1415: Equity Hotel

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 57m
January 9th, 2022
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Executive Producers: Sir Mainframe, Ella Kopistecki, Sir NBS, Sir Fists! Keeper of Coin and Processor of Bank Cards!, William Wild, Sir Tees, Renee Roig

Associate Executive Producers: Jean-Paul De La Haye, Craig Kohler, Sir 8-Bit Ben, Anonymous, Mike Nijman, David Chaney, Vincent Visconti, Christopher Kessler, Nick Paquette, Eric Laird

Cover Artist: Sir Net Ned

Chapters

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Start of Show
Woodstock
2:12
Reuters and Associated Press Say There is No Evidence For Mass Formation
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6:06
Suggested chapter: American medical association say treat covid like other respiratory disease. Covid is here to stay
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7:05
Suggested chapter: Former biden white house advisors: covid is endemic.
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8:18
Suggested chapter: CDC
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12:00
Suggested chapter: CDC Director Walensky using marketing consultants to clarify the messaging
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16:49
Suggested chapter: CDC Director Walensky admits that over 75% of COVID deaths had 4 or more comorbidities
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18:34
Suggested chapter: CDC Director Walensky asked about #CDCsays and CDC's credibility problem
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21:23
Suggested chapter: Robert Kennedy jr “the day Jake Tapper sold his soulto pharma”. Rolling Stone article pulled by abc
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24:03
Suggested chapter: CDC doesn't have Omicron data, making decisions based on previous strains
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28:07
Suggested chapter: Supreme court case on mandates. Lies about “deadlyness of omicron” and children on ventilators” just not true
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33:28
Suggested chapter: Lies in court to get mandates in workingplace Sodo Major “ over 100.000 children in hospral with omicron, many on vantilators
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38:58
Suggested chapter: Australia northern territory unvaxed stay home
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40:28
Suggested chapter: Novak Djokovic being treated equitably in Australian Immigration Detention hotel
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42:51
Suggested chapter: Bbc
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45:17
Suggested chapter: cdc: “children become diabetic after covid”. / Multi inflamatory syndrome
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49:42
Suggested chapter: Chelton post in uk: honestly reports on “experimental mrna vaccins” . So work for Nadine dories “misinformation unit”
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51:23
Suggested chapter: UK Disinformation Unit
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53:05
Suggested chapter: Judge orders FDA to release Pfizer data at 55,000 pages per month
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54:18
Suggested chapter: Dutch governent witholding data, scientists insist on disclosure
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54:31
Suggested chapter: Hospital staff test positive should go towork “dont ask dont tell” policy
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55:41
Suggested chapter: Texas son in trunk to prevent exposure
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57:19
Suggested chapter: Students must test
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59:01
Suggested chapter: Italy India plain before 0, after landing 120 tested positive. Proving pcr test unrelyable
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59:53
Suggested chapter: Omicron and kids reporting in Washington state
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1:01:05
Suggested chapter: Omicron in Washington: 10k deaths, 17k new cases, testing hard to find: shun activities and don't overrun lab
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1:04:33
Suggested chapter: Cypress Variant: Omicron + Delta = DeltaCron!
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1:05:14
Suggested chapter: Study: Up to 80% of Floridians will have caught COVID by the time the Omicron wave is over
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1:05:53
Suggested chapter: FDA rationing Monoclonal Antibodies to prioritize "black and brown" people
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1:08:28
Suggested chapter: Zinc
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1:15:24
Suggested chapter: Adam on Joe Rogan
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1:19:01
Suggested chapter: Kazakhstan; why it matters and diplomatic bickering
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1:19:14
Suggested chapter: Kazakhstan protests and similarities to Ukraine
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1:23:09
Suggested chapter: Bitcoin mining, Russian space center, and 12% of world's uranium all in Kazakhstan
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1:24:47
Suggested chapter: Ukraine talks between Russia and US
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1:27:50
Suggested chapter: ABC coverage of Kazakhstan
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1:30:51
Executive Producer Credits
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January 6 Stuff
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Kamala Equates Jan 6th to Pearl Harbor and 9/11
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Suggested chapter: Biden SLAMS Trump for not accepting that he LOST
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Suggested chapter: Sickening Clip of the Day: Kid thanks Capitol Officers for "saving democracy"
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2:06:39
Suggested chapter: Pelosi recalls traumatic experience of staffers cleaning up poo and defecation of words, calls the Republicans a cult
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2:13:04
Suggested chapter: All criminal charges dropped against Andrew Cuomo
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2:16:24
Suggested chapter: Terra Henley podcast “how woke media is undermining”
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2:18:12
Suggested chapter: Tara Henley: "The Woke World View" in journalism pushed by publishers
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Suggested chapter: Tara Henley: The origins of "woke"
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Suggested chapter: Tara Henley: Wokeness displaces economic guilt onto racial guilt
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2:22:12
Suggested chapter: Tara Henley: White liberals dumb down vocabulary when talking to Blacks and Latinos while conservatives don't
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2:23:41
Suggested chapter: Nasa new telescope: new pictures of the universe
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Suggested chapter: Start of 2nd Donation Segment
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2:34:55
Birthdays, Title Changes & Meetups
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ISOs
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Suggested chapter: John's rant against USB-C (Tech Grouch?)
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Suggested chapter: Liz holmes guilty of fraude and swindel
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Suggested chapter: Teasered man covered in hand sanitizer burned to death
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Suggested chapter: Biden state of the union delayed to march 1st (degression)
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Suggested chapter: Biden's dagger
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Suggested chapter: Show closing
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Suggested chapter: End of Show Mixes
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Kazakhstan
The Kazakhstan Players
Summary list of the main players:
Ukrainian Oligarchs, Kazakh banks, US Embassy warning posted in Dec 16th 2021, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Price Waterhouse Coopers falsified audits, Canadian to
Ukrainian Ambassador, Ukrainian banks (Privyat), Kazakh energy, Ukrainian energy (Burisma & Kroes Energy), Dominion Voting, Swiss banks, Off Caymen Islands shore
banks, & a pedo accused crypto guy from Israel.
If you follow the archive links in the attached html file, it will show you those connections. The archived main thread failed to capture the thumbnails after
about 1/3rd of the page down, so if you use that main archive link, you will see blanked image holders that are clickable. I archived all the full rez images in
the thread so they don't rely on anything other than the archive site. The thread is still live on 4chan, for now.
This all seems like a continuation of revolution proxy war games being played by US spooks in Ukraine colluding with Neo-Bolsheviks there.
The main ID to follow who was dumping the useful info was Pmr3N4IQ & av+TXZWa
Kazakhstan bitcoin mining
Re: Kazakhstan - an interesting factoid is that all the Bitcoin mining made illegal in China moved to KZ. To give you a sense of what that means - Bitcoin mining
dropped 12% (overnight) w the uprisings there.
I know this because I have mining activity there and see it first hand. Additionally, a top crypto analyst, Eric Wade, said KZ represents about 12-15% of the
global mining capacity.
The main Russian space center is also in Kazakhstan. We already have a Cosmonaut scheduled to fly in SpaceX. Maybe some more will have to also?
Kazakhstan has 12% of the world's Uranium
Test To Stay
California Teacher tests BOTG
I am a public school teacher in central California (Gmail just attempted to
type 'Texas' for me...watch out).
Friday we were told by admin to distribute boxes of rapid antigen tests out
to students and that every student needs to have one to take home.
Apparently this is occurring with all school districts across the state. As
we know, the tests are not cheap and it'd be interesting to know whether
this is part of the current shortage.
I have about 80 students that I teach, on any given day about 60 show up.
The same is true of staff, we have about 50 staff and on any given day
there are 8-10 out, with no substitutes. The system is collapsing before my
eyes and everyone is so burnt out it seems.
It is refreshing to be in person, I hated distance learning, I love seeing
my students everyday and encouraging them to grow their passions...I
absolutely despise the fear we are placing into these kids.
I homeschool my own children if that is any indication of my faith in
public schooling. There are excellent teachers in public schools and I hope
I'm one of them, but they are not the norm, unfortunately.
Thank you and John for your courage and relentless drive to bring light
into the ever darkening world. Lit is love and so to both of you I say lit
for life.
Mandates and Boosters
Hospital's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy
ITM Gents,
I just wanted to pass along a note about a little COVID hypocrisy. This
week we were contacted by my daughter's daycare to inform us that she had a
covid exposure and that she should get tested. The next morning she was
coming down sick with the kuff so we tested her and sure enough the home
test came back positive.
Since my wife works with very sick patients at the regional medical center
she called her employer at the hospital to ask if she should test and stay
home. Her boss told her that they have an unoffical "don't ask don't tell
policy". They instructed her not to get a test, because if it came back
positive they couldn't let her go to work. But if she wasn't too sick she
needed to come into work anyways.
This hospital spent the last two years lobbying for the lock downs and fear
mongering, but when it comes to their slaves it's "don't ask don't tell".
Obviously, they aren't really scared of this new covid variant, or maybe
they are just hoping to pad some covid stats. Anywayz, I hope you find
this little bit of COVID hypocrisy useful and keep up the good work.
VAERS
Insurer 40% death RATE increase bullcrap
thanks for asking. Also I don't know if you'll cover the hype but a word
of caution: 40% is a deceptively oversimplified number and I smell BS.
The spook is all in on it:
https://rwmalonemd.substack.com/p/what-if-the-largest-experiment-on
But read this carefully, emphasis mine: "We are seeing, right now, the
highest *death rates* we have seen in the history of this business". And
this: "And what we saw just in third quarter, we’re seeing it continue into
fourth quarter, is that *death rates* are up 40% over what they were
pre-pandemic,"
Four things to know:
1. Death rate is NOT the same thing as number of deaths. Death rate is
population-adjusted by age. A longer explanation here
,
with this money quote: "Remember that an age-adjusted rate evens the
differences in demographic factors such as age distribution but becomes an
artificial figure in the process. Therefore, it is not an indicator of the
absolute level of mortality in a population and is only useful for purposes
of comparison."
By "comparison" they mean compare state to state, or county to county. A
time to time comparison adds a new dimension to the calculation-- The
divisor (population) needs to change accurately, and the standard model
would need to change too, especially if say a pandemic wiped out all your
grannies. Who knows what the insurance actuarial did but I think some
skepticism is in order. Maybe not ferguson-covid-19-predictions level
skepticism but still, it's kinda sketch to draw conclusions about a vaccine
from the numbers used to calculate insurance rates and profitability.
2. "pre-pandemic" is not defined. They likely mean Q3 year over year, but
could also be a cherry-picked year, could be over a 5 year avg. etc. There
is an annual variance in deaths, though it's nowhere near 40%. The smaller
the timeframe, the more variance you might see since you lose averaging
effects and introduce reporting effects.
3. This is all-cause deaths, with some mumbling about covid vs non-covid.
For all we know a huge component of this 40% could be fentanyl, or people
talking to a shotgun about losing their job.
4. Other insurance companies are saying the same, and define things a bit
better. American thinker did some research:
https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2022/01/more_preliminary_evidence_that_the_vaccines_have_led_to_a_spike_in_deaths.html
The state dashboards suck, I spent 20 minutes trying to contextualize the
numbers and gave up. I'll be talking to an insurance industry insider on
thursday late.
MyoKardia Acquisition BOTG
Hey Adam,
HNY and ITM. A few episodes ago you pointed out the highly suspicious acquisition of MyoKardia by big pharma BMS due to their myocardits products which is *
coincidentally * timed. I want to praise you for this observation.
I was an employee for MyoKardia and was part of the acquisition by BMS. My colleagues and I are highly skeptical of the acquisition as well and I couldn’t
believe you were onto this information, too. I manage clinical trials for a living, so understanding the complexity of the industry and how the vaccine was tested
and authorized for use is my career!
After getting acquired by BMS, I was eventually fired for not being vaccinated. I was a fully remote worker and submitted a religious exemption which was
illegally denied.
BMS systematically denied all religious exemptions for all I know who submitted religious exemptions. hopefully the truth will be revealed about this evil
organization.
There’s a lot of darkness right now but thanks for being a light during all the craziness. God bless!!
Best
BTC
Omicron
M5M
The Day Jake Tapper Sold His Soul to Pharma • Children's Health Defense
In recommending a vast battery of new vaccines for children, public health regulators had somehow neglected to calculate the cumulative mercury and aluminum loads in all the new jabs.
Over two days of intense discussion, these Big Pharma operatives and government technocrats persuaded each other to transform their disastrous error into villainy — by doubling down and hiding their mistake from the public.
Tapper saw an early draft of my Rolling Stone story and proposed that, in exchange for exclusivity, he would do a companion piece for ABC timed to air on the magazine’s publication day.
Tapper spent several weeks working on the story with me and a team of enthusiastic ABC reporters and technicians. During his frequent conversations with me over that period, he was on fire with indignation over the Simpsonwood revelations. He acted like a journalist hoping to win an Emmy.
The day before the piece was to air, an exasperated Tapper called me to say that ABC’s corporate officials ordered him to pull the story. The network’s pharmaceutical advertisers were threatening to cancel their advertising.
“Corporate told us to shut it down,” Tapper fumed. Tapper told me that it was the first time in his career that ABC officials had ordered him to kill a story.
ABC had advertised the Simpsonwood exposé, and its sudden cancellation disappointed an army of vaccine safety advocates and parents of injured children who deluged the network with a maelstrom of angry emails.
In response, ABC changed tack and publicly promised to air the piece. Instead, following a one-week delay, the network duplicitously aired a hastily assembled puff piece promoting vaccines and assuring listeners that mercury-laden vaccines were safe.
The new “bait and switch” segment precisely followed Pharma’s talking points. “I’m putting my faith in the Institute of Medicine,” ABC’s obsequious medical editor, Dr. Tim Johnson, declared in closing. Two pharmaceutical advertisements bracketed the story.
After that piece aired, I called Jake to complain. He neither answered nor returned my calls.
During the 16 intervening years, Pharma has returned Mr. Tapper’s favor by aggressively promoting his career. Pfizer shamelessly sponsors Tapper’s CNN news show, announcing its ownership of the space — and Mr. Tapper’s indentured servitude — before each episode with the loaded phrase: “Brought to you by Pfizer.”
Ivermectin etc
Vax Oddity
Big Tech
Elizabeth Holmes - It's about the patents
I’ve been following this case for months. She got a bum rap. The investors were idiots and in the end they did no due diligence. She got railroaded to protect the reputation of politicians and other clowns like George Schultz, James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis and the CEOs of Walgreens and Safeway who were exposed during the trial as clueless morons. And these people run the world. Remember that.
Then there are the patents, some 200+ of them.
The inventive devices she was touting were novel and did work just not in the specific embodiments that they were installed. That being said, the company went bankrupt and the patents were acquired by SoftBank who is now suing others for infringement.
Follow the patents and the money will come.
OTG
Twitter Marketing
DHS Announces SBIR Pre-Solicitation | Homeland Security
The DHS topics in the 22.1 SBIR Pre-Solicitation are:
DHS221-001 - Automated Artificial Intelligence (AI) Distress Alerts and Monitoring
DHS221-002 - Rapidly deployable countermeasures at protected perimeters and structures
DHS221-003 - Non-Invasive and Real-time Detection of Counterfeit Microelectronics
DHS221-004 - Broadband Push-to-Talk Interoperability Platform
DHS221-005 - A Step Towards Agent Agnostic Detection of Biological Hazards
DHS221-006 - Streamlined Airport Checkpoint Screening for Limited Mobility Passengers
DHS221-007 - Mass Fatality Tracking System (MFTS)
DHS221-008 - Next Generation Semiconductor-Based Spectroscopic Personal Radiation Detectors (SPRDs)
DHS221-009 - Field Forward Diagnostics for Select Agent List Toxins
DHS221-010 - Wearable Detector for Aerosolized Chemical Threats
DHS221-011 - From Port-Side to Pen-Side: Low Cost Detection/Diagnostics for High-Consequence Transboundary or Nationally Reportable Animal Diseases, Particularly Those with Zoonotic Propensity
Space Force
BLM LGBBTQQIAAPK+ Noodle Boy
Supply Chains
Distilled water shortage [Indiana]
Epstein
2024
Mike Pompeo's weight loss story: Down 90 pounds in 6 months
STORIES
Food and Drug Administration Guidance Drives Racial Rationing of COVID Drugs
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 15:26
In New York, racial minorities are automatically eligible for scarce COVID-19 therapeutics, regardless of age or underlying conditions. In Utah, "Latinx ethnicity" counts for more points than "congestive heart failure" in a patient's "COVID-19 risk score"'--the state's framework for allocating monoclonal antibodies. And in Minnesota, health officials have devised their own "ethical framework" that prioritizes black 18-year-olds over white 64-year-olds'--even though the latter are at much higher risk of severe disease.
These schemes have sparked widespread condemnation of the state governments implementing them. But the idea to use race to determine drug eligibility wasn't hatched in local health departments; it came directly from the federal Food and Drug Administration.
When the FDA issued its emergency use authorizations for monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals, it authorized them only for "high risk" patients'--and issued guidance on what factors put patients at risk. One of those factors was race.
The FDA "fact sheet" for Sotrovimab, the only monoclonal antibody effective against the Omicron variant, states that "race or ethnicity" can "place individual patients at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19." The fact sheet for Paxlovid, Pfizer's new antiviral pill, uses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's definition of "high risk," which states that "systemic health and social inequities" have put minorities "at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19."
The guidance sheets are nonbinding and do not require clinicians to racially allocate the drugs. But states have nonetheless relied on them to justify race-based triage.
"The FDA has acknowledged that in addition to certain underlying health conditions, race and ethnicity 'may also place individual patients at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19,'" Minnesota's plan reads. "FDA's acknowledgment means that race and ethnicity alone, apart from other underlying health conditions, may be considered in determining eligibility for [monoclonal antibodies]."
Utah's plan contains similar language. In a section on the "Ethical Justification for Using Race/Ethnicity in Patient Selection," it notes that the FDA "specifically states that race and ethnicity may be considered when identifying patients most likely to benefit from this lifesaving treatment."
The FDA declined to comment on either state's plan, saying only that "there are no limitations on the authorizations that would restrict their use in individuals based on race."
The triage plans are part of a broader push to rectify racial health disparities through race-conscious means. In March of last year, for example, two doctors at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston outlined an "antiracist agenda for medicine" that involved "offering preferential care based on race." And last year, Vermont and New Hampshire both gave racial minorities priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine, resulting in at least one formal civil rights complaint against New Hampshire.
The trend has alarmed Roger Severino, the former civil rights director at the Department of Health and Human Services, who called racial preferences in medicine a "corrosive and grossly unfair" practice.
"Our civil rights laws are not suspended during a public health emergency," Severino said. "We should never deny someone life-saving health care because of the color of their skin."
The triage plans show how federal guidelines can encourage this sort of race discrimination. They also suggest that the FDA is making political judgments, not just scientific ones.
"They're injecting politics into science," said a former senior HHS official. "That's something the Trump administration was pilloried for allegedly doing."
One clear sign of that politicization, several legal and medical experts said, is the guidance's double standard between race and sex. Men in the United States have proven to be about 60 percent more likely than women to die of the disease, according to research from the Brookings Institution, and within some age brackets the mortality gap is even larger.
But the FDA doesn't list sex as a risk factor anywhere in its guidance. And while the Utah scheme does take it into account, the New York and Minnesota schemes do not. Nor do they or the FDA give any weight to geography and socioeconomic status, both of which are associated with COVID-19 mortality.
Instead, the triage plans give more weight to race than to many comorbidities. In Minnesota's scoring system, "BIPOC status" is worth two points, whereas "hypertension in a patient 55 years and older" is worth just one.
Minnesota Department of Health monoclonal antibody allocation framework
In Utah's scoring system, "Non-white race or Hispanic/Latinx ethnicity" is worth two points'--the same amount as diabetes, obesity, and "severely immunocompromised"'--while hypertension, congestive heart failure, chronic pulmonary disease, and "shortness of breath" count for one each.
Men do receive one extra point under the Utah scheme, on the grounds that "male gender is associated with increased risk of severe COVID-19." Nonbinary patients, the document says, "may choose to answer" questions about their gender identity "with that background information."
The Minnesota and Utah health departments did not respond to requests for comment.
Several legal experts told the Washington Free Beacon that the prioritization schemes amount to illegal race discrimination. "It's certainly unconstitutional to use race in this way," said David Bernstein, a professor of constitutional law at George Mason University.
In his view, it's also unwise. "We don't have a lot of happy examples of countries that have used race as a medical criterion," Bernstein said.
Published under: Anti-Racism , CDC , Coronavirus , FDA , Minnesota , New York , Utah
Walgreens Profits Shoot Up Thanks to Covid Tests, Which Are Selling Big on the Secondary Market - The Daily Upside
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 15:17
The pandemic may have grounded several airlines over the holiday, but it's still giving Walgreens wings.
The pharmacy said Thursday that a surge in demand for at-home Covid tests pushed sales to $34 billion in its latest quarter, topping Wall Street projections by a full billion. Those sales are trickling out into secondary sales, where a burgeoning market for tests has them reselling for almost triple the retail cost.
A Story in Three PartsThe tale of retail pharmacies in the last two years breaks down pretty neatly into three parts. First, in early 2020, the likes of Walgreens and CVS were struggling with dwindling share prices as their old fashioned business models were losing ground to emerging online competitors. Then, the pandemic made things worse: revenue cratered while people stayed home and skipped non-essential medical care during the first wave of the pandemic.
But finally, the pandemic did a 180 '-- at least as far as executives are concerned '-- and turned into a moneymaker. Walgreens and CVS both spent hundreds of millions to turn their brick-and-mortar locations into Covid vaccination and testing hubs, and it paid off. On Thursday, Walgreens said it made $3.6 billion in profit compared to a $308 million loss a year-ago quarter, and Covid was the driver:
Demand for at-home Covid-19 tests was the core driver of 24.7% growth in health and wellness sales, and overall retail sales grew 10.6% or the most in 20 years.Walgreens now says it expects adjusted earnings to show low-single digit growth this year, after previously forecasting a flat 2022 '-- shares rose 2.5% Thursday, after rising 31% in 2021.Secondary Profit: Demand for Covid tests has sent two-pack prices up to $70 on digital marketplaces, where the price gouging has reached Playstation 5 levels without the fun of a Playstation 5. They're normally priced between $14 and $25 according to the New York Attorney General's office.
The Big Men's Fashion Trend of 2022? Dressing Like a Tween - WSJ
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 14:54
'Kidcore''--a fad that sees adult men conjure their tweenage years with expressive, if juvenile, outfits'--has thrived during the pandemic. Why the style is resonating and how to strike a somewhat age-appropriate balance.
Updated Jan. 6, 2022 1:25 pm ETIT HAD BEEN a youthful year for men's fashion. Cutesy charm necklaces often encircled the necks of Pete Davidson and Justin Bieber, making those shlumpy style icons'--and paparazzi favorites'--look like they'd been sprung from summer camp. Last November, Washington Wizard Kyle Kuzma pulled up to the locker room in a pink Raf Simons sweater with gigundo sleeves, calling to mind a kid wearing his big brother's hand-me-downs. And fashion companies minted adult-size clothes with serious Children's Place overtones. British label JW Anderson's spring offering was littered with sweaters and other pieces in cutesy strawberry prints,...
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IT HAD BEEN a youthful year for men's fashion. Cutesy charm necklaces often encircled the necks of Pete Davidson and Justin Bieber, making those shlumpy style icons'--and paparazzi favorites'--look like they'd been sprung from summer camp. Last November, Washington Wizard Kyle Kuzma pulled up to the locker room in a pink Raf Simons sweater with gigundo sleeves, calling to mind a kid wearing his big brother's hand-me-downs. And fashion companies minted adult-size clothes with serious Children's Place overtones. British label JW Anderson's spring offering was littered with sweaters and other pieces in cutesy strawberry prints, while Urban Outfitters carries a ''doodle'' hoodie covered in infantilizing smiley faces.
This adult embrace of dressing like a tweenager has a name: ''kidcore.'' While it's been simmering for a while (the 2018 explosion of tie-dye was an early indicator), kidcore has soared during the pandemic. You might theorize that men found solace in dressing like their preteen selves: Lyst, a British company that tracks the behavior of more than 150 million online shoppers in 2021, ranked kidcore as one of its top trends of 2021, based largely on the strength of searches for things like charm necklaces and cartoony Crocs . ''A lot of people were searching for comfort and familiarity,'' said Pierre Lavenir, a cultural specialist at Lyst.
Kidcore is defined by an attitude rather than any specific combination of clothes or accessories. It is about revisiting the way you dressed before anyone told you what was cool'--when you really dressed for yourself. When Isaac Rodriguez, 24, wears a particularly expressive outfit, say, an orange-and-red fleece with a green hat and red Nikes, he channels his tweenage mind-set. ''Seven-year-old me would be like, 'Man, wear the heck out of that.''' Mr. Rodriguez, a Los Angeles stylist who until recently was a loan officer, said he has found a sort of joy in ''testing the boundaries'' of what he can wear. (It should be said that most kidcorers I've spotted are not that far removed from actually being kids. I've yet to see a 60-something in a charm necklace, but if that's you, please email me.)
Growing up, John Patrick Thorn, 32, a content creator and entrepreneur living outside Nashville, Tenn., challenged his Catholic school's strict dress code by wearing two-toned bowling shoes with the requisite khakis and polo shirt. ''I was always doing something different to bend the fashion rules in one way or another,'' he said. Though he went through an all-black period in his 20s, Mr. Thorn has since rediscovered his more upbeat experimental edge. Recently he splashed together a clementine-orange polo shirt by Jacquemus and painted Renoir-esque cargo pants by New York brand KidSuper. ''A lot of these colors [I wear], all this fun stuff, it definitely reminds me of my childhood,'' he said.
As stringent corporate dress codes become pass(C), many men see little reason to leave their youthful sense of style behind when they get a quote-unquote adult job. ''I could literally wear anything I want'' to work, said Julian Davis, a 24-year-old copyright-infringement specialist in Austin, Texas. Mr. Davis takes full advantage of his company's lax standards, often wearing a sweater spattered with little golfer images, and a fleece traversed by wolf motifs that reminds him of growing up in Alaska.
''When I was a kid, I always kind of pictured myself looking a little more refined'' as an adult, said Cody Pham, 26, a Los Angeleno who opens retail locations for Specialized Bicycles. Mr. Pham found that as he entered his 20s, he didn't have to discard his pattern-mashing style'--today he often wears bubble-print puffer jackets and gigantic trousers. Last year, he even dyed his hair a flaming-orange hue, just like his childhood style icon Dennis Rodman. Mr. Pham said he would rather express himself than squelch his style to fit in. He relishes when strangers ask him about what he's wearing.
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Timid nostalgists might prefer to add a dash of boyishness to their style rather than commit to full-throttle free-expression. That's Calvin Tierney's approach. During the week, Mr. Tierney, a 25-year-old electrical engineer in Nanaimo, British Columbia, layers a statement piece like a barbed wire-print fleece jacket from a collaboration between Supreme and Japan's South2 West8 over an otherwise tame outfit. On the weekends, he takes a slightly less restrained approach by ''throw[ing] different patterns together.'' His girlfriend and parents occasionally raise a brow at his patchwork flannel shirts or Goofy-print T-shirts, but like many a tween-at-heart, he's dressing for himself, not for them.
Child's PlayFour pieces worthy of tweenage dreams
The Wall Street Journal is not compensated by retailers listed in its articles as outlets for products. Listed retailers frequently are not the sole retail outlets.
Write to Jacob Gallagher at Jacob.Gallagher@wsj.com
Chinese Rover Finds Moon Cube Is Just Rabbit-Like Rock - The New York Times
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 14:49
Science | Moon Cube Mystery: Chinese Rover Finds It's Just a Rock https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/07/science/moon-cube-china-rover.htmlA blurry image that China's space program had called the ''mystery hut'' was a result of camera angle, light and shadow.
