Weird Smell in Nose After Having COVID-19: What Research Shows
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 16:10
COVID-19 is a respiratory infection that typically causes flu-like symptoms, but one review of studies found 47 percent of people who have it develop changes in their taste or smell.
Some people develop a distorted sense of smell, a condition called parosmia. It sometimes persists for weeks or months after having COVID-19. Some people with parosmia describe everyday odors as ''smoky'' or unpleasant.
COVID-19 can also lead to another condition called phantosmia, where you experience odors that don't exist. Some people with COVID-19 also experience hyposmia, which is a loss of smell that can range from partial to total.
Keep reading as we break down why COVID-19 sometimes causes a weird smell in your nose and how long it typically lasts.
Parosmia is a condition characterized by the alteration of your sense of smell. People with parosmia may find:
their sense of smell isn't as strong as usual they can't detect certain scentsthey detect unusual or unpleasant odors when smelling everyday thingsParosmia is a potential complication of COVID-19. It may appear by itself or along with other nasal symptoms, like a stuffy or runny nose.
Some people who develop parosmia after having COVID-19 describe experiencing a burned or rotten odor when smelling their usual foods.
What's parosmia like?A March 2021 case study describes two people who developed parosmia after COVID-19 infection.
The first person, a 28-year-old, was admitted to the emergency room with:
chillsfevermild shortness of breathcoughbody achesTwo days after his diagnosis, he completely lost his sense of smell and taste.
The man started regaining his taste 53 days after having COVID-19. He regained his smell on the 87th day but reported all his smells had a distorted odor like the smell of burned rubber.
The second person, a 32-year-old, was admitted to the emergency room with fatigue and body aches. Six days later she was readmitted with loss of taste, loss of smell, and mild shortness of breath.
Her sense of smell didn't return until 72 days after acquiring the viral infection. When it did return, she found everyday objects smelled like onions.
How long does parosmia last?Parosmia can potentially persist for weeks or months after developing COVID-19.
In a May 2021 study, researchers examined a group of 268 people who developed parosmia after having COVID-19. They found the participants had smell alteration that lasted from about 10 days to 3 months. Every person in the study either had a partial or complete loss of smell before developing parosmia.
More than 75 percent of people also had an altered sense of taste and only 0.7 percent had other nasal symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose.
In another study published in March 2021, researchers found that in a group of 195 healthcare workers with COVID-19, 125 developed dysfunction of their ability to smell, and 118 developed taste dysfunction.
The researchers found that 89 percent of the study participants had full or partial recovery within 6 months, and most of them recovered to some degree within the first 2 months.
What causes parosmia?The exact mechanism of how COVID-19 causes parosmia remains unclear.
Damage to the olfactory epithelium is thought to contribute. Your olfactory epithelium is the tissue in your nose that receives odors to be processed as sensory information your brain can interpret.
It's also theorized that damage to the neurons that carry information from your nose to your brain also plays a role.
In the May 2021 study, researchers found that people experiencing a weird smell after having COVID-19 were most likely to describe it in the following ways:
sewage: 54.5 percentrotten meat: 18.7 percentrotten eggs: 13.4 percentmoldy socks: 7.5 percentcitrus: 6.0 percentThe following were the most common triggers:
most odors: 46.6 percentperfume: 22.4 percentany odor: 10.5 percentfrying smell: 10.5 percentmeat: 10.1 percentOther ways people with parosmia have described their smells include:
like cigarettes, or smokychemicallike vinegar or ammoniarottenskunk-likedistorted, strange, weirdonionsburned rubberSome people with COVID-19 also experience phantosmia, which is when you experience smells that are not really there.
Most people who develop a strange smell after COVID-19 seem to recover within 3 months, according to a study published in May 2021 that reviewed the clinical characteristics of 268 people with confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses at two hospitals in Iraq over a 7-month period.
It's thought that recovery occurs when your damaged tissues repair themselves.
No particular treatment is known to be able to improve your sense of smell after COVID-19. Avoiding triggers can help minimize your symptoms.
One small study published in August 2021 found that a combination of oral corticosteroids to manage inflammation and olfactory training may help people who develop changes in their smell after having COVID-19. However, more research is needed to back these findings.
Olfactory training involves sniffing a series of strong odors daily to help retrain your ability to smell.
Experiencing a burning smell is sometimes an early symptom of COVID-19, but it isn't one of the typical symptoms. It's thought that inflammation inside your nose caused by the viral infection may contribute to its development.
Along with loss or changes in your sense of smell, other COVID-19 nasal symptoms can include a runny or snuffy nose, although they're not always present in a majority of cases.
A 2020 review of studies found that in a group of 1,773 people with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, only 4.1 percent experienced nasal congestion, and 2.1 percent experienced a runny nose.
It's a good idea to see a doctor if you're experiencing phantom smells after having COVID-19 or if everyday odors have a strange scent.
For most people, your sense of smell will likely return when your body is able to fully repair the damage the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) caused. A doctor can help you rule out other health conditions that may be contributing factors and recommend ways to help minimize your symptoms.
Some people experience a loss of smell or distorted sense of smell for months after having COVID-19. It's not entirely clear why some people experience smell alteration, but it's thought that injury to receptors in your nose and the neurons that lead from your nose to brain may contribute.
Most people seem to regain their sense of smell when their body heals from the damage the coronavirus caused.
Opinion | On Super Bowl Sunday and the Dark Side of Gambling - The New York Times
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 16:09
Feb. 12, 2022
Credit... Jamie Chung/Trunk Archive When future historians ponder the forces that unraveled the American social fabric between the 1960s and the 2020s, I hope they spare some time for one besetting vice in particular: our fatal impulse toward consistency.
This is a good weekend for thinking about that impulse, because Super Bowl Sunday is capping off a transition in big-time sports that has made the symbiosis between professional athletics and professional gambling all but complete. The cascading, state-after-state legalization of sports betting, the ubiquitous ads for online gambling in the football playoffs, the billion dollars that the National Football League hopes to soon be making annually from its deals with sports betting companies '-- everywhere you look, the thin wall separating the games from the gambling industry is being torn away.
This transformation will separate many millions of nonwealthy Americans from their money, very often harmlessly but in some cases disastrously, with a lot of sustainable-or-are-they gambling addictions falling somewhere in between. And we've reached this point, in part, because of our unwillingness to live with inconsistencies and hypocrisies instead of ironing them out, our inability to take a cautious step or two down a slippery slope without tobogganing to the bottom.
In the case of gambling, that tobogganing impulse meant that once we decided that some forms of gambling should be legally available, in some places, with some people profiting, it became inevitable that restrictions would eventually crumble on a much larger scale. The multigenerational path from Las Vegas and Atlantic City to Native American casinos to today's ubiquitous online gambling looks like one continuous process, with no natural stopping place along the way.
But the trouble is that societal health often depends on law and custom not being perfectly consistent, not taking every permission to its logical conclusion.
In the case of gambling, some limited permission was always necessary: Betting will always be with us, it's a harmless vice for many people, and if you overpolice it, you'll end up with an array of injustices.
But the easier it is to gamble, the more unhappy outcomes you'll get. The more money in the industry, the stronger the incentives to come up with new ways to hook people and then bleed and ruin them. And all that damage is likely to fall disproportionately on the psychologically vulnerable and economically marginal, the strong preying on the weak.
So what you want, then, is for society to be able to say this far and no farther, even if the limiting principle is somewhat arbitrary. Did it make perfect rational sense to have the betting regime of my youth, where a couple of American cities were gambling havens for accidental historical reasons? Not really: If gambling is bad, it's bad everywhere, and if it's OK for Nevadans, why shouldn't it be OK for everyone? And did it make constitutional sense for this arbitrary system to be partially propped up by a federal ban on state-sanctioned sports gambling? No, the Supreme Court decided in 2018, it does not.
But that contingent, somewhat irrational, arguably unconstitutional system nevertheless struck a useful balance, making gambling available without making it universal, encouraging Americans to treat the gambling experience as a holiday from the everyday, not seriously wicked but still a little bit shameful or indulgent '-- which is why it stays under the table or in Vegas.
And in abandoning this approach, in rationalizing our gambling regime by making it ever more universal, we're following the same misguided principle that we've followed in other cases. With pornography, for instance, where the difficulty of identifying a perfectly consistent rule that would allow the publication of ''Lolita'' but not Penthouse has led to a world where online porn doubles as sex education and it's assumed that the internet will always be a sewer and we just have to live with it. Or now with marijuana, where the injustice and hypocrisy of the drug war made a good case for partial decriminalization but stopping at decriminalization may be impossible when the consistent logic of commercialization beckons.
The reliability of this process doesn't mean that it can never be questioned or reversed. Part of what we're witnessing from #MeToo-era feminism, for instance, is a backlash against the ruthless logic of an unregulated sexual marketplace and a quest for some organic form of social regulation, some new set of imperfect-but-still-useful scruples and taboos.
But it's a lot easier to tear down an inconsistent but workable system than it is to build one up from scratch '-- and the impulse to rebuild usually becomes powerful only once you've reached the bottom of consistency's long slope.
I'm not sure where we are with gambling's cultural trajectory. But every time this playoff season served up another ad for Caesars Sportsbook, it felt like a sign that we've accelerated downward, with a long way yet to fall.
Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg to host American Song Contest ðºð¸ - Eurovision Song Contest
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 16:08
Grammy-winning pop superstar Kelly Clarkson and multi-platinum music icon Snoop Dogg will host NBC's American Song Contest, premiering on Monday 21 March.
The series will broadcast live from 20:00 '' 22:00 ET/PT from the Universal Lot and will run for 8 weeks until the Grand Final on Monday 9 May.
Snoop Dogg said: 'I am honored to host American Song Contest alongside my lil sis Kelly Clarkson, aka Miss Texas. ð¤ð¬ðð¾ðð¾'
'Clarkson added: 'I have been a fan and love the concept of Eurovision and am thrilled to bring the musical phenomenon to America. I'm so excited to work with Snoop and can't wait to see every state and territory represented by artists singing their own songs.'
ð'º Watch: Kelly Clarkson '' Arcade
We should have seen this coming when Kelly covered the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest winning song Arcade on her wildly popular talk show earlier this month.
The American Song Contest will feature live and original music performances '' from all 50 states, five U.S. territories and the capital '' competing to win the title of 'Best Original Song'.
An incredible solo artist, duo or a band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America.
The live competition consists of three rounds: Qualifying, followed by the Semi-Finals, and the ultimate Grand Final, where one state or territory will emerge victorious.
Clarkson is an Emmy-winning talk show host and Grammy Award-winning artist. America's original Idol, Clarkson is one of the most popular artists of this era with total worldwide sales of more than 25 million albums and 40 million singles.
She has released eight studio albums and two children's books including New York Times Top 10 bestseller River Rose and the Magical Lullaby. In 2020, she released her critically acclaimed Grammy-nominated studio album, Meaning of Life, and her powerful single I Dare You, which she recorded with five other artists in six languages '' very Eurovision.
ð'º Watch: Snoop Dogg '' Drop It Like It's Hot
Snoop Dogg is a multi-platinum artist, actor, philanthropist and entertainment icon. The rapper has reigned for nearly three decades as an unparalleled force, who has raised the bar as an award-winning entertainer and globally recognised entrepreneur. He has released 19 studio albums, sold over 40 million albums worldwide, reached number one countless times on Billboard charts internationally and has received 20 Grammy nominations.
The hosting duo have both appeared on The Voice with Clarkson serving as a recurring coach and Snoop as a 'mega mentor' for season 20.
The 56 participating acts will be revealed soon.
Let us know what you think via the official Eurovision Song Contest YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook channels.
Dr. Robert Califf confirmed to again head the FDA : NPR
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 16:07
Dr. Robert Califf testifies before a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension hearing on the nomination to be commissioner of Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 14, 2021. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption
toggle caption Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Dr. Robert Califf testifies before a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension hearing on the nomination to be commissioner of Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 14, 2021.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Dr. Robert Califf will once again head the Food and Drug Administration, narrowly securing his position as the head of the consumer safety agency. The Senate confirmed Califf on Tuesday despite some concerns over his close ties to the pharmaceutical industry and GOP opposition to his stance on access to birth control.
The Senate voted to confirm Califf on a 50-46 vote, split largely along party lines.
Six Republicans '-- Sens. Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney and Patrick Toomey '-- voted alongside Democrats to confirm the Duke University cardiologist.
Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders voted against Califf's confirmation, joining Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Maggie Hassan, Joe Manchin and Ed Markey.
The East Coast senators, all from states that have been particularly ravaged by the national opioid crisis, cited a need to lower prescription drug prices as well as the opioid epidemic.
Califf has received thousands of dollars in consulting fees from the pharmaceutical industry in recent years, and as part of his research at Duke worked closely alongside the industry.
Republicans who opposed Califf's confirmation expressed concerns over the FDA's 2016 call to ease restrictions on the abortion pill Mifeprex, decided during Califf's first tenure at the agency.
Califf had previously served as FDA commissioner in the last year of former President Barack Obama's administration. President Biden nominated Califf in November 2021. The agency has been without a permanent leader for the last 13 months.
Yesterday I Was Levi's Brand President. I Quit So I Could Be Free.
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 16:07
Courtesy of the author.When I traveled to Moscow in 1986, I brought 10 pairs of Levi's 501s in my bag. I was a 17-year-old gymnast, the reigning national champion, and I was going to the Soviet Union to compete in the Goodwill Games, a rogue Olympics-level competition orchestrated by CNN founder Ted Turner while the Soviet Union and the United States were boycotting each other.
The jeans were for bartering lycra: the Russians' leotards represented tautness, prestige, discipline. But they clamored for my denim and all that it represented: American ruggedness, freedom, individualism.
I loved wearing Levi's; I'd worn them as long as I could remember. But if you had told me back then that I'd one day become the president of the brand, I would've never believed you. If you told me that after achieving all that, after spending almost my entire career at one company, that I would resign from it, I'd think you were really crazy.
Today, I'm doing just that. Why? Because, after all these years, the company I love has lost sight of the values that made people everywhere'--including those gymnasts in the former Soviet Union'--want to wear Levi's.
Jennifer Sey (center) in Moscow at the Goodwill Games.My tenure at Levi's began as an assistant marketing manager in 1999, a few months after my thirtieth birthday. As the years passed, I saw the company through every trend. I was the marketing director for the U.S. by the time skinny jeans had become the rage. I was the chief marketing officer when high-waists came into vogue. I eventually became the global brand president in 2020'--the first woman to hold this post. (And somehow low-rise is back.)
Over my two decades at Levi's, I got married. I had two kids. I got divorced. I had two more kids. I got married again. The company has been the most consistent thing in my life. And, until recently, I have always felt encouraged to bring my full self to work'--including my political advocacy.
That advocacy has always focused on kids.
In 2008, when I was a vice president of marketing, I published a memoir about my time as an elite gymnast that focused on the dark side of the sport, specifically the degradation of children. The gymnastics community threatened me with legal action and violence. Former competitors, teammates, and coaches dismissed my story as that of a bitter loser just trying to make a buck. They called me a grifter and a liar. But Levi's stood by me. More than that: they embraced me as a hero.
Things changed when Covid hit. Early on in the pandemic, I publicly questioned whether schools had to be shut down. This didn't seem at all controversial to me. I felt'--and still do'--that the draconian policies would cause the most harm to those least at risk, and the burden would fall heaviest on disadvantaged kids in public schools, who need the safety and routine of school the most.
I wrote op-eds, appeared on local news shows, attended meetings with the mayor's office, organized rallies and pleaded on social media to get the schools open. I was condemned for speaking out. This time, I was called a racist'--a strange accusation given that I have two black sons'--a eugenicist, and a QAnon conspiracy theorist.
In the summer of 2020, I finally got the call. ''You know when you speak, you speak on behalf of the company,'' our head of corporate communications told me, urging me to pipe down. I responded: ''My title is not in my Twitter bio. I'm speaking as a public school mom of four kids.''
But the calls kept coming. From legal. From HR. From a board member. And finally, from my boss, the CEO of the company. I explained why I felt so strongly about the issue, citing data on the safety of schools and the harms caused by virtual learning. While they didn't try to muzzle me outright, I was told repeatedly to ''think about what I was saying.''
Meantime, colleagues posted nonstop about the need to oust Trump in the November election. I also shared my support for Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic primary and my great sadness about the racially instigated murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. No one at the company objected to any of that.
Then, in October 2020, when it was clear public schools were not going to open that fall, I proposed to the company leadership that we weigh in on the topic of school closures in our city, San Francisco. We often take a stand on political issues that impact our employees; we've spoken out on gay rights, voting rights, gun safety, and more.
The response this time was different. ''We don't weigh in on hyper-local issues like this,'' I was told. ''There's also a lot of potential negatives if we speak up strongly, starting with the numerous execs who have kids in private schools in the city.''
I refused to stop talking. I kept calling out hypocritical and unproven policies, I met with the mayor's office, and eventually uprooted my entire life in California'--I'd lived there for over 30 years'--and moved my family to Denver so that my kindergartner could finally experience real school. We were able to secure a spot for him in a dual-language immersion Spanish-English public school like the one he was supposed to be attending in San Francisco.
National media picked up on our story, and I was asked to go on Laura Ingraham's show on Fox News. That appearance was the last straw. The comments from Levi's employees picked up'--about me being anti-science; about me being anti-fat (I'd retweeted a study showing a correlation between obesity and poor health outcomes); about me being anti-trans (I'd tweeted that we shouldn't ditch Mother's Day for Birthing People's Day because it left out adoptive and step moms); and about me being racist, because San Francisco's public school system was filled with black and brown kids, and, apparently, I didn't care if they died. They also castigated me for my husband's Covid views'--as if I, as his wife, were responsible for the things he said on social media.
All this drama took place at our regular town halls'--a companywide meeting I had looked forward to but now dreaded.
Meantime, the Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the company asked that I do an ''apology tour.'' I was told that the main complaint against me was that ''I was not a friend of the Black community at Levi's.'' I was told to say that ''I am an imperfect ally.'' (I refused.)
The fact that I had been asked, back in 2017, to be the executive sponsor of the Black Employee Resource Group by two black employees did not matter. The fact that I've fought for kids for years didn't matter. That I was just citing facts didn't matter. The head of HR told me personally that even though I was right about the schools, that it was classist and racist that public schools stayed shut while private schools were open, and that I was probably right about everything else, I still shouldn't say so. I kept thinking: Why shouldn't I?
