not putting the word "settlement" on a wine bottle 'ܠ The Savage Nation
Fri, 23 Apr 2021 14:17
The Jewish News:
Dutch government inspectors fined a store for labelling wine made in an Israeli settlement as ''a product from an Israeli village in Judea and Samaria.''
The Israel Products Center near Amsterdam received the $2,514 fine last week following its refusal to replace the label with one acceptable to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, which requires such labels read ''Product from the West Bank (Israeli settlement).''
The Israel Products Center, a shop and importer run by the pro-Israel group Christians for Israel, has had legal problems over labelling since 2019. The center's director, Pieter van Oordt, wrote in a statement that he was ''shocked'' by the government's actions, which he said were discriminatory.
At least four Dutch political parties have accused the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority of singling out Israeli products and ignoring controversial labels on products from other disputed areas, including Western Sahara and Northern Cyprus.
Medical Care Minister Tamara van Ark has rejected the claim, saying last year that the policy of enforcing EU regulations on labels is being applied across the board. However, the Center for Information on Documentation on Israel, a Jewish community watchdog, said Wednesday that it had no information on any action taken on country-of-origins labels on products that were not made by Israelis. If you examine the actual EU regulations, you can see that it is political and inconsistent (autotranslated):
Since the Golan Heights and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) are not part of Israeli territory under international law, the statement 'product from Israel' is considered incorrect under the said legislation. and considered misleading.If the indication of origin is mandatory, another expression must be used, taking into account the way in which these areas are usually known.For non-settlement products from Palestine, a possible indication that is not misleading as to geographic origin and in line with international practice is' West Bank product (Palestinian product) ' ' product from Gaza ''or ''product from Palestine ''.
For products originating from settlements in the West Bank or the Golan Heights, indications limited to 'Golan Heights product' or 'West Bank product' are not sufficient. Even if the larger area or territory from which the product originates is stated, omitting the additional geographic information that the product originates from Israeli settlements would mislead the consumer as to the true origin of the product. In such cases, the expression ''Israeli settlement'' or equivalent should be added, for example, in parentheses. Thus expressions such as 'Golan Heights product (Israeli settlement)' or 'West Bank product (Israeli settlement)' could be used.
According to the regulations, one must be accurate in saying where the products come from. There is no nation called ''Palestine'' '' yet Palestinian products may say that, instead of ''Palestinian territories.'' The areas where Jews live in the territories could be very accurately described as ''Judea and Samaria,'' which is what even the UN called it before Jordan's illegal annexation of the territory. But instead, the Dutch regulations insist on a pejorative term, ''Israeli settlement,'' whose only purpose is to help people boycott the products.
Big Tech moguls donated millions to groups tied to BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 11:31
Tech moguls who made their fortunes from Facebook, Twitter and Netflix have donated at least $7.5 million to groups tied to BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who has in turn publicly backed their policy goals, according to a new report.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, and Patricia Ann Quillin, the wife of Netflix's billionaire CEO, all gave generously to Cullors' PAC and associated charities, according to the New York Post.
Cullors for her part has strongly advocated for 'net neutrality', a policy that financially benefits online content providers such as Netflix and social media sites.
And the cozy relationship has even seen Facebook and Twitter censor perceived criticism of Cullors, with Facebook going so far as to block users from sharing a DailyMail.com article detailing a controversy over her expensive real estate holdings.
Groups tied to Patrisse Cullors, the activist who co-founded Black Lives Matter, have received at least $7.5 million in donations from tech moguls tied to Twitter, Facebook and Netflix
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who has an estimated net worth of $14 billion, chipped in $1.5 million last year through his #startsmall philanthropy initiative
Of the donors named by the Post, Moskovitz his wife Cari Tuna have given the most generously, donating more than $5.5 million from 2017 to 2020, according to public records cited by the Post.
Moskovitz, 36, was one of the co-founders of Facebook. He left the company in 2008, but retained a 2 percent stake that puts his net worth at nearly $20 billion.
His donations went to Dignity and Power Now, a non-profit started by Cullors, and Reform LA Jails, a California PAC she co-founded to lobby for civilian oversight of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
Dorsey, who has an estimated net worth of $14 billion, chipped in $1.5 million last year through his #startsmall philanthropy initiative.
That money went to Black Lives Matter and The Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of activist groups founded by Cullors.
Quillin, the wife of Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings, donated $250,000 to Reform LA Jails in 2020.
Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz his wife Cari Tuna have given the most generously, donating more than $5.5 million from 2017 to 2020
Patricia Ann Quillin (left), the wife of Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings (right), donated $250,000 to Reform LA Jails in 2020
Cullors' own finances are entwined to a degree with Reform LA Jails, which in 2019 paid $110,000 in consulting fees to a company controlled by her and her wife, Janaya Khan, according to the Post.
There are no rules prohibiting officers of a California PAC from paying themselves or family members for consulting services.
Cullors in 2015 described herself as a 'trained Marxist', and last December elaborated on her views, saying 'I do believe in Marxism.'
'I'm working on making sure that people don't suffer, I'm working to make sure people don't go hungry,' she explained in a YouTube video.
Over the years, Cullors has been vocal in her support of net neutrality, a policy that is strongly favored by content giants and decried by internet service providers.
Net neutrality prohibits service providers from charging companies such as Netflix for the vast amounts of data they send through the networks.
The policy does not put 'neutrality' requirements on content providers such as Twitter and Facebook, who are given broad immunity in deciding what posts are allowed on their platforms.
In 2014, Cullors penned an op-ed for The Hill, writing that 'Black online voices are threatened' by proposals to repeal net neutrality.
'It is because of net neutrality rules that the Internet is the only communication channel left where Black voices can speak and be heard, produce and consume, on our own terms,' she wrote.
Cullors' finances have come under scrutiny in recent weeks, after fellow activists questioned her purchases of homes worth a total of $3 million, including a $1.4 million mansion in LA's exclusive Topanga Canyon.
Facebook respond to the controversy by blocking articles about Cullors' real estate holdings from DailyMail.com and the New York Post.
A Facebook spokesperson told DailyMail.com at the time: 'This content was removed for violating our privacy and personal information policy.'
However, articles covering the controversy from other outlets, such as Black Enterprise, a media company that covers black-owned businesses, were still allowed to be shared by Facebook users.
Twitter also got in on the act, suspending Jason Whitlock, an outspoken conservative sports commentator, after he criticized Cullors.
Whitlock, who is black, was barred from the platform after tweeting: 'Black Lives Matter founder buys $1.4 million home in Topanga, which has a black population of 1.4%. She's with her people!'
Jason Whitlock, a sports journalist, has had his Twitter account blocked after criticizing Cullors for buying an expensive home in a mostly white neighborhood, he told DailyMail.com
'BLM is one of Big Tech's sacred cows,' Whitlock told DailyMail.com at the time. 'I've been harping on the fraudulence and the financial grift of BLM for years.'
Last month AP reported that Black Live Matter Global Network brought in $90 million in donations last year, but the group says that it had paid Cullors only $120,000 since the organization's inception in 2013, and that she did not receive any compensation after 2019.
Cullors, who married Janaya Khan, a gender non-conforming leader of BLM in Toronto, in 2016, has been in high demand since her 2018 memoir became a best-seller. In October she published her follow-up, Abolition.
She also works as a professor of Social and Environmental Arts at Arizona's Prescott College, and in October 2020 signed a sweeping deal with Warner Bros.
The arrangement is described as a multi-year and wide-ranging agreement to develop and produce original programming across all platforms, including broadcast, cable and streaming.
The Purge
California Guard ordered fighter jet ready for civil unrest - The San Diego Union-Tribune
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 21:15
In March of last year, California National Guard members awaited orders from Sacramento headquarters to make preparations for any civil unrest that might arise from the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The members expected directives to ready ground troops to help state and local authorities respond to disturbances triggered by resistance to stay-at-home rules or panic over empty store shelves.
But then came an unusual order: The air branch of the Guard was told to place an F-15C fighter jet on an alert status for a possible domestic mission, according to four Guard sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
Those sources said the order didn't spell out the mission but, given the aircraft's limitations, they understood it to mean the plane could be deployed to terrify and disperse protesters by flying low over them at window-rattling speeds, with its afterburners streaming columns of flames. Fighter jets have been used occasionally in that manner in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, they said.
Deploying an F-15C, an air-to-air combat jet based at the Guard's 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno, to frighten demonstrators in this country would have been an inappropriate use of the military against U.S. civilians, the sources said.
F-15C Eagle fighter jets from the California Air National Guard's 144th Fighter Wing flew over the state Capitol in Sacramento last year to honor healthcare workers, first responders and others battling the pandemic.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
They said the jet was also placed on an alert status '-- fueled and ready for takeoff '-- for possible responses to protests over the murder of George Floyd by a police officer and to any unrest sparked by the Nov. 3 presidential election.
''It would have been a completely illegal order that disgraced the military,'' one source said. ''It could look like we're threatening civilians.''
''That's something that would happen in the Soviet Union,'' said a second of The Times' sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation from their superiors. ''Our military is used to combat foreign aggressors.''
The sources said the directives from Guard headquarters made their way down orally or in text messages, rather than in formal written orders, which was unusual and heightened their concerns that the jet would be used inappropriately.
Maj. Gen. David Baldwin , who leads the California Guard, did not respond directly to interview requests for this story. A spokesman for Baldwin, Lt. Col. Jonathan Shiroma, denied that the F-15C was placed on an alert status for a potential response to civil disturbances.
''We do not use our planes to frighten or intimidate civilians,'' Shiroma wrote in reply to emailed questions from The Times.
Shiroma also said that assigning jets at the 144th Wing to respond to civil unrest would have required the approval of First Air Force, which oversees the air defense of the continental United States for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). He said the California Guard ''never made such a request.''
He released a list of aircraft that he said were ''postured to support any potential civil unrest missions'' leading up to the election; it included two planes '-- a C-130J and an HC-130J '-- but no fighters.
''No F-15s were contemplated,'' Shiroma wrote.
But The Times reviewed other internal Guard documents that show the jet was placed on an alert status for a possible election-week mission and that officers discussed concerns in March 2020 as well as that summer about using the F-15C for domestic purposes, including to intimidate civilians.
The week before the election, a lieutenant colonel sent a message to Guard members who maintain the F-15C, advising them that a jet must be ''ready to take off within two hours,'' beginning the Monday morning before the election. That meant a pilot and launch crew had to be available to reach the Fresno base within 90 minutes or so of receiving an order to deploy the jet, the sources said.
The message also said ''aircraft availability'' for a domestic mission would be ''at a premium next week with the election. We may need to work on Saturday and maybe Sunday to ensure we have ... aircraft availability'' for the potential mission. The sources said the aircraft in question was the F-15C.
With concern mounting among Guard officers and others, the then-commander of the 144th Wing, Col. Jeremiah Cruz, sent an email to several officers, saying that ''there is no expectation that the F-15C will be used in any way in support of civil unrest.'' He went on to instruct the recipients to keep him apprised of ''any requests or upcoming requests'' from California Guard headquarters in Sacramento.
While that order never came, the sources said, the fact that their leaders might even consider using the F-15C over civilian crowds alarmed Guard members.
''It's a war machine, not something you use for [suppressing] civil unrest,'' a third source told The Times. He said readying the F-15C for potential deployment over a protest was ''definitely unprecedented'' in his experience.
Cruz did not respond to interview requests.
The F-15C can hit supersonic speeds, fires air-to-air missiles and is outfitted with a 20-millimeter cannon. It is expensive to operate, costing nearly $25,000 per flight hour, according to the Guard.
At Fresno, the jets are used to train pilots for combat, and a few are kept on around-the-clock alert to respond immediately to attacks by enemy aircraft on orders from the Pentagon as part of NORAD. That federal alert mission is separate from any use of the jets for civilian purposes.
''That jet has one mission and one mission alone '-- to go up and shoot down other airplanes,'' said retired Gen. Dave Bakos.
The Defense Department and First Air Force were not involved in any decision to place the F-15C on an alert status for civilian disturbances, military spokespersons said. Army Lt. Col. Christian Mitchell, a Pentagon spokesman, said deploying the jet ''for dispersing crowds would not be an appropriate use of the F-15.''
As the head of the California Guard, Baldwin reports to Gov. Gavin Newsom. A spokeswoman said that Newsom never authorized the use of the F-15C for a response to civil unrest, and that the possibility of that type of mission for the jet ''was never a consideration before the governor's office.'' If it had been, the spokeswoman added, Newsom ''would not have approved it.''
This isn't the first time questions have been raised about the Guard's use of aircraft in times of civil unrest. In October, The Times reported that the Guard had sent an RC-26B reconnaissance plane to monitor Floyd-related protests in June in the affluent Sacramento suburb of El Dorado Hills, where Baldwin lived.
Other states' Guard units deployed RC-26B planes to fly over protests in Minneapolis, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. Unlike the small and peaceful protests in El Dorado Hills, however, the demonstrations in those cities were large and sometimes involved property destruction and street clashes.
Members of Congress voiced concerns that the planes were used inappropriately to surveil civilians. A resulting investigation by the Air Force inspector general's office concluded in August that the RC-26Bs did not violate rules barring the military from collecting intelligence on U.S. citizens, and said the aircraft wasn't capable of capturing ''distinguishing personal features of individuals.''
Baldwin told The Times last fall that he didn't recall whether he had approved the deployment of the RC-26B to El Dorado Hills. He said the fact that he lived there had ''nothing to do with'' the mission.
A Newsom spokesman said later that the deployment of the surveillance craft ''should not have happened. It was an operational decision made without the approval '-- let alone awareness '-- of the governor.''
In the case of the F-15C, the sources said Guard officers told crews during the coronavirus lockdown to have the jet fully fueled and assigned a pilot around the clock. Who in the Guard chain of command would have had the authority to order the jet dispatched on a civilian mission was not clear in the directives, the sources said. They added that the jet designated for the task was not armed with missiles and its cannon was not loaded.
In addition to the preelection message, The Times reviewed two written communications circulated among Guard members that referred to the order to ready the jet for a domestic mission known as Defense Support of Civil Authorities. That category of mission includes the deployment of troops and equipment for nonmilitary emergencies, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, as well as to help police agencies respond to violent protests.
The first communication, circulated shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak, posed the question of whether the Guard was preparing to use the F-15C as a ''show of force,'' which the sources said was a reference to flying it low over crowds.
A second communication in July contained a discussion of using the F-15C to survey infrastructure damage, but it also refers to the possibility of the jet being used as a ''show of presences.'' The sources said that phrase also refers to using aircraft to intimidate people on the ground.
In his statement to The Times, Shiroma said the F-15C has been used in the past to survey earthquake damage because it can reach remote locations faster than other aircraft.
Retired and active officers who spoke to The Times said it would make no sense to place an F-15C on a 24-hour alert to respond to earthquakes or other natural disasters. That task, they said, is far better suited to the Guard's helicopters and surveillance aircraft, which are cheaper to operate.
Dan Woodside, a retired Guard pilot who has flown the F-15C, said that on the few occasions the fighter jet was deployed to assess earthquake damage, it proved nearly useless because it isn't designed for that purpose. The jet has a camera-equipped targeting pod to zero in on enemy aircraft in flight, but F-15C pilots are not trained to use it for air-to-ground surveillance, Woodside said.
The sources said the targeting pod was ordered removed from the F-15C for the domestic mission after the Guard was criticized for deploying the RC-26B spy plane over El Dorado Hills.
Woodside, who held the rank of major, said he ''absolutely would have disobeyed'' any order to use an F-15C to buzz a civilian crowd during unrest.