A rock on the edge of a crater on the moon, upper right, was first spotted by the Chinese lunar rover Yutu-2 in November. This updated view was released by the China National Space Administration on Friday. Credit... CNSA Jan. 7, 2022
Last November, China's Yutu-2 lunar rover spotted something curious on the far side of the moon. The image was blurry, but it was unmistakable: The object looked like a cube sitting on the moon's surface. Its shape looked too precise to be just a moon rock '-- perhaps something left by visiting aliens like the monolith in Arthur C. Clarke's ''2001: A Space Odyssey.''
China's space authorities called it the ''mystery hut.'' Others called it the ''moon cube.'' Yutu-2 was sent for a closer look, and at the leisurely speed the rover is capable of traveling, it took weeks to get up close.
On Friday, Our Space, a Chinese language science channel affiliated with China National Space Administration, posted an update. There is no monolith, no secret base on the rim of a lunar crater. Close up, it turns out to be just a rock. The seemingly perfect geometric shape was just a trick of angle, light and shadow.
Image The mysterious object as it appeared in November. Credit... CNSA Image A close-up of the rock. Credit... CNSA The report was earlier noted on Twitter by Andrew Jones, a journalist who follows the Chinese space program.
Although the mystery hut was not a hut at all, one of the rover's remote drivers on Earth pointed out that the rock sort of resembled a rabbit and one of the stones in front of it looked a bit like a carrot. That's fitting as the rover's name means ''Jade Rabbit.''
The rover has now driven just over 1,000 meters since it arrived three years ago on the moon's far side, in Von Krmn crater, as part of the Chang'e-4 mission. It is the first mission to land on the far side.
Visual illusions are common in the history of space exploration, whether seen by astronomers peering through telescopes on Earth or robotic explorers on other worlds capturing images with cameras. In a parallel with the rabbit-like rock found by China's rover, a NASA rover on Mars, Opportunity, spotted something that looked like bunny ears in 2004. Further analysis by engineers on Earth suggested it was insulation or other soft material that fell off the rover itself.
Feeling guilty, people experience shame for testing positive for COVID - Chicago Tribune
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 14:48
She'd thought through the travel for the holiday carefully. Working remotely, limiting activities to school-related outings and curbing any other possibility for exposure.
And still, the second day of the trip, Christine Hutchinson's nose felt sniffily.
She thought it was related to travel, or simply being a Chicagoan: ''Our noses run.''
But when other people within the friend group her family had traveled with internationally also began feeling ill, she took a test. It came back positive for COVID-19.
Now, quarantining in another country, the Chicago mom of two is wrestling with guilt over things ranging from ruining her daughters' trip to guilt about who else she might have infected.
''I'm like, 'How many people did I get sick?''' she said. ''Did I get somebody else sick at the airport?''
Within the recent holiday season, many people made difficult decisions surrounding holiday travel or family gatherings. And the contagious omicron variant added extra complications just as people made impossible-seeming calculations for the second year in a row.
Many who felt they understood risk and safety calculations found those upended as omicron swept in.
Thus, many are now in situations where they must tell people they recently saw that they've since tested positive for COVID-19.
Seen through a door peephole, a medical worker wearing protective clothing disinfects the corridor of a hotel used for foreigners to quarantine in Shanghai, China, on Aug. 12, 2021. (Andy Wong / AP)
And many might have their own negative connotations about what it means to test positive '-- assumed reckless decisions that left someone exposed, for example.
''When COVID first started, there was a lot of judgment about those who were getting sick,'' said Sheehan Fisher, a psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Now, he said, as vaccinated people who followed regulations test positive or feel sick, ''They fear that others assume that they are not following the regulations.''
But disclosing a possible exposure is vital. And if people feel shamed, they might be less likely to disclose. So people on both sides of these conversations should strive to handle them well.
If you are telling people about a positive result, said David Rakofsky, a clinical psychologist and president of Wellington Counseling Group, hopefully they respond with a version of, ''I hope you feel OK, and I will get tested and take precautions from here.''
But if they instead summon anger or disappointment, remember this is borne out of years of frustration and annoyance.
''They're trying to make sense of an uncontrollable universe, and this is leaving them really stirred up,'' he said.
People who test positive should carry compassion and empathy for themselves, Rakofsky said.
''You want to take a step back and review your thinking as to the choices you made,'' he said. ''We have to remember that you didn't necessarily have the same facts that we have today. And so you need to let that guide you toward compassion, that you didn't do something reckless. You made a calculation based on the facts.''
Also, he added, people made decisions around the holiday for reasons worth considering: seeing family, filling emotional tanks.
''Remind yourself of the emotional and relational needs that you were responding to,'' he said. ''There are grandparents your kids haven't seen.''
Information around COVID-19 continues to evolve. Activities that might have seemed safe in early December might look different a month later. And Fisher said that's not something someone should beat themselves up about.
''They second guess their previous decision as if they had their future knowledge readily available to them when they made the decision, which isn't fair to them,'' Fisher said.
It's tempting, as humans, to believe that good arrives with us making every right decision. Instead, this is a good time for everyone to realize that if someone never got COVID-19, it's not necessarily because they miraculously made every decision correctly, Fisher said. ''All of us have made gray decisions.''
He added, ''We become a little self-righteous in our evaluations of ourselves and decision-making in comparison to others.'' That can lead to harsher judgment for those that test positive.
Should you test positive, remember guilt is not a sign you have done something wrong. ''Emotions and thoughts sometimes lie to us,'' Fisher said. ''Just because we might feel guilty does not mean you did something you are guilty of, but we equate them to be one and the same.''
Hutchinson keeps thinking back to one quick moment '-- picking up her daughter after a sports activity. She was in a lobby waiting mere minutes to collect her daughter, but recalls feeling instantly uncomfortable as other parents and students weren't masked.
Now, amid omicron, she keeps mentally returning to that moment. She'd even half-jokingly told her daughter not to inhale as they walked out. Of course, it's impossible to pin down where she became infected.
Regardless, it's made her feel like patient zero. And it's added mental anguish to the physical toll.
''I got my kids sick, I got my friends sick, I ruined the vacation,'' she said.
So far, she and others who tested positive face mild cases, with a variety of cold-like symptoms.
And she and her friends are still friends. They had to find a new place to quarantine, to fulfill the country's 10-day quarantine requirement before flying home, and find new ways to fill the time after the long-planned vacation fell apart.
Still, she knows she is lucky to not be hospitalized or have further fallout. She hopes sharing her story can help others be even more careful. Her family is vaccinated with no comprising health issues, but she keeps thinking about how many people are living with people more compromised.
''It's not just about yourself, it's everyone around you,'' she said. ''You don't know what somebody's going home to.''
Fisher said one byproduct of this strange season might be increased empathy.
''Because we know so many people who have gotten it, and people we respect and love, it might sort of shake our view of what it means to have a diagnosis,'' he said.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Says Stalker Used Apple AirTag To Track Her | ZeroHedge
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 14:45
A Sports Illustrated model shared her most "terrifying" experience of her life when she discovered that a stalker placed an Apple AirTag in her coat pocket. The person allegedly tacked the swimsuit model's location for hours, and she only discovered the device when her iPhone alerted her about an "unknown accessory."
"I went to a restaurant, a popular spot in TriBeCa, a very upscale, safe neighborhood," Brooks Nader, 26, told Fox News. "I go there all the time'... I was at the bar waiting for some friends. It was early, like 45 minutes to an hour early. So I thought, I'll have a little bite to eat while I wait for them. It's winter so it's freezing. I had my big winter coat with me and laid it on the bar stool. I did go to the bathroom once and I always take my purse with me. I didn't take my coat because I assumed no one was going to steal it and I didn't have anything inside of it."
Five hours later, Nader was walking home when she received a notification from her Find My iPhone app that read an "Unknown Accessory Detected -- This item has been moving for you for a while. The owner can see your location."
"I'm just honestly grateful that I got that notification from Apple. Otherwise, I wouldn't have known," she said, adding that someone at the restaurant likely slipped the AirTag in her coat jacket while she was in the restroom.
The incident occurred on Wednesday. Nader told her 800k followers on Instagram about the incident. "A ton of women told me, 'Watch out, this happened to me, it's an AirTag,'" said Nader
The use of AirTags for nefarious activities has been documented. We noted Canadian thieves used the tracking device to track and steal luxury vehicles.
(20) Elie Mystal on Twitter: "Gorsuch: "the flu kills hundreds of thousands of people every year" NO IT DOES NOT. STOP GETTING YOUR MEDICAL STATS FROM FOX NEWS." / Twitter
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 14:43
Elie Mystal : Gorsuch: "the flu kills hundreds of thousands of people every year"NO IT DOES NOT. STOP GETTING YOUR MEDICAL STATS FROM FOX NEWS.
Fri Jan 07 16:59:22 +0000 2022
icantthinkofawittyname : @ElieNYC didnt he mean worldwide? not just domestic?there's legitimate reasons to go after someone's desire to wa'... https://t.co/raAWjidQ28
Sun Jan 09 14:42:14 +0000 2022
Samson ONeal : @ElieNYC Another D.A. liberal commentator that runs of at the mouth like diarrhea, before they know what they're take about. ðŸ‚
Sun Jan 09 14:40:25 +0000 2022
AxelDC : @ElieNYC @paulkrugman It kills about 20,000 each year, with some years rising to 50,000. It's why we have an annual flu shot.
Sun Jan 09 14:24:06 +0000 2022
Demi : @ElieNYC @kaplanikids Ah Fox. The masters of manipulation. The flu does kill hundreds of thousands. Pre COVID, abou'... https://t.co/ZhQzliqtZR
Sun Jan 09 14:12:00 +0000 2022
Scott Schmidt : @ElieNYC Has anyone listened to the audio of the oral arguments?
Sun Jan 09 14:04:05 +0000 2022
NavyTim : @ElieNYC Calm your tits ma'am
Sun Jan 09 14:02:02 +0000 2022
Edgardo Santana : @ElieNYC CDC: According to new estimates published today, between 291,000 and 646,000 people worldwide die from sea'... https://t.co/JhMYG8O0ZV
Sun Jan 09 13:45:51 +0000 2022
Lesman2004 : @ElieNYC You are falsely smearing Justice Gorsuch for a TRANSCRIPTION ERROR.
Sun Jan 09 13:38:57 +0000 2022
Michael Sawyer : @ElieNYC Look who's spreading misinformation now!
Sun Jan 09 13:27:35 +0000 2022
LIVE SIMPLY so Others Might simply Live: Ghandi : @ElieNYC @SCOTUSblog @Scotus 👆🏼And you're (so called) supreme '‰¸ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¼ https://t.co/8Depql2IRv
Sun Jan 09 13:26:45 +0000 2022
Democracy Festering : @ElieNYC The SCOTUS is now an owned branch of @FoxNews
Sun Jan 09 13:16:37 +0000 2022
125 People Test Positive For Covid-19 On Just One Flight - View from the Wing
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 14:32
by Gary Leff on January 8, 2022
Seventy eight percent of passengers on a single flight from Italy to India tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival. The Wednesday Boeing 767 charter from Milan Bergamo to Amritsar on EuroAtlantic Airways had 179 passengers on board and 125 tested positive for Covid-19 (78%) after landing.
All passengers flying to India have to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of travel. And those from at-risk countries, such as India must test again on arrival.
It's possible some of those negative PCR tests weren't realBut they could be 3 days old and the rate at which Omicron is spreading suggests many people not positive 3 days ago may have it todayTake New York City with 40,000 reported positive tests per day. Then assume we're capturing 1 in 10 cases (given asymptomatic cases, subclinical cases, and home tests without an automatic reporting mechanism). That may be conservative. And then assume five days of infectiousness, so multiply that out and you get an assumed 2 million infectious New Yorkers out of a population of 8.4 million (24% of the population).
This is admittedly back of the envelope. Some places, such as parts of Ireland, may have higher current rates. Still, 78% is incredibly high.
However as a charter flight it's possible that the groups traveling together may have been together or engaged in similar activities in the days leading up to the trip. One big Indian wedding would do this. So while One Mile at a Time is skeptical of this many positives without fraud or error on the tests, it's not obvious that this explains the bulk of these travelers.
Omicron spreads at an incredible rate. Fortunately the evidence on boosters is strong against severe disease with Omicron. We threw up barriers to doing variant-specific or multivariant boosters, preferring to continue to vaccinate against the ancestral Wuhan strain, but it's remarkable how well that holds up as the virus mutates (though allows for significant breakthrough infection). Fortunately Omicron really does seem to be less dangerous and Omicron infection appears to produce cross-immunity to Delta (more so than the other way around). So the rapid spread of this virus may create the wall of immunity that brings the pandemic phase of dealing with Covid-19 to a close.
We may not have a long way to go, but the next couple of months are likely to be a wild ride (shorter in places like New York and London that are ahead in the infection curve).
More From View from the Wing
About Gary LeffGary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary >>
More articles by Gary Leff >>
Cyprus reportedly discovers a Covid variant that combines omicron and delta
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 14:20
Staff at CSL are working in the lab on November 08, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia, where they will begin manufacturing AstraZeneca-Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine.
Darrian Traynor | Getty Images
A researcher in Cyprus has discovered a strain of the coronavirus that combines the delta and omicron variant, Bloomberg News reported on Saturday.
Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus, called the strain "deltacron," because of its omicron-like genetic signatures within the delta genomes, Bloomberg said.
So far, Kostrikis and his team have found 25 cases of the virus, according to the report. It's still too early to tell whether there are more cases of the strain or what impacts it could have.
"We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail" against the two dominant strains, delta and omicron, Kostrikis said in an interview with Sigma TV Friday. He believes omicron will also overtake deltacron, he added.
The researchers sent their findings this week to GISAID, an international database that tracks viruses, according to Bloomberg.
The deltacron variant comes as omicron continues its rapid spread across the globe, causing a surge in Covid-19 cases. The U.S. is reporting a seven-day average of more than 600,000 new cases daily, according to a CNBC analysis Friday of data from Johns Hopkins University. That's a 72% increase from the previous week and a pandemic record.
Read the full Bloomberg News story here.
Mike Pompeo's weight loss story: Down 90 pounds in 6 months
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 14:05
America isn't just seeing less of Mike Pompeo because the Trump administration is no longer in the White House. We are seeing less of the former secretary of state because there is literally less of him '-- 90 pounds, to be exact.
The former director of the CIA has faced a lot of challenging situations in his long career, but he hesitates to talk about his weight loss because of a nagging fear he will put all the pounds he lost back on. But, in an exclusive interview with The Post, he revealed how he did it and why.
It all started on June 14, 2021, when Pompeo stepped on the scale and saw he was just pounds away from 300 for the first time in his life.
The next morning, he said, he woke up and told his wife, Susan: ''Today is the day.''
Pompeo says he lost 90 pounds in six months by himself with nutrition and exercise. Getty Images; Samuel Corum for NY Post''I started exercising, not every day, but nearly every day, and eating right and the weight just started to come off,'' he said.
Pompeo, 58, said he invested in a home gym in his basement with some dumbbells and an elliptical machine, where The Post photographed him this week. ''I tried to get down there five, six times a week and stay at it for a half-hour or so. And that was nothing scientific. There was no trainer, there was no dietician. It was just me.''
The weight started piling on when he was first elected to Congress as a representative for Kansas in 2010, Pompeo said.
Pompeo now tries to exercise ''nearly every day'' using an elliptical machine and weights. Samuel Corum Pompeo says he lifts weights and uses an elliptical machine. Samuel Corum''Although the truth is losing weight has been a lifetime struggle for me.''
To finally get healthy, Pompeo said, he had to be in the right frame of mind.
''For me it's about getting it right and being sufficiently disciplined,'' he said, a process he applied to all of the high-pressure positions he's held in government but not to his own health until this year.
Now a Fox News contributor, Pompeo recently stunned viewers with his 90-pound weight loss. Fox NewsGone were the cheeseburgers, carbs and sugary treats that lingered beside his computer as he worked long into the night '-- or traveled with him on long flights across the world.
But the change in diet hasn't changed family restaurant traditions '-- IHOP is still the Pompeos' favorite, but rather than ordering stacks of pumpkin pancakes smothered in syrup, the former secretary now chooses much healthier fare.
''We still go there as a family '-- it's important to not take those traditions away. Now we get egg whites and turkey bacon,'' he said.
Mike Pompeo '-- pictured with wife Susan and son Nick '-- served as Trump's secretary of state from 2018 to 2021, mostly eating cheeseburgers at his desk. AFP via Getty Images''For our family, food is where we gather. We are Italian and we like to get together around a good meal of pasta and bread and cheeses and dessert. We are still going to enjoy these big meals with family and friends except I am going to be the guy that says, 'Yeah, I'll have a salad,''' he said, laughing.
''It was a virtuous cycle instead of the vicious one that I had been in, and I've managed to lose the high side of 90 pounds in six months.''
The California native '-- who graduated first in his class at West Point '-- said he used an old foot ailment as an excuse for not being able to lose weight in the past.
Instead of eating stacks of pumpkin pancakes smothered in syrup at IHOP, Pompeo now orders egg whites and turkey bacon. Stefano Giovannini''I put on almost a hundred pounds over the course of 10, 11 years '-- years that coincided with my foot injury '-- so I told myself that was the reason I gained so much weight,'' he said, adding that nothing specific happened to his foot. ''The joint just wore out.''
His battle is one many Americans identify with: A January 2022 Gallup survey shows 41 percent of US adults over the past five years have characterized themselves as overweight, a percentage that is up from 36 percent in the prior five-year period. Gallup noted that its findings contrast with federal health statistics, which show that nearly three-quarters of Americans are either overweight or obese.
Pompeo said he gets it. ''No one wants to admit they have gained weight or are overweight even if all the evidence points otherwise.''
His weight loss came with plenty of social media speculation '-- and Pompeo said none of the comments were particularly complimentary. ''The posts were pretty nasty or just inaccurate, speculating that I had health issues with my neck, or that I had cancer,'' he said.
''Nobody ever called me and really asked, 'Hey, what happened?'''
Pompeo, pictured in his home gym, said his weight has been a lifelong struggle. Samuel Corum Pompeo '-- pictured here in 2013 '-- said he started gaining weight in 2010 after he was elected as a representative from Kansas. Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBut friends like West Point classmate David Urban sure did. The two men saw each other in November in Dallas '-- along with everyone else who graduated with them in 1986 '-- at the Army-Air Force game for their 35th class reunion.
Urban, a Trump campaign alum, said the first thing he told Pompeo was how fantastic he looked. Then he told him he wasn't surprised he accomplished it.
''You don't graduate from West Point, let alone become number one in your class at West Point, without being able to be incredibly focused.''
Friend and fellow West Point graduate David Urban said he was impressed by Pompeo's weight loss at their recent 35th class reunion. Courtesy of David UrbanUrban, who traveled with Pompeo from time to time when he was at State, said he saw how the job impacted him physically.
''He isn't the first person who goes into politics and, because of the demands of the job, gained weight. He's traveling all over the world, flying 13, 14 hours at different places, different time zones. It's incredibly difficult to keep any type of routine, let alone an exercise regimen. You kind of put yourself behind the job,'' he said.
''I traveled with him when he went to Europe for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, and he worked the entire flight,'' he added.
When he traveled, Pompeo said, there were previous secretaries who went out and had a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant if they finished their meetings at 7:30 or 8 o'clock. But not him. ''You can ask anybody on my team, they knew exactly what I was going to do: cheeseburger from room service. I went back to the room and kept working, and ate my cheeseburger. That was my pattern of life.
''When you work and eat, you just keep working and you just keep eating.''
Pompeo served from 2018 to 2021 as the 70th secretary of state in the Trump administration after a brief stint as the director of the CIA and three terms in Congress. The former Army officer who attended Harvard Law School is a former businessman who made his mother's home state of Kansas his own state in 1998.
Since leaving the administration, Pompeo has signed on as a Fox News contributor, serves as a senior counsel for global affairs at the American Center for Law and Justice, and chairs CAVPAC, an organization dedicated to electing conservative candidates to the US House and Senate. He and Susan now call Chantilly, Va., home.
Pompeo credits his weight loss to his wife, Susan, son, Nick, and soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Rachael, who all ''supported my effort to get healthy.'' @mikepompeoMeanwhile, Pompeo said he hopes his journey will inspire others struggling with obesity to lose weight. ''It is hard, and it's not permanent. There's no guarantees that I'll still be at whatever I weigh now, but if you realize that good things can happen if you keep at it, you can do it as well.''
Having the support of his wife, son Nick, and future daughter-in-law, Rachael, certainly helped.
''The biggest benefit I had in this journey was an enormously supportive wife and family,'' he said. ''Everybody supported my effort to get healthy, which was the real focus.''
Pompeo said he wants to be around for the grandchildren he hopes his son, Nick, has with his fianc(C)e, Rachael. @npompeoAnother social media rumor is that Pompeo dropped the pounds to gear up for a presidential run in 2024. He laughs at the suggestion.
''The truth is, I'm really getting ready for 2044 and hoping I'll be around in 2054.''
Why those specific years? Grandchildren, he says hopefully.
''My son's getting married in July, and I wanted to be healthier and be around for what I hope the Lord will bless us with as grandkids before too terribly long. I'm not supposed to talk about that, I'm told,'' he said with a chuckle, knowing he is going to get a little good-natured grief for letting his true feelings slip.
''My clothes fit better, and I have more energy,'' he said. But ultimately, ''I want to be there for my family and hopefully lots of grandchildren.''
Indiana life insurance CEO says deaths are up 40% among people ages 18-64 | Indiana | thecentersquare.com
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 13:57
(The Center Square) '' The head of Indianapolis-based insurance company OneAmerica said the death rate is up a stunning 40% from pre-pandemic levels among working-age people.
''We are seeing, right now, the highest death rates we have seen in the history of this business '' not just at OneAmerica,'' the company's CEO Scott Davison said during an online news conference this week. ''The data is consistent across every player in that business.''
OneAmerica is a $100 billion insurance company that has had its headquarters in Indianapolis since 1877. The company has approximately 2,400 employees and sells life insurance, including group life insurance to employers nationwide.
Davison said the increase in deaths represents ''huge, huge numbers,'' and that's it's not elderly people who are dying, but ''primarily working-age people 18 to 64'' who are the employees of companies that have group life insurance plans through OneAmerica.
''And what we saw just in third quarter, we're seeing it continue into fourth quarter, is that death rates are up 40% over what they were pre-pandemic,'' he said.
''Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three-sigma or a one-in-200-year catastrophe would be 10% increase over pre-pandemic,'' he said. ''So 40% is just unheard of.''
Davison was one of several business leaders who spoke during the virtual news conference on Dec. 30 that was organized by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.
Most of the claims for deaths being filed are not classified as COVID-19 deaths, Davison said.
''What the data is showing to us is that the deaths that are being reported as COVID deaths greatly understate the actual death losses among working-age people from the pandemic. It may not all be COVID on their death certificate, but deaths are up just huge, huge numbers.''
He said at the same time, the company is seeing an ''uptick'' in disability claims, saying at first it was short-term disability claims, and now the increase is in long-term disability claims.
''For OneAmerica, we expect the costs of this are going to be well over $100 million, and this is our smallest business. So it's having a huge impact on that,'' he said.
That $100 million is what OneAmerica will have paid out to policyholders in group life insurance and disability claims, the company said.
Davison said the costs will be passed on to employers purchasing group life insurance policies, who will have to pay higher premiums.
The CDC weekly death counts, which reflect the information on death certificates and so have a lag of up to eight weeks or longer, show that for the week ending Nov. 6, there were far fewer deaths from COVID-19 in Indiana compared to a year ago '' 195 verses 336 '' but more deaths from other causes '' 1,350 versus 1,319.
These deaths were for people of all ages, however, while the information referenced by Davison was for working-age people who are employees of businesses with group life insurance policies.
At the same news conference where Davison spoke, Brian Tabor, the president of the Indiana Hospital Association, said that hospitals across the state are being flooded with patients ''with many different conditions,'' saying ''unfortunately, the average Hoosiers' health has declined during the pandemic.''
In a follow-up call, he said he did not have a breakdown showing why so many people in the state are being hospitalized '' for what conditions or ailments. But he said the extraordinarily high death rate quoted by Davison matched what hospitals in the state are seeing.
"What it confirmed for me is it bore out what we're seeing on the front end,..." he said.
The number of hospitalizations in the state is now higher than before the COVID-19 vaccine was introduced a year ago, and in fact is higher than it's been in the past five years, Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Indiana's chief medical officer, said at a news conference with Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday.
Just 8.9% of ICU beds are available at hospitals in the state, a low for the year, and lower than at any time during the pandemic. But the majority of ICU beds are not taken up by COVID-19 patients '' just 37% are, while 54% of the ICU beds are being occupied by people with other illnesses or conditions.
The state's online dashboard shows that the moving average of daily deaths from COVID-19 is less than half of what it was a year ago. At the pandemic's peak a year ago, 125 people died on one day '' on Dec. 29, 2020. In the last three months, the highest number of deaths in one day was 58, on Dec. 13.
INSTEAD OF FDA'S REQUESTED 500 PAGES PER MONTH, COURT ORDERS FDA TO PRODUCE PFIZER COVID-19 DATA AT RATE OF 55,000 PAGES PER MONTH!
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 13:13
On behalf of a client, my firm requested that the FDA produce all the data submitted by Pfizer to license its Covid-19 vaccine. The FDA asked the Court for permission to only be required to produce at a rate of 500 pages per month, which would have taken over 75 years to produce all the documents.
I am pleased to report that a federal judge soundly rejected the FDA's request and ordered the FDA to produce all the data at a clip of 55,000 pages per month!
This is a great win for transparency and removes one of the strangleholds federal ''health'' authorities have had on the data needed for independent scientists to offer solutions and address serious issues with the current vaccine program '' issues which include waning immunity, variants evading vaccine immunity, and, as the CDC has confirmed, that the vaccines do not prevent transmission.
No person should ever be coerced to engage in an unwanted medical procedure. And while it is bad enough the government violated this basic liberty right by mandating the Covid-19 vaccine, the government also wanted to hide the data by waiting to fully produce what it relied upon to license this product until almost every American alive today is dead. That form of governance is destructive to liberty and antithetical to the openness required in a democratic society.
In ordering the release of the documents in a timely manner, the Judge recognized that the release of this data is of paramount public importance and should be one of the FDA's highest priorities. He then aptly quoted James Madison as saying a ''popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy'' and John F. Kennedy as explaining that a ''nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.''
The following is the full text of the Judge's order, a copy of which is also available here.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
PHMPT, Plaintiff v. FDA, Defendant, No. 4:21-cv-1058-P
ORDER
This case involves the Freedom of Information Act (''FOIA''). Specifically, at issue is Plaintiff's FOIA request seeking ''[a]ll data and information for the Pfizer Vaccine enumerated in 21 C.F.R. § 601.51(e) with the exception of publicly available reports on the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System'' from the Food and Drug Administration (''FDA''). See ECF No. 1. As has become standard, the Parties failed to agree to a mutually acceptable production schedule; instead, they submitted dueling production schedules for this Court's consideration. Accordingly, the Court held a conference with the Parties to determine an appropriate production schedule.[1] See ECF Nos. 21, 34.
''Open government is fundamentally an American issue'' '' it is neither a Republican nor a Democrat issue.[2] As James Madison wrote, ''[a] popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps, both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.''[3] John F. Kennedy likewise recognized that ''a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.''[4] And, particularly appropriate in this case, John McCain (correctly) noted that ''[e]xcessive administrative secrecy . . . feeds conspiracy theories and reduces the public's confidence in the government.''[5]
Echoing these sentiments, ''[t]he basic purpose of FOIA is to ensure an informed citizenry, [which is] vital to the functioning of a democratic society.'' NLRB v. Robbins Tire & Rubber Co., 437 U.S. 214, 242 (1977). ''FOIA was [therefore] enacted to 'pierce the veil of administrative secrecy and to open agency action to the light of public scrutiny.''' Batton v. Evers, 598 F.3d 169, 175 (5th Cir. 2010) (quoting Dep't of the Air Force v. Rose, 425 U.S. 352, 361 (1976)). And ''Congress has long recognized that 'information is often useful only if it is timely' and that, therefore 'excessive delay by the agency in its response is often tantamount to denial.''' Open Soc'y Just. Initiative v. CIA, 399 F. Supp. 3d 161, 165 (S.D.N.Y. 2019) (quoting H.R. REP. NO. 93-876, at 6271 (1974)). When needed, a court ''may use its equitable powers to require an agency to process documents according to a court-imposed timeline.'' Clemente v. FBI, 71 F. Supp. 3d 262, 269 (D.D.C. 2014).
