Vaccination passport app shares personal data of users with Amazon and Royal Mail - Daily Record
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 13:58
The Scottish Government 's controversial vaccination passport shares the personal data of users with a host of private firms, the Sunday Mail can reveal.
Proof of inoculation is now required by law to get into football grounds or nightclubs north of the border, despite plans for a scheme having been scrapped in England.
We have learned the NHS mobile phone app which presents the personal medical information in the form of a QR Code shares data with companies including Amazon, Microsoft, ServiceNow, Royal Mail and an AI facial recognition firm.
Civil liberty campaigners and opposition politicians have reacted furiously to our revelations.
Read MoreRelated ArticlesScots businesses fear Cop26 security measures and road closures will hit tradeThe NHS Scotland Covid status app (Image: PA)Sam Grant, head of policy and campaigns at Liberty, said: ''Vaccine passports create a two-tier society and already many people in Scotland have been coerced into getting a vaccine passport in order to attend events and access certain parts of society.
"It's extremely concerning that, in doing so, data has been shared with third parties without people having the option to opt out or without even being made aware that this is happening.
"This only furthers the wide concerns people already have around vaccine passports.
"We all want to keep each other safe and Liberty has always supported reasonable and proportionate measures to combat Covid but vaccine passports are not a solution."
Read MoreRelated ArticlesCop26 security warning as 800 potential terrorists being closely monitored as world leaders to arrive in GlasgowPrivacy information on the vaccination passport app reveals personal data of users will be shared with NetCompany, Service Now, Jumio, iProov, Albasoft, Amazon Web Services, CFH Docmail, Microsoft Azure, Gov.uk Notify Service and Royal Mail. It is claimed that not all of the firms can ''access'' the data, even though it is "shared".
Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: "Scottish Liberal Democrats have repeatedly warned the Government that data protection is virtually non-existent '' a simple screenshot was enough to bypass whatever 'security measures' the system had in place.
"The launch was a shambles and the IT system struggled to cope.
"Everyone has the right to medical privacy, nobody should ever have to provide part of their medical history to a bouncer or a series of private companies. That is just simply absurd."
Scottish Conservatives' Murdo Fraser said: "There have been serious data privacy concerns with the SNP's vaccine passport app since the word go.
"The news that users' personal data will be shared with so many private companies is extremely worrying.
"This will only serve to further erode public trust in the SNP's shambolic vaccine passport scheme."
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Prof Lockdown' Neil Ferguson calls for return of face masks | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 13:37
Professor Ferguson said: 'Nobody likes having their freedoms curtailed by measures but it's prudent to be cautious in everyday interactions '-- certainly wear(ing) masks helps that, it reminds people that we're not completely out of the woods yet'
Face coverings should be brought back to remind people to be cautious in everyday interactions, one of the Government's most influential scientific advisers suggested today.
'Professor Lockdown' Neil Ferguson said masks 'remind people we're not completely out of the woods yet'.
All legal Covid restrictions were lifted in England on 'Freedom Day' in July, bringing an end to mandatory coverings indoors. However, people are still required by some transport companies and in medical settings '-- and No10 still advises people wear them in crowded environments.
Ministers are keeping masks, WFH guidance and controversial vaccine passports in their back pocket as part of the Government's 'Plan B', if an expected surge in cases this winter heaps unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
Professor Ferguson, an epidemiologist who sits on SAGE, admitted some measures have to be rolled back, in the event of an uptick in infections.
But speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he ruled out another blanket shut-down. He said: 'I doubt we'll ever get close to [the] lockdown we were in in January of this year.'
The UK recorded 620 cases per million people yesterday, six times higher than Germany (108 per million), nine times more than France (71 per million), 15 times more than Italy (42 per million) and 19 times more than Spain (33 per million), according to Our World in Data. However, the UK is also carrying out significantly more testing than the other European nations '-- twice as many as Germany, which is carrying out the second highest number of tests '-- meaning it is picking up more cases than the others
Professor Ferguson also called for Britain to follow Europe's lead in giving teenagers two Covid vaccines instead of just one.
He said: 'Most other European countries are ahead of us in vaccinating teens and they are giving them two doses, not just one dose. We know two doses really are needed to block infection and to prevent transmission.'
The UK's chief medical officers only recommended giving children on jab over concerns of a very rare heart inflammation side effect called myocarditis, which there is a higher risk of after the second dose.
Nearly 5MILLION vulnerable adults have yet to have their Covid booster vaccine Nearly five million vulnerable over-50s have yet to receive a Covid booster vaccine, official figures have revealed as fears grow around Britain's 'challenging' winter ahead which could see the return of face masks.
Little over a month after the booster programme was launched, only around 3.7million third doses have been dished out in England as of Sunday, the latest date data is available for.
But some 8.5million people are currently eligible for a booster dose, having received their second jab six months ago. They include all healthy over-50s, frontline health staff and carers and patients with underlying conditions.
It means 4.8million people may be suffering from waning immunity as Britain moves into the colder months and faces the double threat of increasing case numbers and flu.
SAGE adviser 'Professor Lockdown ' Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, said today it was 'critical we accelerate' the booster drive. And Sir David King, who was the Government's chief scientific adviser from 2000 to 2007, said the rollout is moving 'extremely slowly'.
Experts say the the rollout has slowed because the vaccination programme has become increasingly complex, with Britain simultaneously administering first doses to children in secondary schools and running the largest flu vaccination programme in history.
Ministers and experts have also suggested that the demand for boosters may be lower than expected.
Officials said Britons should prepare for a 'challenging few months' after 49,156 infections were recorded yesterday '-- the highest figure in three months.
Last night Boris Johnson's spokesman said there were 'currently' no plans to reintroduce restrictions but that they were keeping 'a very close watch on the latest statistics'.
Britain led the world in the initial vaccine rollout, but it has now slumped behind Italy, Spain and France in terms of the percentage of the population to be double-jabbed. This is because it delayed rolling out jabs to healthy children, whereas most EU members approved those plans much quicker.
All over-50s and the clinically vulnerable can get a booster jab from six months after their second dose. But experts have warned that at the current rate the most vulnerable will not all receive their third vaccination until the end of January.
Professor Ferguson's comments come amid fears the booster drive programme is going too slowly.
Nearly 5million vulnerable adults have yet to receive a Covid booster vaccine, official data shows after Downing Street admitted Britain faces a 'challenging' winter.
Despite the NHS top-up programme launching over a month ago, only 3.7million out of the 8.5m eligible people in England have received the crucial third dose.
No10's scientists approved plans to revaccinate all healthy over-50s, frontline health staff and carers and patients with underlying medical conditions at least six months after their second dose.
Professor Ferguson today insisted it was 'critical we accelerate' the booster drive to give ourselves the best chance of avoiding having to bring back curbs.
He said: 'People need to be aware that we have currently higher levels of infection in the community than we've almost ever had during the pandemic.
'For the last three or four months we've been up at well over one per cent of the population infected at any point in time.'
Some 49,156 daily Covid infections were reported in the UK yesterday, a three-month high.
The figure equates to around 640 daily cases per million Britons '-- six times higher than the case rate in Germany and 19 times higher than Spain.
But hospitalisations and deaths '-- which lag a few weeks behind infections due to the time it takes for someone to become seriously unwell after catching the virus '-- remain a fraction of what they were at previous peaks.
Asked if the country should be worrying about a stay-at-home order being reimposed, Professor Ferguson said: 'I don't think we're looking at another lockdown.
'The worst case here are demands on the NHS. It's very unlikely we'll see anything like the levels of deaths we saw last year, for instance.
'Coming into the winter, there may be a Plan B which needs to be implemented, which involves some rolling back of measures, but I doubt that we'll ever get close to lockdown we were in in January of this year.'
The Government revealed last month that 'Plan B' '-- a return of some restrictions and the introduction of vaccine passports '-- would be implemented if booster jabs and vaccines to youngsters failed to stop the NHS from coming under unsustainable pressure.
Ministers said a lockdown would be a last resort if the additional measures did not bring the pandemic under control.
But he said it was 'very clear' No10 wanted to move away from restrictions, such as social distancing.
Meanwhile, most Western European countries have kept these in place '-- such as masks and vaccine passports '-- and are recording less infections and 'and certainly not case numbers which are going up as fast as we've got', Professor Ferguson said.
He said: 'Nobody likes having their freedoms curtailed by measures but it's prudent to be cautious in everyday interactions '-- certainly wear(ing) masks helps, it reminds people that we're not completely out of the woods yet.'
The SAGE member said there are a 'number of reasons' why the UK has higher infection rates than other European countries.
Around 3.7million third vaccines have been dished out to over-50s and the immuno-compromised in England as of Sunday (purple line), the latest date data is available for. But some 8.5million people are currently eligible for a booster dose, having received their second jab six months ago (green line). means 4.8million people may be suffering from waning immunity
North and south divide. Scotland is roaring ahead with rolling out the first dose of the Covid vaccine to 12-to-15-year-olds compared to England. All 10 of the best performing areas were north of the border with England hosting the bottom 10, the majority of which are in London
The Government has been criticised over the slow rollout of the Covid vaccine to children but the latest figures reveal that the scheme is having mixed success across the country, with Scotland soaring ahead of England
There is lower immunity in the UK population, because it rolled out vaccines faster than other countries, meaning it is seeing protection from the jabs wane comparatively earlier than other nations, Professor Ferguson said.
AstraZeneca was the main vaccine used in the UK, which 'protects very well against severe outcomes of Covid', but is slightly less effective than Pfizer '-- which was the main vaccine used in Europe '-- at stopping infection and transmission 'particularly in the face of the Delta variant', he said.
And the UK is 'no longer in the top rank of European countries' for overall vaccination coverage, which started vaccinating youngsters earlier, he added.
Professor Ferguson said booster vaccines are 'absolutely' the way to tackle waning immunity and the rollout to 12 to 15-year-olds needs to be sped up.
He said: 'There's data coming through now, which is not completely clear cut, but good data coming through from Israel, which shows that, if you've had the third booster dose of the vaccine, then you get very high loads, better than even you had after the second dose.
'So I do think it's critical we accelerate the booster programme.'
Children aged 12 to 15 starting receiving first doses of Pfizer a month ago '-- but just 14.2 per cent have been jabbed in England, compared to 44.3 per cent in Scotland.
Meanwhile, another expert today warned hospital admissions and deaths would be the measure to determine if restrictions needed to return.
Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group, which provides information to SAGE, told BBC Breakfast hospital admissions 'are starting to slowly creep up', which ministers need to keep an eye on.
He said hospitalisation need to be compared with 2020 and 2019 '-- before the pandemic '-- 'to really assess at what points the Government may need to think about potentially reintroducing more restrictions, if we are at risk of being in a situation similar to where we were last year'.
But everyone wants to avoid 'closures of workplaces, closures of businesses, and of course going into full lockdown, so these really have to be last-resort measures', Dr Tildesley said.
EXCLUSIVE: Iconic Target Store on Mission St to Close Amid Shoplifting Tidal Wave - California Globe
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 13:36
A homeless man at the Target on Mission Street lowers his pants and loads them with goods on Oct. 21, 2021. (Photo by Melody Kurson for California Globe)This story has been updated to add comment from a Target spokesman.
Last week, after Walgreens announced that five additional outlets in San Francisco would be closing on top of the 17 that already have been shuttered since 2019, the company claimed that changes in both the law and prosecutor attitudes had made it impossible to run a profitable business in the city.
Mayor London Breed challenged that narrative. She attributed the closings to demographic shifts and the Chronicle dutifully reported that ''the five stores slated to close had fewer than two recorded shoplifting incidents a month on average since 2018'' (while acknowledging that few stores bother to report a crime that now routinely goes unpunished). Everyone who has stood in line at a drugstore and watched thieves shove hundreds of dollars of items down their pants knew that Breed was mistaken at best or lying at worst.
Shoppers at the Target on Mission St are greeted by armed and uniformed SFPD. (Photo by Ken Kurson for California Globe)Now, in a Globe exclusive, San Francisco Police Department has revealed that the iconic Target on Mission Street between Third and Fourth Streets will be shutting its doors before the end of the year.
''This store loses $25,000 a day to shoplifting,'' an SFPD officer told the Globe in lengthy, taped interviews conducted this week. ''That's $25,000 that walks out the door on average between 9 and 6 every day.''
(The Globe is redacting the officers' names because of critical remarks made about Mayor London Breed and District Attorney Chesa Boudin that could potentially endanger their jobs.)
''This store does between $80,000 to $120,000 in sales every day. And they lose 25 of it [meaning $25,000]. Even if they're making 25% profit, the stealing takes that down to zero.''
Asked if the presence of armed, uniformed police officers had any deterrent effect on thieves, one officer was blunt in his assessment.
''They don't care. There's no consequences. Literally zero consequences. I've kicked out'... I've been here since 9 AM today. I probably have already kicked out eight or nine people and I've recovered a thousand dollars worth of stuff alone off of that. Whether we kick them out, tell them they can't come back, whether I put them in handcuffs and take them down to the county jail'--there is no difference. Because they will not be prosecuted by the district attorney. Therefore, there is nothing documented that they can't come back here. You know, they get no time in jail to think about what they did, right? There is zero consequence. And that's why in this store the same exact people come in every other day and in the city the same couple percent of people are the same people committing all the car break-ins, all the robberies and all the shootings, any aggravated assaults right in town where there's more street people, people fighting. It's all the same exact people, and there are zero consequences. Therefore you take them to jail they get out of jail. They do it again. It's a big circle.''
Even bulky, hard-to-steal items are kept behind locked devices that require Target personnel assistance. (Photo by Ken Kurson for California Globe)Target has already taken measures to decrease the catastrophic shrinkage. In July, the retailer cited an '''alarming rise' in thefts at its San Francisco stores'' and cut its hours. The Mission St. store had been open from 8 am to 10 pm and is now open only from 9 am to 6 pm. One officer told the Globe the new hours inconvenienced hard-working San Franciscans who struggle to buy their diapers and Diet Cokes before 6 pm.
A Target worker installing additional glass barriers, apparently unaware that the store will be closing by year's end. (Photo by Ken Kurson for California Globe)''Their hours, all Targets in San Francisco right now compressed their hours, right? Every store is 9 AM to 6 PM, which pisses everybody off down here because a lot of people get off work at 6 o'clock and they come in and they are like, 'What? Target is closed?' '... 'Yeah, Target is closed.' It is out of control. '... They are closing the one on Bush Street. There's one on Bush and Sansome, right there. They are closing it in a month. Right before Thanksgiving. That one is closing partly because the Financial District isn't back you know, right.''
Care to enjoy a Frappuccino while you shop? Just take it. Drink it. Then put the empty bottle back on the shelf. (Photo by Melody Kurson for California Globe)A display of Hershey's Kisses had been magically transformed into a ''grab a free handful'' situation. (Photo by Melody Kurson for California Globe)Like Reese's Pieces? Just rip off the top and enjoy the orange and brown deliciousness like you're E.T. (Photo by Melody Kurson for California Globe)But according to this officer, the Mission Street Target will also be closed by the end of the year despite having solid revenue, because they cannot get the shoplifting under control. ''In San Francisco, the only reason why they haven't closed. They want to have it here, right, and this is the biggest one in San Francisco.''
In addition to the limited hours, the retail giant has taken other measures. The Mission Street store locks not just those items that have become commonplace at high-theft areas throughout San Fran such as Tylenol and razors. But also, in a first for California Globe, Tide and other heavy, large laundry detergents were also behind lock and key. Vitamins, false eyelashes, Nicorette, skin creams, Lego, water bottles, hairdryers and even bulky low-priced items like body wash all are protected by sophisticated anti-theft equipment. Even the ''fancy'' toothpaste. All of which, of course, raises costs for the honest hard-working shoppers and slows the checkout process for all. It also means an embarrassing quest to find a customer service person who now needs to be told of a shopper's smelliness, dry skin and frizzy hair.
SFPD officers have told the Globe that the shoplifting epidemic forcing SF stores to close will not end until there's a change in policy: 'The prosecution has to change.' (Photo by Ken Kurson for California Globe)Still, they steal. Earlier this week, a reporter from the Globe spotted a man shoving food down his pants without a worry in the world. And even when items are not exactly removed from the store, they're still stolen. When the Globe reporter went to buy Fig Newtons, every single package on the shelves had been opened and had several delicious cookies removed. A display of Hershey's Kisses had been magically transformed into a ''grab a free handful'' situation by the industrious residents of SOMA.
On a recent visit, one red-vested employee was busily installing additional theft guard barriers.
And none of it has been enough to ward off the imminent shuttering of a beloved'--and necessary'--local institution.
Care to enjoy a Frappuccino while you shop? Just take it. Drink it. Then put the empty on the shelf. Like Reese's Pieces? (Who doesn't!) Just rip off the top and pop 'em down like they did in E.T. It's not only gross, it's completely demoralizing to the staff. Irene, a checker, told the Globe that she gets furious watching customers steal while she works hard to pay for what her family needs. And now her store will be closing.
The Globe told the police officers that we, like all of the world, had seen store security officers routinely ignored by aggressive shoplifters. But we expressed surprise that even the full-time presence of two armed and uniformed SFPD wasn't enough to deter this level of crime.
Items protected by anti theft equipment include vitamins, false eyelashes, Nicorette, skin creams, Lego, water bottles, hairdryers and even bulky low-priced items like body wash. (Photo by Melody Kurson for California Globe)Need a water bottle? Prepare to ask someone in a red top and khakis for a key. (Photo by Melody Kurson for California Globe)One officer told the Globe, ''Our chief of police actually came in a couple of months ago and did the same thing you did. He literally was like shocked that everything was locked up and he didn't understand why and that's kind of a little na¯ve on his end, but the same thing. And one worker went up to him and was almost like tearing up and she was like, 'If you don't have officers here tomorrow, I'm not coming to work.' We're here for the theft, sort of, but our main objective in essence is to protect the employees, because all the people that come in. The security guards tell these people all day long, 'Get out, get out, get out.' And what do they do? They flip them off or berate them or want to bite them or hit him '' anything. So that in essence was more of our responsibility. We get a lot of the product back that's stolen, but it's impossible to catch everybody, especially when they are concealing it in bags. They go out all day, there are four fire exits here, they go right onto the street, right? And it's hard when security can't touch them. They can't touch them. They can't grab your arm and say 'Hey, put that back.' They'd be fired, there would be a lawsuit.''
Heavy, relatively inexpensive items like body washes are also targeted by thieves, who find an open market for their stolen goods just blocks away. (Photo by Melody Kurson for California Globe)So if the in-store security is hamstrung by these rules, why aren't the police tackling these thieves?
According to one officer, ''They give us more leeway, but they still don't want us, again, on the floor tackling somebody for taking like a couple of pairs of pants, right. Stealing $50 worth of merchandise'...''
In 2021, Target made $27.3 billion in profit on sales of $93.6 billion, which is a healthy gross margin of 29.3% before expenses such as depreciation and amortization, interest, and taxes, all of which takes the final operating profit down to around 5%. Still a healthy number, but the store on Mission St. already has some of the highest labor and security costs in the entire chain.
Mayor Breed Begs Target to ReconsiderThis particular Target is a critical institution for a neighborhood that is already struggling with social ills. Aggressive panhandlers routinely perch outside the entrance. Human feces on the street has gone from a rare shock to disgustingly commonplace. Visitors to Frena, the scrumptious Israeli bakery and caf(C) around the corner, now have to be buzzed in like they're viewing fine jewelry.
And of course, there's a political component here. The Globe asked the officers why the store hadn't closed already, since the full-time presence of uniformed PD hadn't been able to stem the tide.
''The manager told me this a few weeks back, that's where I got all the numbers from, but you know our mayor, London Breed, everybody would lose their mind, they've been very adamant, 'Do not close this place,' but Target they don't care. They are like, they see the numbers, right, and that's why our boss is like, 'We will get you whatever you need,''' (meaning that's why SFPD has provided so many resources to this particular private business).
And still it hasn't worked. The officers expect the Mission St. Target to close by the end of the year.
According to one officer, ''In 2019, Walgreens in San Francisco lost'--all Walgreens'--lost $25 million in theft. That's why if you go to every Walgreens pretty much there's an officer sitting at a Walgreens anywhere you go all over and they are still closing Walgreens, and it's still the same thing here '' the same people, the same daily essential products or whatever. And if you go to 16th and Mission, they have like a fence there, and they sell all of this stuff that they take here. It's out of control.''
Asked for a final thought on what could possibly reverse course, one officer said, ''Got to change the process. The prosecution has to change.'' Another chimed in: ''It will never change.''
UPDATE (11:40 AM, Oct 22, 2021): A Target spokesperson has reached out to the California Globe to deny aspects of this story and confirm others. According to Joe Poulos, Target's Senior Director of Communications, ''The information posted to California Globe about our stores is not accurate. We are not closing the Mission St. store. I can confirm that Target will close the San Francisco Central Business District East store, 225 Bush St., on Nov. 20, 2021, due to years of underperforming sales.'' Mr. Poulos also remarked that ''The decision to close a store is always difficult'' and said that ''Target remains committed to the San Francisco Bay Area and will continue to serve guests at the 35 other Bay Area stores.'' This morning, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story echoing much of what Mr. Poulos stated. The Globe has asked Target to comment about shoplifting losses at the Mission St store and stands by its reporting on what it was told by officers on the scene.
Every single Lego set, even the modest ones that don't have a stupid Star Wars theme and just let a kid build a house, is protected by an electronic surveillance gadget. (Photo by Melody Kurson for California Globe)
Did Trump's Media Company Really Just Trademark the Term ''Truthing''? '' Mother Jones
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 13:03
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File
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Donald Trump announced Wednesday night that he is launching a conservative social media and technology company'--an end-run around the bans many major tech platforms imposed on him earlier this year after his post-election lies and incitement. The former president claims his new endeavor will be devoted to a particularly lofty ideal: the truth. Of course, in his many decades as a real estate developer and politician, Trump's relationship with ''the truth'' has been tenuous, at best'--he has a knack for creating his own alternative facts. It's not clear which truths the new operation will focus on, but if trademark applications that appear to have been made on behalf of his company last week are any indication, the actual word ''truth'' is going to receive a real workout.
According to a press release and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Trump hopes his new company will go public and pegs the value at $875 million), the Trump Media & Technology Group will encompass all sorts of business areas'--a ''non-woke'' version of Netflix and Disney Plus, news products to compete with CNN, web-hosting to compete with Amazon and Google. But its first product will be a social media platform called TruthSocial.
According to filings with the US Patent and Trademark Office, on October 13, a Florida intellectual property attorney named Holly Collins applied for a trademark for ''TruthSocial.'' And over the next few days, she also filed applications for trademarks on ''TMTG'' and ''TMTG+''.
According to a promotional slideshow that surfaced on Twitter Wednesday night, those are the names of the ''non-woke'' entertainment and news streaming services Trump is planning.
From a slide deck, some of the companies the new Trump Media and Technology Group claims/aims to eventually be competing with '--> pic.twitter.com/ZfztM9YfWU
'-- Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) October 21, 2021
The language of the trademark applications suggests that they are being reserved for use with a social media platform and streaming video services. Collins, who did not return a request for comment, filed the documents on behalf of a company called T Media Tech LLC, based in Orlando. That company was registered in Delaware this summer; it has no online presence or publicly listed contact information. A spokesperson for Trump Media & Technology Group did not return a request for comment.
Collins also filed applications for several other words or phrases that suggest a creative reimagining of the concept of truth, including ''Truthing''; ''Retruth''; and ''Post A Truth.'' All of the applications state that the words will be used in connection with online selling, website hosting, and social media platforms.
A final application was made for the phrase ''Follow The Truth,'' complete with this logo:
Trump is well known to be obsessed with trademarks'--he has more than 200 for different variations of his name and products (real and imagined) that might be sold using it. And he has previously telegraphed new business ventures with preemptive trademark applications'--for instance, applying long before any public announcement for trademarks on ''Scion'' and ''American Ideal,'' which were the names of the failed downmarket hotel chain his company launched while he was in the Oval Office.
Federal Reserve: Businesses Say Vaccine Mandates Are Hurting Employment
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 11:30
The Federal Reserve on Thursday said that businesses have reported COVID-19 vaccine mandates have hurt employment and are contributing to labor supply problems'--even before President Joe Biden's previously announced vaccine mandate for private businesses goes into effect.
While employment increased at a modest to moderate rate in recent weeks, the Fed's so-called Beige Book noted that the U.S. economy has been ''dampened by a low supply of workers,'' partially due to vaccine mandates.
''Transportation and technology firms saw particularly low labor supply, while many retail, hospitality, and manufacturing firms cut hours or production because they did not have enough workers,'' its report summary said. ''Firms reported high turnover, as workers left for other jobs or retired. Child-care issues and vaccine mandates were widely cited as contributing to the problem, along with COVID-related absences.''
Boeing employees and others wave to passing traffic in the rain as they protest the company's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, outside the Boeing facility in Everett, Wash., on Oct. 15, 2021. (Lindsey Wasson/Reuters)Individual Fed banks said they have heard of employees quitting over mandates. While the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported that few businesses lost employees over the mandates, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta reported that companies were worried that implementing a vaccine requirement could cost them workers.
''Most employers shared that they would like to implement COVID-19 vaccine mandates but were concerned about losing employees,'' the Atlanta Fed said in the report. ''Worries about employee mental health, burnout, safety, and vaccine mandates impacting company culture were mentioned.''
Some manufacturing businesses reported a ''higher labor turnover that some attributed to the lagged effects of the pandemic'' but some said the quits were ''in response to vaccine mandates,'' the Boston Fed also said in its report.
''A few employers expressed concern that federally mandated COVID regulations, such as vaccine requirements, could exacerbate their workforce challenges,'' the Richmond Fed also said. ''Average wages increased moderately as firms offered higher starting pay and increased wages to recruit and retain staff. Many also continued to provide sign-on and stay-on bonuses.''
Some 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August, according to the most updated data from the Labor Department. That figure represents an all-time high since recordkeeping began in December 2000.
On Sept. 9, Biden announced that private businesses with 100 or more employees would have to either mandate vaccinations or have workers submit to weekly COVID-19 testing, as well as mandates for federal contractors, federal workers, and healthcare staff who are employed at Medicaid- or Medicare-funded facilities.
As a result several large corporations, including most major airlines and healthcare companies, began to implement vaccine requirements in recent weeks.
Although Biden made the announcement in early September that he will direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to come up with an emergency rule on COVID-19 vaccines, the agency submitted its mandate for private employers on Oct. 12. So far, the White House has not provided a clear timeline on when the rule could be implemented or what penalties businesses could face.
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
Fox News' planned 24-hour weather channel has climate experts worried | Fox | The Guardian
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 11:29
Fox News Media, the company that owns the reactionary, climate crisis-skeptical Fox News, is launching a weather channel this year '' a development that has climate crisis experts worried.
Fox Weather, a 24-hour channel devoted to all things meteorological, promises ''cutting-edge display technology'', according to a press release, with ''forecasting experts surrounding every major weather event''.
But it is Fox News' output, and the potential for Fox Weather to adopt a similar tone to its sister channel, that has onlookers concerned. Hosts on Fox News have spent years rubbishing or undermining the idea of manmade climate breakdown, and the fact that two Fox News-linked executives are behind the weather channel launch doesn't bode well.
''Fox News has access to and is highly trusted by a wide range of conservative Americans '' which is precisely the audience that least well understands the serious threats that climate change poses to the safety, security and health of all Americans,'' said Edward Maibach, director of George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication.
''If Fox chooses to use its access and credibility to inform viewers about the realities of climate change and its impacts on the weather, it could be a game changer. Conversely, if it opts to perpetuate misinformation to advance political goals, it will be a huge disservice to all Americans '' conservative, liberal and moderate,'' Maibach said.
Last year, Tucker Carlson rubbished the idea that forest fires on the west coast were a result of climate crisis '' serious climate scientists, however, agree that the fires are very much linked to the breakdown '' and suggested environmental hazards were a liberal conspiracy.
Carlson's colleague Laura Ingraham has insisted, contrary to experts' findings, that the planet is in a ''natural'' cycle of warming, and suggested that environmental activists like Greta Thunberg had been ''brainwashed'', while Sean Hannity said the left's ''obsession'' with the climate was a ''political tool''.
''The danger of [Fox News Media] running a weather channel is that if they pervert news about the weather anything like how they've perverted news about climate change and energy politics, millions of Americans will be further misled about this crisis,'' said Geoffrey Supran, research fellow at Harvard University's department of the history of science.
''It's been shown that the most important predictors of public support for climate action are understanding that this crisis is real, human-caused, serious and solvable,'' Supran said.
''If, as I and I'm sure others fear, [Fox News Media's] weather channel downplays the links between global warming and extreme weather, it will only solidify their viewers' existing biases against climate action.''
The tenor of Fox News hosts' commentary matches with data from Public Citizen, a non-profit thinktank. In 2019, Public Citizen found that in the first half of the year Fox News devoted 247 segments to climate crisis. Of those, ''212 (86%) were dismissive of the climate crisis, cast warming and its consequences in doubt or employed fearmongering when discussing climate solutions'', Public Citizen reported.
Donald Trump supporters protest a climate crisis summit in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2019. Photograph: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images''Fox News has been a powerful engine of climate misinformation for years '' so powerful, in fact, that its influence has been named the 'Fox News Effect','' Maibach said.
''One of our studies, for example, showed that before Fox News began its attack on the Green New Deal, most conservatives supported its core policy proposals. Six months later '' after Fox had relentlessly attacked it and its sponsors '' support for those proposals dropped to near zero among frequent Fox viewers.''
Fox Weather has already poached meteorologists from around the country, according to the New York Times, including the Weather Channel's ''senior weather product architect'' Shane Brown. The channel, based in New York City, will be advertiser-funded, and stream 24 hours a day.
Sharri Berg, formerly the executive vice-president of news operations for the Fox News channel, will oversee Fox Weather, along with Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News Media. In announcing the channel last year, Berg said ''weather is a vital component to news''.
''Combining our trusted reporters and expert meteorologists from Fox News and [Fox Television stations] nationwide, the Fox Weather products will be built to serve our audiences in a customized fashion,'' Berg said.
A Fox Weather spokesperson pointed the Guardian to a statement given to the New York Times:
''With a dedicated team of leading meteorologists and experts stationed across the country, Fox Weather will provide in-depth reporting surrounding all weather conditions and we are excited to showcase to viewers what a full-service comprehensive weather platform can deliver beginning this fall.''
If Fox Weather does not interfere with the weather information its new staff is putting out, then Maibach said there is hope '' for the weather channel at least.
''I don't expect that Fox News will change its ways or its views about climate change anytime soon, but Fox Weather has the opportunity to get the facts right. Let's hope it chooses to,'' Maibach said.
Viewers will have to wait and see what approach Fox Weather takes, but in the meantime, there is serious concern given the damage the American right has already done to efforts to mitigate the climate crisis.
''We've already seen the ways in which 40 years of disinformation in the United States has stifled both climate action and the narrative around climate,'' said Lily Gardner, a community organizer with the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led organization which aims to stop climate crisis.
''Nancy Pelosi [the Democratic House speaker] and Newt Gingrich [a Republican former House speaker] went from releasing an ad together in 2007 that indicated that they were interested in working on climate policy, to climate becoming a deeply partisan issue in which the facts are debated as opposed to the solutions.''
Want to Guess the Detail the Media Will Probably Leave Out of Horrific Philly Train Rape Story
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 11:24
No one intervened. No one. It's the bystander effect in all its horror.
A woman was raped on a SEPTA train in Philadelphia, and no one did anything. This person terrorized this woman for a total of 40 minutes. He groped and touched her inappropriately before tearing her clothes off and raping her less than ten minutes before police officers boarded the train and arrested him. There is security camera footage. It has not been released to the public due to this being an ongoing investigation. The onlookers will not be charged (via 6ABC):
Prosecutors pursuing the case against a man accused of raping a woman on a commuter train last week don't anticipate charging fellow passengers for not intervening, a spokesperson for the suburban Philadelphia district attorney said.
"It's still an open investigation, but there is no expectation at this time that we will charge passengers," said Margie McAboy, spokeswoman for the Delaware County District Attorney's office.
Prosecutors did not expand on why charges were unlikely.
Authorities continue to investigate the Oct. 13 attack, where a woman was repeatedly touched and groped over the course of a 40-minute ride despite trying to push 35-year-old Fiston Ngoy away, according to an arrest affidavit that detailed the surveillance footage from the train.
Investigators say Ngoy ripped the woman's pants off and proceeded to rape her for somewhere between six and eight minutes before officers boarded the train and detained him.