''The decibel level alone from an F-15C demonstrating a show of force can break windows, set off car alarms and cause more fear than shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater,'' he said.
If the Guard leaders were allowed to deploy the jet to help quell civil unrest, Woodside added, ''you could have these warplanes buzzing all around the state of California.''
Noodle Gun
How Stalin canceled 'Hamlet' in the Soviet Union - and what it can teach us about cancel culture -- Society's Child -- Sott.net
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 15:47
Mass fear can result in censorship that is just as stifling and oppressive as government bans, history shows.
William Shakespeare's play Hamlet is considered by some to be the single greatest story ever written.
Hamlet has it all: ghosts, sword fights, suicide, revenge, lust, murder, philosophy, faith, manipulation, and a climactic bloodbath worthy of a Tarantino film. It's a masterpiece of both high art and sensationalism, the only play I've seen performed live three times.
Not everyone likes Hamlet, of course. One of its detractors was Soviet premier Joseph Stalin.
Stalin's hatred for the play has almost become a thing of legend, in part because it's unclear precisely why Stalin hated the play. Entire academic papers are dedicated to answering the question.
In his autobiography Testimony, the famous Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich suggests that Stalin saw the play as excessively dark and potentially subversive.
"[Stalin] simply didn't want people watching plays with plots that displeased him," Shostakovich wrote; "you never know what might pop into the mind of some demented person."
Stalin didn't ban the play, however. He merely let it be known he disapproved of Hamlet during a rehearsal at the Moscow Art Theater, Stalin's favorite theater.
"Why is this necessary '-- playing Hamlet in the Art Theater?" the Soviet leader asked.
That was all it took, Shostakovich said.
"Everyone knew about Stalin's question directed at the Art Theater and no one wanted to risk it. Everyone was afraid," Shostakovich observed. "And for many long years Hamlet was not seen on the Soviet stage."
Cancel Culture and Fear
Hamlet is safe in the United States today, fortunately. Yet today's "cancel culture" has purged many works of art '-- from Dr. Seuss books and Gone With the Wind to Disney movies like Peter Pan and Dumbo.
These works of art are not being banned by state censors; they are being pulled or restricted by content providers, online stores, and publishers on the grounds that they are culturally or racially insensitive.
"These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong," Dr. Seuss Enterprises told the Associated Press upon announcing it would no longer publish six Dr. Seuss books, including And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street and If I Ran the Zoo.
Whether these works of art are culturally insensitive is a subjective matter, as is the question of whether Hamlet is a morally subversive play. Now, there are those who deny that Dr. Seuss is actually being canceled at all.
"We can debate whether doing this was the right thing, but it's important to point out a few things," the film critic Stephen Silver wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer. "The decision was made by the company that owns and controls the books, not by the government, or by a 'mob' that pressured it."
Silver is correct to note there's a difference between government censorship and self-censorship. But his claim there was no pressure behind the decision warrants scrutiny. (More on that in a moment.)
In any event, while there are differences in government censorship and self-censorship, both are dangerous, George Orwell observed. Obviously it is not desirable that a government department should have any power of censorship... but the chief danger to freedom of thought and speech at this moment is not the direct interference of the [government] or any official body. If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion. In this country intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face, and that fact does not seem to me to have had the discussion it deserves. (emphasis added) What Orwell was saying is that fear of public opinion can also result in censorship.
Now, to be clear, we don't know for certain the motivations of publishers who decide to stop publishing certain Dr. Seuss books. Just like we can't know for sure why Spotify suddenly dropped 42 Joe Rogan episodes down the Memory Hole. But it's not unreasonable to suspect the impetus driving the canceling of today's works is not unlike that which drove Hamlet out of the Soviet Union: fear.
Fear: A More Effective Censor Than Bans?
Stalin's canceling of Hamlet showed government bans aren't the only ways to suppress free expression, or even the most effective . As Shostakovich observed, Stalin's ability to cancel Hamlet with a mere word was a far better demonstration of power than an official state ban. It required no law or formal announcement. All it took was a quiet word and fear, an emotion that Americans today are familiar with.
A recent Cato study shows self-censorship is surging in the US, with two-thirds of Americans saying they are afraid to share ideas in public because of the political climate, which is increasingly dominated by "wokeism."
These fears are not irrational. The examples of Americans fired, shamed, and canceled for being on the wrong side of woke culture are legion. The phenomenon last year prompted a letter in Harper's Magazine signed by dozens of leading academics that condemned the intolerant climate of ideas.
"Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes," the letter read. "We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement."
This climate doesn't end with writers and academics afraid to offer certain opinions, however. It extends to corporate boardrooms and executive committees, where individuals are being pressured to decide which art is acceptable and which opinions are fit to be shared on platforms.
To be on the wrong side of the debate invites personal destruction. It's simply easier to agree to remove "harmful" art or fire that employee who raised the ire of the Twitter mob.
"People are afraid to challenge them," Robby Soave of Reason told John Stossel last year in an interview on cancel culture.
Like in Orwell's 1984, in today's culture you don't even have to utter Wrongthink to be condemned for it.
Just ask Dr. Howard Bauchner, who in March was removed as editor-in-chief of the prominent medical journal JAMA. Bauchner's crime was that, during a podcast the previous month, his deputy editor questioned the existence of structural racism.
"Structural racism is an unfortunate term," said Dr. Edward H. Livingston, who is white. "Personally, I think taking racism out of the conversation will help."
'Everyone Was Afraid'
To be sure, in America today one doesn't risk liquidation for refusing to bow to pressure to self-censor works of art. That cannot be said of the Soviet Union under Stalin.
Yet there is a common thread that runs through both cases of censorship: fear
"Everyone was afraid," Shostakovich said.
These same words can be applied to those bowing to cancel culture today.
This isn't to say that Dr. Seuss's works are or are not culturally insensitive, or that Hamlet does or does not contain themes harmful or subversive.
It's simply to say that fear lurks behind the disappearance of art and the suppression of free expression. For that reason alone, such efforts should be resisted.
Laid-Off Workers Aim to Shame Hollywood Hangout on Oscar Weekend
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 15:50
On the eve of Oscars weekend, a picket line formed outside the Chateau Marmont, the prominent after-party locale where Jay-Z and Beyonc(C) held post-Oscars bashes for years, to host an alternate awards show. The group stood around a long red carpet, decked out with balloons, to nominate the classic Hollywood hangout for ''worst performance.'' It won'--there were no other nominees.
The Friday night ceremony marked more than a year of a widely publicized boycott against the hotel, after it fired nearly 250 employees last March. Just weeks before the firings, hotel workers had been starting to form a union, but no protections were in place. The layoffs left almost the entirety of the Chateau's staff'--some of whom had worked there for decades'--to weather a deadly pandemic without income, severance, or health care.
Marta Moran, a 56-year-old housekeeper at the hotel, took public transportation two hours every day to get to work for 33 years. Moran told The Daily Beast that the layoffs cut her off from health insurance, endangering her access to life-saving diabetes medication. Carlos Barrera, who spent 40 of his 62 years working for the hotel, said he was forced to move in with his two sons not long after he was let go. He took a part-time job at Pizza Hut, but his savings will run out not long after the Oscars. Both hope their seniority will mean something when the hotel reopens, but Alejandro Roldan, who worked in housekeeping for four years, told The Daily Beast that management already made clear it would not.
OTG
Can Apple's new AirTags be used to secretly track you? '' BGR
Fri, 23 Apr 2021 13:59
Over the last year, if not longer, we've seen an endless stream of rumors pointing to Apple releasing a tracking device designed to compete with the popular Bluetooth-enabled trackers from Tile. And this week, at the company's Spring Loaded event, Apple officially introduced the world to AirTag.
As you might expect, AirTag can be attached to any number of items like handbags, wallets, backpacks, and luggage and tracked via an accompanying iPhone. Apple also notes that ''AirTag taps into the vast, global Find My network and can help locate a lost item, all while keeping location data private and anonymous with end-to-end encryption.''
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While Apple's AirTags make it convenient to keep track of personal items, the trackers themselves naturally introduce any number of privacy concerns. Imagine, for example, person A attaching an AirTag to person B's backpack without their knowledge. Person A would subsequently be able to track the location of Person B without their knowledge.
Not surprisingly, Apple has made it quite easy to prevent this from happening. As Apple notes in a recently published support document, AirTag was designed to prevent unwanted tracking:
To discourage tracking without your knowledge, Find My will notify you if an unknown AirTag is seen moving with you over time. An AirTag that isn't with the person who registered it for an extended period of time will also play a sound when moved so you can find it, even if you don't use an iOS device.
If you find yourself in the scenario above and receive a message that reads ''AirTag Found Moving With You'', Apple relays that you should do the following:
Tap the message.Tap Continue. If you need help finding the AirTag, tap Play Sound.*If the AirTag is attached to an item you're borrowing, you can tap Pause Safety Alerts to turn off ''AirTag Detected'' notifications for one day. If you're borrowing an AirTag from a member of your Family Sharing group, you can turn off Safety Alerts for one day or indefinitely.You can tap Learn About This AirTag to see its serial number if the owner marked it as lost.To disable the AirTag and stop sharing your location, tap Instructions to Disable AirTag and follow the onscreen steps. If you feel your safety is at risk, contact your local law enforcement who can work with Apple. You might need to provide the AirTag or its serial number.Incidentally, Tile was none too pleased with Apple's AirTag introduction. Following Apple's media event, Tile CEO CJ Prober issued the following statement:
We welcome competition, as long as it is fair competition. Unfortunately, given Apple's well-documented history of using its platform advantage to unfairly limit competition for its products, we're skeptical. And given our prior history with Apple, we think it is entirely appropriate for Congress to take a closer look at Apple's business practices specific to its entry into this category.
Apple, in response, provided the following statement to TechCrunch:
We have worked from the very beginning of iPhone to help protect the privacy of users' location data, giving them transparency and control over how all apps may access and share their location. Apple created Find My over a decade ago to help users locate and manage lost devices in a private and secure way. Since then, we have expanded Find My to help users keep tabs on the other important things in their life '-- from sharing location with friends and family members, to locating third-party products like Van Moof bikes and Chipolo item finders. We have always embraced competition as the best way to drive great experiences for our customers, and we have worked hard to build a platform in iOS that enables third-party developers to thrive.
AirTags will arrive in stores on April 30 and can be purchased individually for $29 or in a 4-pack for $99.
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A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.
The Florida mystery of dormant Pentagon IP addresses - The Washington Post
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 15:30
While the world was distracted with President Donald Trump leaving office on Jan. 20, an obscure Florida company discreetly announced to the world's computer networks a startling development: It now was managing a huge unused swath of the Internet that, for several decades, had been owned by the U.S. military.
What happened next was stranger still.
The company, Global Resource Systems LLC, kept adding to its zone of control. Soon it had claimed 56 million IP addresses owned by the Pentagon. Three months later, the total was nearly 175 million. That's almost 6 percent of a coveted traditional section of Internet real estate '-- called IPv4 '-- where such large chunks are worth billions of dollars on the open market.
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The entities controlling the largest swaths of the Internet generally are telecommunications giants whose names are familiar: AT&T, China Telecom, Verizon. But now at the top of the list was Global Resource Systems '-- a company founded only in September that has no publicly reported federal contracts and no obvious public-facing website.
As listed in records, the company's address in Plantation, Fla., outside Fort Lauderdale, is a shared workspace in an office building that doesn't show Global Resource Systems on its lobby directory. A receptionist at the shared workspace said Friday that she could provide no information about the company and asked a reporter to leave. The company did not respond to requests for comment.
The only announcement of Global Resources Systems' management of Pentagon addresses happened in the obscure world of Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) '-- the messaging system that tells Internet companies how to route traffic across the world. There, messages began to arrive telling network administrators that IP addresses assigned to the Pentagon but long dormant could now accept traffic '-- but it should be routed to Global Resource Systems.
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Network administrators began speculating about perhaps the most dramatic shift in IP address space allotment since BGP was introduced in the 1980s.
''They are now announcing more address space than anything ever in the history of the Internet,'' said Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis for Kentik, a network monitoring company, who was among those trying to figure out what was happening. He published a blog post on the mystery Saturday morning.
The long life of a quick 'fix': Internet protocol from 1989 leaves data vulnerable to hijackers
The theories were many. Did someone at the Defense Department sell off part of the military's vast collection of sought-after IP addresses as Trump left office? Had the Pentagon finally acted on demands to unload the billions of dollars worth of IP address space the military has been sitting on, largely unused, for decades?
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An answer, of sorts, came Friday.
The change is the handiwork of an elite Pentagon unit known as the Defense Digital Service, which reports directly to the secretary of defense. The DDS bills itself as a ''SWAT team of nerds'' tasked with solving emergency problems for the department and conducting experimental work to make big technological leaps for the military.
Created in 2015, the DDS operates a Silicon Valley-like office within the Pentagon. It has carried out a range of special projects in recent years, from developing a biometric app to help service members identify friendly and enemy forces on the battlefield to ensuring the encryption of emails Pentagon staff were exchanging about coronavirus vaccines with external parties.
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Brett Goldstein, the DDS's director, said in a statement that his unit had authorized a ''pilot effort'' publicizing the IP space owned by the Pentagon.
''This pilot will assess, evaluate and prevent unauthorized use of DoD IP address space,'' Goldstein said. ''Additionally, this pilot may identify potential vulnerabilities.''
Keith J. Krach and Gen. Stanley McChrystal join Washington Post Live on Thursday, April 22 (The Washington Post)Goldstein described the project as one of the Defense Department's ''many efforts focused on continually improving our cyber posture and defense in response to advanced persistent threats. We are partnering throughout DoD to ensure potential vulnerabilities are mitigated.''
The specifics of what the effort is trying to achieve remain unclear. The Defense Department declined to answer a number of questions about the project, and Pentagon officials declined to say why Goldstein's unit had used a little-known Florida company to carry out the pilot effort rather than have the Defense Department itself ''announce'' the addresses through BGP messages '-- a far more routine approach.
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What is clear, however, is the Global Resource Systems announcements directed a fire hose of Internet traffic toward the Defense Department addresses. Madory said his monitoring showed the broad movements of Internet traffic began immediately after the IP addresses were announced Jan. 20.
These hackers warned the Internet would become a security nightmare
Madory said such large amounts of data could provide several benefits for those in a position to collect and analyze it for threat intelligence and other purposes.
The data may provide information about how malicious actors operate online and could reveal exploitable weaknesses in computer systems. In addition, several Chinese companies use network numbering systems that resemble the U.S. military's IP addresses in their internal systems, Madory said. By announcing the address space through Global Resource Systems, that could cause some of that information to be routed to systems controlled by the U.S. military.
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The data could also include accidental misconfigurations that could be exploited or fixed, Madory said.
''If you have a very large amount of traffic, and someone knows how to go through it, you'll find stuff,'' Madory added.
The U.S. government spent billions on a system for detecting hacks. The Russians outsmarted it.
Russell Goemaere, a spokesman for the Defense Department, confirmed in a statement to The Washington Post that the Pentagon still owns all the IP address space and hadn't sold any of it to a private party.
Dormant IP addresses can be hijacked and used for nefarious purposes, from disseminating spam to hacking into a computer system and downloading data, and the pilot program could allow the Defense Department to uncover if those activities are taking place using its addresses.
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A person familiar with the pilot effort, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity because the program isn't public, said it is important for the Defense Department to have ''visibility and transparency'' into its various cyber resources, including IP addresses, and manage the addresses properly so they will be available if and when the Pentagon wants to use them.
''If you can't see it, you can't defend it,'' the person said.