Here, the Court recognizes the ''unduly burdensome'' challenges that this FOIA request may present to the FDA. See generally ECF Nos. 23, 30, 34. But, as expressed at the scheduling conference, there may not be a ''more important issue at the Food and Drug Administration . . . than the pandemic, the Pfizer vaccine, getting every American vaccinated, [and] making sure that the American public is assured that this was not [] rush[ed] on behalf of the United States . . . .'' ECF No. 34 at 46. Accordingly, the Court concludes that this FOIA request is of paramount public importance.
''[S]tale information is of little value.'' Payne Enters., Inc. v. United States, 837 F.2d 486, 494 (D.C. Cir. 1988). The Court, agreeing with this truism, therefore concludes that the expeditious completion of Plaintiff's request is not only practicable, but necessary. See Bloomberg, L.P. v. FDA, 500 F. Supp. 2d 371, 378 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 15, 2007) (''[I]t is the compelling need for such public understanding that drives the urgency of the request.''). To that end, the Court further concludes that the production rate, as detailed below, appropriately balances the need for unprecedented urgency in processing this request with the FDA's concerns regarding the burdens of production. See Halpern v. FBI, 181 F.3d 279, 284''85 (2nd Cir. 1991) (''[FOIA] emphasizes a preference for the fullest possible agency disclosure of such information consistent with a responsible balancing of competing concerns . . . .'').
Accordingly, having considered the Parties' arguments, filings in support, and the applicable law, the Court ORDERS that:
1. The FDA shall produce the ''more than 12,000 pages'' articulated in its own proposal, see ECF No. 29 at 24, on or before January 31, 2022.
2. The FDA shall produce the remaining documents at a rate of 55,000 pages every 30 days, with the first production being due on or before March 1, 2022, until production is complete.
3. To the extent the FDA asserts any privilege, exemption, or exclusion as to any responsive record or portion thereof, FDA shall, concurrent with each production required by this Order, produce a redacted version of the record, redacting only those portions as to which privilege, exemption, or exclusion is asserted.
4. The Parties shall submit a Joint Status Report detailing the progress of the rolling production by April 1, 2022, and every 90 days thereafter.[6]
SO ORDERED on this 6th day of January, 2022.
[1] Surprisingly, the FDA did not send an agency representative to the scheduling conference.
[2] 151 CONG. REC. S1521 (daily ed. Feb. 16, 2005) (statement of Sen. John Cornyn).
[3] Letter from James Madison to W.T. Barry (August 4, 1822), in 9 WRITINGS OF JAMES MADISON 103 (S. Hunt ed., 1910).
[4] John F. Kennedy, Remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the Voice of America (Feb. 26, 1962).
[5] America After 9/11: Freedom Preserved or Freedom Lost?: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 108th Cong. 302 (2003).
[6] Although the Court does not decide whether the FDA correctly denied Plaintiff's request for expedited processing, the issue is not moot. Should the Parties seek to file motions for summary judgment, the Court will take up the issue then.
Hunter Biden 'worked as go-between' for Kazakh oligarch with links to Prince Andrew who called ex-VP's son 'my brother'
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 13:12
BIDEN'S WEB 13:28, 17 Oct 2020 Updated : 15:57, 17 Oct 2020 HUNTER Biden worked as go-between for a Kazakh oligarch with links to Prince Andrew - who called the ex-VP's son '"my brother", it was claimed today.
The second son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden reportedly worked for international businessman Kenes Rakishev.
'š ¸ Read our US election live blog for the latest news & updates
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Hunter Biden, 50, is claimed to have worked with a Kazakh oligarch Credit: REUTERS 7
The Mail claimed the entrepreneur had worked with Kenes Rakishev between 2012 and 2014The Kazakh investor and entrepreneur has close family connections to former president Nursultan Nazarbayev - a dictator accused of human rights abuses.
Nazarbayev is the father-in-law of Timur Kulibayev - an oligarch it was once claimed Prince Andrew sold his £15million former home for £3m over asking price.
And the Daily Mail today claimed Biden Jr held extensive meetings with Rakishev.
It was reported that the meetings were organised to discuss the oligarch's hopes to invest cash in New York and Washington DC.
It was claimed the 50-year-old Biden Jr even travelled to Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, to discuss opportunities.
In one apparently leaked email, Biden Jr said: "'I wanted to check in with you and see what our next steps are to follow up on our visit to Kazakhstan."
During their working relationship, it was claimed the pair would exchange messages with Rakishev writing texts to Biden Jr calling him "my brother from another mother".
The paper, who said emails had been passed to them via anti-corruption campaigners from the Central Asian country, also said Biden Jr had tried to get Rakishev to buy into a mining company in Nevada.
The oligarch finally invested $1million with Alexandra Forbes Kerry.
Rakishev was named in 2012 as one of the top 15 "most influential" tycoons in Kazakhstan.
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Photographs have previously emerged of Hunter Biden in bed with a pipe 7
Other photographs obtained by the New York post showed him in a bath with a cigarette 7
Biden Jr is the second son of Joe Biden, who is facing Donald Trump in the race to the White House Credit: Getty - Contributor 7
Prince Andrew sold his £15million former home for £3m over asking price to oligarch Timur Kulibayev, a pal of Rakishev Credit: Getty Images - GettyIt is just the latest news story to follow Biden Jr.
Notably, the former VP's son has been accused of serving the "strategic interests" of China's government and military while he served as a board member of Beijing-based investment firm BHR Partners.
Hunter also served on the board of Ukrainian gas giant Burisma between 2014 and 2019 which paid him $50,000 a month, according to Bloomberg News.
And in March 2020, he again made headlines after missing a child support deadline regarding a child who the court ruled was his.
In an ABC interview from October 2019, Biden acknowledged that he had "done estimable things and things I regret,'' but insisted he was now in ''probably the best place I've ever been in my life.''
Hunter has admitted to spending six stints in a rehab centre for alcohol and drug addictions, with one visit coming after a crack binge in 2016.
Recently, reports have emerged of Biden allegedly smoking crack while another picture appeared to show him reclining in a bath with a cigarette. It is unclear when exactly the incidents took place.
Most damning of the controversies includes a report allegedly linking Hunter to sending "thousands of dollars" to Russian and Ukrainian women who lived in the US.
During the presidential debate with Donald Trump, Biden was quizzed over his son Hunter.
The 77-year-old said: ''My son, like a lot of people, like lot of people you know at home, had a drug problem.
"He's fixed it, he's worked on it. And I'm proud of him. I'm proud of my son.''
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Joe Biden said he was proud of his son working on his drug problem Credit: Reuters Biden FINALLY addresses Hunter 'Ukraine & crack' scandal to slam 'smear'
In South Korea, hair loss emerges as new election issue | AP News
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:58
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) '-- South Korean presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung isn't bald. But he is enjoying the support of many bald voters over his push for government payments for hair loss treatments.
Since his proposal was disclosed earlier this week, hair loss has emerged as a hot-button topic ahead of March's presidential vote in South Korea, where previous elections have focused on North Korea's nuclear program, relations with the U.S., scandals and economic problems.
Online communities for bald people are flooded with messages supporting his proposal. There is also strong criticism that it's just a populism-driven campaign pledge by Lee, the governing party candidate, to win votes.
Messages on social media include, ''Jae-myung bro. I love you. I'll implant you in the Blue House'' and ''Your Excellency, Mr. President! You're giving new hope to bald people for the first time in Korea.''
Lee told reporters Wednesday that he thinks hair regrowth treatments should be covered by the national health insurance program.
''Please, let us know what has been inconvenient for you over hair-loss treatments and what must be reflected in policies,'' Lee wrote on Facebook. ''I'll present a perfect policy on hair-loss treatment.''
Lee, an outspoken liberal, is leading public opinion surveys. Some critics have called him a dangerous populist.
''(Lee's idea) may appear to be a necessary step for many people worrying about their hair loss but it's nothing but serious populism, given that it would worsen the financial stability of the state insurance program,'' the conservative Munhwa Ilbo newspaper said in an editorial Thursday.
Currently, hair loss related to aging and hereditary factors is not covered by the government-run insurance program. Hair loss treatments are only supported if the loss is caused by certain diseases.
Reports say one in every five South Koreans suffers from hair loss.
Seattle police faked radio chatter about Proud Boys as CHOP formed in 2020, investigation finds | The Seattle Times
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:55
At a crucial moment during 2020's racial justice protests, Seattle police exchanged a detailed series of fake radio transmissions about a nonexistent group of menacing right-wing extremists.
The radio chatter about members of the Proud Boys marching around downtown Seattle, some possibly carrying guns, and then heading to confront protesters on Capitol Hill was an improper ''ruse,'' or dishonest ploy, that exacerbated a volatile situation, according to findings released Wednesday by the city's Office of Police Accountability.
The Proud Boys is a far-right group with a reputation for street violence and with several members '-- including one from South King County '-- who have been charged with terrorism for alleged actions related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The ruse happened on the night of June 8, 2020, hours after the Police Department had abandoned its East Precinct on Capitol Hill and just as protesters were starting to set up the zone that was later called the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP.
The officers who participated described a group gathering by City Hall and moving around downtown. They delivered reports such as, ''It looks like a few of them might be open carrying,'' and: ''Hearing from the Proud Boys group. '... They may be looking for somewhere else for confrontation.''
Social media posts warning about the Proud Boys by people who were monitoring police radio transmissions caused alarm in the protest zone, where some people armed and barricaded themselves that night. Though some people in the zone may have brought guns regardless of the chatter, the ruse ''improperly added fuel to the fire,'' OPA Director Andrew Myerberg concluded.
In the ensuing days, police leaders raised concerns about reports of armed people patrolling the zone and extorting business owners. Those leaders, including then-Police Chief Carmen Best, later walked back the extortion claim, lacking evidence. But photos and descriptions of the scene became national news, even reaching then-President Donald Trump, who threatened to ''take back'' the city.
The June 8 chatter about Proud Boys was part of an approved ''misinformation effort'' via radio that multiple police leaders knew about, according to Wednesday's closed-case summary by Myerberg, which will be reviewed by interim police Chief Adrian Diaz for disciplinary rulings. Fabricating the group of Proud Boys as part of the effort violated department policies, Myerberg determined.
But it appears unlikely that anyone will lose their jobs or pay over the incident. The two employees who ordered and supervised the misinformation effort and who Myerberg sustained allegations of policy violations against have already left the department, according to the case summary.
Myerberg didn't sustain allegations of policy violations against four officers identified as having taken part in the Proud Boys chatter. The officers used poor judgment, but their supervisors were mostly to blame for failing to provide adequate supervision, Myerberg determined.
The Proud Boys ruse was deployed at an incredibly tense moment. The murder of George Floyd had sparked more than a week of large-scale protests in Seattle, with the police barricading streets around the East Precinct and deploying tear gas. Later in June, two fatal shootings occurred in the CHOP zone.
Matt Watson, a Seattle artist and activist known as ''Spek,'' immediately raised the possibility on social media that there had been a hoax. No one out on the streets had actually seen the Proud Boys group that the officers were talking about on the radio, and the officers were using irregular call signs.
But there was no investigation until late 2020, when Converge Media journalist Omari Salisbury asked OPA for body camera video from the officers who had supposedly tailed the Proud Boys group. When OPA couldn't locate any relevant video, the office launched an investigation.
The investigation was completed by September 2021; several months passed before Myerberg issued findings. The case was less of a priority than some others that involved recommendations of discipline against current employees, Myerberg said. The city's contract with the union that represents officers prohibits discipline in investigations that take more than 180 days.
Salisbury, whose questions spurred the OPA investigation and who pressed for the findings to be released, said he wants the public to know what had occurred. It's been 18 months since the Proud Boys ruse happened.
''It's important that everything about the protests comes out and until that occurs we can't move forward and heal,'' Salisbury said, noting that new Mayor Bruce Harrell has talked about trying to bring city together. ''We can't be one Seattle until we resolve these issues.''
Watson, who posted audio from the Proud Boys ruse on social media after someone sent him a recording from the website openmhz.com, contends the ruse was part of a wider attempt by the police to undermine the protests.
''Having a counterinsurgency operation conducted by our local police department in our own community is bonkers,'' especially given that the officers weaponized a group later involved in the Capitol attack, Watson said.
In a statement Wednesday, Harrell said the ruse had done ''immeasurable'' damage to public trust.
''Misinformation, especially of this inflammatory nature, is totally unacceptable from our Seattle police officers,'' he said. ''This kind of tactic never should have been considered.''
The Police Department had been cited for an improper ruse before, said Councilmember Lisa Herbold, noting a 2019 recommendation for better training has been only partially implemented.
The investigationThe OPA contacted the department's operations center and intelligence unit and learned there had been a miscommunication effort approved, ordered and led by a captain who later became an assistant chief and then left the department.
Myerberg's case summary doesn't name any of the people involved, referring to the captain as ''Named Employee #1.'' But the description of Named Employee #1 applies to Bryan Grenon, who was captain of the East Precinct, became an assistant chief and has since left.
In an interview with OPA, Grenon said he came up with the misinformation effort because he knew people were monitoring police radio transmissions. He said the idea was to give them the impression that ''we had more officers out there doing regular stuff.''
Grenon said he didn't seek approval from Best or Assistant Chief of Patrol Operations Tom Mahaffey for the misinformation effort.
He said misinformation was used on June 8 in particular because ''we were overrun with, you know, forces or protesters.'' An aim was to separate them and ''get them into other areas.'' Grenon didn't know until later that the officers had decided to discuss a fictitious group of Proud Boys, he told OPA.
An operations center officer labeled ''Named Employee #2'' told OPA he was assigned by Grenon to carry out the misinformation effort by organizing some officers to ''focus some attention on a location different than where the main police and protest interactions were happening.'' He said he didn't remember the Proud Boys ruse but also didn't consider it inappropriate. The aim was to ''make the broadcast seem realistic'' rather than to ''incite fear,'' he said.
In a second interview with OPA, Grenon said the use of the Proud Boys was contrary to his guidance to Named Employee #2 and said the point of the misinformation effort was to protect officers from being ambushed.
Reached Wednesday by phone, Grenon said he was looking for ''an innocent way to just throw out some distraction'' at a time when the Police Department was short-handed and under pressure.
He said the effort was meant to target people intent on harming officers, drawing a distinction between those people and regular protesters.
''It was never my intent to cause alarm,'' he said, attributing the Proud Boys ruse to officers who got carried away.
''Hindsight is 20/20,'' Grenon said.
An officer who was involved in other aspects of the misinformation effort but not the Proud Boys ruse said the effort lasted for multiple days and mostly involved mundane chatter, like what officers were going to eat that day.
OPA interviewed three of four officers who were identified as having participated in the Proud Boys ruse. They said they weren't given specific instructions, other than to divide the attention of the protesters.
Best told OPA she didn't know about the effort. Mahaffey told OPA he was generally aware but wasn't involved. He said his understanding was that the effort was supposed to lure protesters away from the East Precinct, allowing the police to reoccupy the building.
Mahaffey didn't know at the time that the Proud Boys would be referenced but believes the use of a ruse was justified, he told OPA.
''We simply cannot have a chief or command staff claim that they are unaware of such critical tactical decisions. '... This cannot happen again, period,'' Harrell said Wednesday, promising to meet with Diaz about the matter.
Herbold said she would have expected more oversight from someone like Mahaffey.
The findingsWednesday's case summary includes the Proud Boys transmissions until 10:14 p.m. The chatter continued past midnight, according to a recording shared by Watson, with officers describing the Proud Boys moving from downtown to First Hill in an attempt to reach Capitol Hill.
At one point, an officer said, ''I haven't seen any long weapons. There might be one carry '-- one sidearm on a holster,'' describing the group as ''very boisterous tonight.''
At another point, the same officer reported a fight brewing between the Proud Boys and another group. He said officers had detained one person and later said he was going to confiscate ''sticks, makeshift weapons.''
The same officer later estimated that the group was 20 to 30 people, saying the Proud Boys were going to head east, toward Cal Anderson Park, near the East Precinct.
According to Myerberg, Grenon and Named Employee #2 violated the department's policies on discretion and truthfulness.
The effort lacked adequate guidelines (officers said they weren't told what to say or not say), was inadequately supervised (officers said they'd never participated in a similar effort before) and was inadequately documented (there was no after-action report, no list of who participated and no official recording made), Myerberg concluded.
Police are allowed to use a ruse only when undercover, to acquire information for a criminal investigation or to address ''an exigent threat to life safety or public safety.'' Even then, state law says a ruse can't be so ''shocking'' as to violate ''fundamental fairness.'' None of those conditions applied to the Proud Boys chatter, Myerberg determined.
''While anger and emotion were high'' in the CHOP that night, ''there was no ongoing violence within the zone or imminent violence that could have been reasonably foreseen,'' he wrote.
Had the officers only discussed innocuous topics, such as movies or meals, that would have been acceptable, Myerberg wrote.
''The use of the Proud Boys when it was known that the transmissions would be monitored took a volatile situation and made it even more so,'' Myerberg wrote, arguing it was reasonably foreseeable that the CHOP protesters would be worried and would ''take steps to arm and defend themselves.''
News Release: DHS Announces SBIR Pre-Solicitation | Homeland Security
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:50
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASES&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385Washington '' The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program released 11 topics for the new Small Business innovation Research (SBIR) 22.1 Pre-solicitation. During this period, small businesses can review topics and ask clarifying technical questions regarding the topic requirements.
''The topics span a broad range of homeland security needs that give small businesses the opportunity to partner with DHS and turn their ideas into effective solutions,'' said Dusty Lang, DHS SBIR Director. ''I encourage all innovative small businesses to review the topics in the Pre-Solicitation to better understand our research and development needs.''
Full topic descriptions for the titles listed below can be viewed at SAM.gov. Technical questions should be directed to the technical point of contact for each topic, listed in the 22.1 SBIR Topic Areas document. Small businesses have until 5:00 p.m. ET on December 14, 2021 to submit their questions.
The DHS topics in the 22.1 SBIR Pre-Solicitation are:
DHS221-001 - Automated Artificial Intelligence (AI) Distress Alerts and MonitoringDHS221-002 - Rapidly deployable countermeasures at protected perimeters and structuresDHS221-003 - Non-Invasive and Real-time Detection of Counterfeit MicroelectronicsDHS221-004 - Broadband Push-to-Talk Interoperability PlatformDHS221-005 - A Step Towards Agent Agnostic Detection of Biological HazardsDHS221-006 - Streamlined Airport Checkpoint Screening for Limited Mobility PassengersDHS221-007 - Mass Fatality Tracking System (MFTS)DHS221-008 - Next Generation Semiconductor-Based Spectroscopic Personal Radiation Detectors (SPRDs)DHS221-009 - Field Forward Diagnostics for Select Agent List ToxinsDHS221-010 - Wearable Detector for Aerosolized Chemical ThreatsDHS221-011 - From Port-Side to Pen-Side: Low Cost Detection/Diagnostics for High-Consequence Transboundary or Nationally Reportable Animal Diseases, Particularly Those with Zoonotic PropensityThe DHS SBIR Program is a competitive contract awards program to increase the participation of innovative and creative U.S. small businesses in federal research and development initiatives and to increase private sector commercialization of SBIR-funded solutions. To learn more about the program, visit: https://oip.dhs.gov/sbir/public or contact STSBIR.Program@hq.dhs.gov.
Interested small businesses can register for the Deconstructing SBIR: What's New in 2022! webinar on Wednesday December 1, 2021 at 2 p.m. ET. During this live webinar, attendees will hear from the DHS SBIR Director about how small businesses can participate in the program and how technologies developed through SBIR can support DHS component technology needs.
For more information on S&T's innovation programs and tools, visit: https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/work-with-st.
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Justice Sotomayor Exaggerated the Number of Severe COVID-19 Cases Among Children
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:41
Sonia Sotomayor
"We have over 100,000 children, which we've never had before, in serious condition and many on ventilators," said the justice, wrongly. Robby Soave | 1.7.2022 2:36 PM
(Pool via CNP / SplashNews/Newscom)
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Friday on whether to prevent the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for private workplaces from going into effect. As expected, the right-leaning justices seemed skeptical that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had the authority to craft such a regulation without new input from Congress, whereas the three liberal justices appeared to believe the mandate was necessary given the public health emergency posed by COVID-19.
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor was particularly adamant that the surging omicron variant wave represents a real crisis. In discussing the issue, she significantly exaggerated the threat of COVID-19 to children.
"Omicron is as deadly as delta and causes as much serious disease in the unvaccinated as delta did," she said. "The numbers'--look at the hospitalization rates going up. We have more infected people today than we did a year ago in January. We have hospitals that are almost at full capacity with people severely ill on ventilators. We have over 100,000 children, which we've never had before, in serious condition, and many on ventilators."
If by serious condition, Sotomayor meant hospitalized, then her claim is false. There are not 100,000 children currently hospitalized with COVID-19. In fact, if you tallied up all the children admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 since August 2020, you would still not find 100,000 of them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospitals have admitted about 82,000 COVID-19 patients under the age of 18 in that time period. The current seven-day average for this age group is 766 hospitalizations.
The overwhelming majority of children who contract COVID-19 experience only mild disease. The disease's age skew is so great that even unvaccinated young people are at less risk than elderly people who are vaccinated. Most kids admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 have underlying health conditions'--particularly obesity.
Sotomayor's behavior suggests she is perhaps the most COVID-cautious judge. She is the only one of the nine who always wears her mask inside the courtroom, and she opted to participate in today's oral arguments virtually, from her private chambers.
That's her prerogative, of course. But if she is trying to justify President Joe Biden's far-reaching and unprecedented vaccine mandate on the grounds that the disease is uniquely dangerous to children, then she should demonstrate a more accurate recitation of the statistics.
The Day Jake Tapper Sold His Soul to Pharma ' Children's Health Defense
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:34
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Apparently, appalled by robust sales of my bestseller, ''The Real Anthony Fauci,'' CNN anchor Jake Tapper '-- in lieu of critically reviewing the work '-- used his Twitter feed to unleash a barrage of ad hominem insults against me.
Breaking with the traditional restraints of journalistic neutrality, professional propriety and intellectual rigor, he branded me ''dangerous,'' a ''menace,'' a ''liar,'' a ''grifter,'' a fraud, ''unhinged'' and more.
But Tapper's defamations hang in the atmosphere without substantiation or citation. If I'm a liar, then what was my lie? If I'm a grifter, then what is my personal profit or advantage? If I am a fraud, then where is my inaccurate statement?
I concede that I'm a dangerous menace, but only to the pharmaceutical industry, its captive technocrats and its media toadies.
When I responded to his slander with a respectful tweet inviting him to debate me, Tapper declined, explaining he would not debate a ''conspiracy theorist.'' Characteristically, he neglected to cite any conspiracy theory he believes I promoted.
And is it credible to dismiss me as a conspiracy theorist unworthy of debate? After all, I am founder and former president of the world's largest water protection group, and founder and current chairman of one of the largest children's health advocacy groups.
I've won hundreds of successful lawsuits, including milestone victories against Monsanto, DuPont, Exxon, Smithfield Foods and leading polluters from the chemical, carbon, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. (Many of these also initially dismissed me as a ''conspiracy theorist.'')
My current book, ''The Real Anthony Fauci,'' may be the most heavily footnoted volume to ever sit atop global best-seller lists for six consecutive weeks. With 500,000 copies sold, it has attracted a whopping 5,500+ five-star reviews (92%).
Despite extreme hostility toward this volume from mainstream media and the medical cartel, no one has yet identified a factual inaccuracy in its 250,000 words.
If my book is baseless conspiracy theories, then shouldn't Mr. Tapper welcome an opportunity to correct me with facts or arguments that go beyond name-calling?
Allow me, then, to offer my own theory for Mr. Tapper's apoplexy.
Many people make Faustian bargains during their lives, trading personal integrity for material advantage. Oftentimes the metamorphosis occurs as a gradual erosion of moral fiber. Occasionally it happens in an instant; a man stands at a moral crossroads and chooses the dark side.
I happened to have a front-row seat when Jake Tapper had his moment of moral crisis. I'm guessing his fierce vitriol toward me is a reaction to his embarrassment that I was witness to the instant when Mr. Tapper chose career over character.
In July 2005, Jake Tapper was ABC's senior producer when the network ordered him to pull a lengthy expos(C) on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) secret 2000 Simpsonwood conference.
Here is the background:
In 1999, in response to exploding epidemics of autism and other neurological disorders, CDC decided to study its vast Vaccine Safety Datalink '-- the medical and vaccination record of millions of Americans, archived by the top HMOs '-- to learn whether the dramatic escalation of the vaccine schedule, beginning in 1989, was a culprit. CDC's in-house epidemiologist, Thomas Verstraeten, led the effort.
Verstraeten's initial data run suggested that mercury-containing hepatitis B vaccines '-- administered during the first month of life '-- were associated with a wide range of neurological injuries, including a dramatic 1,135% rise in autism risks among vaccinated children.
Verstraeten's findings propelled CDC into DEFCON 1. The agency's top vaccine officials summoned 52 pharmaceutical industry leaders, the foremost vaccinologists from academia and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and public health regulators from the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CDC, World Health Organization (WHO) and European Medicines Agency to a secret two-day meeting at the remote Simpsonwood retreat center in Norcross, Georgia, to strategize about how to hide these awful revelations from the public.
In 2005, I obtained the explosive transcripts of this meeting and was about to publish excerpts in Rolling Stone (Deadly Immunity, July 18, 2005). Those recordings, ironically, portrayed these leading kingpins of the vaccine cartel poised at their own moral brink, and chronicled their collapse into corruption over two sickening days of debate.
Most of these individuals were physicians and regulatory officials who had committed their lives to public health out of idealism and deep concern for children. Verstraeten's data confronted them with the fact that the cumulative mercury levels in all those new vaccines they had recommended had overdosed a generation of American children with mercury concentrations over a hundred times the exposures the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considered safe.
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In recommending a vast battery of new vaccines for children, public health regulators had somehow neglected to calculate the cumulative mercury and aluminum loads in all the new jabs.
Dr. Peter Patriarca, the then-director of the FDA Office on Vaccine Research and Review, expressed the general feeling of horror when he asked why no one had calculated the cumulative mercury exposure to children as policymakers added this cascade of new vaccines to the childhood schedule: ''Conversion of the percentage thimerosal to actual micrograms of mercury involves ninth-grade algebra. What took the FDA so long to do the calculations?''
In the tense days leading up to the Simpsonwood conclave, children's health champion Dr. Ruth Etzel of the EPA pleaded with her fellow public health leaders to publicly admit they made a terrible mistake by inadvertently poisoning American children, and to repair the damage.
Dr. Etzel urged AAP and the government regulators to handle the crisis with the same honesty and public remorse that Johnson & Johnson had demonstrated on discovering toxic chemicals in its Tylenol formulations:
''We must follow three basic rules: (1) act quickly to inform pediatricians that the products have more mercury than we realized; (2) be open with consumers about why we didn't catch this earlier; (3) show contrition. If the public loses faith in the Public Health Services recommendations, then the immunization battle will falter. To keep faith, we must be open and honest and move forward quickly to replace these products.''
Confronted with scientific proof of their role in the chronic disease calamity, the cabal did exactly the opposite. The shocking Simpsonwood transcripts show Dr. Patriarca and the other public health panjandrums warning each other of their reputational liabilities, their vulnerability to litigation by plaintiffs' lawyers and potential damage to the vaccine program.
Dr. Patriarca cautioned that public disclosure of CDC's explosive findings would make Americans feel that the FDA, CDC and vaccine policymakers had been ''asleep at the switch'' for decades in allowing Thimerosal to remain in childhood vaccines.
Over two days of intense discussion, these Big Pharma operatives and government technocrats persuaded each other to transform their disastrous error into villainy '-- by doubling down and hiding their mistake from the public.
Tapper saw an early draft of my Rolling Stone story and proposed that, in exchange for exclusivity, he would do a companion piece for ABC timed to air on the magazine's publication day.