Police declined to say how many passengers may have witnessed the assault, but have said it appeared that some held their phones up in the direction of the assault seemingly to film the attack. Police have also declined to say whether investigators have found any photos or videos of the attack posted online.
In an interview Tuesday with radio station WPHT, SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III, said "as many as 10 people" may have seen some part of the attack.
Nestel has said Philadelphia 911 did not receive any calls about the attack. He said Monday operators at Delaware County 911 were still researching whether it received calls. A message to a SEPTA spokesman seeking updated information was not immediately returned Wednesday.
What's missing in this story, which was highlighted by The Daily Wire, is that Ngoy is an illegal alien. This is a rape committed by someone who shouldn't have been here, which I'm sure is a key detail that will be ignored by the elite press. He was here on a student visa (via Daily Wire):
The man who allegedly violently raped a woman on a train in the Philadelphia-area, as onlookers watched and did nothing, is an illegal alien who reportedly has a criminal history and was supposed to be deported years ago.
Ngoy was reportedly never deported because ''he received a 'withholding of removal' from an immigration judge in March 2019 after the Board of Immigration Appeals found that his misdemeanor sex offense was not a 'serious crime' that would have made him ineligible for such a stay.''
That visa expired in 2015. In the meantime, this Ngoy person has been a menace to society. He's been arrested multiple times for public intoxication, he defecated in public, and he's urinated in public. In November 2017, he groped two women outside of a homeless shelter.
Deport this trash. He should have been booted years ago. And now, he's committed a heinous crime that could have been avoided.
COVID Measures for Kids: U.S, Europe Take Different Approaches | National Review
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 11:07
Lydia Melo, 7, is inoculated with one of two reduced doses of the Pfizer BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine during a trial at Duke University in Durham, N.C., September 28, 2021.(Shawn Rocco/Duke University/Handout via Reuters)European countries aren't vaccinating their five-year-olds, and they're taking off the masks.
NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he United States is weeks away from rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as five. And yet, even after it is rolled out, children will still be masking in schools. ''We're going to continue to recommend masks in all schools, for all people in those schools,'' said CDC director Rochelle Walensky.
This brings up lots of questions. If not when vaccines become available to children, then when? When a certain number take them? When they get boosters six months later? Given that unvaccinated children are demonstrably safer from COVID than are vaccinated adults who often live and work without '...
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YouTube gives head-scratching excuse for removing rapper's 'Let's go Brandon' video
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 11:06
Christian rapper Bryson Gray alerted his fans on Twitter Thursday that his latest viral rap video, ''Let's Go Brandon,'' was deleted from YouTube due to ''medical misinformation.''
The song from the self-proclaimed ''most censored rapper in America'' is critical of the pandemic response, President Joe Biden, and the botched Afghanistan withdrawal. Gray ironically raps in the first verse, ''if you ask questions 'bout the vax, then they gonna ban us.''
The chorus repeats ''Let's go, Brandon,'' and reiterates that ''when you ask questions, they start bannin'.''
And ban him they did.
''YouTube has banned 'Let's Go Brandon' song from YouTube due to 'medical information,' Gray wrote. ''What medical misinformation is in the song? Whoa.''
YouTube has banned ''Let's Go Brandon'' song from YouTube due to ''medical information''. What medical misinformation is in the song? Whoa. pic.twitter.com/W8sCcyH4IM
'-- CCG BRYSON (@RealBrysonGray) October 21, 2021
On Thursday morning, Gray indicated that the version with the lyrics transcribed was the first to come down, but by that afternoon, the music video was deleted too.
''Update: The music video was just banned. @YouTube this is crazy,'' he tweeted, tagging YouTube for a response.
Update: The music video was just banned. @YouTube this is crazy.
'-- CCG BRYSON (@RealBrysonGray) October 21, 2021
YouTube reacted with a tweet indicating they would ''re-review'' the matter.
''Jumping in '' we're passing this along to the right team for a re-review,'' YouTube tech support tweeted. ''We'll share updates once we hear back from them. Appreciate your patience in the meantime.''
Jumping in '' we're passing this along to the right team for a re-review. We'll share updates once we hear back from them. Appreciate your patience in the meantime.
'-- TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) October 21, 2021
Gray expressed his disgust at the hypocritical policies that led to his uniquely clean rap song being removed from YouTube.
It just happened. YouTube banned the music video to ''Let's Go Brandon''. The most censored rapper in the country is one that doesn't even curse. Wow. I can't even express myself through art. pic.twitter.com/axMzmJHtLb
'-- CCG BRYSON (@RealBrysonGray) October 21, 2021
One astute response to the ban questions big tech's censorship of government actions compared to other distasteful content they allow on the platform.
What I learned from @RealBrysonGray's ''LGB'' song being blocked/censored is:
it's okay for black people to rap/sing about wet ass pussy, shooting each other, doing drugs, and having sex with the devil
But questioning the pandemic response is where big tech draws the line!
'-- ELIJAH (@ElijahSchaffer) October 22, 2021
The song title and chorus ''let's go Brandon,'' references a reporter's interview with NASCAR driver and race winner, Brandon Brown. The crowd was chanting ''F**K Joe Biden,'' but the NBC Sports reporter appeared to hear ''Let's go, Brandon.'' The term has been popularized as a cleaner euphemism for the chant '' even a Florida Representative used the dig at the president when wrapping up a speech earlier this week.
Watch the full video here:
(Video Credit: Bryson Gray)
Gray regularly takes aim at the leftist narrative and, in June, he had another rap song ''Safe Space'' censored by Spotify and SoundCloud.
Spotify, Soundcloud boot rapper's song 'Safe Space' that goes WAY off the leftist narrative https://t.co/iuM69xrDE7 pic.twitter.com/L1ysXsc7S6
'-- Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 26, 2021
''CENSORSHIP IS REAL,'' Gray tweeted when he announced the ban on Twitter.
Author Recent Posts Staff Writer
Ashley Hill is a California native that loves God, guns and liberty. She holds a B.A. in History and Spanish and a Master's in Public Administration.
Latest posts by Ashley Hill
Chinese scientists build anti-satellite weapon that can cause explosion inside exhaust | South China Morning Post
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 11:04
Researchers who built the device say it can lock itself into the thruster nozzles used by most satellites and stay there for long periods undetectedScientists say the resulting blast would damage the target's equipment and may be mistaken for an engine malfunction Published: 11:00pm, 21 Oct, 2021
Updated: 3:45am, 22 Oct, 2021
Deutschland: Keine erh¶hte Sterberate durch COVID-19
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 11:01
21. Oktober 2021, 11:00
Forschungsergebnisse, Wissenschaftliche Publikationen
Forscher der Medizinischen Fakult¤t der Universit¤t Duisburg-Essen (UDE) haben mit Kollegen die Zahl der Sterbef¤lle in Deutschland, Spanien und Schweden der Jahre 2016 bis 2020 analysiert. Sie wollten herausfinden, ob dort im vergangenen 'Corona-Jahr'' mehr Menschen gestorben sind, als dies ohne den Ausbruch einer Pandemie erwartet worden w¤re. Das Ergebnis: 2020 gab es keine 'bersterblichkeit in Deutschland, auch wenn es etwa 34.000 Todesf¤lle gab, die mit COVID-19 assoziiert werden.
'Durch den Fokus auf die 'bersterblichkeit vermeiden wir Probleme, die sich sonst aus den betr¤chtlichen Unterschieden ergeben w¼rden, die weltweit bei der Definition von COVID-19-Todesf¤llen gemacht werden'', sagt Erstautor Dr. Dr. Bernd Kowall vom Institut f¼r Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie (IMIBE) am Universit¤tsklinikum Essen. 'Es reicht jedoch nicht aus, sich allein auf die Nettozahlen der Todesf¤lle zu st¼tzen. Auch Ver¤nderungen durch den demographischen Wandel sollten ber¼cksichtigt werden, insbesondere die gr¶ere Zahl ¤lterer Menschen und die gestiegene Lebenserwartung'', betont der Epidemiologe. Ber¼cksichtigt man die Alterung der Gesellschaft, k¶nnen die Studienautoren f¼r Deutschland sogar eine Untersterblichkeit f¼r 2020 nachweisen (2,4 %).
Neben Deutschland schauten die Wissenschaftler wegen des Sonderwegs auf Schweden. Als drittes bezogen sie Spanien ein, das als eines der L¤nder mit der h¶chsten Sterblichkeit im Zusammenhang mit COVID-19 gilt: Die Analyse ergab eine 'bersterblichkeit von 14,8 % f¼r Spanien, w¤hrend sie in Schweden 3 % betrug.
Es gab 2020 laut Robert Koch-Institut etwa 34.000 durch oder mit COVID-19 Verstorbene in Deutschland. Dass dennoch keine 'bersterblichkeit beobachtet wurde, kann folgende Ursachen haben:
''2019/2020 und 2020/2021 gab es zwei Winter hintereinander, in denen kaum Menschen an der saisonalen Influenza (Grippe) gestorben sind.''Auch indirekte Effekte der bundesweiten Pandemie-Manahmen spielen eine Rolle: So ging die Zahl der Verkehrstoten w¤hrend des ersten Lockdowns deutlich zur¼ck.''Das mediane* Sterbealter der an oder mit COVID-19 Verstorbenen lag bei ¼ber 80 Jahren, und bei vielen von ihnen wurden mehrere Vorerkrankungen diagnostiziert. Statistisch gesehen haben gesundheitlich vorbelastete Menschen in einem hohen Alter auch ohne SARS-CoV-2-Infektion eine deutlich reduzierte Lebenserwartung. Verstorbene mit COVID-19-Infektion, die gem¤ medizinischer Prognosen auch ohne Corona das Jahr 2020 nicht ¼berlebt h¤tten, tragen in jenem Jahr nicht zu einer 'bersterblichkeit bei.
* Der Wert, der in der Mitte einer Datenverteilung liegt, wird Median oder Zentralwert genannt. Bei einer fiktiven Datenreihe von 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 und 12 w¤re 5 der Median.
Redaktion: Martin Rolshoven, Medizinische Fakult¤t der UDE, Tel. 0201/723-6274, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wissenschaftlicher Ansprechpartner:Priv.-Doz. Dr. Dr. Bernd Kowall, IMIBE/UK Essen, Tel. 0201/723-77295, email@example.com
'Excess mortality due to COVID-19? A comparison of total mortality in 2020 with total mortality in 2016 to 2019 in Germany, Sweden and Spain.''
EXCLUSIVE '' 83% of Covid-19 deaths were among the Fully Vaccinated in the past month according to latest Public Health data '' The Expose
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 10:59
Breaking NewsThe latest official Public Health data shows that the fully vaccinated accounted for 83% of Covid-19 deaths in the past four weeks, whilst also accounting for 72% of Covid-19 hospitalisations and 56% of alleged Covid-19 cases from September 18th through to October 15th.
The Covid-19 Statistical Report is a weekly report on Covid-19 data published by Public Health Scotland, and the latest update published October 20th confirms that things are getting worse for the fully vaccinated population by the week whilst things improve for the not-vaccinated population.
Table 18 of the report confirms that the majority of Covid-19 cases were among the fully vaccinated population in the week beginning September 18th 2021, accounting for 37,992 cases. Whilst the not-vaccinated population did not lag far behind recording 32,217 cases.
The totals number of cases by vaccination status as confirmed by the above table between September 18th and October 15th 2021 were as follows ''
Not-vaccinated population = 32,217 casesPartly vaccinated population = 3,971 casesFully-vaccinated population = 37,992 casesThis means the vaccinated population accounted for 56% of Covid-19 cases between September 18th and October 15th, whilst the not-vaccinated population accounted for 44%.
However, the difference between the vaccinated and unvaccinated gets much worse when it comes to hospitalisations, with the fully vaccinated now accounting for the majority of Covid-19 hospitalisations since at least July 2021.
The above table shows that the not-vaccinated over-60's accounted for just 11% of Covid-19 hospitalisations between September 11th and October 15th, whilst the vaccinated over 60's accounted for 89%.
A similar trend can also be seen in the 30 to 59 year-old age group with the not-vaccinated accounting for just 38% of Covid-19 hospitalisations, whilst the vaccinated accounted for 62%.
The totals number of hospitalisations by vaccination status for all age groups between September 18th and October 15th 2021 as confirmed by table 19 of the PHS report were as follows ''
Not-vaccinated population = 684Partly vaccinated population = 81Fully vaccinated population = 1672This means the vaccinated population accounted for 72% of Covid-19 hospitalisations between September 18th and October 15th 2021, whilst the not-vaccinated accounted for just 28%.
But yet again the difference between the vaccinated and unvaccinated gets much worse when it comes to deaths allegedly related to Covid-19.
The totals number of alleged Covid-19 by vaccination status between September 11th and October 8th 2021 as confirmed by table 20 of the PHS report were as follows ''
Not-vaccinated population = 96 deathsPartly vaccinated population = 16 deathsFully vaccinated population = 436 deathsThis means the vaccinated population accounted for 83% of Covid-19 deaths between September 11th and October 8th, whilst the not-vaccinated accounted for just 17%.
Some people may argue that this is expected if the majority of the population has been vaccinated. Which would be true if official data didn't show that the number of Covid-19 deaths in September / October 2021 are over 2000% higher than the number recorded during the same period in 2020.
The reason deaths were so low in September 2020 is because seasonality was on our side, as it has always been with all respiratory viruses.
The fact that seasonality hasn't worked in 2021 when we also supposedly had Covid-19 vaccines on our side suggests that the vaccinated population have one very rough winter ahead of them.
Categories: Breaking News, Did You Know?, Latest News, The Expose Blog, World News
Fauci-Led Agency Funded Abusive Animal Experiments Promising To Kill Dozens Of Beagles | The Daily Caller
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 10:57
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), under the leadership of Dr. Anthony Fauci, is granting taxpayer funds for abusive animal experimentation, according to documents unearthed by a government watchdog group.
NIAID directed $424,455 to researchers at the University of Georgia in September 2020 to infect dozens of beagles with disease-causing parasites in order to test an experimental drug on them, according to documents obtained by White Coat Waste Project (WCW) and reviewed by the Daily Caller. According to an NIAID task order form released via a Freedom Of Information Act request, the 28 beagles were to be allowed to develop infections for three months before being euthanized for blood collection.
The dog experiments are set to be completed by January 2022, however, the task order states that the beagles are to be euthanized 196 days after the start of the study. According to emails obtained by WCW, the study began on Nov. 12, 2020, meaning the beagles would have been scheduled to be euthanized in June 2021.
The Daily Caller reached out to both NIAID and the principal investigator involved with the study at the University of Georgia, Dr. Andrew Moorhead, to try and verify whether the beagles were euthanized, but received no response. (RELATED: NIH Spent $140 Million On Animal Testing In Foreign Countries Last Year, Watchdog Group Finds)
The dogs were to be infected with flies that carry a disease-causing parasite that can affect humans. Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID and the National Institutes of Health as a whole have been under intense scrutiny in recent months over what types of animal testing should be funded with taxpayer grants in light of questions about gain of function experimentation at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
A dog is experimented on at an NIAID lab. (White Coat Waste Project)
''It's not just Wuhan,'' WCW vice president of advocacy and public policy Justin Goodman told the Daily Caller. ''Fauci's budget has ballooned to over $6 billion in taxpayer funding annually, at least half of which is being wasted on more questionable animal experimentation like these deadly and unnecessary beagle tests and other maximum pain experiments.''
Monthly reports uncovered by WCW state that the dogs at the University of Georgia were ''vocalizing in pain'' after being injected with experimental compounds. Given that the experimental drug in question, LFGuard, has already been extensively tested on other animals, the Daily Caller inquired with NIAID and Moorhead about the utility of the experiment, but did not receive an answer.
''Fauci needs to be held accountable for this staggering waste and abuse overseas and right here at home. Taxpayers shouldn't be forced to pay,'' Goodman added. (RELATED: New Alzheimer's Drug Approved By FDA In Spite Of Employees Claiming There Was Insufficient Evidence, Memos Show)
Members of Congress earlier this year called for increased transparency on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) animal testing after WCW revealed that around 20,000 dogs per year are used in FDA experiments, many of which scientists say are unnecessary and harmful to the animals involved.
Germans Increasingly Distrust Official Corona Figures, Fear a Health Dictatorship - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 10:53
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A study by the Hans B¶ckler Foundation, which is part of the German Trade Union Federation (DGB), uncovered interesting facts in Germany. Notably, the survey of 5000 employees did not only deal with trade union issues or questions about how Corona affects work or what effects the virus has on the workplace.
Instead, the study by the DGB showed that many Germans see democracy and freedom in danger in their country. The official Corona figures announced by various politicians are also distrusted. For the authors of the study this has been an indication of a ''susceptibility to conspiracy myths''.
The study highlighted distrust in politics, doubts about the Corona policy and ''conspiracy theories'', said Andreas H¶vermann, sociologist and employee at the research institute of the union's own foundation.
Between June 29 and July 13, 2021, some 5000 participants were asked about six premises for the study. And it was also revealed that for all questions, except for the one about the danger of the virus, approval has increased since last year. The questions from the survey and the responses are listed below:
The current restrictions on freedoms pose a threat to democracy. (36 percent in agreement)I am concerned that the restrictions on fundamental rights will not be completely lifted after the crisis. (43 percent in agreement)I don't think the coronavirus is as dangerous as it is often claimed. (27 percent in agreement)I have doubts about the official Corona numbers. (43 percent in agreement)I can imagine that behind the pandemic there is an elite that wants to create a new world order. (20 percent in agreement)I can imagine that the pandemic will be used by elites to enforce the interests of the rich and powerful. (32 percent in agreement)Union for the powerful, not for ordinary people
For the union researchers , the result of the study has been an alarm signal. It supposedly shows that a fifth of those questioned were susceptible to Corona doubts and so-called conspiracy myths. The implication of the trade union's research does not augur well for the mainstream political parties either: They noticed that in a large cohort of the study participants, the commitment to ''established democratic parties'' was vanishingly small. However, the AfD was the only party that could convince this clientele.
Apparently, less attention was paid to the fact that citizens were extremely skeptical of the restrictions on their freedoms with 43 percent of those surveyed expressing their doubts about the official Corona numbers. The logical conclusion would have been to finally open up a public debate on the issue. Instead, the ''researchers'' recommend refuting this ''disinformation''.
Healthy understanding of democracy
The study actually showed a healthy understanding of democracy because people had questioned politicians and wanted to be informed without reservation. Under normal circumstances, responsible citizens do not readily accept conflicting political statements and government propaganda. And there was actually a very specific trade union issue among their concerns.
After all, 32 percent could imagine ''that the pandemic would be used by elites to enforce the interests of the rich and powerful''. Evidently, the assumption is that an honest trade union would provide a reasonable solution to end the crisis for their members. The rich have experienced phenomenal asset growth, while the general population had to tighten their belts and suffer the economic consequences of the health decrees.
Embarrassing for the elite
In June this year, reported the German daily FAZ, the results of a survey by the renowned Allensbach Institute showed that around half of the respondents believed that they could no longer express their opinion freely in their country.
Those who want to believe the mainstream media consider the discussion about the renaming of cities, pharmacies, and chocolates which contain the part of the name ''Neger'' or ''Mohren'', to be of great social relevance. Well-known news anchors stutter everywhere on television and make linguistically nonsensical pauses, choking sounds and grunts to show how gender-aware they are. ''Equality'', ''diversity'' and ''justice'' are certainly the most frequently used terms.
Despite this, the FAZ correctly noted: ''Even today, a strikingly large number of citizens complain about strong social control, have the impression that an attempt is being made to dictate to them in detail how they should behave, and many have the feeling that they cannot defend themselves.''
Freedom of expression in free fall
In the opinion of many citizens, freedom of expression is currently worse than ever in Germany: Only 45 percent of those surveyed believe that one can freely express a political opinion. And the survey also underscored that over the past twenty years, the assessment of the respondents has deteriorated considerably.
This means that, in the opinion of the respondents, the climate of opinion is increasingly deteriorating. In times of ''political correctness'' and ''cancel culture'', the common citizen is increasingly afraid of being socially marginalized.
A fifth of Austrian students did not buy Corona narrative
The communication scientist J¼rgen Grimm carried out a remarkable study at the University of Vienna also in June this year. In the course of a survey of 600 students, he determined how ''susceptible'' they were to ''conspiracy theories'' due to the Corona situation. His conclusion: was that 20 percent of the students were ''hostile'' in their worldview. They were questioning who and what was behind Corona policies. Grimm found this fundamentally problematic and labeled them ''conspiracy theorists'' too.
''A smaller proportion '' around 20 percent '' are prone to conspiracy theories. They have a hostile view of the world. They are no longer just threatened '' objectively we all are '' but look for someone to blame, an 'enemy','' explained Grimm in an interview.
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Featured image: Protest against Corona measures in Berlin on August 1, 2020: Leonhard Lenz, Wikimedia Commons, CCO
'Bomb cyclones' and 'atmospheric rivers': West Coast braces for weather whiplash | KSL.com
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 10:46
Traffic moves slowly across the Golden Gate Bridge in the high winds and rain Dec. 11, 2014, in this view from Sausalito, Calif. Weather forecasts say the West Coast will face "bomb cyclones" and "atmospheric rivers." (Eric Risberg, The Associated Press)
Estimated read time: 6-7 minutes
ATLANTA '-- Imagine a long river of water vapor in the sky coming into the West Coast. It is how Marty Ralph, the director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, described the storm event threatening California at the moment.
The storms are called "atmospheric rivers," which are narrow bands of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere emerging from the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, cruising more than two miles above the sea. An average atmospheric river transports more than 20 times the water the Mississippi River does, as vapor.
Throughout the weekend and into next week, parts of the West Coast will go from extreme drought to facing a series of bomb cyclones and an associated atmospheric river. The weather whiplash may unleash rains, flash floods, debris flows, and potential hurricane-force winds, particularly in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California.
"Wherever the storms hit shore on the West Coast is where the heaviest precipitation occurs, and that can be very beneficial in areas that often don't have enough water '-- and we have the drought going right now," Ralph told CNN.
"And then there are times when there's too much and it can create flooding," he added. "A few of these storms really make the difference over the course of the year."
Human-caused climate change has increased the potential for this weather whiplash, where dramatic shifts in periods of drought and high precipitation can to occur more often. Scientists say the chances of sudden transitions from severe drought to atmospheric river events will become more common in California in the coming decades.
Much needed rain, but too much of a good thing?In 2019, Ralph led the development of the system to categorize atmospheric rivers by strength, much like hurricane categories. In the scale, AR4 translates to 'extreme,' while AR5 '-- which is what he projects this storm to be '-- means 'exceptional.'
"AR's 4 and 5 are mostly hazardous, but they can also be very beneficial, as we're seeing in this case, where it's coming on the heels of a serious drought," he said. "And largely the impacts are probably going to be beneficial because it's moisturizing the soil, restoring some water in the rivers, and a little bit of the lakes."
But this storm, according to Ralph, is a rare event. AR5 storms are rare in California, especially during October. Analyzing a 40-year period, his team found only a total of 10 AR5 storms occurred in 40 years, and only one happened in October.
The impacts also vary depending on the region. Smaller watersheds in urban areas, for instance, may trigger flash floods, while regions where wildfires have left burn scars may experience some debris flows. Transportation, Ralph adds, could also be impacted with the wet roads, cautioning drivers who may travel during the storm event.
Ultimately, experts like Ralph say the atmospheric river is needed more than ever to replenish the unrelenting drought in the West.
In California, dry conditions this summer were the most extreme in the entire 120-year record. It drained reservoirs and triggered historic water shortages. Governor Gavin Newsom recently expanded a statewide drought emergency proclamation.
Climate researchers say two major factors contributed to this summer's severe drought: a lack of precipitation and an increase in evaporative demand, also known as the "thirst of the atmosphere." In this case, the coast did not experience enough storms to quench the thirst of the atmosphere, as well as the drying landscape.
The historic drought in the West also created the perfect landscape for wildfires to spark and expand.
In the short term, Julie Kalansky, a climate scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, said the storm will help alleviate the dry landscape as well as reduce the potential for fires to spread and ignite.
"In the long term, it's really hard to tell," Kalansky told CNN. "Just because we have a wet October or have a big event in October, it doesn't necessarily mean the rest of the season is going to be wet, so the rest of the season is still really to be determined."
California's Mediterranean climate, where dry summers and wet winters provide the perfect conditions for a robust agricultural economy, makes it vulnerable to drastic shifts in weather events. But after a long dry period, Ralph said many farming communities would benefit from a high-precipitation event.
"It seems to me this is a storm that's going to help return some moisture to the soil in a significant way that should green up the hills and the fields a bit more than otherwise," Ralph said. "And then, a big picture is that this is a storm that's going to set the stage for the watersheds to produce more runoff when the next storm comes, which is going to start filling the depleted reservoirs that they depend upon."
Climate change is making storms wetter, strongerScientists have linked the climate crisis to an increase in the amount of moisture the atmosphere holds, meaning storms, such as the one impacting the West Coast now, will be able to bring more atmospheric moisture inland than it would without climate change, which in turn leads to an increase in rainfall rates and flash flooding. Meanwhile, the intensity of storms is also increasing.
This weekend's bomb cyclone, named for the speed at which it intensifies or "bombs out," is expected to near or set records for the lowest pressure for a storm in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. The strong system is forecast to produce winds of hurricane strength (75 mph or greater), though the strongest winds should remain over the ocean, according to the latest forecast.
And since the storm is coming earlier in the season than usual, Kalansky said preparedness is crucial for an event like this.
"It is a very extreme event for this early in the season, and people might not be prepared for something like this because it doesn't typically happen," she said. "I always advise people that it is really important that they stay up to date with what the National Weather Service is predicting in terms of hazards."
These rapid changes in climate extremes '-- from drought to high precipitation '-- could make it harder for societies and communities to mitigate and adapt. In some cases, it could be destructive: according to a 2019 study, atmospheric rivers created an annual average of $1.1 billion annually in flood damage across the West.
But one thing is clear: as the planet warms, extreme weather events such as this will only get worse.
"The research has shown that atmospheric rivers are projected to become more extreme in the future," Kalansky said. "For California, they're projected to contribute more to the overall annual precipitation. Our climate models are suggesting that atmospheric rivers will become increasingly important as the climate changes."
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Bitcoin's Netscape Moment is Finally Here - Decrypt
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 10:43
It's the oldest clich(C) in crypto: that blockchain still has no "killer app," still awaits its "Netscape moment." The term refers to the 1994 launch of the web browser that made it easy for ordinary people to surf the Internet. The web had been around for years, but Netscape's arrival ignited a turning point that brought the "information superhighway" mainstream.
The crypto community has been waiting for its own version of this moment for years. And it may have just arrived. This past week saw the first U.S. Bitcoin ETF begin trading, more are on the way, and Bitcoin and Ethereum both hit new all-time highs.
"The browser moment has happened in the last year," says Jesse Walden, an Andreessen Horowitz vet who just raised $120 million to start a second venture fund dedicated to early stage crypto. (Marc Andreessen co-founded Netscape, by the way.)
In a recent conversation we had, Walden made the case that recent events other than just price action'--from the NFT explosion to the millions of people playing the metaverse game Axie'--means crypto has gone beyond early adopters to the first stage of mainstream use. And while no crypto product has replicated the radical simplicity that Netscape introduced, Walden says the clunky user experience has evolved to the point where people can figure it out.
"Your thumbs will learn," he says, quoting Apple founder Steve Jobs response to critics who said people wouldn't embrace the iPhone because it had no keyboard.
I think Walden is right. I can't point to the specific day or month when it happened, but at some point in the last year crypto exploded in the same way that the web did in 1994.
You see it everywhere'--from crypto marketing invading pro sports to wall-to-wall media coverage to Mark Zuckerberg's bet on "the metaverse." And this is just the beginning. The last week alone brought news of not just Walden's new fund, but another $250 million fund from MultiCoin Capital that will be dedicated to crypto startups. They are just the latest example of firms that are together investing billions into a blockchain-based future.
So what does crypto's long-awaited Netscape moment mean? For investors, it means enormous opportunity'--and risk. In the go-go days of the early dot-com boom, three stocks'--Amazon, eBay and Yahoo'--came to define the era, and those who bought them got very rich. But for every Amazon, there were a hundred Pet.coms that promised fat returns from the newfangled internet but left investors rekt. So be careful out there.
The warning is the same for legacy companies. Those that can figure out how to plug the best elements of blockchain and Web 3 into their core business, like auction house Sotheby's or Visa, will flourish in the future. Meanwhile, those that ignore blockchain or deploy it badly will end up like many of those in my own industry'--the media business'--that responded to the rise of the internet by using it to publish PDFs.
Finally, what does crypto's Netscape moment means for consumers? Most likely, it will change everything just like the web browser did 25 years ago, though we don't quite know how. For now, the emerging crypto era is a lot like the parable of blind scientists trying to identify an elephant by touching it'--we might know what parts of Web 3 mean, but it's too early to understand how it all fits together. Whatever the answer, it's going to be fun to find out.
This is Roberts on Crypto, a weekend column from Decrypt Editor-in-Chief Daniel Roberts and Decrypt Executive Editor Jeff John Roberts. Sign up for the Decrypt email newsletter to receive it in your inbox. And read last weekend's column: Bitcoin's First ETF: Winners and Losers.
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Facebook Services Are Used to Spread Religious Hatred in India, Internal Documents Show - WSJ
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 10:41
Company researchers say anti-Muslim material is rife and calls to violence coincided with deadly riots last year. Facebook says it's working to improve enforcement.
Mark Zuckerberg praised India in December as a special and important country for Facebook Inc., saying that millions of people there use its platforms every day to stay in touch with family and friends. Internally, researchers were painting a different picture: Facebook's products in India were awash with inflammatory content that one report linked to deadly religious riots.
Inflammatory content on Facebook spiked 300% above previous levels at times during the months following December 2019, a period in which religious protests...
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Mark Zuckerberg praised India in December as a special and important country for Facebook Inc., saying that millions of people there use its platforms every day to stay in touch with family and friends. Internally, researchers were painting a different picture: Facebook's products in India were awash with inflammatory content that one report linked to deadly religious riots.
Inflammatory content on Facebook spiked 300% above previous levels at times during the months following December 2019, a period in which religious protests swept India, researchers wrote in a July 2020 report that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Rumors and calls to violence spread particularly on Facebook's WhatsApp messaging service in late February 2020, when communal violence in Delhi left 53 dead, according to the report. India is Facebook's biggest market with hundreds of millions of users.
Hindu and Muslim users in India say they are subjected to ''a large amount of content that encourages conflict, hatred and violence on Facebook and WhatsApp,'' such as material blaming Muslims for the spread of Covid-19 and assertions that Muslim men are targeting Hindu women for marriage as a ''form of Muslim takeover'' of the country, the researchers found.
Private Facebook groups made up of like-minded users generated more divisive content. Inflammatory content primarily targeted Muslims, the researchers wrote.
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Facebook was so concerned about how its services were tied to communal conflict that it dispatched researchers to interview dozens of users. A Hindu man in Delhi told them he received frequent messages on Facebook and WhatsApp ''that are all very dangerous,'' such as ''Hindus are in danger, Muslims are about to kill us,'' the researchers reported.
There is ''so much hatred going on'' on Facebook, one Muslim man in Mumbai was quoted as telling the researchers, saying he feared for his life. ''It's scary, it's really scary.''
Many of the users believed it was ''Facebook's responsibility to reduce this content'' in their feeds and on WhatsApp, the report said.
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Facebook researchers determined that two Hindu nationalist groups with ties to India's ruling political party post inflammatory anti-Muslim content on the platform, according to two separate reports earlier this year by teams investigating abuse of the company's services. The researchers recommended one of the organizations be kicked off for violating the company's hate speech rules, according to one report, but the group remains active.
The other group, researchers said, promotes incitements to violence including ''dehumanizing posts comparing Muslims to 'pigs' and 'dogs' and misinformation claiming the Quran calls for men to rape their female family members.'' That group also remains active on Facebook, and wasn't designated as dangerous due to ''political sensitivities,'' the report said.
The reports show that Facebook is privately aware that people in its largest market are targeted with inflammatory content, and that users say the company isn't protecting them. The documents are part of an extensive array of internal Facebook communications reviewed by the Journal that offer an unparalleled look at how its rules favor elites, its algorithms breed discord, and its services are used to incite violence and target vulnerable people.
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Facebook spokesman Andy Stone declined to comment on the Hindu nationalist groups' activities on Facebook, but said that the company bans groups or individuals ''after following a careful, rigorous, and multidisciplinary process.''