In the fall of 2021, during a dinner with the CEO, I was told that I was on track to become the next CEO of Levi's'--the stock price had doubled under my leadership, and revenue had returned to pre-pandemic levels. The only thing standing in my way, he said, was me. All I had to do was stop talking about the school thing.
The author with her family at San Francisco Pride in 2015.But the attacks would not stop.
Anonymous trolls on Twitter, some with nearly half a million followers, said people should boycott Levi's until I'd been fired. So did some of my old gymnastics fans. They called the company ethics hotline and sent emails.
Every day, a dossier of my tweets and all of my online interactions were sent to the CEO by the head of corporate communications. At one meeting of the executive leadership team, the CEO made an off-hand remark that I was ''acting like Donald Trump.'' I felt embarrassed, and turned my camera off to collect myself.
In the last month, the CEO told me that it was ''untenable'' for me to stay. I was offered a $1 million severance package, but I knew I'd have to sign a nondisclosure agreement about why I'd been pushed out.
The money would be very nice. But I just can't do it. Sorry, Levi's.
I never set out to be a contrarian. I don't like to fight. I love Levi's and its place in the American heritage as a purveyor of sturdy pants for hardworking, daring people who moved West and dreamed of gold buried in the dirt. The red tag on the back pocket of the jeans I handed over to the Russian girls used to be shorthand for what was good and right about this country, and when I think about my trip to Moscow, so many decades ago, I still get a little choked up.
But the corporation doesn't believe in that now. It's trapped trying to please the mob'--and silencing any dissent within the organization. In this it is like so many other American companies: held hostage by intolerant ideologues who do not believe in genuine inclusion or diversity.
In my more than two decades at the company, I took my role as manager most seriously. I helped mentor and guide promising young employees who went on to become executives. In the end, no one stood with me. Not one person publicly said they agreed with me, or even that they didn't agree with me, but supported my right to say what I believe anyway.
I like to think that many of my now-former colleagues know that this is wrong. I like to think that they stayed silent because they feared losing their standing at work or incurring the wrath of the mob. I hope, in time, they'll acknowledge as much.
I'll always wear my old 501s. But today I'm trading in my job at Levi's. In return, I get to keep my voice.
If you are interested in reaching out to Jennifer write to: email@example.com
Is it Time for Intellectuals to Talk about God?
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 16:07
I recently spoke at a gathering for medical freedom advocates in a little community center in the Hudson River Valley. I cherish this group of activists: they had steadfastly continued to gather throughout the depths of the ''lockdown,'' that evil time in history '-- an evil time not yet behind us '-- and they kept on gathering in human spaces, undaunted. And by joining their relaxed pot-luck dinners around unidentifiable but delicious salads and chewy homemade breads, I was able to continue to remember what it meant to be part of a sane human community.
Children played '-- as normal '-- frolicking around, and speaking and laughing and breathing freely; not suffocating in masks like little zombies, or warned by terrified adults to keep from touching other human children. Dogs were petted. Neighbors spoke to one another at normal ranges, without fear or phobias. Bands played much-loved folk songs or cool little indie rock numbers they had written themselves, and no one, graceful or awkward, feared dancing. People sat on the house's steps shoulder to shoulder, in human warmth, and chatted over glasses of wine or homemade cider. No one asked anyone personal medical questions.
(While I believe that all decisions about how you live your life vis a vis an infectious disease are intensely personal, and I would never recommend to others to assume any specific level of risk or to pursue any specific strategy of risk reduction; I think it's worth noting, by the way, that to my knowledge, they had gone through the last two years without having lost a soul to COVID.)
Meanwhile, what had been human community outside of that little group, and outside other isolated normal communities '-- and outside of a handful of normal states in America '-- became more and more surreal, terrifying and unrecognizable.
The rest of the world, at least on the progressive side in the United States, became increasingly cult-like and insular in its thinking, since March of 2020. As the months passed, friends and colleagues of mine who were highly educated, and who had been lifelong critical thinkers, journalists, editors, researchers, doctors, philanthropists, teachers, psychologists '-- all began to repeat only talking points from MSNBC and CNN, and soon overtly refused to look at any sources - even peer-reviewed sources in medical journals '-- even CDC data '-- that contradicted those talking points. These people literally said to me, ''I don't want to see that; don't show it to me.'' It became clear soon enough that if they absorbed information contradictory to ''the narrative'' that was consolidating, they risked losing social status, maybe even jobs; doors would close, opportunities would be lost. One well-educated woman told me she did not want to see any unsanctioned information because she was afraid of being disinvited from her bridge group. Hence the refrain: ''I don't want to see that; don't show it to me.''
Friends and colleagues of mine who had been skeptical their whole adult lives of Big Agriculture '-- who only shopped at Whole Foods, who would never let their kids eat sugar or processed meat, or ingest a hint of Red Dye No 2 in candy, or eat candy itself for that matter in some cases '-- these same people lined up to inject into their bodies, and then offered up the bodies of their dependent minor children for the same purpose, an MRNA gene-therapy injection whose trials would not end for two more years. These parents announced on social media proudly that they had done this with their children. When I pointed out gently that the trials would not end til 2023, they yelled at me.
The progressive, right-on part of the ideological world '-- my people, my tribe, my whole life '-- became more and more uncritical, less and less able to reason. Friends and colleagues who were wellness-oriented, and who their whole adult lives had known the dangers of Big Pharma '-- and who would only use Burt's Bees on their babies' bottoms and sunscreen with no PABAs on themselves'-- lined up to take an experimental gene therapy; why not? And worse, it seemed, they crowded around, like the stone throwers in Shirley Jackson's short story ''The Lottery,'' to lash out at and to shun anyone who raised the most basic questions about Big Pharma and its highly compensated spokesmodels. Their critical thinking, but worse, their entire knowledge base about that industry, seemed to have evaporated magically into the ether.
Whole belief systems were abandoned painlessly and overnight as if it these communities were in the grip of a collective hallucination, like the witch craze of the 15th to 17th centuries in Northern Europe. Intelligent, informed people suddenly saw things that were not there and were unable to see things that were incontrovertibly before their faces.
Feminist health activists, who surely knew perfectly well the histories of how the pharmaceutical and medical industries had experimented ad nauseam on the bodies of women with disastrous results, lined up to take an injection that by March of 2021 women were reporting was wreaking painful havoc on their menstrual cycles. These same feminist health activists had spoken out earlier, as they should have, about Big Pharma's and Big Medicine's colonization of women's reproductive health processes, and had spoken out about issues ranging from women's access to safe contraception to abortion rights, to the rights of mothers to a midwifery delivery or to a birthing room, or to the right to labour or the right to store milk at work or the right to breastfeed in public.
But these formerly reliable custodians of well-informed medical skepticism and of women's health rights, were silent, silent, as such voices as former HHS official Dr Paul Alexander warned that spike protein from MRNA vaccines may accumulate in the ovaries (and testes), https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/news/pfizer-covid-19-vaccine-delivers-less-long-term-protection-from-hospitalization-after-four-months/, and as vaccinated women reported hemorrhagic menses '-- double digit percentages in a Norwegian study reported heavier bleeding (https://www.fhi.no/en/news/2021/menstrual-changes-following-covid-19-vaccination/). Many women also reported blood clotting, and women even reported post-menopausal bleeding '-- and mothers reported their vaccinated twelve year olds suddenly getting their periods; but it was two periods a month some girls endured.
Almost no one out of the luminaries of feminist health activism who had spent decades speaking out on behalf of women's health and women's bodies, raised a peep above the parapet. Those two or three of us who did were very visibly smeared, in some cases threatened, and in many ways silenced.
When I broke this story of menstrual dysregulation post-vaccination on Twitter in Spring of 2021, I was suspended. Matt Gertz works at CNN and Media Matters. The former is a channel on which I had appeared for decades; the latter, a group whose leadership members I've known for years, and in one instance, with whom I've worked.
In spite of both of his employers having sought out professional association with me, Matt Gertz publicly and repeatedly called me a ''pandemic conspiracy theorist'' upon my first having reported on menstrual dysregulation, and elsewhere accused me of ''crack-pottery'' https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-news/fox-keeps-hosting-pandemic-conspiracy-theorist-naomi-wolf.
Shame on me for doing journalism. I broke the post-vaccination menstrual dysregulation story by doing what I always do: by using the same methodology that I used in writing The Beauty Myth (about eating disorders) and Misconceptions (about obstetrics), and Vagina (about female sexual health): I listened to women, that radical act.
The New York Times just re-broke my story of menstrual dysregulation, ten months later, January 2022, in a different year, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/06/health/covid-vaccine-menstrual-cycles.html, after perhaps millions of women readers may have been physically harmed by their lack of decent reporting and their uncritical acceptance of soundbites from captured regulatory authorities. There has been no retraction or apology from Mr Gertz, from The New York Times, or from other news outlets such as DailyMail.co.uk, who all then called me crazy but are now reporting my story as if it is their own '-- now that it's clear that, once again, sadly, I was right.
Feminist health advocates who know about routine hysterectomies at menopause, about vaginal mesh that has to be removed, about silicone breasts implants that leaked or burst and had to be recalled or replaced, about Mirena that had to be removed, about Thalidomide that deformed babies' limbs in utero, about birth control pills at hormonal doses that heightened heart attack risks and stroke risks and that lowered the female libido; about routine c-sections to speed up turnover at hospitals, about the sterilization of low income women and girls and women and girls of color without informed consent '-- were silent about the unproven nature of MRNA vaccines, and about coercive policies that violated the Nuremberg code and other laws, as a whole generation of young women who have not yet had their babies, was forced to take an MRNA vaccine (and sometimes second vaccine, and booster) with unproven effects on reproductive health, in order simply to return to campus or to get or to keep a job. The Our Bodies Ourselves collective? Nothing on vaccine risks and women's health as a subject category: https://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/book-excerpts/. NARAL? Where were they? Crickets. Where were all the responsible feminist health activists, in the face of this global, unconsenting, uninforming, illegal experimentation on women's bodies, and now on children, and soon, on babies?
People who had been up in arms for decades about eating disorders or about the coercive social standards that led to '-- horrors '-- leg shaving, were silent about an untested injection that was minting billions for Big Pharma; an injection that entered, according to Moderna's own press material, every cell in the body, which would thus include involving uterus, ovaries, endometrium.
The sudden amnesia extended to feminist legal theory. Feminist jurists such as Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan debated President Biden's vaccine mandates on January 7 '-- as if they had never heard of the legal claims for Roe v Wade: privacy law. As Politico reported of Justice Kagan, ''The Supreme Court's ruling on privacy rights served as a basis for its later decision, Roe v Wade'' and as former Sen. Barbara Boxer had stated, ''I have no reason to think anything else except that [Kagan] would be a very strong supporter of privacy rights because everyone she worked for held that view.'' https://www.politico.com/story/2010/06/kagan-must-explain-abortion-stance-039096.
Except'...now they seemingly don't, and now Justice Kagan magically doesn't. With medical mandates, there are no privacy rights for anyone ever.
But Justice Kagan seemed suddenly, after decades of this view, not to see a contradiction. Her career-long philosophical foundation that resulted in a consistent view, when it came to abortion rights, that citizens had a right to physical privacy in medical decision-making '-- ''My body, my choice'' '-- ''It is between a woman and her doctor'' '-- vanished, along with her expensive education and all of her knowledge of the Constitution.
Justice Sotomayor, for her part, said, in an article reported on Dec 10 2021, that it was ''madness'' that the state of Texas wanted to ''substantially suspend[ed] a constitutional guarantee: a pregnant woman's right to control her own body.'' Her tone was, rightly, one of high dudgeon at the thought that anyone might override this right. But when it came to Justice Sotomayor's discussion on Jan 7 2022, less than four weeks later, of President Biden's vaccine mandates, that clear Constitutional right was now nowhere to be seen; it too had vanished into the ether. A part of Justice Sotomayor's brain seems to have simply shut down at the word ''vaccines'' '-- though it was the same woman in the same Court, with the same Constitution before her, the Justice could no longer manage the Kantian imperative of consistent reasoning. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/dec/10/supreme-court-abortion-ruling-texas-ban
Lifelong activists for justice and inclusion, for the Constitution and human rights and the rule of law '-- friends and colleagues of mine who are LGBTQ rights activists; the ACLU itself; activists for racial inclusion and equality; Constitutional lawyers who teach at all the major universities and run the law reviews; activists who argue against excluding anyone from any profession or access based on gender; almost all of them, at least on the progressive side of the spectrum (almost all: hello, Glenn Greenwald) '-- were silent; as a comprehensive, systematic, cruel, Titanic discrimination society was erected in a matter of months in such cities as New York City, formerly the great melting pot, the great equalizer; and as whole states such as California adopted a system pretty much like the apartheid systems based on other physical characteristics, in regimes that these same proud advocates for equality and inclusion had boycotted in college.
And yet now these former heroes for human rights and for equal justice under law, stood by calmly or even enthusiastically as the massive edifice of discrimination was constructed. And then they colluded. Without even a fight or a murmur.
And they had their ''vaccinated-only'' parties, and their segregated fashion galas, and their nonprofit-hosted discussions in nice medically-segregated New York City midtown hotels over expensive lunches served by staffers in masks '-- lunches celebrating luminaries of the civil rights movement or of the LGBTQ rights movement or the immigrants' rights movement, or the movement to help girls in Afghanistan get access to schools which they had been prevented from attending'-- invitations which I received, but of which I could not make use, because '-- because I was prevented from attending.
And these elite justice advocates enjoyed the celebrations of their virtues and of their values, and did not seem to notice that they had become '-- in less than a year '-- exactly what they had spent their adult lives professing most to hate.
I could go on and on.
The bottom line, though, is that this infection of the soul, this abandonment of classical Liberalism's '-- really, it's not even partisan; modern civilization's '-- most cherished postwar ideals, this sudden dropping of post-Enlightenment norms of critical thinking, this dilution even of parents' sense of protectiveness over the bodies and futures of their helpless minor children, this acceptance of a world in which people can't gather to worship, these suddenly-manifested structures themselves that erected this demonic world in less than two years and imposed it on everyone else, these heads of state and heads of the AMA and heads of school boards and these teachers; these heads of unions and these national leaders and the state level leaders and the town hall level functionaries all the way down to the men or woman who disinvite a relative from Thanksgiving due to social pressure, because of a medical status which is no one's business and which affects no one '-- this edifice of evil is too massive, too quickly erected, too complex and really, too elegant, to assign to just human awfulness and human inventiveness.
Months before, I had asked a renowned medical freedom activist how he stayed strong in his mission as his name was besmirched and he faced career attacks and social ostracism. He replied with Ephesians 6:12: ''For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.'' https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%206%3A12&version=KJV
I had thought of that a lot in the intervening time. It made more and more sense to me as the days passed.
I confessed at that gathering in the woods with the health freedom community, that I had started to pray again. This was after many years of thinking that my spiritual life was not that important, and certainly very personal, almost embarrassingly so, and thus it was not something I should mention in public.
I told the group that I was now willing to speak about God publicly, because I had looked at what had descended on us from every angle, using my normal critical training and faculties; and that it was so elaborate in its construction, so comprehensive, and so cruel, with an almost superhuman, flamboyant, baroque imagination made out of the essence of cruelty itself '-- that I could not see that it had been accomplished by mere humans working on the bumbling human level in the dumb political space.
I felt around us, in the majestic nature of the awfulness of the evil around us, the presence of ''principalities and powers'' '-- almost awe-inspiring levels of darkness and of inhuman, anti-human forces. In the policies unfolding around us I saw again and again anti-human outcomes being generated: policies aimed at killing children's joy; at literally suffocating children, restricting their breath, speech and laughter; at killing school; at killing ties between families and extended families; at killing churches and synagogues and mosques; and, from the highest levels, from the President's own bully pulpit, demands for people to collude in excluding, rejecting, dismissing, shunning, hating their neighbors and loved ones and friends.
I have seen bad politics all of my life and this drama unfolding around us goes beyond bad politics, which is silly and manageable and not that scary. This '-- this is scary, metaphysically scary. In contrast to hapless human mismanagement, this darkness has the tinge of the pure, elemental evil that underlay and gave such hideous beauty to the theatrics of Nazism; it is the same nasty glamour that surrounds Leni Riefenstahl films.
In short, I don't think humans are smart or powerful enough to have come up with this horror all alone.
So I told the group in the woods, that the very impressiveness of evil all around us in all of its new majesty, was leading me to believe in a newly literal and immediate way in the presence, the possibility, the necessity of a countervailing force '-- that of a God. It was almost a negative proof: an evil this large must mean that there is a God at which it is aiming its malevolence.
And that is a huge leap for me to take, as a classical Liberal writer in a postwar world, '-- to say these things out loud.
Grounded postmodern intellectuals are not supposed to talk about or believe in spiritual matters '-- at least not in public. We are supposed to be shy about referencing God Himself, and are certainly are not supposed to talk about evil or the forces of darkness.
As a Jew I come from a tradition in which Hell (or ''Gehenom'') is not the Miltonic Hell of the later Western imagination, but rather a quieter interim spiritual place (https://jel.jewish-languages.org/words/183). ''The Satan'' exists in our literature (in Job for example) but neither is this the Miltonic Satan, that rock star, but a figure more modestly known as ''the accuser.''
We who are Jews, though, do have a history and literature that lets us talk about spiritual battle between the forces of God and negative forces that debase, that profane, that seek to ensnare our souls. We have seen this drama before, and not that long ago; about eighty years ago.
Other faith traditions of course also have ways to discuss and understand spiritual battle taking place through humans, and through human leaders, and here on earth.
It was not always the case that Western intellectuals were supposed to keep quiet in public about spiritual wrestling, fears and questions. Indeed in the West, poets and musicians, dramatists and essayists and philosophers, talked about God, and even about evil, for millennia, as being at the core of their understanding of the world and as forming the basis of their art forms and of their intellectual missions. This was the case right through the nineteenth century and into the first quarter of the 20th, a period when some of our greatest intellectuals '-- from Darwin to Freud to Jung '-- wrestled often and in public with questions of how the Divine, or its counterpart, manifested in the subjects they examined.
It was not until after World War Two and then the rise of Existentialism '-- the glorification of a world view in which the true intellectual showed his or her mettle by facing the absence of God and our essential aloneness '-- that smart people were expected to shut up in public about God.