Tapper spent several weeks working on the story with me and a team of enthusiastic ABC reporters and technicians. During his frequent conversations with me over that period, he was on fire with indignation over the Simpsonwood revelations. He acted like a journalist hoping to win an Emmy.
The day before the piece was to air, an exasperated Tapper called me to say that ABC's corporate officials ordered him to pull the story. The network's pharmaceutical advertisers were threatening to cancel their advertising.
''Corporate told us to shut it down,'' Tapper fumed. Tapper told me that it was the first time in his career that ABC officials had ordered him to kill a story.
ABC had advertised the Simpsonwood expos(C), and its sudden cancellation disappointed an army of vaccine safety advocates and parents of injured children who deluged the network with a maelstrom of angry emails.
In response, ABC changed tack and publicly promised to air the piece. Instead, following a one-week delay, the network duplicitously aired a hastily assembled puff piece promoting vaccines and assuring listeners that mercury-laden vaccines were safe.
The new ''bait and switch'' segment precisely followed Pharma's talking points. ''I'm putting my faith in the Institute of Medicine,'' ABC's obsequious medical editor, Dr. Tim Johnson, declared in closing. Two pharmaceutical advertisements bracketed the story.
After that piece aired, I called Jake to complain. He neither answered nor returned my calls.
During the 16 intervening years, Pharma has returned Mr. Tapper's favor by aggressively promoting his career. Pfizer shamelessly sponsors Tapper's CNN news show, announcing its ownership of the space '-- and Mr. Tapper's indentured servitude '-- before each episode with the loaded phrase: ''Brought to you by Pfizer.''
Under the apparent terms of that sponsorship, CNN and Tapper provide Pfizer a platform to market its products and allow the drug company '-- a serial felon '-- to dictate content on CNN.
This arrangement has transformed CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper into a propaganda vehicle for Pharma and effectively reduced Mr. Tapper to the role of a drug rep '-- shamelessly promoting fear porn, confusion, and germophobia, and ushering his audience toward high-yield patent pharmaceuticals.
Tapper's main thrust during the pandemic has been to promote levels of public terror sufficient to indemnify all the official lies against critical thinking.
All that Pharma money naturally requires that Mr. Tapper kowtow to Dr. Fauci, and the CNN host's slavishness has helped make Tapper's show the go-to pulpit for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director.
It's a safe place for Dr. Fauci to hit all Jake's reliable softballs out of the park.
''The bootlicking competition at CNN is pretty nauseating,'' observed investigative journalist Celia Farber who has chronicled Dr. Fauci's mismanagement at NIAID for more than 25 years. ''It's ruinous for both democracy and for public health.''
Another journalist has compared Tapper's mortifying on-air servility toward Dr. Fauci to the adulation of a loyal and obedient canine. ''It's like a dog watching a chess match,'' says former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson. ''So much intensity and so little understanding.''
Tapper has gone two years without asking Dr. Fauci a single tough question. He has covered up Fauci's involvement with Wuhan, suppressed news of vaccine injuries, gaslighted the injured, and defended every official orthodoxy on masks, lockdowns, social distancing, vaccines, remdesivir, ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.
He has never asked about the public health, mental health, and economic costs of lockdown, about the disproportionate burdens of Dr. Fauci's policies on minorities, the working class and the global poor.
He has never asked Dr. Fauci to explain why countries and states that refused Dr. Fauci's prescription have consistently experienced dramatically better health outcomes. For example, why are U.S. death rates 1,000x the death rates of African countries like Nigeria and Indian states that widely use hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin? Mr. Tapper simply never allows contrary views on his show.
He continues to extol COVID vaccines as a miracle technology that individuals can take four times and still both get and spread the illness.
''He never calls Dr. Fauci on his vacillating science-free pronouncements,'' said Farber. ''Dr. Fauci seems to be able to paralyze the curiosity features of Tapper's brain.''
Tapper has to ask Dr. Fauci why, under his direction, America suffered the world's highest body count. With 4.2% of the global population, our nation suffered 15% of COVID deaths.
Instead, he functions as high priest of every official orthodoxy, working to deify Dr. Fauci and anoint all his absurd, vacillating and contradictory pronouncements with papal infallibility. The sure way to earn Tapper's indignation is to criticize Dr. Fauci.
Here are just a few examples of Mr. Tapper's brazen deceptions:
On Feb. 2, 2021, Tapper ''debunked'' claims that baseball great Hank Aaron may have died from a COVID shot. The home run king submitted to a CDC-staged press conference 17 days earlier. Tapper assured his audience that the Fulton County coroner had determined Aaron to have died from ''natural causes.''
When the Fulton County coroner subsequently denied ever having seen Aaron's body, much less performed an autopsy, Tapper refused to correct his story.
In August 2021, Tapper gave Dr. Fauci a platform to spread the rumor that deluded Americans were poisoning themselves with a ''horse medicine'' called ivermectin.
In an Aug. 29, 2021 interview, Dr. Fauci told Tapper, ''There's no evidence whatsoever that that works, and it could potentially have toxicity'... with people who have gone to poison control centers because they've taken the drug at a ridiculous dose and wind up getting sick. There's no clinical evidence that indicates that this works.''
Tapper never corrected Dr. Fauci. He never pointed out that there were by then 70 peer-reviewed studies demonstrating ivermectin's miraculous efficacy against COVID.
He didn't dispute Dr. Fauci's characterization of ivermectin as a horse medicine by noting that the drug had won both a Nobel Prize and WHO's listing as an ''essential medicine'' for its miraculous efficacy against human illnesses, and that people have consumed billions of doses with no significant safety signals.
Mr. Tapper never thought to ask Dr. Fauci if he was trying to discourage use of a cheap, effective drug that might compete with his experimental vaccines.
Instead, Tapper abjectly parroted Dr. Fauci's talking points: ''Poison control centers are reporting that their calls are spiking in places like Mississippi and Oklahoma, because some Americans are trying to use an anti-parasite horse drug called ivermectin to treat coronavirus, to prevent contracting coronavirus.''
It mattered not to Tapper that both Mississippi and Oklahoma officials quickly denied that anyone in their state had been hospitalized for ivermectin poisoning. Tapper never corrected his false story.
On Sept. 14, 2021, Tapper obligingly gave Dr. Fauci a platform to dispute rapper Nicki Minaj's worry that COVID vaccines may affect fertility. Dr. Fauci simply declared, ''The answer to that, Jake, is a resounding no.''
As usual, Tapper did not ask Dr. Fauci to cite a study to support this assertion. He never pointed out to Dr. Fauci that all of the COVID vaccine manufacturers acknowledge that their products are not tested for effects on fertility, or that recent data has shown dramatic upticks in miscarriages and pre-eclampsia in vaccinated women.
Nevertheless, based upon Dr. Fauci's word alone, CNN rushed on to defame and discredit the rapper and to assure the public that Minaj was wrong. Dr. Fauci, after all, had spoken!
It's easy to see how two years of such obsequious deference emboldened Dr. Fauci in November 2021 to declare that ''I represent science.''
There are too many other examples of Tapper's uncritical promotion of government and pharma falsehoods to even summarize. These are not harmless lies. Each of them has potentially disastrous consequences for public health.
The term ''psychological projection'' describes the uncanny precision with which a certain sort of person applies the very pejoratives to others that most accurately depict their own shortcomings.
When Mr. Tapper calls me ''unhinged,'' a ''menace to public health,'' a ''fraud,'' a ''liar,'' is he falling victim to projection?
The critical functions of journalism in a democracy are to speak truth to power, relentlessly expose official corruption, and to forever maintain a posture of skepticism toward government and corporate power centers.
What Jake Tapper does is the opposite of journalism. Tapper, instead, aligns himself with power, and makes himself a propagandist for official narratives and a servile publicist for powerful elites and government technocrats.
No wonder his fury at those who challenge their narratives.
False claim: the 1918 influenza pandemic was caused by vaccines | Reuters
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:25
Shared 582 times as of March 31, 2020, a 2018 post ( here ) on a page called ''Stop Mandatory Vaccination'' claims that ''the 1918 Influenza Epidemic was a Vaccine-caused Disease.'' This claim is false.
The claim that the influenza pandemic of 1918 ''was the after-effect of the massive nation-wide vaccine campaign'' is unfounded. A vaccine against the flu did not exist at the time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), having ''no vaccine to protect against influenza infection and no antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections that can be associated with influenza infections'' meant that ''control efforts worldwide were limited to non-pharmaceutical interventions,'¯such as isolation, quarantine, good personal hygiene, use of disinfectants, and limitations of public gatherings, which were applied unevenly.'' ( here )
According to the CDC report ''Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999,'' prior to 1900, the vaccines for smallpox, rabies, typhoid, cholera and plague had been developed in the U.S. (see Table 1 here ). The report states that ''although the first vaccine against smallpox was developed in 1796, greater than 100 years later its use had not been widespread enough to fully control the disease'... Four other vaccines -- against rabies, typhoid, cholera, and plague -- had been developed late in the 19th century but were not used widely by 1900.''
It is true that U.S. soldiers during World War I were subject to immunization requirements. However, it is not true, as the post claims, that this was the first major conflict in which this happened. Published by the National Institute of Health (NIH)'s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in 2018, a paper ( here ) called ''The US Military Commitment to Vaccine Development: A Century of Successes and Challenges,'' says that ''the first large-scale smallpox infection prevention campaign was conducted in 1777 by the Continental Army.''
In addition, a 2006 paper called ''Immunization to Protect the US Armed Forces: Heritage, Current Practice, and Prospects,'' published here by the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, says that American servicemen underwent some version of smallpox immunization in the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), the Civil War (1861-1865), and the Spanish-American War (1898). (See Table 2: ''Immunizations used widely during major conflicts'') During World War I, soldiers were given live smallpox and whole cell typhoid inoculations, as well as therapeutic tetanus and diphtheria antitoxins. ''With a vaccine to shield troops from typhoid bacteria during the unsanitary conditions of World War I,'' the paper says, ''a mere approximately 2,000 cases of typhoid fever, with 227 deaths, were reported among 4.1 million Americans in uniform.
Killing an estimated 675,000 Americans ( virus.stanford.edu/uda/ ), the 1918 H1N1 flu pandemic (also referred to as the ''Spanish Influenza'' or ''Spanish flu'') was indeed the deadliest flu pandemic in modern history ( here ).
The outbreak of the ''Spanish flu'' was recorded in Spain in May 1918, several months before the November 11, 1918 armistice ending WWI. In the U.S., ''it was first identified in military personnel in spring 1918'' and that ''crowded conditions and the movement of troops during World War I likely contributed to the spread of the 1918 virus around the world,'' according to the CDC ( here , here ).
The specific origins of the ''Spanish flu'' outbreak are unknown, but it is known to have been an H1N1 Influenza ''with genes of avian origins'' ( here ). In terms of geography, ''France, China and Britain have all been suggested as the potential birthplace of the virus, as has the United States'' according to the history channel ( here ).
Finally, the claim that ''more of our men were being killed by medical shots than by enemy shots from guns'' is unsubstantiated. There is no evidence to show any vaccine killed more men than ''enemy shots from guns''. According to a paper called ''The U.S. Military and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918''1919,'' by the NCBI in 2010, it was ''influenza and pneumonia [that] killed more American soldiers and sailors during the war than did enemy weapons.'' ( here ) The U.S. did not develop the first influenza vaccine until the 1940s ( here ) and the first pneumonia vaccine until 1977 ( here ).
VERDICTFalse: the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic was not caused by vaccines, WWI was not the first time that immunization was required for U.S. soldiers, more U.S. soldiers were killed by influenza and pneumonia, not ''medical shots,'' than by enemy fire during WWI.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here .
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Biden Administration Cuts Florida's Weekly Monoclonal Shipment in Half
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:24
The federal government slashed in half the number of doses of the monoclonal antibodies therapy shipped to Florida from 30,000 to 15,000 this week, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
DeSantis said the 15,000 dozen received would be ''immediately utilized to support new monoclonal antibody sites.''
''But for the federal government's decision to restrict supply of monoclonal antibody treatment to Florida, my administration would have already opened additional monoclonal antibody treatment sites throughout the state,'' DeSantis said in a press release.
The governor said that before the Biden administration ''seized control of the monoclonal supply'' Florida was administering 30,000 doses per week to infected patients. The treatment saved ''countless lives,'' he said.
''The Biden Administration is still obstructing the state of Florida's ability to manage our own supply of monoclonal antibodies and I will continue to seek additional doses for Floridians,'' he said.
The Epoch Times reported Jan. 3 that the U.S. Health and Human Services Administration had relaxed its policies on limiting the monoclonal antibody drugs paving the way for Florida to receive 30,000 treatments. The plan for those doses was to set up new treatment centers in high-need areas throughout south and central Florida.
DeSantis alleged the limits the HHS had set for Florida were ''political.''
''The federal government has cornered the entire market of monoclonal,'' he said in a press conference on Jan. 3. ''We've got the infrastructure in place. It's just a matter of the federal government giving us more doses '... for the Floridians who need it.''
The governor asked the state legislature to set aside almost $1 billion to aid in fighting COVID-19 and making monoclonal antibodies available to ''every Floridian who needed it.''
But because the federal government has a contractual agreement with the makers of the monoclonal antibody treatments, it has ''locked out'' anyone else from buying the product, the governor said.
''We will rapidly deploy the 15,000 doses that we now have secured,'' he said. ''The Biden Administration commandeered the supply and distribution of monoclonal antibodies following Florida's successful deployment of the treatment last summer and drastically cut shipments of the treatments to the state.''
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of a monoclonal antibody site in Pembroke Pines, Fla., on Aug. 18, 2021. (Marta Lavandier/AP Photo)The announcement of the shortfall in monoclonal antibody treatments comes one day after the governor made remarks about the Jan. 6 anniversary and how ''corporate media'' and Washington would celebrate the day as ''their Christmas.''
''They are going to take this and milk this for anything they could to try to be able to smear Donald Trump,'' he told reporters on Jan. 6.
Requests from the governor's office on why they think Florida was shortchanged on the treatment drug were not answered by press time.
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Jannis Falkenstern is an Epoch Times reporter who covers the state of Florida.
Illinois Taxpayers On the Hook for $530 Billion in Unfunded Pension Obligations - Mish Talk - Global Economic Trend Analysis
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:22
Hello Illinois taxpayers, you have a massive bill that's overdue. I have the solution.
CommentPension Debts Hit $530 Billion
Hello Illinois taxpayers, the Pension Shortfall Surpasses $500 Billion and your average debt burden is now $110,000 per household.
Moody's estimate of Illinois' retirement debts, made up of pension and retiree health shortfalls at the state and local level, hits $530 billion in 2020.
This is despite a massive multi-year stock market rally and huge tax hikes that went to pension funds and little else.
Illinois just reached an alarming milestone: each Illinois household is now on the hook for, on average, $110,000 in government-worker retirement debts. That figure is the result of dividing Illinois' $530 billion in state and local retirement shortfalls among the state's 4.9 million households. In 2019, the burden was $90,000 per household.
Shortfall Contribution
Illinois' five state-run pension funds '' $313 billionState retiree health insurance '' $55 billionState pension obligation bonds '' $9 billionChicago and Cook County pensions and retiree health '' $122 billionOther local government pensions and retiree health '' $32 billion llinois' debt swamps that of its neighbors and other big states. At $313 billion, Illinois' state-level pension debt is the nation's biggest, the 2nd-most on a per household basis, and the highest when measured as a share of state revenues and GDP. Illinois also has the nation's highest pension costs as a share of revenues, according to Moody's.
Spotlight Chicago
The $110,000 per household is an average across the entire state, but the precise burden for Illinoisans differs depending on where they live. The debt burden on Chicago's one million households is larger because of the city's deeper debt crisis. There, each household is on the hook for $180,000 for their share of state and local retirement debts.
Illinois vs Other States
California, with more than triple the population of Illinois, has a state-level shortfall of $240 billion '' $70 billion less than Illinois. Texas, with more than double the population of Illinois, has a shortfall of $173 billion '' $140 billion less than Illinois.Kentucky, suffering a pension crisis of its own, has a $56 billion state-level shortfall '' just a fifth the size of Illinois'. When measured on a per household basis, Illinois' state-level pension debt totals more than $64,200. That's the nation's 2nd-largest burden, behind only Connecticut's $65,400 per household. Illinoisans' state-level household burden is four times larger than the national average of $15,600Compared to residents in neighboring Iowa and Wisconsin, Illinoisans' burdens are 18 to 20 times larger. Iowa and Wisconsin's per household burdens are $3,500 and $3,200, respectively. Pension Shortfall vs Revenue
Moody's says Illinois' ''tread water'' pension cost '' the annual state contribution required to ensure the state's pension shortfall doesn't grow from one year to the next '' equals 21 percent of Illinois' own-source tax revenues.
No other state comes close to that amount. Connecticut's tread water cost equals 15 percent of revenues, the national average is just 4 percent, and all of Illinois' neighbors' costs, except Kentucky, equal just 5 percent or less of revenues.
Pension Funding Ratio
Hard Truth
The hard truth is that Illinois' crisis will only worsen over time. As the state's retirement debts continue to grow, more and more Illinoisans will be motivated to leave the state's debts behind while fewer migrants will be willing to move in and assume the pension burden. A growing debt burden on an ever-shrinking population will only hasten Illinois' downward spiral.
Pension reform is inevitable. The question is whether Illinois' legislature will address the crisis now, while Illinois still has assets and dynamism left, or delay until this state is a shadow of its former self. It's a question of whether those reforms will happen in a controlled, organized fashion, or under the duress of fiscal and political chaos. And it's a question of whether lawmakers will enact true structural reforms or pass more can-kicks as they have in the past.
Solution
Wirepoints offers a four-pronged solution to the Illinois Pension Crisis
A constitutional amendment that "conclusively overrides the pension protection clause and all other state law issues". State retirees would be required to pay for half of their health insurance costs '' the national average for public workers '' on a means-tested basis.Freeze benefits.Local funds' circumstances vary substantially. The state has 665 locally sponsored pensions. They may require different reform options.Bankruptcy Reform
I agree with all the points above, but Wirepoints missed a huge one: bankruptcy reform.
Trump wasted his first two years attempting to kill Obamacare. Instead, we could have had national bankruptcy reform and who knows what else.
As it stands now, states can either allow or disallow municipal bankruptcies. Illinois does not allow municipal bankruptcies.
Municipal bankruptcies fall under Federal, not state rules. If Illinois allowed municipal bankruptcies, that alone would offer a way out.
Federal laws would immediately supersede any state law that says pensions are sacrosanct.
So rather than spelling it out in a constitutional amendment, the simpler approach is to just allow bankruptcies.
The mere threat of bankruptcy, would bring unions and pension plans to the table.
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School systems around the world debate new closures as omicron spreads - The Washington Post
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:12
As countries contend with the fast-moving omicron variant, governments and school systems that had hoped for a lasting return to in-person learning after protracted coronavirus-era disruptions are grappling with whether, or for how long, to close schools again.
Several major school systems in the United States have gone online, even as the Biden administration pushes for schools to remain open. Ontario, Canada's most populous province, switched to remote learning for the first half of January. Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium last month extended winter holiday breaks.
In November, thousands of children returned to classrooms in the Philippines after 20 months of learning remotely.
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Now, as coronavirus infections spike and the country records more cases of the highly transmissible omicron variant, children are being sent home again.
Limited face-to-face classes in the country's capital, Manila, were suspended from Monday until at least Jan. 15, with the government characterizing in-person teaching as having a high risk for transmission.
As most students return to classrooms, schools in some countries have been shuttered for 18 months straight
In India and Mexico '-- which, like the Philippines, saw some of the world's longest school closures '-- students in areas where omicron is surging also find themselves back at home.
''We have an already stretched education system, a global learning crisis,'' said Robert Jenkins, global director of education for UNICEF, the United Nations' children's agency, which tracks school closures. ''With the impact of omicron and it affecting teachers, we see that that's constraining the possibility of keeping schools open.''
About 300 million students worldwide live in countries with full or partial school closures, according to UNESCO. While that number is down significantly since the start of the pandemic '-- and many governments are trying to keep children in schools '-- the number of students affected by closures has risen from a low point in October and November, according to Sobhi Tawil, director of future learning and innovation at UNESCO.
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UNESCO and UNICEF have called for schools to remain open, arguing that another round of widespread closures would be ''disastrous'' for children.
Studies in countries including Canada, Japan and the United States have shown that school closures have limited impact on the spread of the virus.
In New York City, where cases rose more than 500 percent in the last 14 days, public schools reopened as planned on Jan. 3. (Reuters)''There's still things that we don't know about omicron in schools,'' said Brandon Guthrie, an epidemiologist and global health expert at the University of Washington.
But, he added: ''For the duration of the pandemic, it's now quite clear that schools have not been a major driver of transmission.''
Parents wondered whether learning remotely could work as well as being in a classroom. New global data suggests the answer is no.
Children are at greater risk of becoming infected through community transmission outside of schools, Guthrie said, especially when schools require mask-wearing.
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Meanwhile, a report released by UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank last month warned that the current generation of students risks losing $17 trillion in lifetime earnings because of coronavirus-related school closures. Millions of students are at risk of never resuming their education, the report found. Poorer and otherwise marginalized students, whether in wealthier or poorer countries, have seen the greatest learning setbacks.
The pandemic caused a global surge in domestic violence. For victims with few options, abuse has become the new normal.
Beyond students falling behind, UNICEF has raised the alarm about a ''shadow pandemic'' of child marriage, child labor and mental health issues resulting from children being kept home. Many poorer students also rely on schools for meals and other services.
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Uganda is moving ahead with reopening schools next week after more than 80 weeks of shuttered classroom doors. But about 30 percent of students are expected to not return because of teen pregnancy, early marriage or child labor, according to Uganda's National Planning Authority.
Rather than switching to online learning, some countries have scaled up safety measures in classrooms. Students in England, for example, were given coronavirus tests at school before heading back to class this week.
Israel last week amended guidelines for elementary schools in places with high infection rates to reduce the number of students required to study remotely, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.
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But efforts around the world to keep schools operating are running up against the highly infectious nature of the omicron variant, as administrators scramble to deal with staffing shortages.
Jenkins called the strain on staffing in schools ''a new dynamic.'' At the moment, it largely affects high-income countries that have seen infections skyrocket, but it could soon come to ''strain already very limited-capacity education systems in poorer countries,'' he said.
Britain, anticipating large staff shortages this month, called for former teachers to return to the classroom.
Teachers unions around the world clash with governments over coronavirus and school reopening plans
Teachers in many places, however, are demanding that governments provide better workplace protections '-- opening a new front in ongoing battles between teachers unions and authorities.
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Chicago public schools canceled classes for a third day in a row Friday amid a dispute between the city and the teachers union, which is lobbying for a two-week switch to virtual classes.
In the face of widespread virus-related student and staff absences, the largest union of secondary school teachers in France has indicated its intent to strike if the government does not provide higher-grade masks to teachers and make changes to the testing strategy for schools. In the Philippines, a major association of education workers called on the government to allocate more money to open schools safely.
As Trump pressures schools to reopen, here's how other countries have handled the return to the classroom
Parents and medical experts in some places remain divided over the risks and benefits of keeping schools open.
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Pediatric hospitalizations in some countries have hit record highs in recent weeks. Still, children are still less likely to become seriously ill than adults. And while omicron is more infectious and better able to dodge prior immunity than previous variants, it appears to be milder. Medical and public health authorities have emphasized that vaccinations still offer robust protection from severe disease.
Many European countries are banking on pediatric vaccinations. Belgium and France are among those that recently extended eligibility for vaccination to children ages 5 to 11.
In countries where vaccines are scarcer or have not yet been approved for children, the priority should be on vaccinating teachers, Jenkins said. UNICEF also pointed to other creative strategies: Thailand and India, among others, have held classes outdoors.
In Denmark, the forest is the new classroom
As the pandemic drags into a third year and large portions of the global population remain unvaccinated '-- creating the potential for more variants to emerge '-- school systems must develop long-term strategies, said Stefania Giannini, assistant director general for education at UNESCO.
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''What governments are actually beginning to realize now is that what we thought we defined as an exceptional situation is becoming a new normal,'' Giannini said.
The World Health Organization's Europe branch is continuing to urge schools to remain open while improving classroom ventilation and ramping up testing and mask-wearing. It plans to convene an advisory group this month to put forward specific recommendations related to managing omicron.
Meanwhile, global education experts insist that closing schools must remain a last resort.
''Where we get particularly concerned is where large swaths of society are open '-- restaurants and bars and entertainment, etc. '-- and schools remain closed,'' Jenkins said.
(20) Disclose.tv on Twitter: "NEW - Dutch government withholds excess mortality data: Scientists are now criticizing the government's continued failure to release the data for an independent investigation." / Twitter
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:08
Disclose.tv : NEW - Dutch government withholds excess mortality data: Scientists are now criticizing the government's continued f'... https://t.co/TEOnbXoNd4
Fri Jan 07 22:40:13 +0000 2022
Cheltenham Post Publishes Full Page Ad with Jab Injuries '' The White Rose
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 11:56
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A Fed Official's 2020 Trade Drew Outcry. It Went Further Than First Disclosed. - The New York Times
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 06:01
Corrected disclosures show that Vice Chair Richard H. Clarida sold a stock fund, then swiftly repurchased it before a big Fed announcement.
An amended financial disclosure showed that Richard H. Clarida sold shares when financial markets were plunging amid fears of the coronavirus. Credit... Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg Jan. 6, 2022
Richard H. Clarida, the departing vice chair of the Federal Reserve, failed to initially disclose the extent of a financial transaction he made in early 2020 as the Fed was preparing to swoop in and rescue markets amid the unfolding pandemic.
Mr. Clarida previously came under fire for buying shares on Feb. 27 in an investment fund that holds stocks '-- one day before the Fed chair, Jerome H. Powell, announced that the central bank stood ready to help the economy as the pandemic set in. The transaction drew an outcry from lawmakers and watchdog groups because it put Mr. Clarida in a position to benefit as the Fed restored market confidence.
Mr. Clarida's recently amended financial disclosure showed that the vice chair sold that same stock fund on Feb. 24, at a moment when financial markets were plunging amid fears of the virus.
The Fed initially described the Feb. 27 transaction as a previously planned move by Mr. Clarida away from bonds and into stocks, the type of ''rebalancing'' investors often do when they want to take on more risk and earn higher returns over time. But the rapid move out of stocks and then back in makes it look less like a planned, long-term financial maneuver and more like a response to market conditions.
''It undermines the claim that this was portfolio rebalancing,'' said Peter Conti-Brown, a Fed historian at the University of Pennsylvania. ''This is deeply problematic.''
The Fed did not provide further explanation of Mr. Clarida's trade when asked why he had sold and bought in quick succession. Asked if the Fed stood by previous indications that the move was a rebalancing, a spokesperson did not comment.
The correction to the disclosures was released late last month and came after Mr. Clarida noticed ''inadvertent errors'' in his initial filings, a Fed spokesperson said, noting that the holdings were in broad funds (as opposed to investing in individual stocks). Mr. Clarida did not comment for this article.
The extent of Mr. Clarida's transaction is the latest development in a monthslong trading scandal that has embroiled top Fed officials and prompted high-profile departures at the usually staid central bank.
Financial disclosures released in late 2021 showed that Robert S. Kaplan, the former Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas president, had made big individual-stock trades, while Eric S. Rosengren, the Boston Fed president, had traded in real estate securities. Those moves drew immediate and intense backlash from lawmakers, ethics experts and former Fed employees alike.
That's because Fed officials were actively rescuing a broad swath of markets in 2020: In March and April, they slashed rates to zero, bought mortgage-tied and government bonds in mass quantities, and rolled out rescue programs for corporate and municipal debt. Continuing to trade in affected securities for their own portfolios throughout the year could have given them room to profit from their privileged knowledge. At a minimum, it created an appearance problem, one that Mr. Powell himself has acknowledged.
Mr. Kaplan resigned in September, citing the scandal; Mr. Rosengren resigned simultaneously, citing health issues. Mr. Clarida's term ends at the close of this month, which it was scheduled to do before news of the scandal broke.