He said some of the reports were working documents containing investigative leads for discussion, rather than complete investigations, and didn't contain individual policy recommendations.
The company has invested significantly in technology to find hate speech across languages, and globally such content on the platform has been declining, he said.
''Hate speech against marginalized groups, including Muslims, is on the rise globally,'' he said, adding that the company is improving enforcement and committed to updating its policies.
Facebook has a lot at stake in India, with more than 300 million Facebook users and more than 400 million people on WhatsApp. The company last year said it is investing $5.7 billion to expand its India operations and help boost the country's nascent digital economy.
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Facebook's top executive in India reports directly to the core leadership team of Mr. Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive officer, in Menlo Park, Calif., underscoring the country's importance to the company. And, unlike in many developing markets, Facebook has staff on the ground in India.
India's government has threatened to jail employees of Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter Inc. if they didn't comply with data or take-down requests, the Journal reported in February, as authorities sought to quash political protests and control speech on foreign-owned tech platforms. India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology didn't respond to requests for comment at the time, and later disputed the Journal's reporting.
The country of more than 1.3 billion has deep social and religious divisions that periodically erupt into fatal confrontations. Users in the country speak 22 major languages, making content moderation challenging, and many people have limited digital literacy.
In the July 2020 report, called ''Communal Conflict in India,'' one Muslim man in Mumbai was quoted as telling researchers that ''if social media survives 10 more years like this, there will be only hatred.'' Unless the company does a better job of policing content that encourages conflict, India will be a ''very difficult place to survive for everyone,'' he said, according to the report.
Among the researchers' recommendations for tackling inflammatory content was that Facebook invest more in resources to build out underlying technical systems that are supposed to ''detect and enforce on inflammatory content in India,'' the way human reviewers might.
Researchers also suggested creating a ''bank'' of inflammatory material to study what people were posting, and creating a reporting system within Facebook's WhatsApp messaging app that would allow users to flag specific offending messages and categorize them by their contents.
Mr. Stone declined to comment on the proposals. He said Facebook invests in ''internal research to proactively identify where we can improve'' over the long term. Given Facebook's massive global audience, ''everything that is good, bad, and ugly in our societies will find expression on our platform,'' but ''we don't benefit from hate,'' he said.
The researchers, in a report early this year called ''Adversarial Harmful Networks: India Case Study,'' said that much of the content posted by users, groups and pages from the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh group, or RSS, is never flagged. That's because Facebook lacks sufficient technical systems for detecting material in the Hindi and Bengali languages, the researchers said.
Mr. Stone said Facebook has technical systems in place to catch offending material in five languages spoken in India, including Hindi and Bengali, and has human language expertise in many more languages. He said the company continues to work to improve its systems.
Researchers also found pro-RSS users on Facebook were posting a high volume of content about ''Love Jihad,'' a conspiracy theory that is spreading online and has gained traction in recent years. Proponents of the theory claim there is a plot by Muslim men to lure Hindu women with the promise of marriage or love, in order to convert these women to Islam.
Other material highlighted as inflammatory that Facebook found to be propagated by pro-RSS entities included assertions that ''Muslim clerics spit on food to either 'make it halal,' or spread Covid-19, as a larger war against Hindus,'' the researchers wrote.
Facebook hasn't designated the RSS for removal ''given political sensitivities,'' the document says. Prime Minister Narendra Modi worked for the RSS for decades.
A spokesman for the RSS declined to comment on Facebook's internal documents, or the RSS's use of Facebook's services. ''Facebook can approach the RSS anytime'' about any issues related to the group's activities, but hasn't done so, he said.
A spokesman for Mr. Modi's office didn't respond to requests for comment.
In a separate report this year, researchers said another Hindu nationalist organization called the Bajrang Dal had previously used WhatsApp to ''organize and incite violence.''
One report said the group is linked to Mr. Modi's political party, and had been considered for designation as a dangerous group, which would result in a permanent ban, and listed under a recommendation: ''TAKEDOWN.'' Bajrang Dal remains active on Facebook.
A spokesman for Mr. Modi's political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, declined to comment.
Facebook had balked at removing the Bajrang Dal from the platform following warnings in a report from its security team that cracking down on the group might endanger both the company's business prospects and its staff in India and risk infuriating Mr. Modi's political party, the Journal reported last year.
Facebook said at the time that the company enforces its policy on dangerous individuals and organizations globally without regard to political position or party affiliation. A Bajrang Dal spokesman said at the time that its members don't take part in illegal activities and that it doesn't have conflicts with other religious groups.
Asked about the internal Facebook reports, a spokesman for the Bajrang Dal said its members don't promote hate speech on Facebook. ''If they say we have broken the rules, why haven't they removed us?'' he said.
The Journal reported last year that Facebook's top public-policy executive in India opposed applying Facebook's hate-speech rules to a Hindu nationalist politician, along with at least three other Hindu nationalist individuals and groups flagged internally for promoting or participating in violence, according to current and former employees. The executive, Ankhi Das, didn't respond to requests for comment at the time.
She later departed the company, saying in an internal post provided by Facebook that she had decided to step down to pursue her interest in public service. The company last month announced the appointment of a new head of public policy in India.
'--Design by Andrew Levinson. A color filter has been used on some photos.
Write to Newley Purnell at firstname.lastname@example.org and Jeff Horwitz at Jeff.Horwitz@wsj.com
Sinister Rockefeller Food System Agenda '-- They Created it and Now Want to Destroy It
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 03:57
Image Attribution Author: Image by Franck Barske from Pixabay Image License: Pixabay License. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.License Link: LINK By F. William Engdahl 21 October 2021 No one group has done more to damage our global agriculture and food quality than the Rockefeller Foundation. They began in the early 1950s after the War to fund two Harvard Business School professors to develop vertical integration which they named ''Agribusiness.'' The farmer became the least important. They then created the fraudulent Green Revolution in Mexico and India in the 1960s and later the pro-GMO Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa since 2006. Money from the Rockefeller Foundation literally created the disastrous GMO genetically altered plants with their toxic glyphosate pesticides. Now again, the foundation is engaged in a major policy change in global food and agriculture and it's not good.
In their latest report, True Cost of Food: Measuring What Matters to Transform the U.S. Food System, the Rockefeller Foundation is deeply engaged in a coordinated effort to radically change the way we produce food and how we calculate its true cost. They claim it is part of a global consensus, through the UN, to create ''sustainable'' agriculture amid the ongoing COVID breakdown crisis. Far from being a positive change, it is intended to radically change our access to healthy food and our choice of what we eat. The foundation, which has just released the second food report in two years, is partnering with the Davos World Economic Forum and big agribusiness to lead the drive. Their new slogan is ''True Cost of Food.''
Rajiv Shah, President of the Foundation writes, ''we spent the past year working with experts and advocates across the field to measure impact of the US food system. The result is the first US-wide set of metrics that can help us measure the cost of our food more accurately. With this new analysis, governments, advocates, food producers, and individuals are better equipped to transform our food system to be more nourishing, regenerative, and equitable'...''
Here is where the words must be looked at more closely. These guys are experts at NLP. In effect, it reads as if the same Rockefeller Foundation responsible for our industrialized, globalized food chain and the destruction that process has wrought on not only the family farm but also the quality of our global agriculture and diet, is now blaming their creation for huge external costs of our food. However they write as if the greedy family farmer is to blame, not corporate agribusiness.
Shah states, ''This report is a wake-up call. The US food system as it stands is adversely affecting our environment, our health, and our society.'' Shah's Rockefeller study states, ''The U.S. food system's current set-up has led to costly impacts on the health of people, society, and the planet. Global warming, reduced biodiversity, water and air pollution, food waste, and the high incidence of diet-related illnesses are key unintended consequences of the current production system.'' This is ominous.
The study adds, '' The burden of impact of these costs are disproportionately borne by communities that are marginalized and underserved, often communities of color, many of whom are the backbone as farmers, fishers, ranchers, and food workers.''
Using a Dutch group, True Price Foundation, the report calculates that the ''true cost'' of the US food system is not the $1.1 trillion that Americans spend annually on food, but rather at least $3.2 trillion per year when taking into account its impact on the health of people, livelihoods, and the environment. This huge added cost is calculated mainly from health effects including cancer and diabetes and environmental effects such as CO2 emissions of what they call ''unsustainable'' agriculture. True Cost Foundation has a three man board including Herman Mulder, a former banker with ABN Amro, one of the world's leading agribusiness banks; Charles Evers, former Corporate controller and CFO with Unilever NV (1981-2002), one of the world's leading agribusiness giants; and Jasper de Jong , Partner at Allen & Overy, one of the world's largest law firms based in London. This is the team behind pricing such abstractions as a ton of CO2 and other costs for the Rockefeller report. The only point is that CO2 is a harmless essential component of all life and no cause for a rising global temperature.
Also notable about the Rockefeller report, True Cost of Food, is that the contributors included law school professors, university economists, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and True Cost Foundation. No single farmer organization was included.
The report calculates that the major ''hidden'' costs of America's food production come from agriculture's negative impact on health and on the environment: ''The biggest unaccounted costs are from negative impacts on human health, worsening environmental degradation, and biodiversity loss.'' They put a number on all this. For example, direct environmental impacts including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water use, and soil erosion they claim cost $350 billion annually; and the impact on biodiversity as a result of land use, and soil, water, and air pollution they say costs the US economy $455 billion. Then they calculate the health costs of the US food system. Here the report includes costs to the economy of obesity, of cardio-vascular diseases which are the leading cause of death globally, cancer, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases. This supposedly adds another $ 1 trillion to our ''true'' food costs. Totaling both effects as claimed adds some $1.8 trillion of the estimated $2.2 external costs of food. To claim dollar costs of these diseases in the rigged US healthcare system is the sole fault of the agriculture ignores the bloated health costs since Obamacare insurance took effect. By the way Rockefeller also created the modern medical system with his Flexner Report along with the Carnegie Foundation in 1910. But that's another story.
There is no disputing that agribusiness industrialized food production in the USA since the 1950s has turned the once-productive family farm into a corporate appendage of a system of factory farms, GMO seed and agrichemicals monopolies like Monsanto-Bayer and DuPontDow (Corteva), huge slaughtering operations such as of Tyson and Smithfield Foods, and retailers like Walmart or Whole Foods. But the report suggests that traditional family farmers are to blame. This is to set the stage for an agriculture Great Reset that will be even more harmful as the remaining range-fed beef is replaced with lab-grown GMO plant beef and similar products. The USDA recently wrote that the ''primary sources of greenhouse gases in agriculture are the production of nitrogen-based fertilizers; the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, gasoline, diesel fuel and natural gas; and waste management. Livestock enteric fermentation, or the fermentation that takes place in the digestive systems of ruminant animals, results in methane emissions.''
The message is that the current American food production is to blame and that radical and costly changes are urgently needed. The difficulty in reading the report is that the language is deliberately vague and deceptive. For example one of the most damaging components of American agriculture since the 1990s has been the wholesale introduction of GMO crops'--especially soybeans, corn and cotton and the highly carcinogenic Monsanto-Bayer Roundup with glyphosate. The Rockefeller report omits their direct role in fostering that devastation by their creating and promoting Monsanto and GMO for decades, knowing it was destructive. Rockefeller Foundation policy is to introduce gene-edited crops, GMO.2, and destroy America's present agriculture in favor of patented costly alternatives, claiming it is too costly and not ''sustainable'' or ''inclusive.'' The second largest global food producer, the EU, will be their next target.
AGRA, Gates and Davos
This agenda is not surprising when we look at the background of the key actors at Rockefeller Foundation. The President, Rajiv Shah, came out of a background at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he was Director of Agricultural Development. At Gates Foundation Shah worked with the Rockefeller Foundation to create the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. He is intimately tied to the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) of Great Reset guru, Klaus Schwab, where Shah recently co-chaired the WEF Global Future Council on the New Agenda for Economic Growth and Recovery. There he wrote that ''governments must actively shape markets towards green and inclusive growth.''
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is a project that has tried to force GMO seeds and related pesticides at huge cost on poorer African small farmers. It has been an agriculture disaster for African farmers. The AGRA model plays a key role in understanding the unspoken agenda of the Rockefeller Foundation and allies such as WEF and Gates Foundation. The person responsible under Shah at Rockefeller for the agriculture program is Roy Steiner, the foundation's Senior Vice President for Food Initiative. Steiner was with Shah at the Gates Foundation and worked with Shah to create the pro-GMO AGRA in Africa.
The deep role of both Shah and Steiner in AGRA and its GMO agenda gives a very good idea how Rockefeller & Co. plan the radical transformation of US agriculture, and it is not good. The report says that it will reduce CO2 and methane emissions and introduce plant-based alternatives. Bill Gates co-funded the startup of the imitation meat company, Impossible Foods, using lab-grown fake meat and gene-editing. He insists synthetic beef is a necessary strategy to address climate change and declares that Americans and other Western nations must switch to a diet of 100% synthetic beef. No more cows no more gas emissions'...
Davos, Rockefeller and UN World Food Summit
The agriculture agenda of the influential Rockefeller Foundation, the agenda of Davos WEF and of the UN all converge on the Great Reset and UN Agenda 2030 for ''sustainable agriculture.'' On September 23, 2021 in New York the UN hosted Food Systems Summit 2021. The chair of the summit was Agnes Kalibata UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit. Her selection was vehemently opposed by dozens of NGOs based on the fact she is President of the Gates-Rockefeller AGRA in Africa. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced the summit as a part of the Decade of Action for achieving Agenda 2030 sustainable goals. Olivier De Schutter, former UN special rapporteur on the right to food, stated that the Food Summit was the result of ''closed-door agreements'' at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
In June 2019 at the UN, WEF head Klaus Schwab and UN's Guterres signed a formal partnership ''to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.'' One year later amid the covid pandemia, Klaus Schwab announced launch of the technocratic Great Reset together with Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN; and Kristalina Georgieva of the International Monetary Fund. Davos, the UN and Rockefeller Foundation are all on one agenda and it is not good for the future health and food of mankind. This is no conspiracy theory; it's the real conspiracy.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine''New Eastern Outlook''
In Major Shift, NIH Admits Funding Risky Virus Research in Wuhan | Vanity Fair
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 01:50
The disclosures of the last four months'--since Vanity Fair was first to detail how conflicts of interest resulting from U.S. government funding of controversial virology research hampered America's investigation into COVID-19's origins'--present an increasingly disturbing picture.
Early last month, The Intercept published more than 900 pages of documents it obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the NIH, relating to EcoHealth Alliance's grant research. But there was one document missing, a fifth and final progress report that EcoHealth Alliance had been required to submit at the end of its grant period in 2019.
In its letter Wednesday, NIH included that missing progress report, which was dated August 2021. That report described a ''limited experiment,'' as the NIH letter phrased it, in which laboratory mice infected with an altered virus became ''sicker than those infected with'' a naturally occurring one.
The letter did not mention the phrase ''gain-of-function research'' that has become so central to the bitter clashes over COVID-19's origins. That type of controversial research'--the manipulation of pathogens with the aim of making them more infectious in order to gauge their risk to humans'--has divided the virology community. A review system established in 2017 requires federal agencies to particularly scrutinize any research proposals that involve enhancing a pathogen's infectiousness to humans.
Dr. Fauci's spokesperson told Vanity Fair that EcoHealth Alliance's research did not fall under that framework, since the experiments being funded ''were not reasonably expected to increase transmissibility or virulence in humans.''
However, Alina Chan, a Boston-based scientist and coauthor of the book Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19, said the NIH was in a ''very challenging position. They funded research internationally to help study novel pathogens and prevent against them. But they had no way to know what viruses had been collected, what experiments had been conducted, and what accidents might have occurred.''
As scientists remain in a stalemate over the pandemic's origins, another disclosure last month made clear that EcoHealth Alliance, in partnership with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, was aiming to do the kind of research that could accidentally have led to the pandemic. On September 20, a group of internet sleuths calling themselves DRASTIC (short for Decentralized Radical Autonomous Search Team Investigating COVID-19) released a leaked $14 million grant proposal that EcoHealth Alliance had submitted in 2018 to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
It proposed partnering with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and constructing SARS-related bat coronaviruses into which they would insert ''human-specific cleavage sites'' as a way to ''evaluate growth potential'' of the pathogens. Perhaps not surprisingly, DARPA rejected the proposal, assessing that it failed to fully address the risks of gain-of-function research.
The leaked grant proposal struck a number of scientists and researchers as significant for one reason. One distinctive segment of SARS-CoV-2's genetic code is a furin cleavage site that makes the virus more infectious by allowing it to efficiently enter human cells. That is just the feature that EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology had proposed to engineer in the 2018 grant proposal. ''If I applied for funding to paint Central Park purple and was denied, but then a year later we woke up to find Central Park painted purple, I'd be a prime suspect,'' said Jamie Metzl, a former executive vice president of the Asia Society, who sits on the World Health Organization's advisory committee on human genome editing and has been calling for a transparent investigation into COVID-19's origins.
Sweden suspends Moderna vaccine for those 30 and under - ABC News
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 23:33
Swedish health authorities have suspended the use of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for those ages 30 and under
By JAN M. OLSEN Associated Press
October 6, 2021, 1:22 PM
' 4 min read
COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Swedish health authorities on Wednesday suspended the use of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for those ages 30 and under, saying the move was done out of precaution.
The reason for the pausing is ''signals of an increased risk of side effects such as inflammation of the heart muscle or the pericardium'' '-- the double-walled sac containing the heart and the roots of the main vessels, Sweden's Public Health Agency said in a statement. ''The risk of being affected is very small.''
Anders Tegnell, Sweden's chief epidemiologist, said they ''follow the situation closely and act quickly to ensure that vaccinations against COVID-19 are always as safe as possible and at the same time provide effective protection" against the disease.
In July, the European Medicines Agency recommended authorizing Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 17, the first time the shot has been authorized for people under 18.
Moderna's vaccine was given the green light for use in anyone 18 and over across the 27-nation European Union in January. It has also been licensed in countries including Britain, Canada and the U.S., but so far its use hasn't been extended to children. To date, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the only one approved for children under 18 in Europe and North America.
Hundreds of millions of Moderna doses already have been administered to adults. In a study of more than 3,700 children ages 12 to 17, the vaccine triggered the same signs of immune protection, and no COVID-19 diagnoses arose in the vaccinated group compared with four cases among those given dummy shots.
Sore arms, headache and fatigue were the most common side effects in the young vaccine recipients, the same ones as for adults.
U.S. and European regulators caution, however, that both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines appear linked to a rare reaction in teenagers and young adults '-- chest pain and heart inflammation.
The Swedish health authorities said that the heart symptoms ''usually go away on their own,'' but they must be assessed by a doctor. The conditions are most common among young men, in connection with, for example, viral infections such as COVID-19. In 2019, approximately 300 people under the age of 30 were treated in hospital with myocarditis.
Data point to an increased incidence also in connection with vaccination against COVID-19, mainly in adolescents and young adults and mainly in boys and men.
New preliminary Nordic analyzes indicate that the connection is especially clear when it comes to Moderna's vaccine, especially after the second dose, the agency said.
''The increase in risk is seen within four weeks after the vaccination, mainly within the first two weeks," it said.
The Swedish agency said the vaccine from Pfizer is recommended for these age groups instead. Its decision to suspend the Moderna vaccine is valid until Dec. 1.
In Denmark, people under the age of 18 won't be offered the Moderna vaccine out of precaution, the Danish Health Authority said Wednesday. It said that data, collected from four Nordic countries, show that there is a suspicion of an increased risk of heart inflammation when vaccinated with Moderna shots, although the number of cases of heart inflammation remains very low.
The preliminary data from the Nordic study have been sent to the European Medicines Agency's adverse reaction committee and will now be assessed.
The study was conducted by Denmark's Statens Serum Institut '-- a government agency that maps the spread of the coronavirus in the country '-- the Medical Products Agency in Sweden, the National Institute of Public Health in Norway and the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in Finland. The final results were expected in about a month, the Danish official said.
In Denmark, children and young people ages 12-17 have primarily been invited to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech.
''Based on the precautionary principle, we will in future only invite children and young people to receive this vaccine, not least in view of the fact that it is for this vaccine that the largest amount of data from use exists for children and young people, especially from the USA and Israel, said Bolette Soeborg of the government health agency.
Follow AP's pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
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Rodney Joffe - Wikipedia
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 20:16
Rodney Joffe is an internet entrepreneur and an internet data expert. He is a recipient of the FBI's Director's Award for Outstanding Cyber Investigation for his role in uncovering the Mariposa botnet. He is also one of a group of four experts, including Michael Sussmann and David Dagon, who were involved in analyzing possible internet links between The Trump Organization and Alfa-Bank in Russia.
Early life [ edit ] Joffe was born in South Africa.
Career [ edit ] Joffe is credited with creating Genuity (Internet company), the world's first commercial Internet hosting company, as well as UltraDNS, the world's first outsourced, cloud-based DNS company. He is now a fellow at Neustar.
Lawsuit [ edit ] In 1988, Joffe's Clinton, Iowa-based firm, Merchandisers Warehouse Inc., was sued by the Attorney General of Iowa for its alleged involvement in a scheme to sell cheap mail-order grandfather clocks at inflated prices to consumers in Iowa. The firm, as well as its Beverly Hills-based parent corporation, Prize Redemption Warehouse, in a settlement agreed to refund $800,000 to more than 10,000 Iowan consumers.
Durham inquiry [ edit ] On September 16, 2021, Joffe was pseudonymously referenced as "Tech Executive-1" in the indictment of Perkins Coie attorney, Michael A. Sussmann, and was alleged to have exploited his access to non-public data to conduct opposition research into potential communications between Alfa-Bank and the Trump Organization.
Identity revealed [ edit ] On September 15, 2021, Internet researchers successfully extrapolated information from civil litigation brought by Alfa Bank and other open source data to identify Joffe as "Max" from Dexter Filkins' New Yorker articles about Alfa-Bank and The Trump Organization, in addition to being a client of Sussmann.
Hours later, The New York Times reported Special Counsel John Durham was seeking to indict Sussmann for allegedly falsely telling the FBI general counsel he was not representing a client for the purposes of a meeting they had in September 2016.
On September 30, 2021, Joffe was confirmed to be Tech Executive-1.
Awards [ edit ] In 2013, Joffe received the FBI's Director's Award for Outstanding Cyber Investigation for his role in uncovering the Mariposa botnet.
References [ edit ] ^ "Memo of Law Re Sussmann 10.12.21 Exhibits - Part 1". p. 93 . Retrieved October 15, 2021 . Did you understand why Mr. Sussmann was using a pseudonym for Rodney Joffe? [...] To the best of my recollection, it was described to me as this is an individual [Joffe] who is a senior official who has both significant government and nongovernment contracts. Someone who has no interest in being part of a news cycle, but yet as a patriotic American, felt it was his duty to provide this information to the government in some way for them to take some further research action. ^ Savage, Charlie; Goldman, Adam (September 30, 2021). "Trump Server Mystery Produces Fresh Conflict". The New York Times. ^ Butterworth, Trevor (September 27, 2010). "Computer Worm Invaded Iranian Nuke Plant". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on September 18, 2021. Charming and quick-witted, Joffe, who is 55 and originally hails from South Africa... ^ "Rodney Joffe". Archived from the original on September 30, 2021 . Retrieved September 30, 2021 . Rodney Joffe is a DNS and security industry pioneer who founded a pair of keystone companies '' Genuity (first commercial Internet hosting company) and UltraDNS (first outsourced, cloud-based DNS company) '' and now serves as SVP and Fellow at Neustar. ^ Daubenmier, Judy (February 20, 1998). "Firm will refund $800,000 to Iowans". The Cedar Rapids Gazette. Iowa. p. 7. Archived from the original on October 12, 2021 . Retrieved October 12, 2021 '' via Newspapers.com. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller's office has reached a settlement with a Beverly Hills company doing business in Iowa that will return approximately $800,000 to more than 10,000 consumers who believed they had won a grandfather clock. [...] The attorney general said the consumers were merely buying a cheap, battery-powered, pressed wood and plastic clock at an inflated price. The firm involved, Prize Redemption Warehouse of Beverly Hills, Calif, had set up an Iowa corporation, Merchandisers Warehouse Inc., of Clinton. Rodney Joffee [sic] was president of the Clinton firm and Linda Marilyn was vice president. ^ Huner, Darlene (February 20, 1998). "Clock 'winners' get refunds". The Des Moines Register. Iowa. p. 27. Archived from the original on October 12, 2021 . Retrieved October 12, 2021 '' via Newspapers.com. ABout $800,000 will be returned to more than 10,000 consumers, including an unknown number of Iowas, who were led to believe they had won a valuable grandfather clock, Attorney General Thomas J. Miller said Friday. Under settlement of a consumer fraud complaint, neither the Prize Redemption Warehouse of Beverly Hills, Calif., nor its Iowa subsidiary, Merchandisers Warehouse Inc., admitted any wrongdoing. [...] Miller said consumers had been contacted by postcard that they had won a Bentley grandfather clock. But he said the contest was "just a scheme to sell the cheap clocks at an inflated price." ^ "Prize firm investigated; refunds available". St. Joseph News-Press. Iowa. July 28, 1998. p. 28. Archived from the original on October 12, 2021 . Retrieved October 12, 2021 '' via Newspapers.com. According to the letter, "The agreement settles a lawsuit [that the Attorney General of Missouri, William Webster] filed in April with Prize Redemption Warehouse, Linda Carella and Rodney Joffe. In that lawsuit, Webster alleged the company had misled consumers to believe they had won prizes in a contest that never existed." ^ "Cash Seized in Sales Scam". Los Angeles Times. February 20, 1988. Archived from the original on October 23, 2021. Iowa's attorney general said Friday that his office impounded about $800,000 from a Beverly Hills company selling overpriced grandfather clocks. Atty. Gen. Tom Miller said more than 10,000 consumers sent checks and money orders to a Clinton, Iowa, address after receiving a post card saying they had won a ''world-famous Bentley IX Grandfather clock.'' Consumers were asked to send $69.19 for shipping. The clocks are worth far less than the shipping fee, Miller said, and it was just a scheme to sell the cheap clocks at an inflated price. [...] Miller said his office filed suit and a consent judgment against Prize Redemption Warehouse of Beverly Hills and a related corporation set up in Iowa, Merchandisers Warehouse Inc., and that no consumer will lose any money. ^ "USA vs SUSSMANN". September 16, 2021. ...SUSSMANN acted on behalf of specific clients, namely, (i) a U.S. technology industry executive ("Tech Executive-1") at a U.S. Internet company ("Internet Company-1"), and (ii) the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign (the "Clinton Campaign") [...] Had the FBI uncovered the origins of the relevant data and analysis, and as alleged below, it might have learned, among other things, that (i) in compiling and analyzing the Russian Bank-1 allegations, Tech Executive-1 had exploited his access to non-public data at multiple Internet companies to conduct opposition research concerning Trump; (ii) in furtherance of these efforts, Tech Executive-I had enlisted, and was continuing to enlist, the assistance of researchers at a U.S.-based university who were receiving and analyzing Internet data in connection with a pending federal government cybersecurity research contract; and (iii) SUSSMANN, Tech Executive-1, and Law Firm-1 had coordinated, and were continuing to coordinate, with representatives and agents of the Clinton Campaign with regard to the data and written materials that SUSSMANN gave to the FBI and the media ^ Filkins, Dexter (October 8, 2018). "Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign?". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on October 8, 2018. In June, 2016, after news broke that the Democratic National Committee had been hacked, a group of prominent computer scientists went on alert. Reports said that the infiltrators were probably Russian, which suggested to most members of the group that one of the country's intelligence agencies had been involved. They speculated that if the Russians were hacking the Democrats they must be hacking the Republicans, too. "We thought there was no way in the world the Russians would just attack the Democrats," one of the computer scientists, who asked to be identified only as Max, told me. [...] (Max described himself as "a John McCain Republican.") [...] Max's group began combing the Domain Name System, a worldwide network that acts as a sort of phone book for the Internet, translating easy-to-remember domain names into I.P. addresses, the strings of numbers that computers use to identify one another. [...] Max and his group are part of a community that has unusual access to these records, which are especially useful to cybersecurity experts who work to protect clients from attacks. Max and the other computer scientists asked me to withhold their names, out of concern for their privacy and their security. I met with Max and his lawyer repeatedly, and interviewed other prominent computer experts. ^ @Fool_Nelson (September 15, 2021). "3/ Given "Max/@michaelsuss's client" was a "John McCain Republican", Joffe is a good candidate given he donated to a Republican while living in Arizona and his company @Neustar has been represented by Perkins Coie" (Tweet). Archived from the original on September 21, 2021 '' via Twitter. ^ "Identity of 'Tech Executive' in Durham indictment over Alfa Bank claims revealed". Washington Examiner. September 30, 2021. Archived from the original on September 30, 2021. Online sleuths figured out earlier this month Joffe was likely the unnamed technology executive. ^ Savage, Charlie; Goldman, Adam; schmidt, Michael; Rashbaum, William (September 15, 2021). "Durham Is Said to Seek Indictment of Lawyer at Firm With Democratic Ties". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 15, 2021. John H. Durham, the special counsel appointed by the Trump administration to scrutinize the Russia investigation, has told the Justice Department that he will ask a grand jury to indict a prominent cybersecurity lawyer on a charge of making a false statement to the F.B.I., people familiar with the matter said. [...] An indictment is not a certainty: On rare occasions, grand juries decline prosecutors' requests. But Mr. Sussmann's lawyers, Sean M. Berkowitz and Michael S. Bosworth of Latham & Watkins, acknowledged on Wednesday that they expected him to be indicted, while denying he made any false statement. ^ McIntyre, Stephen [@ClimateAudit] (September 16, 2021). "5/ Tech-Executive 1 (Max, who, prior to indictment, was plausibly identified by @Fool_Nelson as Rodney Joffe of Neustar) also communicated directly with Fusion GPS. Questoin: are these communications disclosed in Communications Log provided to Alfa?" (Tweet). Archived from the original on September 18, 2021 '' via Twitter. ^ Savage, Charlie; Goldman, Adam (September 30, 2021). "Trump Server Mystery Produces Fresh Conflict". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 30, 2021. [T]hree of their names have appeared among a list of data experts in a lawsuit brought by Alfa Bank, and Trump supporters have speculated online about their identities. The Times has confirmed them, and their lawyers provided statements defending their actions. [...] ''Tech Executive-1'' is Mr. Joffe, who in 2013 received the F.B.I. Director's Award for helping crack a cybercrime case, and retired this month from Neustar, another information services company. ^ McIntyre, Stephen [@ClimateAudit] (September 30, 2021). "ALL of the identifications of co-conspirators and participants in the Sussmann Indictment previously proposed in this corner of Twitter have been confirmed by Savage (just as he grudgingly confirmed identifications of Danchenko etc last year)" (Tweet). Archived from the original on September 30, 2021 '' via Twitter. ^ Ross, Chuck [@ChuckRossDC] (September 30, 2021). "CNN confirms what @FOOL_NELSON sleuthed a while back -- "Tech executive 1" in the Sussmann indictment is Rodney Joffe of the firm Neustar. Alfa Bank had subpoenaed Joffe earlier this year in its lawsuit against Fusion GPS" (Tweet) '' via Twitter. ^ Perez, Evan; Katelyn, Polantz (September 30, 2021). "Durham issues fresh round of subpoenas in his continuing probe of FBI investigation into Trump, Russia". CNN. Archived from the original on September 30, 2021. While working for Perkins Coie, Sussmann also represented Rodney Joffe, a cybersecurity expert referred to in Durham's indictment as "Tech Executive-1." In 2016, Joffe, who has not been previously identified, worked with researchers to collect internet data about the Trump Organization that Sussmann took to the FBI. ^ "Neustar's Rodney Joffe Receives Prestigious FBI Director's Award". October 29, 2013. Archived from the original on September 21, 2021.
URGENT: Covid vaccines will keep you from acquiring full immunity EVEN IF YOU ARE INFECTED AND RECOVER - by Alex Berenson - Unreported Truths
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 16:39
Don't take it from me, I don't even get to tweet anymore.
Take it from a little place I call the British government. Which admitted today, in its newest vaccine surveillance report, that:
''N antibody levels appear to be lower in people who acquire infection following two doses of vaccination.'' (Page 23)
What's this mean? Several things, all bad. We know the vaccines do not stop infection or transmission of the virus (in fact, the report shows elsewhere that vaccinated adults are now being infected at much HIGHER rates than the unvaccinated).