Lori Rozsa in Plantation, Fla., and Alice Crites contributed to this report.
Build Back Better
Stocks drop on Biden plan to double capital gains tax for wealthy
Fri, 23 Apr 2021 12:45
April 22, 2021 | 5:55pm | Updated April 22, 2021 | 5:55pm
Stocks tumbled Thursday on a report that President Biden is mulling a plan to nearly double what wealthy people pay on their investment gains.
A Bloomberg News report that Biden wants to raise the capital gains tax to as much as 39.6 percent for people earning at least $1 million chopped 321 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which closed down 0.9 percent to 33,815.90.
Before the report hit, major averages were trading higher, buoyed by better-than-expected unemployment data and some positive earnings reports.
But the report, which warned of an overall top tax rate of 43.4 percent when combined with an existing 3.8 percent tax on investment income to fund Obamacare, sent the blue-chip Dow benchmark down as much as 420 points at its lowest point.
The S&P 500 index ended the day down 0.9 to 4,134.98, while the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.9 percent to 13,818.41.
The current top capital gains rate is 20 percent.
Experts predict more selling if Biden's tax plan becomes a reality '-- potentially ending a bull market that has defied even the devastating economic fallout of coronavirus pandemic, including high unemployment.
''Biden's proposal effectively doubles the capital gains tax rate on $1 million income earners,'' Jack Ablin, Cresset Capital Management's founding partner and CIO told CNBC. ''That's a sizable cost increase to long-term investors. Expect selling this year if investors sense the proposal has a chance of becoming law next year.''
''The biggest risks to the stock market are the Fed's taper tantrum and aggressive tax hikes,'' added Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note to clients.
Thursday's capital gains news comes as investors waded through another batch of positive earnings reports.
Blackstone Group shares ticked up 3.3 percent after the private-equity firm swung to a record profit of $1.75 billion in the first quarter. AT&T saw its stock rise 4 percent, after the telecom giant said it added more wireless customers and HBO Max customers in the first quarter.
Shares of Equifax rose 14.9 percent after the credit-reporting agency late Wednesday raised financial projections for the year and said it expects to buy back more than $100 million worth of stock.
On the job front, workers filings for jobless claims reached another pandemic low of 547,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The dip is a sign the job market is strengthening.
While stocks remain near record highs, there's also growing concern about a surge in coronavirus cases globally, which could delay the broader global economic recovery. India reported the world's biggest one-day rise in new infections on Thursday, as COVID-19 rips through the region.
LaGuardia Airport's Terminal B officially opens | Building Design + Construction
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 04:52
LaGuardia Airport's new Terminal B, a four-story, 850,000-sf facility that houses passenger services and amenities, has officially opened.
The steel-framed facility replaces a disjointed patchwork of structures with one that closely follows the curves of the Grand Central Parkway and the airport access roads. It was designed as a highly efficient and adaptable terminal that pays homage to the ''architectural grandeur and individuality'' of New York City.
''Our design concept focuses on two main components: a superior passenger experience and an exterior architectural expression that conveys a civic presence from the Grand Central Parkway,'' said Carl Galioto, FAIA, HOK's President and New York Office Managing Principal. ''The building is a metaphor for New York, a city of islands and bridges, and the terminal is connected to the city with views of the skyline from the passenger bridges. Our ambition was to help transform LaGuardia into an airport with a distinct civic identity worthy of this metropolis.''
Also known as a headhouse, Terminal B includes extensive food and beverage and retail options. Connected to two island concourses by a pair of 450-foot-long steel truss pedestrian bridges, the headhouse serves as the nexus to the new Terminal B. Arriving and departing passengers can view panoramic skyline and airfield views from the transparent-walled, 65-foot-high bridges as taxiing planes pass underneath them. The bridges also enabled the design team to move the terminal 600 feet closer to the Grand Central Parkway, which allowed for two additional miles of aircraft taxi lanes that will reduce airport ground delays.
The team designed a simplified circulation network comprising over eight miles of new roadway and 20 new bridges that provide an easy connection from the airport to the Grand Central Parkway and New York City. The roadways in front of the head house frame the Grand Central Parkway, and its column structures align with the head house design to create a cohesive appearance.
Inside the terminal, all check-in and passenger screening areas are located on the third floor. This location gives Terminal B the adaptability to accommodate evolving security screening and technology as needs change. The ''common-use'' design allows airlines to move easily within the terminal, expanding or shrinking their footprints as needed.
See Also: A 780-ft-long pedestrian walkway is positioned over an active taxi lane at Sea-Tac International
Terminal B forgoes the widespread practice among airports of offering monumental spaces to departures while relegating low-ceilinged, basement-like zones to arrivals; incoming and outgoing passengers to Terminal B share soaring, grand-scaled sequences.
Sustainability features include non-glare daylighting, passive shading, natural local materials, and storm resiliency and the new infrastructure layout will reduce the airport's overall carbon footprint due to lower fuel demands from taxiing aircraft. The project is targeting LEED Silver certification.
LaGuardia Gateway Partners is composed of Vantage Airport Group, Skanska, Meridiam and JLC Infrastructure for development and equity investment. Vantage Airport Group leads the redevelopment program and management of Terminal B, with Skanska Walsh as the design-build joint venture and HOK and WSP for design.
The Grocery Price Shock Is Coming to a Store Near You
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 21:20
(Bloomberg) -- Corn, wheat, soybeans, vegetable oils: A small handful of commodities form the backbone of much of the world's diet and they're dramatically more expensive, flashing alarm signals for global shopping budgets.
This week, the Bloomberg Agriculture Spot Index '-- which tracks key farm products '-- surged the most in almost nine years, driven by a rally in crop futures. With global food prices already at the highest since mid-2014, this latest jump is being closely watched because staple crops are a ubiquitous influence on grocery shelves '-- from bread and pizza dough to meat and even soda.
Soaring raw material prices have broad repercussions for households and businesses, and threaten a world economy trying to recover from the damage of the coronavirus pandemic. They help fuel food inflation, bringing more pain for families that are already grappling with financial pressure from the loss of jobs or incomes. For central banks, a spike in prices at a time of weak growth creates an unwelcome policy choice and could limit their ability to loosen policy.
''There seems to be sort of a bullish force behind the prices internationally,'' Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, said in an interview. ''The indications are that there is very little reason to believe prices would remain at these levels. It's more likely they will rise further. Hardship is still ahead.''
Emerging markets, in some cases already under pressure from weaker currencies, are particularly vulnerable because food costs make up a larger share of their spending. For the poorest and often politically unstable countries, the surge in raw materials threatens to further stoke global hunger.
''The relentless rise in prices acts as a misery multiplier, driving millions deeper into hunger and desperation,'' Chris Nikoi, the World Food Programme's regional director for West Africa, said earlier this month. It's ''pushing a basic meal beyond the reach of millions of poor families who were already struggling to get by.''
(C) Bloomberg Shopping Baskets The most recent crop spikes follow months of price gains fueled by booming import demand from China. Corn prices have doubled in the past year, while soybeans are up about 80% and wheat 30%. With China's purchases continuing and a spate of adverse weather conditions threatening crops in Brazil and the U.S., there are few signs of respite. Analysts including those at Rabobank, Mintec and HSBC Global Research all see a risk of even higher prices as a result, though it will vary across markets.
The impact on grocery shelves can already be seen in surging tortilla prices in Mexico, beef in Brazil and retail palm oil in Myanmar. In the U.S., it's more expensive bacon and other meat cuts.
''Generally people see this inflation continuing,'' said Tosin Jack, an analyst at Mintec, which monitors commodity prices. ''The trend will continue for some time and it will translate into consumer goods.''
The threat of food inflation is making governments nervous. Russia, one of the world's top grain exporters, has ordered a freeze on some retail food prices while taking steps to curb shipments. Bolivia has temporarily banned exports of beef to safeguard supplies at home and put a lid on prices.
Overall, global food costs have surged for 10 straight months, the longest rally in more than a decade, according to a UN gauge. The surge is stirring memories of 2008 and 2011, when spikes led to food riots in more than 30 nations across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and contributed to political strife and uprisings in the Arab Spring.
Read More: Five Hotspots Where Food Prices Are Getting People Worried Weddings and Virtual Dinner Parties to Bolster Palm Oil Use
Even in rich nations, where food is a smaller percentage of overall consumer spending, changes to some bills could be coming. In Europe, for example, the time lag between rising commodity prices and higher shelf prices is typically six months, according to OC&C Strategy Consultants. Retailers and manufacturers often use various techniques to soften the blow for consumers, including cutting the depth of promotions or reducing the size of products while keeping prices unchanged.
''Once the big commodities, like wheat, sugar, bulk oils, start rising in price for a sustained period of time manufacturers have little choice but to pass those higher costs on,'' said Will Hayllar, London-based managing partner at OC&C.
And commodities aren't the only component in driving up the price of food. Higher freight costs and other supply-chain headaches as well as packaging can all add up. Food and beverage giants are already signaling they're watching margins. Coca-Cola Co. has flagged higher costs in plastic and aluminum, as well as coffee and high-fructose corn syrup, the key ingredient in soda. Nestle SA, the world's biggest food company, warned it won't be able to hedge all of its commodity costs and it's raising prices where appropriate.
''This is a very volatile environment right now, very low visibility, lots of surprise,'' Nestle Chief Executive Mark Schneider said this week on a call with analysts. ''We will take pricing action.''
For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com
(C)2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Blinken authorizes US diplomatic missions to fly Pride flag
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 12:07
April 23, 2021 | 4:35pm | Updated April 23, 2021 | 4:35pm
Enlarge Image Secretary of State Tony Blinken has authorized US diplomatic missions to fly the LGBTQ pride flag at embassies and consulates. TASS via Getty Images; POOL/AFP via Getty Images (inset)
Secretary of State Tony Blinken has authorized US diplomatic missions to fly the LGBTQ pride flag on the same pole as the American flag at embassies and consulates, a department official confirmed to The Post Friday.
News of the authorization was first revealed by Foreign Policy magazine, which reported on a confidential cable sent by Blinken to diplomatic posts worldwide authorizing the policy change.
The nation's top diplomat said in the cable that the flag, which is flown to symbolize support and pride for the LGBTQ community, will not be required to be added to the flagpole in front of each mission.
Instead, chiefs of mission will be given the ability to ''determine that such a display is appropriate in light of local conditions,'' Blinken said.
The move comes ahead of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on May 17.
The move is yet another policy that President Biden is undoing of former President Trump's administration.
Pride flags can now be flown at the discretion of chiefs in charge of the diplomatic mission. TASS via Getty ImagesIn 2019, the department, then under the leadership of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, blocked embassies' requests to fly the flag on the same pole as the American flag. US missions were permitted, however, to still brandish pride-related items elsewhere.
Asked about the move during an interview with NBC News, then-Vice President Mike Pence defended the administration's policy as one that promotes a united American people.
Blinken notified diplomatic posts worldwide of the change. POOL/AFP via Getty Images''As the president said on the night we were elected, we're proud to be able to serve every American. We both feel that way very passionately, but when it comes to the American flagpole, and American embassies, and capitals around the world, one American flag flies,'' he explained.
Reached for comment by The Post, the State Department said in a statement, ''President Biden believes that America's strength is found in its diversity. America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive.''
The White House was lightened in the rainbow colors in support of the LGBTQ community on June 26, 2015. AFP via Getty Images''Recognizing that each country context is different, U.S. embassies and consulates develop individual plans to raise awareness of violence, human rights abuses, and discrimination targeting LGBTQI+ persons, including appropriate exterior displays,'' the statement continued.
Turkey
Biden's statement recognizing the Armenian genocide is a big deal - but Turkey isn't happy about it - Vox
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 22:34
President Joe Biden became the first US president to formally refer to atrocities committed against Armenians as a ''genocide'' on Saturday, 106 years after the 1915 start of an eight-year-long campaign of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Ottoman Empire that left between 1 and 1.5 million Armenians dead.
Previous presidents have refrained from using the word ''genocide'' in connection with the mass atrocities committed against the Armenian people in the early 20th century, and Turkey categorically denies that a genocide took place. So Biden's declaration marks a major break from precedent, and could signal an increase in tensions with Turkey, a longtime US and NATO ally.
''Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring,'' Biden said in a statement Saturday. ''And we remember so that we remain ever-vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms.''
The move is the fulfillment of a campaign promise for Biden, who pledged on April 24 last year to recognize the genocide if elected. It also comes on a symbolic date: April 24 is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, a holiday observed in Armenia and by members of the Armenian diaspora.
And it's emblematic of the Biden administration's desire to center human rights in its foreign policy agenda, even at the cost of worsening relations with Turkey.
Biden is the first US leader in decades to use the word ''genocide'' in connection with the events of 1915-1923. Previous presidents, including George W. Bush and Barack Obama, made similar campaign promises to recognize the Armenian genocide, but never followed through while in office, and Bush later called on Congress to reject such a designation. In 1981, Ronald Reagan made a passing reference to ''the genocide of the Armenians'' during a speech commemorating victims of the Holocaust.
The Trump administration, meanwhile, accidentally recognized the genocide last year when White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany made reference to an ''Armenian Genocide Memorial'' in Denver, Colorado '-- but rejected nonbinding resolutions by the House and Senate to declare it such.
Both the House and Senate measures, though not approved by Trump, passed overwhelmingly in 2019, paving the way for Biden's action on Saturday.
With the addition of the US on Saturday, 30 countries '-- including France, Germany, and Russia '-- now recognize the genocide, according to a list maintained by the Armenian National Institute in Washington, DC.
Biden spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday ahead of the official US announcement. It was the first conversation between the two allied leaders since Biden took office more than three months ago, which some regional experts have taken as a sign of cooling relations between the countries. According to a readout of the call released by the White House, the leaders agreed to hold a bilateral meeting ''on the margins of the NATO Summit in June.'' And according to news reports '-- but not the readout '-- Biden told Erdogan of his intentions to recognize the genocide.
Saturday's statement officially recognizing the genocide nonetheless elicited a harsh response from Turkey.
''We reject and denounce in the strongest terms the statement of the President of the US regarding the events of 1915 made under the pressure of radical Armenian circles and anti-Turkey groups on April 24,'' Turkey's foreign ministry said in a statement Saturday that called on Biden to ''correct this grave mistake.''
''This statement of the US ... will never be accepted in the conscience of the Turkish people, and will open a deep wound that undermines our mutual friendship and trust,'' the foreign ministry said.
Prominent Armenians, however, including Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, welcomed the news on Saturday. Pashinyan tweeted a brief statement, and, in a letter to Biden, said that the president's words both paid ''tribute'' to victims of the genocide and also would help to prevent ''the recurrence of similar crimes against mankind.''
''I highly appreciate your principled position, which is a powerful step on the way to acknowledging the truth, historical justice, and an invaluable of support for the descendants of the victims of the Armenian Genocide,'' he wrote.
American lawmakers also welcomed Biden's decision. New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, celebrated the statement in a tweet Saturday.
''Thankful that @POTUS will align with congressional & scholarly consensus,'' Menendez wrote from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Twitter account. ''As I said in 2019 when our resolution to recognize & commemorate the genocide passed the Senate, to overlook human suffering is not who we are as a people. It is not what we stand for as a nation.''
Former Sen. Bob Dole, who advocated for recognition of the Armenian genocide throughout his career, also tweeted his appreciation for Biden's words '-- alongside documents showing his own attempts at gaining recognition of the genocide in Congress in the 1970s and '80s.
''This is a proud and historically significant moment for the United States, for Armenia, and for Armenians around the globe,'' the 97-year-old former presidential candidate wrote. ''It's been a long time coming.''