Mr. Clarida's trades, which Bloomberg reported earlier, also raised eyebrows among lawmakers, including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who has demanded a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into Fed officials' 2020 trading. But many ethics experts had seen the transaction as more benign, if poorly timed, because it happened in a broad-based index and the Fed had said it was part of a planned and longer-term investment strategy.
The new disclosure casts doubt on that explanation, given that Mr. Clarida sold out of stocks just days before moving back into them.
''It's peculiar,'' said Norman Eisen, an ethics official in the Obama White House who said he probably would not have approved such a trade. ''It's fair to ask '-- in what respect does this constitute a rebalancing?''
Ms. Warren reacted to the news on Twitter, calling the situation ''deeply troubling'' and saying that stock trading should be banned among federal officials.
It is unclear whether Mr. Clarida benefited financially from the trade, but it was most likely a lucrative move. By selling the stock fund as its value began to plummet and buying it back days later when the price per share was lower, Mr. Clarida would have ended up holding more shares, assuming he reinvested all of the money that he had withdrawn. The financial disclosures put both transactions in a range of $1 million to $5 million.
The sale-and-purchase move would have made money within a few days, as stock markets and the fund in question increased in value after Mr. Powell's announcement. The investment would have then lost money as stocks sank again amid the deepening pandemic crisis.
But the fund's value recovered after the Fed's extensive interventions in markets. Assuming they were held, the holdings would ultimately have appreciated in value and turned a bigger profit than they would have had Mr. Clarida merely held the original investment without selling or buying.
The Fed was aware of the reputational risk around trading as the pandemic kicked into high gear '-- the Board of Governors' ethics office sent an email in late March 2020 encouraging officials to hold off on personal trades '-- but notable transactions happened in late February and again as early as May in spite of that, its officials' disclosures suggest.
Mr. Powell has acknowledged the optics and ethics problem the trading created, saying that ''no one is happy'' to ''have these questions raised.'' He and his colleagues moved quickly to overhaul the Fed's trading-related rules after the revelations, releasing new and stricter ethics standards that will force officials to trade less rapidly while banning many types of investment.
The individuals in question also faced censure. They are under independent investigation to see if their transactions were legal and consistent with internal central bank rules. The S.E.C. declined to comment on whether it has opened or will open an investigation into Mr. Clarida's trades and his colleagues', as Ms. Warren had requested.
While the officials who came under the most scrutiny for their trades have left or will leave soon, the new disclosure could cause problems for the Fed's remaining leaders '-- including Mr. Powell, whom President Biden recently renominated to a second term as chair.
Mr. Powell will appear before the Senate Banking Committee next week for his confirmation hearing, as will Lael Brainard, a Fed governor, whom Mr. Biden nominated to replace Mr. Clarida as vice chair.
Both could face sticky questions about why a Fed culture permissive of trading at activist moments was, until recently, allowed to prevail. Mr. Powell led the organization, while Ms. Brainard headed the committee in charge of reserve bank oversight.
Image Jerome H. Powell and his colleagues moved quickly to overhaul the Fed's trading-related rules after the revelations. Credit... Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times The trading scandal has also resurfaced longstanding concerns about whether the Fed is too cozy with Wall Street, and whether its officials are working for the public or to profit from their own actions.
If he is asked about the scandal, Mr. Powell is likely to point to the tougher ethics guidelines that the Fed unveiled in October. Mr. Clarida's apparently rapid transaction would most likely have been trickier under the new rules, which require officials to give 45 days' notice before buying an asset, and which prevent trading during tumultuous market periods.
The updated disclosures do show that Mr. Clarida was ''in compliance with applicable laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest,'' based on the Fed ethics officer's assessment. But that alone is unlikely to prevent scrutiny.
Regardless of legality, ''the public would be concerned if it turned out that he bought shares of the fund before a major announcement by the Federal Reserve potentially affecting the value of his shares,'' Walter Shaub, a former government ethics official now at the Project on Government Oversight, said in an email.
Mr. Shaub said more information was needed to know if the trade was problematic, including whether Mr. Clarida knew the Feb. 28 announcement was coming '-- and when he knew that.
The Fed previously told Bloomberg that Mr. Clarida was not yet involved in deliberations about the coronavirus response at the time of the trade.
But Mr. Clarida was in close touch with his colleagues throughout that week. He had a call with a board member and a regional Fed president on Feb. 26, his calendars show. That is the way the Fed typically lists meetings of the Fed chair, vice chair and New York Fed president '-- the Fed's so-called troika, which sets the agenda for central bank policy '-- on its largely anonymized official calendars.
Mr. Conti-Brown said that regardless of how much Mr. Clarida knew about his colleagues' plans, the February trades were an issue that the Fed needed to explain in detail.
''Richard Clarida is a decision maker,'' he said. ''The deliberations that happen within his brain are what matter here.''
(1) There is no evidence of pandemic 'mass formation psychosis', according to Reuters and The Associated Press / Twitter
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 01:45
Something went wrong, but don't fret '-- let's give it another shot.
How Industrial Seed Oils Are Making Us Sick - Chris Kresser
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 01:42
Contrary to what we've been told, industrial seed oils such as soybean, canola, and corn oils are not ''heart healthy'' or otherwise beneficial for our bodies and brains; in fact, plenty of research indicates that these oils are making us sick. Read on to learn about the history of the industrial seed oil industry, the adverse health effects of consuming these oils, and what dietary fats you should eat instead.
What Are Industrial Seed Oils? In fact, industrial seed oils, the highly processed oils extracted from soybeans, corn, rapeseed (the source of canola oil), cottonseed, and safflower seeds, were only introduced into the American diet in the early 1900s. How, then, did these oils come to occupy such an influential position not only in the Standard American Diet but in ''''Westernized'' diets around the world? The story is strange indeed.
Industrial seed oils were originally used in the soapmaking process. So how did these industrial byproducts end up on our plates? #industrialseedoils #processedfood #seedoils #toxins
In 1870s Cincinnati, two soapmakers'--William Procter and James Gamble'--decided to enter into business together. While soap had historically been made from rendered pork fat, Procter and Gamble were an innovative pair and decided to create a new type of soap from vegetable oils. Around the same time, oil was discovered in Pennsylvania; it quickly displaced cottonseed oil, which had long been used for lighting, as a fuel source. Cottonseed oil was consigned to the status of ''toxic waste'' until the enterprising Procter & Gamble realized that all that unwanted cottonseed oil could be used to produce soap. But there was another plus that appealed to their business sensibilities: the oil could be chemically altered via a process called ''hydrogenation'' to turn it into a solid cooking fat that resembled lard. That's how an oil formerly classified as ''toxic waste'' became an integral part of the American diet when Crisco was introduced to the market in the early 1900s. (1)
Soon, other vegetable oils followed. Soybeans were introduced to the United States in the 1930s, and by the 1950s, it had become the most popular vegetable oil in the country. Canola, corn, and safflower oils followed shortly after that. The low cost of these cooking oils, combined with strategic marketing on the part of the oil manufacturers, made them wildly popular in American kitchens even though their use was unprecedented in human history.
Our modern lifestyle is wreaking havoc on our health. Whether it's our stress levels, our lack of sleep and movement, or nutrient-poor diets, many of us are living in a way that negatively affects our health. The Industrial Revolution brought us incredible efficiencies in production, but that has had a negative impact on the general quality of much of the food available to us. The price that we pay for lower-quality food, including the rise in industrial seed oils, is greater inflammation and incidence of chronic disease.
Many dietary factors may contribute to inflammation. They include consumption of industrial seed oils, but also consumption of gluten and excess refined sugar. The effect of these foods on our health can vary from low energy and brain fog to flare-ups in debilitating chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis and greater challenges in managing diabetes.
Beyond taking care of our own health and making changes to our own diet, lifestyle, and exercise habits, what can we do to support greater health in our communities? Becoming a health coach is one increasingly impactful way that you can make a difference.
Health coaches have training in the role of diet, exercise, and lifestyle on health so that they can understand common health challenges. They are also experts in behavior change. This combination of skills enables health coaches to support people in choosing the right diet to reduce inflammation, in addition to a wide variety of other health behavior changes that people want to make. Find out more about the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program.
How Are Industrial Seed Oils Made? The general process used to create industrial seed oils is anything but natural. The oils extracted from soybeans, corn, cottonseed, safflower seeds, and rapeseeds must be refined, bleached, and deodorized before they are suitable for human consumption.
First, seeds are gathered from the soy, corn, cotton, safflower, and rapeseed plants.Next, the seeds are heated to extremely high temperatures; this causes the unsaturated fatty acids in the seeds to oxidize, creating byproducts that are harmful to human and animal health.The seeds are then processed with a petroleum-based solvent, such as hexane, to maximize the amount of oil extracted from them.Next, industrial seed oil manufacturers use chemicals to deodorize the oils, which have a very off-putting smell once extracted. The deodorization process produces trans fats, which are well known to be quite harmful to human health.Finally, more chemicals are added to improve the color of the industrial seed oils.Altogether, industrial seed oil processing creates an energy-dense, nutrient-poor oil that contains chemical residues, trans fats, and oxidized byproducts.
From Toxic Waste to ''Heart Healthy'': The History of Seed Oils How did industrial seed oils go from being classified as ''toxic waste'' to enjoying the title of ''heart healthy'' fats? As first documented by Nina Teicholz, in her book, The Big Fat Surprise, the story involves a scandalous combination of donations to medical organizations, dubious scientific research, and unsubstantiated marketing claims.
In the late 1940s, a small group of cardiologists who were members of the still somewhat new American Heart Association received a $1.5 million donation from Procter & Gamble; thanks to this generous infusion of cash from the makers of Crisco, the AHA now had sufficient funding to grow its national profile as a physician's organization dedicated to heart health. It also were quick to endorse industrial seed oils, more kindly referred to by now as ''vegetable oils,'' as a healthier alternative to traditional animal fats.
Around the same time, an ambitious physiologist and researcher named Ancel Keys introduced his diet''lipid hypothesis, in which he presented data that seemed to suggest a link between saturated fat and cholesterol intake and heart disease. Since animal fats are a rich source of dietary saturated fat and cholesterol, they quickly became the object of his derision. Citing animal fats as ''unhealthy,'' Keys instead recommended the consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which preliminary research had associated with reductions in cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. Keys' conclusions were in line with the industrial seed oil industry's motives'--to get people to eat more seed oils! Soon, ads for ''heart healthy'' margarine (a solid form of vegetable oil) and other seed oils became commonplace, and healthy, traditional fats were all but forgotten.
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While Keys' lipid hypothesis is now understood to be based upon faulty research, his ideas nonetheless permeated the medical community. (2) Soon, many medical organizations, including the National Cholesterol Education Program and the National Institutes of Health, had hopped aboard the anti-animal fat train, echoing the AHA's advice that people should avoid animal fat and instead consume polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as Crisco and other shortenings, soybean oil, and corn oil. This confluence of events and mutual interests led to the sweeping replacement of natural dietary fats such as lard and butter with unsaturated industrial seed oils, indelibly changing the shape of the American (and eventually, the global) food landscape.
Only in recent years has the validity of the health claims associated with industrial seed oils been seriously called into question. A 2014 meta-analysis found no benefit to overall health from reducing saturated fats or increasing PUFAs from vegetable oils. (3) Furthermore, the evidence does not support current dietary guidelines urging people to replace saturated fats with vegetable oils. (4, 5)
In fact, a growing body of research indicates that the consumption of industrial seed oils has significant adverse effects on our health.
Six Reasons Industrial Seed Oils Are Terrible for Your Health There are six main problems with industrial seed oils:
The consumption of industrial seed oils represents an evolutionary mismatch.Eating industrial seed oils raises our omega-6-to-omega-3 fatty acid ratios, with significant consequences for our health.Industrial seed oils are unstable and oxidize easily.They contain harmful additives.They're derived from genetically modified crops.When industrial seed oils are repeatedly heated, even more toxic byproducts are created.1. They're an Evolutionary MismatchEvolutionary mismatch, a mismatch between our genes and the modern environment, is the primary driver of chronic disease today. In few areas is evolutionary mismatch more apparent than in the
Standard American Diet; the high amounts of refined carbohydrates and calories of this diet work against our ancestral biology, causing us to become overweight and sick.
Industrial seed oils, like refined sugar and excess calories, also represent an evolutionary mismatch. Up until the 1900s, humans did not consume industrial seed oils. From 1970 to 2000, the average consumption of one industrial seed oil, soybean oil, skyrocketed from a mere four pounds per person per year to a whopping 26 pounds per person per year! (6)
Today, linoleic acid, the primary fatty acid in industrial seed oils, accounts for 8 percent of our total calorie intake; in our hunter''gatherer ancestors, it accounted for only 1 to 3 percent of total calories. (7) Researchers who are wise on the topic of evolutionary mismatch posit that our bodies just aren't designed to handle such a massive consumption of linoleic acid. As a result, our high levels of industrial seed oil consumption are causing our health to suffer.
2. They Have an Imbalanced Omega-6-to-Omega-3 RatioEssential fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that we humans cannot make ourselves and must, therefore, consume in our diets. They come in two varieties: omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids. Upon consumption, omega-6 fatty acids give rise to arachidonic acid and potent metabolites that are primarily pro-inflammatory in nature, including prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4. Omega-3 fatty acids such as ALA, EPA, and DHA, on the other hand, give rise to anti-inflammatory derivatives.
A delicate balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids must be maintained in the body to promote optimal health. The ancestral ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is 1 to 1. Westernized diets, however, greatly exceed this balance, with omega-6 to omega-3 ratios in the range of 10 to 1 to 20 to 1. (8) A high intake of omega-6 fatty acids, combined with low omega-3 intake, leads to an imbalance in pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators. This imbalance produces a state of chronic inflammation that contributes to numerous chronic disease processes.
Industrial seed oils are perhaps the most significant contributor to the imbalanced omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio characteristic of Westernized diets and thus play a significant role in chronic inflammatory diseases.
3. Industrial Seed Oils Are Highly UnstableThe polyunsaturated fatty acids in industrial seed oils are highly unstable and oxidize easily upon exposure to heat, light, and chemical inputs. When industrial seed oils are exposed to these factors, two harmful substances'--trans fats and lipid peroxides'--are created. Trans fats are well known for their role in the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes; in fact, for every 2 percent increase in calories from trans fats, your risk of heart disease is nearly doubled! (9) Lipid peroxides, on the other hand, are toxic byproducts that damage DNA, proteins, and membrane lipids throughout the body. The accumulation of lipid peroxides in the body promotes aging and the development of chronic diseases.
4. They're Full of AdditivesBecause the fatty acids in industrial seed oils are so unstable, synthetic antioxidants are added in an attempt to prevent oxidation and rancidity. Unfortunately, these synthetic antioxidants come with problems of their own. The synthetic antioxidants BHA, BHT, and TBHQ have endocrine-disrupting, carcinogenic, and immune-disrupting effects. (10, 11, 12, 13) Also, TBHQ has been found to increase the IgE (immunoglobulin E) response to food allergens, setting off a release of antibodies, and may thereby promote the development of food allergies. (14)
5. Industrial Seed Oils Come from Genetically Modified PlantsIn addition to being nutrient poor and full of unsavory chemicals and toxic byproducts, the overwhelming majority of industrial seed oils are derived from genetically modified plants. In fact, the plants used to make industrial seed oils comprise the top genetically modified crops'--corn, soy, cotton, and rapeseed. In the United States, 88 percent of corn, 93 percent of soy, 94 percent of cotton, and 93 percent of rapeseed crops are genetically modified. (15, 16, 17) Few studies have been conducted on the long-term safety of consuming genetically modified foods, giving us yet another reason to avoid consuming industrial seed oils.
6. They're Often Repeatedly Heated (And Extra Toxic)As if industrial seed oils weren't already bad enough for our health, restaurants and home cooks frequently engage in a practice that further magnifies their harmful effects'--they repeatedly heat industrial seed oils. While the habit of reusing industrial seed oils over and over (typically in large deep-fryers, in the case of restaurants) reduces costs, it results in an oil that is chock-full of toxic byproducts, as we know from extensive reporting by Teicholz in her book.
The repeated heating of industrial seed oils depletes vitamin E, a natural antioxidant, while inducing the formation of free radicals that cause oxidative stress and damage DNA, proteins, and lipids throughout the body. These harmful effects explain why repeatedly heated industrial seed oils are associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, and intestinal and liver damage. (18, 19, 20)
How So-Called ''Healthy'' Seed Oils Are Making Us Sick Contrary to what many health organizations have been telling us for years, industrial seed oils are not healthy foods. Rather, their consumption is associated with a variety of health problems.
AsthmaEating industrial seed oils may increase your risk of asthma. A high intake of omega-6 fatty acids, such as those present in industrial seed oils, relative to omega-3 fatty acids increases pro-inflammatory mediators associated with asthma. (21)
Autoimmune DiseaseIndustrial seed oils may promote autoimmunity by raising the body's omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio and by increasing oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. (22)
Cognition and Mental HealthIndustrial seed oils are particularly harmful to the brain. A high omega-6-to-omega-3 fatty acid ratio predisposes individuals to depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, and dementia. (23, 24) Canola oil consumption is linked to worsened memory and impaired learning ability in Alzheimer's disease. (25) Trans fats, which end up in industrial seed oils unintentionally, as a consequence of chemical and heat processing, and intentionally, during the process of hydrogenation, are associated with increased risks of dementia and, interestingly, aggression. (26, 27)
Diabetes and ObesityAre industrial seed oils making us overweight and diabetic? The science certainly seems to suggest so. Research in mice indicates that consuming high levels of linoleic acid, the primary fatty acid in industrial seed oils, alters neurotransmitter signaling, ultimately increasing food consumption and fat mass. (28) In mice, a diet high in soybean oil induces obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and fatty liver disease. (29, 30) Animal research also suggests that canola oil may cause insulin resistance. (31)
Human studies also point to the effects of industrial seed oils on diabetes and obesity, especially in children. A maternal diet high in omega-6s compared to omega-3s is associated with an increased risk of obesity, a major risk factor for diabetes, in children. (32) A childhood diet with a high omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio may also lead to insulin resistance, prediabetes, and obesity in adulthood. (33, 34)
Heart DiseaseContrary to what the AHA has been telling us for the past 100 years, industrial seed oils are not good for our hearts! In fact, oxidized fatty acids from industrial seed oils appear to play a pivotal role in the development of cardiovascular disease. Researcher James DiNicolantonio has presented a theory called the ''oxidized linoleic acid theory of coronary heart disease'' that links the consumption of linoleic acid-rich industrial seed oils with cardiovascular disease. (35) His theory goes like this:
Dietary linoleic acid from industrial seed oils is incorporated into blood lipoproteins.The instability of linoleic acid increases the likelihood of lipoproteins oxidizing.Oxidized lipoproteins are unable to be recognized by their respective receptors throughout the body and instead activate macrophages, which initiate foam cell formation, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease.Industrial seed oils also contribute to cardiovascular disease by increasing the omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio. A high omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio is an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease because excess omega-6 has pro-inflammatory and prothrombotic effects on the vascular system. (36) Finally, another emerging theory suggests that canola and soybean oils may contribute to cardiovascular disease by inhibiting processes involving vitamin K2, which is essential for heart health. (37)
IBS and IBDResearch suggests that industrial seed oils may harm gut health, contributing to conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In one study, mice fed a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids from corn oil experienced increases in pro-inflammatory gut bacteria; these changes favor the development of gastrointestinal pathologies, among many other chronic diseases. (38)
Human studies also suggest a link between industrial seed oils and GI conditions. Women with IBS demonstrate significantly elevated levels of arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid abundant in industrial seed oils, and pro-inflammatory PUFA metabolites, compared to healthy controls. (39) Furthermore, an imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is correlated with IBD. (40)
These findings suggest that consuming high levels of omega-6 fatty acids alters the gut microbiota and promotes gastrointestinal inflammation, thereby contributing to the development of IBS and IBD. Since industrial seed oils are the most abundant source of omega-6 fatty acids in the Standard American Diet, it stands to reason that people with IBS and IBD should avoid these oils and instead consume natural fats from olive oil, coconut oil, wild seafood, nuts and seeds, and healthy animal fats.
InflammationA high omega-6 intake from industrial seed oils promotes chronic inflammation. The consumption of both partially hydrogenated industrial seed oils and non-hydrogenated soybean oil is associated with elevations in C-reactive protein, TNF-alpha, and interleukin-6, which are biomarkers of systemic inflammation. (41, 42)
InfertilityApproximately 9 percent of men and 11 percent of women in the United States have impaired fertility. (43) While many factors are contributing to soaring rates of infertility, one overlooked cause may be our high consumption of industrial seed oils. Infertile men exhibit a significantly elevated omega-6-to-omega-3 fatty acid ratio compared to fertile men. (44) In animal studies of female mammals, a high intake of omega-6 fatty acids causes poor reproductive outcomes. (45)
Macular DegenerationIndustrial seed oils may be harmful to the eyes. A high intake of omega-6 fatty acids increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease that causes progressive vision loss and eventual blindness. (46) Imbalanced levels of omega-6 consumption may contribute to eye problems by promoting inflammation and by displacing the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is crucial for vision.
OsteoarthritisIn individuals with osteoarthritis, there's an association between omega-6 fatty acids and the presence of synovitis, an inflammation of the membrane that lines joint cavities. Conversely, an inverse relationship has been found between omega-3 fatty acid consumption and cartilage loss in the knee as indicated by MRI. (47) Since industrial seed oils contribute a large amount of omega-6 fatty acids to the diet, avoiding these oils may be beneficial for those with or at risk of osteoarthritis.
How to Avoid Industrial Seed Oils The first step in banishing industrial seed oils from your diet is to clean out your pantry and get rid of any bottles of canola, corn, cottonseed, soybean, sunflower, safflower, or peanut oils you have in your kitchen. These oils are not ''healthy,'' despite misleading claims that may appear on their labels.
Step number 2 is to stop eating processed foods, as these are a significant source of industrial seed oils. Also try to reduce your consumption of restaurant foods, which are typically cooked in repeatedly heated industrial seed oils.
Finally, step 3 is to avoid eating grain-fed meat, to the extent you can. There is evidence to suggest that grain-fed animals may accumulate the toxic byproducts of industrial seed oils, which comprise a large part of their diet, in their meat; when you eat this meat, you too may become a repository for lipid peroxides and other harmful byproducts of industrial seed oils.
When It Comes to Omega-6, Quality Matters While industrial seed oils are high in omega-6, there are also plenty of whole, fresh foods that naturally contain omega-6 fatty acids, including nuts, poultry, and avocados. When consumed as part of a balanced, real-food diet containing abundant omega-3 fatty acids from seafood, omega-6 from whole foods is not a problem. These whole-food sources of omega-6 fatty acids include nutrients that protect omega-6 from becoming oxidized, and they are also not exposed to the chemicals and industrial treatments that make industrial seed oils so toxic.
Six Fats You Should Be Cooking With Now that you've eliminated industrial seed oils from your kitchen, what fats should you use instead? Look to the types of fats our ancestors have used for thousands of years'--olive oil, coconut oil, and animal fats are natural, wholesome sources of fatty acids for nourishing our bodies.
Here's a quick breakdown of the types of fats I recommend.
1. Extra Virgin Olive OilOlive oil has been a part of the human diet for literally thousands of years. It is rich in the antioxidant vitamin E and polyphenols with a wide range of health-promoting properties, including cardioprotective and anti-diabetic properties. One tablespoon of olive oil contains 1.9 grams of saturated fatty acids (SFAs), 9.8 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and 1.4 grams of PUFAs.
2. Coconut OilCoconut oil is a superfood with many health-promoting properties. It contains medium-chain triglycerides such as lauric acid, a fatty acid that is readily used by the body for energy and has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Coconut oil contains 90 percent saturated fat, which makes it very heat stable.
3. Butter and GheeIf you tolerate dairy, butter and ghee may be great additions to your diet. Butter and ghee from grass-fed animals contain conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fatty acid with anti-cancer and metabolic health-promoting properties. While butter may contain traces of milk proteins, ghee is usually a safe option even for dairy-sensitive people because all milk constituents are removed in its creation.
Both butter and ghee are comprised mainly of saturated fat. One tablespoon of butter contains 7.2 grams of SFAs, 2.9 grams of MUFAs and 0.4 grams of PUFAs, while one tablespoon of ghee contains 8 grams of SFAs, 3.7 grams of MUFAs, and 0.5 grams of PUFAs.
4. Pastured LardThis may come as a surprise, but it turns out that lard is mostly composed of monounsaturated fat, the type of fat in olive oil that has been promoted as ''heart healthy'' by the conventional medical community for decades! Lard, the fat rendered from pigs, is high in saturated fat and is a good substitute for butter in recipes if you can't tolerate dairy.
One tablespoon of lard contains 5 grams of SFAs, 6 grams of MUFAs, and 1.6 grams of PUFAs. Lard also contains 500 to 1000 IU of vitamin D per serving, depending on what the pigs ate and whether they were exposed to sunlight. If you are interested in getting a nice dose of vitamin D from lard, choose lard produced from pastured pigs that have been allowed to roam outdoors.
5. Pastured TallowTallow is fat rendered from meat other than pork, such as beef and bison. It has a high smoke point that makes it great for high-heat cooking. In fact, most restaurants used tallow in their deep fryers until the 1970s, when the industrial seed oil industry usurped the position of traditional fats in our diets. Tallow contains 6.4 grams of SFAs, 5.3 grams of MUFAs, and 0.5 grams of PUFAs in a one-tablespoon serving.
6. Duck FatDuck fat is a delicious traditional cooking oil that also has great versatility. It has a high smoke point, making it great for high-heat cooking, but a delicate flavor and similar fatty acid profile to olive oil. One tablespoon of duck fat has 4 grams of SFAs, 6 grams of MUFAs, and 1.6 grams of PUFAs. Try using pastured duck fat for roasting potatoes'--you'll never want to use anything else for cooking potatoes once you've given it a try!
Finally, be sure to incorporate plenty of healthy fats from whole foods into your diet. Soaked and sprouted nuts, avocado, coconut, wild-caught fatty fish, grass-fed meats, and wild game are all excellent sources of healthy fats and can be incorporated into your diet in countless ways. Note: When you're choosing animal fats for cooking, remember to choose pasture-raised sources because conventional alternatives are significantly higher in omega-6s.
If optimal health is your goal, then industrial seed oils have no place in your diet. Instead, cook with traditional animal fats, get your omega-6s from whole food sources such as nuts and poultry, and balance things out with omega-3 fatty acids from seafood, shellfish, and fish oil.
Dr. Zelenko Claims Zinc Is The Bullet That Kills The Virus '... But There's One Problem! - The True Defender !
Sat, 08 Jan 2022 19:35
Dr. Valdimir Zelenko is regarded as a hero for his early use of hydroxychloroquine to fight against the virus.
But his effort was ruined by the Democrats and one Democrat governor.
Join The True Defender Telegram Chanel Here: https://t.me/TheTrueDefender
However, Dr. Zelenko didn't stop. He's still working and does his best to help people.
Below you can watch his new video speaking about the bullet and gun!
If you can't understand, below you have a transcript!
Zinc is the bullet '' it kills the virus. The only problem is the bullet doesn't get to the place where it needs to be.
The virus is inside the cell. The enzyme is inside the cell. And the zinc on its own cannot get into the cell. You have a bullet without a gun '' useless.
Now, it turns out there's a class of medications called 'zinc ionophores' or a class of substances called 'zinc ionophores' '-- what they do '-- is they open up a channel, a door, which allows zinc to go from outside the cell to inside the cell.
There are four of them that are readily available '' two of them are prescription and two of them are over-the-counter.
The two prescription ones everyone has heard of: Hydroxycholorquine and Ivermection.
They're the guns that shoot the bullet. The bullet then gets into the cell and stops the virus enzyme from helping the virus replicate.
So you have a gun and bullet. Only the synergy of the two creates a functioning unit.
S in april of last year, Cuomo issued an executive order that was directly targeting me and my patients '' because I was the only one in the state doing it. Where pharmacies would not dispense hydroxychloroquine to patients. So all of a sudden, I had a gun and a bullet approach, but'...he took away the zinc delivery system '-- at least he took away access to my patients.