What the British are saying is they are now finding the vaccine interferes with your body's innate ability after infection to produce antibodies against not just the spike protein but other pieces of the virus. Specifically, vaccinated people don't seem to be producing antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein, the shell of the virus, which are a crucial part of the response in unvaccinated people.
This means vaccinated people will be far more vulnerable to mutations in the spike protein EVEN AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN INFECTED AND RECOVERED ONCE (or more than once, probably).
It also means the virus is likely to select for mutations that go in exactly that direction, because those will essentially give it an enormous vulnerable population to infect. And it probably is still more evidence the vaccines may interfere with the development of robust long-term immunity post-infection.
Aside from that, everything is fine.
Transhumanists Gather In Spain To Plan Global Transformation
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 16:31
Transhumanism is a futuristic religion that exalts technology as the highest power. The movement's goal is to merge man with machine. Their wildest prophecies seem ridiculous at first, until you consider the dizzying advances in bionics, robotics, neuroprosthetics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and genetic engineering.
Prominent figures gathered at the TransVision 2021 conference in Madrid over the weekend. Listening to the proceedings online, I heard a broad range of totalizing schemes. There were no Luddites or Amish onstage, but of course, Spain is a long haul for a horse-and-buggy. Besides, no unvaccinated person can legally cross the Spanish border.
Transhumanists hold that the human condition of ignorance, loneliness, sadness, disease, old age, and death can be transcended through improved gadgetry. Many believe tribalism will also be eliminated '-- perhaps through brain implants '-- but this elite clique tends to be so convicted, legacy humans will have no say in the matter.
Their radical ideas are hardly marginal. Transhuman values have been implicitly embraced by the world's wealthiest technologists. Consider Bill Gates pushing universal jabs, Jeff Bezos's quest for ''life extension,'' Elon Musk's proposed brain implants, Mark Zuckerberg's forays into the Metaverse, and Eric Schmidt's plans for an American technocracy racing against China.
If Big Tech is the established church, transhumanists are Desert Fathers in the wilderness.
The Cult of the SingularityNaturally, the dominant tone at TransVision was set by hardcore transhumanists: Max and Natasha More, Jos(C) Cordeiro, David Wood, Jerome Glenn, Phillipe van Nedervelde, Ben Goertzel, Aubrey de Grey, Bill Faloon, and even in his absence, Ray Kurzweil, a top R&D director at Google and founder of Singularity University. Each proponent has a unique angle, but they converge on a shared mythos.
Allowing for variation, transhumanists confess there is no God but the future Computer God. They believe neuroprosthetics will allow communion with this artificial deity. They believe robot companions should be normalized. They believe longevity tech will confer approximate immortality. They believe virtual reality provides a life worth living. Above all, they believe the Singularity is near.
According to the Cult of the Singularity and its prophet, Ray Kurzweil, we'll see artificial general intelligence by 2029. Unlike narrow algorithms performing specific tasks, AGI will be robust cognition enacted by neural networks, far faster than any human brain.
By 2045 (or 2049), we will hit the Singularity '-- when artificial superintelligence surpasses human intellect to the point we cannot comprehend its output. Purely organic humans will be left in the smart dust. Our only chance for long-term survival is to fuse our minds and bodies with the All-Powerful Machine '-- to become a new posthuman species.
Therefore, our meaning in life is to make sure the future Computer God is benevolent, while we still have time. (In most cases, ''benevolent'' is synonymous with ''lefty globalist.'') Today's machine learning systems are prompted by programmers, then trained with our language and behavior via mass data extraction.
As computers advance to superintelligence, the story goes, their output will tilt toward humanity's moral compass. Eventually, this digital deity may colonize distant galaxies '-- turning all usable matter into computerized mind '-- so our actions today might determine the fate of the entire universe.
I'm reminded of the subterranean mutants who worshiped the atom bomb in ''Beneath the Planet of the Apes.'' Many mammals use tools to survive, but even a chimp knows better than to raise up a stick and call it ''God.''
Technocracy and Its DiscontentsBack on Earth, the early phase of this scheme is far from heaven. Just as the TV kept Americans pacified and glued to their couches, the digital revolution has profound demoralizing and dehumanizing effects.
To their credit, TransVision invited a handful of critics to ring alarm bells. The ethicist Sara Lumbreras discussed the devastating impact of smartphones and social media on attention span, memory, and self-control. ''If you can just Google the information, why does it matter?'' she asked. ''Because remembering things is the only way that we can use that information for critical thinking and for creative thinking.''
Both transhumanists and Luddites see 24/7 reliance on smartphones as an early phase of our symbiosis with machines. For all the convenience gained, many schoolteachers worry that the shift to digital platforms is making kids antisocial and functionally illiterate. An entire generation is being lost to self-pleasure.
The Wireheading MythOxford philosopher Anders Sandberg discussed a 1954 experiment in neuroprosthetics. Using electro-stimulation, the scientist James Olds discovered the pleasure center in a rat's brain. He wired up numerous rats, enabling them to stimulate themselves by pressing a lever. These rodent ''wireheads'' ceased to do anything besides push the lever. One by one, they died with smiles on their faces.
Video games and corporate opioids find us in a similar predicament. Even in the Victorian era, Sandberg explained, intellectuals wondered if humans were already becoming parasites on machines. ''They connected that to discoveries in biology that parasites quite often seem to be simplified forms of older species [and they thought] we might become some kind of barnacle sitting on the technological infrastructure, slowly losing our brains.''
Hence, the ''Wireheading Myth'' '-- the narrative that civilization could collapse due to techno-hedonism. Sandberg insisted that while this story isn't completely untrue, it isn't inevitable either. ''Building real happiness is a really complex thing, but we know we can make it increase.''
In conclusion, he wondered, ''Can we use the transhuman ambition to say '... 'I want to be way happier, I want entire societies to be happier. '... I want my artificial intelligences to go for the true and daimonic good?'''
From Atari to Alpha CentauriSandberg is an optimist, but not without reservations. He has contemplated the dangers of artificial superintelligence rigorously. This digital entity would be entirely unpredictable to mere human minds, and perhaps uncontrollable. In a real sense, advanced AI is comparable to the development of thermonuclear warheads.
A humorous hypothetical is an AI system that makes paperclips. What if it goes haywire and turns everything on Earth into paperclips, including us? More realistically, what if an advanced AI is programmed to solve climate change, then arrives at the straightforward conclusion that humans must be exterminated?
Sandberg takes these existential risks seriously, but in the end, he's ready to go for it.
A Kinder, Gentler CyborgThe term ''transhumanism'' evokes such revulsion, normal people immediately recoil. So the alpha-dog transhumanist Max More '-- a leading figure at Alcor cryonics lab '-- urged the audience to abandon loaded words like ''immortality'' in favor of ''life extension.'' Meanwhile, 184 deceased customers lay frozen at his facility, some $200,000 in the hole, waiting to be resurrected.
We mortals have more pressing concerns. Discussing the displacement of actual people by robots and artificial intelligence, Jerome Glenn of the Millennium Project was emphatic that ''artists, media moguls, and entertainers'' should psychologically prepare the public to accept economic obsolescence.
The loudest alarm was sounded by tech ethicist Nell Watson, an Apple consultant and chairwoman at IEEE. ''The global health crises are being used as an excuse for greater authoritarianism,'' she said, shocking everyone awake. ''[T]his could end up as a Trojan Horse for some kind of social credit-style monitoring system.''
''Today, it's immunity therapies,'' Watson warned, ''but in 10 or 15 years, it might be people who reject some kind of brain-computer interface '... or a financial technology that's linked to biometrics.'' She worried that transhumanists might become scapegoats for oppressive policies they are not responsible for.
In response, Anders Sandberg took to Twitter to defend vaccine mandates in the workplace. The conference proceeded apace.
The Future Has Already ArrivedAs a broad ideology, transhumanism is as relevant for the 21st century as communism was for the 20th century. In the mid-1800s, Karl Marx and his crew were mere socialist intellectuals. By 1923, the Bolsheviks had taken over Russia. By 1949, Mao had taken over China. In our age of all-pervasive technology, entire societies are revolutionized before anyone can grasp the change.
The futurists who gathered in Madrid last weekend '-- along with those preaching technocracy at the World Economic Forum '-- are laying the intellectual groundwork for a fully digitized social order. Today, it's the Fourth Industrial Revolution '-- a global paradigm of total transformation '-- embraced by Microsoft, Alibaba, Sony, General Motors, Mozilla, and Salesforce, among many others. Tomorrow, the faithful proclaim, it will be artificial superintelligence, brain implants, and unstoppable killer drones.
The labels don't matter. To the extent that Silicon Valley, the Chinese tech sector, and various quirky start-ups converge on the central goal '-- to merge human beings with digital devices '-- you could say transhumanism is already a ruling ideology. One has only to look past this text and focus on the glowing screen to see their fantasies are becoming reality.
Copyright (C) 2021 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.
YouTube Bans 'Let's Go Brandon' Video '' Leaves Up Videos with Death Threats Against Donald Trump - Becker News
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 16:24
YouTube has begun purging its massive video platform of all video versions of ''Let's Go Brandon.'' The Google-owned video service, one of the largest websites in the world, has banned the popular song, censoring rappers such as Bryson Gray, Tyson James and Chandler Crump in the process.
Bryson Gray, who became famous for his viral 'Let's Go Brandon' rap video, had his video banned by YouTube according to Gray. The excuse that YouTube gave was ''medical misinformation.''
Bryson Gray revealed that YouTube banned his video in a tweet.
I can't post on YouTube for a week. If they also ban the music video, I don't be able to post for two weeks.
People can promote music about drugs, sex, gang banging, and murder
But I can't make a song called ''Let's Go Brandon''
AND MY APPEAL WAS REJECTED WITHIN 5 MINUTES pic.twitter.com/S2cGUaioa7
'-- CCG BRYSON (@RealBrysonGray) October 21, 2021
''I can't post on YouTube for a week,'' Gray said. ''If they also ban the music video, I don't be able to post for two weeks. People can promote music about drugs, sex, gang banging, and murder But I can't make a song called 'Let's Go Brandon' AND MY APPEAL WAS REJECTED WITHIN 5 MINUTES.'' Part of his video can be viewed on Twitter (for now).
Let's Go Brandon ð pic.twitter.com/oWJ4fdLSBN
'-- Nasser (@WhkNp) October 21, 2021
Tyson James and Chandler Crump were also featured in Bryson Gray's ''Let's Go Brandon!'' song. Chandler Crump also noted that the song was banned by YouTube.
IT JUST HAPPENED! The final copy of the Let's Go Brandon song previously hosted on my channel has been BANNED!
I now have 2 guidelines strikes and cannot post for 2 weeks.@RealBrysonGray @Tyson_James_ pic.twitter.com/fInFOKUG5C
'-- Chandler Crump: ALBUM OUT NOW (@realCCrump) October 21, 2021
''IT JUST HAPPENED! The final copy of the Let's Go Brandon song previously hosted on my channel has been BANNED!'' Crump tweeted. ''I now have 2 guidelines strikes and cannot post for 2 weeks.''
Nonetheless, music listeners have been flocking to get the song off of iTunes. Chuck Calliesto noted it reached as high as #4 on the iTunes charts.
Our clean and cultural Let's Go Brandon anthem is now #15 on the iTunes charts!
We are less than 100 away from beating Lil Nas X, think we can do it?@RealBrysonGray @Tyson_James_ pic.twitter.com/fYz5m2l0fv
'-- Chandler Crump: ALBUM OUT NOW (@realCCrump) October 19, 2021
''Our clean and cultural Let's Go Brandon anthem is now #15 on the iTunes charts!'' Crump tweeted. ''We are less than 100 away from beating Lil Nas X, think we can do it?''
Bryson Gray , who boasts about being the 'most censored rap artist in America,' also said that Loza Alexander's YouTube lyric video of 'Let's Go Brandon' was banned by YouTube with the excuse of 'medical misinformation,' Newsmax reported.
"Let's Go Brandon" songwriter on being a voice for those struggling to be heard by the government, looking to "get their frustrations out." @EricBolling. pic.twitter.com/VWHEUgjcvr
'-- Newsmax (@newsmax) October 19, 2021
There have been rumors the Facebook is banning and suppressing ''Let's Go Brandon'' references. Although these have not been confirmed, the huge social media platform recently announced that it was updating its terms of service to protect public figures from 'degrading' content.
''Under the new, more detailed harassment policy, Facebook will bar content that degrades or sexualizes public figures, including celebrities, elected officials and others in the public eye. Existing policies already prohibit similar content about private individuals,' KPIC reported.
However, ''degrading'' material to Donald Trump and conservatives can be found throughout Facebook and YouTube. On YouTube alone, there are numerous implied death threats against Donald Trump made by celebrities with massive audiences.
Snoop Dogg had a Trump figure dress up like a clown and was executed in his video BadBadNotGood.
Marilyn Manson orchestrated a mock beheading of Donald Trump in the preview to his song ''Say10.''
Kathy Griffin's story about her infamous photo holding a bloody faux head of Donald Trump is now being told in a movie that has a trailer on YouTube.
The list of celebrities who have publicly fantasized about violence to Donald Trump is considerable. In addition to Snoop Dogg, Marilyn Manson and Kathy Griffin, there is Robert De Niro, Mickey Rourke, Larry Wilmore, George Lopez, Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna, Moby, Johnny Depp, rapper Big Sean, and members of the group Pearl Jam. It appears that only Kathy Griffin suffered negative ramifications for making an implied threat against the former president.
Meanwhile, in Biden's America, regular Americans cannot even vent about a president that millions doubt was legitimately elected with a phrase that mocks actual 'fake news.'
The ''Let's Go Brandon'' phrase originated with a NASCAR reporter that was hilariously attempting to hide the crowd's ''F*ck Joe Biden'' chants.
NBC reporter attempts desperate damage control as crowd chants ''F Joe Biden'' pic.twitter.com/1iYZel4zFT
'-- Jewish Deplorable (@TrumpJew2) October 3, 2021
The American public raced to their computers to fire off the anti-Biden phrase ''Let's Go Brandon'' after the segment.
Let's Go Brandon! ðð¤£ð#LetsGoBrandon pic.twitter.com/S3udFbEmIp
'-- Brian (@CrimsonBloodRTR) October 4, 2021
LET'S GO BRANDON pic.twitter.com/ECtLPafYjh
'-- Kate Hyde (@KateHydeNY) October 8, 2021
Let's Go Brandon Airlines. pic.twitter.com/51kWzdFCT7
'-- MAGA in the 316 (@Mikefication) October 11, 2021
Someone paged Lets Go Brandon at the Chicago airport ð#letsgobrandon #fjb #savage pic.twitter.com/lERgtVnAKQ
'-- Mrgunsngear (@Mrgunsngear) October 8, 2021
YouTube banning ''Let's Go Brandon'' is nothing more than politically motivated censorship to protect the Biden regime. The only thing that banning ''Let's Go Brandon'' can do for YouTube is fuel more negativity against the social media platform and against Joe Biden.
The 'Let's Go Brandon' chant is here to stay. While YouTube and Facebook can try to ban 'Let's Go Brandon' and 'F*ck Joe Biden' from their platforms, that is only going to want to make patriotic Americans shout them at sports arenas and music concerts even more.
Louis Gohmert's Explosive Question About FBI's Potential Role in Jan. 6 Leaves Attorney General Garland Stammering
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Deadly infection linked to contaminated room spray sold at Walmart
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 16:23
F our cases of a serious, sometimes fatal infection called melioidosis that have bedeviled public health investigators for months appear to have been linked to an aromatherapy room spray sold at Walmart, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Friday.
The product, Better Homes and Gardens Lavender and Chamomile Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones, was sold at 55 Walmart locations and on the company's website from February to Oct. 21. Walmart has issued a recall for roughly 3,900 bottles of the product that it sold. The recall includes five other scents of the Better Homes and Gardens Gem Room Spray: lemon and mandarin, lavender, peppermint, lime and eucalyptus, and sandalwood and vanilla.
The four cases that have been detected in the United States occurred over a five-month period, from March to late July. Two of the infected people died, including a child. The cases occurred in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Georgia, where a bottle of aromatherapy spray retrieved from the home of one of the fatal cases led to a break in the case.
The bottle tested positive for contamination with Burkholderia pseudomallei, the bacterium that causes melioidosis. It is commonly found in soil and water in parts of South and Southeastern Asia, and northern Australia, but not in the continental United States, where it's classified as a dangerous pathogen that could threaten public health. The strain found in the aromatherapy spray, manufactured in India, matches strains from South Asia.
The discovery involved a huge amount of detective work by local public health officers and the CDC.
''We tested hundreds of specimens collected from the households of several of the patients, really looking for that needle in the haystack. And we didn't know if we'd be able to find it,'' Jennifer McQuiston, deputy director of the CDC's Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, told STAT in an interview.
When a first batch of samples taken from the Georgia patient's home failed to turn up a potential source, public health investigators went back to find other products in the household to test. ''I don't know that we immediately thought that an air freshener would be the likely source. I think we had a very wide net that we were casting,'' McQuiston said.
Some testing remains to be completed. The positive reading from the aromatherapy bottle was done by polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, testing. CDC labs are trying to extract genetic sequence data from the PCR finding to compare to the bacteria from the Georgia patient, as well as the other three. McQuiston is confident it will prove the link. But even if it didn't, the discovery of Burkholderia pseudomallei-contaminated room freshener being sold at one of the country's largest big box chain required urgent action.
The euphoria of finding the source of the bacteria was quickly dampened by the realization that the product was something being sold at Walmart, McQuiston said.
''We were very concerned when we found this bacteria in this bottle and began to imagine what the distribution number might look like across the United States,'' she said. But then came some good news: Walmart revealed that the product was new to the chain and being sold as a test in a limited number of stores. Furthermore, not much of the product '-- at least not in Walmart terms '-- had been sold.
McQuiston said the CDC has been working with Walmart and the product's manufacturer to see, among other things, whether the manufacturer makes other products that might be contaminated. That work continues.
Because Burkholderia pseudomallei is classified in the U.S. as a Tier 1 select agent '-- a pathogen that has the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety '-- the CDC has brought the finding to federal law enforcement agents, McQuiston said.
''But in this case, at this point in time, we don't have any suspicion that this is linked to some kind of intentional release activity,'' she said. ''A much more plausible explanation is that there was a contamination step in manufacturing process.''
The CDC is suggesting that people who have used the product in the past 21 days who have symptoms consistent with melioidosis should seek medical care and tell the attending doctor about the aromatherapy spray exposure. People who have no symptoms but have used the spray in the past seven days should also see a doctor, who may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection, the CDC said.
People who have purchased the aromatherapy spray should stop using it immediately, the CDC statement said. People should not dispose of the product themselves '-- doing so could spread the bacteria further. Instead, they should double bag bottles in clear plastic bags, place them in a small box and return them Walmart.
Agency officials advised that any sheets or linens sprayed with the product should be washed and dried in a hot dryer, with bleach if desired. Surfaces the product might have been sprayed on should be cleaned with an undiluted disinfectant. People should wash their hands thoroughly after performing these tasks.
About a dozen cases of melioidosis are discovered in this country in any given year; they are almost always seen in people who have returned from traveling in Southeast Asia or northern Australia, where the bacteria are found in soil and water. People contract melioidosis by exposure to the bacteria via cuts in the skin or by consuming food or water contaminated with the bacteria.
Melioidosis has an estimated fatality rate of between 10% and 50%. People with some health conditions are at greater risk of severe if they contract the illness; those health conditions include diabetes, alcoholism, kidney disease, and chronic lung disease.
Symptoms of the disease can vary depending on the type and site of infection. There are four types of infection: localized, in the lungs, bloodstream infection, or disseminated infection, in which a localized infection spreads to another part of the body. Treatment depends on the type of infection, but consists of oral or intravenous antibiotics.
Melioidosis symptoms may include localized pain or swelling, fever or high fever, skin ulcers or abscesses, cough, chest pain, headache, anorexia, respiratory distress, abdominal discomfort, joint pain, disorientation, weight loss, stomach or chest pain, muscle or joint pain, and seizures, the CDC website states.
This story has been updated with additional information from the CDC.
Fourteen Things That Happened Historically on Oct 26 Leading Up To The Birth Of No Agenda On Oct 26, 2007! LGY!!! | Occult Fan
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 15:11
Fourteen Things That Happened Historically on Oct 26 Leading Up To The Birth Of No Agenda On Oct 26, 2007! LGY!!!by Occult Fan As Compiled by Sir Nathan Lee Miller Foster, Chaotic Good Knight Of The White Lodge, Blue Orchid Of The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory; Elfstone & Bearer Of The Sword Reforged
aka Occult Fan
HAPPY 14TH ANNIVERSARY CRACKPOT AND BUZZKILL!
14 things that happened historically on October 26 before
No Agenda was born
(in the Gregorian dating system and such).
1520 '' Charles V is crowned Holy Roman Emperor. His reign oversaw the first collection of realms to be known as ''the empire on which the sun never sets''. From the term in Spanish: ''el imperio donde nunca se pone el sol'', which was used to describe certain global empires that were so extensive that it seemed that at least one part of their territory was always in daylight.
1689 '' General Piccolomini of Austria burns down Skopje to prevent the spread of Corona I mean Cholera. He would soon die himself of the disease, or so they say.
1774 '' The first Continental Congress adjourns in Philadelphia. TYFYC.
1825 '' The Erie Canal opens, allowing direct passage from the Hudson River to Lake Erie.
1863 '' The Football Association is founded. This is the governing body of association football in England and Crown dependencies.
1881 '' The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone AZ featuring Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday takes place.
1905 '' King Oscar I recognizes the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden.
1936 '' At the Hoover Dam [which itself contains massive occult mysteries and is covered in secret symbols for the interested seeker] the first electric generator goes in to full operation.
1958 '' Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris.
1977 '' Ali Maow Maalin, the 'last natural case of smallpox', develops a rash in Somalia. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider this date to be the anniversary of the 'eradication of smallpox', the 'most spectacular success of vaccination'.
1979 '' Park Chung-hee, President of South Korea, is assassinated by Korean CIA head Kim Jae-gyu.
1994 '' Israel and Jordan sign a peace treaty.
1999 '' Britain's House of Lords vote to end the right of most hereditary peers to vote in Britain's upper chamber of Parliament.
2001 '' The United States passes the USA PATRIOT Act (note the all-caps Maritime type of font) into law.
2007 '' No Agenda is born when Adam Curry and Jhansi Dvorjak make sweet, sweet podcast birthing audio love. IN THE MORNING! STAY SAFE!
Alec Baldwin - Assistant director who 'gave star loaded gun' worked on sequel to The Crow where Brandon Lee was killed
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 15:10
THE assistant director who reportedly handed Alec Baldwin a loaded gun that led to the fatal shooting on the Rust film set worked on the sequel to The Crow, where Brandon Lee was killed.
Assistant director Dave Halls grabbed a gun from a cart an armorer had placed it on and handed it to the actor, believing that it was unloaded, according to a search warrant filed as part of the ongoing investigation.
Actor Brandon Lee was killed on the 1993 set of The Crow Credit: Rex 5
Assistant director Dave Halls believed the gun he gave Baldwin was 'cold,' according to a warrant Credit: Twitter/Dave HallsHalls even told Baldwin the weapon was "cold," according to the warrant.
In an ironic twist, Halls also worked on The Crow: Salvation, the sequel to the 1993 film The Crow, where actor Brandon Lee was tragically killed in a similar gun mishap.
Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died at age 28 after being hit by a .44-caliber slug while filming a death scene for the movie.
In that incident, a prop gun that was supposed to fire a blank let off a live round, killing the actor.
After Thursday's accident, Lee's family took to social media to send condolences for cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed, and director Joel Souza, who was injured in the shooting.
''Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on 'Rust,''' the family tweeted from an account dedicated to Lee. ''No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.''
The gun that Baldwin fired on Thursday was also loaded with live rounds.
Halls is a veteran of the film industry, having worked as an assistant director on major productions like Fargo, The Matrix Reloaded, and Reno 911.
Read our Alec Baldwin shooting live blog for the very latest news and updates...
The gun Halls picked up was reportedly one of three laid on a cart by the film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.
It's not clear at this time how many rounds were fired.
Gutierrez-Reed, 24, is the daughter of longtime film industry armorer, Thell Reed. She said in a recent podcast interview that she had trained from a young age.
She also said that she had recently completed her first job as a head armorer on a film called The Old Way, starring Nicolas Cage.
The gun that went off and other prop guns and ammunition were taken in as evidence, as well as Alec's blood-stained costume, the warrant says.
PREVIOUS SAFETY COMPLAINTS ON SETAccording to the accounts of people familiar with the Rust set, Thursday's deadly accident was not the first time there were safety issues at the New Mexico film location, Deadline reports.
At least one previous incident involved a prop weapon misfiring, one source told the outlet.
"A gun had two misfires in a closed cabin," the source said. "They just fired loud pops - a person was just holding it in their hands and it went off."
Hours before Thursday's fatal accident, seven of the film's camera crew also reportedly stormed off the set because of safety concerns.
One worker wrote that the team was replaced by "four non-union guys."
An unnamed prop master who oversaw the gun used in the shooting was a non-union employee who was "just brought in" to replace workers who left, a source told The New York Post.
It's unclear at this time if Gutierrez-Reed was a recent addition to the production.
However, a link on her Instagram profile leads to an article about Rust that was published in May, suggesting she may have been part of the team early on.
BALDWIN ISSUES STATEMENTBaldwin, 63, issued a statement after the incident mourning Halyna, 42, and confirming that he was cooperating with the police investigation.
"There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother, and deeply admired colleague of ours," he wrote.
"I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family.
"My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."
Baldwin was quizzed by cops following the accident and was snapped sobbing outside a local police station in Santa Fe, New Mexico, according to local media reports.
Halyna Hutchins was killed in the on-set shooting Credit: Getty 5
Baldwin was reportedly told the gun was empty Credit: Instagram/ Alec Baldwin 5
Brandon Lee's family issued a statement after Hutchins' death Credit: Getty
Alec Baldwin shooting: What is a prop gun, how does it work? - Los Angeles Times
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 14:52
A prop gun fired by Alec Baldwin on the set of the western film ''Rust'' killed the film's cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and injured director Joel Souza. But just what exactly is a ''prop gun,'' what is a blank cartridge and how can they be so deadly?
The term ''prop gun'' includes a variety of weapons, including nonfunctioning guns, cap guns and fake guns constructed of wood, plastic or rubber. The term also can mean real guns modified to fire only blank cartridges, which can pack a punch '-- and even result in death '-- if fired at close range.
Blanks are shell casings loaded with gunpowder. They lack the deadly bullet point, which is usually replaced with cotton or paper wadding. When blanks are discharged, they create the sound of gunfire, and the gunpowder combusts, causing a muzzle flash. The force of firing a prop gun provides the shooter with real recoil.
At close range, however, prop guns can cause injury or death.
''Even without a projectile, the burning flame, hot gases and debris from burned and unburned flakes of gunpowder create a very real hazard at close distances. However, these hazards are based on physics and can therefore be predicted and controlled by someone who knows what they're doing,'' wrote firearms safety coordinator Dave Brown in a 2019 American Cinematographer article titled ''Filming With Firearms.''
In addition to blank rounds, dummy rounds sometimes are used on set. These are designed to look like real bullets but contain no gunpowder. They can be used in closeup shots for effect.
When actor Brandon Lee was killed in 1993 on the set of ''The Crow,'' The Times reported that the projectile tip of a dummy round was accidentally lodged in a gun chamber; it was then propelled out of the gun by a blank cartridge.
A union representing film crew members said a ''single live round'' (which can mean a blank) fired from the Baldwin weapon is what killed Hutchins and injured Souza.
Alec Baldwin 'Rust' camera crew walked off before shooting - Los Angeles Times
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 14:51
Hours before actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer on the New Mexico set of ''Rust'' with a prop gun, a half-dozen camera crew workers walked off the set to protest working conditions.
The camera operators and their assistants were frustrated by the conditions surrounding the low-budget film, including complaints about long hours, long commutes and waiting for their paychecks, according to three people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to comment.
Safety protocols standard in the industry, including gun inspections, were not strictly followed on the ''Rust'' set near Santa Fe, the sources said. They said at least one of the camera operators complained last weekend to a production manager about gun safety on the set.
Production was shut down Friday at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, N.M., where a woman was accidentally killed and a man injured during the filming of ''Rust.''
(Roberto E. Rosales / Albuquerque Journal)
Three crew members who were present at the Bonanza Creek Ranch set on Saturday said they were particularly concerned about two accidental prop gun discharges.
Baldwin's stunt double accidentally fired two rounds Saturday after being told that the gun was ''cold'' '-- lingo for a weapon that doesn't have any ammunition, including blanks '-- two crew members who witnessed the episode told the Los Angeles Times.
''There should have been an investigation into what happened,'' a crew member said. ''There were no safety meetings. There was no assurance that it wouldn't happen again. All they wanted to do was rush, rush, rush.''
A colleague was so alarmed by the prop gun misfires that he sent a text message to the unit production manager. ''We've now had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe,'' according to a copy of the message reviewed by The Times.
''The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company, " Rust Movie Productions said in a statement. ''Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down. We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time.''
The tragedy occurred Thursday afternoon during filming of a gunfight that began in a church that is part of the old Western town at the ranch. Baldwin's character was supposed to back out of the church, according to production notes obtained by The Times. It was the 12th day of a 21-day shoot.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, on the set of ''Archenemy'' last year, was huddled around a monitor lining up her next camera shot on Thursday when she was fatally shot with a prop gun by ''Rust'' star Alec Baldwin in New Mexico.
(Adam Egypt Mortimer / Associated Press)
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was huddled around a monitor lining up her next camera shot when she was accidentally killed by the prop gun fired by Baldwin.
The actor was preparing to film a scene in which he pulls a gun out of a holster, according to a source close to the production. Crew members had already shouted ''cold gun'' on the set. The filmmaking team was lining up its camera angles and had yet to retreat to the video village, an on-set area where the crew gathers to watch filming from a distance via a monitor.
Instead, the B-camera operator was on a dolly with a monitor, checking out the potential shots. Hutchins was also looking at the monitor from over the operator's shoulder, as was the movie's director, Joel Souza, who was crouching just behind her.
Baldwin removed the gun from its holster once without incident, but the second time he did so, ammunition flew toward the trio around the monitor. The projectile whizzed by the camera operator but penetrated Hutchins near her shoulder, then continued through to Souza. Hutchins immediately fell to the ground as crew members applied pressure to her wound in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
Late Friday, the Associated Press reported that Baldwin was handed a loaded weapon by an assistant director who indicated it was safe to use in the moments before the actor fired it, according to court records. The assistant director did not know the prop gun was loaded with live rounds, according to a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe County court.
The person in charge of overseeing the gun props, known as the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, could not be reached for comment. The 24-year-old is the daughter of veteran armorer Thell Reed and had recently completed her first film as the head armorer for the movie ''The Old Way,'' with Clint Howard and Nicolas Cage.
Earlier in the day, the camera crew arrived as expected at 6:30 a.m. and began gathering their gear and personal belongings to leave, one knowledgeable crew member told The Times.
''Rust'' director Joel Souza was wounded in the accidental shooting.
(Jim Spellman / Getty Images)
Labor trouble had been brewing for days on the dusty set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe.
Shooting began on Oct. 6 and members of the low-budget film said they had been promised the production would pay for their hotel rooms in Santa Fe.
But after filming began, the crews were told they instead would be required to make the 50-mile drive from Albuquerque each day, rather than stay overnight in nearby Santa Fe. That rankled crew members who worried that they might have an accident after spending 12 to 13 hours on the set.
Hutchins had been advocating for safer conditions for her team and was tearful when the camera crew left, said one crew member who was on the set.
''She said, 'I feel like I'm losing my best friends,''' recalled one of the workers.
As the camera crew '-- members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees '-- spent about an hour assembling their gear at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, several nonunion crew members showed up to replace them, two of the knowledgeable people said.
One of the producers ordered the union members to leave the set and threatened to call security to remove them if they didn't leave voluntarily.
''Corners were being cut '-- and they brought in nonunion people so they could continue shooting,'' the knowledgeable person said.
The shooting occurred about six hours after the union camera crew left.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office said deputies were dispatched to the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set after calls to 911 at 1:50 p.m. Thursday. Baldwin was starring in the movie and was serving as one of the producers.
No charges have been filed, but the Sheriff's Office said that ''witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.''
Baldwin said Friday that he was ''fully cooperating with the police investigation'' into the incident.
''There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,'' Baldwin wrote Friday in a series of tweets.
Production has been halted on the movie.