So - it's not wacky or eccentric, if you know intellectual history, for intellectuals to talk in public about God, and even about God's adversary, and to worry about the fate of human souls. Mind and soul are not in fact at odds; and the body is not in fact at odds with either of these. And this acceptance of our three-part, integrated nature is part of our Western heritage. This is a truth only recently obscured or forgotten; a memory of our integrity as human beings that had been, only for the last seventy years or so, under attack.
So '-- I am going to start talking about God, when I need to do so, and about my spiritual questions in this dark time, along with continuing all of the other reporting and nonfiction analysis I always do. Because I have always told my readers the truth of what I felt and saw. This may be why they have come with me on a journey now of almost forty-three years, and why they keep seeking me out '-- though I have in the last couple of years '-- after I wrote a book that described how 19th century pandemics were exploited by the British State to take away everyone's liberty, hm '-- been pulped, deplatformed, cancelled, re-cancelled, deplatformed again, and called insane by dozens of the same news outlets that had commissioned me religiously for decades.
It is time to start talking about spiritual combat again, I personally believe. Because I think that that is what we are in, and the forces of darkness are so big that we need help. Our goal? Perhaps just to keep the light somehow alive - a light of true classical humane values, of reason, of democracy, inclusion, kindness - in this dark time.
What is the object of this spiritual battle?
It seems to be for nothing short of the human soul.
One side seems to be wrestling for the human soul by targeting the human body that houses it; a body made in God's likeness, so they say; the temple of God.
I am not confident. I don't have enough faith. Truth is, I am scared to death. I just don't think just humans alone can solve this one, or can win this one on their own.
I do think we need to call, as Milton did, as Shakespeare did, as Emily Dickinson did, on help from elsewhere; on what could be called angels and archangels, if you will; on higher powers, whatever they may be; on better principalities, on whatever intercessors may hear us, on Divine Providence '-- whatever you want to call whomever it is you can hope for and imagine. As I often say, I'll take any faith tradition. I'll talk to God in any language '-- I don't think forms really matter. I think intention is everything.
I can't say for sure that God and God's helpers exist; I can't. Who can?
But I do think we are at an unheard-of moment in human history '-- globally '-- in which I personally believe we have no other choice but to ask for assistance from beings '-- or a Being '-- better armed to fight true darkness, than ourselves alone. We'll find out if they exist, if He or She exists, perhaps, if we ask for God's help.
At least that's my hope.
Which I guess is a kind of a prayer.
Thinking Like a Tyrant - Outspoken with Dr Naomi Wolf
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 16:06
I wrote recently here about the fact that we find ourselves in an historical moment involving monumental evil '-- the kind of evil that we, as a human race, have not seen on a global scale for eighty years. And I argued that we can't fully understand where we are in this thicket of darkness and unknowing, unless we are willing to understand and face the nature and sources of this evil. I've witnessed an example of evil personally, and it is a global example, that shows how the current cruelty has a context.
Something that is slowing down many people from fully grasping what is upon us, is that they are making mistakes in their reasoning about events, because they are engaged, naturally enough, in what intelligence analysts call ''mirror imaging.'' That is, because most of us are decent people with basic compassion at our cores, and are not sociopaths or psychopaths, we tend to ''mirror image'' in assuming that others are also driven by basic human motivations such as empathy, altruism, and kindness '-- or even just by the basic notion that other human beings are also deserving of life, self-determination and dignity. How can such brutality be imposed on us? How could others be at the helm of such vicious policies?
But this assumption, that those currently influencing events and making certain key decisions, are ''like us'' '-- is a fatal error.
I'll explore here, evil achieved by cultivating an elite within metanational corporations; and in a later essay, evil achieved by faceless nonprofits; and in a final essay, evil done by compartmentalization and contractors.
To understand this moment, in which a brutal tyranny is being enacted upon us in lockstep globally, by many otherwise familiar and formerly benign-seeming Western leaders and philanthropists and investors '-- men and women we thought we knew '-- we have to begin to ''think like a tyrant.''
I am not talking about anything arcane or occult. I am not talking about a Q-Anon fantasy of a few elites running the world.
I am talking here, rather, about the global elites whom I know and among whom I have lived for forty years, and about events that I have witnessed.
I am talking about what the German-Jewish philosopher of totalitarianism Hannah Arendt called ''the Banality of Evil.''
To understand what is happening in the current global lockstep of tyranny (I until recently would say, ''toward tyranny''), we have to understand that certain subcultures, certain leaders and certain ideologies simply don't have these core values at heart; and we must face the fact that these monsters are not just Nazis long dead, or members of the CCP far away, taking out their brutality on their own distant, silenced populations. Some monsters are very near to us; some monsters are wearing lovely suits and chatting away about their kids, or about their renovation hurdles, at dinner parties; and some kinds of monstrosity and sociopathy are actively cultivated by the norms and networks that are all around us, albeit half-hidden at elite levels, and systematized and accepted at very high levels.
Meta-National Postwar Organizations
One source of the kind of global cruelty we see in medical fascism today derives from a postwar stratum of power. I'll explain.
Paradoxically, meta-national organizations such as the European Union and the United Nations, agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and global corporate and investment communities, founded after the carnage of the Second World War, have served to create a class of global elite policymakers, nonprofit leaders, and bureaucrats, who are able to engage in cruel and oppressive policymaking precisely because they are no longer part of the communities whose lives are affected by what they have done.
All these meta-national organizations purported to foster a more peaceful, cooperative world '-- one that would blunt enmity between historical adversaries (such as France and Germany). Most made the case that this meta-national organizational structure would far more greatly benefit ordinary men and women in the street, than did the poor, battered, dysfunctional nation-state, with its rotten history and its bloody impulses.
The first half of the 20th century, with its two catastrophic World Wars, seemed indeed to reveal conclusively to the world the dark side of nationalism, and the tragic limits of the nation-state; the period seemed like a textbook lesson in how decision-making at the level of nation-states led inexorably to bloodshed and to racist, cruel jingoisms.
The problem, though, as it turned out, is that you can't have accountability to citizens or a real democracy if you do not have a democratic nation-state. Another problem is that it spawned a class of distant, unaccountable deciders.
As faulty and limited as the post-1848 modern secular Parliamentary nation-state doubtless is, it is the most perfect form of government yet created, in its accountability to a set group of people '-- that is, to the citizenry of a constitutional democracy bounded by national borders.
Metanational organizations, though, rapidly created superstructures that made decisions above the heads of citizens of nation-states. Quickly, the unelected deciders of the EU Parliament became more important and powerful than were the Parliamentary leaders at the national level in Greece or Portugal or Spain. Quickly, citizens of various European countries lost the skills of understanding how their local and national levers of power worked, and citizens were encouraged to leave it all to the bureaucrats at a level high above that of national Parliaments.
But nationalism within a bounded nation-state, though it can surely be excessive or perverted to the dark side, also has bright and constructive and protective aspects. Positive nationalism, within an accountable, Constitutional nation-state, allows people to care about and act on their own futures; to be motivated by allegiance to their own families, their own communities, their own landscapes, their own histories, and their own cultures. Andleaders have to face their citizenry.
Seeing the positive aspect of nation-states does not in any way have to be a racist or an anti-immigrant position. America at its best, as a ''melting pot'', welcomed people of all backgrounds and faiths as citizens. But then, American citizenship immediately had responsibilities and rights.
By the same token, it is not necessarily racist to celebrate what is brightest about French culture and history, if one is French; to revel in Dutch holidays and cuisine and rituals, if one is Dutch; to celebrate the beautiful culture and unique history of Morocco if one is Moroccan. If ''French'' or ''Dutch'' or ''Moroccan'' or ''American'' are defined as citizenship rather than as race, then the culture expands and welcomes the new; and what is ''French'' or ''Dutch'' or ''Moroccan'' or ''American'' for that matter, simply evolves.
But a discourse was propagated '-- by global elites, who benefited from this discourse '-- that shamed well-intended, anti-racist people, especially in the West, for being in the least bit proud of or loyal to their nation-state or their specific national culture. And a discourse was propagated that shamed any right-on member of any nation-state, also in the West, for worrying about what might happen if there were any limits at all on national borders.
But just as you cannot have a Constitutional democracy unless you have a discrete citizenry, of whatever background, race or faith, who are initiated into that nation's culture, language, history, rights and responsibilities, so you cannot actually have a functioning, accountable Parliamentary democracy if you have open borders, and voting by non-citizens. Simply as a practical matter, you can't. You have something nebulous, but it is no longer a representative democracy within a nation-state, and it absolutely dissolves the accountability of ever-more-distant leaders, to the people.
The handing-over of voting rights to a million non-citizens in New York State recently, sounds superficially like a right-on blow for ''equity'' and for anti-racism; but it is actually, as are fully open borders, a tyrant's dream; as the effect is simply to dilute the power of citizens and the accountability of leaders to a discrete set of powerful citizens, within the discrete boundaries of a specific nation-state.
By the same token, the democratic nation-state is by necessity accountable to its people in a way that metanational organizations simply are not. The people in a nation-state can vote out corrupt leaders. They can change course when it comes to bad policies. Indeed, they can put corrupt leaders in prison, or in the case of the United States, they can execute leaders who have engaged in espionage, or committed treason to the nation-state.
Their leaders must, in short, whether they wish to or not, see their own people and worry about their reactions. There is thus a natural limit on the cruelty and oppression with which an elected leader in a constitutional nation-state, can get away.
Not so with leaders in the postwar world of meta-national organizations and global nonprofits. Nothing need constrain their cruelty, once they go bad. The same is true for economic global elites: on the economic level, too, global networks and alliances also left national allegiances and national accountability behind.
What happened in the seventy-plus years since the end of the Second World War, is that an elite international class of technocrats, EU bureaucrats, global nonprofit leaders and international investors has developed, in which allegiance to the relationships, programs, profits and outcomes of that global class is more immediate and important to its members, than are any of the relationships, allegiances, rights, property and outrage of their fellow countrymen and women.
To these people, the nation-state '-- even one's own nation-state of origin '-- is an artifact; a secondary, sentimental add-on. What really matters are other global elites in one's social circle and business network, and the valuable relationships one can create with them. One's ''ordinary'' countrymen and women recede and become theoretical. And the constant message one receives from one's peers and from the elite meta-national culture, is that those ''ordinary'' men and women simply are not as smart or well educated as one's meta-national peers, and so it would be a disaster to let them make their own decisions. One is saving them from their own fecklessness, ignorance and shortsightedness, by deciding for them.
What does this have to do with cruelty?
As the Milgram experiments showed, if you are far from seeing the victim whom you are harming, and you have an authoritative directive to harm that victim, then easily enough, ''normal'' people conveniently become monsters and abusers. And thus, many global elites who are lovely people one on one, nice to their kids, and so on, can execute vast cruelty without even noticing.
That is the situation of the new elite class and the cultural and economic environment I am describing below. It set the groundwork for the extraordinary global cruelty from these meta-national elites to men and women in the street. It set the stage for the cruelty of the lockstep ''COVID policy'' in which we presently find ourselves.
I will never forget being in a company car in 2015, heading to BBC's political flagship show, ''Newsnight.'' It was driven by the BBC's longtime driver. As a reporter, I always talk to drivers in those circumstances, because the elite men and women whom I described above, often literally do not ''see'' drivers, waitstaff, cleaners, and other mere mortals. So drivers and waitstaff and cleaners tend to hear everything and know everything.
It was an important week, in which the people of Greece, who were distraught at having had policies of ''austerity'' forced upon them by the EU, were about to engage in a referendum. The papers were full of elderly Greek men and women who were weeping or in despair because the proposed policies would wipe away their retirement savings. As is common, the European newspapers were portraying the people of Greece, in opposing austerity, as spendthrifts, as ignorant, as having brought their economic disaster upon themselves, and as needing to be rescued by the policies of those wiser heads above the level of their national leaders' decisionmaking.
I couldn't help thinking: maybe it will be the case that rejecting ''austerity'' policies will turn out to be an economic mistake for the people of Greece. But I knew about referenda: and if there is a majority vote in a referendum, it is by law the will of the people, and in a democracy, their decision must be enacted. So you can have your opinion about whether austerity would be smart or not in this context, but if the people have a real nation-state, their referendum will, willy-nilly, determine what happens in their country; and if the people's decision turns out to be a mistake '-- well, it is their mistake to make, with their own country, in their own Parliament.
''Oh no,'' explained the driver. ''The EU ministers were in this car before you. The referendum is purely cosmetic. It will be ignored. Whatever happens, they are going ahead with austerity.''
I was dumbfounded.
But as it turned out - the BBC driver was exactly right. The people of Greece voted against austerity. But they were not to get it.
Later that week, back in New York City, I was at a dinner party. It was hosted by a major hedge fund manager. His clients were Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian, and other international investment funds. At the party were his colleagues: British, Swedish, Chinese, French, and Belgian hedge fund managers and investors.
My host, an otherwise lovely guy, trained of course in the Ivies, was apoplectic '-- furious '-- at the rank and file men and women of Greece. He did not yet know what the EU ministers knew. He knew that the people of Greece had rejected austerity, but that he had hedged in the opposite direction. Now he was enraged at those weeping grandmas and grandpas, and at their resistant, angry sons and daughters, for having temporarily messed up his bet on austerity. He was literally pale with fury. His fists clenched as he spoke about the Greek referendum. How dare they, was his attitude. The fools.
The mansion where we all gathered that night had been built by robber baron at the end of the 19th century. The dining room was staffed by beautiful actors/waiters and actresses/waitresses in black pants and spotless white shirts. They served us charmingly a lovely plaice en robe dinner, with sides of grilled asparagus and heirloom beets. The ceilings were twenty feet high, and wreathed in shadows. The walls were adorned with a melange of images of Italian Renaissance princelings, luscious still-lives from the 16th century Netherlands, and portraits of late 19th century American society doyennes.
The conversation was sprightly. To my right, a Norwegian investor spoke about the play that was the latest avant-garde sensation on Broadway. To my left, an artist friend of the host and hostess described movements in the New York art market. Everyone was educated, pleasant and cultured. The money guys were all agreeing with the host about the perfidy and ''bad'' behavior of the stubborn people of Greece. The wine flowed, red and white; it was beyond excellent. No one at that table was visibly evil. There were no secret signs, or shadowy gatherings, here. If this were a movie, you could not identify a villain. No one was part of a ''cabal.''
But it was clear: these people did not need to gather in the shadows or to be part of a cabal. Why would this group need a secret sign or a secret meeting? They simply owned the global stratum in which they operated; and they were only accountable to one another.
Neither did anyone there, expressing his or her views about the events of the week, think there was anything wrong with wishing to override and ignore the democratically expressed will of an entire nation of citizens who had articulated their wishes lawfully.
Thus, the whole nation, all of the people of Greece, were being treated with extraordinary cruelty and contempt by these distant, non-Greek men and women '-- in part because these men and women would never see them or have to face them or ever answer to them.
At the end of the evening, I was introduced to a brilliant young woman, a protege of my host's. She was from a small, poor democracy in the global South, and educated as well in the Ivy League. My host showed off the young lady's knowledge and acumen about financial markets, in the context of a discussion about the ''reckless'' behavior of the Greeks, and their nonsensical referendum.
Did she think her own fellow countrymen and women should have a say in outcomes about their economic futures? I asked her gently. I truly wondered what her views would be.
''No; the ordinary people of any given country don't have the skills to make the right economic decisions for themselves or their nations. We should be deciding for them,'' she explained to me calmly, with all the confidence and certainty of a now-privileged twenty-something.
''That's right,'' my host confirmed proudly.
The Greeks never got their referendum outcome. There was a famous U-turn, and austerity was imposed against the wishes of the people. Many elderly Greek men and women were driven into abject poverty in their retirement. Many businesses were lost.
Not much later, I was at another dinner hosted by the same man, and attended by roughly the same group of people. Among the guests, though, now, was someone new: a former Greek politician who until very recently had been at the center, first, of the fight to reject austerity, and then, of the baffling U-turn.
He looked flushed, proud and ashamed at once, and he was being introduced around like a captured prize.
Who knows what promises were made, what arrangements attended this outcome, this new alliance? But that former national leader must have seen a level of influence and wealth far above what mere allegiance to his fellow citizens, mere decency, could have gotten him.
And my host '-- he and his colleagues got, in the end, the outcome on which they had placed such a big, big bet.
That's why I am often called a ''conspiracy theorist'' '-- I have simply been, my whole adult life, in those rooms in which the very rich or the very powerful quietly arrange that chance or other '-- legitimate '-- stakeholders, will never have the opportunity to harm their prospects.
That night the wine continued to flow '-- and a new constellation was part of the social mix.
Too bad about the hundreds of thousands of ''ordinary'' Greeks, many of them elderly, now ruined for the rest of their lives.
This is just one example of how great evil '-- evil at a national level '-- can easily be done: by distance, and by condescension, and by the creation of a meta-national community who see and hear and are answerable only to each other; but who do not see, or in any way respect, the rights of nations; or the rights of self-determination of elders, of voters, of property; of you or of me.
So '-- evil is not what you think. It need not be a goose-stepping soldier, or an official knocking at your door, wearing jackboots. To understand how COVID policy can be so coordinated and so cruel and so Neo-fascistic, we need to understand these realities.
Evil can come in the form of a well-dressed man or woman, far from any traditional loyalties or decencies, passing you the sherry.
On the Subtlety of Monsters - Outspoken with Dr Naomi Wolf
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 16:06
My first post in this three-part series, about how the evil that surrounds us has manifested, was about the elite global technocrat class and their distance from the people whose lives they may crush; I noted too their lack of belief in, or loyalty to, the nation-state. Added to this toxic mix, I argued, is the certainty of this class of people that they know best about your life.
I made the case in that essay that surrounding us now was a metaphysical, seemingly a Satanic, level of evil.
I am seeking to explain in this series of essays, how otherwise nice people '-- and indeed Western people, who grew up with post-Enlightenment norms about human rights and the rule of law '-- can be doing evil now, with whole hearts.
I am asking how they can be suppressing the respiration of children intentionally; how they can be consigning friends and colleagues to eat in the street like outcasts, or sending cops to arrest a woman and terrify a nine-year-old child, whose crimes were that they tried to visit the Museum of Natural History in New York without ''papers''?
How could ''nice'' people in the humane West, can have be put on the agenda in Washington State just two weeks ago, plans to detain those exposed to a ''contagious disease'' in forcible quarantine, without charge or trial, and dependent on a court order and good behavior to get out?