Biden is taking a new approach to the US-Turkey relationshipThe vehemence of Turkey's response to the US recognition of the Armenian genocide isn't particularly surprising, as the topic has long been a point of international contention for Turkey.
Specifically, allegations of genocide are viewed as ''insulting Turkishness'' by Turkey '-- an offense that has elicited criminal charges in the past '-- because they implicate people who helped found the modern state of Turkey after the Ottoman Empire collapsed in 1922.
Turkey's aggressive efforts to push back on attempts to recognize atrocities committed against Armenians during World War I as genocide makes Biden's decision all the more exceptional.
Previously, Turkey has responded to countries acknowledging the genocide by recalling diplomats, including ambassadors to Germany and the Vatican. On Tuesday, in anticipation of a statement from Biden on the matter, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that there could be consequences to Biden's words.
''Statements that have no legal binding will have no benefit, but they will harm ties,'' Cavusoglu said. ''If the United States wants to worsen ties, the decision is theirs.''
As Vox's Amanda Taub explained in 2015, such concerns over strategic interests in the region have long meant that the US and allies like the United Kingdom have avoided designating mass atrocities against Armenians as a genocide.
Turkey is a key US ally '-- especially now, as the US relies on Turkey's cooperation in the fight against ISIS in Syria. US officials have compromised on how they refer to the killings. When Obama makes a speech to commemorate the anniversary of the genocide on Friday, White House officials say he will use the term ''Meds Yeghern'' instead of ''genocide.''
Likewise, the United Kingdom has not recognized the genocide, apparently out of concern that doing so would jeopardize its relationship with Turkey. A leaked Foreign Office briefing from 1999 stated that Turkey was ''neuralgic and defensive about the charge of genocide.'' Therefore, the ''only feasible option'' was for the United Kingdom to continue to refuse to recognize the killings as genocide, because of ''the importance of our relations (political, strategic and commercial) with Turkey.''
However, the Biden administration has already taken a harder line on the US relationship with Turkey than previous administrations. As a candidate, Biden labeled Erdogan an ''autocrat'' in an interview with the New York Times, and last month his administration condemned ''significant human rights issues'' in modern-day Turkey, including the jailing and alleged torture of journalists, activists, and political dissidents.
While it's unclear exactly what the fallout from Saturday's announcement will look like, other factors have already chilled the US-Turkey relationship. In December of last year, for example, shortly before Biden took office, the US imposed sanctions on Turkey for purchasing Russian military hardware. In 2019, the US also removed Turkey from its joint F-35 stealth fighter program over the same purchase.
On Saturday, former US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, who is also Biden's nominee to run the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book ''A Problem from Hell'': America and the Age of Genocide, argued that the decision was an important step in pushing back on Erdogan's growing authoritarianism.
''Turkey is a powerful country in a critical region,'' Power wrote on Twitter. ''It is part of NATO. Our relationship matters. But President Erdogan's success in blackmailing & bullying the US (and other countries) not to recognize the Armenian Genocide likely emboldened him as he grew more repressive.''
Trump refuses to back recognition of Armenian genocide after Erdogan threat | The Independent | The Independent
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 22:36
NewsWorldAmericasUS politicsErdogan threatens to recognise killings of Native Americans as genocide in response to Armenia resolution
Bipartisan Senate resolution passed in defiance of US president
Donald Trump's administration has rejected a US Senate resolution recognising the Armenian genocide, just a day after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to recognise the killing of Native Americans in retaliation.
The Senate measure was rejected by the State Department on Tuesday, with a spokesperson for the department indicating that US position on the matter did not change.
"The position of the Administration has not changed," said spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, in a statement to the Hill. "Our views are reflected in the President's definitive statement on the issue from last April."
The US Senate had passed a resolution unanimously last week to recognise the Armenian genocide as a matter of foreign policy, in a rare showing of bipartisanship on a deeply divisive issue and in spite of the Trump administration's objections. It marked the first time that the US Congress had formally designated the 1915 killings of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire as a genocide.
"To overlook human suffering is not who we are as a people," said senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey who co-sponsored the legislation alongside Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz, during an emotional speech moments before the legislation was passed. "It is not what we stand for as a nation. We are better than that, and our foreign policy should always reflect this."
Armenians mark 101 years since genocide Show all 10 1 /10 Armenians mark 101 years since genocide Armenians mark 101 years since genocideArmenian people carry torches during a march to commemorate the mass killings of Armenians
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Armenians mark 101 years since genocideArmenian people take part in a march in commemoration of the 101th anniversary of the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces in 1915
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Armenians mark 101 years since genocidePeople hold a flag during the laying of the flowers at the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan
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Armenians mark 101 years since genocidePresident Serzh Sargsyan and actor George Clooney attend the laying of the flowers at the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan
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Armenians mark 101 years since genocideArmenian clergymen, US actor George Clooney, center, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, second right front, and guests attend a ceremony at a memorial to Armenians killed by the Ottoman Turks, in Yerevan
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Armenians mark 101 years since genocideArmenian President Serzh Sarkisian (C,R) and US actor George Clooney (C) attend a ceremony at the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan
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Armenians mark 101 years since genocideA general view of attendees and mount Ararat during the laying of the flowers at the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan
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Armenians mark 101 years since genocideLebanese of Armenian descent burn an effigy of Turkish president Erdogan during a protest in front the house of Turkish Ambassador to mark the 101st anniversary of the mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915, near Beirut, Lebanon
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Armenians mark 101 years since genocideActivists hold portraits of victims during a silent demonstration to commemorate the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in Istanbul
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Armenians mark 101 years since genocideActivists hold portraits of victims during a silent demonstration to commemorate the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in Istanbul
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The Senate vote came after the House approved the measure last month, with a vote that came while Mr Trump and Mr Erdogan were meeting in the Oval Office.
Following the Senate vote last week, Mr Erdogan threatened to recognise the killing of Native Americans by European settlers in America, as they moved across the country and displaced and killed entire populations.
"We should oppose [the US] by reciprocating such decisions in parliament. And that is what we will do," Mr Erdogan said during an interview on the pro-government A Haber news channel.
"Can we speak about America without mentioning [Native Americans]? It is a shameful moment in US history," he continued.
In its statement, the State Department pointed to Mr Trump's 24 April comments, which fell on the Global Armenian Remembrance Day. During his statement, Mr Trump recognised that over a million and a half Armenians were "deported, massacred or marched to their deaths" under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.
He did not describe the events as genocide. While former president Barack Obama described the events as a genocide as a candidate in 2008, his administration later assured the Turkish government that it did not support a resolution recognising the killings as a genocide.
1 /1 Trump refuses to back recognition of Armenian genocide Trump refuses to back recognition of Armenian genocideBipartisan Senate resolution passed in defiance of US president
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Build the Wall
Kamala Harris' book is included in welcome packs for unaccompanied migrant children | Daily Mail Online
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 21:24
Vice President Kamala Harris's children's book Superheroes are Everywhere is being included in welcome packs for unaccompanied migrant children entering America at the Mexico border.
Images taken at a California shelter for migrants this week show Harris' book sitting on a cot along with a backpack, some clothes and other basic supplies like body wash and toothpaste.
These form the welcome kits for unaccompanied migrant children arriving the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, which has recently been converted to deal with an influx of illegal immigration.
Migrant children found at the border without a parent will be temporarily housed at the facility, which officials say can accommodate up to 1,000 children.
An image taken on April 22 at the Long Beach Convention Center, where migrant children found at the border without a parent will be temporarily housed, shows Kamala Harris' book Superheroes are Everywhere sitting on a cot along with a backpack, clothes and basic supplies
Young unaccompanied migrants, from ages three to nine, watch television inside a playpen at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. U.S. officials are scrambling to handle a dramatic spike in children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border alone
Officials are scrambling to handle a dramatic spike in children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border alone, which has lead to a massive expansion in emergency facilities to house them as more kids arrive than are being released to close relatives in the United States.
Despite being tasked with managing the crisis at the southern border 31 days ago, Harris has not yet visited border facilities nor held any significant press conferences on the issue.
The vice president's 2019 picture book Superheroes are Everywhere is a New York Times bestseller and was written to convey the empowering message: 'Superheroes are all around us - and if we try, we can all be heroes too.'
The Amazon description notes: 'Before Kamala Harris was elected to the vice presidency, she was a little girl who loved superheroes. And when she looked around, she was amazed to find them everywhere!
'In her family, among her friends, even down the street - there were superheroes wherever she looked. And those superheroes showed her that all you need to do to be a superhero is to be the best that you can be.'
Young readers are encouraged to sign up to a 'Hero Code', promising to carry out a series of commitments, including 'be kind', 'make a difference when I can', 'help people be brave', stand up for what's right', and 'protect people who need it.'
Kamala Harris's 2019 picture book Superheroes are Everywhere was written to convey the empowering message: 'Superheroes are all around us - and if we try, we can all be heroes too'
Other images taken of the Long Beach facility that will temporarily house unaccompanied young migrants show recreational items that children will have access to
Young migrants wait to be tested for COVID-19 at the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility in the Rio Grande Valley, in Donna, Texas
Last month, the White House announced Harris as its border 'czar', claiming she would lead the administration's response to the crisis at the southern border.
On Friday, she arrived in New Hampshire to promote President Joe Biden's $2 trillion in her sixth domestic trip since she was placed in charge of border diplomacy.
Harris has insisted she will travel to Guatemala and Mexico in the next month, but has not expressed interest in visiting the border wall or migrant holding facilities.
The White House has insisted her role is to try and determine the 'root causes' of migration, such as economic strife and violence that motivate people to try and reach America.
According to Customs and Border Patrol data, the number of immigrants apprehended along the southern border jumped from 96,974 in February to 168,195 in March. The last time single-month apprehensions were that high was in March of 2001.
The sleeping quarters for migrant children at the Long Beach Convention Center in California. Officials say the center can accommodate up to 1,000 children
Migrants departing from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are seen after crossing the Rio Grande River, in Texas on April 8. The number of migrants trying to cross the Mexican border to the USA jumped to 171,000 in March, the highest monthly number since 2006
CBP data also showed that from February to March, a 174 per cent increase in the number of family units caught along the border and a 101 per cent increase in unaccompanied children.
The Biden administration has gone to dramatic lengths to cope with the crisis, shipping unaccompanied children to be housed as far away from the southern border as Pennsylvania, and spending $86.9million to house 1,200 migrants in hotels until September.
Republicans blame the crisis on Biden, saying he dismantled key immigration rules imposed by Donald Trump. Democrats say that Biden inherited a broken system, including cruel policies he is attempting to remedy.
Harris has called leaders Central America and held meetings on the issue, including hosting philanthropists in her White House office on Thursday to learn more about problems facing Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, where many of the migrants are coming from.
She insisted that Central American migrants don't actually want to leave their home countries and flee to the U.S.
'The way I look at it, people don't want to leave home,' Harris said ahead of her meeting with the leaders of major philanthropist organizations. 'They don't want to leave their grandparents, they don't want to leave the culture.'
Out There
Tic Tac sightings
Naval fleet projection technology
ONLY seen over water
Pilots believe what they saw with INSTRUMENTS, not naked eye
multi-sensor spoofing
The Navy's Secretive And Revolutionary Program To Project False Fleets From Drone Swarms
Sun, 18 Apr 2021 12:04
The U.S. Navy has been quietly developing what could be one of the most important, transformative, and fascinating advances in naval combat, and warfare in general, in years. This new electronic warfare "system of systems" has been clandestinely refined over the last five years and judging from the Navy's own budgetary documents, it may be operational soon, if it isn't already. This secretive new electronic warfare "ecosystem" is known as Netted Emulation of Multi-Element Signature against Integrated Sensors, or NEMESIS.
NEMESIS is not just some 'paper program.' From publicly available, but obscure documents we've collected, it's clear that, for years, the Navy has been developing and integrating multiple types of unmanned vehicles, shipboard and submarine systems, countermeasures and electronic warfare payloads, and communication technologies to give it the ability to project what is, in essence, phantom fleets of aircraft, ships, and submarines. These realistic-looking false signatures and decoys have the ability to appear seamlessly across disparate and geographically separated enemy sensor systems located both above and below the ocean's surface. As a result, this networked and cooperative electronic warfare concept brings an unprecedented level of guileful fidelity to the fight. It's not just about disrupting the enemy's capabilities or confusing them at a command and control level, but also about making their sensors tell them the same falsehoods across large swathes of the battlespace.
Another way of looking at it is NEMESIS shifts from traditional electronic warfare tactics, in which multiple electronic warfare systems execute individual electronic attacks on multiple enemy sensors to achieve largely individual or localized effects, to a very diverse set of networked electronic warfare systems cooperatively making electronic attacks on huge portions of an enemy's sensor network. That network may stretch across large distances and multiple warfighting domains. In doing so, it achieves a cohesive set of far more unified, powerful, and convincing effects.
It sounds like science fiction, but it is anything but'--it's the next quantum leap in the quiet, but ferocious struggle to control the invisible domain of electronic warfare.
The Invisible WarElectronic warfare (EW) has become an essential part of military strategy over the better part of the last century. This has only become more pronounced in recent decades as military systems have increasingly migrated into the digital age.
NATO's simplest definition of electronic warfare is as follows:
The purpose of EW is to deny the opponent the advantage of, and ensure friendly unimpeded access to the electromagnetic spectrum. EW can be applied from air, sea, land, and space, and target communication and radar systems. It involves the use of electromagnetic energy to provide improved understanding of the operational environment as well as to achieve specific effects on the modern battlefield.
Electronic warfare encompasses a huge variety of operations and tactics, such as disrupting enemy communications and preventing your own from being disrupted. Maybe the most well-known form of EW has to do with jamming enemy radar systems, but there are many forms of electronic warfare that don't involve traditional jamming. These include detecting, spoofing, and distracting enemy sensor systems and denying them the opportunity to successfully target friendly forces to varying degrees.
Cyberwarfare tactics and the ability to actually disrupt enemy sensors, networks, and command and control systems at the software level are a highly critical emerging realm of warfare that in some cases can cross over and become blended with electronic warfare tactics. Even the use of directed energy weapons can be part of a force's electronic warfare bag of tricks.
Although it is the least visible component of a present-day military's order of battle and overall capabilities, and much of the details of exactly what capabilities exist and how they are realized remains in the shadows, electronic warfare is becoming one of the most important facets of modern warfare. As a result, future combat will occur just as much in this invisible spectrum as the visible one.
The Cold War Gave Birth To Modern Electronic WarfareElectronic warfare, as we understand it today, is not new. The U.S. military has been deploying EW technologies that go beyond simple jamming since at least the mid-20th Century. Stealth technology would never have been so successful without electronic warfare backstopping it during combat operations. In fact, the only engagement in which an F-117 was ever shot down occurred on the only night of the aircraft's use during Operation Allied Force when electronic warfare support was not available.
EW, at least how we understand it in modern, advanced terms, dates back much farther, to the height of the Cold War when the CIA launched the PALLADIUM project, which deployed radar spoofing systems and submarine-launched balloons carrying metallic radar reflectors in order to stimulate and probe Cuba's Soviet-made air defenses. The effort was part of a grander objective to understand how vulnerable the A-12 Oxcart'--the CIA's progenitor of the SR-71 Blackbird and the first aircraft to integrate stealthy attributes as a driving factor in its design'--would be to enemy air defenses. You can read all about this fascinating bit of history in this past piece of ours.
Lockheed Martin
An A-12 Oxcart.