In an email to its members, Local 44 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a union that represents prop masters, said the shot that killed Hutchins and injured Souza on Thursday was ''a live single round.''
''As many of us have already heard, there was an accidental weapons discharge on a production titled Rust being filmed in New Mexico,'' said the North Hollywood-based local. ''A live single round was accidentally fired on set by the principal actor, hitting both the Director of Photography, Local 600 member Halyna Hutchins, and Director Joel Souza. Both were rushed to the hospital,'' the email said. The New Mexico-based crew was represented by a different local.
A source close to the union said Local 44 does not know what projectile was in the gun and clarified that ''live'' is an industry term that refers to a gun loaded with some material such as a blank ready for filming.
Bonanza Creek Ranch has been a popular filming location for more than 60 years. The first movie to film there was ''The Man From Laramie,'' starring Jimmy Stewart. It also was the set for ''The Ballad of Buster Scruggs'' and the popular TV show ''Longmire.''
One of the financiers for ''Rust'' is Santa Monica-based lender BondIt Media Capital, founded in 2013 by Matthew Helderman and Luke Taylor. According to its website, BondIt finances movies through instruments including gap loans, bridge loans and tax credit financing.
The company has primarily financed low-budget movies including the Bruce Willis action flick ''Hard Kill,'' the Charlotte Kirk horror flick ''The Reckoning'' and the upcoming Robert De Niro film ''Wash Me in the River,'' directed by Randall Emmett.
BondIt was particularly active during the COVID-19 pandemic, stepping in to fill financing gaps as independent producers struggled to find backing for films during the public health crisis.
Times staff writers Wendy Lee, Anousha Sakoui, Ryan Faughnder, Richard Winton, Josh Rottenberg and Scott Wilson contributed to this report.
Alec Baldwin shooting victim was wife of Latham & Watkins lawyer | Reuters
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 14:19
An aerial view of the film set on Bonanza Creek Ranch where Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded a director when he discharged a prop gun on the movie set of the film "Rust" in Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S., in this frame grab taken from October 21, 2021 television footage. KOB TV News/Handout via REUTERS
Halyna Hutchins was killed when Baldwin discharged a prop firearmHer husband Matt Hutchins is an M&A lawyer in Los AngelesThe company and law firm names shown above are generated automatically based on the text of the article. We are improving this feature as we continue to test and develop in beta. We welcome feedback, which you can provide using the feedback tab on the right of the page.
(Reuters) - The husband of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who was fatally shot by actor Alec Baldwin with a prop gun on Thursday, is a corporate lawyer in Latham & Watkins' Los Angeles office.
Matt Hutchins joined Latham as an associate this year. Earlier he was an in-house lawyer at an entertainment company and practiced at Kirkland & Ellis and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Hutchins told news outlets Friday that he had spoken with Baldwin and said the actor was supportive. He could not be immediately reached for comment. A Latham spokesperson declined to comment.
Halyna Hutchins was killed when Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on the set of his Western movie "Rust" in New Mexico. The Santa Fe Sheriff's Department said it is investigating the incident, which also left the film's director, Joel Souza, injured.
Baldwin posted on social media Friday that he was in shock, writing, "My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."
Hutchins, 42, who was originally from Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle, once worked as an investigative reporter in Europe, according to her website.
She graduated from the American Film Institute in 2015 and was selected as one of American Cinematographer's Rising Stars of 2019, according to her website biography.
Alec Baldwin shocked and heartbroken over movie set shooting; police give no details
Alec Baldwin fires prop gun on movie set, killing cinematographer
David ThomasDavid Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.
Another coincidence with the murder of Halyna Hutchins after talking about '... Clinton '' World-Signals News
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 12:27
Another coincidence with the murder of Halyna Hutchins after talking about '... Clinton Alec Baldwin accidentally kills cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on a film set using a gun that was suppose to fire blanks.
At the same time, you can see from the photo what Halyna Hutchins is saying. This is another coincidence, another coincidence.
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Who is Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography shot in Alec Baldwin prop gun incident? - The Washington Post
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 12:23
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died Thursday after being fatally shot on the New Mexico set of the film ''Rust,'' officials said. Actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm that killed Hutchins, 42, and injured Joel Souza, the film's director.
The loss of Hutchins will reverberate through the industry, as the cinematographer was known as an innovative filmmaker and a trailblazer for other women in film.
Hutchins was born in Ukraine in 1979. The daughter of a military officer, she grew up in Arctic climates and developed an interest in film largely because ''there wasn't that much to do outside,'' she once told the American Society of Cinematographers' American Cinematographer magazine. After graduating from Kyiv National University, Hutchins began working as a journalist. Soon, however, she relocated to California and began studying film; by the time Hutchins decided to pivot to filmmaking full time, she had already dabbled in film by documenting her own adventures in endeavors such as cave exploration and parachuting.
Alec Baldwin fired prop gun that killed one crew member, says he is 'fully cooperating' with investigation
Hutchins was profiled in American Cinematographer magazine in 2019 as one of 10 ''up-and-coming directors of photography who are making their mark.'' She had completed two feature-length films and several short films at the time, and was one of eight participants in the first-ever Fox DP Lab, a program meant to help create new opportunities for female cinematographers.
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The magazine also noted her keen attention to light and her emphasis on the value of a great collaboration between director and photographer. Hutchins offered cinematographer Christopher Doyle and director Wong Kar-wai as an example, adding, ''I'm just hoping to find my Wong Kar-wai.'' She worked as the cinematographer on ''Archenemy,'' a feature film released the following year starring Joe Manganiello.
On Friday morning, Manganiello shared a photo of Hutchins to Instagram. ''She was an absolutely incredible talent and a great person. She had such an eye and a visual style, she was the kind of cinematographer that you wanted to see succeed because you wanted to see what she could pull off next,'' he wrote in the caption. '''... There was no amount of pressure she couldn't handle. She was a great collaborator and an ally to anyone in front of her camera. Everyone who knew her was rooting for her.''
''Archenemy'' director Adam Egypt Mortimer reposted late Thursday night a Twitter thread from 2020 in which he praised Hutchins's work as a cinematographer. ''Halyna Hutchins, ARCHENEMY's DP, has a brilliant mind for light and texture. Her tastes and sensibility of what is cinematic were a huge asset for executing our style '-- the grimy but beautiful feeling I referred to as ROMANTIC BRUTALSM [sic],'' Mortimer wrote last year.
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After news of her death broke on Thursday night, Mortimer tweeted, ''I was lucky to have known her and to have worked with her.''
Brandon Lee was killed by a prop gun on 'The Crow,' decades before Alec Baldwin shot Halyna Hutchins
Other former colleagues of Hutchins's have also shared memories of the cinematographer. Frances Fisher, an actress in ''Rust,'' posted a photo of herself hugging Hutchins. ''Rest in Paradise Dear Halyna - I loved watching you work: Your intense focus and your vibrant command of the room,'' Fisher wrote. ''I asked you to stand next to me in our #IAsolidarity #RUST cast&crew photo because I wanted to make sure you were front and center, seeing as there are so few non-male directors of photography.''
Director Olia Oparina, who helmed multiple films Hutchins had worked on as a cinematographer, including ''Snowbound'' and the short film ''I Am Normal,'' shared several photos of Hutchins on Instagram on Friday.
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''My best friend passed away. The pain is unbearable, and nothing can fill that space that is now empty without my loving, supportive, and understanding Halyna,'' Oparina wrote.
''She worked tirelessly for eleven years, and her career just started to take off this year. And it ends like this?'' Oparina's caption continued. '''... [W]hy did it take so long for such an undeniably talented and charismatic person to get there? Why does this industry take forever to notice a talent? I know if she were alive, she would go on to get an Oscar one day. At least I can say she died doing what she loved most.''
Hutchins's own most recent Instagram posts were from the set of ''Rust,'' where she posted pictures of the film's cast and crew and a New Mexican sunset.
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The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office has said that no charges have been filed, and detectives are interviewing witnesses. Baldwin tweeted Friday that he was fully cooperating with the police investigation, and that he had contacted Hutchins's husband. ''There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,'' he wrote. ''My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.''
Matthew Hutchins, Halyna's husband, told Insider, ''I don't think there are words to communicate the situation.''
''I am not going to be able to comment about the facts or the process of what we're going through right now,'' he went on, ''but I appreciate that everyone has been very sympathetic.''
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Stephen Lighthill, the dean of cinematography at the American Film Institute and the president of the American Society of Cinematographers, issued a statement Friday in remembrance of Hutchins.
''She had a big career in front of her and a supportive family to share her success with,'' he said. ''Her death is a reminder that production should never be dangerous, but often is, and we must all work to fix that.''
Project Veritas captures Pfizer scientists giving thumbs up to COVID-19 natural immunity - Washington Times
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 03:20
Project Veritas jumped into the debate over vaccine mandates with an undercover video that shows two Pfizer scientists agreeing that naturally acquired immunity offers more protection than vaccination from the novel coronavirus.
The 10-minute video released late Monday featured three men identified as scientists at Pfizer, maker of the widely used two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
A man identified as Pfizer biochemist Nick Karl was shown explaining that after recovering from COVID-19, ''your antibodies are probably better at that point than the vaccination.''
''When somebody is naturally immune, like, they got COVID, they probably have better - not better, but more antibodies against the virus,'' says Mr. Karl in the hidden-camera footage. ''Because what the vaccine is, like I said, that protein that's just on the outside, so it's one antibody against one specific part of the virus.''
He went on: ''When you actually get the virus, you're going to start producing antibodies against multiple pieces of virus, and not only just like that outside portion, like, the inside portion, the actual virus.''
Concurring was a man identified as Pfizer senior associate scientist Chris Croce, who replied in the affirmative after being asked by the undercover investigator whether she had protection from COVID-19 after recovering and testing positive for the antibodies.
''As much as the vaccine?'' she asked.
''Probably more,'' he said.
''How much more?'' she asked.
Mr. Croce replied: ''You're protected most likely for longer since it was a natural response.''
A third man identified as a Pfizer scientist Rahul Khandke said that ''if you have antibodies built up, you should be able to prove that you have those,'' but that's not the pharmaceutical company's message.
''We're bred and taught to be like, 'vaccine is safer than actually getting COVID,''' said Mr. Khandke. ''Honestly, we had to do so many seminars on this. You have no idea. Like, we have to sit there for hours and hours and listen to like, be like, 'you cannot talk about this in public.'''
The Washington Times has reached out to Pfizer for comment.
The debate over vaccines versus natural immunity has flared as President Biden and Democratic governors and mayors implement sweeping vaccination mandates aimed at combating the Delta variant, prompting pushback from lawmakers such as Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican.
Mr. Paul accused Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra last week of ''being dishonest about naturally acquired immunity,'' saying that the ''vast preponderance of scientific studies, dozens and dozens, show robust long-lasting immunity after COVID infection.''
The senator, who also is a physician, cited a large Israeli study released in August that found people who had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 were ''much less likely than never-infected, vaccinated people to get Delta, develop symptoms from it, or become hospitalized with serious COVID-19,'' according to the publication Science.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control released a study of infections in Kentucky showing that ''unvaccinated individuals are more than twice as likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated after initially contracting the virus.''
''If you have had COVID-19 before, please still get vaccinated,'' said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in an Aug. 6 statement. ''This study shows you are twice as likely to get infected again if you are unvaccinated. Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you, especially as the more contagious Delta variant spreads around the country.''
What makes some health-care experts nervous is the specter of people opting to expose themselves to COVID-19 instead of getting vaccinated.
''What we don't want people to say is: 'All right, I should go out and get infected, I should have an infection party,''' Rockefeller University immunologist Michel Nussenzweig told Science. ''Because somebody could die.''
In the Project Veritas video, Mr. Croce said he disagreed with keeping track of vaccinated people, saying he thought it violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA].
''You shouldn't have to show anything which is basically, in my opinion, a violation of HIPAA,'' Mr. Croce said. ''No one has the right to ask you if you've been vaccinated. It's an invasion of privacy. I don't agree with it.''
He also said that monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 patients has been ''pushed to the side'' over ''money,'' which he called ''disgusting.''
''I still feel like I work for an evil corporation 'cause it comes down to profits in the end,'' he said. ''Basically our organization is run on COVID money now.''
Mr. Karl said that the vaccine mandates appear to be aimed at ''making it so inconvenient for unvaccinated people to the point where they're just like, 'F'--- it, okay, I'll get it.' You know?''
The scientists also indicated that keeping a close hold on such information was paramount. At one point, Mr. Karl said, ''Oh, God, I signed NDAs [non-disclosure agreements] against this.''
''There's ears and eyes everywhere at Pfizer, in the building,'' said Mr. Croce. ''It's kind of like, you don't talk about anything that can possibly implicate you or, like, Big Pharma. Even if you shut the door to the office, it's kind of like, who's listening?''
Project Veritas president James O'Keefe posted a video Tuesday showing him at an outdoor restaurant confronting Mr. Karl, who walked to his car and drove away.
Mr. O'Keefe said that the scientists' ''expressed views run contrary to the current public policy affecting millions of people.''
''If scientists believe that antibody works more effectively than the vaccines, it begs the question: What's with all the federal mandates regardless of what the data says?'' asked Mr. O'Keefe.
Project Veritas has previously posted three videos as part of its #ExposePharma series on vaccines and vaccine mandates.
The effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against future infections dropped from 88% to 47% after six months, according to a peer-reviewed study published Monday in Lancet, the details of which were first released in August.
The CDC reports that 65.6% of the U.S. population age 12 and older has been fully vaccinated. FDA trials are now underway for vaccines for younger children.
Copyright (C) 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Alec Baldwin ''Discharged'' Prop Gun That Killed 'Rust' Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins '' Deadline
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:38
UPDATED with more law enforcement information: The Santa Fe Sheriff's Department confirmed Thursday night that Alec Baldwin ''discharged'' the prop gun that killed Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza on the set of the Western feature film on location in New Mexico.
Hutchins, 42, died not long after being transported to a hospital in Albuquerque, NM this afternoon. Souza, 48, remains in a local hospital; his condition is unknown.
Bonanza Creek Ranch Bonanza Creek Ranch website''Mr. Baldwin was questioned by investigators and released,'' a Santa Fe Sheriff's Department official told Deadline this evening. ''No arrests or charges have been filed.''
Here's the full statement from the Santa Fe Sheriff's department:
Santa Fe County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set of the western ''Rust'', October 21, 2021, when an 911 caller reported a shooting on the set.
The sheriff's office confirms that two individuals were shot on the set of Rust. Halyna Hutchins, 42, director of photography and Joel Souza, 48, director, were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor.
Ms. Hutchins was transported, via helicopter, to University of New Mexico Hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel. Mr. Souza was transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical center where he is undergoing treatment for his injuries.
This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.
Deadline earlier reported that Criminal Investigators were called to the scene at Bonanza Creek Ranch just outside Santa Fe as sources informing us that a principal castmember cocked a gun, hitting Souza, 48 and Hutchins, 42, on set. The entire location went under lockdown during the investigation. The castmember, now identified as Baldwin, was unaware of the type of ammunition in the gun, we're told. A rep from the production said that ''Production has been halted for the time being'' on Rust and that ''the safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority.''
Traditionally, the prop master or armorer is responsible for fire arms and fire arms safety on a set such as Rust.
'Rust' Movie Halting For ''Undetermined Period Of Time''; Production ''Devastated'' By DP Tragedy
As information about Hutchins' death emerged, the Cinematographers Guild expressed shock and remorse.
''We received the devastating news this evening, that one of our members, Halyna Hutchins, the Director of Photography on a production called Rust in New Mexico died from injuries sustained on the set,'' said the Cinematographers Guild's National President, John Lindley, and National Executive Director, Rebecca Rhine tonight.
''The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event,'' added the guild executives.
''This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our Guild's family.''
Said president Lesli Linka Glatter of the Directors Guild, which counts Souza as a member: ''The DGA is incredibly saddened to hear of the tragic passing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, and the serious injuries sustained by DGA director Joel Souza in an on-set incident in New Mexico today. We await further details and a full investigation. Our hearts go out to Halyna's family, to Joel, and to everyone impacted.''
Said SAG-AFTRA in a statement from president Fran Drescher and national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland: ''We are devastated by this tragic news. Our hearts go out to the family of Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins who has passed away, and to Director Joel Souza who is injured and hospitalized. This is still an active investigation and we do not yet have all the facts. We will continue to work with production, the other unions, and the authorities to investigate this incident and to understand how to prevent such a thing from happening again.''
This isn't the first time an on-set death has been caused by a gun firing blanks. Actor Jon-Erik Hexum was killed on October 18, 1984, on the set of the TV series Cover Up when he accidentally shot himself in the head with a gun loaded with blanks. And in 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died after a piece of a slug was lodged in his spine from a prop gun fired on the set of The Crow by another actor. Both incidents were determined to have been accidents.
The very first safety bulletin adopted by the Industrywide Labor-Management Safety Committee dealt with the dangers of blank ammunition. ''Blanks can kill,'' the bulletin says. ''Treat all firearms as though they are loaded.''
Hutchins is an AFI graduate from the class of 2015 whose work includes several shorts and the lensing the feature Archenemy starring Joe Manganiello. She was named ''rising star'' by American Cinematographer in 2019.
Earlier this week, Hutchins posted photos on her Facebook from the set; ''Our IATSE solidarity stand on Rust''
Rust stars Baldwin and was written and directed by Souza. Travis Fimmel, Brady Noon, Frances Fisher and Jensen Ackles also star. Souza and Baldwin wrote the story.
The film's plot centers on Harland Rust (Baldwin), an infamous Western outlaw who has had a bounty on his head for as long as he can remember. When his estranged 13-year-old grandson Lucas (Noon) is convicted of an accidental murder and sentenced to hang, Rust travels to Kansas to break him out of prison. Together, the two fugitives must outrun the legendary U.S. Marshal Wood Helm (Ackles) and bounty-hunter Fenton ''Preacher'' Lang (Fimmel) who are hot on their tail. Deeply buried secrets rise from the ashes and an unexpected familial bond begins to form as the mismatched duo tries to survive the merciless American Frontier.
CAA Media Finance is handling domestic sales for the pic, with Highland Film Group repping international.
Baldwin is also producing under his El Dorado Pictures banner along with Matt DelPiano through his Cavalry Media, Ryan Donnell Smith through Thomasville Pictures, Anjul Nigam of Brittany House Pictures and Ryan Winterstern and Nathan Klingher of Short Porch Pictures. Allen Cheney, Emily Hunter Salveson, Christopher M.B. Sharp, and Jennifer E. Lamb are EPs. BondIt Media Capital and Hunter Salveson and Donnell Smith's Streamline Global are financing.
David Robb contributed to this report.
Thread by @typesfast on Thread Reader App '' Thread Reader App
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:29
Last night Flexport brought a taco truck to the Port of Long Beach as a big thank you to the ILWU laborers there working like crazy to clear this container backlog. A thread on what we learned! /1
First off, they told us that Flexport is the first outside company in the history of the port to send in a food truck as a sign of gratitude. They loved it. /2
During our evening at the port only one truck showed up. The 24/7 gates don't matter if nobody comes to pick up the containers. Big opportunity for companies that can operate their receiving facilities at night and send trucks to the port when there is no line. /3
For all of second shift they are seeing 50 trucks or less on most nights. Trucks aren't even coming in after midnights. They have had nights with zero trucks. Despite that, appointments are ''full.'' They have so many no-shows they don't know how to plan the yard. /4
No pulls mean a full yard. Between dwelling imports and empties, there is no room to place new containers in the yard. A ship they would normally work with 4-6 cranes they have 2 on. /5
Those 2 are still pumping 30+ containers an hour, but they can't push more because the containers have nowhere to go. /6
They are loading empties out. That isn't a restriction. But with only 2 cranes they run out of time and have to cut the ship loose. /7
Rail has caught up. They have almost no rail containers left waiting to go out. This is a huge win and freed up additional yard space (which quickly filled). /8
Equipment is an issue. The one spot they are truly short labor is on maintenance. Spare parts are in short supply. So even if they did ramp into full ops they would struggle with yard equipment. *But there are chassis. /9
A lot of them are dedicated to one carrier but they do have chassis. The problem though is as they issue them out, and they break, there is no way to fix them. /10
Those chassis are for an on-wheels premium service but they can't put the containers onto the chassis because they have nowhere to park the chassis. /11
They are not intentionally slow working. COVID is not an issue. There is no intentional labor slowdown. They want more shifts. They want to work. /12
But also even if they went to 24/7 ops is would just look like more of the above. They don't have enough skilled labor and management to work full out 24/7. How long would it take to get there? A year or more. Less working, after all, means fewer training opportunities. /13
Quick to note that they blame no one. Really, they don't. They find it all very interesting but at the end of the day they clock in, do their jobs, and go home to their families. They truly love the work and are proud of what they are doing. /14
Big shoutout to the Flexport LA team that pulled this taco Tuesday together and approached the workers with such empathy that we got this very clear picture of life on the ground right now. It's so easy to point fingers in the midst of a crisis. /15
Super important that we continue to gather the best real time insights (observe), put that information in context with the right people who need to know (orient), make decisions (decide), take decisive action (act). /16
By iterating through this OODA loop with incredible velocity (not just speed, but speed in the right direction), Flexport can work with the entire supply chain ecosystem to fight through the friction that is making the seemingly easy feel impossible right now.
It's a very exciting time to work in supply chain. The pressure is on. Time for us all to step up.
' ' '
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Athira chief executive resigns as company confirms she altered research
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:25
T he chief executive of biotech Athira Pharma has permanently left the company after papers she published as a graduate student were found to contain altered research. Leen Kawas was suspended in June, after STAT asked the Alzheimer's research company to comment on the allegations, and Athira announced her resignation as president, chief executive, and member of the board of directors today.
Mark Litton, the company's chief operating officer, will take Kawas' place to lead Athira.
Athira's board of directors' special committee investigation found that Kawas altered images in at least four research papers she co-authored while she was a graduate student at Washington State University.
''The company and Dr. Kawas agreed it is in Athira's best interest to enter this critical next chapter under new leadership,'' said Kelly Romano, chair of Athira's board of directors, in a statement. ''Dr. Kawas's actions at Washington State University took place many years ago and did not involve ATH-1017, Athira's lead development candidate,'' a potential treatment for Alzheimer's.
The altered images in Kawas' papers, first reported by STAT, depict Western blots containing several bands that appear repeatedly.
Though none of the papers were cited in the patent granted to Athira in June 2021 for its lead drug candidate, ATH-1017, the altered research has nevertheless played a role in Athira's development. Two of the papers were cited in a 2013 patent granted to the company, while three altered papers co-authored by Kawas were referenced in an Athira application for $15 million funding from the National Institutes of Health, which STAT obtained through a Freedom of Information request.
Athira is currently subject to several class-action lawsuits on behalf of shareholders, alleging the company made false and misleading statements about its research to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company remains confident in its lead drug candidate, said Litton, while Romano said Athira ''remains absolutely committed to the integrity of scientific research.'' Kawas said she supported Athira's work going forward: ''I remain confident in the Company's ability to realize its mission and bring the Company's lead development candidates to market.''
Alec Baldwin tweet about 'wrongfully killing someone' resurfaces as star shoots crew member dead in horror accident
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:21
ALEC Baldwin's 2017 tweet criticizing a Southern California cop's fatal shooting is facing harsh criticism after the accidental on-set fatal shooting of a crew member on his latest film.
The outspoken star actor tweeted: "I wonder how it must feel to wrongfully kill someone." Alec accidentally shot and killed a crew member on set of his new movie Rust The crew member was director of photography Halyna Hutchins The outspoken star actor tweeted back on September 22, 2017: "I wonder how it must feel to wrongfully kill someone" after a Southern California cop shot dead a man in front of a 7-Eleven Credit: Twitter / Alec BaldwinHe was commentating on an incident that saw a Huntington Beach police officer struggling with a young man in front of a 7-Eleven store before drawing his gun and firing.
On Thursday afternoon, Baldwin accidentally shot and killed a crew member on set of his new movie, Rust, law enforcement exclusively revealed to The Sun.
The tragic death was caused by a prop gun firing off while filming the actor's latest film - which resulted in both the cinematographer and the director getting shot.
In a statement first given to The Sun, Santa Fe County Sheriff Juan Rios revealed: ''The sheriff's office confirms that two individuals were shot on the set of Rust.
"Halyna Hutchins, 42, director of photography and Joel Souza, 48, director, were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor."
The officer also confirmed that no charges have been filed yet relating to the incident however, the investigation remains ongoing as witness' are being interviewed.
Alec was filming a scene on the set of his new Western movie, Rust, that required him to fire a gun that was supposed to be loaded with blanks.
However, tragedy struck when the gun discharged either shrapnel or a bullet, which hit two people on set including director of photography, Halyna Hutchins.
Shortly after the incident took place, Halyna was airlifted to a hospital where she died from her injuries.
TWITTER FALLOUTThousands of Twitter users reminded Baldwin in mostly slighting terms about his September 22, 2017 tweet that he posted four years ago weighing in on the police officer's deadly confrontation.
"I feel really bad for you, Alec, that you have wrongfully killed someone & injured another, while they were working on your movie," wrote @TheLadyJane.
"You are all in my prayers. I hope you learn to be a better person to others who make mistakes in their lives."
Another pointed out that the actor's words can come back full circle.
"What u put into this Universe will always be what u receive in this Universe," wrote @Florida941Man.
In an attempt to clap back at the cyber pile-on against Baldwin, @Zoltanng scolded them, writing: "This comment section needs to take a long look at itself in the mirror.
"This was a tragic accident that left someones loved one dead.
"And put a terrible pain on Alec's heart for the rest of his life. Too soon people. Too soon."
In terms of the shooting that inspired Baldwin's tweet, it was determined Huntington Beach Police Officer Eric Esparza acted unreasonably when he shot Dillan Tabares seven times on Sept. 22, 2017, according to the Los Angeles Times.
OFFICIALS CONFIRM FATAL ACCIDENTThe other person to be shot was film director and writer Joel Souza - who was transported by an ambulance to Christus St. Vincent's hospital where he is still receiving emergency care.
The shooting at Bonanza Creek Ranch just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico happened in the middle of a scene that was either being rehearsed or filmed - with the incident potentially being caught on camera, The New York Times reported.
The TV and film star was "unaware" about the type of ammunition in the gun, according to Deadline.
It is standard protocol for the movie's hired prop master or armorer to be responsible for how to conduct fire arms and ensuring gun safety on a set such as Rust.
Due to today's events, filming has been paused, with a rep saying: ''Production has been halted for the time being'' on Rust. The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority."
Earlier today, Santa Fe County officials first confirmed the tragic fatality of Halyna - which occurred just before 2 p.m. PST - in a separate statement.
''The Santa Fe County sheriff's office confirms that two individuals were shot during filming of a scene on the set of the movie western, Rust.
''According to investigators, it appears the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged. Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged," the department stated.
The statement continued: ''One shooting victim, a 42-year-old female, was transported via helicopter to University Of New Mexico Hospital. The Sheriff's office confirms she has succumbed to her injuries.
''The incident remains an active investigation. As more information becomes available, updates will be provided.''
Reacting to today's devastating news, the Cinematographers Guild said: ''We received the devastating news this evening, that one of our members, Halyna Hutchins, the Director of Photography on a production called 'Rust' in New Mexico died from injuries sustained on the set."
UNDER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONA spokesperson for the Rust movie previously said in a statement: ''There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.
''Two crew members have been taken to the hospital and are receiving care. "
Just hours before the violent mishap, Alec, 63, posed in character on the set in an Instagram post.
Dressed in old Western gear, include dirty cowboy boots, a vest and bandana, he was seen holding a hat looking tired in front of his trailer.
"Back to in person at the office. Blimey'...it's exhausting,"
Rust will star Alec alongside actors Travis Fimmel, Brady Noon, Frances Fisher and Jensen Ackles.
Director Joel worked on the story with Alec - who plays the titular character, Harland Rust.
Rust director and writer Joel Souza was also shot on set and transported to a nearby hospital Credit: Getty Police were seen exiting the scene in New Mexico on Thursday afternoon The cast and crew of Rust will be on hiatus as production for the film has halted The New Mexico ranch has famously hosted many Western movies
U.S. acting attorney for Montana sends letters of statutes to state law enforcement
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 12:13
HELENA '-- Letters from the acting US attorney for Montana arrived at the county attorney's offices, law enforcement agencies and school boards across Montana. The letters offer federal help--including help from the FBI--in any case of threats against school boards and teachers.
The letter included three pages of statutes ranging from conspiracy to depriving a person of their civil rights, to stalking and cyberstalking, and a statute related to false information or hoaxes.
The letter stated: ''In response to a nationwide rise in threats and acts of violence against our educational community, Attorney General Garland has directed the FBI and the United States attorneys to partner with federal, state, local and tribal leaders to address the problem."
Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton says the help is not needed.
''I do appreciate their concern, but that is a local issue, and I don't believe that's necessary,'' said Dutton.
Dutton says that the enforcement agencies within the Helena area are prepared for threats toward school board members and teachers.
''The Helena police and the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office are well equipped to respond and take those types of calls,'' Dutton explained.
The sheriff says that there have not been local conflicts that have required law enforcement intervention.
''Not that I'm aware of, but tensions do get high though,'' noted Dutton
For now, the Lewis and Clark Sheriff's office politely declined the FBI's and US attorney for Montana's assistance on the issue.
Copyright 2021 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Opinion | CNN defends Joe Rogan treatment in fiery statement - The Washington Post
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 02:32
Podcaster Joe Rogan's three-hour interview with CNN's Sanjay Gupta last week was an amicable affair, though it got a bit tense when the topic turned to the network's coverage of Rogan's recent bout with covid. ''It's a lie. It's a lie on a news network and it's a lie '... that they're conscious of. This is not a mistake,'' said Rogan.
That's quite a claim to make straight to the face of CNN's chief medical correspondent. At issue is Rogan's Sept. 1 disclosure that he'd gotten covid and had addressed the situation with a ''kitchen sink'' of medications that included ivermectin, a drug used for ''paralyzing and killing parasites.'' Rogan said that he got his ivermectin via a prescription from his doctor.
Ivermectin was discovered in the late 1970s and got its start as a veterinary drug. Its versatility, however, escaped the barnyard. ''Ivermectin proved to be even more of a 'Wonder drug' in human health, improving the nutrition, general health and wellbeing of billions of people worldwide ever since it was first used to treat Onchocerciasis [river blindness] in humans in 1988,'' noted Satoshi Omura (who discovered ivermectin) and co-author Andy Crump in a 2011 paper.
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So there's an animal application and human application for ivermectin. What separates the two? A lot, as it turns out. An ivermectin dose for horses can be as high as 1,200 milligrams, according to Scott Phillips of the Washington Poison Center in Seattle. ''It's really the dose that makes the poison,'' says Phillips '-- even too much tap water or salt can be poisonous.
With those considerations in mind, consider how CNN framed Rogan's use of ivermectin.
*On Sept. 1, CNN host Erin Burnett said: ''Controversial podcast host Joe Rogan, who's railed against vaccine requirements, says he has covid and took a drug intended for livestock.'' She articulated similar descriptions two additional times before interviewing a doctor and noting that the drug is prescribed for people as well.
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*The same day, CNN host Anderson Cooper said, ''One of those drugs he mentioned, ivermectin, is something more often used to deworm horses.'' On that same show, CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter said, ''When you have a horse deworming medication that's discouraged by the government that actually causes some people in this crazy environment we're in to actually want to try it. That's the upside down where we're in with figures like Joe Rogan.'' Leana S. Wen '-- also a Post contributing columnist '-- later added the critical context that the drug ''is used in humans for things like parasites and scabies.''
*Also that day, host Don Lemon said, ''The United States is now averaging 160,455 new covid-19 cases every day, including controversial podcast host Joe Rogan saying that he tested positive for covid and that he says he is taking several medications including a drug meant for deworming livestock.''
*On Sept. 3, CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers said, ''I think the unfortunate part about all of this is you have individuals like Joe Rogan, for example, who don't want to take an experimental vaccine but will take horse dewormer.''
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*And on Sept. 4, anchor Jim Acosta played Rogan's disclosure video and said, ''In case you missed it, Rogan said ivermectin. Yes, that's the deworming medicine made to kill parasites in farm animals and, weirdly, is being promoted by right-wing media figures and even some politicians as a covid treatment.''
There's a reason for reciting these transcripts. They turn up a consistent formulation from multiple CNN voices that surely wasn't a sober recitation of the facts. By highlighting that ivermectin is a horse dewormer, and downplaying that ivermectin has important uses for people, CNN facilitates a certain assumption among its viewers. Namely, that Rogan had been haunting the aisles of Tractor Supply.