All of this is happening right now in America - -in the land of people who, since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, have had the principle of equality governing human relations as a matter of law; a nation that had passed laws against the abuse of or corporal punishment of children in public schools in the 1970s in virtually every state; and a people who have been raised in a culture of freedom and civility compared with lawless or totalitarian regimes, that led them, for the most part, to be, on the scale of decency to cruelty, until two years ago, very decent people.
How could good people be going along with this?
There are lessons from history that we have to learn, or re-learn, and quickly.
Some leaders and commentators (including myself) have passionately and publicly been comparing these years, 2020-2022, in the West and in Australia, to the early years of Nazi leadership. Though we face criticism for doing so, I won't be silenced about this. The similarities must urgently be addressed.
People need to reread their Nazi history. They are getting it wrong in demanding, 'How dare you compare?''
While the popular imagination of the Nazi era is familiar with deaths camps, and think of them when Nazi policy is invoked, the fact is that many years led up to that horror. Germany invaded Poland in 1939. The extermination camps were established years into the Nazi drama: 1941. [https://www.theholocaustexplained.org/how-and-why/how/creation-of-extermination-camps/]. Dr Josef Mengele, ''The Angel of Death,'' began his medical experiments in Auschwitz after 1943. [http://www.auschwitz.org/en/history/medical-experiments/josef-mengele]
No one sensible is talking about comparing what we are living through now to those years and those horrors.
Rather, the vivid similarities between our moment in the West since 2020, and the earliest years of Nazi Germany's civil society policies, are to the years 1931-33, when so many vicious norms and policies were set in place. But these were often culturally or professionally policed, rather than being policed by camp patrols. That's the point that better-informed analysts of these similarities, are making.
That is to say, during these years, mass societal cruelty, and a two-tier society itself that perpetuated this cruelty, was built up and policed, as like today, by polite civil society institutions tasked with snarling and baring its teeth.
Casual, escalating cruelty, a culture of degradation of the ''othered,'' and a two-tier society, were built up in those years certainly at the behest of Nazi social policy. But the construction of a world of evil out of what had been a modern civil society, if a fragile one, was also endorsed and even policed by doctors, by medical associations, by journalists, by famous composers and filmmakers, by universities; by neighbors, by teachers, by shopkeepers '-- for years before the death camp guards were tasked with their own far more heinous cruelty.
Amos Elon's poignant history, The Pity of it All: A History of Jews in Germany, 1743-1933, reveals how many Jewish civil society leaders warned about the imperceptible shifts day by day in the direction of evil. In 1931, street violence was directed against Jewish storefronts, and led to smashed-in windows. In other contexts, Jews were beaten upon leaving synagogues. Commentator Theodor Wolff warned, ''This simply cannot continue. All decent people, irrespective of party, must form a common front ['...]''
So one might say today.
But'....but decent people did not do so then; and Wolff's call to action was to no avail. Elon calls these years ''these last spasms of freedom.'' [Elon, 387].
Wolff's publisher told him to ''tone down his warnings in the interest of advertising and circulation.'' [Elon, 388] As today, those issuing alarms were suppressed and censored.
As today, emergency laws then were the benchmarks that would allow democracy to collapse. ''Hitler wanted full powers like Mussolini's in Italy,'' writes Elon. ''He knew exactly what was needed to turn a government into a 'legal' dictatorship: emergency powers under Article 48.'' [Elon, 389].
See if you notice any echoes here. Currently, forty-seven US states are operating with emergency measures, which suspend or bypass normal legislative checks and balances, including New York, the state in which I am writing. Under emergency measures, pretty much anything can be done.
The fact that people don't seem to understand that most of the country is living under emergency measures, is what is stunning about our current moment. This is why I keep saying these days that the coup d'etat has already taken place in America. By definition, when you are living under emergency measures, you no longer have a functioning democracy.
In Germany, to move back in time, the demonically intelligent incrementalism of Nazi policy continued. In 1933, the year Adolph Hitler was appointed Chancellor of a new cabinet, Hitler gave his word that ''the Nazis would remain a minority in any future cabinet.'' [Elon, 391]. Even in 1933, though, some prominent Jews still believed that ''nothing can happen to us.'' [Elon 391].
But ''Theodor Wolff was one of the few who warned that Hitler's appointment was merely the first stage of a coup d'etat in installments.[Italics mine]['...] Wolff predicted that 'a cabinet whose members have been proclaiming for weeks and months that salvation '-- by which they mean their own '-- is at hand, in the form of a coup d'etat, a breach of the constitution, the elimination of the Reichstag, the muzzling of the opposition, and in unbridled dictatorial rule'...will do everything in its power to intimidate and silence its opponents.''' [Elon 391].
''For millions of Berliners,'' writes Elon, ''nothing seemed to have changed at first ['...] Few seemed aware of the watershed they had just passed'' [Elon 391].
''Few seemed aware...''
Let me just summarize where we are right now in America, as well as in the West, in case you have gotten too used to it to see it clearly. I warned in The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, that democracies usually do not die with a cinematic scene of goose-stepping Brownshirts suddenly in the streets. They tend to die, rather, just as Elon described '-- incrementally, day by day, collapsing grotesquely in some areas of society and in regards to some institutions, even as other aspects of society and other institutions look and feel, at least superficially, exactly the same as they did before.
Just because the settings are familiar to us now, does not mean that a 1931-like reality, if not yet a 1933-like reality, isn't upon us.
In this country, citizens are being forced to take their second or third experimental gene-therapy injection, in order to go back to school or to keep their jobs as truckers crossing borders, or as solders and sailors and military pilots and hospital workers. [https://www.defense.gov/News/News-Stories/Article/Article/2881481/service-members-must-be-vaccinated-or-face-consequences-dod-official-says/] Millions of other workers just narrowly escaped this coercion; and millions have not escaped this coercive experiment, in effect, upon them, in parts of Europe. [https://apnews.com/article/austrian-parliament-covid-vaccine-mandate-8539164285f87443a8b80a213d2dacc0]
Minors are being forced to submit to this experimental gene therapy simply to keep playing high school basketball or tennis.
Thousands of adverse events are being recorded in VAERS, including deaths shortly after vaccination, but the forcing of injections continues despite their having no effect on transmission, and against all existing laws. [https://vaers.hhs.gov]
Voices of opposition to tyrannical overreach are being censored en masse; payment processors are declining to process funds of entities offering medical therapeutics. ''The View,'' that formerly cozy group of gals, just called for the censorship of podcaster Joe Rogan. Musician Neil Young also called for music streaming service Spotify to censor Rogan's ''misinformation.'' [https://www.wsj.com/articles/neil-youngs-music-is-being-taken-down-by-spotify-after-ultimatum-over-joe-rogan-11643230104] Calls for censorship of opposition voices echo across the internet. Dissident platforms such as Parler have been deplatformed from their hosting services or from their payment processors, a digital version of boycotting businesses. [https://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthart/2021/03/03/parler-sues-amazon-again-in-wake-of-deplatforming/?sh=58e2c725166d]
Leaders are calling for one group of citizens to be denied health care; in some areas of Canada, leaders have told grocers that it is optional to allow this group to buy food. Children in Canada are being told, ''No mask, no voice.'' Children as young as two are subjected in New York, by a smiling new Governor, a woman, to facial coverings that restrict their breathing, and that impair their ability to acquire language, bond with other children, and to recognize and express emotions.
Certain citizens, set apart as ''other,'' falsely called infectious and positioned as ''unclean,'' may not enter buildings or restaurants in New York, in Washington D.C., in San Francisco, in Los Angeles. Everyone is being asked to hate and resent them, and irrationally to blame them for the nation's predicament.
People are asked to join a cult and offer up their bodies; if they don't, they are ostracized and denied social life and professional advancement.
Small businesses, restaurants and movies theaters; small hotels and venues, small real estate holdings, entire livelihoods, are being crushed by arbitrary dicta, by the unrestrained powers of Boards of Health and the CDC to crush whole sectors, and thus to destroy, or in effect to transfer, entire classes of assets from one targeted group into the hands of another group: to institutional investors, or shall we say, to allies of the current oligarchs.
In Washington State, as noted above, proposals were put forward '-- similar to those that have been enacted in Australia and elsewhere '-- to detain Americans, and turn the Boards of Health into entities with police powers; to establish militias, in effect, in the service of unelected, unaccountable Boards of Health. US ''fact-checkers'' claimed that this was not true, but it was true. [https://app.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=246-100-040]
Reports are proliferating of the unvaccinated treated abusively in hospitals, and therapeutics have, it is becoming clear, been withheld via government agencies' pressure, from an entire population, leading to countless avoidable deaths. A class of therapeutics, monoclonal antibodies, have just been withdrawn by the FDA from ill people's access [https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-revokes-emergency-use-authorization-monoclonal-antibody-bamlanivimab]. Medical entities such as the formerly respected Mayo Clinic are being sued because they are refusing treatment to a dying man, for which his wife is begging. [https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/2022/01/14/mayo-clinic-lawsuit-to-allow-ivermectin-as-a-treatment-moves-out-of-duval/9120594002/].
What do you call all of this, if not an early Nazi-like set of practices?
In the early years of Nazi policy, as Robert Proctor's magisterial 1990 Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis points out, it was doctors who were tasked by the State, and given special status and authority, with singling out ''life unworthy of life'' and elaborating racially-based policies that separated the ''clean'' and privileged, from the ''unclean,'' or ''degenerate,'' and restricted. In 1933, doctors began to sterilize the unfit. As Michael A Grodin, MD, Erin L Miller, BA, and Jonathan Miller, MA, point out, in ''The Nazi Physicians as Leaders in Eugenics and 'Euthanasia': Lessons for Today'':''A series of recurrent themes arose in Nazi medicine as physicians undertook the mission of cleansing the State: the devaluation and dehumanization of segments of the community, medicalization of social and political problems, training of physicians to identify with the political goals of the government, fear of consequences of refusing to cooperate with civil authority, bureaucratization of the medical role, and the lack of concern for medical ethics and human rights.''
Half of Germany's physicians joined the Nazi party.
''The devaluing and dehumanization of segments of the community'''....
Proctor shows how medical associations embraced the rise in the status and authority of physicians, and how, then as now, ''public health'' was the anodyne label under which the early structure of emerging horrors was erected. He shows how doctors led the way.
The author even addresses the ''health pass'' that was established by Nazi public health policy, a pass that separated those who could participate fully in Nazi society, from those who were singled out for deprivation and disgust.
Proctor tracks how eugenics allowed for increasing arguments, similar to those being resuscitated today, that ''useless eaters'' or the ''unfit'' do not deserve food, or are a burden on public resources, and should not be a drag on hospitals, or receive medical care.
Proctor shows what a short slide it was from public health officials identifying ''life unworthy of life'', these ''useless eaters'', to the same officials using the language of ''hygiene'' and public safety, to set up the first Nazi euthanasia programs '-- programs targeting those who were identified as ''less than,'' or in some way impaired.
Then as now, anodyne language, whether around ''public health'' or ''racial hygiene'', as in the 1930s, or around ''public health,'' ''safety'' and ''harm reduction,'' as today, concealed then, and now conceals, the true nature of what should be a visible, nauseating, daily-spreading evil.
Historians such as Proctor have argued that public health glosses, the invocation of medical authority, and compartmentalization and bureaucratization, permitted evil in the early Nazi past to flourish, in spite of its taking root in what was still supposed to have been a modern civil society.
I'd argue that the same exact things in similar guises, cloaked in similar language, are recurring today.
If we don't wake up and see exactly where we stand, and read back in history quickly about a demonic time that overtly mirrors and in many ways foreshadows where we are '-- then most of us will be fools, even as some of us are already monsters.
If we don't forcibly and immediately call out monsters where we see them '-- where they walk among us '-- whether they wear nice earrings and sit demurely at the helm of the CDC, or whether they gather in white coats, in all their authority, at the Mayo Clinic, standing between a dying man and his desperate wife '-- we will fail forever to deserve the blessing of the Constitution, and of the rule of law, that are supposed to be our heritage.
And no doubt, the next chapter will surely be for us, as it was for others in the past, darker still.
World's biggest lithium battery storage facility now completely offline after weekend incident - Energy Storage News
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 16:05
Closeup of battery modules at Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility. Image: Vistra Energy. An incident which caused batteries to short has taken offline Phase II of Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility in Monterey County, California, the world's biggest lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) project.
Project owner Vistra Energy said yesterday that the 100MW/400MWh expansion phase of the facility now joins the 300MW/1,200MWh Phase I in being out of action, after the incident late on Sunday (13 February).
In what appears to be a repeat of what happened in September to Phase I, a sprinkler system released water onto battery racks.
As before, no one was harmed, but after Phase II's early detection safety system kicked in, local fire crews were called to the scene, in line with protocols and out of what Vistra described in a brief statement as an abundance of caution.
The latest incident comes only a couple of weeks after integrated utility and power generation company Vistra issued a report into the situation at Phase I and said it was preparing to bring it back online soon. Vistra has now decided to pause those restart activities.
In the January report, the cause of overheating of batteries was attributed to a sprinkler system that became active in response to smoke coming from an air handling unit in which a bearing had failed, rather than battery cells going into a thermal incident through internal faults or damage.
The onsite smoke detection apparatus had triggered water to be sprayed at a threshold below what it should have, leading Vistra to conclude there had been an error made in the equipment's programming.
A course of corrective actions was being implemented at Phase I, including sealing gaps between the floor levels containing battery racks to prevent water leaking from one down onto the other, testing all the heat suppression equipment thoroughly and reviewing the programming of the Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus (VESDA).
The early signs are that something similar happened again at Phase II, with leaking hoses having caused the suppression system to release water onto battery racks, which then produced smoke as damage was done to batteries. The suppression system did however contain the event.
Another investigation is now underway to find out what caused the detection system to activate and trigger the chain of events at Phase II, which came online in August 2021.
Vistra Energy is preparing to expand the facility even further to 750MW/3,000MWh, after signing off-take agreement contracts with California investor-owned utility (IOU) Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for the next 350MW/1,400MWh phase which should come online by June next year if the agreement is approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
In a recent interview for our quarterly journal PV Tech Power, Paul Rogers, a former firefighter-turned-subject matter expert in battery energy storage said that for fire crews, fire and explosion incidents will be extremely rare, but could be high risk events when they do occur.
US Embassy in Kyiv destroying documents as drawdown underway | TheHill
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 16:01
The U.S. drawdown of its embassy in Kyiv has included the destruction of some immigration and travel documents as part of protocol to protect sensitive information, according to notes from a phone call between the Biden administration and Congress and shared with The Hill.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken Antony BlinkenOvernight Defense & National Security '-- US officials accuse Russia of lying Harris to meet with Ukraine's Zelensky in Munich US says Russia has added troops at border despite pullback claims MORE announced on Monday that the U.S. would shutter its embassy in Kyiv amid threats of a Russian invasion into Ukraine that officials warn could be launched at any time.
The document destruction was discussed in a call on Feb. 12 between Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Brian McKeon and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Gregory Meeks Gregory Weldon MeeksUS Embassy in Kyiv destroying documents as drawdown underway Malinowski is latest lawmaker to test COVID-19 positive after Ukraine trip Pelosi calls for Moscow, Putin to 'feel the pain' if Russia strikes Ukraine MORE (D-N.Y.), notes of which were provided to congressional staff and obtained by The Hill.
The documents being destroyed include green card and non-processed passport documents.
Among the updates McKeon provided to Meeks was that while the State Department does not have an exact picture of the numbers of Americans in Ukraine, about 2,100 responded to an online survey, with half stating their intention to stay in the country.
McKeon also conveyed to the chairman that embassies in the region, in Warsaw, Poland, for example, are preparing for an influx of Ukrainian refugees and processing of American citizens.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Monday said in a briefing with reporters that he could not offer details on the destruction of documents at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, but said that no valid passports were destroyed.
''There are a standard set of procedures that we set into motion when we do begin an embassy drawdown,'' Price said. ''We have undertaken prudent precautions when it comes to sensitive documents, sensitive equipment, but just can't offer a whole lot of detail there.''
Price said the embassy compound is being guarded by the Ukrainian National Guard Police and that it is the intention for American diplomats to eventually return to the embassy in Kyiv.
Diplomats from Kyiv are being relocated to the U.S. mission in Lviv, a city that sits closer to the border with Poland. The Biden administration has issued urgent instructions since last week for Americans to depart Ukraine amid the threat of an outbreak of conflict, warning it would not carry out a mass evacuation.
But the administration has stressed it is still vigorously pursuing diplomacy with Moscow and that keeping communication open is part of efforts to stave off a likely Russian invasion. This includes that the U.S. is expected to receive written responses from Russia to correspondence earlier sent from Washington that offered talks to address mutual security concerns.
Here's what we know about what caused last week's boil-water notice in Austin | KUT Radio, Austin's NPR Station
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 16:00
Published February 15, 2022 at 4:27 PM CST
Lee esta historia en espa±ol.
As Austinites emerged last week from three days of having to boil their tap water before drinking it, they and their elected officials had questions. Most notably: What happened?
Austin Water initially attributed the problem to ''employee error,'' but provided few details. Then, last Friday, there was a flurry of news. The public utility's director, Greg Meszaros, resigned and also released a memo clarifying several points about what happened. First, the utility placed three employees on administrative leave in relation to the error that caused the boil-water notice. And second, the error appeared to be an oversaturation of calcium carbonate during the water treatment process.
On Tuesday, Austin City Council members held a public meeting where they questioned Austin Water staff about the incident. There's now a clearer picture of what happened nearly two weeks ago that forced Austin residents to boil their tap water.
''I am just profoundly sorry that we had this event,'' Meszaros said Tuesday.
Here's what we know:
So, what happened?
According to details released last week in a memo and told to council members today, employees made a mistake at the city's oldest water treatment plant, the Ullrich Plant, on the night of Friday, Feb. 4.
In the process of preparing a basin to treat incoming river water, employees added too much of a mixture containing calcium carbonate. That mixture is supposed to be poured into the basin over several hours, but for some reason it continued overnight, resulting in high levels of what the utility calls ''turbidity,'' or cloudiness, in the water.
While this problem appears to have happened overnight, the high turbidity wasn't widely detected by utility staff until 8 a.m. Saturday. That's when they began the process of shutting down the treatment plant and communicating with the state about issuing a boil-water notice.
Isn't there a system in place to alert employees when something like this goes wrong?