Considering that the CIA possessed the capability 65 years ago to clandestinely launch airborne radar reflectors from submarines and combine them with electronic warfare capabilities that could simulate or spoof the presence of American fighter aircraft on the most advanced Soviet radar systems of the era, it isn't hard to use one's imagination to ponder what is possible today. We know that EW capabilities have evolved drastically in step with advances in sensor, emitter, and computer processing technologies and the increasingly potent data networks that integrate and fuse their capabilities with other systems and platforms. NEMESIS is the next evolutionary leap in this regard, and a particularly huge one at that.
Electrons Not BombsThe U.S. Navy's leadership has stated repeatedly that developing a major leap in EW capabilities has been a vital area of research over the last decade. On Oct. 29, 2013, then-Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the service's top officer, said as much when he spoke at a convention of the Association of Old Crows (AOC).
At the conference, Greenert told attendees that the Navy was looking for ways to move away from traditional weaponry and turn instead more heavily towards electronic warfare and information warfare. ''We've got to evolve this paradigm,'' he said, adding that electronic warfare could essentially replace kinetic warfare in many situations:
"We're using the electromagnetic spectrum as a domain and as a means, and we understand and grasp it. We have to figure out how we can beat things electronically first. Why do we spend all this money kinetically if we can jam, spoof, or do otherwise? We need to prepare the fleet to enact an electronic warfare plan the same way they think of a communications or surface warfare plan."
In 2015, the National Interest published an op-ed titled ''Winning the Airwaves: Sustaining America's Advantage in the Electromagnetic Spectrum,'' in which authors Bryan Clark and Mark Gunzinger wrote that America had failed to maintain its electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) superiority since the end of the Cold War. This failure had allowed ''China, Russia and other rivals with an opportunity to field systems that target vulnerabilities in sensor and communication networks the U.S. military has come to depend on. As a result, America's once significant military advantage in the EMS is eroding, and may in fact no longer exist,'' they said.
The same authors produced a 2015 white paper for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) think tank detailing how America could regain EMS superiority, writing that the Department of Defense ''now has the opportunity to develop new operational concepts and technologies that will allow it to 'leap ahead' of its competitors and create enduring advantages in EMS warfare.'' The document lists NEMESIS as one such technology, but does not disclose any further details about the program.
Two years earlier, however, budget documents show that the Navy was beginning to develop a highly integrated constellation of next-generation systems for spoofing or fooling distributed sensors and the platforms that host them.
NEMESIS GenesisAn electronic warfare development program known as Netted Emulation of Multi-Element Signature against Integrated Sensors or ''NEMESIS'' first emerged in Navy Research, Development, Test & Evaluation Budget Item Justification documents in the service's budget proposal for the 2014 Fiscal Year, which it published in April 2013. In that and subsequent budget requests, NEMSIS appeared under the program elements ''PE 0602271N / Electromagnetic Systems Applied Research'' and ''PE 0603271N / Electromagnetic Systems Advanced Technology.''
In these budget documents, the Navy describes NEMESIS as a ''System of Systems (SoS) able to coordinate distributed EW resources against many adversary surveillance and targeting sensors simultaneously" which "will benefit the warfighter by providing platform protection across the battlespace against many sensors, creating seamless cross-domain countermeasure coordination, and enabling rapid advanced technology/capability insertion to counter emerging threats.''
More specifically, the Fiscal Year 2014 Electromagnetic Systems Applied Research RDT&E Budget Item Justification states that NEMESIS ''addresses the need to generate the appearance of a realistic naval force to multiple adversarial surveillance and targeting sensors simultaneously.''
DoD
Later in that same document, a more detailed description of the program states that NEMESIS consists of ''reconfigurable and modular EW payloads, Distributed Decoy and Jammer Swarms (DDJS), effective acoustic countermeasures (CM), and Multiple Input/Multiple Output Sensor/CM (MIMO S/CM) for false force generation to both above and below water sensors.''
The 2018 and 2019 budget justifications state that "Nemesis expendable decoys and prototype system hardware will be completed and delivered for field testing" and that demonstrations of these expendable decoys "will be conducted during fleet experimentation, as well as during focused field and laboratory tests."
DoD
A Shadowy NEMESISThere is little publicly available information surrounding NEMESIS aside from these unclassified budgetary documents and a few publications and presentations that mention the program, usually to a very limited degree. Many specifics about the NEMESIS system remain unknown, but the documents help add context to the budget line item justifications we've presented above.
On April 9, 2014, Bob Smith, Director of Disruptive Technologies at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) gave a presentation at the National Defense Industrial Association's 15th Annual Science and Engineering Technology Conference that described several innovative Navy prototype research programs, or INPs. A slide from the presentation offered a basic, but absolutely impressive overview of the NEMESIS program while of course stating ''Additional details classified.''
ONR
The presentation stated that NEMESIS worked against distributed sensor systems in order to confuse or spoof an enemy force's surveillance and targeting systems. That document also said that the NEMESIS system ''enables rapid advanced technology/capability insertion for emerging threats'', meaning that NEMESIS could be quickly modified and upgraded to counter the latest capabilities that are still under development.
At the time, ONR said that NEMESIS addressed current limitations of traditional EW systems and multiple items on the United States Pacific Command (PACOM) Integrated Priority List (IPL), a list of the Pacific Command's highest priorities for ensuring its forces are capable of accomplishing their missions.
According to the same ONR presentation, NEMESIS consisted of "modular and reconfigurable EW payloads" including "decoy and unmanned air and surface platforms" based on the ONR's Science & Technology and Future Naval Capabilities programs. NEMESIS combined functionality and capabilities from Code 31: Information, Cyber and Spectrum Superiority; Code 33: Mission Capable, Persistent and Survivable Naval Platforms; and Code 35: Aviation, Force Projection and Integrated Defense.
Shortly after that ONR presentation, the publicly available 2015 Navy Program Guide offered a definition of NEMESIS in its appendix, stating that NEMESIS could ''synchronize electronic warfare (EW) affects across a variety of distributed platforms to create coherent and consistent EW effects" and that "NEMESIS emphasis is on the coordination and synchronization of EW capabilities and tactics against sensors in many scenarios.''
That same guide also stated that development of NEMESIS began in 2014 and was an interdisciplinary project involving well-known research centers, such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and ONR:
In 2013 the Navy approved NEMESIS as a FY 2014 INP New Start. Initial NEMESIS activity involved planning discussions among the Office of Naval Research, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, fleet commands and analysts, acquisition programs of record, government laboratories and warfare centers, the Defense Advanced Research Programs Agency, and federally funded research and development centers and university affiliated research centers.
To ensure NEMESIS is addressing current and future threats to naval battle group operations, threat assessments were initiated with the Intelligence Community, and a Navy Warfare Development Command NEMESIS war game will be conducted in 2015.
Navy.mil
On Feb. 4, 2015, Dr. Thomas Killion, then-Director of Technology at the Office of Naval Research, gave a presentation at the ONR Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo. In that presentation, NEMESIS is listed as a current Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) program alongside some of the Navy's most important leading-edge weapons development initiatives, including the Electromagnetic Railgun, the Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle, the Integrated Topside information operations and communications suite, and the Autonomous Aerial Cargo Unmanned System.
ONR
The Navy's 2015 Program Guide also mentions that the Navy conducted a war game in 2015 to test the NEMESIS system. Another budget document, the 2017 RDT&E Project Justification document for the Navy's "Space and Electronic Warfare (SEW) Architecture/Engineering Support" program, states that this war game took place in late February 2015:
NEMESIS War Game: This Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsored war game was conducted by NWDC and completed 23-26 Feb 2015. The primary purpose of the war game was to obtain fleet stakeholder input into the requirements for and design of a classified ONR Innovative Naval Prototype. The results of this effort will be used to design prototypes that could eventually be fielded as a Navy program of record.
That document also states that the NEMESIS war game which took place in 2015 "consisted of multiple events designed to explore innovative concepts and technologies associated with EMW", or electromagnetic warfare, and "obtain fleet stakeholder input into the requirements for and design of a classified ONR Innovative Naval Prototype." The descriptions of this war game appear to describe a seminar or "tabletop" exercise designed to formulate initial ideas for developing such a system, but exact details of the war game remain unknown.
The 2017 Navy Program Guide states that dedicated hardware for NEMESIS was developed in 2016 and that NEMESIS was expected to be demonstrated at full capability in late 2018:
NEMESIS has been in development since 2014, including close collaboration with the Office of Naval Research, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, fleet commands and analysts, acquisition programs of record, government laboratories and warfare centers, the Defense Advanced Research Programs Agency, and federally funded research and development centers and university-affiliated research centers. During 2016, NEMESIS capabilities began hardware development, technique and software migration and field testing at the sub-system level. In FY 2017-2018 flight and at-sea testing will be conducted on integrated system level capabilities in preparation for graduation demonstrations in late FY 2018.
The guide goes on to list the NEMESIS system's developers: Georgia Tech Research Institute, Johns Hopkins' Applied Physics Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Lincoln Lab, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the Office of Naval Research, and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. The Navy just recently rebranded Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command as the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command.
Navy.mil
EW SwarmsWhile the exact components of the NEMESIS system remain unknown, there are some hints about what types of decoys and swarms could make up such a system. In a 2017 Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) white paper titled ''Winning in the Gray Zone: Using Electromagnetic Warfare to Regain Escalation Dominance," authors Bryan Clark, Mark Gunzinger, and Jesse Sloman described the various elements that made up EW ecosystems then in development, such as NEMESIS and DARPA's System of System Integration Technology and Experimentation (SoSITE).
The document described swarms of expendable unmanned aerial systems that ''incorporate cognitive processing and coordinate their actions through communication networks,'' meaning they can share data in real-time and operate semi-autonomously to jam an adversary's sensors, act as or release decoys, gather targeting information, and detect and map air defense networks.
Launching waves of these UAVs could extend U.S. forces' sensor networks, confuse or obscure enemy defenses, provide a resilient communications network, coordinate and assign targets for weapons salvos, and even ''provide targets to hypersonic weapons that have a very short time-of-flight," the paper explained.
Aside from providing fire and communications support, the NEMESIS system was said to be capable of creating viable false targets that would "increase the number of potential targets" an adversary would have to engage. These false targets would "mimic the RF emissions and radar returns of real platforms" and include infrared decoys and "concepts and capabilities to simulate the computer network activity of deployed forces." The NEMESIS system even included underwater "high-fidelity acoustic decoys" which can generate "additional targets for the enemy to investigate or attack," according to the CSBA white paper. These acoustic decoys could include radio emulators and simulate propeller noise or other propulsion systems, as well as specific equipment on surface ships and submarines.
The CSBA said these decoys could increase the size of the forces or amount of munitions an enemy force would have to respond with, ideally making that adversary less willing to risk a larger use of its assets. What that means is that this EW system can not only disrupt an adversary's tactics, but to some extent also dictate his battlefield decision-making.
The CSBA report described how these effects could be achieved using small unmanned EW systems launched from either high altitude balloons or undersea platforms, such as submarines or unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) to create these electronic warfare effects:
Launching EMW expendables at higher altitudes is another approach to extending their ranges and endurance. Launching small EMW UAVs, missiles, or munitions from very high altitude (60,000 to 120,000 feet) balloons could be a less expensive option than using a missile. High altitude balloon technologies are very mature and may cost significantly less than other delivery methods. Furthermore, defeating balloon-delivered EMW expendables would likely require SAMs that can reach very high altitudes. Using these expensive SAMs to defeat large numbers of balloons'--some which might be decoys'--could be costly and operationally impractical for aggressors.
Another innovative delivery method for EMW expendables could be from undersea platforms, which may be the best use of undersea payload capacity in general. [...] Undersea platforms could be one of the most effective methods to deliver EMW expendables because they can closely approach enemy coastlines and targets. This allows shorter-range expendables to be employed, which are less expensive, smaller, and can be carried in higher numbers than larger payloads like cruise missiles.
Numerous sea and submarine-launched UAVs and autonomous swarm systems have already been developed or are in development. Small drone swarms can also be launched from virtually any type of ship and from shore, and even aircraft, as well. In fact, the Navy already has a swarming electronic warfare capability in the form of the ever-evolving Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD). But pairing various platforms, from radar reflector and electronic warfare payload-carrying balloons and swarms of drones of different sizes and performance capabilities, and networking them together to work cooperatively to confuse, spoof, and/or blind enemy sensors dispersed over a wide area is clearly what this system is all about.
The Office of Naval Research has been testing a small, low-cost rotary-wing drone known as Nomad, described as ''a highly affordable expendable design'' that can be deployed without the need to ensure it returns to its parent vessel. The Nomad can be launched from tubes using a CO2 ejection system that can fit on a variety of platforms and tests of this compact UAV have found that ''multiple Nomads can safely operate in the same airspace and fly in a coordinated fashion.''
USN
Nomad undergoing testing.
One of the only non-Navy mentions of the NEMESIS program found online is in a NavalDrones.com article from 2017, which describes the Nomad specifically as being part of the NEMESIS system. While that claim is unconfirmed on an official level, the Naval Research Laboratory has publicly disclosed tests of the Nomad system without mentioning NEMESIS. Still, given that many of the NEMESIS documents state that ''Distributed Decoy and Jammer Swarms (DDJS)'' are an integral part of the system, it's possible, if not probable, that Nomad and swarms of other small drones are part of this highly sophisticated and networked electronic warfare capability.
The 2017 CSBA paper also cites a wide range of other unmanned systems that could hypothetically be integrated into the NEMESIS system, although it remains unknown which specific expendables are used:
Small expendables in development or use today include the Switchblade precision missile, which is in use with Special Operations Forces; small UAVs such as the Coyote UAV, used in the Navy's Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program; and loitering munitions like the Lockheed Martin Fire Shadow. Expendables have also been integrated with launch platforms. The Navy is developing a submarine-launched version of the Blackwing UAV, which is similar to the Switchblade. Furthermore, the U.S. Air Force has deployed the Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD) since the 1990s.
The aforementioned LOCUST would be one of the most obvious platforms to execute major parts of the NEMESIS concept. The Navy has been experimenting with this highly deployable swarming drone capability for years and the airframes are highly adaptable and can be launched from almost anywhere.
Lockheed Martin has been also developing small unmanned aerial vehicles such as the tiny Outrider micro-aircraft, which can be launched from canisters that fit inside submarine missile tubes. The Naval Research Laboratory has tested all-electric folding wing drones designed to launch from torpedo tubes using existing launch systems. Glimpses of other similar systems in development have been offered over the last few years, including ones designed to carry infrared and electro-optical payloads.
Northrop Grumman has tested electronic warfare drones dropped from EA-18G Growlers inside canister deployment systems and air-launched electronic warfare enabled swarming munitions are set to become a major staple of aerial warfare.
Earlier this year, the Office of Naval Research issued a special notice for a research opportunity to develop a ''Long Endurance Advanced Off-board Electronic Warfare Platform,'' or LEAP. This program was listed under two of the same codes as NEMESIS, ONR Code 35: Aerodynamics, Autonomy, Flight Dynamics & Control, as well as Code 31: Electronic Warfare. The proposed vehicle design to be researched was for a ship-launched, long-range expendable decoy that can carry modular EW payloads.
Swarms of small unmanned surface vessels and even undersea vessels seem to fulfill aspects of NEMESIS' cross-domain capability as well. But leveraging swarms of smaller and somewhat expendable aerial drones and munitions that can work in conjunction with larger, less numerous, and more advanced platforms allows the NEMESIS concept to cover large geographical areas associated with modern naval combat and to distribute EW capabilities in a more resilient and decentralized manner than in the past. In doing so, it also allows for these swarms and the various dissimilar nodes that can make up the NEMESIS system at any given time to create fleets of ships and aircraft that aren't really there across a huge area as well as execute more mundane tasks, such as jamming individual enemy emitters or working as sacrificial decoys for enemy weapons themselves.