After hearing Rogan's concerns about how CNN cast the issue, Gupta said, ''They shouldn't have said that.''
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Given that a prominent CNN personality agreed with a strong critique of his own colleagues, we placed the matter before the network's PR department. They issued this statement:
The heart of this debate has been purposely confused and ultimately lost. It's never been about livestock versus human dosage of Ivermectin. The issue is that a powerful voice in the media, who by example and through his platform, sowed doubt in the proven and approved science of vaccines while promoting the use of an unproven treatment for covid-19 '-- a drug developed to ward off parasites in farm animals. The only thing CNN did wrong here was bruise the ego of a popular podcaster who pushed dangerous conspiracy theories and risked the lives of millions of people in doing so.
That's quite the statement, and it makes some good points. Though ivermectin is used for scabies and river blindness and the like, the Food and Drug Administration advises against its use for covid, saying that existing data ''do not show ivermectin is effective against COVID-19.'' Doctors have been prescribing it for covid in any case, and some people have sought the drug from veterinary suppliers. ''As long as the drug is approved for some humans, it seems to me irrelevant that it's approved for animals, except that this is the way that people have gone about procuring the drug and in so doing have put themselves at risk,'' says Peter Lurie, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and a former FDA associate commissioner. The FDA tweeted:
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Yet CNN's statement sounds more like the work of an advocacy group than a journalism outfit. The ''issue,'' actually, begins and ends with the integrity of CNN's content. If we take Rogan's prescription claim at face value '-- and CNN hasn't challenged it '-- then the network's coverage was slanted in some cases and straight-up incorrect in others. ''[I]f you're prescribed the FDA human version [of ivermectin] then you're not taking a horse pill,'' notes Phillips in an email.
So in this instance, you don't have to endorse Rogan to abhor CNN's coverage of this topic. Here's a network, after all, that prides itself on impeccable factual hygiene, a place where there's no conceptual hair too fine to split, no political statement too sprawling to flyspeck. It's tough living by your own standards. If CNN wants to describe ivermectin in a way that doesn't slime the people who take it, the Guardian provides a fine template: ''a drug used against parasites in humans and livestock.''
Climate change will bring global tension, US intelligence report says - BBC News
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 02:27
By Gordon CoreraSecurity correspondent5 hours ago
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, Chad is one of several countries mentioned in the assessment as being at threat from climate change
Climate change will lead to growing international tensions, the US intelligence community has warned in a bleak assessment.
The first ever National Intelligence Estimate on Climate Change looks at the impact of climate on national security through to 2040.
Countries will argue over how to respond and the effects will be felt most in poorer countries, which are least able to adapt.
The report also warns of the risks if futuristic geo-engineering technologies are deployed by some countries acting alone.
The 27-page assessment is the collective view of all 18 US intelligence agencies. It is their first such look-ahead on what climate means for national security.
The report paints a picture of a world failing to co-operate, leading to dangerous competition and instability. It has been issued just ahead of President Joe Biden attending next month's COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which is seeking international agreement.
It warns countries will try to defend their economies and seek advantage in developing new technology. Some nations may also resist the desire to act, with more than 20 countries relying on fossil fuels for greater than 50% of total export revenues.
"A decline in fossil fuel revenue would further strain Middle Eastern countries that are projected to face more intense climate effects," the report says.
Soon, it warns, the impact of climate change will be felt around the globe.
The US intelligence community identifies 11 countries and two regions where energy, food, water and health security are at particular risk. They tend to be poorer and less able to adapt, increasing the risks of instability and internal conflict. Heat waves and droughts could place pressure on services like electricity supply.
Five of the 11 countries are in South and East Asia - Afghanistan, Burma, India, Pakistan and North Korea - four countries are in Central America and the Caribbean - Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua. Colombia and Iraq are the others. Central Africa and small states in the Pacific are also at risk.
Instability could spill out, particularly in the form of refugee flows, with a warning this could put pressure on the US southern border and create new humanitarian demands.
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, A Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker in Murmansk - the Arctic is a possible flashpoint
The Arctic is likely to be one, as it becomes more accessible because of reducing ice. That may open new shipping routes and access to fish stocks but also create risks of miscalculation as militaries move in.
Access to water will also become a source of problems. In the Middle East and North Africa, about 60% of surface water resources cross boundaries. Pakistan and India have long-standing water issues. Meanwhile, the Mekong River basin could cause problems between China and Cambodia and Vietnam, the report warns.
Another source of risk is that a country might decide to use geo-engineering to counter climate change.
This involves using futuristic technology, for instance sending reflective particles to the upper stratosphere which mimic the cooling effects of a volcanic eruption or using aerosols to cool oceans in a particular area.
But if one country acts alone it could simply shift the problem to another region and create anger from other nations impacted in a negative way or unable to act themselves.
Researchers in several countries, including Australia, China, India, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as several EU members, are looking at these techniques but there are few rules or regulations.
Spur to co-operate
The report says there are some ways this bleak future might be avoided. Breakthrough technologies, including accepted use of geo-engineering, are some. Another is a climate disaster which acts as a spur for greater co-operation.
The report is a sign that climate is now a central part of security thinking and that it will heighten existing problems as well as create new ones.
"Governments increasingly recognise that climate change is shaping the national security landscape like never before," Erin Sikorsky, the director of the Center for Climate and Security who formerly worked on the National Intelligence Council, told the BBC.
"Climate considerations cannot be separated from other security concerns, such as competition with China. That country faces compounding climate risks, from rising sea levels affecting millions of people in coastal cities, flooding in its interior that threatens energy infrastructure, and desertification and migrating fish stocks that undermine its food security. National security strategy that does not take such factors into account will get answers to key questions about China's behaviour incorrect."
The new intelligence estimate sets out the stark problems that lie ahead. But the real question will be what policymakers do about this warning from their spies.
Cannabidiol Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication and Promotes the Host Innate Immune Response - PMC
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 22:04
Journal List bioRxiv PMC7987002 Version 1. bioRxiv. Preprint. 2021 Mar 10.
This article is a preprint. Preprints have not been peer reviewed.To learn more about preprints in PMC see: NIH Preprint Pilot.
Long Chi Nguyen,
*,1 Dongbo Yang,
*,1 Vlad Nicolaescu,
*,2,9 Thomas J. Best,
3 Takashi Ohtsuki,
4,^ Shao-Nong Chen,
4 J. Brent Friesen,
4 Nir Drayman,
6 Adil Mohamed,
6 Christopher Dann,
1 Diane Silva,
5 Haley Gula,
2,9 Krysten A. Jones,
7 J. Michael Millis,
8 Bryan C. Dickinson,
7 SavaÅ Tay,
6 Scott A. Oakes,
5 Guido F. Pauli,
4 David O. Meltzer,
3 Glenn Randall,
Marsha Rich Rosner#,1Long Chi Nguyen1Ben May Department for Cancer Research, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637
Dongbo Yang1Ben May Department for Cancer Research, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637
Vlad Nicolaescu2Department of Microbiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637
9Howard Taylor Ricketts Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL 60439
Thomas J. Best3Center for Health and the Social Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
Takashi Ohtsuki4College of Pharmacy, Pharmacognosy Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL 60612
Shao-Nong Chen4College of Pharmacy, Pharmacognosy Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL 60612
J. Brent Friesen4College of Pharmacy, Pharmacognosy Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL 60612
Nir Drayman6Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
Adil Mohamed6Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
Christopher Dann1Ben May Department for Cancer Research, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637
Diane Silva5Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
Haley Gula2Department of Microbiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637
9Howard Taylor Ricketts Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL 60439
Krysten A. Jones7Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
J. Michael Millis8Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
Bryan C. Dickinson7Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
SavaÅ Tay6Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
Scott A. Oakes5Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
Guido F. Pauli4College of Pharmacy, Pharmacognosy Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL 60612
David O. Meltzer3Center for Health and the Social Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
Glenn Randall2Department of Microbiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637
9Howard Taylor Ricketts Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL 60439
Marsha Rich Rosner1Ben May Department for Cancer Research, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637
1Ben May Department for Cancer Research, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637
2Department of Microbiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637
3Center for Health and the Social Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
4College of Pharmacy, Pharmacognosy Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL 60612
5Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
6Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
7Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
8Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637
9Howard Taylor Ricketts Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL 60439
^Current affiliation: Department of Food Bioscience and Biotechnology, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan
Conceptualization: MRR, LCN, DY, GR, SAO, GFP, DOM, ND
Methodology: MRR. GR, SAO, DOM, GFP, ND, BCD
Software: DY, TB
Formal analysis: DY, TB
Investigation: LCN, DY, VN, TB, TO, SC, JBF, ND, AM, CD, DS, HG, KAJ
Resources: GR, MRR, GFP, ST, BCD
Data Curation: DOM, TB, DY
Writing '' original draft: MRR
Writing '' review & editing: LCN, DY, VN, TB, SC, JBF, ND, AM, KAJ, DS, JMM, BCD, ST, SAO, GFP, DOM, GR, MRR
Visualization: LCN, DY, ND, AM, SC, BCD, JBF
Supervision: MRR. GR, DOM, GFP, SAO, ST, BCD
Project Administration: MRR
Funding acquisition: MRR
The complete version history of this preprint is available at
AbstractThe rapid spread of COVID-19 underscores the need for new treatments. Here we report that cannabidiol (CBD), a compound produced by the cannabis plant, inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection. CBD and its metabolite, 7-OH-CBD, but not congeneric cannabinoids, potently block SARS-CoV-2 replication in lung epithelial cells. CBD acts after cellular infection, inhibiting viral gene expression and reversing many effects of SARS-CoV-2 on host gene transcription. CBD induces interferon expression and up-regulates its antiviral signaling pathway. A cohort of human patients previously taking CBD had significantly lower SARSCoV-2 infection incidence of up to an order of magnitude relative to matched pairs or the general population. This study highlights CBD, and its active metabolite, 7-OH-CBD, as potential preventative agents and therapeutic treatments for SARS-CoV-2 at early stages of infection.
Summary sentence:Cannabidiol from the cannabis plant has potential to prevent and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a pandemic that has overtaken the world during the past year. SARS-CoV-2, related to severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV), is the seventh species of coronavirus known to infect people. These coronaviruses, which include SARS-CoV, 229E, NL63, OC43, HKU1, and MERS-CoV cause a range of symptoms from the common cold to more severe pathologies (1). Despite recent vaccine availability, SARS-CoV-2 is still spreading rapidly (2), highlighting the need for alternative treatments, especially for populations with limited access to vaccines. To date, few therapies have been identified that block SARS-CoV-2 replication and viral production.
SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA (+ssRNA) enveloped virus composed of a lipid bilayer and four structural proteins that drive viral particle formation. The spike (S), membrane (M), and envelope (E) are integral proteins of the virus membrane and serve to drive virion budding, while also recruiting the nucleocapsid (N) protein and the viral genomic RNA into nascent virions. Like SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 primarily enters human cells by the binding of the viral S protein to the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor (3''5), after which the S protein undergoes proteolysis by transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2) or other proteases into two non-covalently bound peptides (S1, S2) that facilitate viral entry into the host cell. The N-terminal S1 binds the ACE2 receptor, and the C-terminal S2 mediates viral-cell membrane fusion following proteolytic cleavage by TMRSS2 or other proteases. Depending upon the cell type, viral entry can also occur after ACE2 binding, independent of proteolytic cleavage (6''8). Following cell entry, the SARS-CoV-2 genome is translated into two large polypeptides that are cleaved by two viral proteases, MPro and PLPro (9, 10), to produce 15 proteins, in addition to the synthesis of subgenomic RNAs that encode another 10 accessory proteins plus the 4 structural proteins. These proteins enable viral replication, assembly, and budding. In an effort to suppress infection by the SARS-CoV-2 beta-coronavirus as well as other evolving pathogenic viruses, we tested the antiviral potential of a number of small molecules that target host stress response pathways.
One potential regulator of the host stress and antiviral inflammatory responses is cannabidiol (CBD), a member of the cannabinoid class of natural products (11). CBD is produced by Cannabis sativa (Cannabaceae; marijuana/hemp). Hemp refers to cannabis plants or materials derived thereof that contain 0.3% or less of the psychotropic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and typically have relatively high CBD content. By contrast, marijuana refers to C. sativa materials with more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. THC acts through binding to the cannabinoid receptor, and CBD potentiates this interaction (12). Despite numerous studies and many typically unsubstantiated claims related to CBD-containing products, the biology of CBD itself is unclear and specific targets are mostly unknown (11). However, an oral solution of CBD is an FDA-approved drug, largely for the treatment of epilepsy (13). Thus, CBD has drug status, is viable as a therapeutic, and cannot be marketed as a dietary supplement in the United States (11). Although limited, some studies have reported that certain cannabinoids have antiviral effects against hepatitis C virus (HCV) and other viruses (14).
RESULTSTo test the effect of CBD on SARS-CoV-2 replication, we pretreated A549 human lung carcinoma cells expressing exogenous human ACE-2 receptor (A549-ACE2) for 2 hours with 0''10 Î¼M CBD prior to infection with SARS-CoV-2. After 48 hours, we monitored cells for expression of the viral spike protein (S). For comparison, we also treated cells over a similar dose range with an MLK inhibitor (URMC-099) previously implicated as an antiviral for HIV (12) and KPT-9274, a PAK4/NAMPT inhibitor (13) that our analysis suggested might reverse many changes in gene expression caused by SARS-CoV-2. All three inhibitors potently inhibited viral replication under non-toxic conditions with EC50s ranging from 0.2''2.1 Î¼M ( Fig. 1A ). CBD inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in Vero E6 monkey kidney epithelial cells as well (fig. S1A). No toxicity was observed at the effective doses (fig. S1B). We also determined that CBD suppressed replication of a related beta-coronavirus, mouse hepatitis virus (MHV), under non-toxic conditions with an EC50 of ~5 Î¼M using A549 cells that express the MHV receptor (A549-MHVR), indicating the potential for more broader viral efficacy (fig. S1C,D).
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a potent inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro.(A) A549 cells with ACE2 overexpression (A549-ACE2) were treated with indicated doses of CBD, KPT-9274, or URMC-099 followed by infection with SARS-CoV-2 at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 0.5 for 48 hours. The cells were stained for spike protein and the percentage of cells expressing the spike protein in each condition was plotted. EC50 values are indicated. (B) The 1H qNMR spectra of CBD from a reference material and CBD samples from three different suppliers A, B, and C. (C) A549-ACE2 cells were treated with indicated doses of CBD from three different suppliers followed by infection with SARS-CoV-2 at an MOI of 0.5 for 48 hours. The cells were stained for spike protein and the percentage of cells expressing the spike protein in each condition was plotted. EC50 values are indicated.
When isolated from its source plant, natural non-synthetic CBD is typically extracted along with other cannabinoids, representing the unavoidable residual complexity of natural products. To verify that CBD is indeed responsible for the viral inhibition, we analyzed a CBD reference standard as well as CBD from three different sources for purity using 100% quantitative NMR (qNMR). These sources included two chemical vendors (Suppliers A and B) and one commercial vendor that used natural materials (Supplier C). The striking congruence between the experimental 1H NMR and the recently established quantum-mechanical HiFSA (1H Iterative Full Spin Analysis) profiles observed for all materials confirmed that 1) the compounds used were indeed CBD with purities of at least 97% ( Fig. 1B ) and 2) congeneric cannabinoids were not present at levels above 1.0% (11). Analysis of these different CBD preparations in the viral A549-ACE2 infection assay showed similar EC50s with a range from 0.6''1.8 Î¼M likely reflecting the intrinsic biological variability of the assay ( Fig. 1C ). No toxicity was observed for any of the CBD preparations at the doses used to inhibit viral infection (fig. S1 E''G).
CBD is often consumed as part of a C. sativa extract, particularly in combination with psychoactive THC enriched in marijuana plants. We therefore determined whether congeneric cannabinoids, especially analogues with closely related structures and polarities produced by the hemp plant, are also capable of inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infection. Remarkably, only CBD was a potent agent, while limited or no antiviral activity was exhibited by the structurally closely related congeners that share biosynthesis pathways and form the biogenetically determined residual complexity of CBD purified from C. sativa: THC, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabichromene (CBC), or cannabigerol (CBG) ( Fig. 2 A '' B ; see Methods). None of these compounds were toxic to the A549-ACE2 cells in the dose range of interest (fig. S2). Notably, combining CBD with THC (1:1) significantly suppressed CBD efficacy consistent with competitive inhibition by THC.
Limited or no inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection by Cannabinoids other than CBD.(A) A549-ACE2 cells were treated with indicated doses of various cannabinoids or a CBD/THC 1:1 mixture followed by infection with SARS-CoV-2 at an MOI of 0.5 for 48 hours. The cells were stained for spike protein and the percentage of cells expressing the spike protein in each condition was plotted. All cannabinoids tested were isolated from a hemp extract as described in Methods. (B) Chemical structures of cannabinoids and 7-OH CBD. (C) A549-ACE2 cells were treated with indicated doses of 7-OH CBD followed by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 at an MOI of 0.5. The cells were stained for spike protein and the percentage of cells expressing the spike protein in each condition was plotted. Representative data of CBD from Figure 1C (Supplier A) is used for comparison. EC50 values are indicated.
CBD is rapidly metabolized in the liver and gut into two main metabolites, 7-carboxy-cannabidiol (7-COOH-CBD) and 7-hydroxy-cannabidiol (7-OH-CBD). Although the levels of 7-COOH-CBD are 40-fold higher than 7-OH-CBD in human plasma, 7-OHCBD is the active ingredient for the treatment of epilepsy (14). Like CBD but unlike the other cannabinoids, 7-OH-CBD effectively inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in A549-ACE2 cells (EC50 3.6 Î¼M; Fig. 2C ) and was non-toxic to cells (fig. S2H). Analysis of blood plasma levels in healthy patients taking FDA-approved CBD (Epidiolex®) shows a maximal concentration (Cmax) for CBD in the nM range whereas 7-OH-CBD had a Cmax in the Î¼M range, similar to that observed in cultured cells (15). These results suggest that CBD itself is not present at the levels needed to effectively inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in people. By contrast, the plasma concentrations of its metabolite 7-OH-CBD, whose Cmax can be increased several-fold by co-administration of CBD with a high-fat meal, are sufficient to potentially inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans (15).
CBD could be acting to block viral entry to host cells or at later steps following infection. As CBD was shown to decrease ACE2 expression in some epithelial cells including A549 (16), we first determined whether CBD suppressed the SARS-CoV-2 receptor in our A549-ACE2 overexpressing cells. No decrease in ACE2 expression was observed ( Fig. 3A ). Furthermore, analysis of lentiviruses pseudotyped with either the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein or the VSV glycoprotein (17) showed that antibody to the spike protein effectively blocked viral infection of the SARS-CoV-2, but not VSV-G expressing viruses. However, 10 Î¼M CBD only partially inhibited cell entry by spike-expressing virus, suggesting that other mechanisms were largely responsible for its antiviral effects ( Fig. 3B , and figs. S3 A and B). By contrast, antibodies to the spike protein effectively blocked viral infection of the SARS-CoV-2 but not VSV-G expressing viruses. Consistent with this, CBD was also effective at inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 spike protein expression in host cells even 2 hours after infection in the presence of antibodies to the spike protein to prevent reinfection during this time period ( Fig. 3C , ' D ). To assess whether CBD might be preventing viral protein processing by the viral proteases Mpro or PLpro, we assayed their activity in vitro (fig. S4). CBD did not affect the activity of either protease, raising the possibility that CBD targets host cell processes.
CBD inhibits viral replication after SARS-CoV-2 entry into the host cell.(A) Immunoblots of ACE2 protein expression from A549-ACE2 cell lysates either untreated or treated with vehicle or CBD at indicated doses (n=3). Blots were probed with antibodies against ACE2 and tubulin. ACE2 protein expression levels were normalized to the tubulin signal within each sample. ACE2 expression levels were plotted relative to untreated samples. Expression levels were compared to vehicle by one-way ANOVA. (B) 293T-ACE2 cells were infected by spike or VSV-G pseudovirus for 72 hours with the indicated doses of CBD treatment, and the percentage of infected cells plotted. (C) A549-ACE2 cells were either pre-treated or not with 10 Î¼M CBD for 2 hours, then infected with SARS-CoV-2 at an MOI of 0.5 for 2 hours. Cells were then treated with 10 Î¼M CBD or DMSO for 16 hours with the spike neutralizing antibody to prevent reinfection. Spike positive cells were quantified and normalized to the virus-infected only sample. (D) Validation of neutralizing antibody efficacy. 400 pfu of SARS-CoV-2 virus was incubated with or without 100 Î¼M of neutralizing antibody for 1 hour. A549-ACE2 cells were treated with the mixture for 16 hours and Spike positive cells were quantified.
Consistent with this interpretation, RNA-seq analysis of infected A549-ACE2 cells treated with CBD for 24 hours shows a striking suppression of SARS-CoV-2-induced changes in gene expression. CBD effectively eradicated viral RNA expression in the host cells, including RNA coding for spike, membrane, envelope and nucleocapsid proteins ( Figs. 4 A and ' B ). Both SARS-CoV-2 and CBD each induced significant changes in cellular gene expression, including a number of transcription factors (figs. S5 and S6). Principal component analysis of host cell RNA shows almost complete reversal of viral changes but, rather than returning to a normal cell state, the CBD+virus infected cells resemble those treated with CBD alone ( Fig. 4C ). Clustering analysis using Metascape reveals some interesting patterns and associated themes ( Fig. 4D , figs. S7, and S8). For example, viral induction of genes associated with chromatin modification and transcription (Cluster 1) is reversed by CBD although CBD alone has no effect. Similarly, viral inhibition of genes associated with ribosomes and neutrophils (Cluster 3) is largely reversed by CBD, but the drug alone has no effect. This contrasts with Clusters 5 and 6 where CBD alone induces strong activation of genes associated with the host stress response. Together these results suggest that CBD acts to prevent viral protein translation and associated cellular changes.
Changes in Viral and host cell transcription following SARS-CoV-2 infection or CBD treatment.A549-ACE2 cells were infected with SARS-CoV-2 at MOI of 3 with or without CBD treatment at 10 Î¼M for 24 hours. RNA-seq was performed as described in Methods. (A) Heatmap of relative levels of SARS-CoV-2 genes from the RNA-seq samples. (B) Expression levels of SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid genes. Percent expression level changes for genes from infected cells compared to cells infected and CBD treated are indicated for each gene. (C) Principal component analysis (PCA) of RNA-seq data showing control (veh_mock), SARS-CoV-2 infected (veh_infect), CBD-treated (CBD_mock), and SARS-CoV-2 infected plus CBD treated (CBD_infect) samples. The first and second principal components (PC1 and PC2) of each sample are plotted. (D) Heatmap of normalized expression levels of 5,000 most variable genes across all RNA-seq samples, clustered into 6 groups based on differential expression between treatment conditions.
One potential mechanism by which CBD could suppress viral infection and promote degradation of viral RNA is through induction of the interferon signaling pathway. Interferons are among the earliest innate immune host responses to pathogen exposure (18). SARS-CoV-2 infection suppresses the interferon signaling pathway (19) ( Fig. 5A , and fig. S9). Some genes that are induced by CBD in both the absence and presence of the virus include receptors for interferons beta and gamma as well as mediators of the signaling pathway such as STATs 1 and 2 ( Fig. 5A and fig. S10). Other genes in the pathway like OAS1, an interferon-induced gene that leads to activation of RNase L and RNA degradation (20), are not significantly induced by CBD unless in the presence of the virus ( Fig. 5A and fig. S11). These latter results are consistent with the possibility that CBD lowers the effective viral titer sufficiently to enable normal host activation of the interferon pathway. At the same time, CBD effectively reverses viral induction of cytokines that can lead to the deadly cytokine storm at later stages of infection ( Fig. 5B ). Collectively, these results suggest that CBD inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in part by activating the interferon pathway leading to degradation of viral RNA and subsequent viral-induced changes in host gene expression, including cytokines.
CBD promotes host cell interferon responses and inhibits viral induction of cytokines.(A) Heatmap of normalized expression levels of genes from the Interferon Response Canonical Pathway for all RNA-seq samples including control (veh_mock), SARS-CoV-2 infected (veh_infect), CBD-treated (CBD_mock), and SARS-CoV-2 infected plus CBD treated (CBD_infect) samples. Hierarchical clustering was applied to the genes. (B) Heatmap of normalized expression levels of GO Cytokine Activity genes which were up-regulated by the viral infection but down-regulated by CBD treatment for all RNA-seq samples as described in (A).
Given that CBD preparations containing substantial amounts of CBD are taken by a large number of individuals, we examined whether CBD exposure might correlate to a decreased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Analysis of over 93,000 patients tested for SARS-CoV-2 at the University of Chicago Medical Center showed that 10.0% tested positive overall, but only 5.7% of the ~400 who had any cannabinoid in their medical record tested positive ( Fig. 6 ). Patients taking CBD versus other cannabinoids had an even lower rate of testing positive (1.2% in 85 CBD patients versus 7.1% in 113 patients taking other cannabinoids, p=0.08). This finding that patients taking other cannabinoids had less protection against viral infection is consistent with our cell culture studies. Since multiple potential confounding factors could explain these findings, including age, race, clinical morbidities, and sex, we matched 82 patients who were prescribed oral, FDA-approved CBD (Epidiolex®) before COVID-19 testing to patients who had no indication of taking any cannabinoids but had comparable other characteristics including similar demographic characteristics, clinical comorbidities, and records of other medications in the two years before COVID-19 testing (table S1). Of the patients prescribed oral CBD before their COVID-19 test, the most common morbidity categories were hypertension and conditions with immunosuppression. Strikingly, only 1.2% of the patients prescribed CBD contracted SARS-CoV-2 whereas 12.2% of the matched, non-cannabinoid patients tested positive (p=0.009), suggesting a potential reduction in SARS-CoV-2 infection risk of approximately an order of magnitude.
High Dose CBD usage in patients is significantly correlated with a reduction in COVID-19 positivity.Associations between reported cannabinoid medication use and COVID-19 test results among adults tested at the University of Chicago Medicine (total n=93,565). P*: p-values of percent positivity of the specified patient population compared to percent positivity of all patients (10% COVID-19 positive among 93,565 patients). Middle right: 85 patients took CBD before their COVID test date. Upper right: 82 of the 85 patients took FDA-approved CBD (Epidiolex®) and were matched to 82 of the 93,167 patients (Matched Controls) with a nearest neighbor propensity score model that scored patients according to their demographics and their recorded diagnoses and medications from the two years before their COVID-19 test. P-values were calculated using Fisher's exact test two-sided.
DISCUSSIONOur results suggest that CBD can block SARS-CoV-2 infection at early stages of infection, and CBD administration is associated with a lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans. Furthermore, the active compound in patients is likely to be 7-OH-CBD, the same metabolite implicated in CBD treatment of epilepsy. The substantial reduction in SARS-CoV-2 infection risk of approximately an order of magnitude in patients who took FDA-approved CBD highlights the potential efficacy of this drug in combating SARS-CoV-2 infection. Finally, the ability of CBD to inhibit replication of MHV raises the possibility that CBD may have efficacy against new pathogenic viruses arising in the future.
One mechanism contributing to the antiviral activity of CBD is the induction of the interferon pathway both directly and indirectly following activation of the host immune response to the viral pathogen. In fact, interferons have been tested clinically as potential treatments for COVID-19 (21). Importantly, CBD also suppresses cytokine activation in response to viral infection, reducing the likelihood of immune cell recruitment and subsequent cytokine storms within the lungs and other affected tissues. These results complement previous findings suggesting that CBD suppresses cytokine production in recruited immune cells such as macrophages (22). Thus, CBD has to the potential not only to act as an antiviral agent at early stages of infection but also to protect the host against an overactive immune system at later stages.
CBD has a number of advantages as a potential preventative agent against SARS-CoV-2. CBD is widely available without restricted access if the content of THC is <0.3%. There are multiple means of ingestion, including potential for inhalation and nasal delivery. CBD blocks viral replication after entry into cells and, thus, is likely to be effective against viral variants with mutant spike proteins. Unlike drugs such as remdesivir or antiviral antibodies, CBD administration does not require injection in hospital settings. Finally, CBD is associated with only minor side effects (15).
However, several issues require close examination before CBD can be considered or even explored as a therapeutic for COVID-19 (11). Although many CBD formulations are available on the market, they vary vastly in quality, the amount of CBD, and their pharmacokinetic properties after oral administration, which are mostly unknown. CBD is quite hydrophobic and forms large micellar structures that are trapped and broken down in the liver, thereby limiting the amount of drug available to other tissues after oral administration. The inactive carriers have a significant impact on clinically obtainable concentrations. As CBD is widely sold as a preparation in an edible oil, we analyzed flavored commercial hemp oils and found a CBD content of only 0.30% in a representative sample (fig. S12). The purity of CBD and, in particular, the composition of the materials labelled as CBD are also important, especially in light of our findings suggesting that other cannabinoids such as THC might act to counter CBD antiviral efficacy. This essentially eliminates the feasibility of marijuana serving as an effective source of antiviral CBD, in addition to issues related to its legal status. Finally, other means of CBD administration such as vaping and smoking raise concerns about potential lung damage.
Future studies to explore the optimal means of CBD delivery to patients along with clinical trials will be needed to fully test the promise of CBD as a therapeutic to block SARS-CoV-2 infection. As the clearance rates for CBD in plasma are substantially lower in humans than mice, we would suggest moving to clinical trials rather than doing preclinical studies in animal models (15). We advocate carefully designed placebo-controlled clinical trials with known concentrations and highly-characterized formulations in order to define CBD's role in preventing and treating early SARS-CoV-2 infection. The necessary human in vivo concentration and optimal route and formulation remain to be defined. We strongly caution against the urge to take CBD in presently available formulations as a preventative or treatment therapy at this time, especially without the knowledge of a rigorous randomized clinical trial with this natural product (23).
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSWe thank the members of the SARS-CoV-2 host response team in Chicago for stimulating discussions and support with particular thanks to Julian Solway, Rick Morimoto, Nissim Hay, Anne Sperling, HuanHuan Chen, Raphael Lee, Raymond Roos, Shannon Elf, Alexander Muir, Gokhan Mutlu, Jay Pinto, Steven White, Nickolai Dulin, Ray Moellering, Viswanathan Natarajan, Leonitis Platanias, Karen Ridge and HuanHuan Chen. We thank Dominique Missiakas for facilitating access to the University of Chicago Howard Taylor Ricketts Facility by providing protocols and trained scientists. We also thank Nicole Rosner and Kathleen Cagney for proposing and facilitating analysis of clinical data, and Mark Ratain for consideration of pharmacokinetic issues. We thank the University of Chicago Genomics Facility (RRID:SCR_019196) especially Sandhiya Arun and Pieter Faber, for their assistance with RNA sequencing. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the University of Chicago Vice Provost for Research, Karen Kim, and the Dean of the Biological Sciences Division, Kenneth Polonsky, for their steadfast support.
Funding:This work was supported by:
BIG Vision grant from the University of Chicago (M.R.R.)
National Institutes of Health grant R01 GM121735 (M.R.R.)
National Institutes of Health grant R01 CA184494 (M.R.R.)
National Institutes of Health grant R01 AI137514 (G.R.)
National Institutes of Health grant R01 AI127518 (G.R.)
National Institutes of Health grant R01 AI134980 (G.R.)
National Institutes of Health grant R01 CA219815 (S.A.O.)
National Institutes of Health grant R35 GM119840 (B.C.D)
National Institutes of Health grant P30 CA014599 (University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center Support grant)
Competing interests:Five of the authors (MRR, GR, LCN, DY and JMM) filed a provisional patent entitled ''Method of use of Cannabidiol as an antiviral agent''. Receipt of the provisional patient was acknowledged by the USPTO on November 30, 2020. S.A.O. is a cofounder and consultant at OptiKira., L.L.C. (Cleveland, OH).
FootnotesData and materials availability: All data, code, and materials used in the analysis will be available in some form to any researcher for purposes of reproducing or extending the analysis except when limited by materials transfer agreements (MTAs). Raw and processed RNA-seq data will be deposited into the GEO database.
Materials and Methods
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The Emperor's New Clothes: Lizzo and ''The Naked Dress''
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 15:04
It may have been Cardi B's birthday party, but the headlines from last Monday evening's soiree were all about Lizzo. The Rumors singer set the internet on fire with a series of Instragram posts revealing what she wore'--or rather, didn't wear'--to the event.