Apparently, there is. According to Meszaros, both auditory and visual alarms go off when the system detects a high level of turbidity '-- and these alarms were functioning at the time.
''To the best of all of my knowledge, our alarms were working,'' Meszaros said Tuesday. ''But the decision-making for that was where it was breaking down. I don't fully understand that now. I think that's things that we're still investigating.''
''As this situation intensified during the night, there was not a call for help," Meszaros said. "[The staff] felt they had it handled."
Couldn't employees have isolated this one basin from the others, so that the excess calcium carbonate didn't make its way farther through the treatment system?
Yes, this was an option, Meszaros said, but it wasn't employed.
''You can isolate individual filters. You can isolate those from the control room. You just press a button,'' he said. ''We don't entirely understand why some of that wasn't done '... why that plant staff shift thought they could handle it on their own.''
Austin Water runs two 12-hour shifts at its Ullrich Plant, Meszaros said. He said there may have been a breakdown in communication when one shift switched to the next. That's something the utility is looking into, he said.
So, this was an issue of employee negligence?
Meszaros has not called it that. In fact, he has denied this.
''There is no evidence of what I would describe as gross negligence by our employees,'' he said. ''Nothing where employees were sleeping on duty, where they left the plant, where they were fabricating data.''
Council members have questioned staff about the training employees are expected to have. Rick Coronado, assistant director at Austin Water, said that facility operators must have a license from the state and that every employee had met these criteria. Regardless, he said Tuesday, the utility was looking into its training protocols.
Meszaros did say the public utility has experienced a high rate of turnover recently. Twenty people left the utility in January. Meszaros said that was the highest number of departures Austin Water has had in one month.
''We used to have a lot of operators that had 20 years experience, 25 years experience," he said. "Those days are gone."
Was any of this a result of Austin Water being underfunded?
Meszaros said definitively, no.
''In my 15 years as director, whenever we have proposed a rate increase or a need to fund a project '... in the end we got the support we needed. This wasn't because we didn't get funding from the council or along the way,'' he said.
The utility's operating budget is $654 million for the current fiscal year, and it expects to earn $4 million more than it spends.
''I have never experienced that the system was starved for funding,'' Meszaros said.
What happens now?
Austin Water is finishing an internal investigation, which Meszaros expects to be complete in a week.
At the same time, the Austin City Council will vote Thursday on whether to hire a third-party to look into what happened. It's unclear yet when that investigation will conclude.
Meszaros also said the utility is considering giving customers credit on their upcoming bills to make up for the inconvenience.
Covid Patients May Have Higher Risk of Mental Health Problems - The New York Times
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 15:33
A new, large study found that in the year after getting Covid, people were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with psychiatric disorders they hadn't had than people who didn't get infected.
A patient is treated for Covid-19 in a respiratory isolation room at Providence Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, Calif. Credit... Shannon Stapleton/Reuters Feb. 16, 2022
Social isolation, economic stress, loss of loved ones and other struggles during the pandemic have contributed to rising mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
But can having Covid itself increase the risk of developing mental health problems? A large new study suggests it can.
The study, published Wednesday in the journal The BMJ, analyzed records of nearly 154,000 Covid patients in the Veterans Health Administration system and compared their experience in the year after they recovered from their initial infection with that of a similar group of people who did not contract the virus.
The study included only patients who had no mental health diagnoses or treatment for at least two years before becoming infected with the coronavirus, allowing researchers to focus on psychiatric diagnoses and treatment that occurred after coronavirus infection.
People who had Covid were 39 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression and 35 percent more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety over the months following infection than people without Covid during the same period, the study found. Covid patients were 38 percent more likely to be diagnosed with stress and adjustment disorders and 41 percent more likely to be diagnosed with sleep disorders than uninfected people.
''There appears to be a clear excess of mental health diagnoses in the months after Covid,'' said Dr. Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Oxford, who was not involved in the study. He said the results echoed the emerging picture from other research, including a 2021 study on which he was an author, and ''it strengthens the case that there is something about Covid that is leaving people at greater risk of common mental health conditions.''
The data does not suggest that most Covid patients will develop mental health symptoms. Only between 4.4 percent and 5.6 percent of those in the study received diagnoses of depression, anxiety or stress and adjustment disorders.
''It's not an epidemic of anxiety and depression, fortunately,'' Dr. Harrison said. ''But it's not trivial.''
Researchers also found that Covid patients were 80 percent more likely to develop cognitive problems like brain fog, confusion and forgetfulness than those who didn't have Covid. They were 34 percent more likely to develop opioid use disorders, possibly from drugs prescribed for pain, and 20 percent more likely to develop non-opioid substance use disorders including alcoholism, the study reported.
After having Covid, people were 55 percent more likely to be taking prescribed antidepressants and 65 percent more likely to be taking prescribed anti-anxiety medications than contemporaries without Covid, the study found.
Overall, more than 18 percent of the Covid patients received a diagnosis of or prescription for a neuropsychiatric issue in the following year, compared with less than 12 percent of the non-Covid group. Covid patients were 60 percent more likely to fall into those categories than people who didn't have Covid, the study found.
The study found that patients hospitalized for Covid were more likely to be diagnosed with mental health issues than those with less serious coronavirus infections. But people with mild initial infections were still at greater risk than people without Covid.
''Some people always argue that 'Oh, well, maybe people are depressed because they needed to go to the hospital and they spent like a week in the I.C.U.,''' said the senior author of the study, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of research and development at the V.A. St. Louis Health Care System and a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis. ''In people who weren't hospitalized for Covid-19, the risk was lower but certainly significant. And most people don't need to be hospitalized, so that is really the group that's representative of most people with Covid-19.''
The team also compared mental health diagnoses for people hospitalized for Covid with those hospitalized for any other reason. ''Whether people were hospitalized for heart attacks or chemotherapy or whatever other conditions, the Covid-19 group exhibited a higher risk,'' Dr. Al-Aly said.
The study involved electronic medical records of 153,848 adults who tested positive for the coronavirus between March 1, 2020, and Jan. 15, 2021, and survived for at least 30 days. Because it was early in the pandemic, very few were vaccinated before infection. The patients were followed until Nov. 30, 2021. Dr. Al-Aly said his team was planning to analyze whether subsequent vaccination modified people's mental health symptoms, as well as other post-Covid medical issues the group has studied.
The Covid patients were compared with more than 5.6 million patients in the Veterans system who did not test positive for the coronavirus and more than 5.8 million patients from before the pandemic, in the period spanning March 2018 through January 2019. To try to gauge the mental health impact of Covid-19 against that of another virus, the patients were also compared with about 72,000 patients who had the flu during the two and a half years before the pandemic. (Dr. Al-Aly said there were too few flu cases during the pandemic to provide a contemporaneous comparison.)
The researchers tried to minimize differences between groups by adjusting for many demographic characteristics, pre-Covid health conditions, residence in nursing homes and other variables.
In the year after their infection, the Covid patients had higher rates of mental health diagnoses than the other groups.
''It's not really surprising to me because we've been seeing this,'' said Dr. Maura Boldrini, an associate professor of psychiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center. ''It's striking to me how many times we've seen people with these new symptoms with no previous psychiatric history.''
Most veterans in the study were men, three-quarters were white and their average age was 63, so the findings may not apply to all Americans. Still, the study included over 1.3 million women and 2.1 million Black patients, and Dr. Al-Aly said ''we found evidence of increased risk regardless of age, race or gender.''
There are several possible reasons for the increase in mental health diagnoses, Dr. Al-Aly and outside experts said. Dr. Boldrini said she believed the symptoms were most likely influenced by both biological factors and the psychological stresses associated with having an illness.
''In psychiatry, it almost always is an interplay,'' she said.
Research, including brain autopsies of patients who died of Covid-19, has found evidence that Covid infection can generate inflammation or tiny blood clots in the brain, and can cause small and large strokes, said Dr. Boldrini, who has conducted some of these studies. In some people, the immune response that is activated to fight against a coronavirus infection may not shut down effectively once the infection is gone, which can fuel inflammation, she said.
''Inflammatory markers can disrupt the ability of the brain to function in many ways, including the ability of the brain to make serotonin, which is fundamental for mood and sleep,'' Dr. Boldrini said.
By themselves, such brain changes may or may not cause psychological problems. But, if someone is experiencing stress from having felt physically ill or because having Covid disrupted their lives and routines, she said, ''you may be more prone to not being able to cope because your brain is not functioning 100 percent.''
Dr. Harrison, who has conducted other studies with large electronic medical databases, noted that such analyses can miss more granular information about patients. He also said that some people in the comparison groups might have had Covid and not been tested to confirm it, and that some Covid patients might have been more likely to receive diagnoses because they were more worried about their health after Covid or because doctors were quicker to identify psychological symptoms.
''There's no one analysis that tells you the whole story,'' Dr. Al-Aly said. ''Maybe all of us or most of us experienced some sort of an emotional distress or mental health stress or some sleep problem,'' he added. ''But people with Covid did worse.''
Nancy Pelosi warns fellow Democrats of "electronic Watergate break-in" - CBS News
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 14:07
EDGARTOWN, Massachusetts -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi warned fellow Democrats on Saturday to change their cellphone numbers and not let family members read their text messages after personal and official information of Democratic House members and congressional staff was posted online.
Pelosi told Democratic lawmakers that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and other Democratic Party entities were the target of "an electronic Watergate break-in."
As a result, a mix of personal and official information of Democratic members and hundreds of congressional staff, purportedly from a hack of the DCCC, was posted online, Pelosi said.
Russians behind DNC breach? 02:43 Pelosi said she was flying from Florida to California when she heard about the posting of information such as cell phone numbers.
"Upon landing, I have received scores of mostly obscene and sick calls, voicemails and text messages," Pelosi said in her letter to colleagues. "Please be careful not to allow your children or family members to answer your phone or read incoming text messages. This morning, I am changing my phone number and I advise you to do so as well. "
Pelosi said the chief information security officer of the House, in coordination with Capitol Police, has sent communications to those people whose email addresses have been made public about how to address the problem. The chief administrative officer of the House has also sent an email stating that the House computer system has not been compromised, but urged members and staff to be vigilant about opening emails and websites.
The latest document dump comes just as the Democratic party is still reeling from controversial emails posted to WikiLeaks ahead of the national convention.
The emails, originating from Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers, seemed to show party officials' bias against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent, who was running in the Democratic primary against Hillary Clinton. The documents caused widespread uproar over the perceived favoritism towards Clinton, leading to the resignation of top party officials like then-DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.
U.S. officials believed Russian hackers were responsible for the initial cyber breach, after they found Russian "fingerprints" left behind.
Rep. Ben Ray Lujn, D-New Mexico, was also holding a conference call with lawmakers on Saturday evening along with cybersecurity experts who have been investigating and responding to the breach.
"This is a sad course of events, not only for us, but more importantly for our country," Pelosi said in urging lawmakers to join the conference call with Lujan.
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Israeli 'Freedom Convoy' blocks main highway in protest of COVID measures - Israel News - Haaretz.com
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 13:57
Dozens of cars briefly blocked a main highway in Israel for a short while on Monday in protest of coronavirus regulations, causing heavy traffic at the entrance to Jerusalem.
Based off of a similar protest movement in Canada, the convoy of anti-vaccine activists aimed to reach the Knesset, and hung signs on their cars reading "liberty," "new world order," "no more restrictions, going back to normal," "cancel the mask mandate" and "a free nation in our country," among other slogans.
"I"m here for my children, so that they can have a better world," one of the protesters explained. "Rights are being taken away from citizens with no real justification, and we need to fight that." She added, "We are no one's enemies."
An Israeli flag bearing the name of a pharmaceutical company Pfizer presented alongside a Canadian flag on Monday. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Thousands participated in the protest, as some were driving toward Jerusalem and the rest were standing at junctions and bridges along Route 1.
According to public health experts, Israel's COVID-19 vaccination drive has saved an estimated 20,000 lives over the course of the two-year pandemic.
Israelis over 60 who are either unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated against COVID-19 died in significantly higher numbers last month compared to people in their age cohort who are fully vaccinated, according to official figures published by the Israeli Health Ministry.
A car, which is part of an Israeli 'Freedom Convoy,' displays an Israeli and a Canadian flag as it heads to Jerusalem on Monday. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
The numbers show that while only approximately 12 percent of Israelis over 60 are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, together they account for 43 percent of COVID deaths in their age group in the previous month.
COVID vaccine poses no danger to pregnancies, Israeli study shows One in three Israelis contracted COVID since pandemic started Israel to offer new COVID antibody drug for at-risk people The first so-called "Freedom Convoy" was held last month in Canada, in which a blockade of trucks and cars blocked traffic at the border crossing with the United States, as well as on major streets, in protest of COVID-19 restrictions. Its organizers count QAnon conspiracy theory supporters and far-right activists.
Similar protests took place in New Zealand, Australia, France and Holland.
In the New Zealand capital of Wellington on Monday, authorities tried blasting Barry Manilow songs and the 90s dance hit ''Macarena'' on loop in an unsuccessful attempt to break up a convoy of protesters that has been encamped outside Parliament for nearly a week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Mexico says conspiracy behind avocado ban; US cites violence | AP News
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 13:42
MEXICO CITY (AP) '-- Mexico's president said Monday the U.S. suspension on avocado imports and recent environmental complaints are part of a conspiracy against his country by political or economic interests.
President Andr(C)s Manuel L"pez Obrador put forward the conspiracy theory after the U.S. suspended imports of Mexican avocados on the eve of the Super Bowl following a threat against a U.S. plant safety inspector in Mexico.
In fact, the U.S. measure was due to years of worries that drug cartel violence in the western Mexico state of Michoacan '-- where gangs extort money from avocado and lime growers by threatening to kidnap and kill them '-- has spilled over to threats against U.S. inspectors.
The out-of-control violence in Michoacan reached a new height Monday, when prosecutors said they were investigating what appears to be the first civilian death caused by land mines being planted by warring drug gangs.
The state prosecutor's office said the 79-year-old farmer was killed in the front-line township of Tepalcatepec when his pickup truck drove over an improvised explosive device over the weekend. His 45-year-old son was wounded.
The cartels fighting for control of Michoacan '-- the only state that exports avocados to the U.S. '-- have already used trenches, pillboxes, homemade armored cars, rocket-propelled grenades and drones modified to drop small bombs.
But last week an army vehicle was disabled by an IED planted on a road, and 10 soldiers were injured by the mine or other weapons. That was the first known successful use of IEDs against a military target in Mexico.
L"pez Obrador has downplayed the violence, and he sought to do the same with the avocado ban, saying Monday that avocados for game day itself had already been shipped north and consumed. ''The truth, the Mexican avocados have already been exported,'' he said at his daily news briefing. ''They already enjoyed the avocados.''
On the other hand, he said producers who wanted to compete with Mexican products, or political factors, played a role in the decision.
''In all of this there are also a lot of political interests and political interests, there is competition; they don't want Mexican avocados to get into the United States, right, because it would rule in the United States because of its quality,'' L"pez Obrador said.
He did not explain what those interests were, but noted ominously, ''There are other countries that are interested in selling avocados, as in the case of other farm products, so they lobby, they look for senators, professional public (relations) people and agencies, to put up obstacles.''
In fact, the U.S. grows about half the avocados it consumes and to protect domestic orchards from pests, inspects imported avocados '-- nearly 90% of which came from Mexico in recent years.
It was only in 1997 that the U.S. lifted a ban on Mexican avocados that had been in place since 1914 to prevent a range of weevils, scabs and pests from entering U.S. orchards.
The inspectors work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services.
On Saturday, the U.S. government suspended all imports of Mexican avocados ''until further notice'' after one of those inspectors in Mexico received a threatening message.
Mexico's Agriculture Department said in a statement that ''U.S. health authorities ... made the decision after one of their officials, who was carrying out inspections in Uruapan, Michoacan, received a threatening message on his official cellphone,'' the department wrote.
U.S. officials say the security-related suspension of inspections doesn't necessarily suspend all exports. Theoretically, Mexican avocados that were already inspected before Saturday could still be exported.
Avocado growers in Mexico have been the victims of drug cartel turf battles and extortion in the western state of Michoacan, the only state in Mexico fully authorized to export to the U.S. market. After a similar incident in 2019, the USDA warned Mexico it would suspend the program if the inspectors' safety wasn't guaranteed.
But the avocado ban was just the latest of several actual or potential sanctions last week on Mexican exports stemming from the Mexican government's inability to rein in illegal activities.
On Thursday, the U.S. Trade Representative's Office filed an environmental complaint against Mexico for failing to stop illegal fishing to protect the critically endangered vaquita marina, the world's smallest porpoise.
And on Monday, Mexican fishing boats in the Gulf of Mexico were ''prohibited from entering U.S. ports, will be denied port access and services,'' the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said, in response to years of Mexican boats illegally poaching red snapper in U.S. waters in the Gulf.
L"pez Obrador dismissed those moves as part of the same conspiracy.
''If it isn't this one thing (the threatened U.S. inspector), it's another thing, the vaquita marina, or the dolphins,'' L"pez Obrador said. ''But the truth is there is always something else behind it, an economic or commercial interest, or a political attitude.''
L"pez Obrador has been accused of a cavalier attitude toward environmental norms and has criticized foreign or nonprofit environmental or civic groups.
''We don't need foreigners telling us what to do or placing sanction on our country's fishermen,'' L"pez Obrador said last year.
For Insect Farming to Work, Scientists Need to Build a Better Bug | WIRED
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 13:31
It'll also require more meatier and faster-growing bugs. One of the major components of chicken feed is soy, which is extremely cheap and widely used across the world. If insect farmers want to start replacing cheap commodity crops like soy, then they'll need to find a way to bring down costs.
That's where insect geneticists like Picard come in. ''There's just not enough production right now,'' she says. Tuure Parviainen, CEO of Finnish insect farming startup Volare, agrees. ''The demand is there, but the production needs to be taken to quite a large scale for the big producers to actually start making a product,'' he says. This is just as true for pet food as it is for poultry: The volumes are so huge that big manufacturers aren't quite ready to go all-in on insects. ''The supply is not really there so that they could flip a switch and change ingredients yet,'' says Parviainen.
One way to ramp up is to make sure that insect farms are as productive as possible. Scotland-based startup Beta Bugs runs breeding programs to develop more productive versions of the black soldier fly'--one of the most commonly farmed insects. ''What we have is effectively a very kind of raw material which can then be improved through selective breeding,'' says CEO Thomas Farrugia. ''Increasingly I think people are starting to realize that this is how we make the industry scale over time.''