All of this could, and eventually will, also be networked with existing, more traditional electronic warfare systems such as those mounted on the Navy's surface combatants. In particular, this could be networked with the SLQ-32 SEWIP and the new and shadowy SLQ-59 that has recently arrived on some of the Navy's vessels. The Navy's EA-18G Growler could also act as a major component in this EW ecosystem and as a forward command and control node.
It's also worth remembering that NEMESIS, or at least parts of it, would also be an incredible and obvious intelligence collecting tool when it comes to probing and evaluating an enemy's defenses and recording its electronic order of battle. This could be done even in peacetime, very much in the same vein of PALLADIUM so many years ago, but on a much larger and more elaborate scale.
Evolution Of A RevolutionIn Fiscal Year 2015, the NEMESIS program expanded beyond the Navy's PE 0602271N / Electromagnetic Systems Applied Research program and began appearing in the budget line justification documents of several additional programs in subsequent fiscal years. During the next fiscal cycle, the Navy's Electromagnetic Systems Applied Research program continued to work on NEMESIS as it had in prior years. Then, in Fiscal Year 2017, the program's budget increased significantly ''due to hardware procurement and conducting field experiments of NEMESIS technologies.''
DoD
The Fiscal Year 2017 RDT&E Project Justification for the NEMESIS work conducted by Navy program PE 0603271N / Electromagnetic Systems Advanced Technology states that Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018 are dedicated to ''the integration and demonstration of these new technologies''.
DoD
In Fiscal Year 2018, NEMESIS appeared on two new Navy research program elements titled ''PE 0602792N / (U)Innovative Naval Prototypes(INP) Applied Research'' and ''PE 0603801N / (U) Innovative Naval Prototypes (INP) Advanced Technology Development.'' Those programs' goals for that fiscal cycle, respectively, were:
PE 0602792N / (U)Innovative Naval Prototypes(INP) Applied Research: Complete the Nemesis project by finishing research efforts to develop and mature technologies in multiple areas that will be used to assess the feasibility of Nemesis to coordinate Electronic Warfare (EW) operations across distributed EW systems. Technologies being matured include swarming vehicle operations, distributed resource mission control, multi-domain coordinated operations and advanced RF component and subsystems technologies. These emerging technologies are being designed and developed for prototype Nemesis systems which will be capable of performing coordinated EW operations across distributed EW systems.
PE 0603801N / (U) Innovative Naval Prototypes (INP) Advanced Technology Development: Complete the Nemesis project, previously funded in 0603271N Electromagnetic Systems Advanced Technology Development, by designing and building prototype Nemesis payloads that implement industry standards for software, hardware, and firmware interfaces. Nemesis expendable decoys and prototype system hardware will be completed and delivered for field testing. Demonstrations of Nemesis platforms and payload will be conducted during fleet experimentation, as well as during focused field and laboratory tests.
These budgetary documents state that the Innovative Naval Prototype programs "represent game-changing technologies with the potential to revolutionize operational concepts. They are disruptive in nature as they would dramatically change the way naval forces fight. INPs push the imagination of our nation's technical talent to deliver transformational warfighting capabilities."
DoD
In Fiscal Year 2019, funding continued to decrease in both the PE 0603271N / Electromagnetic Systems Advanced Technology and PE 0602271N / Electromagnetic Systems Applied Research programs due to the fact that the NEMESIS program was now being developed under the Innovative Naval Prototypes programs, suggesting it has advanced beyond research and development and is now working towards an operational state.
Electronic Warfare: The Next GenerationThe very existence of NEMESIS proves that a revolution in electronic warfare is well underway. If the capabilities we've described can be gleaned from scant publicly available information, there are no doubts that more advanced NEMESIS components and capabilities remain classified. It is also likely that some components of the system have existed long before they began to be integrated with other platforms under the NEMESIS program. Above all else, that is what NEMESIS does: it pulls together various leading-edge EW concepts and networks them together for a combined electronic warfare fight the likes of which we have never seen before.
As more nations develop and refine their advanced integrated sensor networks, next-generation EW "systems of systems" such as NEMESIS will become more vital to protecting the U.S. and allied assets and for giving them a leg up by being able to directly manipulate what the enemy believes is occurring on the battlespace based on their own sensors' data. As such, NEMESIS can help level the playing field against increasingly capable sensor networks, whether by blinding certain parts of those networks while spoofing others or by having the enemy fire its treasured weaponry at ghosts in the sea and in the air. Even a formation of what appears to be an incoming bomber force on radar and a puzzling group of bright signatures on infrared sensors could draw the enemy's attention away from critical parts on a real offensive.
Yes, much of this sounds almost like magic, and it is probably the closest thing the military has to it, but going by even the limited information we were able to uncover about NEMESIS, it really does represent the evolutionary next great leap in electronic warfare'--one that will elevate this murky art from a supporting aspect of military operations to a primary offensive and defensive one.
Tyler Rogoway contributed extensively to this feature.
Contact the editor: Tyler@thedrive.com
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DEW
U.S. troops increasingly vulnerable to directed-energy attacks, Pentagon tells lawmakers
Fri, 23 Apr 2021 11:49
National Guard stand their posts around the Capitol at sunrise in Washington, Monday, March 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) | Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo
The Pentagon warned lawmakers this week about the growing and urgent threat of directed-energy attacks on U.S. troops in the Middle East and elsewhere, according to four people briefed on the matter.
Two Defense Department officials briefed members of the House Armed Service Committee about the phenomenon in a classified setting on Wednesday, the people said, and told lawmakers they are increasingly concerned about the vulnerability of U.S. troops in places such as Syria, Afghanistan and various countries in South America.
AdvertisementBriefers pointed to Russia as a likely culprit, the people told POLITICO, but didn't have a smoking gun, citing difficulties in attributing the attacks.
The Pentagon opened an investigation last year after suspected directed-energy attacks occurred on an unknown number of troops, POLITICO first reported earlier Thursday.
Lawmakers were officially notified on April 15 that the House Armed Services briefing would take place on Wednesday. Committee members heard from Jennifer Walsh, the acting Pentagon policy chief, and Griffin Decker, the Pentagon's director of the emerging threats cell. The official notice, which was obtained by POLITICO, described the briefing as urgent and said it was centered on an ''emerging threat.''
''Due to the nature of the threat, members are highly encouraged to attend,'' the notice stated.
AdvertisementOfficials told lawmakers that the phenomenon of suspected directed-energy attacks on U.S. personnel '-- which cause a mysterious illness similar to the ''Havana syndrome'' reported by American spies and diplomats starting in late 2016 '-- is growing across the world, according to three people who attended Wednesday's briefing.
The briefers also told lawmakers that the origin of the technology required in such attacks is ''more likely than not in Russia,'' one of the people said. One person familiar with the briefing said the briefers also pointed to China as a possible culprit, and didn't know for sure who was behind the attacks.
The briefers said they were concerned about the growing frequency of apparent attacks around the world, but noted that they are especially concerned about the vulnerability of U.S. personnel in the U.S. Central Command area of operations, which includes combat zones from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan, the people said.
The facilities in these regions are not secure or ''hardened in any real way,'' one of the people said. ''That makes them very, very vulnerable.''
AdvertisementA Defense Department official familiar with the briefing, however, said the Central Command region was not a part of the discussion. Representatives of the Armed Services Committee and the National Security Council did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Rep. Jim Banks, an Indiana Republican on the Armed Services Committee, did not comment on any briefings but said the U.S. government isn't doing enough to protect personnel from directed-energy attacks. He noted that the bipartisan Future of Defense Task Force that he co-chaired looked at the issue.
''It came up a lot on our task force last year as a major issue that we have done very little to address,'' he told POLITICO. ''We have failed to take it seriously as a threat.''
Marc Polymeropoulos, a former CIA officer who suffered crippling symptoms in Moscow in December 2017 from a suspected directed-energy attack, called on lawmakers and officials to take the attacks seriously and to immediately treat the victims.
''It is absolutely critical that we find out who did this,'' he told POLITICO in an interview. ''The idea of dismissing it outright is just not acceptable anymore.''
POLITICO first reported on Thursday that Pentagon officials briefed top lawmakers earlier this year about the threat to U.S. troops after an internal investigation launched last year looked into suspected attacks on American personnel around the world. The briefings included information about injuries sustained by U.S. troops in Syria, people briefed on the suspected attacks as part of their oversight duties of the Pentagon said.
However, after the article was published, Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, told lawmakers during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that he has seen "no evidence" of such attacks against U.S. troops in his area of responsibility, which includes the Middle East and Afghanistan.
People affected by attacks report symptoms including acute ringing and pressure in the ears, as well as loss of hearing and balance, fatigue and residual headaches. Some victims have suffered long-term brain damage.
AdvertisementClose to 50 officials have reported such symptoms, known as ''Havana syndrome,'' among U.S. diplomats posted in Cuba since late 2016. The CIA set up its own task force this year to look into the problem, CNN reported in February.
Polymeropoulous also noted the ''insidious nature'' of the attacks in that it ''not only calls into question what happened but also sows all sorts of doubt within the U.S. government community, too.''
''I wish I was shot. I wish it had been an open wound, because then you have something that is visible and treatable and instead this is an invisible wound,'' he said. ''It takes you off the battlefield, it incapacitates you, it doesn't kill you ... ultimately it's a pretty brilliant terror weapon.''
Erin Banco contributed to this report.
Cows
Cow Mutilation
From anonymous rancher.
After John threw out a teaser about cows in the second half of show i have to respond! We had some cattle get mutilated years ago with no answers to this day. In north west North Dakota.
One bull was out where it shouldn’t have been, but too badly eaten by scavengers.
A second bull was found dead, with all sex and excrement organs precisely removed in perfect circles with no extra cuts. No sign of how or why he died.
Here is a link to a recent news story that is similar.
https://www.columbiacommunityconnection.com/the-dalles/cow-mutilation
If you have any questions give an email back or better yet call 701-641-8570
Can’t get enough of the show, A Rancher.
Clips
VIDEO - (12) John Whitehouse on Twitter: "Newsmax host claims Fox News may have benched Lou Dobbs to cover up Fox and Murdoch ties to China, including "Rupert Murdoch's third wife" https://t.co/cSux3SNGzV" / Twitter
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 12:29
John Whitehouse : Newsmax host claims Fox News may have benched Lou Dobbs to cover up Fox and Murdoch ties to China, including "Ruper'... https://t.co/NMwsX5MEmN
Fri Apr 23 01:03:28 +0000 2021
DianeEveryday 🇺🇸 : @existentialfish This woman (L)? https://t.co/driHT2cw1Z
Sat Apr 24 12:52:43 +0000 2021
marna : @existentialfish How does that make any fucking sense? Canceled mr America himself? He sure loves him some mr Trump!
Sat Apr 24 06:36:19 +0000 2021
E.a.. : @existentialfish News max...the new lies channel
Fri Apr 23 21:46:04 +0000 2021
Chris Donaldson : @existentialfish How @brianstelter responds: https://t.co/xOTmBVnXUi
Fri Apr 23 16:57:22 +0000 2021
Kurt Bergner : @existentialfish Love me some trumptarded cannibalism.
Fri Apr 23 14:29:04 +0000 2021
Juan Rivera : @existentialfish Lol
Fri Apr 23 14:12:36 +0000 2021
L.A : @existentialfish @RepMikeGarcia
Fri Apr 23 13:27:29 +0000 2021
Easy* : @existentialfish Right wing news is eating itself
Fri Apr 23 12:47:29 +0000 2021
Labdrive2 : @existentialfish There is no bad reason to bench Dobbs, period.
Fri Apr 23 12:01:41 +0000 2021
Scott Adams : @existentialfish https://t.co/KeLe0LET7b
Fri Apr 23 11:36:22 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Corporate tax increase will cause inflation, layoffs for 'a lot of people': John Paul DeJoria | Fox Business Video
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 12:20
(C)2021 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. All market data delayed 20 minutes.
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FAQ
VIDEO - (85) lin wood - YouTube
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 11:26
VIDEO - Ezra Levant 🍁 on Twitter: "I cannot believe that after the last fiasco on Easter weekend '-- that went viral globally '-- the thugs from '...@CalgaryPolice'(C) have returned, again during a church service, to the same church. With more cops, with
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 10:37
Ezra Levant 🍁 : I cannot believe that after the last fiasco on Easter weekend '-- that went viral globally '-- the thugs from '...'... https://t.co/wI4zA7V3Cm
Sun Apr 25 00:49:25 +0000 2021
Thomas : @ezralevant @CalgaryPolice I love this pastor
Sun Apr 25 10:37:18 +0000 2021
George Costa : @ezralevant @CalgaryPolice These cops need to do their job, that's protect the rights of the people and fight crime'... https://t.co/Hnr5tOa8M4
Sun Apr 25 10:34:23 +0000 2021
lurker : @ezralevant @CalgaryPolice why is it always some authoritarian woman surrounded by male police
Sun Apr 25 10:29:41 +0000 2021
ASB : @ezralevant @OzraeliAvi @CalgaryPolice Well done that man 👏🏼
Sun Apr 25 10:20:59 +0000 2021
xmaseveevil : @ezralevant @wds08 @CalgaryPolice 3 things give it away. (Apart from the acting.)
Sun Apr 25 10:14:46 +0000 2021
xmaseveevil : @ezralevant @wds08 @CalgaryPolice This is fake.
Sun Apr 25 10:13:34 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Spineless & Mindless on Twitter: "@Leve_raged @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK Just in case no one has sent you this clip yet" / Twitter
Sun, 25 Apr 2021 10:30
Spineless & Mindless : @Leve_raged @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK Just in case no one has sent you this clip yet
Sun Apr 25 09:06:04 +0000 2021
VIDEO - (85) Meet Kamala Harris by Nia Hence I Read Aloud I Books about Kamala Harris and trailblazers for kids - YouTube
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 21:24
VIDEO - Conspiracy Queen Rachel Maddow Panics Over 'Dangerous' Arizona Vote Audit
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 21:20
Democrats are in full-blown meltdown mode as their efforts to stop the recount of 2020 election ballots in Arizona have failed. The state Democrat party failed to put up the $1 million bond to cover the expenses to halt the process.
The audit has now commenced in Maricopa County, where a private vendor hired by the Republicans in the state Senate will be reviewing 2.1 million ballots in the state's most populous county. It also happens to be the one in which there were numerous ''irregularities'' last November.
***Help Us Take Down The Liberal Media With Our FREE News App!***
Rather than enthusiastically accepting the audit they are determined to fight it, raising questions of what it is that they are afraid of. A negative finding would support Democrats' insistence that the election was entirely on the up and up and that Joe Biden won legitimately.
One reliable leftist hysteric who is screaming bloody murder is MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. You'll remember her as one of the top purveyors of the Russian collusion hoax. During former President Donald J. Trump's historic term in office (and when she was still getting ratings) she set new low standards for crackpot conspiracy theories.
This is a ridiculous story that will become very dangerous in the long run.It will become a lie that the craziest part of the pro-Trump conspiracy theory world will try to live on and build on for a long time to come. pic.twitter.com/B9VTV6xdpE
'-- Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) April 24, 2021
On Friday's edition of ''The Rachel Maddow Show'', the host condemned the Arizona recount as ''dangerous'' and warned of dire long run consequences: ''I will tell you, this Arizona story like I said because I didn't expect to be seeing it, covering it again tonight after we covered it last night, it is obviously strange,'' she said. ''It's laughable in lots of ways but the president, former President Trump put out a statement today lauding this and talking about how this was going to reveal the truth of the 2020 election inciting a whole bunch of other states who are now also going to do this to reveal of the 2020 election and he's still maintaining this fantasy that he somehow won and Joe Biden isn't really the legitimate president.''