What followed was a modern-day Emperor's New Clothes, with fashion writers at major publications falling all over themselves to praise the singer's dress. As if the ''dress'''--which resembled a purple fishing net and was completely see-through'--had anything at all to do with it.
Photo source: Backgrid
PopSugar declared the dress ''easily the sexiest thing we've seen [Lizzo] wear.'' Women's Health called the dress ''iconic'' and said that Lizzo looked ''fitter than ever.'' Seventeen praised Lizzo for ''serving hella booty'' and called her dress ''gorgeous.''
''Naked dresses'''--yes, there's actually a term for them'--aren't new. Rihanna wore one back in 2014 and, more recently, Meghan Fox wore one to the VMAs, while Zo Kravitz wore one to the Met Gala. Other celebrities have worn them, too, over the years.
But let's get real: it's not the dress all these people are gushing over. (The dress is essentially one of those mesh bags they sell mandarin oranges out of at the grocery store.) No, it's not Lizzo's dress. It's her body. That's what we're all looking at, right? Just like the Emperor in Hans Christian Andersen's folktale, Lizzo is walking around completely and utterly naked and, somehow, everyone around her is fawning all over her dress.
The ''body positivity movement'''--which seeks to convince us that overweight is actually healthy'--probably has something do with the gushing praise that rained down on Lizzo Monday night. (If we call her ''sexy'' and ''gorgeous'' and ''fitter than ever'' no one can accuse us of ''fat shaming.'') But the issue here isn't really ''body positivity.'' (I'm sure that Lizzo's body is sexy to some, and nakedness is titillating regardless of size.) In reality, the problem with ''naked dresses'' is that they leave the wearer, well, naked. And they allow us all to voyeuristically comment on a woman's body as if we're talking about something much more innocuous: her dress.
Imagine if, instead of write-ups on Lizzo's dress, the same fashion outlets wrote up their thoughts on her body. ''Lizzo arrived at the party sporting two large breasts and three to four rolls of belly fat.'' We'd be calling the feminism police faster than you could say '' #MeToo .'' But isn't that really what we're all talking about? Lizzo's body? And anybody else's body who chooses to wear a ''naked dress'' in public? The dress itself isn't really worth discussing.
The whole thing is a con'--and a pretty good one too. In the name of feminism, show us your boobs. The Emperor's not wearing any clothes.
VIDEO - Disclose.tv on Twitter: "NEW - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, when asked by a reporter if she was creating two classes of people, with the vaccinated receiving special privileges, confirmed, "That is what it is, yep". https://t.co/4VDU
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 13:46
Disclose.tv : NEW - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, when asked by a reporter if she was creating two classes of people'... https://t.co/PsyesAoq3T
Sun Oct 24 12:24:24 +0000 2021
seglow.eth : @disclosetv Lol I love the salt from anti-vaxxers, getting everything they deserve ''¤¸
Sun Oct 24 13:46:15 +0000 2021
Jamesvx8 : @disclosetv Talking about grabbing the bull by the horns ððð
Sun Oct 24 13:46:01 +0000 2021
K3 : @disclosetv * safe environment..*The vaccine offers near zero protection from infection..This lady *knows that*'... https://t.co/UxviQXHPsQ
Sun Oct 24 13:45:59 +0000 2021
'-- á´á´É´Êá´ '-- : @disclosetv How does this even make sense? If you're vaccinated then you are 'protected' you should not be worried about the unvaccinated ð¤¯
Sun Oct 24 13:45:52 +0000 2021
DeVilleWannaB : @disclosetv What an angry grotesque shell of a human. ð¤®
Sun Oct 24 13:45:44 +0000 2021
Martin Stothard : @disclosetv Doublethink.
Sun Oct 24 13:45:04 +0000 2021
Dan Smith : @disclosetv This woman is pure evil
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Paolo : @disclosetv She is very unlikable and fake. Wow
Sun Oct 24 13:44:44 +0000 2021
EMARGOR : @disclosetv She is part of the ''Variant''
Sun Oct 24 13:44:34 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Pharmacy manager quits over store intercom: 'I will not give this poison to people' - America's Frontline Doctors
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 13:12
Did Safeway just become safer? Safeway supermarket manager Nichole Belland this week used the Cortez, Colorado Safeway supermarket intercom to inform customers know that she was quitting so as not to administer ''this poison'' to people, apparently referring to the COVID-19 shot.
''This is Nichole Belland, pharmacy manager for Safeway store at 1892 of Cortez,'' she said. ''I quit effective immediately because I will not give this poison to people. Wake up, everybody. This is poison. This is hurting people. I've seen it. I've seen customers die. Wake up, do not take it.''
En espa±ol aqu
VIDEO - Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) - YouTube
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 11:50
VIDEO - This is WAR! Furious EU row explodes as bitter MEPs erupt '' Von der Leyen left reeling | Politics | News | Express.co.uk
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 11:45
Polish PM applauded only by the far-rightMarcin Zaborowski, policy director at the GLOBALSEC thinktank, has commented that Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki failed to impress at EU parliament today.
Mr Zaborowski tweeted: "Poland PM failed to charm the European Parliament today. He was applauded only by far-right AFD and FN, vast majority of MEPs were unmoved."
Indeed, multiple MEPs used their platform today to warn the Polish PM that he should be concerned by the level of support he has garnered on the far right.
#Poland PM failed to charm the European Parliament today. He was applauded only by far-right #afd and #FN, vast majority of MEPs were unmoved
\u2014 Marcin Zaborowski (@MaZaborowski) October 19, 2021 Leaked emails question the independence of the Polish judiciaryIn Strasbourg, Mateusz Morawiecki insisted on the independence of the Polish judiciary in general and the constitutional court in particular.
However, recently email exchanges between Mr Morawiecki and his head of the firm were published, according to which decisions about judicial posts, including for a politically controlled special chamber at the Supreme Court, were closely coordinated between the Prime Minister, the Polish President and the constitutional court president Julia PrzyÅÄbska, who was not authorised for this.
Mateusz Morawiecki denies attempting 'Polexit'The Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland has released footage of prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki attending the European parliament to engage in a debate about Polish judiciary.
Throughout the debate, members from across the house accused Mr Morawiecki of attempting a 'Polexit' - an accusation he strenuously denies.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, appeared to lose her patience with him when he levelled an attack on Germany's Nord Stream II deal.
'We will not allow you to steal our children's future,' says MEPSpeaking in the European parliament, Polish MEP Bartosz Arlukowicz told the prime minister "W e, Poles, are not going to allow you to steal our children's future."
Polish opposition MEP @Arlukowicz concludes the European Parliament's Rule of Law debate by addressing prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki directly.'Prime minister, we, Poles, are not going to allow you to steal our children's future' pic.twitter.com/126rlFiRYm
\u2014 Naomi O'Leary (@NaomiOhReally) October 19, 2021 You lied so much! rages MEPPolish MEP Andrzej Halicki has accused Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki of "[lying] so much" during the debate today about Polish judiciary supremacy.
He said: "Prime Minister, you have lied so much that it's impossible to refute everything you've said.
"Who are you relying on? Who is Kaczynski relying on? You're talking about us being on the wrong side, but you have communist friends and people from the era of martial law.
"We will not be defeated."
You lied so much! rages MEP (Image: EuropeanParliament)
Do not let the rule breakers win! pleads MEPDutch MEP Malik Azmani has urged Ursula von der Leyen to take action against Poland for disrespecting the EU.
He said: [The Polish prime minister] calls abiding by the law 'blackmail'.
"I'm not susceptible to blackmail, Prime Minister.
"Madam president von der Leyen, you correctly call yourself the guardian of the treaties, but only words saying you are concerned.
"This parliament has been conserved for many years now, and we have repeatedly called for action.
"You must reject the base recovery plan. You must trigger the rule of law mechanism. Don't let the rule breakers win.
"We cannot afford another two years of stalemate."
Communists and thieves! rages former PMBeata SzydÅo, MEP and former prime minister of Poland, has raged at the Polish MEPs within the European parliament who have sided with the EU in the debate around Polish judiciary.
She said: "I am ashamed of those Polish MEPs who attack their own fatherland from this chamber.
"They are either part of Poland's communist past, or they are responsible for the theft that took place during privatisation."
Communists and thieves! rages former PM (Image: EuropeanParliament)
'You will not kick Poland out of the EU!' rages former PMBeata SzydÅo, MEP and former prime minister of Poland, has raged at the suggestion that Poland will leave the EU.
She said: "You will not kick Poland, out of the European Union.
"Poland is and will remain in the European Union because that is the decision of the will of the Polish people and it's time to stop the lies.
"It's time to stop the falsehoods that you have been propagating."
VDL reaffirms belief in the European legal orderUrsula von der Leyen has reaffirmed her belief in the European legal order in a speech to the European parliament.
She said: "Yes, democracy and the rule of law are slower than autocracy.
"And that is because they make a point of listening to everyone's point of views, before Judgement is decided upon, or measures are taken.
"That is the difference with the despots and autocrats in this world, decisions are legitimate and enforceable.
"That is why the European legal order is so convincing and we will defend it together with the defence of the people of Poland, thank you very much."
No Covid recovery fund without change! says VDLUrsula von der Leyen has suggested Poland will not have access to the Covid recovery fund without judiciary reform.
Addressing the European parliament, she said: "A lot has been said about the recovery fund, we have been absolutely clear.
"It's set in law, there are investments which are coupled with reforms.
"The reforms have to follow the country specific recommendations, and one long term country specific recommendation for Poland is to restore the independence of the judiciary.
"That is why we need to see the dismantling of the distal disciplinary regime and disciplinary court, which affects the independence of judges."
You're trying to escape the debate! rages VDLUrsula von der Leyen has accused the Polish premier Mateusz Morawiecki of attempting to deflect during a debate about EU law.
She said: "Well by coming out with Nord Stream your arguments are not getting better, you're just escaping the debate!
"Don't try to divert, that's the debate right now hear about the rule of law and the primacy of European law, don't try to run away or to escape.
"That is undermining any of these essential pillars and puts our European democracy at risk.
"We cannot let this happen, we will not let this happen. This is a matter that affects us all."
You're trying to escape the debate! rages VDL (Image: EuropeanParliament)
Polish PM lashes out against hypocrisy of GermanyPolish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has lashed out at the hypocrisy of a German MEP accusing him of colluding with Russia despite Germany signing a billion pound project with Putin.
Mr Morawiecki raged: "Something else I'd like to comment on briefly is the Putin angle, a German MEP was talking about this.
"They're building Nord Stream II with Putin!
"And they're responsible for a spike in the gas price.
"The former foreign minister who's sitting here, talked about Nord Stream as being a second Molotov-Ribbentrop pact."
The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact refers to the non-aggression signed between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that enabled those two powers to partition Poland between them.
Poland fully respects the treaties, insists Polish PMPolish premier Mateusz Morawiecki insists Poland does respect the EU treaties.
He said: "The Polish Constitutional Court has never found the EU treaties to be incompatible in their entirety with the Constitution and that's an important part of this debate.
"On the contrary, Poland, fully respects the treaties and that is why the Polish Constitutional Court has found that a specific interpretation of certain provisions in the treaties is incompatible with the Polish Constitution."
Polish PM accuses EU parliament of not understanding his stancePolish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has accused the EU parliament of fundamentally misunderstanding his stance on the EU law.
He said: "The difference lies in whether the rule of law is being used as a pretext to ask things of member states which are not in the treaties and few of you have mentioned this.
"The masters of the treaties are the member states, and they have allocated certain competencies to the European Union, and it cannot act beyond those competencies."
Polish PM accuses EU parliament of not understanding his stance (Image: EuropeanParliament)
This is war! says MEPSpanish MEP Sira Rego has railed against Poland in a scathing speech which accuses them of initiating a war over civil rights.
She said: "The Polish judiciary is rebelling. They won't accept the European legal order, but they don't do so protect their workers - the lowest paid in the EU.
"To do away with decades of austerity, affecting pensions, health care, education and salaries in general is being done to further your plan for authoritarianism.
"In a few weeks it will be a year since abortion was made illegal to which we must add the harassment of the LGBTI community, restrictions on the free press, the racist anti migrant discourse to control judiciary.
"The Polish government wants to be free to violate human rights, but wants everyone to share the bill.
"In essence, this is not a question of sovereignty, this is a declaration of war on rights and no doubt the Defence of Human Rights is something which all and commit to whatever we are.
"We need to be met in Poland, and it is something that we will commit to continue building a Europe which is of Europe of equals."
This is war! says MEP (Image: European Parliament)
Sovereignty should not be controversial, argues MEPDutch MEP Robert Roos has defended Poland, arguing their sovereignty should not be controversial.
He said: "Today we are discussing a Polish Court decision, saying that in cases where the EU has no competence, Polish law applies.
"This should not be controversial. Last year the German Constitutional Court came to similar conclusions.
"The pretty controversial decision was made in Luxembourg. European judges interfering in the organisation of Polish justice system, which clearly falls outside your authority of the European tradition.
"Your colleagues, always use European institution over national authorities, out of a misguided sense of pro European sympathy.
"The true European should accept the division of powers between member states and Brussels, the true European should accept the European that the European is not a super state that an alliance of sovereign nation states, and the true European should accept our unity in diversity.
"Today should have been a lessons in humility and democracy, not an encouragement to continue this undemocratic attack on the Polish Member State."
Sovereignty should not be controversial, argues MEP (Image: EuropeanParliament)
'Realise the error of your ways,' warns MEPBelgian MEP Gerolf Annemans has warned the EU to "realise the error of [their] ways".
He said: "It seems that all too many people think that in Lisbon, the decisions that were taken, then determine for time immemorial how the EU will operate.
"But let me say to you, colleagues, that the world is changing and that countries are changing, and the error of your ways, is becoming ever more clear.
"It's time you realised the error of your ways. 15 million Europeans decided that they would like to take back their sovereignty.
"It is time that you realise that the citizens in the entirety of Europe are not happy with contracting out their sovereignty entirely to the EU and its institutions."
'Realise the error of your ways,' warns MEP (Image: EuropeanParliament)
The EU is obsessed with Poland! says MEPItalian MEP Raffaele Fitto has accused the EU of obsessing over Poland at the detriment of more important issues, such as Nord Stream II.
Addressing the European Parliament, Mr Fitto said: "To my mind, this is the 15th or even the 20th time we've been discussing Poland and we constantly come back to these issues in the European Parliament.
"It is obsessed with Poland effectively!"
He went on to accuse those in power of fixing debate.
He said: "It would actually be much more appropriate to be discussing other things people are talking constantly here, about Putin and Russia and six times in the conference of presidents we have asked to have Nord Stream II on the agenda for a debate in Parliament.
"So it's quite clear that the agenda is simply fixed according to the preferences of the powers that be.
"But this is an own goal by the European institutions which are seeking to weaponize European issues in order to attack a perfectly legitimately elected government."
MEP compares Polish PM to PutinMEP Terry Reintke has compared Polish premier Mateusz Morawiecki to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
She said: "I see a lot of similarities between Putin and what your government is doing.
"What you are trying to do is to convert Poland into an authoritarian state with weak democratic institutions and a weak enforcement of fundamental rights of its citizens."
She also said that she questioned whether he might have secretly opened a bottle of champagne with Mr Putin after the announcement at the Polish tribunal came back in his favour.
Mister Morawiecki, the majority of Polish citizens disagrees with you.They want to live a strong Poland, part of a strong European Union based on rule of law and fundamental rights.
Bring Poland back on the path of rule of law and implement the ECJ rulings.#Poland pic.twitter.com/flOnojjM8U
\u2014 Terry Reintke (@TerryReintke) October 19, 2021 Same reasons Brexiteers wanted out! Verhofstadt likens 'sinister' Poland row to UK EU exitGuy Verhofstadt has furiously blasted Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in a speech to the EU parliament as he likened the central European country's row with the EU to a hard Brexit.
The Polish leader defended his country's Constitutional Tribunal's decision that parts of EU law are incompatible with the country's constitution.
Mr Morawiecki said: "We have 27 member states in Europe, member states remain sovereign and masters of the Treaties."
But responding to his speech, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt pointed out that the Polish top court's ruling touched on the very same issues hard Brexiteers fought for when campaigning for Brexit.
He blasted: "You didn't talk about the ruling of the Constitutional Court, because the ruling of the court is very clear.
"Article 1 and Article 19 of the Treaty are null and void in Poland.
"They are in contradiction with the Polish constitution. That's the decision of the Constitutional court in Poland.
"And it is a Treaty, with Article 1 and Article 19 that you have accepted in 2004.
"And these Article 1 and Article 19, do you know what they are?
"Article 1 is an ever closer union and Article 19 is the central role of the European Court of Justice.
"By the way, it is exactly for the same reasons that the hard Brexiteers went out of the European Union - for these two articles."
Same reasons Brexiteers wanted out! Verhofstadt likens 'sinister' Poland row to UK EU exit (Image: EuropeanParliament)
They should not be funded by EU money! says MEPGerman MEP Martin Schirdewan has urged Ursula von der Leyen to act and punish Poland.
He said: "Ms von der Leyen at the start your presidency you talked about existing conflicts between Poland and wanting to resolve them.
"Since then, the wheels of justice haven't really rolled anywhere. And we've seen that the conflicts have just got worse.
"Passivity from the Commission and from you Ms von der Leyen has brought us to this situation.
"Please, finally assume your responsibility. The time for fine speeches is over, please act.
"Make sure that the rule of law conditionality mechanism be applied, and stop appeasing the authoritarian powers, their policy should not be funded by European Money."
They should not be funded by EU money! says MEP (Image: EuropeanParliament)
'The EU is using the Covid recovery fund as blackmail against the Polish, says MEPFrench MEP Nicolas Bay has accused the EU of using the Covid recovery fund as blackmail against the Polish government for being sovereign and conservative.
He said: "The Polish people have been taken hostage by using the post Covid recovery plan as a way to apply financial pressure.
"The methods are apparent, the aims are also apparent [VDL], your adversaries are not looking for the truth."
French MEP Nicolas Bay (Image: EuropeanParliament)
'An attack on the EU itself,' says German MEPGerman MEP Ska Keller has accused the Polish premier of launching an attack against the EU itself.
She said: "Your government has turned its back on the rule of law, on the independence of the judiciary, on minorities, on almost anyone who does not fit your reactionary ideology.
"And with this latest judgment, your government's chosen judges also turn their back on the very principle of the EU itself and the strength of our common laws.
Dear colleagues and Dear President von der Leyen, let's make no mistake, this does not just concern Poland.
"What the Polish government has done and is doing is an attack on the very existence of the EU itself.
"Our union is not just an economic alignment it's a union of peace, cooperation of democracy."
'An attack on the EU itself,' says German MEP (Image: EuropeanParliament)
MEP accuses Polish PM of 'infecting the minds of Polish people with lies'Dutch MEP Malik Azmani said: "Throughout the most painful history of this continent, it has been Poland, and it's citizens that have suffered most from European divisions.
"That's why your attempts, Prime Minister to threaten the stability and safety of the Union are even more sinister.
"For years you have been infecting the minds of Polish people with lies and manipulation about European rules and regulations.
"Can you tell me which laws, exactly, you find so reprehensible, protecting freedom of religion, the right of individuals, or maybe the freedom of press, or dependence of judiciary?"
MEP accuses Polish PM of 'infecting the minds of Polish people with lies' (Image: EuropeanParliament)
'You do not understand what the EU is!'Spanish MEP Iratxe Garca has accused the Polish premier of not understanding the purpose of the EU.
She said: "You say that you don't want Polexit, and let me be clear my political group doesn't want that either.
"But this is the EU, a serious organisation based on legal certainty.
"Unlike dictatorships or absolute monarchies, the European Union is based on law.
"The law is the same for everyone and it guarantees peace because it's fair predictable, because it's complied with.
"You're asking for respect respect for diversity, we need to have more of this in the wealth of our union, but what makes it possible to decide amongst all of us to come to agreements amongst all of us are rules which guarantees equality for all.
"That's why someone threatens not to respect those rules, they walk towards the door on their own.
"No one is pushing you towards the door.
"When you and the party set this out as a confrontation between Polish and European sovereignty, you demonstrate that you have not understood what the EU is.
"70 years ago, the founding fathers understood that in an interdependent world, the best way of exercising sovereignty in certain areas was by sharing it.
"Together we can better solve problems. Together we are stronger."
Iratxe Garca speaking in Brussels (Image: EuropeanParliament)
'We need to play by the rules,' says WeberManfred Weber has argued that "true patriots" are "convinced Europeans" and warned the Polish leaders to "play by the rules".
He said: "Poland is a proud people which has taken its rightful place in the family of European nations, and we welcome them and we are glad that we can live together as part of Europe, so it is not about the Poles, it is not about the country it's about Polish policy of as implemented by the government.
"So, let us be factual, Europe is not a state. Europe is a community of states, and we have undertaken shared commitments, which regulate the way our community works, we need to play by the rules."
He continued: "The genuine patriots were out in the street with a Polish flags, proud of these flags and proud of the European flags they held on the other hand.
"A patriot is not a nationalist and must not be a nationalist he should be. Genuine patriots are convinced Europeans."
'We need to play by the rules,' says Weber (Image: EuropeanParliament)
'The EU is NOT a state!' says Polish PMPolish premier Mateusz Morawiecki has used his speech at today's plenary to remind the MEPs that the EU is not a state.
He said: "The EU is a strong political and economic organism.
"It is the strongest, best defended international organisation in history, but the EU is not a state- I'm sorry.
"We have 27 member states in a Europe member states remain European sufferance, they remain musters of treaties and it is the member states who decide what the competences delegated to the EU are in EU treaties we delegated."
'I will not have you blackmail Poland!' says MorawieckiPolish premier Mateusz Morawiecki has warned the EU not to blackmail Poland as a result of their current disagreement.
He said: "You must not impose a decision of ethics, without a legal basis.
"It is unacceptable, to talk about financial penalties, etc - I reject the language of threats.
"And as I complete, I will not have you, politicians, blackmail Poland, Blackmail must not be a method of policy conducted."
Highest law in Poland is the Constitution, says Polish PM Polish premier Mateusz Morawiecki has repeated his assertion that the Polish constitution comes before EU law.
He said: "Let me repeat, the highest law of the Republic of Poland is of the Constitution.
"It stands above any other sources of law. This principle will be defended by Polish parliament and government.
"But let me stress about the Polish Constitutional Court has never declared that the stipulations of EU treaties are irreconcilable with a Polish law.
"On the contrary, Poland, abides by EU treaties, the Polish tribunals stated that one specific interpretation of your treatise is irreconcilable.
"With a Polish Constitution, resulting from the recent verdict, and by the Court of Justice."
Stop spreading lies! says Polish PM Polish premier Mateusz Morawiecki has said the current disagreement between the EU and Poland has come about because of a misunderstanding and has warned that people should stop spreading "lies" about Poland's motivations.
He said: "Ladies and gentlemen, I do realise that the recent decision of the Polish Constitutional Court has become an object of a fundamental misunderstanding.
"If I were to hear that a Constitutional Court in another member state has cancelled or declared null and void that EU treaties, I wouldn't be surprised, but I will try to check.
"So, this is the reason why I am here I want to tell you what the bone of objection is.
"We should not be spreading further lies about Poland's poor legacies or Poland leaving the EU, etc, etc."
A number of areas remain within the competencies of the member states, insists Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki said: "A number of areas remain within the competencies of the member states.
"There is no doubt that EU law has primacy over national acts of law in those areas that were delegated by the member states of the EU.
"So similarly to our constitutional courts the Polish Constitutional Court has asked the question, whether it is the EU code that decides where the line of division is between EU competencies and Member States competencies.
"So, if any new competencies are to be granted to the EU, somebody has to decide whether they are reconcilable with national law or the Court of Justice seems to be seems to be deriving new competencies for the EU."
Morawiecki is 'part of the pro-European majority in Poland'Mateusz Morawiecki said: "The trust in the EU is still at the level of 58 percent.
"That is 58 percent of Polish citizens who are saying Poland will remain an EU member state.
"Our government is part of this pro European majority in Poland.
"Of course, this does not mean that Polish citizens are not feeling a concern for the EU's future this concern is well founded."
Polish PM slams tax havens in the EUPolish premier Mateusz Morawiecki has slammed the tax havens currently operating in the EU.
He said: "We want to defend four basic principles the freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and pupil.
"We do not want to support, for instance, any tax havens.
"Some EU states still maintain tax havens.
"Ladies and gentlemen, tax havens in the EU is the richest member states, making even more money.
"How is this a part of our EU values?"
How is this part of EU values? asks Polish PM (Image: EuropeanParliament)
'Their rights are at stake,' says VDLUrsula von der Leyen said: "This is the first time ever, The Court of a member state finds that the EU treaties are incompatible with the national constitution.
"And this has serious consequences for the Polish people, because the ruling has a direct impact on the protection of the judiciary ruling undermines the protection of the judicial independence as guaranteed by article 19 of the treaty, and as interpreted by the European Court of Justice.
"Without independent points, people have less protection. And consequently, their rights are at stake."
'Direct challenge to the EU,' says VDLUrsula von der Leyen has expressed her deep concern at the deteriorating situation between the EU and Poland.
Addressing the European Houses of Parliament, she said: "Honourable Members, the European Commission is at the moment carefully assessing this judgement.
But I can already tell you today- I am deeply concerned.
"This ruling calls into question the foundations of the European Union.
"It is a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order.
"Only a common legal order provides equal rights, legal certainty, mutual trust between member states, and therefore common policies."
'Direct challenge to the EU,' says VDL (Image: European Parliament)
VDL vows to use 'all powers' to bring Poland to heel Ursula von der Leyen has vowed the European Commission will use ''all its powers'' to bring Poland to heel after the Polish Constitutional Court challenged the supremacy of EU law in the country.
She went on to say she was ''deeply concerned'' by the ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal.
Ms von der Leyen said: "EU law has primacy over national law, including constitutional provisions.
''This is what all EU member states have signed up to as members of the European Union.
''We will use all the powers that we have under the treaties to ensure this.
''We will uphold the founding principles of our Union's legal order- our 450 million Europeans rely on this.''
When is the plenary session?EU leaders are set to discuss the crisis at a plenary session today, Tuesday 19, at 8am.
The meeting comes a day after the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, said the EU risked ruin or becoming a dictatorship should it continue to "blackmail" his nation.
EU law is supreme, but not if it concerns the constitution! insists Polish PM Polish premier Mateusz Morawiecki argues that EU law does have supremacy over Polish law in most cases, but not in the case of its constitution.
He says it is usual for constitutional courts across Europe to make similar rulings.
Mr Morawiecki went on to accuse the commission of trying to overrule the tribunal, which critics say is stuffed with the prime minister's political allies.
VIDEO - The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk issues a threat to the People! - YouTube
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 11:39
VIDEO - A look at why North Carolina's $1 million vaccine lottery did not work - YouTube
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 11:28
VIDEO - (13) Acyn on Twitter: "Obama: You can't run ads telling me you're a regular old hoops playing dish washing fleece wearing guy but quietly cultivate support from those who seek to tear down our democracy'.... https://t.co/0u6hZ8mbwO" / Twitter
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 11:16
Acyn : Obama: You can't run ads telling me you're a regular old hoops playing dish washing fleece wearing guy but quietly'... https://t.co/c8kLBoU2QP
Sat Oct 23 19:43:36 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Virologist who helped develop Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on mixing doses - YouTube
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 11:09
VIDEO - China - Surveillance state or way of the future? | DW Documentary - YouTube
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VIDEO - Ep 73 Osterholm Update COVID 19: Don't Think Like June - YouTube
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VIDEO - Covid-1984 on Twitter: "Florida's Surgeon General @FLSurgeonGen On Mandates... https://t.co/CPytmcJgis" / Twitter
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 10:36
Covid-1984 : Florida's Surgeon General @FLSurgeonGen On Mandates... https://t.co/CPytmcJgis
Fri Oct 22 17:04:29 +0000 2021
VIDEO - Plantation Shutters Anti Joe Biden Florida Commercial - YouTube
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 20:45
VIDEO - Fauci LIES On Gain Of Function Research CONFIRMED By NIH, EcoHealth Failed To Report Findings - YouTube
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 20:41
VIDEO - 2020 Annual Wrap Up: The Going Direct Reset '-- The Central Bankers Make Their Move with John Titus '' Solari Report
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 20:26
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VIDEO - KMUs Familien- Kleinunternehmen, wacht auf und k¤mpft um Euer 'berleben
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 20:26
"Ist der wirtschaftliche Zusammenbruch geplant und arrangiert?" Catherine Austin Fitts | COMMENTARY #20
Catherine Austin Fitts, amerikanische Investmentbankerin und fr¼here Beauftragte im US-amerikanischen Ministerium f¼r Wohnungswesen u'...
"Ist der wirtschaftliche Zusammenbruch geplant und arrangiert?" Catherine Austin Fitts | COMMENTARY #20
Catherine Austin Fitts, amerikanische Investmentbankerin und fr¼here Beauftragte im US-amerikanischen Ministerium f¼r Wohnungswesen und Stadtentwicklung, bespricht den 2019er G7-Plan, der die komplette Umstrukturierung und Digitalisierung des Finanzsystems und der Wirtschaft vorsieht, d.h. "The Going Direct Reset" (siehe auch den gleichnamigen Solari Report mit John Titus).
COMMENTARY #19COMMENTARY #18COMMENTARY #17
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VIDEO - Phoenix Suns' Robert Sarver 'accused of sexual harassment' amid claims the NBA will 'forcibly remove' him as owner
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 19:57
ROBERT Sarver, owner of the Phoenix Suns, is being accused of racism, sexism and sexual harassment in a series of incidents, according to reports.
The news was announced in a tweet from Jordan Schultz's Twitter page Friday afternoon.
Robert Sarver, 17-year owner of the Phoenix Suns, finds himself in the middle of a scandal with claims of racism and sexual harassment In the tweet, Schultz stated that NBA is preparing itself for a "massive story."
Schultz also said that "with enough evidence to support such claims, there's a real chance the league would forcibly remove Sarver."
It's unclear at this time exactly what the claims stem from.
Sarver issued a statement on Friday night denying any wrongdoing.
"I am wholly shocked by some of the allegations purported by ESPN about me, personally, or about the Phoenix Suns or Mercury organizations," the statement says.
"While I can't begin to know how to respond to some of the vague suggestions made by mostly anonymous voices, I can certainly tell you that some of the claims that I find completely repugnant to my nature or the character of the Suns/Mercury workplace, and I can tell you they never, ever happened."
He went on to deny and condemn any suggestion that he or his organization discriminated on the basis of race or gender.
Sarver purchased the Suns in 2004 for $401million.
The team is coming off their first NBA Finals appearance in decades.
Earlier this week, Schultz also tweeted that no deal was reached between the Suns and franchise center Deandre Ayton, stating that Sarver refused to give the max deal the player wanted.
The biggest moment in the rise of the Suns this year was acquiring All-NBA point guard Chris Paul.
Sarver, 59, is an American businessman and co-founder of Southwest Value Partners, a real estate development company.
Aside from owning the Phoenix Suns, he is also the owner of the soccer league Real Club Deportivo Mallorca (RCD).
Sarver hails from Tuscon, Arizona, and began his career working for his father's company, American Savings and Loan at just 16 years old.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Sarver is estimated to be worth $400million.
The entrepreneur has amassed his wealth through his many business ventures.
VIDEO - China's Nightmarish New Bio Weapon Targets Race and Ethnicity - YouTube
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 19:40
VIDEO - Bill Maher defends Dave Chappelle, knocks critics: 'Everyone needs to Netflix and chill the f--- out' | Fox News
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 17:33
Published October 23, 2021
Last Update 8 hrs ago
The 'Real Time' host defended a fellow comedian who has taken heat for comments about trans people in his special 'The Closer'"Real Time" host Bill Maher offered a strong defense of fellow comedian Dave Chappelle amid the uproar over Chappelle's Netflix special.
The streaming giant has stood behind "The Closer," which critics have decried as "transphobic" over remarks Chappelle made supporting J.K. Rowling in that gender is based in fact, declaring himself on "team TERF" (trans-exclusionary radical feminist). The special has caused a stir among some Netflix employees who have slammed their employer for backing Chappelle.
During his opening monologue Friday night, Maher began by acknowledging that Chappelle was in "hot water," drawing some grumbling from his audience.
JOE ROGAN DEFENDS DAVE CHAPPELLE, SAYS HE'S 'IN NO WAY TRANSPHOBIC' AMID NETFLIX SPECIAL UPROAR
"What the f--- was that reaction?" Maher asked. "Everyone needs to Netflix and chill the f--- out on this one."