Fortunately for insect breeders like Farrugia, time is on their side. Although it might have taken humans thousands of years of breeding to come up with modern cow varieties, insects have much, much shorter life cycles. A black soldier fly is ready to harvest about 14 days after hatching. Its entire life cycle can take around six weeks. ''What this means is that you can cram a hell of a lot of selective breeding in a year,'' says Farrugia. The trick to breeding a better bug, Farrugia says, is to balance different traits off against each other. You could have one variety of bug that produces lots and lots of skinny larvae, or another that produces a smaller number of fatter young. As larvae mature, the nutrients inside them also change, so one of the tricks of breeding is hitting the sweet spot between fat, juicy bugs and those that are at the right stage in their life cycle.
That said, they don't want insects that mature too quickly, because the insects are shipped to insect farms while they're still in the egg stage, to make sure they're fresh when they arrive. Beta Bugs breeds its black soldier flies in a facility just outside of Edinburgh. From there, eggs are packaged and sent across the EU. Picking the right courier is key, Farrugia says. Black soldier fly eggs hatch in about four days, so if a package is delayed the customer may end up with a delivery that is slightly more alive than they anticipated.
In France, Å¸nsect has launched a breeding program to study the genetics of Tenebrio molitor, the mealworm beetle. The company has already collaborated with the French national center of genome sequencing, Genoscope, to sequence the mealworm's genome and has also identified a strain of the buffalo worm, a close relative of the mealworm, that grows 25 percent faster than the original strain.
Will We Soon Be Eating Chicken Grown From Animal Cells? - The New York Times
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 12:57
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EMERYVILLE, Calif. '-- Until I read the release form, I wasn't concerned that the bite of saut(C)ed chicken breast I was about to eat had taken less than three weeks to grow from a few cells inside a laboratory tank to a thick sheet of meat.
Would I assume full responsibility, the form asked, for any personal injury, property damage or death that came from ingesting meat ''whose properties are not completely known''?
I was in the airy test kitchen and production center that Upside Foods opened four months ago in a Bay Area residential shopping district as part of its quest to sell chicken grown from animal stem cells, first in the United States and then globally. They hope other foods, including beef, duck and lobster, won't be far behind.
''We just cannot take for granted that what we eat now is the gold standard,'' said Dr. Uma Valeti, the cardiologist who helped start the company in 2015 after he became convinced that the same medical technology used to grow stem cells to repair a human heart could also grow food.
''We are changing the paradigm,'' he said. ''We are detaching the meat from the animal.''
Image The Upside Foods chef Daniel Davila tested a few recipes with the chief operating officer, Amy Chen, right, and Maria Occarina Macedo, the brand and creative director. Credit... Gabriela Hasbun for The New York Times Image Uma Valeti, a co-founder of Upside Foods, began working on the idea while he was still a practicing cardiologist in Minnesota. Credit... Gabriela Hasbun for The New York Times Tissue engineers and scientists in several countries are trying to find a commercially viable way to transform animal stem cells into a marbled Wagyu steak, briny oysters or sushi-grade salmon. Their work is fed by nearly $3 billion in investments from companies like Archer-Daniels-Midland and the Brazilian meat giant JBS; billionaires like Bill Gates; environmentally minded celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio; and government agencies including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Qatar Investment Authority.
The global market for what is most commonly known as cell-based or cultivated meat could reach $25 billion by 2030, according to the consultants McKinsey & Company. That would be a tiny slice of the projected $1.4 trillion meat market, but one that food companies see as a key player in the fast-growing category called alternative meat.
Growing cells into meat remains the Wild West of food production. Although companies are racing to file for patents, and guard breakthroughs in cell technology like gold, almost a decade after the first cell-grown hamburger was introduced at a packed media event, the notion of buying an engineered steak at the grocery store remains an expensive theory.
Only about 700 people in the world have ever purchased cellular meat '-- most of it ground, breaded and fried, and all of it in Singapore, which became the first nation to grant regulatory approval in 2020. And though the United States isn't far behind (the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration could finish writing rules about how to produce and sell cultured meat by the end of the year) all of this is still a long way from the grocery store.
There are plenty of questions about whether producers will ever master the technology and build plants big enough to make commercially viable amounts of the meat at a price consumers will pay.
But as the theoretical keeps inching closer to reality, curious cooks and adventurous diners are taking a closer look at whether farming meat cells will '-- or should '-- be widely embraced, the way plant-based meat substitutes have been.
''I'm not excited about it, but I wouldn't bet against it,'' said the restaurateur Danny Meyer, who added that he has yet to see evidence that cell-based meat is healthier, better for the planet or not just for elite diners. ''I want to buy food for dinner, not a science experiment.''
For true believers, growing meat in tanks is a way to lessen the environmental impact of industrial meat production and relieve animal suffering. It could reduce food-borne illnesses, they say, and create an abundant meat supply to feed the world.
Opponents say the process ignores both culture and nature, and could be scientifically risky, creating potential allergens and untested byproducts, along with waste that might be a biohazard. And it ignores the value of time-tested regenerative agricultural practices in favor of unproven claims of environmental gain.
''If for any reason someone wants to avoid animal protein, why not just eat plants and foods made with plants?'' said Alan Lewis, who oversees governmental affairs for the Natural Grocers health food chain. ''The obsession with the taste and texture of meat I can understand. But taking the leap of faith to consuming synthetic protein seems entirely unnecessary.''
The chef Jos(C) Andr(C)s believes in the meat's potential, and plans to serve it at one of his restaurants once it becomes available. He recently joined the board of Good Meat, a division of Eat Just that makes plant-based eggs from mung beans. In 2020, Good Meat became the first company in the world to sell cultivated meat. It debuted at a private club in Singapore, which tucked the meat into a bao bun and turned it into a crisp patty on a maple waffle.
Upside Foods has signed a multiyear consulting contract with Dominique Crenn, whose San Francisco restaurant Atelier Crenn has three Michelin stars. She serves no chicken or red meat on her tasting menu, but has promised to add the company's chicken and help promote it.
Image Daniel Davila, a product development scientist for Upside Foods, cooks and develops recipes in the company's new test kitchen. Credit... Gabriela Hasbun for The New York Times Image Mr. Davila prepared a saut(C)ed cultivated chicken breast with beurre blanc, tomatoes and charred scallions for a recent tasting with a reporter. Credit... Gabriela Hasbun for The New York Times When Dr. Valeti approached Ms. Crenn last year, her initial thought was, ''No way.'' But then she thought, why not? ''I love farmers and ranchers. That is not what I am against. I am against factory farming. That is not sustainable.''
At her first tasting, she thought the breast meat was a bit mushy, but the flavor reminded her of poulet rouge, a heritage breed from France.
Michal Ansky, an Israeli food journalist who hosts ''MasterChef Israel'' and has opened several farmers' markets, also is a fan. She tried cell-based chicken in January during a blind tasting set up by SuperMeat, one of several cell-based meat companies in Israel.
She and a panel sampled it alongside traditionally grown minced chicken. Ms. Ansky was convinced that the better-tasting chicken came from an animal. She was wrong, and became a convert. She even thinks the meat could even find a place at farmers' markets.
''Food is more than ingredients,'' Ms. Ansky said in a phone interview from Tel Aviv. ''Food is about memory and tradition and identity and longing. If my grandmother was still alive and could make her chicken soup with the lab meat, many lives would be better.''
In 20 years, she said, ''people will look at us as crazy people who slaughtered chickens.''
The chef Dan Barber, co-owner of the Blue Hill restaurants in New York State, said lab-grown food enriches no one but the investors, and ignores the environmental and phytochemical benefits that come when animals feed on pasture, which translates into both flavor and better nutrition. ''As they say, 'It's not the cow, it's the how,''' he said.
The meteoric rise of highly processed plant-based proteins has kicked open the door for cellular agriculture. It's been only six years since Impossible Foods introduced a patty made with soy leghemoglobin to mimic beef blood. Now McDonald's is testing a McPlant burger, and KFC is selling plant-based chicken nuggets from Beyond Meat.
Cultivated meat is an entirely different creature. It begins with stem cells from an animal biopsy, an egg or even a feather that multiply rapidly in a stainless steel tank called a bioreactor or cultivator. The cells feed on a complex broth that contains nutrients like carbohydrates and amino acids, and some type of growth factor, to become muscle, fat or connective tissue. Taste and nutrition are controlled by cell selection and the broth they grow in.
Image Minced cultivated chicken served as pt(C). Credit... Gabriela Hasbun for The New York Times Image Mr. Valeti said the specially designed bioreactors in the new Upside Foods research and production center in Emeryville, Calif., will be able to produce tens of thousands of pounds of meat. Credit... Gabriela Hasbun for The New York Times Making a product that looks like ground meat is easier than replicating traditional cuts. To create something that looks like a steak or a chop, some companies use an edible scaffold that the cells can attach to. Scientists are experimenting with biological 3-D printing technology originally designed to rebuild human tissue, using it instead to turn layers of muscle and fat tissue into Wagyu-style beef.
Image Pt(C), breakfast patties and link sausage made from cultivated chicken are all being tested at Upside Foods. Credit... Gabriela Hasbun for The New York Times Image Products that mimic whole muscle meat like this chicken breast can be challenging to produce. Credit... Gabriela Hasbun for The New York Times And the taste? In the Upside Food test kitchen, I sampled a slightly grainy chicken pt(C) and a perfectly round breakfast patty blended with plant-based proteins that fried up nicely. Generous seasoning masked the flavor of the meat.
The breast I ate came from tissue that had grown short meat fibers and had been pressed into plastic molds to approximate the size and shape of a small boneless breast. It had less chew but much more flavor than a typical grocery-store breast. The biggest difference was how the meat reacted in a pan. As it browned, the surface looked more like coarsely ground meat than whole muscle.
What to call meat grown in tanks remains a battle. The United States Cattlemen's Association petitioned the Department of Agriculture in 2018 to limit the definition of meat and beef to products derived from animals born, raised and harvested in the traditional manner. The request was denied. States have jumped in. In Georgia, cell-cultured products have to be labeled ''lab-grown,'' ''lab-created'' or ''grown in a lab.''
Most producers prefer the term cultivated meat, or cultured meat. The terms slaughter-free meat or clean meat are favored by some in the animal-rights contingent. Cooks, ranchers and others who oppose it call it synthetic, fake or engineered meat. The debate is likely to be settled, at least legally, when the agriculture department decides what to require on the label.
David Kaplan oversees the new National Institute for Cellular Agriculture at Tufts University, which in October received a $10 million grant from the Department of Agriculture to study cellular meat, from production to consumer acceptance. He prefers the term cultured meat. ''Really, there is nothing artificial about this,'' he said.
Dr. Kaplan and others acknowledge that squeamishness about the technology remains a hurdle. In a consumer survey released this year by Britain's Food Standards Agency, only a third of those polled said they would try it. Just one in 10 Americans would be interested in trying food or beverages grown from cells, said Dasha Shor, an associate director of the market research firm Mintel.
The first consumer products will likely be a blend of plant-based proteins and cell-grown meat, she said, adding that younger people are more open to cultivated meat than their elders, which is why companies like Aleph Farms, in Israel, are recruiting members of Generation Z as cell-meat ambassadors.
Josh Tetrick, a founder and the chief executive of Eat Just, thinks acceptance is just a matter of time. ''When the freezer came out, people thought it was bizarre, too,'' he said.
Isha Datar is the executive director of New Harvest, a nonprofit institute that funds open, public research into cellular agriculture. In an October TED Talk that's been viewed 1.6 million times, she contends that growing cells for meat offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fix a broken agricultural system. It could be as revolutionary, she says, as the transition from hunting to farming.
But she cautions that investors and companies have too much control over a process that, like making beer or cheese or growing vegetables, shouldn't be treated as intellectual property.
''What does it mean for one company to own the recipe for meat?'' she said. ''It has the capacity to be very good and to be very bad.''
Audio produced by Tally Abecassis.
A Woman Is Cured of H.I.V. Using a Novel Treatment
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 12:55
A woman of mixed race appears to be the third person ever to be cured of H.I.V., using a new transplant method involving umbilical cord blood that opens up the possibility of curing more people of diverse racial backgrounds than was previously possible, scientists announced on Tuesday.
Cord blood is more widely available than the adult stem cells used in the bone marrow transplants that cured the previous two patients, and it does not need to be matched as closely to the recipient. Most donors in registries are of Caucasian origin, so allowing for only a partial match has the potential to cure dozens of Americans who have both H.I.V. and cancer each year, scientists said.
The woman, who also had leukemia, received cord blood to treat her cancer. It came from a partially matched donor, instead of the typical practice of finding a bone marrow donor of similar race and ethnicity to the patient's. She also received blood from a close relative to give her body temporary immune defenses while the transplant took.
Researchers presented some of the details of the new case on Tuesday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Denver, Colo.
The sex and racial background of the new case mark a significant step forward in developing a cure for H.I.V., the researchers said.
''The fact that she's mixed race, and that she's a woman, that is really important scientifically and really important in terms of the community impact,'' said Dr. Steven Deeks, an AIDS expert at the University of California, San Francisco who was not involved in the work.
Infection with H.I.V. is thought to progress differently in women than in men, but while women account for more than half of H.I.V cases in the world, they make up only 11 percent of participants in cure trials.
But Dr. Deeks said he did not see the new approach becoming commonplace. ''These are stories of providing inspiration to the field and perhaps the road map,'' he said.
Powerful antiretroviral drugs can control H.I.V., but a cure is key to ending the decades-old pandemic. Worldwide, nearly 38 million people are living with H.I.V., and about 73 percent of them are receiving treatment.
A bone marrow transplant is not a realistic option for most patients. Such transplants are highly invasive and risky, so they are generally offered only to people with cancer who have exhausted all other options.
There have only been two known cases of an H.I.V. cure so far. Referred to as ''The Berlin Patient,'' Timothy Ray Brown stayed virus-free for 12 years, until he died in 2020 of cancer. In 2019, another patient, later identified as Adam Castillejo, was reported to be cured of H.I.V., confirming that Mr. Brown's case was not a fluke.
Both men received bone marrow transplants from donors who carried a mutation that blocks H.I.V. infection. The mutation has been identified in only about 20,000 donors, most of whom are of Northern European descent.
In the previous cases, as the bone marrow transplants replaced all of their immune systems, both men suffered punishing side effects, including graft versus host disease, a condition in which the donor's cells attack the recipient's body. Mr. Brown nearly died after his transplant. Mr. Castillejo's treatment was less intense, but in the year after his transplant, he lost nearly 70 pounds, developed a hearing loss and survived multiple infections, according to his doctors.
By contrast, the woman in the latest case left the hospital by day 17 after her transplant and did not develop graft versus host disease, said Dr. JingMei Hsu, the patient's physician at Weill Cornell Medicine. The combination of cord blood and her relative's cells might have spared her much of the brutal side effects of a typical bone marrow transplant, Dr. Hsu said.
''It was previously thought that graft versus host disease might be an important reason for an H.I.V. cure in the prior cases,'' said Dr. Sharon Lewin, president-elect of the International AIDS Society, who was not involved in the work. The new results dispel that idea, Dr. Lewin said.
The woman, who is now past middle age (she did not want to disclose her exact age because of privacy concerns), was diagnosed with H.I.V. in June 2013. Antiretroviral drugs kept her virus levels low. In March 2017, she was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia.
In August of that year, she received cord blood from a donor with the mutation that blocks H.I.V.'s entry into cells. But it can take about six weeks for cord blood cells to engraft, so she was also given partially matched blood stem cells from a first-degree relative.
The half-matched ''haplo'' cells from her relative propped up her immune system until the cord blood cells became dominant, making the transplant much less dangerous, said Dr. Marshall Glesby, an infectious diseases expert at Weill Cornell Medicine of New York and part of the research team.
''The transplant from the relative is like a bridge that got her through to the point of the cord blood being able to take over,'' he said.
The patient opted to discontinue antiretroviral therapy 37 months after the transplant. More than 14 months later, she now shows no signs of H.I.V. in blood tests, and does not seem to have detectable antibodies to the virus.
It's unclear exactly why stem cells from cord blood seem to work so well, experts said. One possibility is that they are more capable of adapting to a new environment, said Dr. Koen Van Besien, director of the transplant service at Weill Cornell. ''These are newborns, they are more adaptable,'' he said.
Cord blood may also contain elements beyond the stem cells that aid in the transplant.
''Umbilical stem cells are attractive,'' Dr. Deeks said. ''There's something magical about these cells and something magical perhaps about the cord blood in general that provides an extra benefit.''
Apoorva Mandavilli is a reporter for The New York Times, focusing on science and global health. She is the 2019 winner of the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting. @ apoorva_nyc
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Califf narrowly voted in as US FDA commissioner amid controversy around pharma ties
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 12:39
16 Feb 2022 --- Dr. Robert Califf has been narrowly confirmed as commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a final Senate vote of 50 to 46.
The verdict has been met with controversy, with some questioning his pharmaceutical connections. Additionally, industry organizations are now calling for key action items to be addressed, such as better funding and guidance for certain ingredients.
''Dr. Califf's confirmation comes at a pivotal time for this industry, which needs a robust and responsive FDA that enforces the law, addresses safety concerns and provides incentives for continued innovation and high-quality manufacturing,'' says Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).
US President Joe Biden initially nominated Califf late last year, following a six-year period with seven different commissioners. Notably, Califf, who has a background as a cardiologist, previously served for 11 months in 2016. At the time, he was voted in with 89 ''Yeas'' to just 4 ''Nays.'' Califf will take over from Janet Woodcock, who has been acting commissioner for the last year.
Sanders speaks out against nomination Yesterday's vote was ultimately swung by six Republicans who voted for Califf after five Democrats voted against the nomination.
Among the ''Nays'' was Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. He has drawn attention to Califf's ties with the pharmaceutical industry, arguing that drug companies have created a ''revolving door'' between the FDA and industry.
''Shockingly, nine out of the last ten FDA Commissioners went on to work for the pharmaceutical industry or to serve on a prescription drug company's board of directors. Unfortunately, Califf is not the exception to that rule,'' Sanders argued in December.
After leaving the FDA in 2017, Califf received consulting fees from Merck, Biogen and Eli Lilly. Sanders also says that according to Califf's financial disclosure form, he owns up to US$8 million in the stocks of major drug companies.