She was bemoaning a Friday statement released by the ex-POTUS stating: ''The Democrats are 'swarming' the Great State of Arizona trying to get the Forensic Election Audit stopped, because only they know exactly what they've done, and they understand Voter Fraud far better than anyone. This could be Voter Fraud at the highest level. Don't think that Arizona is the only State,'' he said in one statement, adding: ''Much more to come!''
Maddow continued, ''What the Arizona Republicans are doing here, this process by which they are bastardizing the outcome of the actual secure election from November 2020 and they're going to produce some results that says it was some other thing,'' the clearly rattled host added, ''will be used by the Trump part of the Republican party and the Trump right to cast out on the 2020 election among their most fervent supporters in a way that none of their failed lawsuits in the past have been able to do.''
***News Junkie? Stay Informed With Our FREE Mobile App***
The distressed Maddow's panic attack continued: ''They got the actual ballots and they handed them to conspiracy theorists who say that you know (waving hands) that QAnon is the mastermind or whatever it is, that stopped, that they need to use to stop the steal and all, the craziest parts of the pro-Trump conspiracy theory world have the actual ballots and are going to declare that something different happened in election'...in the election in Arizona than what really happened.''
She concluded, ''and that will become a lie that they try to live on and build on for a long time to come, watch, this is a ridiculous story that will become very dangerous.''
If the normally smug Maddow's demeanor during her segment is any indication, the Democrats are very, very scared. Only they know what may be found in Arizona, and it could lead other states to do what the courts refused to.
VIDEO - (85) BBC interview black police officer to discuss Chauvin's convictions with truth bombs at the end. - YouTube
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 21:13
VIDEO - Nickelodeon on Twitter: "learn the meaning of environmental racism #NickNews https://t.co/pGmqCGmakE" / Twitter
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 14:32
Nickelodeon : learn the meaning of environmental racism #NickNews https://t.co/pGmqCGmakE
Fri Apr 23 15:08:24 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Leigh Dundas speech - (Health and Freedom 2021) - YouTube
Fri, 23 Apr 2021 11:54
VIDEO - Charlie on Twitter: "@theonlyrymac @adamcurry" / Twitter
Fri, 23 Apr 2021 11:44
Charlie : @theonlyrymac @adamcurry
Fri Apr 23 06:27:05 +0000 2021
VIDEO - GeneEverett 33 on Twitter: "@adamcurry" / Twitter
Thu, 22 Apr 2021 22:14
GeneEverett 33 : @adamcurry https://t.co/xNhdCbKg53
Thu Apr 22 21:44:07 +0000 2021

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All Clips

33 relics from ancient afghanistan seized and returned.mp3
One-third of Asian-Americans fear hate crimes - TRUMP.mp3
Boris Johnson’s statement at the Leaders Summit on Climate - BUILD BACK BETTER.mp3
WSJ Podcast - Bring back Cash for Clunkers.mp3
Biden lies about LaGuardia Airport.mp3
NBC Nightly News - anchor Lester Holt - on earth day biden admin pledged to cut greenhouse emissions in half in just 9 years (8sec).mp3
Nickelodean News for Kids - Environmental Racism.mp3
CBS Evening News - anchor Ben Tracey - washington dc tidal basin will continue to rise due to climate change (1min43sec).mp3
JOHN KERRY Net Zero - We need to get carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.mp3
Lin Wood on Q and the Kids - We Are Fear Unmasked.mp3
ABC News Prime - anchor Kyra Phillips - ghislaine maxwell arraigned in NY federal court (19sec).mp3
Bill Mahrt on Jenner.mp3
Columbus Ohio knife fights ntd.mp3
COVID India 3.mp3
COVID India 4.mp3
COVID India One WTF NPR.mp3
COVID India TWO.mp3
CwbreL pARK MESS.mp3
Douchebag ISO.mp3
gupta on booster shot.mp3
ITM ISO.mp3
J&J is back nrp.mp3
Mt Rushmore fireworks SDPR.mp3
Nashville lassts one hour.mp3
Overdoe deaths PBS.mp3
Portland riots.mp3
Shows over ISO.mp3
sos over 2 ISO.mp3
Stonehenge One.mp3
Stonehenge two.mp3
WOW ISO.mp3
Biden AFG ONE wtf.mp3
Biden AFG three.mp3
Biden AFG two.mp3
Biden on Packing courts cica 1990.mp3
Calgary Cops return to Church after Easter denial.mp3
CBS Evening News - anchor Norah ODonnell - cdc guidance on mask outdoors coming (12sec).mp3
ABC News Prime - anchor Kyra Phillips - caitlyn jenner joins CA governor recall race (19sec).mp3
CBS Evening News - anchor Norah ODonnell - sexual hassualt flub (6sec).mp3
Tik Tok Pfizer influencer rents car to get vaccine.mp3
Trudeaux announces huge Pfizer vaccine deal 35 milion boosters.mp3
CBS Evening News - anchor Dr Jon LaPook - advisory panel to the CDC some of the smartest people on the planet (13sec).mp3
Dale Jarret NASCAR NBC shilling for vaccine As Psaki Promised.mp3
Psaki $3billion redux NASCAR.mp3
Jan 6 comission Antifah BLM - woah woah woah.mp3
Rachel Maddow Panics Over Dangerous’Arizona Vote Audit.mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Faith Abubey - area on the map show where americans are resisting the vaccine the most (17sec).mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Faith Abubey - funeral home being used as a vaccination site (13sec).mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Mona Kosar Abdi - Dr Ryan Ribeira vaccine demand dropping (45sec).mp3
CBS Evening News - anchor Janet Shamlian - vaccine supply will soon outpace demand - red states to blame (1min12sec).mp3
Detorit Vax demand down.mp3
Fauci Mutant Warning Alarm.mp3
NBC Nightly News - anchor Miguel Almaguer - section for fully vaccinated at LA dodgers game (12sec).mp3
NBC Nightly News - anchor Miguel Almaguer - unvaccinated nursing home worker infected 22 fully vaccinated residents and staff (16sec).mp3
NBC Nightly News - anchor Stephanie Goss - something called parent hesitancy (2min10sec).mp3
Oracle Park vaccinated seating.mp3
Vaccine gaffe Uthenized.mp3
  • 0:00
    Unknown: Just get what you can't get what you can't get what you can they're all the same get what you can get what you can. Adam Curry Jhansi devora
  • 0:06
    Adam: Sunday April 25 2021 this is your award winning cable nation media
  • 0:10
    Unknown: assassination Episode
  • 0:11
    Adam: 1341
  • 0:13
    Unknown: This is no agenda.
  • 0:16
    Adam: Fairy vaccinal broadcasting live from opportunity zone 33 here in the frontier of Austin, Texas Capitol Hill, the drone Star State. morning, everybody.
  • 0:25
    John: I'm Adam Curry in from Northern Silicon Valley where it's not raining. It's supposed to be raining. They say it would be raining. Everyone thinks it's gonna be raining but it's not raining. Now how can they predict global warming? I'm Jesse devorah.
  • 0:40
    Adam: If you'd like me to shake the sticks, California I'm happy to do it. If you want to make it rain, we got rain. We know how to do rain. You can make it rain.
  • 0:48
    John: Well, we could use the rain because otherwise you're gonna have it's gonna be bad enough fires because you do such a poor job of fire management nowadays. Hey, was there an error blame that on global warming? You
  • 0:58
    Adam: know, we'll get to that we'll get to the global warming
  • 1:01
    John: stick.
  • 1:03
    Adam: Sure who doing the stick for
  • 1:06
    John: California? All right. Oh.
  • 1:10
    Adam: What do we need? Is that a one shake
  • 1:11
    John: or a two? is a half shake. 111 row half
  • 1:15
    Adam: vacation period. One rotation. Ladies and gentlemen. If you're new to the program, these are official. reign six. They come from Utah. They're handmade. They are they are real. They work. We are licensed professionals. Please do not try this at home. pointing towards California ready? Yeah. 321. Whoo. Good to the last draw.
  • 1:41
    Unknown: Nice.
  • 1:44
    John: All right, that should do it.
  • 1:45
    Adam: Hey, was there I think there was an error. And it was a weird one because I saw it. I didn't register. And then I checked with my sister and then like, Oh, my goodness. Did we mistakenly put Italy in in the newsletter instead of India? Regarding the COVID outbreak?
  • 2:04
    John: No.
  • 2:06
    Adam: Are you sure?
  • 2:07
    John: I'm pretty sure I can go back and check. But I'm pretty sure I pulled this down from Italy. And then the India stuff showed up on the wires possible that the original report was bad. And maybe I screwed up. Let me say India is out of control.
  • 2:23
    Adam: Yeah, let me just see what it says here. Yeah, it says Italy in the in the newsletter I knew was a mistake, because I called Willow unlike what the hell? What's going on over there? Yeah. Now of course, I didn't understand it. I have
  • 2:36
    John: to go back and see where I got the Italy reference from. Anyway, I
  • 2:39
    Adam: did call Willow who's in Tusk, Tuscany. And she said, No, no, it's exactly the opposite word. We're doing great here. However, she worked for a company that has outsources in India. And she said, lots of her colleagues have tested positive. Some may or may not be sick, but they are staying home. Their chief technology officer was briefly hospitalized. But I have two other reports from
  • 3:12
    John: clips about Indian men from Italy. But I will say this when I pulled down the Italy thing and then went to look for photos that was loaded with photos from Italy. There's the poetry that
  • 3:22
    Adam: was in the news yet was Venice, Venice. Yeah. And I looked for all that and could not find it. Anyway, so this is from from one of our pretty and we'll get to those clips. He's just short notes. Part of my job requires working closely with our India teams, another producer. This week, one of the guys I work with was telling you about how Corona things are where he is that's in Chennai, he says very similar. curfews in place, places worship schools, close, nobody wants to go back to the office. Everyone's getting a pet because they're staying at home. I mean, this is Could it be any more like us? Everyone's getting pets. But this report, let's see. updated my experience working with Indian dudes named Ben, our company outsources some of our programmers to feel free to share on the show. I manage a team of programmers and QA analysts who work from India since the start of COVID. I was waiting for something bad to happen with the guys working overseas since everything is so close together over there, and they take their religious festivals very seriously. For some reason. None of the guys on my team got code without any of 2019 2020 they would tell me how they were stuck in their homes and had curfews were only allowed to go out on certain days to get groceries at the worst of the pandemic. In the past three months, I've watched five of our team members go down with COVID they would be out for at least two to three weeks, and some just never came back. One of the guys
  • 4:39
    who got quote COVID miraculously ended up with a new job after getting better. My point is simply that saying things seemed totally fine for a while. But the last few months the virus was ripping through India, one of the guys said he was feeling sick got tested. In the meantime, he called the hospital spoke to management who told him if he had to be admitted they would have no beds for him or his family. Emily, the funny thing is this guy had a doctor living in his house who gave him some medicine and said he felt much better. He said it was the ready pack. It's the one, the two cent ready pack that we've been talking about two bucks, two bucks. So what do we think? I mean, the way I see this, it's very possible that this is a strain and people are testing positive. To me, though, just looking at the pictures, looking at the story, looking at the videos of people, you know, wailing away. I just feel so Manhattan to me, you know, with the, with the video.
  • 5:33
    John: I bet I feel very much the same. And I want to mention something else before we go on to this as I'll forget. So I did I do a little look at the TV shows in the morning, even though Sunday, there's mostly just the face donation,
  • 5:46
    Adam: three by three.
  • 5:48
    John: It was a very interesting report on on the step innopolis show with some guy came on wearing a Detroit Tigers hat. I don't know what that was all about. But well, Detroit is themed Detroit is trying to
  • 5:59
    Adam: get everyone to vaccinate. There's a lot of hesitancy there. So
  • 6:03
    John: Oh, yeah. So it seems it seems as if the current hesitancy which is broad based and all across the country. And if that they're actually beginning to document it, and it turns out because of the dates and everyone has started once they they they took the Johnson and Johnson vaccine off the market, that's when it began. And what I think is that that it if you they've been brainwashing the public at large by saying Oh, all vaccines are the same. Just get what you can't get what you can get what you can they're all the same. Get What You can get what you can. And so when they pull the Johnson and Johnson Johnson vaccine to this audience, it said, Oh my God, this one's no good. They must all be no good. Because of the connection between the three Yes, yes. You can get what you can.
  • 6:58
    Adam: What did you hear? Did you hear the news report that I think really turned everybody off of the vaccines. I mean, this was unbelievable. When you when you do something like this on the news, I mean, you should be fired and you should have to, you know, sit in the Pfizer dungeon. Now this is indirect sound, so it takes a second to get accustomed to it
  • 7:18
    Unknown: worrying health officials call mass vaccinations the only path to a return to normalcy. almost four months into the vaccination effort providers are beginning to run out of people who want to be euthanized.
  • 7:33
    Adam: Small gaff from immunized to euthanized.
  • 7:36
    John: What can I say? That was a good one. Okay. But anyways, so back to the real point, which was this Johnson and Johnson poll, I think triggered a real response that they did not expect. I think Pfizer's got to be kicking themselves. Yeah, this was just, you know, an icing on the cake. Let's get rid of those guys while we're at it. And meanwhile, it puts the kibosh on the whole thing. And then now all the reports locally, which is what you've always expected from the get go, which is this all these huge operations in a drive in theaters and all these lines and nobody's their cars, and they end up the nurse comes on and she says, you know, if you just want to come in, if you maybe you didn't like the idea of signing up,
  • 8:23
    Unknown: come in,
  • 8:24
    don't worry, we're here. Vaccines come in.
  • 8:27
    Adam: There was a I mean, yes, I heard Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA Commissioner, who is now on the board of Pfizer. He was on CNBC several times since the last time we did the show. And and you could tell that he was like, man, no, no, no, they'll bring it back. And it's all good. He was he was kind of shilling a little bit on the side of Johnson and Johnson just to get everyone's confidence back. I think you're right. I
  • 8:55
    John: think they really screwed the pooch. This report that was on Stephanopoulos show is doing everything but begging people to take it. They had all the stats and how many people's likelihood of getting hit by lightning, I suppose. It was unbelievable. But it's too late. You screwed yourself.
  • 9:13
    Adam: I think. I think I actually have a 13 second clip of this about the reclassification of Johnson jaws I think what is this?
  • 9:20
    Unknown: I listened to hours of discussion among the advisory panel to the CDC, and was blown away by the depth of discussion, the seriousness of thought the degree of expertise. These are some of the smartest people on the planet.
  • 9:34
    Adam: Oh, yeah. So don't worry. When they when they say it's good to go. It's good to go that the smartest people on the planet
  • 9:40
    John: smarter for the government smarter,
  • 9:42
    Adam: smarter than Dr. Bill.
  • 9:45
    Unknown: Yeah, baby.
  • 9:47
    Adam: Yeah. Do you want to hear the Detroit thing and you want to go into India, your India clips?
  • 9:50
    John: Well, I got my India clips. Yes, get those. Let's do those. And because this
  • 9:55
    Adam: is I mean, it's, again to me Sure. A variant. Yes. possible. People get
  • 10:02
    John: this. This is an NPR report. So you're going to have to live with it. Okay. I'm ready for and I assume that this is a part of that whatever the litany supposed to be NPR would have it.
  • 10:14
    Adam: Yeah. If you know what I mean. Yes, john, was AVR onpoint as usual.