So I was forced by necessity to innovate. I did more research, and on the NIH servers of all places, I found papers saying a substance called quercetin is a zinc delivery system, as well. It's a zinc ionophore.
To be honest, I'd never heard of quercetin. So I googled it and I see it's over-the-counter.
That was one of the most significant realizations in my life and probably in humanity.
Why do I say that? Because now there was a cure for tyranny.
There are two risk factors for dying from COVID: It's the doctor you choose and the government you live under. Besides that, there's no reason a person should die from COVID.
Now, you don't need a doctor and now you don't need permission from the government. You can go to a pharmacy or go to a supermarket and buy an over-the-counter option of quercetin together with Zinc and Vitamin C and Vitamin D.
Together it creates a very powerful immune-boosting nutritional supplement. According to the FDA, I'm not allowed to make any claims except that it's an immune booster and nutritional supplement. So what I'm going to say is the following: Quercetin and Vitamin C together form a functioning zinc ionophore '-- a zinc delivery system. Zinc is what it delivers, so you actually need zinc as well. You need the gun and the bullet.
And Vitamin D '' the studies all show '' Vitamin D3 levels between 50 and 70 virtually eliminate hospitalizations or admissions in the intensive care unit. It optimizes their immune system..so you need Vitamin D, then you need Zinc, which is the bullet. And then to form a functioning gun, you need Vitamin C and quercetin'...
Patients were having trouble sourcing it, because it was four different ingredients that weren't always available in the same place. They had trouble finding the right doses.
It was a puzzle that was a little too complex for people to put together.
So I was asked as a necessity '-- as a favor to people '-- to produce something that has everything in one package.
It made sense to me, so with the help of my colleagues, we were able to produce a substance '-- a compound called Z-Stack '-- that has Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and most importantly has quercetin and zinc.''
Dr. Zelenko made Z-Stack available to everyone. It is:
'' Kosher-certified'' GMP-certified'' Proudly made in the USA.
Doomer Optimism: What I See Coming, & How I'm Preparing - Tucker Max
Sat, 08 Jan 2022 16:49
My life has changed substantially over the last 2 years, and the biggest change has been where I live, and how I use my time.
I moved out of Austin to a ranch 45 minutes away, and now spend most of my time with my family, working on the ranch and building my immediate community.
The easiest way to describe it would be to call me a ''Doomer Optimist.''
What is Doomer Optimism? My favorite way to describe it:
The shit's gonna hit the fan, but if I do my work, it'll be OK.
The more in depth explanation is that Doomer Optimism is a social movement in which people recognize and accept the very hard problems they see coming down the road, but still move forward with a sense of hope for what might come of it all. You can see several definitions here, from one of the people who named the DO movement.
This post explains everything I think about DO:
How I see Doomer Optimism, Why I started believing in it, The huge problems I see coming (from 3 months to 12 years out), How I shifted my own mindset to get ready, Why old school prepping won't work, What I'm doing instead to prepare, Why I'm doing it regardless of what happens. I'm writing this because I had an appearance recently on the Doomer Optimism podcast , and it seems I struck a nerve. Except it played out unlike anything I've ever done in media.
When I posted it on my social media, I got something like 10% of the usual likes & comments. But the flood of private messages was huge.
Why didn't anyone want to comment on a post that a ton of people wanted to talk to me about?
I learned two things: the interest in the ideas behind Doomer Optimism is bigger than I realized, and it's something a lot of people are scared to admit they believe in.
Before I dive in, please understand I'm not telling you what to think, or what to believe. I'm laying out what I think, why I think it, and how I'm preparing for it. You can believe what you want.
Let me also be very clear here: in NO WAY do I speak for the Doomer Optimism movement. In fact, there isn't a unified DO movement. It's more of a name for an open-sourced set of beliefs that covers a ton of different cultures and sub-cultures. I am using that name to give a name to a feeling and a state of being that I think a LOT of people are coming into right now, that is all.
Here is my progression:
February 2020 Pre-COVID. I thought I knew how the world worked. I thought I was awake. I didn't think I had everything figured out, but I thought I had the basic lay of the land.
18 months later, I've realized I was VERY wrong.
March 2020 In March 2020, I was all for all lockdowns. I saw the videos from China of people collapsing and I bought it. 100%. I tweeted about it. The pandemic was real, lets be safe''I bought all of it. You can even still see the tweets on my timeline, which I did not erase on purpose. I'm OK with admitting I got fooled at first, it's the truth.
April 2020 Somewhere in April, I started to smell a rat. I'm no expert in infectious diseases or epidemiology, but I do know media very well, and it all felt too coordinated and aligned .
Something felt very wrong, I just didn't know what.
May 2020 By early May, I knew the whole thing was bullshit.
I'm not saying COVID isn't real. For people over 60 or with underlying health conditions, it can clearly be very serious, and even fatal.
But for healthy people under 60, the infection fatality ratio (IFR) is lower than the flu. That's in peer-reviewed journals. It's settled science. We know this now (not then), but even then''the ''pandemic'' just wasn't adding up.
Then the George Floyd tape came out, and all hell broke loose.
Without a doubt, that was one of the sickest, saddest, most horrifying videos I've ever seen. I watched every minute of that tape and I cried through it. There just aren't any words.
I was totally on board with the concept behind the Black Lives Matter movement. And I'm still on board with that concept , but fuck the evil Marxist clowns that run that organization, which is a very different thing.
But then it turned into riots.
Sure, there were some genuine, peaceful protests. But many others were outright riots, often planned and executed by domestic terror organizations like Antifa (yes, they are literal domestic terrorists).
That's when my Special Forces buddies started raising red flags.
Their message was clear: Coordinated psychological operations (psyops) were taking place here in the US, run against the US populace.
At first, I didn't believe it. Seems crazy, right?
Well, I quickly came around. Why?
One of the things Special Forces operatives are trained to do is to run psyops in foreign countries. To change how the public in that country feels about certain things. How they think about certain things. This is literally what they do for work, and they have been doing it for decades, very successfully in most cases.
A few different SF friends of mine, independently, walked me through the playbook for how to run psyops in a foreign country, and how it was exactly what we saw happening here in the US.
Holy shit, they were right''what the fuck is going on?
July 2020 By July, I was thinking about prepping for the worst. Only I was thinking about it the way most people used to think about it. Like I just need to get off the grid, hunker down, and hoard supplies''that kind of idea behind prepping.
My wife and I wanted a place in the mountains anyway, so we found one in Tennessee. It's a nice summer vacation house, but we also stocked up on some things.
We were prepping, right?
Hell no. I was prepping all wrong (but I did not know it at the time). Through July, August, September, and October, I thought I had things at least somewhat figured out again.
And then the election happened.
And then the vaccine.
November 2020 I don't want to rehash the election, so let's skip ahead to the vaccine.
It was announced as a public health effort, but nothing about it made sense from a public health perspective.
For example, seeing a vaccine rushed through development and testing like 10x faster than any vaccine ever. And even worse, all questioning or discussion of this suppressed. This raised some flags.
The thing that really raised flags''at that time''was how hard all the institutions were pushing it. I've NEVER seen a government push something like this. This was weird on so many levels''way beyond just the normal ''corporate greed to sell a product'' shit you see all the time. Something felt off.
And then January 6 happened. That's when I really woke up.
January 2021 January 6. A drunken crowd of idiots ''stormed'' the capitol building.
Did I wake up suddenly to the reality of America on January 6 because there was an ''insurrection'' in Washington DC? No, that wasn't the real problem. At least, not to my mind.
For one thing, January 6 was not an insurrection. It was a bunch of drunken idiots. The Capitol police let them into the side doors, and nothing about this was anything like an insurrection, and yes like 14k HOURS of video still won't be released''what? How is that an insurrection?
Should they have been there? No. Was it a riot? Probably. Should they have been arrested? Probably.
But it wasn't an insurrection''that's laughable on face.
So why was that the day I woke up and opened my eyes to a whole new reality. Why?
Because of how the media was framing it, especially in contrast to what I saw happeningwith my own eyes''and the way worse stuff that had just happened that summer .
Literally EVERY major media outlet was framing it the exact same way, all at once, in complete defiance of the evidence right in front of our eyes.
This was exactly the psyop shit my SF buddies had described to me, and it was happening in real time.
That was the moment I realized that the American empire had fallen. I have no idea if this was a planned ''false flag'' operation or if it happened spontaneously and was capitalized on. Regardless of why it happened, t his was the first time I truly felt in my gut that we were having a psyop run on us.
(If you aren't following why this was a psyop, just ask yourself the difference in how the summer 2020 riots were covered, and how Jan 6th was covered. She explains it well here.
And if you think its ridiculous that a large scale psyop could be run on the American people, then ask yourself: how was it that after the 9/11 attacks, America invaded'...Iraq. Which had no WMDs and no connection to the attack on America? That was a psyop, and I was just as fooled on that as you were. It can and has happened before.)
January 6th was when I knew our republic had fallen.
Don't get me wrong. It didn't actually fall on January 6. Again, that's ridiculous. The American republic died in darkness, a long time ago, whenever our leaders stopped acting in good faith to do the things they were elected to do.
I don't know when that was, or even if it was a specific moment, and it doesn't matter now when that happened, all that matters is that it's true. Here's what I do know:
On January 5th, I still believed that America as an idea was working, basically.
By January 7th, I realized we'd been fighting a war for America that I hadn't even been aware of.
And this war was already lost.
Not a shooting war, but a memetic war. A war of the mind'--a war over our very ideas and brains and thoughts. And as of now, the people who hated America had won.
Who is this war between?
I don't know. I don't really think it matters right now. I doubt there are only two sides''there are probably many different sides with many different agendas.
Who is fighting this war is not the most important thing right now. All that matters RIGHT NOW is knowing that a memetic war is going on, and that the basic agenda is the destruction of America, and the submission or death of its people. That is info I can act on (even without knowing all the details).
And the MOST fucked up part: I think everything that has happened is the prelude to the really bad parts.
It appears to me we're only at the beginning of the shitstorm. This has been the scrimmage before the big game.
That's what I'm going to talk about next. The problems I see coming. Remember, these are just my best guesses, because no one knows anything.
Phase 1: Rising inflation, supply chain issues, and creeping tyranny Over the next 3 to 12 months, starting in November 2021, we're going to see a lot of inflation. Not hyperinflation, but asset inflation. Prices are going to rise. A lot. In fact, it's already happening.
Why? Something crazy like 40% of all the currency the US has ever printed has been printed in the last 18 months. And the government just passed another multi-trillion-dollar stimulus bill, so there's a ton of money flooding the system.
That's an historic rise in dollars but there hasn't been any increase in supply of goods and services. Any half-decent economist can tell you what happens next: asset inflation. It's not rocket science. It's just Economics 101 (even though all the captured idiots like Paul Krugman refuse to recognize this basic point).
Now add this to the massive supply chain issues, and that is a recipe for low level disaster. Just look around: basic staples are missing from the shelves of major stores. Infrastructure is collapsing and not being repaired. Supply chains are breaking. It's not all coming down at once, but these are things we haven't seen in our lifetimes.
For the next year the major issue will be inflation, but that won't be the only issue. The other major issue is tyranny of course, but I hope I don't have to tell you about that, it should be obvious.
I could do a whole different long piece about the absurd attempts at US governmental tyranny, but if you DON'T get this, then to understand what they are trying to do, just look at the western countries that don't have an armed populace: Australia for example. It's fallen. It's now a prison colony, with people locked in their homes. They admit it!
Or look at Austria and now Germany. They have locked down the unvaccinated, indefinitely. Think about this: THE PLACES THE ACTUAL NAZI LEADER WAS BORN AND LED JUST SEGREGATED THEIR POPULATION AND IS LOCKING THEM DOWN. Just look at the video .
I hate to say this, but seriously''if this is not a wake up call, what will it take for people to wake up and see what is happening? Do they have to turn the ''quarantine'' camps into actual death camps? The camps already exist, they just don't appear to be actively killing the unvaccinated''the ones who refuse to give up their sovereignty''quite yet (which I bet is coming soon enough, sadly).
That is what they will try, and fail, to implement in the US. But you'll see more and more of the bullshit mandates (mandates are not laws and you don't have to follow them), and more and more attempts at naked power grabs, like just about everything the federal government is doing these days.
My favorite naked and absurd recent example is this. At what point do you wake up, if something like this is not it?
Why is all this going on?
I don't have all the answers, but there is pretty clearly some plan or set of plans by different groups to try and take what is left of freedom from the world.
Who is doing it? I don't fucking know. This woman seems sane and used to be very deep in the high finance world, you can see what she says . I have no idea if she is right.
Or you can listen to this great convo about whats going on from two very smart and aware people.
The guy who created the technology behind the mRNA vaccine technology spent three hours explaining what he sees going on, and its not pretty (Dr Robert Malone on the Rogan podcast).
You can see all the shit for yourself the World Economic Forum is saying''they don't even try to hide it anymore, this is from their own Twitter account:
''You'll own nothing, have no privacy, and life will never be better.''
There is a word for that''slavery.
If you don't read that as a threat'...I'm not sure what to tell you. Good luck with the next decade.
As for me''I do not consent. I will not live in the pods, I will not eat the bugs, I will not submit to any of this tyranny.
If someone wants my freedom and my sovereignty, they'll have to try to take it from me, because I will never give it up.
[BTW, I posted a TINY bit of the overwhelming evidence out there of what is happening. If this is a shock to you, you might want to consider that you are living in a very small media bubble sheltering you from a wider reality. The corporate media''CNN, MSNBC, Vox, Fox News etc''are simply propaganda machines for one side or the other. And forget the conspiracy weirdos, I hate them too.
Good places to start for sober and measured information and journalism are NOT the corporate media outlets, but the independent journalists who have gone out on their own. People like Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, and Alex Berenson, just to name a few. Just start reading their Substack archives, and you'll begin to realize how much you've been lied to, by all sides. ]
Phase 2: More inflation, with widespread social & political breakdown For 1-4 years after that, inflation will keep getting worse. It won't be hyperinflation. You don't see that until a government collapse is imminent. The US government and the American dollar are still too strong for that and have too many people bought into the lie.
But we're going to see a level of political chaos that most of us thought was unimaginable in our lifetimes. Intense social upheaval. Riots that won't even pretend to be protests. What we saw in the summer of 2020, but way more.
And of course more and more absurd governmental tyranny attempts. Which are going to lead to widespread civil unrest and widespread breakdown in any form of trust for the government.
We ALREADY saw the preview of this in the last 18 months''I think it gets much worse. I have no idea what the trigger will be though, or how bad it will get, but I am guessing the mid-term elections in November 2022 will be the trigger for the shit to hit the fan. We'll see.
We might even see a real pandemic. The kind of pandemic that kills healthy people.
That's the Doomer side of things. But I'm also an optimist. I think we're coming up on a great awakening.
Why? Because the Doomer part is going to wake people up. Eventually.
The worse things get, the more the veil will be pulled back on the completely broken, corrupt and captured institutions that actually run America (and the world) and people will realize the situation we are actually in.
Sadly, we're not going to fix these old, corrupt systems. We won't fix the US university system. Or healthcare. Or Wall Street. Sadly, it appears our federal government is beyond fixing at this point.
We're going to start building (or electing) new institutions to replace them. That's the only way forward.
The awakening will spread beyond just political theater and old institutions. People will realize that their freedom and sovereignty cannot be trusted to anyone but themselves. They will start to grow their own food. A lot of manufacturing will become small scale and far more local. People will re-learn what it means to be self-reliant. Communities will start to coalesce around new ideas and new needs.
It will not happen quickly or all at once, but the seeds of the golden age will get planted in this period.
But years 1 through 4 are just the beginning. This is when most people will wake up to the fight we are in, and the fight gets real (and probably nasty).
Phase 3: The Bottom, and The End of the United States Somewhere in the stretch from year 4 to 8 (maybe before), shit will get REAL BAD, and we're going to hit rock bottom. I don't know what that means. Maybe it'll be one awful week from hell. Or it might mean 6 months of a truly broken supply chain and total anarchy and lots of death. It might be way worse.
It doesn't really matter about the event(s). What matters is what happens because of it.
At some point, the US government as we understand it now won't survive the combination of inflation and massive debt default (which is inevitable). The US government is going to default on its loans, and foreign governments and investors will lose confidence in the US as the pillar of the world economy.
THAT'S when you'll see hyperinflation, then a massive shift in the global economy.
At that point, the government won't have any power left. It won't necessarily fall. Not entirely. But it won't be able to do much of anything either.
This means that, in some form or another, America''as we understand it now''is going to end or break up. I have no idea how it will play out. It could be relatively peaceful and we move to a federated model similar to Europe, or it could be a serious fracturing.
There are 10 different ways, at least, so I won't worry about how. What matters now is that some form of this is inevitable.
Phase 4: The Slow Emergence For four more years after that, say maybe years 8 to 12, we'll witness the final death of the old age and the beginning of the new one.
All kinds of shit will happen then that is unimaginable to us now. The center of the global economy might even shift from New York to Beijing (after all, once the dollar falls in that period, we won't be where the center of high finance is, and the only other place I can see it going is China, but who knows, maybe the crypto people will win).
But however we do it, we'll start to find some stability as the new systems replace the old ones.
At that point, no matter what happens on the world economic stage, I think America''or rather, the American people''will finally be in a great spot. That's when the optimism finally kicks in, and we'll come out the other side into some amazing stuff.
But that will be a long, hard slog.
Do I want all those things I just predicted to happen? Of course not.
Do I think we can stop it? Also no. Not at this point.
I think we're facing a systemic shift in our civilization, and that chaos that comes from it can't be fought. It can only be dampened. And then accelerated once we're through the bad parts.
Now, I know what you're probably thinking. Isn't it worth at least trying to fight what's about to happen?
Definitely. But probably not in the way you are thinking. I believe the best thing fighting can do now is to keep the bottom from being as bad as it might be.
And that's important. Because we don't want to end up in the worst-case scenario. We don't want to see a total societal breakdown and the end of civilization as we know it. I don't think that kind of apocalyptic ending is very likely, but anything we can do to prevent it is good.
Maybe what we end up with could be more of what we've seen over the last 18 months, only worse. And a lot more sustained. More shortages. More lockdowns. More unrest. That's the best-case scenario.
But I don't think that's very likely either.
What's most likely is something in between those things. It's going to get ugly, and we're not going to be able to build a great new world until this phase has played itself out.
Personally, I hate that reality, but I think it's coming, so I'm going to prepare for it.
In order to effectively prepare for whats coming, I had to go through a series of shifts in my mindset. I'm going to walk you through my shifts over the past few years.
Mindshift 1: Accepting that the ''unthinkable'' is actually possible The first thing I had to do was to accept that at least some part of this scenario could happen. I had to reframe things I thought of ''impossible'' as now possible. That was a tough one.
After all, I don't want shitty stuff to happen, and it's a natural human instinct to refuse to believe in things you don't want.
But until I accepted that some version of it could happen, I couldn't start preparing for it.
For me, the real breakpoint was January 6th. That was the day I knew''I had to get ready. Shit was about to go down, and was already going down, and any delay was only hurting me.
Mindshift 2: Taking full responsibility for my own life and future The second mindset shift was realizing that no one was coming to save me'--not the government, not the military, and not some piece of paper''not matter how many times ''We the people'' is written on it.
My survival is up to me alone.
That one was easy for me. My parents were so bad at being parents that they unintentionally gave me a gift: I discovered early in life that I had to rely on myself because the adults around me weren't coming to help.
In a way, that's a sad thing to have in your childhood. But on the other hand, it definitely prepared me for a future that'll be tough. It helped me take charge and get moving.
Mindshift 3: Accept that I need to take action This one was tough. I came to these realizations in January, and I immediately felt like there wasn't enough time.
Even once we moved to our ranch and I laid out a concrete plan, it didn't feel like there was enough time.
I had to go through some moments of panic before I finally let that bullshit go, and fully shifted into a better mindset, remembering that I can do a lot when I put my mind to it.
Mindshift 4: Old school prepping doesn't work (safe places vs safe people) This was less a mindset shift and more of a fundamental belief system I had to let go of: everything I had learned about conventional prepping would not work.
Over the past year I've went deep in this field, but most of what I found was the ''old school'' approach to prepping. The old-school approach to prepping preaches stockpiling stuff basically and hiding until it's over.
But here's the problem: that just makes you a target for the gangs of men with guns. And even if you stay hidden''what about when your stash runs out?
Most prepping info in America was total crap. The problem is that no one in America has ever lived through something like this here at home. These people were talking out of their asses, or talking about prepping like it would be an extended camping trip, living off the land and bullshit like that.
There has never been any sort of real breakdown in America''at least not in our living memory. We don't know what it's like when the cops don't show up anymore. Or when there's no more gas. I don't mean for a week''I mean no more gas coming, period. Or, god forbid, when refugees have to leave the cities in the hundreds of thousands.
The American reality is that we've been wrapped in a historically unique cocoon of safety and abundance for 70 plus years, probably longer, and that's starting to crack. It's going to continue cracking, and it may shatter fully in the next decade.
I realized that for what is coming, there won't be anywhere to hide. I had to have this core mindset shift:
There are no more safe places, only safe people''and the only way to be around safe people is to first become one.
When I thought of it that way, I realized that the people I needed to listen to were the ones who were experts at surviving and thriving in crisis. Once I got that insight, I was able to go find the REAL experts on surviving crisis.
And once I found those people, I figured out the beginning of a workable plan.
The people I found who had lived through real societal breakdowns:
US Special Forces operatives, mainly Green Berets. I have three main friends I talked to, one from Chechnya, one from Serbia and one from Croatia. Each had lived through a serious breakdown of their society, and had totally unique (to me) perspectives on it. These were people who could tell me what really matters when you have to live without all the trappings of modern society.
And they all taught me different things, but there were two things that all of them said:
Community and logistics are key.
Community is this: how can I be around people I can rely on?
Logistics is this: how will I get the things I need when I need them?
And MOST importantly, I learned a concept from the doomer optimists: the best logistics is local production.
What this means is that prepping is not about hoarding stuff or hunkering down. Prepping is actually about changing your life so that you can easily create the majority of things you need yourself, or find them locally, so you are NOT beholden to major corporations or governments or other entities that want to control you.
This meant I essentially had to create a whole new world for myself and my family, one that was resilient to what was coming.
I have organized this as a hierarchy of preparing, and I'm going to talk about that hierarchy in sections here, but keep in mind that they're all intertwined.
Take defense and location, for example. Your ability to defend yourself depends on your capabilities, but also your location. They're not two separate things.
Still, it helps in creating a plan to break things down into more manageable pieces, even if they're not entirely separate.
First: Defense Here's a hard fact: it doesn't matter if you have everything you need, if you can't keep it from someone who wants to take it, IT IS NOT YOURS.
Defense doesn't just matter: it is the ONLY thing that matters if you don't have it.
The way the military thinks about defense is a concept called ''defense in depth'' which was super useful for me to understand defense.
Layer 1: Physical Fitness The first phase of defense prep is literally your physical condition. Are you strong? Are you healthy? How long can you effectively work?
A lot of people skip over this, thinking immediately about guns or weapons. But if you're not physically strong and healthy and capable of working hard for a sustained amount of time, you're going to be in real trouble.
Seems easy and obvious right?
OK''what percentage of people would you say are in shape?
My best guess (I also checked the data on this): about 10%.
You in that small group, or in the 90%?
It all starts with physical health and strength.
What I Do:
I have cut my physical fitness routine down to some very simple tools:
Airdyne Bike for cardio work Bulgarian bag for cardio and core work X3, kettle bells & dumbells for simple strength training That's it. It all fits in my garage.
Layer 2: Unarmed Combat Beyond being in shape and your ability to handle physical labor, it's important to get as familiar as you can with unarmed hand-to-hand combat. Being able to handle yourself in a fight matters when local law starts to break down.
Do you have any competence in hand to hand fighting? For me, there are only really three self-defense arts that matter: BJJ, muay thai, and MMA.
I'm a brown belt in BJJ, and I train MMA. Not super useful against a gun, but absolutely a great base for both physical shape and self-defense in tight situations.
Sorry krav maga people: literally no one I know who has to fight for a living ever has good shit to say about it.
What I Do:
I primarily train BJJ at Gracie Humiata in Austin.
Layer 3: Knife Skills My experts told me I should get used to having a knife with me at all times. It's so much a thing that they have a term for it: EDC, which stands for ''every day carry.''
I carry an Emerson knife. They are great, especially for the wave feature, but your knife doesn't need to be expensive or fancy. It just needs to be one you can use well.
Now, that isn't only for defense. A knife can cut a shirt into bandages or splice a wire. It's an essential tool.
But it's also important to know how to fight with it if you need to, which is a very different set of skills from hand-to-hand combat. I discovered that in my very first lesson, and it ties back into unarmed combat.
I'm a brown belt in BJJ. I've been studying it and MMA for years. So when I took a basic self-defense course ( I go to Sheepdog Response ), I was feeling pretty confident. There were a few police officers in the course with me and I was putting them in chokes pretty easily.
Then, we moved on to knife skills. I didn't see how a knife would make any difference. I still knew how to move and fight, right? Throw in a blade, it would just make me that much better.
The first person I'm up against with these plastic training knives is an older woman. I get into a good position and then'...pop! She stabs me in the side. It was a perfect liver shot. I would've been dead.
The same thing happened'...over and over. Everyone I had smoked easily in unarmed combat killed me with those plastic knives. I learned pretty quickly that knife fighting is its own art. If you want to be good at it, you'll need to train for it.
Layer 4: Gun Skills Needless to say, this is another place where training matters, but don't assume that you can shoot well under stress just because you can stand still and hit a can with a .22.
It's good to be comfortable holding, loading, aiming, and firing a weapon. But that's not the same thing as using a gun for defense in a genuine life-or-death situation.
Here, again, the only way to get good at it is to practice. There are a TON of places you can get good gun instruction, pick one and go (like I said, I train primarily with Sheepdog Response in Austin).
I also would HIGHLY recommend training stress shooting. I practice shooting when I am exhausted, when people are shooting next to me, etc. Even just a little bit of stress training is hugely beneficial.
Layer 5: Family Defense Would you know what to do if you ran into a pocket of violence while you were downtown with your family? There are courses you can take that cover all kinds of potential situations''have you taken one?
I'm not trying to be full-on military. I don't need to know how to run a counter attack on an L-shaped ambush.
But if I don't know what to do when I am driving my family around, and randomly pull into a small pocket of rioting I had no idea about''not only am I fucked, but I am putting my family at risk as well.
And do THEY know what to do? I don't expect my 5 year old to grab and gun and start returning fire, but my wife''hell yeah (she's a great shot, btw).
Layer 6: Home Defense Does your home security system work when the power goes out? What if it goes out for a week? Even if it still worked, would that really matter if the police weren't answering calls anymore?
Know what works without electricity? A dog. I have a wonderful Great Pyrenees and an Anatolian Shepherd, both of whom are super affectionate, but also absolute demons when they think my family are in danger.
Beyond that, I'm not going into much depth on my other home defense systems. Like the people I train with say, ''Fuck around and find out.''
Layer 7: Community I said it before but I can't stress it enough. Having the right community around you is the number one factor in your defense.
If the world breaks down, it won't matter how much food or water you have unless you can defend it. And the best way to do that is to surround yourself with a community of people you can count on, no matter what.
[More on this later].
Second: Location City or rural? In terms of preparation, where you live is absolutely crucial. If you live in the downtown area of a huge city, especially near high-profile targets for violence, I'd personally get out of there.
But it also depends on the city, and it depends on how bad things really get. That's a choice you have to make for yourself. I will say I could not imagine living in a city in the next decade.
Personally, I sold my house in Austin and moved to a ranch about 45 minutes outside of Austin. It's not a big ranch as Texas goes, but it has enough space to invite a few families to join us, and it's an area that doesn't have a high population.
Political Another consideration is where you live from a political standpoint. That's not something we've ever had to think about in this country, but what is your local government likely to do in an emergency?
If you live in California and the shit goes down, you are probably on your own, and most likely will be in bad shape. You live in a failed state''and thats right now, when things are going well.
In Texas, you will probably be OK. In Texas, we have our own power grid, our own ocean ports, and our own energy supply. We can be our own country in a pinch. Most states cannot be.