''That is exactly the close relationship Big Pharma has exploited to regulate the FDA, instead of the FDA regulating them.''
Bringing seasoned expertiseMeanwhile, Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina is among the Republicans supporting Califf. Ahead of the vote, he argued that Califf's ''robust'' agency and private sector experience will help US consumers return to normal life with the approval of tests, vaccines and therapeutics that are bringing the COVID-19 pandemic to an end.
''The silver lining of COVID-19 has been its ability to show the value of American innovation and ingenuity. No one understands that better than Califf. His expertise in translational science means that he understands what it takes to transform an idea from the research bench into a real solution for patients,'' stated Burr.
He also emphasizes that the FDA needs effective leadership in order to be ''forever changed'' for the better.
''Califf knows the agency well, understands the value of the innovation underway in academia and knows firsthand how the private sector is advancing cutting-edge science that can benefit all Americans.'' The FDA commissioner oversees the full breadth of the FDA portfolio and execution of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and other applicable laws.
NPA lays out action planThe Natural Products Association (NPA) is also congratulating Califf on his nomination, expressing hope of a regulatory path to cannabidiol (CBD) and NAC. In December, NPA sued the FDA over the use of NAC in supplements.
''This agency has been on the front lines of the pandemic for over two years, and we salute them for their extraordinary work during this time. Nonetheless, there are still glaring deficiencies in establishing a reasonable regulatory approach for certain products like CBD and NAC that need to be addressed immediately,'' says Danial Fabricant, president and CEO.
He continues that US consumers are turning more and more to natural products to prevent illness and support their immune systems. ''We want to work together to ensure that this healthy trend continues.''
CRN highlights safetyMeanwhile, the CRN is doubling down its calls for Califf to increase funding to the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs (ODSP) at FDA.
It also asks Califf to work with Congress on mandatory product listing for supplements, establish a legal market for hemp-derived CBD as a dietary supplement, and issue final guidance on probiotic labeling and new dietary ingredients.
Finally, the CRN says Califf should be proactive in enforcing the existing law to protect consumers and strengthen incentives for innovation.
''Together, we can work toward the shared goal of growing an innovative and safe dietary supplement marketplace that protects consumers while keeping at bay unnecessary regulatory burdens for industry,'' Mister concludes.
Sodium in the spotlightFinally, the American Heart Association (AHA) is thanking the Senate for its bipartisan support of an ''outstanding leader.''
''He will use his experience as a cardiologist to safeguard the health and well-being of people throughout the country and his background in research to prioritize science and evidence-based policymaking. His previous leadership of the FDA will enable him to hit the ground running and ensure the agency can meet the current public health threats,'' anticipates AHA's CEO Nancy Brown.
Looking ahead, the AHA advocates that the FDA empowers consumers to make healthier food choices by strengthening the criteria food and beverages must meet to be marketed as ''healthy.''
It also says the FDA should develop long-term sodium reduction targets for the food industry to lower the amount of sodium in the food supply. Late last year, the FDA introduced some voluntary reduction targets, which some said move the onus from consumers to food suppliers.
By Katherine Durrell
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Kremlin Teases 'Alternatives' To SWIFT If Sanctioned, Including Crypto, In "Fortress Russia" Strategy | ZeroHedge
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 12:28
NATO is now talking about Russia's failure to withdraw troops from near Ukraine even though on Tuesday the Kremlin had announced the start of a draw down of some military units in the south. "Russia's failure to withdraw can be confirmed through commercial satellite imagery," NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday.
His statement comes less than 24 hours after President Biden addressed the Ukraine situation in a televised speech wherein he alleged that a Russian attack on Ukraine is "still very much a possibility" and that the troop reduction is "not verified yet". Biden took the opportunity to again warn of "overwhelming international condemnation" and unprecedented sanctions, including "export controls...methods we did not pursue when Russia took Crimea in 2014."
As part of the "decisive response" the administration has said it has in its arsenal as a maximalist 'nuclear option' which would see Russia off from the international SWIFT payment settlement system. But Moscow was quick to respond Wednesday, with Finance Minister Anton Siluanov reaffirming his country has "prepared alternatives" which ensure such US sanctions while yet "unpleasant" would remain "not fatal". He assured in an online briefing that Russia will fulfill all settlements, and further that "Any restrictions on energy exports will be compensated by corresponding price growth."
Via TASS"Thank god we have enough forex liquidity and enough forex reserves," Siluanov told reporters in the briefing. "They say we have a financial shield in the form of gold and forex reserves, budget surplus and [budget] rule, low debt."
When it comes to the scenario of being cut off from SWIFT, which is being reported as possibly part of a sweeping sanctions package under preparation by US and European officials, Siluanov referenced the his country being able to withstand it, with plans being readied for a "Fortress Russia" approach:
"We expect the country's financial system to continue to focus inwards as part of the "Fortress Russia" strategy and advance digital and fintech sovereignty."
It was reported that as of early February, Russia possesses nearly $635 billion in gold and forex reserves. On the energy question, he affirmed that Russia stands ready to re-route to other markets.
The comment about advancing "digital and fintech sovereignty" is particularly interesting in light of President Putin's October 2021 statements wherein he rattled American financial officials after hinting that cryptocurrencies could be 'weaponized' as a dollar replacement.
"Like banning the internet..."
Russia's finance minister Anton Siluanov, says placing a ban on #bitcoin is ''same as banning the internet, which is impossible''. ð--¥ð--¥ pic.twitter.com/JT9KaSVvzE
'-- Crypto Relevant (@crypto_relevant) February 16, 2022At the time, the Russian president discussed potential use cases of cryptocurrencies in a CNBC interview following a plenary session of the ''Russian Energy Week forum, noting that while he considers cryptocurrency "crude and under-developed," it could "some day" be used instead of the US dollar to trade with.
"I believe that it has value," Putin told CNBC, when asked whether bitcoin or cryptocurrencies can be used in place of the US dollar.
"But I don't believe it can be used in the oil trade."
Later in the interview, Putin reiterated his criticisms about how Washington's abuse of the dollar's dominance is tantamount to brandishing an "economic weapon", and remains keen to ditch dollar-denominated payments.
But as we detailed at the time, given recent legislation as well as ongoing debate in the state parliament, there's been incredibly mixed signals out of Russia concerning crypto and its potential use as part of Russia's "alternatives" to SWIFT, but this current crisis is only likely to serve to push Moscow toward further favorability.
VP Harris visits Munich Security Conference as world wonders if Putin will blink - The Washington Post
Thu, 17 Feb 2022 11:59
MUNICH '-- On Thursday night, Kamala D. Harris will step off Air Force Two and onto the biggest international stage of her vice presidency.
Harris is leading the American delegation to the Munich Security Conference, a high-profile annual gathering with big stakes for the Biden presidency, Harris's political future '-- and a continent shadowed by one of the gravest military threats since World War II.
While Russian President Vladimir Putin masses 150,000 Russian troops on the Ukraine border, Harris will be holding a series of meetings with European leaders and delivering an address to hundreds of officials. It's a pivotal moment for a vice president with little foreign policy experience, one who has presidential ambitions but no long-term connection to President Biden.
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Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser under President Barack Obama, said that other nations will be turning to the U.S. '-- meaning Harris '-- for guidance, especially if hostilities erupt during the three-day conference, which starts Friday.
''If this war starts, everybody will be looking to her for 'Where are these sanctions?' and 'What are these sanctions?' and 'What are you guys prepared to do?' '' Rhodes said. ''And she could be the tip of the spear of a U.S. response.''
That could be a challenge for a political figure whose experience is almost entirely domestic, having been California attorney general and then a U.S. senator before becoming Biden's running mate. Her political instincts have been inconsistent; her presidential campaign imploded before a vote was cast, and a staff exodus has raised questions about her prospects.
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But Harris is also known as a charismatic personality who can be quick on her feet, and the summit gives her a rare opportunity to project a presidential stature on a global stage. ''If she's leading the delegation,'' Rhodes said, ''every eye in the room will be on her.''
And she will face an array of often-competing pressures from America's allies while in Munich. Countries such as France and Germany will be looking for Harris to emphasize diplomatic efforts to defuse the conflict. Other NATO allies, such as Britain, Poland and the Baltic nations, will want her to prioritize deterring Russian aggression by deploying arms and soldiers along Europe's eastern flank.
On Friday, Harris will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and will attend a multilateral meeting with members of the three Baltic states '-- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania '-- aides announced on Wednesday. On Saturday, she will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany.
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Biden's decision to dispatch Harris to Europe in the middle of a security crisis suggests trust in her ability to represent him on the world stage '-- to an extent. She will be joined at the conference by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, one of the president's most trusted aides.
For Blinken, a fluent French speaker who has negotiated and hobnobbed with European leaders of every stripe, the annual Bavarian confab represents familiar turf. The longtime foreign policy hand has worked for Biden for over two decades in the Senate and White House; in contrast, Harris joined Biden's orbit less than two years ago.
For the past few months, Blinken has been managing America's elaborate web of alliances, trying to minimize the different impulses of European countries and project a united front against Moscow. That could force Blinken and Harris into a delicate dance this week.
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Although loyal to the president above all others, Blinken has been scrupulous about elevating Harris's stature within the administration, continuing to deploy the campaign-era term ''Biden-Harris administration'' a year into the presidency. A number of officials at the State Department, like others in the administration, see Biden's presidency as a bridge linking the old guard of the Democratic Party to the next generation.
But starting Thursday, it is Harris who will be the public face of American might in this crisis.
The White House has said it has no intention to downgrade her role. ''I don't think there's any plans to limit or reduce the vice president's role at the Munich Security Conference or '... on the global stage,'' White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday. ''She's going to give a speech while she's there, and she is a vital and important representative for the United States and our values and our intentions at this point in the world.''
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Putin's aggressive actions and rhetoric toward Ukraine have jolted Europe and drawn the United States into an international game of chicken. Amid Russia's recent unconfirmed claims that it has begun withdrawing its military, it remains unclear whether history will mark this moment as 21st-century saber-rattling or the precursor to a land war in Europe.
Adding to the pressure on Biden, his response to the crisis will likely factor into how Americans perceive his overall competence.
In August, a bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan '-- including the deaths of 13 service members, images of desperate Afghans plummeting from evacuation planes and concerns about Americans left behind in the chaos '-- struck a blow to Biden's approval ratings that he has not recovered from. And it has become Exhibit A for Republicans who say a president who campaigned on his foreign policy experience is ill-equipped for another international chess match.
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In a speech from the White House on Tuesday, Biden said his administration continues to work toward a diplomatic solution on Ukraine, but reiterated that the U.S. is prepared to help protect its allies from Russian aggression. He said he was hopeful '-- though still awaiting confirmation '-- about reports that Russian military units were withdrawing from Ukraine's border. A day later, a senior U.S. official said the administration now believes that Russia has actually sent 7,000 more troops to the border and that public statements about a drawdown were simply ''false.''
And if Russia does mount an invasion of Ukraine, Biden promised sanctions that go far beyond those the U.S. imposed after Russia invaded Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014.
''We are ready with diplomacy '-- to be engaged in diplomacy with Russia and our allies and partners to improve stability and security in Europe as a whole,'' Biden said. ''And we are ready to respond decisively to a Russian attack on Ukraine, which is still very much a possibility.''
At the same time, Biden sought to brace Americans for the potential costs of backing up his tough talk. He encouraged Americans in Ukraine to get out before escalating tensions made escape impossible, and he warned about potentially steeper gas prices amid the uncertainty.
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''I will not pretend this will be painless'' if sanctions are imposed on Russia, the president said. ''There could be impact on our energy prices, so we are taking active steps to alleviate the pressure on our own energy markets and offset rising prices.''
He also spoke to the Russian people: ''You are not our enemy. And I do not believe you want a bloody, destructive war against Ukraine.''
Behind closed doors, the administration's diplomatic efforts have continued. Blinken spoke Tuesday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron about the crisis.
Harris, viewed by many as a potential heir to Biden in 2028 '-- or 2024 if the nation's oldest president opts against running for a second term '-- has turned in uneven performances on international trips in her first year as vice president.
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On her first international trip, to Guatemala and Mexico, she sought to deliver a tough message following months of chaos at the southern U.S. border, telling would-be immigrants, ''Do not come.'' That was criticized by immigration advocates who saw the message as insensitive toward suffering Latin Americans.
Harris also granted an interview on that trip to NBC News's Lester Holt, awkwardly dismissing questions about why she had yet to visit the U.S.-Mexico border '-- first noting that she also hadn't visited Europe, then conceding that she would visit the border.
On a more recent trip to Paris, Harris won more praise, touring a medical institute where her mother once worked and helping mend a U.S.-French relationship that had become frayed.
Her advisers wave away criticism of her performance, saying the groundbreaking vice president has faced unprecedented scrutiny, including a pool of reporters who shadow her movements and catalogue her poll numbers, unlike the 48 White men who preceded her. Critiques of her competence, allies say, are often rooted in sexism and racism from people uncomfortable with the notion of a powerful woman of color.
Rhodes noted that even in less dramatic times, the Munich conference is ''the premier event of the year for the national security crowd on both sides of the Atlantic,'' and that presents Harris with an opportunity.
''I think most everyone there will want her to succeed '... They will want the U.S. to be leading, and they will want there to be foreign consensus,'' Rhodes said. ''But the trick is, not everybody will be on the same page in that room.''
India Arie - Wikipedia
Wed, 16 Feb 2022 22:31
India Arie Simpson (born October 3, 1975), also known as India Arie (sometimes styled as india.arie), is an American singer and songwriter. She has sold over 5 million records in the US and 10 million worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards from her 23 nominations, including Best R&B Album.
Background [ edit ] India was born in Denver, Colorado, the daughter of Joyce and Ralph Simpson. Her musical skills were encouraged by both parents in her younger years. Her mother is a former singer (she was signed to Motown as a teenager and opened for Stevie Wonder and Al Green) and is now her stylist. She has an older brother named J'On and younger sister Mary A Martin of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Arie is African-American, and according to a DNA analysis, she descends from the Mende people of Sierra Leone, the Kru people of Liberia and the Fula people of Guinea-Bissau.
After Simpson's parents divorced, her mother moved the family to Atlanta, Georgia when India was 13. Simpson had taken up a succession of musical instruments throughout her schooling in Denver, but her interest in the guitar while attending the Savannah College of Art and Design, in Savannah, led to a personal revelation about songwriting and performing. "When I started tapping into my own sensitivity, I started to understand people better. It was a direct result of writing songs", she said at the press release of her debut album, Acoustic Soul.
Co-founding the Atlanta-based independent music collective Groovement EarthShare (Groovement was the collective artists' name and EarthShare was their independent label name), her one-song turn on a locally released compilation led to a second-stage gig at the 1998 Lilith Fair. In 1999, a Universal/Motown music scout signed her and made an introduction to former Motown CEO Kedar Massenburg. Arie resides in New York City.
Named to Oprah Winfrey's SuperSoul100 list of visionaries and influential leaders, India.Arie performed Songversation during 2017 motivational cruises.
Musical career [ edit ] Arie released her debut album Acoustic Soul on March 27, 2001. The album was met with positive reviews and commercial success. "Acoustic Soul" debuted at number ten on the U.S. Billboard 200 and number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Within months, without the concentrated radio airplay that typically powers pop and rap albums, Acoustic Soul was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), selling 2,180,000 copies in the U.S. and 3,000,000 copies worldwide.The album was also certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industryand platinum by Music Canada. The album was promoted with the release of the lead single "Video". "Video" attained commercial success peaking at 47 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and becoming her highest-charting song in the region to date. The album's second single "Brown Skin" failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, but it became her highest-charting single in the United Kingdom, peaking at number 29.
Arie performed a duet with rock singer-guitarist John Mellencamp on the song "Peaceful World" for his 2001 album Cuttin' Heads. While Arie and the album were nominated for seven Grammy awards in 2002, they won no awards, losing in five of seven categories to Alicia Keys. She closed the ceremony with a performance of her song "Video". Arie performed a duet with jazz singer Cassandra Wilson on the song "Just Another Parade" for her 2002 album Belly of the Sun.
Arie followed the success of her debut on September 24, 2002 with the release of Voyage to India. It debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 109,000 copies and topped the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, with the RIAA certifying it Platinum. At the 2003 Grammy Awards, it won Best R&B Album, and the single "Little Things" won Best Urban/Alternative Performance. The song "Get It Together" was featured on many film soundtracks including Brown Sugar (2002) and Shark Tale (2004).
On September 12, 2005, Arie performed "Just 4 2day", a song written for her appearance on the debut of The Tyra Banks Show. She also performed "What About the Child", a song that did not air but was made available as a one-dollar Internet download to support child victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Arie is also featured on Stevie Wonder's album A Time to Love, released on October 18, 2005. Arie and Wonder duet on the title track "A Time to Love", written by Arie, which was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 2006 Grammy Awards. Three years earlier, their rendition of Mel Torm(C)'s 1944 classic "The Christmas Song", recorded for the holiday TV commercial for retailer Target, had been nominated for the same category, making it the first song created and financed exclusively for a commercial to be nominated for a Grammy Award.
India Arie performing in Lokeren Belgium, August 3, 2004
The first-week sales of Arie's album Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship, 161,000 copies, are her best sales week to date. The album was certified gold in August 2006, selling 730,000 in US and 1,300,000 worldwide. "I Am Not My Hair", a collaboration with Akon, was the most successful release from Testimony: Vol. 1., reaching the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at #97 and the UK Singles Chart at #65. On the April 16, 2007 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show entitled "After Imus: Now What?", Arie guest-starred as a panelist. Arie performed a duet with singer Anthony David for his song "Words" for his 2008 album Acey Duecy.
Her next album, Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics was released on Tuesday, February 10, 2009. It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, and No. 2 on the R&B chart. Within this CD, Arie collaborated with such artists as Sezen Aksu, Keb Mo, Gramps Morgan and Musiq Soulchild to fulfill her self-proclaimed desire to "do projects with people who are making music that is meaningful, with a lot of integrity and a lot of sonic diversity". Arie also identified this CD as her first to write and sing songs without worrying about public opinion after a much-needed vacation to Hawaii. The album was her first produced and released after her departure from Motown to Universal Records. Arie performed "Video" with British singer Adele at the 2009 VH1 Divas. Arie is one of over 70 artists singing on "We Are the World: 25 for Haiti", a charity single in aid of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Arie contributed vocals to "Imagine" for the 2010 Herbie Hancock album, The Imagine Project along with Seal, P!nk, Jeff Beck, Konono N°1, Oumou Sangare and others.