  • 10:21
    John: I don't know what they were on there on some.
  • 10:23
    Unknown: Health experts have told us all along during the coronavirus pandemic that this is a global problem that a surge in infections in one country, often accompanied by the emergence of new variants of the virus represents a threat to public health everywhere. India Today confirmed nearly 350,000 new daily Coronavirus cases, that's a world records of the pandemic has broken that record three days in a row now. The result is that India's health system is collapsing. Hospitals are overloaded in experiencing widespread shortages of life saving equipment and medicines. And here's Lauren frayer is in Mumbai, one of the worst hit cities. And she's with us now. Laura, thanks for joining us.
  • 11:07
    Thank you for having me. Michelle.
  • 11:09
    What is the situation there today?
  • 11:11
    Well, the number one biggest need across all of India right now is oxygen. Big hospital chains have been tweeting out these SOS messages I saw one a few minutes ago saying they have less than two hours supply left. There was one hospital in Delhi where officials say an oxygen tanker arrived to resupply them six hours late. And 25 people died last night because of that delay. These are hundreds, possibly 1000s of patients dying like this every night. And hospitals are trying to ration oxygen. And the
  • 11:44
    Adam: hold on a second hundreds possible 1000s dying every night. No, it was 25 last night 25. And then she just makes up some numbers
  • 11:53
    Unknown: in tanker arrived to resupply them six hours late. And 25 people died last night because of that delay. These are hundreds, possibly 1000s of patients dying like this every night. And hospitals are trying to ration oxygen. And these are patients that actually beat the odds and managed to get a hospital bed which is a huge feat right now in India, and then they die with doctors at their bedsides helpless you can imagine how difficult this is for the medical staff as well. And many of these deaths could have been prevented if India had better prepared for this. You know, we are more than a year into this pandemic.
  • 12:31
    Uh huh.
  • 12:33
    Adam: I'm so skeptical. I hate I hate to say it. I'm just skeptical of these reports. Sure. If people are sick, we've got a mutant mutant warning sound. Yeah, yeah, people get sick and some will die. But t man I don't know. Just
  • 12:52
    John: why not catch on your part just mentioned that she says 25 died last night. Yeah. And then
  • 12:56
    Adam: just hundreds, maybe 1000s. Who knows?
  • 13:00
    John: Well, de de she kind of has a weasel. weasel way out of this that comment? Because she will you'll hear it coming up at this whole thing is India should have been better prepared to sink should be over white unprepared for what? Well,
  • 13:18
    Adam: there was an article that may be related medical workers among themselves and quarantines Okay, we go. The US, Canada and UK are among some of the high income countries actively blocking a patent waiver proposal designed to boost the global production of the COVID-19 vaccines. And this is organized by Believe it or not, mainly India. So what the article says is that these aihole rich Western countries who develop this vaccine, don't want to waive the rights on the patents in order for them to be made cheaply in their countries. Do you think it's may be possible if we listened to the rest of these NPR clips, that perhaps this is partially a ploy to get the IP waiver to waive IP rights waive so that they can jump in on the Bonanza?
  • 14:13
    John: Well, it's interesting, because it's a there's a twisted version of what you said that's coming up in either this or the next clip. So let's play part two,
  • 14:21
    Unknown: you know, to that, and Lauren, you know, the reporting had been your reporting had been the India seemed to be a success case with a number of new cases going down steadily. What happened? I mean, why was India seemingly caught unprepared?
  • 14:34
    Yeah, and this just caught everyone by surprise. I mean, in late January, early February cases were at record lows, the government here declared an end game to the pandemic. You know, in hindsight, we know it wasn't the end. Everybody went back to normal though they stopped social distancing. They weren't so diligent about masks and, and signs.
  • 14:54
    Adam: That's not true. Just listen to what our producers just said. That's
  • 14:58
    Unknown: not true to say You know, the virus had not gone. In fact, new variants were lurking and they've spread at the speed that we've just not seen anywhere else in the world. And I want to say the numbers that we're reporting are staggering numbers of cases and deaths, but they are almost certainly an undercount, because they're shortages of data here, right? People are dying at home, unable to get care crematoriums are working 24 seven, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing public anger now that he himself was irresponsible and slow to act. And he's only there's only days ago that he was presiding over huge political rallies with 1000s of attendees. So what's the government doing now? Well, Modi canceled one of his rallies yesterday to chair an emergency meeting. He did another emergency meeting today. He announced he's lifting customs duties on oxygen imports. He's also widening the eligibility for vaccination starting May 1. But you know, it's unclear how they will provide those doses because they've already run
  • 15:57
    Adam: out. Okay, interesting Modi connection as a political aspect, the thing that that really set me off doubting this was an article from Scientific American, titled India's massive COVID surge puzzle scientists. And you know, what's in there? Lots of cases, numbers cases, 854,000 cases k death numbers, not in the article.
  • 16:23
    John: was just an online article.
  • 16:26
    Adam: Well, yeah, let me just see the date on it. Yeah, Scientific American.
  • 16:32
    John: And this, this India thing just started recently, I surprised. A magazine is a monthly or normal publication cycle would have breaking news, but it seems like it was. I see. I see magazines that don't normally produce breaking news.
  • 16:51
    Adam: Breaking News, and it's just an artist kind
  • 16:53
    John: of breaking news. This is a new thing. We didn't talk about the India last show, which just a few days ago,
  • 16:58
    Adam: now they do have the Kovacs vaccine there. And you know, India has done 120 million doses. I'm sorry. Oh, that's interesting here in this article, they say mostly the Indian produced version of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. But you know, just when you put it all together, when you when you when you have, I'm just gonna look at China for a moment, maybe possibly, Modi's a problem for them. You know, they're, they're cozied up to Pakistan. So now we get this Modi element, we get the same kind of cases, cases cases, for all we know, they just jacked up the CT count on the cases. I mean, that's possible. People are dying in the hospital every single day in India, for sure. You know, it's just when you're in there, and you see the video, and people have their masks down or off, and they're crying. They're wailing and, and then oh, let's show 10 the body's burning at a cemetery. I think,
  • 17:52
    John: yeah, we're familiar with. So let's go to part three, because I think this may include a little bit about the vaccines
  • 17:59
    Unknown: provide those doses, because they've already run out. This was a point of pride, India's the world's biggest vaccine maker had been exporting vaccines. And now it doesn't have enough for its own population. The biggest supplier here is pleading with the United States with President Biden to lift an export ban on raw materials, things like test tubes that they need to ramp up production. And so far the US has not obliged hasn't done that. test tubes.
  • 18:26
    John: That's why I had to stop the clip. We make
  • 18:28
    Adam: test tubes.
  • 18:30
    John: I doubt it a. But it's possible we do. But what's it got to do with the price of bread? What do you need more test tubes?
  • 18:37
    Adam: Seriously,
  • 18:39
    John: it's like and I'm sure China makes a million test tubes at the drop of a hat anytime you want them. And I'm surprised India which I'm sure mazz glass manufacturing could make damn test tubes. But then the reason I stopped it there wasn't is actually double A does a new reason which is one is the concept of this licensing problem that you mentioned earlier, which may have something to do with the way this reports kind of off the off the deep end here with the test tubes pitching and dimension that India does make most of the vaccines almost the most of the vaccines you get are made in India, which is not something to think about. Yeah. This this is very, very sketchy and not explained well. And the way NPR handles these stories, they got the correspondent right there, and then they have the woman who's asking her questions. Why doesn't a woman right now say what do they need all these more? What are they more test tubes for you? How do they run out if they're if they're the number one manufacturer of vaccines, isn't it a continuous process is not a batch process. It's got a big they have to be coming off the line. That's where I made my wrong. There's got to be a line of these little bottles flying out of the place and now just stopped. What happened? What changed? Guess what I be asking.
  • 20:02
    Adam: Yeah, I think we'll get the answers once we start to see, you know, world leaders speak and call for things. But once we
  • 20:09
    John: get rid of Modi, that's probably what Yeah, that
  • 20:11
    Adam: sounds like a like part of the mission right there.
  • 20:14
    John: Yeah, it was a trumper. Mm hmm.
  • 20:17
    Adam: That's right. Trump problems.
  • 20:20
    John: Go to the next.
  • 20:21
    Unknown: Do you mind if I asked you, Lauren, what about you? Are you are you
  • 20:26
    in Mumbai?
  • 20:27
    What about,
  • 20:28
    you know, other
  • 20:29
    gatherings? What
  • 20:30
    about moving about the city?
  • 20:31
    Yeah.
  • 20:32
    So Modi has ruled out a national lockdown countrywide, because it's just so painful for India's poor. Last spring, India's economy shrank 24% under lockdown. We actually had cases of poor migrant workers literally starving to death on the roads. So lockdowns are regional and I am in under lockdown. Now in Mumbai, it's very strict police patrol the streets, you can't go out for a walk. And social media has turned into a lifeline for people people are trying to arrange hospital beds for one another. They're trading phone numbers for doctors. I mean, I spoke a couple hours ago with a friend of mine who has COVID and is at home and has been calling dozens of doctors dozens, like imagine being sick, and no one answers when you call 911. And that is the situation 1000s and 1000s of Indians are going through right now alone.
  • 21:26
    Adam: But that's because India. Come on. Imagine you can't call 911
  • 21:37
    John: Well, that's the end of his positioning.
  • 21:39
    Adam: Definitely sounds like position something
  • 21:42
    John: up.
  • 21:42
    Adam: Yeah. Well, let's look at it from the Pfizer marketing perspective and get a little update on what they're doing because they're not sitting so still. In fact, they have put together quite a nice deal with the country of Canada navia. Now, as you know, they already have a patriot, they've made a petri dish out of Israel. And pretty much everyone is vaccinated their butt or you get the freedom bracelet of shame. But this is what's going down in Canada navia.
  • 22:14
    John: Well, more and more Canadians are getting vaccinated right now. It's also important to plan ahead for the future. We've reached an agreement with Pfizer for 35 million booster doses for next year 30 million in the year after this deal in options to add 30 million doses in both 2022 and 2023. An option for 60 million doses in 2024 dizer has been a solid, Canada and
  • 22:46
    Adam: it's a good deal, man. He's got options for 2024, Canada navia.
  • 22:51
    John: In 2024, Pfizer has been a solid partner for Canada in this fight against COVID-19. And we're happy to be one of the first countries to secure an agreement with them going forward. These boosters were not that dumb. Be the latest version of the Pfizer value. This isn't this is new information here. But these boosters, the boosters are different. These boosters will be the latest version of the Pfizer vaccine based on research and upgrade. And they will help us keep the virus under control.
  • 23:21
    Adam: So remember, we were joking about Hey, you got your two shots, and now you have to have something shot into your every year every six months, otherwise you'll deteriorate. So when they say oh, this is the new This is the new vaccine. The new booster Mm hmm. This is this is the keep them alive for a thing.
  • 23:44
    John: Well, it's possible. So we keep them alive, boosting drop dead if you don't get it.
  • 23:52
    Adam: We we know that we heard one of the tick tock influencers mentioned that she had received of several offers for 1000s of dollars to do Tick Tock videos regarding how you get a little more if you show the jab going into your arm. But yeah, it seems like a pretty good program that most influencers would hop on. And since you just mentioned the mass vaccination sites that you drive up with your car, which no one is going to it only makes sense if this influencer made that her arena Guys, guys.
  • 24:25
    Unknown: I literally just rented a car for the day so that I can get my first
  • 24:34
    teacher I was eligible starting Monday.
  • 24:36
    I looked there's one appointment, but it's at a drive thru area only and I don't have a car but I was willing to rent a car so that you can stick a needle in my arm to get this vaccine. So excited. So excited.
  • 24:51
    John: woman should be shot.
  • 24:53
    Adam: She followed the talking points perfect so I can get that in my arm. She did everything beautifully. Very well done.
  • 25:02
    John: You know, I would assume it could be wrong. You could in one of those big vaccination lots. You could walk up to the block up to the people there. There's nobody there and
  • 25:14
    Adam: you have to rent a car or rent a car. You have to rent a car. You got to rent a car if you're doing Tick Tock card is full of shit the smell she's getting paid to do it. That's why it's horrible. And she's not disclosing it, which is an F t A FTC FTC FTC violation But okay, that we remember the remember the spokesman for
  • 25:37
    John: the FTC, by the way, because this has been going on on Tick Tock incessantly for at least a month, or what month What am I saying?
  • 25:45
    Adam: I want you to call Jim Jordan. I'm sure he'll talk about it in Congress for hours.
  • 25:51
    John: Jen Psaki, Glenn Greenwald of Congress, right? pumped, that's
  • 25:55
    Adam: a bad one. Jen Psaki lifted a bit of the veil of the $3 billion that the federal government is making available to promote vaccination for those who are VAT who have high vaccine ability. Here's a reminder of what she said.
  • 26:12
    Unknown: So investing $3 billion to states and community based organizations to strengthen vaccine confidence in the highest risk and hardest hit communities. And often people think of that as just black and brown communities. And that is not as you've noted, that is also conservative communities, white evangelicals. It's a range of communities around the country. We're also looking for we friend PSA is on the Deadliest Catch. We're engaged with NASCAR and country music TV.
  • 26:37
    Adam: Okay, so let's go check out NASCAR you recall that that NBC got a lot of this money. NBC has a big celebrity star studded gala either coming or we missed it. I don't know. So what what else would you expect for them to continue with their spend their ad buy, they bought off NASCAR alumni superstar Dale Jarrett. They put him on the track next to a NASCAR with a big NBC logo on it. racetracks like this are very special place, especially for competitive ultra much though, for the last year, we've seen these stands be empty at these races, we've got to get back to something that's a lot more of our normal situation to where we have 1000s upon 1000s watching these races from the grandstands there with your friends with your family enjoy in this time.
  • 27:31
    Unknown: How do we go about getting back to that situation, getting the vaccine, I've done my part, I did the research. I talked with my family. It was some very tough conversations that I had with my family. But I had it done. I know this is the way to get back to a much more normal life, enjoying it to where we can have fans in the stands once again, enjoying what these drivers do as they perform a show and try to win the race.
  • 27:58
    Sure you can't hear it as a driver when you're inside of there. But when you make that pass for the lead, and you're trying to win the race, you know what's going on in that grandstand. And there's not a better feeling at the end of a long day to get out as the winner and have those fans cheering you.
  • 28:12
    He's gonna win the Daytona
  • 28:15
    500
  • 28:16
    I won the Daytona 500 of my family and friends there. That wasn't a better feeling in my life.
  • 28:22
    Super job their day to day I'm
  • 28:24
    really proud of you. Just exactly what you had to do. Like I told you right? Exactly like you don't. So do your part. It's safe. It's effective. And it's easy to get
  • 28:35
    do the work but
  • 28:36
    John: he whoever wrote that made a mistake had mistaken there in the script. Oh, I think and of course he's got this tie thing isn't very thick North Carolina accent but he he says is the greatest when he won the Daytona 500 is the greatest feeling in my life until I got this shot. Yes,
  • 28:55
    Adam: that would. Why don't these people ever hire professionals
  • 28:59
    John: beyond me?
  • 29:01
    Adam: Why don't they hire pros? Like
  • 29:04
    John: the message has been going out as Oh, I feel so great because I got the shot. Or yes got the shots. I feel like a million dollars. I just got the nothing made me feel better than getting the shot. There was a wide open. It was like the site it was you know, a 10 lane highway wide open that line and no, they dropped it.
  • 29:22
    Unknown: Yeah,
  • 29:23
    I know.
  • 29:24
    John: I know. By the way, it's just the best they can do. Dale Jerry hasn't raced for