State and local politics matter a lot now. If I did not live in Texas, these are the states I would live in, in no order:
Tennessee, Florida, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana.
As to living outside the US: no fucking way, not for me. If you think you can run from what's coming'...good luck. Some smart people disagree with me, and that's fine.
Social/Community I chose a community in Texas that is rural, happens to have a lot of ex-military and rancher types, and is used to doing a lot of things itself. It's a community that isn't as likely to fall apart if we have to resort to a different way of life for a while.
Also, it has a lot of people I already know living there, a lot of people who are willing to take matters of defense into their own hands. The Sheriff's department is also aligned correctly, and local politics is very much based on land and production, not woke bullshit.
Environmental That's another thing that matters about location: geography. Do you live in an environment that would let you grow enough food to survive? Do you have room for chickens or even livestock? Could you keep goats or cows for milk?
What is your plan to feed your family if things change? Whatever your plan is for feeding yourself and your family, it needs to be realistic for your location, wherever that is.
I'll admit, Texas is kind of shitty for growing things in most cases, but it is good enough.
Third: Water Where do you get your water, and how reliable is it?
Do you depend on city water right now? That's not great if the infrastructure starts falling apart.
Wells are better, but modern wells often depend on electric pumps. Don't count on that either unless you have a plan to power it (I'll talk about power next). Remember, all these things are interrelated.
Rainwater capture is a good alternative if you don't have ''live'' water like a creek or river running through your property. But be sure to think about purification too.
The point is: if you do not have an owned source of water, you are vulnerable to whoever controls it.
Another reason I live on a ranch: we have our own wells, and a rainwater capture system. Water is everything in Texas, whereas if you live in east Tennessee, you just need a bucket and you're fine for water.
Fourth: Food When it comes to food, you really have two main things to consider: storage and production.
First, storage. There are so many ways to store food, and skills like making jams from fresh fruit have been around for centuries. People solved food storage problems long before we had electricity. There are so many amazing resources on this, you can find all kinds of cool stuff here.
I currently have 12 months of food stored up, on site, for my family of (soon to be) 6. That's ready to go. Most of it is frozen, with some dried and dehydrated stuff.
Second is production. What is your capability to PRODUCE food on your own, or with your community? This becomes a crucial part of preparing because hoarded food eventually runs out. Then what?
Growing food is obviously awesome and should be part of any plan. Food production beats dry food hoarding all day.
But this is not just growing food. This is also raising livestock. Like I said, there is a reason I bought a ranch that has many many acres of grazing land: I have cattle, sheep, chickens, etc.
Fifth: Energy Where do you get your electricity?
First, if you have the option of choosing to get your power from owned and sustainable sources like hydroelectric, wind, or solar, do it. If you OWN your electricity generation, you are golden.
That includes your power co-op too. A power company that provides hydroelectric power is (somewhat) less vulnerable to system shocks and supply-chain issues than one that relies on coal, for example (though not always).
Propane power generators are a good stop-gap. I have two of them. But if you can't rely on the power grid, you may not be able to rely on the propane supply either. Without huge tanks of your own, you won't last very long on that, and even huge tanks like the ones I have run out eventually.
Solar power can be better, especially for things like your deep freezer that's critical to a large part of your food storage. But solar has its own problems as well''do you have replacement parts? Can you install them?
Any electrical system that's self-reliant and fully sustainable will go a long way toward keeping your day-to-day life feeling somewhat close to normal if your local infrastructure shuts down.
Sixth: The power of community I put this last, but it is THE thing that layers over everything:
None of this works unless you have a community to support and defend it.
And even community has several different levels of consideration. It's not enough to say, ''I live in Small Town. Everyone's nice in my Small Town.'' People change when modern civilization gets stripped away. Maybe not all of them, but most of them. That's why it's so important to know who you can trust when your back's against the wall.
The first layer of community is your immediate tribe. Know which friends would stand watch with you through the night, holding a gun against people coming in the dark. Those are the ones you want with you.
The next layer of your community would be your neighbors. How far away do they live? How well do you know them? Are they close friends or basically strangers? Who would you need to watch out for, and what's your plan if someone needs you to show up armed?
Finally, think about your extended community. Who's your county sheriff? How long do you think they would be able to hold law and order in place if the power went out for weeks or months? If the local stores ran out of food?
What other resources exist in the local area, and who's most likely to try to control them if the law breaks down?
Honestly, this the MOST important part of the whole thing, and the part that EVERY SINGLE TRUE EXPERT I talked to emphasized: you cannot do this alone. The Rambo, lone wolves are the first to die. You can only do this with a tribe.
A question I get a lot from people is ''What if you're wrong?''
That's a very valid question, and I fully accept that my entire set of predictions about the future could be WAY off. But here's the thing:
I would do nearly everything I detailed here EVEN IF I KNEW FOR A FACT I was wrong about the details of what's coming.
I'm very serious. Even if I could look into the future and know for a fact that everything I think is coming is actually not coming, and things are actually going to be ''fine,'' I would still do (most of) what I detailed above.
Why?
Very simple: how we are living as a culture and a people does not work, at least not for me, and I am going to change it, at least for myself and my family and the people I love.
I want to spend as much of the time I have in my life with the people I love and care about, doing things that are nourishing and uplifting to us. I want to live close to the land, connected to nature, being as productive a part of both my social and physical ecosystem as I can be.
In essence, I want my life to promote life.
Honestly ask yourself: how much of the functioning of Western modernity right now aligns with that goal?
Sadly, very little.
Which leads to the key insight about the way I see Doomer Optimism and my new mindset:
I used to believe that it was possible to ''fix'' the world.
I do not think that is true anymore.
I believe that sort of thinking is not only arrogant and egotistical, it is a way to avoid your own work (that was me, for sure).
I think the old systems may have worked at one point, but do not anymore, and they are far beyond repair.
This means that I am done with arguing with people. I am done with fighting for consensus. I am done worrying about what others who are embedded in some institution will decide.
I'm doing the opposite.
I'm focusing on doing my work and on building my world, with my family and my community. And I will share what I do to help others who want to do their work, and build their world and their families and communities as well.
No one can ''fix'' the world''and those who do are the ones at the core of those trying toi impose tyranny on the world.
Even though no one can fix the world, WE CAN ALL FIX OURSELVES.
That, to me, is the heart of Doomer Optimism.
This is just an overview of what I am thinking''there's so much more than I've even covered (money, crypto, learning hard skills, and possibly the biggest aspect of this''the emotional work necessary to make this leap, etc, etc).
I know this is a lot to take in all at once. And even harder is that virtually every subpoint here is an entire field of study on its own.
If this article has opened your eyes and you're suddenly feeling like you're not prepared at all, that's okay. Just feel it, let it go, and then realize it's time to get moving. Use the time you have wisely and get ready in the way you think woks for you.
Finally, preparing doesn't have to take a lot of money. It does take some, but a few thousand dollars can go a long way. If that sounds like a lot, remember that with the right community and the right plan, you can pool your resources.
Community is everything, and community''when done well''works.
I plan to make this the first of several articles, podcasts and videos I do on not just ''Doomer Optimism'' but what I am doing to create my life, family and community. This is essentially what I do now, so I will do it.
If you want me to cover something or answer a specific question, please feel free to email me at tucker @ tuckermax.com and I will try to get to it.
________Also, I did a YouTube video that is almost everything I said here, you can watch it if you want:
The point of sharing these lessons is to help others on their journey. If you know someone who could benefit from a lesson, please forward this blog post to them.
Omicron cases could fall just as quickly as they rose, CDC says
Sat, 08 Jan 2022 05:35
Jan. 7, 2022, 3:24 PM EST / Updated Jan. 7, 2022, 4:47 PM EST
By Erika Edwards
Despite the astronomic rise in omicron-related Covid cases nationwide, there is hope that the number will fall just as fast, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday at a media briefing '-- her first without the rest of the White House's Covid-19 Task Force in nearly six months.
The rise and fall of Covid diagnoses has historically been shown as "waves," but Walensky suggested the omicron surge in the U.S. may be visualized more as an "ice pick," with a dramatic rise and fall in cases similar to South Africa, which has passed its omicron surge.
Full coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic
"I do think in places that we are seeing this really steep incline, that we may well see also a precipitous decline," Walensky said during the briefing.
Currently, new Covid cases in the U.S. are up more than 204 percent compared to two weeks ago, according to an NBC News analysis.
Record number of pediatric casesOn Friday, the CDC released new data on Covid-related hospitalizations, specifically among children. Hospitalization rates are also increasing among the youngest children for whom there is no vaccine: ages 0 to 4.
As of the week ending Jan. 1, 4.3 per 100,000 children under age 5 were admitted to a hospital with Covid-19, Walensky said.
"While children still have the lowest rate of hospitalization of any group, pediatric hospitalizations are at the highest rate compared to any prior point in the pandemic," she said.
Indeed, more than a dozen states nationwide have reported record pediatric hospitalizations linked to Covid-19, according to NBC News data.
"This very well may be that there are just more cases out there," Walensky said.
Isolation guidelines During Friday's briefing, Dr. Henry Walke, head of the CDC's Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections, defended the agency's recent recommendations on isolation.
The agency said that people may use rapid antigen tests around day five of their isolation periods if they want to, but it is not requiring them.
The results of a rapid test late in the course of Covid-19 illness do not indicate how contagious a person remains, Walke said.
"Regardless of the test result, wearing a well-fitting mask after those five days of isolation is still recommended," he said.
Isolation refers to the five-day period after a person tests positive, when that person should stay away from others, including family members. The CDC said people are most contagious a day or two before symptoms begin, and for two to three days after.
The CDC does not require a negative test to leave isolation after five days, as long as patients no longer have symptoms. However, even asymptomatic patients should wear a mask for an additional five days.
Does omicron infection protect against delta variant? Walensky said that early evidence suggests that the omicron variant may help protect people from the delta variant. On the flip side, "we have an indication that if you had delta, you are susceptible to infection with omicron," she said.
And would an omicron infection protect a person from omicron reinfection? The CDC is beginning studies to answer this question.
It is an important issue, as the new variant has swiftly taken hold in the U.S., accounting for more than 95 percent of Covid-19 cases.
Recommended"This virus has changed, and it's constantly throwing up curveballs," Walensky said. "As the virus changes, the science changes."
The CDC briefing Friday was the agency's first on its own since late July. Such briefings used to be a mainstay of public health communication. In previous years, the CDC held weekly briefings on a variety of headline-grabbing health topics: the flu, lung illnesses linked to vaping, even Ebola.
But the agency '-- historically considered a gold standard among public health officials worldwide '-- has struggled with its communication on Covid since the beginning of the pandemic.
The first, and perhaps most notable, example occurred during a CDC telebriefing in February 2020, when a former CDC official, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, warned Americans to prepare for an inevitable life-altering pandemic.
Walensky has participated in regular news conferences of the White House Covid-19 Task Force, usually along with Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.
But clear, direct communication from the CDC about its recommendations is key for the agency to explain to Americans the reasoning behind its guidance.
"It is important to have access to those CDC scientists who are working on these issues" round the clock, said Glen Nowak, a former head of CDC communications and current co-director of the University of Georgia's Center for Health and Risk Communication.
Lack of communication "makes it look like CDC hasn't thought it completely through, or that they don't have answers to questions related to their recommendations and policies," Nowak said.
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Erika Edwards Erika Edwards is a health and medical news writer and reporter for NBC News and "TODAY."
These Charts Are the Smoking Guns in the Fed's 2019-2020 Emergency Repo Loan Bailouts
Sat, 08 Jan 2022 05:31
Systemic Risk Among Deutsche Bank and Global Systemically Important Banks (Source: 2016 IMF Report '-- ''The blue, purple and green nodes denote European, US and Asian banks, respectively. The thickness of the arrows capture total linkages (both inward and outward), and the arrow captures the direction of net spillover. The size of the nodes reflects asset size.'')
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 7, 2022 ~
Nine days ago the Fed released the names of the Wall Street trading houses that had borrowed a cumulative total of $4.5 trillion in emergency repo loans from the Fed during just the last quarter of 2019. From September 17, 2019 through July 2, 2020, the same banks had borrowed a cumulative total of $11.23 trillion. The Fed is slowly doling out the names of the banks and the specific amounts borrowed on a quarterly basis, after eight quarters of time has elapsed. The Fed is only releasing the information because the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010 made it a legal obligation of the Fed to do so. The Fed had fought a multi-year court battle with the press after the 2008 financial crisis to keep its secret bailouts to Wall Street firms hidden from the American people.
Strange as it may seem, the same press outlets that battled the Fed in court following the 2008 financial crisis to get the names of the banks and the amounts borrowed, have this time around invoked a total news blackout on publishing the names of the banks.
One of the large borrowers under this 2019-2020 Fed facility was not even a U.S. bank. On October 8, 2019 the Fed conducted a one-day (overnight) repo loan operation, offering $37.5 billion. Deutsche Bank Securities, a unit of the giant German bank, took two lots totaling $7.5 billion. On the same day, Deutsche Bank Securities took another $3 billion of a 14-day term repo loan offered by the Fed, bringing its total borrowing from the Fed on just that one day to $11.5 billion. But the 14-day term loan that Deutsche Bank Securities had previously taken on September 27 for $3 billion had not yet expired, so it actually had an outstanding Fed loan balance at that point of $14.5 billion.
The Fed, the U.S. central bank, was making loans of this size (although they were collateralized) to the trading unit of a serially troubled foreign bank.
October 8, 2019 was just 13 days after Deutsche Bank's headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany were raided by police for the second time in less than a year. The police were probing a vast money laundering operation in Europe. On January 30, 2017, Deutsche Bank was fined a total of $630 million by U.S. and U.K. regulators over claims it had laundered upwards of $10 billion on behalf of Russian investors.
This was not a propitious time for Deutsche Bank to be splashing about in the headlines over having its headquarters raided again. It was one of the largest derivative counterparties (taking the other side of derivative trades) to some of the largest systemically important banks in the world, including the largest U.S. banks.
In June 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report that found that Deutsche Bank posed the greatest threat to global financial stability than any other bank because of its interconnections to Wall Street mega banks and large banks in Europe. As the graph above illustrates, many of the banks showing the largest interconnectedness with Deutsche Bank were the identical banks whose trading units were borrowing from the Fed's emergency repo loan facility in 2019 and 2020.
But the raid on the headquarters of Deutsche Bank and the money laundering probe were far from the end of Deutsche Bank's problems. The bank was having serious financial difficulties. Its attempt to merge with Commerzbank had fallen through in April 2019. On July 7, 2019 it announced a plan to fire 18,000 workers and had plans to create a good bank/bad bank, moving its toxic assets that it hoped to sell to the bad bank. Deutsche Bank had also reported losses in three of the prior four years. Its share price had lost 90 percent of its value over the prior dozen years and was trading close to an historic low in September of 2019 when the Fed's emergency repo loans appeared out of nowhere for the first time since the financial crisis of 2008.
The Monday after the emergency repo loan operations began, Deutsche Bank announced that it would be moving clients and staff from its prime broker unit (that makes loans to hedge funds) to BNP Paribas along with its electronic trading operations.
As the chart above shows, JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, was heavily interconnected to Deutsche Bank. Any fallout from problems at Deutsche Bank were going to have ''net spillover'' to JPMorgan Chase.
JPMorgan Chase's trading unit, J.P. Morgan Securities, became one of the largest borrowers under the Fed's emergency repo loan facilities in 2019. We won't know what happened in 2020 until the Fed begins releasing the names of the banks and dollar amounts borrowed on or about March 31 of this year.
There was also a correlation between the plunging price of JPMorgan Chase's share price and Deutsche Bank's plunging share price during some of the worst trading sessions in March 2020. For example, the chart below shows that on Friday, March 27, 2020, the S&P 500 closed down only 3.37 percent while the shares of both JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank lost over 7 percent '' which was far in excess of JPMorgan's peer banks, Bank of America (ticker, BAC), Citigroup (ticker, C), Goldman Sachs (ticker, GS) and Morgan Stanley (ticker, MS).
Closing Price of the S&P 500 Index on Friday, March 27, 2020, Versus the Wall Street Banks
Despite what was obvious to anyone watching stock charts, Fed Chair Jerome Powell repeatedly testified to the Senate Banking Committee that the U.S. megabanks were ''a source of strength'' during the financial crisis in 2020.
In the first six months of 2019, long before there was a pandemic anywhere in the world, Reuters reported that JPMorgan Chase had reduced the reserves it was holding at the Fed by $158 billion, or an alarming 57 percent. To this day, no one knows what JPMorgan Chase needed that money for or why the Fed let it draw down those reserves.
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the official government body that examined the underpinnings of the 2008 implosion on Wall Street, said this about the role of derivatives in the crisis: ''the existence of millions of derivatives contracts of all types between systemically important financial institutions'--unseen and unknown in this unregulated market'--added to uncertainty and escalated panic, helping to precipitate government assistance to those institutions.''
Despite this acknowledgement that derivatives played a central role in the worst financial crisis in 2008 that the U.S. had seen since the Great Depression, neither the Fed, nor Congress, nor the banking regulators have stopped these banks from holding tens of trillions of dollars of derivatives with questionable counterparties on the other side. Even worse, in the U.S., the derivatives are held at the federally-insured banking units of the megabanks, which are holding deposits for moms and pops across America.
Larry Fink Wants to Save the World (and Make Money Doing It) - WSJ
Fri, 07 Jan 2022 12:35
CEO of giant asset manager BlackRock uses his position to push firms to address climate change
Few private citizens wield more power in America today than Larry Fink, the chief executive of BlackRock Inc. In pushing companies to embrace climate-friendly policies, that has made him a lightning rod.
The firm he runs manages some $10 trillion for pension funds, endowments, governments, companies and individuals, equal to more than 10% of the world's gross domestic product in 2020. Its funds are among the three largest shareholders in more than 80% of the companies in the S&P 500.
As...
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Few private citizens wield more power in America today than Larry Fink, the chief executive of BlackRock Inc. In pushing companies to embrace climate-friendly policies, that has made him a lightning rod.
The firm he runs manages some $10 trillion for pension funds, endowments, governments, companies and individuals, equal to more than 10% of the world's gross domestic product in 2020. Its funds are among the three largest shareholders in more than 80% of the companies in the S&P 500.
As steward for millions of investors, BlackRock wields vast shareholder voting power, which it uses either to back managements or to prod them in new directions.
Today, Mr. Fink is telling CEOs that companies must prepare for a scaleback of fossil fuels, and that the private sector should work with governments to do so. He warns of the disruption climate change could cause both the economy and financial markets, but sees historic investment opportunity in the energy shift. It's a point he has made to conferences in Davos, Venice, Riyadh and Glasgow over the past year.
''This is the beginning of a long but rapidly accelerating transition'--one that will unfold over many years and reshape asset prices of every type,'' he said in a letter to CEOs last year.
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Mr. Fink's power, combined with his advocacy on a hot-button issue, has made him a flashpoint for activists, politicians and unions, both those who think BlackRock isn't doing enough and others who say it's doing too much.
Five Democratic senators wrote to Mr. Fink in 2020 saying BlackRock needed to support more shareholder resolutions to match his promises. In France that year, activists stormed BlackRock offices, flung papers and paint and scrawled ''GREENWASHING'' above a desk.
Tariq Fancy, a former BlackRock executive who runs an educational nonprofit, said Mr. Fink's message is distracting people from more-dramatic measures Mr. Fancy argues are necessary, such as carbon taxes.
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''It's like giving wheatgrass to a cancer patient,'' he said. ''The false promise of this wheatgrass serves to delay the onset of the more painful, yet necessary, solutions.''
Hanging over the discussion is the argument that Mr. Fink is taking on a role better left to elected representatives.
In mid-2021, two Republican senators wrote to a large 401(k)-type plan expressing concern BlackRock was putting its CEO's views ahead of investors' needs and infusing left-leaning priorities in its voting guidelines.
Real-estate investor Sam Zell said to CNBC a few years ago: ''I didn't know Larry Fink had been made God.''
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Mr. Fink says BlackRock acts as a voice for its investors. Mr. Fink, who describes himself as a conservative Democrat, says he isn't being political when he says investors and businesses should work alongside the government to address broad problems. When companies play a role, he says, they reduce the need for governments to engage in deficit spending to tackle the issues.
''I believe in the power of American capitalism,'' Mr. Fink said. ''Progressives don't believe deficits matter. I do.''
Mr. Fink says companies that embrace their responsibilities in crises can fulfill a role in society while delivering returns to shareholders. In an interview at his horse farm in Westchester County, north of New York City, he brought up an example from the previous century.
''See what
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Johnson & Johnson did in World War I and II,'' he said. ''You can call them opportunists by providing Band-Aids and gauzes and all that stuff to the military, but they were there during the crisis and stood there.''
As for BlackRock, he says, it can help investors by offering funds focused on environmental, social, and governance-minded investing, plus software to gauge climate-related risks such as drought and floods. In 2020, he told CEOs BlackRock would be increasingly disposed to vote against boards and companies that don't report their climate risks in formats BlackRock endorses.
Mr. Fink also presses companies to disclose more on the social effects of their business, such as the welfare of their workers or their local communities. To him, this is just good business; he says companies attentive to societal needs wind up protecting shareholder returns.
Many of BlackRock's investors want the firm simply to track the markets through index funds, which it does in channeling money into economies from China to Argentina to Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Fink's prominence partly reflects changes in finance, including a move away from active stockpickers and toward passive index funds. That in turn has shifted the dynamic in corporate boardrooms to give power to large asset managers such as BlackRock.
U.S. government officials have called on Mr. Fink to help them cope with crises'--the pandemic-rattled financial markets in March 2020, and, a dozen years earlier, market dangers posed by the failing bank Bear Stearns.
''Treasury Secretaries and finance ministers come and go,'' said David Rubenstein, the co-founder of the private-equity firm Carlyle Group Inc. ''They work for someone else who can fire them tomorrow and have to build what others want them to. When you are the CEO of the biggest asset manager, you don't have to do that.''
Laurence Fink got his start on Wall Street at First Boston, where he ran a desk that pooled together mortgages and other loans and sold off pieces of the bundles. While investors snapped up safer tranches of this financial innovation, the riskiest parts stayed on the bank's balance sheet.
When interest rates fell in 1986, his desk lost $100 million in the second quarter. Mr. Fink was forced to leave.
He founded BlackRock two years later with the desk's head trader, Rob Kapito, and six others. A scrappy bond manager in its early days, BlackRock lured investors with the pitch that it had the same risk technology as big banks but without the conflicts they had when they used their own money to make bets on companies.
In March 2008, BlackRock was drawn into Fed efforts to cope with the deflating housing bubble. On a Sunday, New York Fed President Tim Geithner and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson asked Mr. Fink for help as they scrambled to forestall a messy collapse of Bear Stearns, desperate to find a solution before Asian markets opened in a few hours. Mr. Fink raced from his farm to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York after getting Mr. Geithner's call that day.
The officials wanted Bear to be absorbed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. but that bank worried about Bear's stash of rapidly souring mortgage assets. No one was sure what these were worth. Messrs. Geithner and Paulson asked Mr. Fink: If the Fed provided financing for a newly formed company that would absorb Bear's bad assets, was there a reasonable chance the collateral could cover the loan?
Mr. Fink told them U.S. taxpayers wouldn't lose money over the long run. U.S. officials moved the radioactive assets into a limited-liability company financed by the Fed so JPMorgan could be comfortable taking over Bear, which it did. BlackRock helped select which assets went into the LLC portfolio and oversaw it for the government. That program ultimately delivered gains for taxpayers.
''Larry was perfect for this job,'' Mr. Paulson recalled. ''No one understood the market better, and BlackRock was not teetering on the brink.''
Roughly a year later, Mr. Fink got a chance for BlackRock to acquire Barclays PLC's money-management business. BlackRock had considered buying the business in the past. Now he pressed for a deal. In June 2009, he celebrated the birth of his first grandchild. He held the baby, then headed to the office for an all-nighter to raise the final $3 billion needed to acquire Barclays Global Investors.
The deal lifted BlackRock's assets under management to roughly $3 trillion and gave it an arsenal of index-mirroring funds with much lower fees than actively managed funds.
It also gave Mr. Fink a megaphone. When it was time to proof an annual letter on how BlackRock approached its duties as a shareholder, Mr. Fink initially refused to sign it. He thought the letter didn't reflect his voice, and wanted one that did.
Now that BlackRock reached across the entire market, Mr. Fink decided the firm needed to be a counterweight to activist investors who target companies looking to make a quick buck. ''There needed to be a louder voice for long-term investors,'' he said.
BlackRock in 2012 released the first of Mr. Fink's annual letters to CEOs, which have become required reading for many chief executives. He uses the letters to prod, scold and push companies to disclose more about how they provide for workers, the environment and the community at large. The letters emerge from a monthslong writing process that involves debates by executives and occasional help from former Fed and Treasury speechwriters.
''Climate risk is investment risk,'' Mr. Fink has told readers. Also, ''Profits and purpose are inextricably linked.''
Starting in 2019, his letters drew the attention of a Federal Trade Commission official, Bilal Sayyed, who showed some to colleagues at the antitrust agency and asked them to think about whether BlackRock was affecting competition in industries. The FTC later proposed a rule that a money manager must alert regulators when, across all of its funds, it oversees a certain size stake in a particular company. The proposal's fate is in limbo in the Biden administration.
For much of his career, Mr. Fink was known for arriving at the office by 6 a.m., while traveling two weeks a month. He now starts his workday about 7:30 following a session with a trainer. His back feels the toll from years of desk work, said Mr. Fink, who is 69.
BlackRock's board and executives, as part of discussions on succession planning, recently asked Mr. Fink to continue as CEO. He said he is planning to retire in no more than five years.
As a CEO, he can be impatient, colleagues say, and hates to be beaten. When Fidelity Investments in 2018 shook the money-management business by offering zero-fee index funds, Mr. Fink called a meeting and told his teams to pick up the phone and put BlackRock's name in front of clients.
''Stop tripping over your d'--ks,'' he demanded, according to several people at the meeting. BlackRock fired back at Fidelity by cutting costs on several funds.
On March 18, 2020, with the coronavirus spreading, stocks tumbling and bond trading seizing up, Mr. Fink got another summons to Washington.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin organized an Oval office meeting, hoping the conversation would make clear to then-President Donald Trump that a government response to the pandemic needed to be big.
The president and officials debated what needed to be done and how. They discussed how much the government should spend to keep the economy afloat. ''Trillions,'' Mr. Fink said.
In the next week, the government unveiled a roughly $2 trillion package, some of it to fund an emergency effort to prop up financial markets. A formal role for BlackRock wasn't discussed at the meeting, but soon the Fed hired a BlackRock unit to help it pump money into corporate bonds'--a first for the central bank'--and other markets. The markets stabilized, and bond ETFs gained the stamp of approval as a central bank tool.
Part of BlackRock's assignment was helping the Fed buy bond exchange-traded funds, including BlackRock's own. In the rush to head off a deep recession, the Fed didn't bid out the job. it simply hired BlackRock. In April that year, three Democratic lawmakers urged the government to provide safeguards to avoid cementing BlackRock's importance to the economy through the firm's crisis work.
Mr. Fink said he understands why BlackRock's role was controversial. The firm estimates it lost money on the work, given the resources and time consumed, said people familiar with the matter. It didn't charge fees on any ETFs in the portfolio it ran for the Fed and rebated fees from its own ETFs back to the Fed.
Mr. Fink has cut back his travel during the pandemic but invites one or two CEOs each week to his Manhattan townhouse for dinner. He says they order take-out food and do the dishes afterward. He spends Thursday evenings to Sunday afternoons at his farm, where he has installed a desk in a barn filled with American folk art.
There, he has planted some 400 American chestnut trees as well as apple trees, elms and maples through the years. Mr. Fink gets excited as he identifies each species.
Through the day, the duck ringtone on his cellphone goes off. When company executives phone to cajole, persuade or threaten BlackRock on how it should handle proxy votes on executive pay or climate proposals, Mr. Fink hands them off to a BlackRock group that interacts with companies. Though he is in discussions on rules guiding the firm's votes, he removes himself from decisions on any one vote.
''I tell them factually that is not my job,'' he said.