"Really? Dave's special is offensive but not the show where the Koreans murder each other for money?" Maher quipped, referring to the hit Netflix series "Squid Game."
"Really? Dave's special is offensive but not the show where the Koreans murder each other for money?"
'-- Bill Maher
He continued, "I think people jump to conclusions, people haven't seen it. Just because people call Dave 'transphobic' doesn't mean that he is. Also, Larry? Not a real cable guy."
Maher's audience still seemed timid to react to his remarks on the subject.
He warned them: "Well, get used to this because we're going to be talking about it a lot here."
"We can't be afraid to speak in America," he added.
"We can't be afraid to speak in America."
'-- Bill Maher
Bill Maher defended fellow comedian Dave Chappelle on Friday night's "Real Time."
Later in the panel discussion, the HBO star railed against what he described was the "one true opinion" pushed by the "woke" mob, something he insisted doesn't exist.
"I'm a free-speech guy," Maher said. "Now, I'm Team Dave but that doesn't mean I'm anti-trans. We can have two thoughts in our head at the same time."
'Power differentials'"Woke Racism" author John McWhorter responded by highlighting the urgency to challenge the idea of "power differentials" and that anyone who doesn't toe the line is deemed a "moral pervert and you must be defenestrated and be chased out of the public square."
VANITY FAIR CRITIC ACCUSES NETFLIX OF 'GASLIGHTING US' ON DAVE CHAPPELLE'S 'TRANSPHOBIC' SPECIAL
"That's what we're up against," McWhorter told Maher. "So that's why there are some people who believe there's one truth. They think they found the final solution. They think they are [philospher Immanuel] Kant. They aren't."
Maher then pivoted, telling McWhorter, a linguist, that "words have meaning, but not anymore."
"When I hear 'transphobic,' 'phobic' has a meaning. Fear. I'm not transphobic if I merely disagree with you. It's not hate," Maher said. "One of the reactions from someone who worked at Netflix said, 'This is not an argument with two sides.' Well, right away you lost me. 'It is an argument with trans people who want to be alive and people who don't want us to be.' Well, that's just ridiculous. Dave Chappelle does not want you to not be alive."
"When I hear 'transphobic,' 'phobic' has a meaning. Fear. I'm not transphobic if I merely disagree with you. It's not hate."
'-- Bill Maher
"Amen," former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang agreed.
NBC NEWS SLAMMED FOR DAVE CHAPPELLE HIT PIECE RELYING ON 3 RANDOM TWITTER USERS OUTRAGED OVER TRANS REMARKS
"You know, you're not automatically right if you're trans," Maher continued. "You're completely equal, you're just not automatically right and it doesn't behoove everybody to get their mind around very new changes, I mean, we were boys and girls for a very long time. It's only been ten years since '' how long have we had gay marriage, you know? I mean, talk about the Democratic voter, I'm sure there's a guy in Ohio going, 'I just got on board with gay marriage, could you give me a minute?'"
"You're not automatically right if you're trans. You're completely equal, you're just not automatically right."
'-- Bill Maher
"This idea that we're not any gender when we're born is very new and very radical that you're born, it's just jump ball! '... That's a very new idea and I'm not sure if I'm down with all of it and I don't have to be," Maher added.
Bill Maher's guests on Friday included former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, center, and 'Woke Racism' author John McWhorter. (Getty Images)
Simplistic thinkingMcWhorter responded by saying the members of the woke mob "think themselves as ahead of the curve" and "indicating some sort of higher wisdom" but actually have a "very simple way of looking at things," equating it to the narrow logic of a "5-year-old."
Yang added, "Being a comedian seems like a really, really tough job. I think we can agree that comedians' primary role is to entertain, and it's sometimes to make us think. But no one thinks it's a comedian's role to tell us how to think, or what to think and attributing that role to Dave or any other comedian doesn't serve art, the artist or society at all."
"No one thinks it's a comedian's role to tell us how to think, or what to think."
'-- Andrew Yang
DAVE CHAPPELLE SHOWING NO SIGNS OF GETTING CANCELED AFTER SOLD-OUT SHOW IN LONDON
Maher then pointed to the Rotten Tomatoes score of "The Closer," which earned only 43% approval among critics but a whopping 95% from the audience.
"It says a lot about the differentiation between real people," Maher said.
He blasted NPR's review of the Netflix special, which accused Chappelle of "using White privilege to excuse his homophobia and transphobia.
"Wait, now Dave Chappelle can have White privilege? I'm really confused now," Maher quipped. "Can someone explain that to me? Where does this insanity come from? '... I've done three editorials on White loathing. It's like a kink. White people needing to hate themselves. It's like the guy likes to be whipped and told he's a worm by some woman with a high heel in his neck. Isn't it?"
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Maher also pointed to the walkout organized by trans Netflix employees and was astonished at how the streaming giant "has a lot of trans people working there."
"Isn't that a story in itself? You know, doesn't that say this company is pretty enlightened to begin with? I mean, sometimes you can ask for too much, even if you're a minority," Maher said, adding, "Crazy-thought talk, I know."
VIDEO - (20) Alex Thompson on Twitter: "Republican member of congress ending his floor speech Thursday with ''let's go Brandon,'' the right wing euphemism for ''fuck joe biden'' https://t.co/i9IvuuEfbu" / Twitter
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 16:28
Alex Thompson : Republican member of congress ending his floor speech Thursday with ''let's go Brandon,'' the right wing euphemism fo'... https://t.co/aXYEnOpWVu
Fri Oct 22 14:31:26 +0000 2021
dr string7 : @AlexThomp Let's go Alex!
Sat Oct 23 16:23:56 +0000 2021
Mike Rack : @AlexThomp ð¤£ðð¤£. That's awesome and too funny!! #LetsGoBrandon
Sat Oct 23 16:18:04 +0000 2021
Jimbo Saysinger : @AlexThomp The phrase is also an indictment on certain media outlets covering for Biden. The truth on how people re'... https://t.co/YuICqQpAiy
Sat Oct 23 15:58:32 +0000 2021
robin peppin : @AlexThomp An adolescent punk. He thinks he's cool, but he is anything but.
Sat Oct 23 15:51:34 +0000 2021
Larry Dempsey : @AlexThomp Right wing euphemism?!?! You are very confused and out of touch with the American people. ''fuck joe Bide'... https://t.co/dyTJb7T95q
Sat Oct 23 15:45:59 +0000 2021
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Sat, 23 Oct 2021 15:53
VIDEO - 58 mins 215 sec - Sidebar with Scott Adams! Viva & Barnes LIVE - YouTube
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 15:24
VIDEO - Dr. Carol Baker: "Get rid of all the whites" - YouTube
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 15:16
VIDEO - Joe Rogan Kills a Triceratops - YouTube
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 13:55
VIDEO - Chicago aldermen take steps to repeal COVID vaccine mandate
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 12:21
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A group of Chicago aldermen are backing a newly-drafted ordinance which would reallocate power from the mayor to the 50-member City Council.
CHICAGO - A group of Chicago aldermen are backing a newly-drafted ordinance which would reallocate power from the mayor to the 50-member City Council.
Ald. Silvana Tabares of the 23rd Ward drafted an ordinance that would repeal the city's vaccine mandate, and pave the way for any future mandates to require a vote by the City Council to go into effect.
Not surprisingly, Mayor Lori Lightfoot came out fiercely against it.
"It's foolishness, and I am going to do everything I can to stop it," said Lightfoot.
Mayor Lightfoot tore into Tabares, who filed the ordinance this morning.
"The mayor does not get to pass laws on her own," said Tabares. "That is why we have the City Council."
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"I would like to give a huge shout out to Alderman Silvana Tabares," said FOP President John Catanzara via the union's YouTube Channel. "This is not government control right now; it is dictator control. When one person is putting forth city policy and it is a golden edict that can't be challenged, that is a major problem."
Lightfoot accused Tabares of abandoning the priorities of her 23rd Ward constituents and said she was "stunned" that Tabares would "carry the water of a guy like [Catanzara.]"
Tabares called the mayor's remarks "divisive," saying the ordinance is about good policy, not "personality conflicts."
"She's the mayor," said Tabares. "But these are our constituents, and they deserve our respect because they have been working throughout this pandemic."
Tabares still needs the support of at least a dozen more aldermen for that ordinance to move forward in the council.
The FOP has filed a temporary restraining order asking a judge to block the vaccine mandate and order negotiations into arbitration.
That effort is right now pending.
VIDEO - January 6 insurrection and Facebook: Internal docs paint a damning picture - CNN
Sat, 23 Oct 2021 05:14
By Donie O'Sullivan, Tara Subramaniam and Clare Duffy, CNN Business
Updated 8:59 PM EDT, Fri October 22, 2021
(CNN Business) Just days after insurrectionists stormed the Capitol on January 6th, Facebook's Chief Operational Officer Sheryl Sandberg downplayed her company's role in what had happened.
"We know this was organized online. We know that," she said in an interview with Reuters. "We... took down QAnon, Proud Boys, Stop the Steal, anything that was talking about possible violence last week. Our enforcement's never perfect so I'm sure there were still things on Facebook. I think these events were largely organized on platforms that don't have our abilities to stop hate and don't have our standards and don't have our transparency."
But internal Facebook ( FB ) documents reviewed by CNN suggest otherwise. The documents, including an internal post-mortem and one document showing in real time countermeasures Facebook employees were belatedly implementing, paint a picture of a company that was in fact fundamentally unprepared for how the Stop the Steal movement used its platform to organize, and that only truly swung into action after the movement had turned violent.
Asked by CNN about Sandberg's quote and whether she stood by it, a Facebook spokesperson pointed to the greater context around Sandberg's quote. She had been noting that Jan. 6 organization happened largely online, including but not limited to on Facebook's platforms, the spokesperson said.
The documents were provided by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen as evidence to support disclosures she made to the Securities and Exchange Commission and provided to Congress in redacted form by Haugen's legal counsel. The redacted versions were obtained by a consortium of 17 US news organizations, including CNN.
One of Haugen's central allegations about the company focuses on the attack on the Capitol. In a SEC disclosure she alleges, "Facebook misled investors and the public about its role perpetuating misinformation and violent extremism relating to the 2020 election and January 6th insurrection."
Facebook denies the premise of Haugen's conclusions and says Haugen has cherry-picked documents to present an unfair portrayal of the company.
"The responsibility for the violence that occurred on January 6 lies with those who attacked our Capitol and those who encouraged them. We took steps to limit content that sought to delegitimize the election, including labeling candidates' posts with the latest vote count after Mr. Trump prematurely declared victory, pausing new political advertising and removing the original #StopTheSteal Group in November," Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told CNN Friday.
"After the violence at the Capitol erupted and as we saw continued attempts to organize events to dispute the outcome of the presidential election, we removed content with the phrase 'stop the steal' under our Coordinating Harm policy and suspended Trump from our platform."
Facebook also on Friday night published a blog post by its vice president of Integrity, Guy Rosen, about its efforts around the 2020 election.
"Our enforcement was piecemeal" Among the tens of thousands of pages of documents Haugen provided is an internal analysis of how the Stop the Steal and Patriot Party movements spread on Facebook, first reported by BuzzFeed News earlier this year.
"Hindsight is 20:20," the author or authors of the analysis, who are not identifiable from what was provided, write. "[A]t the time it was very difficult to know whether what we were seeing was a coordinated effort to delegitimize the election, or whether it was protected free expression by users who were afraid and confused and deserved our empathy. But hindsight being 20:20 makes it all the more important to look back to learn what we can about the growth of the election delegitimatizing movements that grew, spread conspiracy, and helped incite the Capitol insurrection."
The analysis found that the policies and procedures Facebook had in place were simply not up to the task of slowing, much less halting, the "meteoric" growth of Stop the Steal. For instance, those behind the analysis noted that Facebook treated each piece of content and person or group within Stop the Steal individually, rather than as part of a whole, with dire results.
"Almost all of the fastest growing FB Groups were Stop the Steal during their peak growth," the analysis says. "Because we were looking at each entity individually, rather than as a cohesive movement, we were only able to take down individual Groups and Pages once they exceeded a violation threshold. We were not able to act on simple objects like posts and comments because they individually tended not to violate, even if they were surrounded by hate, violence, and misinformation."
This approach did eventually change, according to the analysis -- after it was too late.
"After the Capitol insurrection and a wave of Storm the Capitol events across the country, we realized that the individual delegitimizing Groups, Pages, and slogans did constitute a cohesive movement," the analysis says.
This was not the only way in which Facebook had failed to anticipate something like Stop the Steal, or in which its response was lacking.
Facebook has for some time now had a policy banning "coordinated inauthentic behavior" on its platforms. This ban allows it to take action against, for instance, the Russian troll army that worked to interfere with the 2016 US election through accounts and pages set up to look as if they were American But, the analysis notes with emphasis, the company had "little policy around coordinated authentic harm" -- that is, little to stop people organizing under their real names and not hiding their intention to get the country to reject the results of the election.
Stop the Steal and Patriot Party groups "were not directly mobilizing offline harm, nor were they directly promoting militarization," the analysis says. "Instead, they were amplifying and normalizing misinformation and violent hate in a way that delegitimized a free and fair democratic election. The harm existed at the network level: an individual's speech is protected, but as a movement, it normalized delegitimization and hate in a way that resulted in offline harm and harm to the norms underpinning democracy."
The analysis does note, however, that once Facebook saw the results of Stop the Steal on January 6th and took action, it was able to deploy measures that stymied the growth of both Stop the Steal and Patriot Party groups.
Facebook's Stone told CNN, "Facebook has taken extraordinary steps to address harmful content and we'll continue to do our part. We also closely worked with law enforcement, both before January 6th and in the days and weeks since, with the goal of ensuring that information linking the people responsible for January 6th to their crimes is available."
Pulling levers Haugen began gathering evidence about the company before she eventually left the tech giant last May. To reduce the chance of getting caught taking screenshots of internal Facebook systems, she used her phone to take photographs of her computer screen.
As the insurrection was underway in Washington and Facebook was trying to get a handle on the situation, Haugen was snapping pictures, documenting the company's response.
One of the documents she captured, titled "Capitol Protest BTG [Break the Glass] Response," was a chart of measures Facebook could take in response to the January 6th attack. The chart appears to have been prepared beforehand; at the time Haugen photographed it, a little less than two hours after the Capitol was first breached, the company had instituted some of those measures while others were still under consideration. Among the potential actions listed in the chart were demoting "content deemed likely to violate our community standards in the areas of hate speech, graphic violence, and violence and incitement."
The page labeled these as "US2020 Levers, previously rolled back."
Those "levers," as Facebook refers to them, are measures -- guardrails -- that the company put in place before last year's Presidential election in an attempt to slow the spread of hate and misinformation on the platform. Facebook has not been clear in its public statements about what measures it did roll back after the election and why it did so at a time of tumult when the sitting president was calling the results of the vote into question.
But according to the "Capitol Protest BTG response" document, the guardrails Facebook reimplemented on January 6th included reducing the visibility of posts likely to be reported and freezing "commenting on posts in Groups that start to have a high rate of hate speech and violence & incitement comments," among others.
In the SEC disclosure, Haugen alleges that these levers were reinstated "only after the insurrection flared up."
Asked about the decisions to dial the levers back and then push them out again, Stone said, "In phasing in and then adjusting additional measures before, during and after the election, we took into account specific on-platforms signals and information from our ongoing, regular engagement with law enforcement. When those signals changed, so did the measures."
A through line When Facebook executives posted messages publicly and internally condemning the riot, some employees pushed back, even suggesting Facebook might have had some culpability.
"There were dozens of Stop the Steal groups active up until yesterday, and I doubt they minced words about their intentions," one employee wrote in response to a post from Mike Schroepfer, Facebook's chief technology officer.3
Another wrote, "All due respect, but haven't we had enough time to figure out how to manage discourse without enabling violence? We've been fueling this fire for a long time and we shouldn't be surprised it's now out of control."
Other Facebook employees went further, claiming decisions by company leadership over the years had helped create the conditions that paved the way for an attack on the US Capitol.
Responding to Schroepfer's post, one staffer wrote that, "leadership overrides research based policy decisions to better serve people like the groups inciting violence today. Rank and file workers have done their part to identify changes to improve our platforms but have been actively held back."
Another staffer, referencing years of controversial and questionable decision-making by Facebook leadership around political speech concluded, "history will not judge us kindly."
VIDEO - 'I Have the Freedom to Kill You with My Covid': Biden Mocks Americans Who Object to Forced Vaccination - Becker News
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:37
President Biden heaped mockery upon Americans who insist on the right to bodily autonomy and the freedom to make their own personal healthcare choices at a CNN town hall on Thursday night.
''So the idea is that '' look, two things that concern me, one are those who just try to make this a political issue. Freedom. I have the freedom to kill you with my Covid. No, come on. Freedom,'' he said.
''Number one. Number two, the second one is that, you know, the gross misinformation that's out there,'' Biden went on. ''Like what they're saying about my buddy Colin Powell, he was my friend, passed away. Colin Powell was vaccinated and he still died. Well, he knew he had serious underlying conditions and it would be difficult '' he clearly would have been gone earlier had he not gotten the vaccine, had he not gotten the shots. But my generic point is there's so much misinformation.''
Biden is one of the chief spreaders of Covid misinformation in the country. Biden has no idea of knowing if Colin Powell 'would have been gone earlier' if he hadn't been vaccinated. The issue is that Colin Powell's death was called a 'death from Covid complications' when the truth is he had been struggling with blood cancer for some time. It raises the issue of how many 'Covid-related deaths' were not only among the elderly '' 98% of Covid-related deaths were over the age of 40 '' but how many are due to ''serious underlying conditions.''
President Biden is ignoring the statements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Covid vaccination does not stop the spread of the Delta variant, which is the predominant Covid strain in the United States today. The CDC Director admitted over a month ago that the Covid vaccines don't prevent the spread of the virus.
''Our vaccines are working exceptionally well,'' Walensky claimed. ''They continue to work well for Delta with regard to severe illness and death, they prevent it. But what they can't do anymore is prevent transmission.''
The viral loads in the vaccinated and unvaccinated have proven to be similar, as the CDC stated in a document released in July.
''Today, some of those data were published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), demonstrating that Delta infection resulted in similarly high SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated people,'' the CDC report said. ''High viral loads suggest an increased risk of transmission and raised concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with Delta can transmit the virus.''
Since then, Covid vaccines have themselves become a major driver of the Delta variant. It is not clear how much the vaccines may lower the transmission rate.
''[S]tate-level data shows that milder breakthrough cases that do not result in hospitalization are on the rise among the fully vaccinated as virus transmission increases and vaccine efficacy decreases,'' Roll Call noted in mid-September. ''And they're expected to keep increasing.''
There is also the issue of natural immunity, which the Biden administration refuses to acknowledge, but nevertheless possesses scientific evidence to support. There are at least 29 major studies that show natural immunity is potent and lasting protection against Covid-19. Biden continued on spreading verifiable Covid misinformation.
The Associated Press in June, however, issued a report that highlights just how many Covid-related deaths are associated with deaths from serious illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.
''Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly 3.4 million Americans died in 2020, an all-time record,'' the AP reported at the time. ''Of those deaths, more than 345,000 were directly attributed to COVID-19. The CDC also provided the numbers of deaths for some of the leading causes of mortality, including the nation's top two killers, heart disease and cancer.''
''But the data released this week contains the death rates '-- that is, fatalities relative to the population '-- which is considered a better way to see the impact from year to year, since the population fluctuates,'' the report continued. ''Of the causes of death for which the CDC had full-year provisional data, nine registered increases. Those included Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, chronic liver disease, stroke and high blood pressure.''
This is important to note because the CDC earlier reported that 94% of those who died with Covid had serious underlying health conditions. Biden, however, continues to spread the deceptive impression that Americans are equally at risk from Covid and need to be vaccinated, even if they are at extremely low risk and even if they have natural immunity.
Biden went so far as to argue that even first responders, who have been on the frontlines throughout the pandemic, and many of whom have natural immunity, must get the vaccine or be fired.
Biden just said first responders should be FIRED for refusing the vaccine. Wow.
'-- Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 22, 2021
The president's callous remark to fire first responders and other Americans who object to forced vaccination was met with applause by CNN's left-wing ''town hall'' audience. There is indeed two Americas, and Biden is the president of the authoritarian one.
More Vaccines, More Covid: Why are Case Rates Exploding in Areas with High Levels of Vaccination?
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
VIDEO - Epstein Had Computer Rooms The 'Size Of Houses' To Spy On Guests Like Prince Andrew, Victim Alleges
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:34
An alleged victim of the late billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is speaking out this week to claim that his infamous Zorro Ranch had three computer rooms ''the size of houses'' to spy on famous guests like Prince Andrew.
Former Epstein employee Maria Farmer claimed to The Sun that Epstein had footage of Andre's alleged seven-day stay at his 33,339 square foot desert estate in New Mexico in 2000.
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Architect plans for the home reveal a huge underground floor, around 8,000 sq ft in size, including exercise, massage, and jacuzzi rooms, later transformed into a pool area. It also includes three unusually large ''mechanical rooms'' on this lower floor, and Farmer claimed these were the computer rooms.
''All of Epstein's residences had these mechanical rooms and tunnel systems. I know this because Epstein told me,'' she alleged. ''These rooms were enormous '' bigger than houses. I have no idea why anyone needs so many computers in one room. There were pinhole cameras to record everything on every estate. The cameras were ubiquitous. You couldn't see them unless they were pointed out to you.''
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Radio station owner Eddy Aragon obtained the architect plans for the home.
''The architect called into my radio show and had been sitting on these plans for some time,'' Aragon said. ''These plans give us a firmer idea of what was going on at the ranch.''
After looking at the plans, Aragon added that it is understandable why Epstein's underage victims were so afraid.
''If you have 33,000 sq ft of space, you would have, say, 12 bedrooms, especially when you hear about Jeffrey Epstein talk about a baby-making ranch. What is strange is that this wasn't built for that purpose,'' Aragon explained. ''Every room, from a closet to a toilet to a bathroom, on the second floor seems to have a 'vestibule.' Were these holding areas? Do the women bathe, then dress and get held up in the vestibule before they visit Epstein?
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''The maze of rooms, doors, vestibules, waiting areas, and doors, there's no doubt were used to maximum effect to trap and contain the victims until they were needed for Epstein's rituals,'' he added. ''There appears to be no escape. Can you imagine how that would feel for young teenage girls? They must have felt so hopeless and vulnerable.''
Farmer is one of the many women who has claimed to be a victim of Epstein, who allegedly committed suicide in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial. Andrew has been accused of sex crimes through Epstein, and he has yet to be charged at this time.
VIDEO - 'I Don't Have to Make White Kids Feel Bad for Being White': Condoleezza Rice Blasts CRT on 'The View'
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:26
The View and its long-time hosts are not known for being hospitable to conservative views or even anything that deviates from liberal orthodoxy. Nevertheless, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice waded into the cesspool that is The View to deliver the truth about what's wrong with Critical Race Theory and the left's approach to race.
"I come out of an academic institution, and this is something that academics debate '-- what is the role of race and so forth," Rice noted before reminding the audience and ladies of The View that hers is a story of the American dream and not one without its own challenges due to race.
"Let me be very clear: I grew up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama. I couldn't go to a movie theater or to a restaurant with my parents. I went to segregated schools 'til we moved to Denver," Rice said.
"My parents never thought I was going to grow up in a world without prejudice but they also told me, 'that's somebody else's problem not yours, you're going to overcome it and you are going to be anything you want to be.' That's the message that I think we ought to be sending to kids," Rice said to a smattering of uncomfortable applause from the audience.
Condoleezza Rice denounces critical race theory, arguing that it condemns white students as "guilty" and condemns black students as "disempowered."pic.twitter.com/uivS2w9DOB
'-- Christopher F. Rufo ?? (@realchrisrufo) October 21, 2021Rice is, of course, correct. Students, especially those in younger grades, shouldn't be burdened with the weight of all America's or the world's history. That's not to say that they shouldn't learn history '-- if anything America's students should be learning more about all of America's history in age-appropriate lessons. But, as Rice proceeded to point out, Critical Race Theory means that students, both black and white, are being taught that they're either bad or unable to achieve their dreams simply based on the color of their skin.
"One of the worries that I have about the way that we're talking about race is that it either seems so big that somehow white people now have to feel guilty for everything that happened in the past '-- I don't think that's very productive '-- or black people have to feel disempowered by race," Rice said of the current Critical Race Theory orthodoxy.
"I would like black kids to be completely empowered, to know that they are beautiful in their blackness, Rice added, "but in order to do that I don't have to make white kids feel bad for being white."
After some of the usual blather from the ladies of The View, including an accusation from Sunny Hostin that opponents of Critical Race Theory "want to hide history," to which Rice objected. "Parents don't want children to learn about the real history," Hostin said doubling down.
"It goes back to how we teach the history," Rice said pushing back against CRT's curriculum and methods. "What we don't do is make seven and ten-year-olds feel that they are somehow bad people because of the color of their skin. We've been through that, and we don't need to do that again."
Joy Behar then chimed in, claiming "That doesn't seem to be part of the plan."
"Oh it is part of the plan," Rice pushed back.
Rice's last argument cuts to the real intent of the left's push to institutionalize Critical Race Theory '-- not to unite Americans under the equality that our country continues to strive for, one where all enjoy equality of opportunity, but to divide Americans based on the color of their skin. In the mad world created by CRT, certain people must be shamed and made to feel bad, they say, in order for others to feel equal. In doing so, CRT only creates more inequality.
"It goes back to how we teach the history. We teach the good and we teach the bad of history. But what we don't do is make seven and ten-year-olds feel that they are somehow bad people because of the color of their skin."- Condoleezza Rice on CRTpic.twitter.com/ehtZcXiCmh
'-- @FairlyImportant (@fairlyimportant) October 21, 2021
VIDEO - TWiV 819: How to stall a copy machine - YouTube
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:24
VIDEO - AG Garland Debunks Democrat 'Insurrection' Claims About January 6th
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:23
In congressional testimony on Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland answered questions on a wide range of issues and crises in which the Biden administration is mired, but one answer in particular again debunked a key Democrat talking point about what happened at the Capitol on January 6th.
Asked by Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) whether any of the individuals arrested in connection with the events of January 6th were charged with "insurrection," Garland answered "I don't believe so."
Rep. @LouieGohmertTX1: "Has any defendant involved in the January 6th events been charged with insurrection?"AG GARLAND: "I don't believe so."
GOHMERT: "Well that is the word most used by Democrats here on Capitol Hill." pic.twitter.com/pWIWtJKg7U
'-- Townhall.com (@townhallcom) October 21, 2021As Gohmert then points out, Democrats in Congress and throughout the federal government along with mainstream media figures at CNN, MSNBC, and across the internet continue to assert that what unfolded on January 6th was "an insurrection." But if January 6th was an insurrection, certainly some of the individuals being prosecuted by the government for their alleged role in the events of January 6th would be charged with the crime of insurrection? If not, then the logical conclusion is that January 6th did not, in fact, rise to the level of an insurrection.
The federal statute such crimes '-- 18 U.S. Code § 2383 - Rebellion or insurrection '-- reads as follows:
Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
Garland's admission that no insurrection charges are being brought in no way absolves those being charged with different crimes '-- mostly assault, entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct, and civil disorder '-- and those charged should be granted their constitutional right to a fair and speedy trip through the criminal justice system. The lack of insurrection charges also does not mean those who allegedly damaged property, illegally entered the Capitol, or assaulted law enforcement officers shouldn't face accountability for their actions '-- they should. But the kind and level of crimes committed shouldn't be exaggerated for political gamesmanship.
The Democrat-Media complex, through, is apparently not concerned with accuracy. For them, January 6th apparently needs to be made as scary as possible.
And as has been demonstrated by the likes of Chicago Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Democrats running for office, anything or anyone they don't like now is an insurrection or an insurrectionist. It's become a buzzword for the left, and their overuse and inaccurate use of the word means that now everything is insurrection, meaning nothing is an insurrection.
As Townhall reported in August, an FBI report concluded that the events of January 6th were not "the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result" because the FBI "believes the violence was not centrally coordinated by far-right groups or prominent supporters of then-President Donald Trump."
But facts apparently don't matter to our liberal "know-better" leaders and pundits who, by overstating things, have ruined their own credibility '-- again.
VIDEO - What is the 'delta plus' variant of the coronavirus?
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 12:33
What is the "delta plus" variant?It's a relative of the delta variant, identified by British scientists last month.Because it isn't a variant of interest or concern, it has not yet been officially named after a letter of the Greek alphabet, like the other worrisome variants. Scientists are monitoring the delta-related variant '-- known as AY.4.2. '-- to see if it might spread more easily or be more deadly than previous versions of the coronavirus. In a recent report, U.K. officials said this variant makes up 6% of all analyzed COVID-19 cases in the country and is "on an increasing trajectory." The variant has two mutations in the spike protein, which helps the coronavirus invade the body's cells. These changes have also been seen in other versions of the virus since the pandemic started, but haven't gone very far, Francois Balloux, director of the Genetics Institute at University College London.The delta variant remains "by far the most dominant variant in terms of global circulation" said Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization's technical lead on COVID-19, at a public session this week. "Delta is dominant, but delta is evolving," she said, adding that the more the virus circulates, the greater chances it has to mutate. The U.N. health agency is currently tracking 20 variations of the delta variant. The AY.4.2 is "one to watch because we have to continuously keep an eye on how this virus is changing," said Van Kerkhove.In the U.S., the delta variant accounts for nearly all COVID-19 cases. The newer "delta plus" variant has been spotted "on occasion," but it's not yet a concern, health officials said.
What is the "delta plus" variant?
It's a relative of the delta variant, identified by British scientists last month.
Because it isn't a variant of interest or concern, it has not yet been officially named after a letter of the Greek alphabet, like the other worrisome variants.
Scientists are monitoring the delta-related variant '-- known as AY.4.2. '-- to see if it might spread more easily or be more deadly than previous versions of the coronavirus. In a recent report, U.K. officials said this variant makes up 6% of all analyzed COVID-19 cases in the country and is "on an increasing trajectory."
The variant has two mutations in the spike protein, which helps the coronavirus invade the body's cells. These changes have also been seen in other versions of the virus since the pandemic started, but haven't gone very far, Francois Balloux, director of the Genetics Institute at University College London.
The delta variant remains "by far the most dominant variant in terms of global circulation" said Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization's technical lead on COVID-19, at a public session this week.
"Delta is dominant, but delta is evolving," she said, adding that the more the virus circulates, the greater chances it has to mutate.
The U.N. health agency is currently tracking 20 variations of the delta variant. The AY.4.2 is "one to watch because we have to continuously keep an eye on how this virus is changing," said Van Kerkhove.
In the U.S., the delta variant accounts for nearly all COVID-19 cases. The newer "delta plus" variant has been spotted "on occasion," but it's not yet a concern, health officials said.
VIDEO - Woman fatally shot by prop firearm on Alec Baldwin's movie set
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 02:39
Associated Press and KTLA Digital Staff
2 hours ago
A woman has been killed and a man injured Thursday after they were shot by a prop firearm at a movie set outside Santa Fe, authorities said.
Actor Alec Baldwin was the one who fired the shot that killed the photography director, identified as 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins, the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office told KTLA sister station KRQE.
The Sheriff's Office said the 42-year-old woman was airlifted to a hospital, where she died, while 42-year-old Joel Souza, the movie's director, was getting emergency care at another hospital.
Authorities didn't identify the two people, who reportedly were crew members and not actors.
Production has been halted on the Western movie ''Rust,'' which is being directed by Joel Souza with Alec Baldwin producing and starring in it.
A spokesperson for Baldwin said there was an accident on the set involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Baldwin was seen Thursday outside the sheriff's office in tears, but attempts to get comment from him were unsuccessful.
''According to investigators, it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,'' sheriff's spokesman Juan Rios told the Albuquerque Journal. ''Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.''
Deputies responded about 2 p.m. to the movie set at the Bonanza Creek Ranch after 911 calls came in of a person being shot on set, Rios said.
Filming for ''Rust'' was set to continue into early November, according to a news release from the New Mexico Film Office.
The movie is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother following the death of their parents in 1880s Kansas, according to the Internet Movie Database website. The teen goes on the run with his long-estranged grandfather (played by Baldwin) after the boy is sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a local rancher.
In 1993, Brandon Lee, 28, son of the late martial-arts star Bruce Lee, died after being hit by a .44-caliber slug while filming a death scene for the movie ''The Crow.'" The gun was supposed to have fired a blank, but an autopsy turned up a bullet lodged near his spine.