Among thousands of recent shareholder votes, BlackRock wielded ballots in ways that helped to shake up Toshiba Corp.'s board, elect three board members at Exxon Mobil Corp. in a referendum that revealed discontent with the oil company's climate strategy, and oppose an executive-pay package at AT&T Inc.
In 2017, Mr. Fink was part of a group of CEOs serving as a sounding board for former President Trump on business policies. After the racially motivated and violent clash in Charlottesville, Va., that year, Mr. Fink huddled with another member, PepsiCo Inc.'s then-CEO Indra Nooyi, over what both considered Mr. Trump's insufficient condemnation of those behind the violence, and the two decided to step down from the group. Some other CEOs arrived at the same position, leading the president to dissolve it.
Three former BlackRock employees have key positions in the Biden administration, including the firm's former head of sustainable investing. Mr. Fink says he has never raised money for any presidential candidate and has donated to both Republicans and Democrats over the years.
BlackRock published a study in 2019 on how it said climate change and events related to it affect the municipal-bond market and how extreme weather threatens infrastructure. The firm forecast that 58% of U.S. metro areas would suffer gross domestic product losses of at least 1% over the next decades if they didn't prepare for climate risks.
With its index funds, BlackRock is locked into investing in all kinds of companies, from coal miners to wind farms, In portfolios run by active managers, the firm has scaled back thermal coal exposure, as it pledged to, and said last year it would flag companies that posed significant climate risk for potential selling.
Addressing a meeting in Venice of leaders from the Group of 20 nations last July, Mr. Fink urged ministers to create more private-public partnerships for renewable-technology investments.
One idea he pushed was authorizing the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to shoulder the first losses on sustainable-energy projects, so other investors would feel safe putting in money. It was an echo of how the U.S. in 2008 fenced off the worst Bear Stearns holdings to encourage JPMorgan to take over the firm.
In the lead-up to the Glasgow climate summit, Mr. Fink asked other finance CEOs to press government leaders to create incentives for investors to fund alternative-energy sources. He urged other executives to drop calls for carbon taxes, saying their cost would trigger a backlash, according to people familiar with the matter.
He also helped steer debates among finance executives on steps needed for the steel, aviation and oil-and-gas sectors to reduce carbon emissions, and on how society should account for the growing pile of assets that would be deemed worthless along the way.
''Society is trying in certain instances to pressure companies to do more, including at times what ought to be the role of government,'' said Evan Greenberg, the CEO of insurance company Chubb Ltd. , who has gone fly-fishing with Mr. Fink.
He added: ''I believe Larry chose consciously to approach it as an opportunity, rather than something he is expected to do.''
Write to Dawn Lim at dawn.lim@wsj.com
The coolest and weirdest tech at CES 2022 - The Washington Post
Fri, 07 Jan 2022 05:08
The world's biggest consumer electronics trade show known as CES feels weird this year, with far fewer attendees gracing the Las Vegas conference halls where consumer tech companies show off their latest and greatest (almost) every January.
One thing stayed the same, though: Companies are delighting, confusing and angering us with their ideas for what the tech of the future might look like. Autonomous John Deere tractors? Check. A smart home for cats? Absolutely. Dozens of pitches about the metaverse, a place we would like to visit if we could figure out what and where it is? You bet.
As always, some of the industry's plans are raising eyebrows. People still don't have legal protections for the personal data they generate in normal old smartphone apps, yet consumer tech is marching forward into virtual reality.
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Other ideas '-- like what we'd argue are the first-ever non-ridiculous augmented reality glasses '-- are worth feeling excited about. Artificial intelligence, faster processing and more connected objects are thrusting us into an entirely new era of technology. Join us, if you dare, for a frequently updated selection of the most interesting '-- and sometimes strangest '-- tech you can expect in the future.
What it's like at one of the world's biggest tech trade shows as omicron surges
Garments made for gaming '-- and the metaverse
The age of the metaverse is nearly upon us, according to some of the biggest names in tech. But what good is palling around with people in a sprawling, interconnected virtual space if you can't feel the ''world'' around you?
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That's where the smart '-- and sometimes painful '-- garments from Owo enter the picture.
Each of the Spanish company's skintight vests comes fitted with electrodes in 10 locations across your torso and arms, all controlled by an app running on your phone. Why electrodes? Obviously, to stimulate your muscles to simulate the sensation of falling through the air, bugs buzzing on your back and, uh, being stabbed.
CEO Jose Fuertes hopes to make his smart clothing compatible with the virtual spaces we'll all soon be running in, but for now, support is limited to certain games. And while haptic feedback isn't exactly a new phenomenon for gamers, Owo's muscle stimulation approach hits differently than standard vibration motors. Take our word for it: After being shot a few times by drones in a demo VR game, we'll never let our guard down again.
Augmented reality glasses that don't look (that) ridiculous
If you come to CES in search of wearable displays, you'll never leave unsatisfied. But if your goal has been to find one that doesn't make you look at least a little silly, well '-- that's a different story. A prototype developed by TCL just might fit the bill.
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Unlike its earlier wearable screens, TCL's latest face computer uses what it calls holographic waveguide technology to display an image in front of your eyes without letting anyone else see it. And because the lenses built into these glasses are almost completely transparent, we're left with a pair of augmented reality specs you can wear all the time. Even better, they actually look like something you might want to wear.
But what's a wearable like this actually meant to do? The software on the prototype we saw was far from finished, but it mentioned the ability to control phone calls, view photos and even display text on a virtual teleprompter.
Down the road, though, TCL hopes this headset '-- or some descendant of it since this one runs on a chip meant for smartwatches '-- will become sophisticated enough to offer turn-by-turn directions and display multiple virtual screens without shutting you off from the rest of the world. It'll probably be years before the company cracks the code, but hey '-- at least it's getting the look down.
Some CES presenters are thinking forward to when people live in entirely connected homes. Sierra Space is thinking about when people live in giant inflatable houses on the moon.
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Along with a space plane called Dream Chaser, the company is showcasing a scaled-down version of a large inflatable space home named the LIFE Habitat. LIFE arrives in space folded up inside a launch vehicle then expands to a full three stories '-- enough living space for four astronauts, scientists, filmmakers or even tourists, the company says.
From the sound of it, LIFE's inhabitants will be very productive, with room to exercise on equipment, fabricate robots, grow their own produce and compact their trash into bricks to use for radiation protection. I'm getting tired just thinking about it.
A fitness tracker for your cat
At least according to companies selling biometric devices for pets, including Korean brand PurrSong, which introduced a fitness tracker for customers of the feline variety called LavvieTAG at CES this year. It's part of a suite of connected products from the company, which bills itself as IoT (Internet of Things)-enabled ''lifestyle design'' for cats.
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You might be tempted to scoff at owners who turn to artificial intelligence to monitor how often cats fall asleep or use the bathroom (PurrSong sells a product for that too). But not so fast: Biometric analysis can be a valuable preventive measure to help the pets we love live longer, healthier lives, says Am(C)lie Caudron, CEO of French company Invoxia, which unveiled an AI-powered dog collar at this year's CES.
''The pet's place in the family is changing,'' says Caudron. ''It's no longer a dog-master relationship. We think of ourselves as parents and our dogs as a member of the family.''
Furthermore, heart conditions are about as common for dogs as they are for humans, she noted. By analyzing data on heart and breath rate from a bunch of different pets, Invoxia could help owners detect and treat problems sooner, Caudron says. And all that data will be useful for veterinarians and researchers, too. (Dogs tend to not show up on time for normal clinical trials.)
A projector that works in unexpected places
Even now, in the middle of the strangest CES on record, companies have devoted big chunks of the show floor to showing off their flashiest, best TVs. But for Samsung, one of its biggest new products might actually be one of its smallest.
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Weighing in at less than 2 pounds, you could tote Samsung's new Freestyle projector from room to room without much fuss. And despite its compact size, the Freestyle can project a 1080p image as large as 100 inches on a screen, a wall, or the side of your house.
Now, small home theater projectors aren't exactly new '-- what makes the Freestyle interesting is what it might be able to do down the road with the help of a few accessories. Samsung plans to release a battery add-on that should power the Freestyle away from outlets for up to two hours at a time. (You can also run the Freestyle off a more common power bank, but you may not get that kind of longevity.)
And with the help of another forthcoming adapter, you screw a Freestyle directly into a lightbulb socket. Why? We're not exactly sure, but one of Samsung's demos featured a Freestyle projecting the image of a sumptuous meal down onto some empty plates. That's one way to host a dinner party, we suppose.
A robot that nibbles your fingers and warms your heart
True comfort is priceless, and for some people, that kind of peace only comes when animals or babies cutely gnaw on them. If that's you, a tiny product from Japan just might be the best impulse buy of your life.
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Amagami Ham Ham might look like a small plush cat or dog, but its robotic innards mean it can give you a light chomp when you need a little reassurance '-- all you need to do is put your finger in its mouth. And since there's nothing worse than uninspiring chewing, Amagami Ham Ham relies on a set of HAMgorithms (no, seriously) to make sure its nibble patterns don't get too repetitive.
At this point, you might be wondering why Amagami Ham Ham even exists. For creator and Yukai Engineering CEO Shunsuke Aoki, the answer is simple: It's all about giving people moments of happiness whenever they need it. That same desire inspired the company's last hit product, a robotic cat butt named Qoobo, and that's exactly the kind of mission we can get behind.
Aoki hopes to usher Amagami Ham Ham through a crowdfunding campaign in a few months, and '-- assuming that's successful '-- he aims to sell the robot in Japan and abroad for the equivalent of about $30.
The biggest tech trends to watch for in 2022
A robot that probably upsets you
Humanoid robots are getting more lifelike, but only compared to their predecessors.
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Just take the Ameca robot from Engineered Arts, a true-to-scale, metal-and-plastic robot person who blinks, shrugs and grimaces just like you and me '-- if you and me were stilted human facsimiles.
Companies that buy an Ameca model can station it at events and tradeshows to greet attendees and ''strike an instant rapport with anybody,'' its creator's website claims. Video from Engineered Arts shows Ameca performing hand and facial gestures that are indeed natural looking, though markedly slow. The company takes care to describe her as ''nonthreatening,'' though robot threat level is in the eye of the beholder.
And Engineered Arts isn't the only company peddling human look-alikes at CES. DeepBrain AI is showcasing its new software called AI Studios: Just type in a video script and the program will instantly generate a deepfake human to perform that script. YouTubers, corporate trainers and news anchors beware (maybe).
A foldable screen that doubles as a laptop
Gadgets with foldable screens are inching toward the mainstream, but there's one thing the tech industry hasn't figured out yet: how to make a good laptop out of a screen that folds in half. Now, Taiwanese PC maker ASUS has taken up the challenge.
Its new Zenbook 17 Fold is a whopper of a tablet '-- it's slightly heavier than Apple's new 14-inch MacBook Pro '-- and it packs a 17-inch touch screen just like its name suggests. And while you could certainly prop up the Zenbook and binge YouTube videos, you may sometimes be better off folding the whole thing in half and plopping a combination Bluetooth keyboard/trackpad on the bottom. Voil : your tablet just became a full-blown laptop, albeit one with a 12.5-inch screen.
But do we need a foldable screen on our computers? ASUS rival Lenovo tried a similar approach with the ThinkPad X1 Fold PC it released more than a year ago, and reviewers almost universally panned the thing. Hopefully, ASUS's attempt at a laptop with a foldable screen is at least a little more polished.
An air purifier/ear bud mash-up
Wearable tech is almost inescapable at CES, and that's especially true when you wander into the start-up wonderland that is Eureka Hall. And that's where we found Ible, a Taiwanese company that created a very specific kind of wearable.
The Airvida E1 is, at its core, a negative ion air purifier that goes around your neck. (This isn't all that new; the company has released a handful of similar devices over the years.) But because this is 2022, and we always need a quick way to avoid interacting with other people, this new model has a set of noise canceling Bluetooth ear buds built-in.
Like similar air purifiers, the Airvida is meant to help you breathe more easily when pollen or smoke start hanging in the air. The company claims that tests by labs in Taiwan and Japan show that Airvida could be effective in removing covid particles from the air.
As with many claims that come out of CES, it's probably a good idea to take that one with a grain of salt, and we'd argue you're better off following CDC recommendations for vaccination and mask use. If nothing else, though, this thing is proof that people are preparing to settle into pandemic life for the long haul.
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VIDEO - (51) Breaking911 on Twitter: "Australia's Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner says unvaccinated people may not go to work or exercise outdoors. You can only leave home for 3 reasons: - Medical treatment, vaccine - Groceries - Care for
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 15:47
Breaking911 : Australia's Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner says unvaccinated people may not go to work or exercis'... https://t.co/wWViKrvYxu
Fri Jan 07 02:36:51 +0000 2022
VIDEO - Omicron variant in the U.S.: Omicron cases could fall just as quickly as they rose, CDC says
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 15:38
Despite the astronomic rise in omicron-related Covid cases nationwide, there is hope that the number will fall just as fast, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday at a media briefing '-- her first without the rest of the White House's Covid-19 Task Force in nearly six months.
The rise and fall of Covid diagnoses has historically been shown as "waves," but Walensky suggested the omicron surge in the U.S. may be visualized more as an "ice pick," with a dramatic rise and fall in cases similar to South Africa, which has passed its omicron surge.
Full coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic
"I do think in places that we are seeing this really steep incline, that we may well see also a precipitous decline," Walensky said during the briefing.
Currently, new Covid cases in the U.S. are up more than 204 percent compared to two weeks ago, according to an NBC News analysis.
Record number of pediatric casesOn Friday, the CDC released new data on Covid-related hospitalizations, specifically among children. Hospitalization rates are also increasing among the youngest children for whom there is no vaccine: ages 0 to 4.
As of the week ending Jan. 1, 4.3 per 100,000 children under age 5 were admitted to a hospital with Covid-19, Walensky said.
"While children still have the lowest rate of hospitalization of any group, pediatric hospitalizations are at the highest rate compared to any prior point in the pandemic," she said.
Indeed, more than a dozen states nationwide have reported record pediatric hospitalizations linked to Covid-19, according to NBC News data.
"This very well may be that there are just more cases out there," Walensky said.
Isolation guidelines During Friday's briefing, Dr. Henry Walke, head of the CDC's Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections, defended the agency's recent recommendations on isolation.
The agency said that people may use rapid antigen tests around day five of their isolation periods if they want to, but it is not requiring them.
The results of a rapid test late in the course of Covid-19 illness do not indicate how contagious a person remains, Walke said.
"Regardless of the test result, wearing a well-fitting mask after those five days of isolation is still recommended," he said.
Isolation refers to the five-day period after a person tests positive, when that person should stay away from others, including family members. The CDC said people are most contagious a day or two before symptoms begin, and for two to three days after.
The CDC does not require a negative test to leave isolation after five days, as long as patients no longer have symptoms. However, even asymptomatic patients should wear a mask for an additional five days.
Does omicron infection protect against delta variant? Walensky said that early evidence suggests that the omicron variant may help protect people from the delta variant. On the flip side, "we have an indication that if you had delta, you are susceptible to infection with omicron," she said.
And would an omicron infection protect a person from omicron reinfection? The CDC is beginning studies to answer this question.
It is an important issue, as the new variant has swiftly taken hold in the U.S., accounting for more than 95 percent of Covid-19 cases.
"This virus has changed, and it's constantly throwing up curveballs," Walensky said. "As the virus changes, the science changes."
The CDC briefing Friday was the agency's first on its own since late July. Such briefings used to be a mainstay of public health communication. In previous years, the CDC held weekly briefings on a variety of headline-grabbing health topics: the flu, lung illnesses linked to vaping, even Ebola.
But the agency '-- historically considered a gold standard among public health officials worldwide '-- has struggled with its communication on Covid since the beginning of the pandemic.
The first, and perhaps most notable, example occurred during a CDC telebriefing in February 2020, when a former CDC official, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, warned Americans to prepare for an inevitable life-altering pandemic.
Walensky has participated in regular news conferences of the White House Covid-19 Task Force, usually along with Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.
But clear, direct communication from the CDC about its recommendations is key for the agency to explain to Americans the reasoning behind its guidance.
"It is important to have access to those CDC scientists who are working on these issues" round the clock, said Glen Nowak, a former head of CDC communications and current co-director of the University of Georgia's Center for Health and Risk Communication.
Lack of communication "makes it look like CDC hasn't thought it completely through, or that they don't have answers to questions related to their recommendations and policies," Nowak said.
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VIDEO - Supreme court audio of oral arguments
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 15:24
Oral Argument - Audio
Nat. Fed'n of Indep. Bus. v. Dept. of Labor Docket Number: 21A244 Date Argued: 01/07/22 Play Audio: Media Formats:
* During oral arguments in NFIB v. Dept. of Labor, OSHA, et al./Ohio v. Dept. of Labor, OSHA, et al., on January 7, 2022 approximately 90 seconds of Justice Sotomayor's questioning (between 20 minutes and 21.5 minutes into the argument) was not recorded on the Court's audio system or transmitted via the Court's livestream because of a programming error in the soundboard. The audio was broadcast live in the Courtroom and Court IT staff were able to retrieve the missing audio, albeit the recovered audio is of slightly diminished quality in comparison to the remainder of the recording. The audio file which is now available on the Court's website contains the complete recording of this oral argument.
To download file: From Windows - Right click the "Download" link and select "Save Target As..." or "Save Link As..."From Mac - Press Ctrl key while clicking the "Download" link, or just right click the link if you have a double button mouse, and select "Save Linked File As..."
VIDEO - CDC director responds to criticisms on COVID-19 guidance l GMA - YouTube
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 14:40
VIDEO - Cy-Fair ISD teacher bonds out of jail after allegedly putting 13-year-old in trunk for fear of COVID-19 exposure, officials say
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:36
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HOUSTON '' A Cy-Fair ISD teacher who was charged with endangering a child has since bonded out of jail after her 13-year-old son was found in the trunk of her car at a drive-thru COVID testing site on Monday, officials say.
Sarah Beam was reportedly taken into custody at 3 p.m. Saturday and posted a $1,500 bond around 4:45 p.m. that same day.
According to court documents, on Jan. 3, Beam pulled into the drive-thru testing site located at 11355 Falcon Road in northwest Harris County when a witness reported hearing something in the trunk. The witness said when Beam unlatched the trunk, the boy was found lying down inside.
Court documents said the witnesses told Beam she would not receive a COVID test until the child was removed from the trunk and placed in the backseat of the vehicle. The witness then called police.
Beam allegedly told authorities her son had tested positive for COVID-19 and she was taking him to the site for additional testing. In order to protect herself from being exposed, Beam decided to put the boy in the trunk of the car.
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Authorities were able to view surveillance cameras showing the moment the child exited the trunk of the car and got in the backseat.
According to Cy-Fair ISD, Beam most recently worked as a teacher at Cypress Falls High School and has been employed by the district since 2011. She is now on administrative leave.
Cy-Fair ISD released the following statement regarding the incident:
''CFPD was alerted that a child was in the trunk of a car at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site earlier this week. Law enforcement conducted a full investigation, resulting in a warrant for arrest. Thankfully, the child was not harmed.''
Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.
VIDEO - Dr Tedros on the COVID-19 Omicron variant - YouTube
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:23
VIDEO - Newly released video shows man burst into flames, Catskill officers run after using stun gun
Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:21
CATSKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) '-- New York Attorney General Letitia James on Friday releases a chilling set of videos showing the moment Catskill Police officers used a stun gun on an agitated man in their front lobby and the spark that caused him to burst into flames. The Attorney General's Office says this is part of the investigation into the death of 29-year-old Jason Jones who passed on December 15, 2021 after the encounter with police on October 30.
The AG's Office says Jones walked into the police department and video shows he started a verbal altercation with three officers. The video does not include audio; however, officers appear to try speaking to Jones for around 30 minutes as he wanders, distressed, in and out of frame.
''Without hearing what was said, we can't evaluate how effective de-escalation may have been in this case,'' says police training expert and former Troy PD officer John Cooney.
Later in the video, Jones is seen taking off his shirt before picking up a large jug of hand sanitizer and spraying it over his neck, head, and back. When an officer used a stun gun in an attempt to subdue him, Jones burst into flames. He had been hospitalized since the incident until he was pronounced dead in December.
''The Taser is 50,000 volts of electricity. It's well known, police are trained, not to use it in that circumstance. Jason predictably ignited as a result of that,'' says Kevin Luibrand, the lawyer representing the Jones family. ''Every single day police come into contact with people having some form of mental health episode, whether it's on the streets or at home, and there's ways to handle it. That's not the way to handle it.''
However, Cooney disagrees and says the earlier parts of the video showing the beginning of the encounter indicate Jones was reaching higher and higher levels of aggravation.
''The use of force continuum starts at a point which is basically responsive to the amount of force and the amount of aggression that we are perceiving. From the first second to the last frame of the video, we see that he's agitated, he's very quick with his movements. One thing I noticed specifically was a constant clenching and unclenching of his fingers into fists,'' Cooney comments.
He further says the situation is an unusual one not covered in traditional stun gun training.
''It's fair to know that any flammable liquid in a close proximity, a Taser probably won't be effective. In fact it could be very harmful to the individual. But as a rule, we're talking about gasoline, we're talking about natural gas environments, we're talking about environments that are fairly common. I think it's fair to say in most Taser trainings, we don't talk about sanitizer as that obvious flammable liquid,'' he explains to NEWS10 ABC's Mikhaela Singleton.
The full videos can be viewed on the Attorney General's website; however, be advised that the second video is extremely graphic, as it shows Jones on fire. In light of this, NEWS10 has chosen only to air that video in parts.
Luibrand says one of the most distressing parts of the video to the Jones family is when officers can be seen running from Jason after he caught fire.
''Jason was unarmed. The police, rather than help him, ran out of the room, shut the door behind them, and let Jason burn,'' Luibrand says.
''To immediately respond to jump on top of, to help roll over the individual, that's a very individual decision and it's not necessarily predicated by police procedure. The officers left what they thought was a very hazardous situation. They did respond at some point. They reassessed and then responded,'' Cooney replies.
Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione said his office was involved in the investigation into the case initially. He said is it the process for the Catskill Police Department to report incidents to the DA to be open and transparent.
During the DA's investigation, they were waiting on the status of Jones with the interest of interviewing him. However when he died, the AG's Office got involved per the state law regarding officer involved deaths.
The release follows James' directive that videos obtained by her office in the course of investigations conducted by the Office of Special Investigation (OSI) be released to the public in order to increase transparency. The AG's release says the choice to publicize the video is not an indication of the guilt or innocence of any party involved.
OSI looks into every incident where a police officer may have caused a person's death.
VIDEO - MAC-cinated: Dr. Luis De Benito on the Bluetooth phenomenon
Sat, 08 Jan 2022 17:37
ORWELLITO Published November 24, 2021 81,621 Views 96 rumbles
Rumble '-- More information: https://www.orwell.city/2021/11/MAC.html
Dr. Luis Benito explains what he has observed and what could be the possible causes of the phenomenon of the "MACcinated" individuals.
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Sky News : "The science isn't strong enough".Watch the moment an unvaccinated hospital consultant challenges Health Secretar'... https://t.co/ok7nAIQcBy
Fri Jan 07 19:18:31 +0000 2022
Deirdre Williams : @SkyNews Well said that man! Dr. Steve James.
Sat Jan 08 16:09:21 +0000 2022
Charlie Elton : @SkyNews Show the full video @SkyNews !
Sat Jan 08 16:08:13 +0000 2022
Foxy : @SkyNews Can't even be bothered to follow the basic rules of bare below the elbow, clearly the rules don't apply to this one
Sat Jan 08 16:08:06 +0000 2022
MH1994 : @SkyNews @TonyHook25
Sat Jan 08 16:07:46 +0000 2022
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Breaking911 : Australia's Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner says unvaccinated people may not go to work or exercis'... https://t.co/wWViKrvYxu
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Hawkeye005 🇺🇸 : @Breaking911 I see China's social model for controlling its citizens has already taken root in Australia. Good job'... https://t.co/tTnQaWZCSb
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PROUD DADDY : @Breaking911 This World is going to crap fast. If the vaccine works then prove it....
Fri Jan 07 13:56:37 +0000 2022
Frank Brienza : @Breaking911 One hour of exercise is not essential...what if you get arrested and go to jail for being unvaccinated? Ohhh dilemma!
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Fri Jan 07 13:56:30 +0000 2022
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Fri Jan 07 13:56:30 +0000 2022
Fitzula's Reviews tonikaku s2 hype : @Breaking911 Can't we just nuke Australia off the face of the earth?
Fri Jan 07 13:54:39 +0000 2022
name : @Breaking911 Thats alot of prisoners.
Fri Jan 07 13:54:13 +0000 2022
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Audio Clips

ABC ATM - anchor Ike Ejiochi - CDC study breakthrough cases (16sec).mp3
NBC Nightly News - anchor Tom Costello - JAMA -covid is here to stay (29sec).mp3
Wallensky - 4 comornidities - 75 pcnt of all deaths.mp3
Wallensky -1- Change of Approach - Op eds saying covid here to stay NOT FDA thinking.mp3
Wallensky -2- Change of Approach - Guideline are confusing 5 days Shoulders of Sciense.mp3
Wallensky -3- Change of Approach - cdcsays LOL.mp3
Chinese espionage at Monsanto.mp3
Police flee room after using stun gun on man who burst into flames.mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Norah ODonnell - cuomo touching charges dropped (25sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Andrew Dymburt - biden slammed trump (38sec).mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Mona Kosar Abdi - little girl thanks for saving democracy (39sec).mp3
NBC Nightly News - anchor Lester Holt - Nancy Pelosi (1) poo on the capitol floor (1min12sec).mp3
NBC Nightly News - anchor Lester Holt - Nancy Pelosi (2) sad day -republicans a cult (35sec).mp3
BIDEN state of Union delay.mp3
CES report npr.mp3
COVID attacking CDC 2.mp3
COVID attacking cdc.mp3
COVID kids shots.mp3
Free speech in WA KOMO.mp3
ISO illegal.mp3
ISO Kamala.mp3
ISO Not alone.mp3
ISO Sludge.mp3
James Webb telescope TWO.mp3
James Webb telescope update one.mp3
KAMALA on 1-6.mp3
KAZAKstan matters ONE.mp3
KAZAKstan matters two.mp3
Liz Holmes guilty.mp3
MR Tibbs.mp3
Mr. Tibbs
Ne3w CDC briefings One.mp3
Ne3w CDC briefings Two.mp3
NPR AT WORST sea lion.mp3
Omicron and kids in WA.mp3
Omicron in WA.mp3
Public domain day npr.mp3
Russia US talks to begin I.mp3
Sotomeyor is a liar.mp3
Unvacciinated kids oh no NPR.mp3
3d printed house npr.mp3
BIDEN DAGGER.mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Ian Pannell - kazakhstan shoot to kill (1min18sec).mp3
CBS Weekend - anchor Christina Ruffini - russian talks 3 things they want (1min2sec).mp3
LeanOut_waking_from_woke -5.mp3
LeanOut_woke_class_devide -4-.mp3
LeanOut_woke_origins -3- author Batya - Bad News - How Woke Media is Undermining Democracy.mp3
LeanOut_woke_worldview-2.mp3
Former CBC Tara Henley Lean In - INTRO.mp3
Australia's Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner says unvaccinated people may not go to work or exercise outdoors.mp3
CBS Evening - anchor Jan Crawford - supreme court vaccine mandate (1min30sec).mp3
Kagan oral arguments OSHA ruling - argues with expert.mp3
Tedros- First Generation vaccines not so groovy.mp3
ABC ATM - anchor Andrew Dymburt - djokovic (1min32sec).mp3
Nadine Dorries UK Sec of State for Digital culture media sport - Disinformation Unit.mp3
CBS Evening News - anchor Manuel Bojorquez - 80% florida will have been infected (10sec).mp3
NASA’s new Webb space telescope opens its golden ‘eye’.mp3
Teacher bonds out of jail after allegedly putting 13-year-old in trunk for fear of COVID-19 exposure.mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Matt Guttman - CDC study kids covid diabetes (17sec).mp3
BBC cut off soccer club owner talking about sports stars getting vax attacks.mp3
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