In the fall of 2010, she was a featured guest vocalist on Carlos Santana's version of The Beatles classic song "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" from his album Guitar Heaven. The song also features Yo-Yo Ma on cello.
In September 2012, she featured in a campaign called "30 Songs/30 Days" to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a multi-platform media project inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's book.
In March 2013, it was announced that Arie was working on her upcoming fifth studio album, Songversation, which was released on June 25, 2013. The first single of the album, "6th Avenue", was released on iTunes on November 4, 2012; it was produced by India Arie and Israeli musician Idan Raichel. The second single "Cocoa Butter" was released on iTunes on April 9, 2013.
In 2015, she released a collaborative album with musician Joe Sample titled Christmas with Friends.
In July 2016, she premiered her new single "Breathe" inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement, especially Eric Garner's last words. She also announced a new album titled Worthy was in the works. She performed the single on the Soul Train Awards with host Erykah Badu in November.
In June 2017, she announced the release of her first EP SongVersation: Medicine on June 30. It was preceded by the single "Breathe" and the new single "I Am Light" which was originally included on her 2013 Songversation album. She expressed that the EP was "made to be listened to in a quiet time, prayer, meditation, Yoga. My wish is that these songs bring softness, clarity, calm, and inspiration."
In September 2018, she premiered her new single "That Magic". The song serves as the lead single from her sixth studio album titled Worthy which was released on February 15, 2019.
In February 2022, Arie joined several artists to announce plans to remove her music from music service Spotify because it platformed Joe Rogan, a podcast host who repeatedly made false claims about the COVID-19 vaccine. According to media reports, Arie's planned departure from the service is over racial comments Rogan made.
Discography [ edit ] Studio albums [ edit ] 2001: Acoustic Soul2002: Voyage to India2006: Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship2009: Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics2013: Songversation2015: Christmas with Friends2019: WorthyEP albums [ edit ] 2017: SongVersation: Medicine '' EPCollaborations [ edit ] 2010 : Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time by Carlos Santana. '' India sings While my guitar gently weeps with Yo Yo Ma on cello.2010 : The Imagine Project by Herbie Hancock. '' India sings Imagine with P!NK, Seal, Konono No. 1, Oumou Sangare and Jeff Beck.2020: " My Everything" by Sauti Sol - Midnight Train albumAwards [ edit ] Grammy AwardThe Grammy Award is an honor awarded by The Recording Academy to recognize outstanding achievement in the mainly English-language music industry. Arie has won four Grammy awards from twenty-three nominations.
BET AwardsSoul Train Music AwardsNAACP Image AwardTours [ edit ] HeadliningVoyage to World Tour (2002/03)Testimony Tour (2006/10)Songversation Tour (2013/14)Opening actLovers Rock Tour (2001)Filmography [ edit ] Theater [ edit ] In 2009, India Arie portrayed Nina Simone in a staged reading at the Roundabout Theatre Company of the upcoming Broadway musical "Soul Doctor", about the life of Shlomo Carlebach written by Daniel Wise.
References [ edit ] ^ "On A Spiritual And Emotional Journey '' India.Arie And Her Music". EF News International. Archived from the original on 2011-11-08 . Retrieved 2011-10-28 . ^ "Grammy Winner India Arie is coming to Nigeria in June". Bellanaija.com. 17 May 2016 . Retrieved 2018-12-02 . ^ "The soul of a songwriter: India.Arie talks about reading, writing and stoking her creative fires". Black Issues Book Review. September''October 2004. Archived from the original on 2005-01-29 . Retrieved 2007-05-05 . ^ a b "India.Arie MTV biography". MTV. Archived from the original on 2007-10-19 . Retrieved 2007-10-15 . ^ "India.Arie Ancestry Reveal". YouTube.com . Retrieved 2013-02-21 . ^ "Growing Interest in DNA-Based Genetic Testing Among African American with Historic Election of President Elect Barack Obama". Prweb.com . Retrieved 2013-02-21 . ^ "About the Performer: India.Arie". laphil.com. Los Angeles Philharmonic Association . Retrieved 4 February 2018 . ^ "Meet the SuperSoul100: The World's Biggest Trailblazers in One Room". O Magazine. 1 Aug 2016 . Retrieved 5 Jul 2018 . ^ Caslin, Yvette (16 Aug 2017). "Oprah and friends set sail this summer". rollingout.com . Retrieved 5 Jul 2018 . ^ Duffy, John. "Acoustic Soul '' India.Arie". Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-08-12. ^ "RIAA '' Gold & Platinum '' December 13, 2010: Acoustic Soul certified awards". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015 . Retrieved December 13, 2010 . ^ "British Phonographic Industry search results". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on September 24, 2009 . Retrieved December 13, 2010 . ^ "Gold & Platinum Certifications". Music Canada. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014 . Retrieved July 5, 2013 . ^ "India.Arie Album & Song Chart History '' Hot 100". Billboard . Retrieved December 13, 2010 . ^ Roberts, David. Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums. Guinness World Records Ltd 17th edition (2004), p. 29 ISBN 0-85112-199-3 ^ "India.Arie '' Voyage To India". Discogs.com. ^ a b "Voyage to India - India.Arie". Billboard.com. ^ "Little Things". SuperiorPics.com. ^ "India Arie '' Voyage To India CD". CDUniverse.com. ^ "Soundtracks for Brown Sugar (2002)". IMDb.com. ^ "Soundtracks for Shark Tale (2004)". IMDb.com. ^ "Telepictures Productions". Tyrashow.warnerbros.com . Retrieved 2013-02-21 . ^ "Tyra Banks & India.Arie". iAmplify. December 8, 2005 . Retrieved 2007-03-06 . ^ "Brian McKnight, Marc Anthony & More On Stevie Wonder Tribute Collection". Spotlight on R&B. February 9, 2003 . Retrieved 2007-06-01 . ^ Lewis, Pete. "India.Arie: Sweet, Sweet Soul Music." Bluesandsoul.com. Issue 1024. 3 November 2009 ^ "The Imagine Project". All About Jazz. 2010-06-21 . Retrieved 2010-11-29 . ^ "30 Songs / 30 Days for Half the Sky | Half The Sky". Halftheskymovement.org. 2012-08-30. Archived from the original on 2012-10-14 . Retrieved 2013-02-21 . ^ Cooper, Charlene. (2013-03-22) Must-Listen: Hear India Arie's New Song, 'Cocoa Butter'. Essence.com. Retrieved on 2013-06-25. ^ India.Arie to Release "SongVersation" on June 25 @ARTISTdirect. Artistdirect.com. Retrieved on 2013-06-25. ^ iTunes '' Music '' Cocoa Butter '' Single by India.Arie Archived 2013-04-30 at the Wayback Machine. Itunes.apple.com (2013-04-09). Retrieved on 2013-06-25. ^ iTunes '' Music '' 6th Avenue '' Single by India.Arie. Itunes.apple.com (2012-11-04). Retrieved on 2013-06-25. ^ "India.Arie Spends 'Christmas With Friends' Joe Sample, Tori Kelly, Brandy & More". Billboard.com. 5 December 2015 . Retrieved 16 March 2018 . ^ "@SylviaObell". Essence.com . Retrieved 16 March 2018 . ^ "Soul Train Awards Performance: India.Arie and Erykah Badu Are Queens Of Soul and Sass". Bet.com . Retrieved 16 March 2018 . ^ "India Arie's 'SongVersation: Medicine' EP Drops This Week". Parlemag.com. 25 June 2017 . Retrieved 16 March 2018 . ^ "SongVersation: Medicine". Amazon.com . Retrieved 16 March 2018 . ^ Malkin, John (31 October 2017). "Music Review: Songversation: Medicine". spiritualityhealth.com . Retrieved 4 February 2018 . ^ India.Arie (14 September 2018). "ELATED! Freaking. ELATED! Thank you all for all this LOVE! SO much more to come! #thatmagic #worthy #iamlight whohooooooooo!!!! I'm right now. Link in Biopic.twitter.com/HBn16pDg5c". Twitter . Retrieved 28 March 2019 . ^ "New Music: India Arie - That Magic + Announces New Album "Worthy" ". YouKnowIGotSoul.com. 15 September 2018 . Retrieved 28 March 2019 . ^ "India Arie says she's pulling her music from Spotify over Joe Rogan's comments on race". cnn.com . Retrieved 6 February 2022 . ^ "India Arie". Grammy.com. 23 November 2020. External links [ edit ] Wikimedia Commons has media related to India.Arie .Official website
Reverend Marcia Dyson's Biography
Wed, 16 Feb 2022 22:17
Civic activist and public relations expert Marcia L. Dyson was born on October 29, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Arthur J. Dixon Elementary School and Bowen High School in Chicago, Illinois. Dyson received her B.S. degree in business administration from the University of Illinois in 1983, and went on to complete the University of Chicago Executive Business program. In 1973, Dyson was hired as a teacher at the Holy Angels School in Chicago, Illinois. She then worked as an external auditor for James Fields CPA. From 1980 to 1982, Dyson served as the first chief of staff for Reverend Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s Operation Push International Trade Bureau. She then briefly served as Black Family Magazine's community relations director before establishing Marcia L. Dyson Public Relations in 1982. From 1983 to 1985, Dyson worked as an account executive for Aaron Cushman. She was then named senior manager for Margie Korshak Associates in 1985, and then worked as senior vice president of R. J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations from 1987 until 1990. In 1990, Dyson was hired as the public information officer for the Mayor's Office of Special Events for the City of Chicago, where she hosted foreign dignitaries and served as the liaison to the Illinois Tourism Board, McCormick Authority Convention Center Board, Illinois Film Office and Chicago's religious community. In 1992, Dyson co-founded and served as president and CEO of M and M Dyson, LLC, an international consulting firm. She also founded Women's Global Initiative, a for-profit organization that works to enhance the lives of women. In addition, Dyson became an ordained minister in 1999. Dyson served as a presidential scholar at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina; was a social justice think tank executive board member for Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas; and served as an advisor to Howard University's international programs. She has also contributed to Essence magazine, New Deal 2.0, The Grio, The Root and Huffington Post online media, and has been a reoccurring political strategist on MSNBC's Martin Bashir Show. Dyson was selected to serve on the Women's Global Summit Leadership board, and co-hosted the Africa's First Ladies Summit in the Washington, D.C. area. She also helped create a Modern Narrative for Muslim Women. Dyson was named the first Chaplain for the Coalition of Hope, and has been an executive advisor and consultant to the Conference of Black Mayors. She was also a consultant to the Clinton Foundation on behalf of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC). Dyson served as a board member of Nap Advanse (We Advance), and has also been a member of many women's organizations, including the Black Women's Round Table, Face to Face, and the Middle East Peace Civic Forum. She has received numerous awards, including a Unita Award from the National Conference of Black Mayors; the U.S. Coast Guard's Citizens Award; an Appreciation Award from the Institute for Diversity-Health; and a Humanitarian Award from the Global Institute.Dyson is married to Michael Eric Dyson. They reside in Washington, D.C. Marcia L. Dyson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 21, 2014.
HOME - M4BL
Wed, 16 Feb 2022 21:37
COVID-19 Mar 25, 2020
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Joy Behar - Wikipedia
Wed, 16 Feb 2022 20:19
American comedian, television host, actress, and writer
Behar in March 2010
BornJosephine Victoria Occhiuto
( 1942-10-07 ) October 7, 1942 (age 79) EducationQueens College (BA)Stony Brook University (MA)OccupationComedian, writer, actor, television hostYears active1984''presentKnown forThe View co-host (1997''2013, 2015''present)Political partyDemocratic Spouse(s) Joe Behar
Children1Josephine Victoria "Joy" Behar (; n(C)e Occhiuto; born October 7, 1942) is an American comedian, television host, actress, and writer. She co-hosts the ABC daytime talk show The View, where she is the only original panelist still regularly appearing. She hosted The Joy Behar Show on HLN from 2009 to 2011 and Joy Behar: Say Anything! on Current TV, from 2012 until the channel switched formats in August 2013. Behar's latest weekly late-night talk show, Late Night Joy, aired on TLC in 2015. She also wrote The Great Gasbag: An A''Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World.
Early life Behar was born Josephine Victoria Occhiuto in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, the only child to a Roman Catholic family of Italian descent. Her mother, Rose (n(C)e Carbone), was a seamstress, and her father, Gino Occhiuto, was a truck driver for Coca-Cola. Behar earned a BA in sociology from Queens College in 1964 and an MA in English education from Stony Brook University in 1966. From the late 1960s to the early 1970s, she taught English on Long Island at Lindenhurst Senior High School in Lindenhurst, New York. She studied acting at the HB Studio.
Career Career beginnings Behar started her career in show business in the early 1980s as a receptionist and later a producer on Good Morning America.
She was a stand-up comedian and made appearances on ABC's Good Morning America and The New Show, a short-lived Lorne Michaels NBC project. In 1987, she hosted a variety talk show on Lifetime Television called Way Off Broadway that included Larry David as a writer and performer. She also hosted the show Live from Queens; was a regular on NBC's Baby Boom; and continued to work the comedy club circuit. She had minor film roles including Cookie, This Is My Life, and Manhattan Murder Mystery. On WABC radio she hosted a talk-show, and made appearances on HBO comedy specials One Night Stand and Women of the Night 2.
The View In 1997, Behar became one of the original panelists of the ABC daytime talk show The View, which was co-created by Barbara Walters. Behar originally appeared only on the days when Walters was off, but she ultimately became a permanent co-host. Behar occasionally hosted a segment called "Joy's Comedy Corner" in which she presented both established and up-and-coming comedians.
In August 2009, Behar and the other co-hosts, Whoopi Goldberg, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sherri Shepherd, and Barbara Walters, won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host following over a decade of nominations for the show.
On March 7, 2013, it was announced that Behar would be leaving the show at the end of the current season. She told Deadline, "It seemed like the right time...You reach a point when you say to yourself, 'Do I want to keep doing this?' There are other things on my plate I want to do '-- I've been writing a play, I've been neglecting my standup". Her last show was on August 9, 2013 in which the program staged a "This is Your Life" style tribute to Behar.
After departing in 2013, Behar continued to guest co-host throughout 2014 and 2015. On August 25, 2015, ABC announced that Behar would return as a regular co-host starting with the premiere of the 19th season on September 8, 2015. Behar was quoted as saying, "Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in. Plus, Steve was getting tired of applauding every time I gave my opinion. But I'm happy to be back home. And I'm looking forward to sticking my two cents into the hot topics, especially now that Hillary and the Donald are in the spotlight."
During a discussion about the 89th Miss America pageant in 2015, Behar referenced contestant Kelley Johnson's attire during her monologue and questioned why she had on "a doctor's stethoscope". Behar's remark, in addition to fellow co-host Michelle Collins', resulted in an immediate social media backlash from the nursing profession, including the hashtag #NursesUnite. Behar and Collins later addressed the controversy on air. Consequently, multiple companies pulled their sponsorships from the series.
In 2018, while analyzing television personality Omarosa's comments in regards to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's religiosity, Behar stated: "It's one thing to talk to Jesus, it's another thing when Jesus talks to you. That's called mental illness, if I'm not correct, hearing voices." Content analysis organization Media Research Center subsequently launched a campaign demanding an apology from Behar and urging viewers to do the same, resulting in 40,000 calls to ABC as well as 6,000 complaints to the show's advertisers. Pence himself responded and accused the show of expressing "religious intolerance". The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger later stated that Behar has directly apologized to Pence. On March 13, she issued an apology on air, stating: "I think Vice President Pence is right; I was raised to respect everyone's religious faith, and I fell short of that. I sincerely apologize for what I said."
The Joy Behar Show Beginning in 2007, she occasionally filled in as a guest host on Larry King Live. On June 11, 2009, Behar announced that she would be hosting her own news/talk program on CNN's HLN beginning in the fall of 2009, titled The Joy Behar Show. She did not leave The View but worked on both shows simultaneously. Despite reportedly being the network's second-highest-rated show, HLN decided to cancel the talk show after only two years. The final broadcast of The Joy Behar Show aired on December 15, 2011.
Joy Behar: Say Anything! In June 2012, it was formally announced that Behar would be getting another talk show, Joy Behar: Say Anything!, premiering September 4, 2012 on the Current TV network. Before the new show's launch, Behar began acting as fill-in host for Eliot Spitzer's Current TV talk show, Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer, starting on July 18, 2012. The show ended in August 2013 due to Current TV being purchased by Al Jazeera and being replaced by Al Jazeera America.
Late Night Joy Behar's short-lived weekly late night talk show, Late Night Joy, premiered on TLC on November 4, 2015. Each episode features Behar having intimate chats with friends in her New York City apartment. It was cancelled after 5 episodes.
Other work Behar has performed in theatrical plays, including The Food Chain, The Vagina Monologues, and Love, Loss and What I Wore. She has also performed in an Off-Broadway one-woman show entitled Me, My Mouth and I.
She has written multiple books, such as a collection of humorous essays and stories called Joy Shtick '-- Or What is the Existential Vacuum and Does It Come with Attachments? and a children's book called Sheetzucacapoopoo: My Kind of Dog, published in 2006.
She appeared on the eighth season of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown and finished in fourth place, behind Robin Tunney, Christopher Meloni and Macy Gray, but ahead of Andy Dick. She played for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. On October 27, 2017, Behar appeared as a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher.
Behar portrayed the role of Dr. Lucy in the 2011 comedy film Hall Pass. She also recurred in Woody Allen's Amazon series, Crisis in Six Scenes.
Personal life From 1965 to 1981, Behar was married to college professor Joe Behar. They have a daughter, Eve Behar Scotti. She has a grandson named Luca. After 29 years together, Behar married Steve Janowitz in 2011.
Behar resides in The Hamptons. She also owns a home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She is a Democrat.
Filmography Film Television Stage Bibliography Behar has authored several books, including several children's books:
The Great Gasbag: An A''Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World (2017)Sheetzucacapoopoo 2: Max Goes to the Dogs (2009)When You Need a Lift: But Don't Want to Eat Chocolate, Pay a Shrink, or Drink a Bottle of Gin (2007)Sheetzu Caca Poopoo: My Kind of Dog (2006)Joy Shtick: Or What Is the Existential Vacuum and Does It Come with Attachments (1999)Awards and nominations See also Broadcast journalismNew Yorkers in journalismReferences ^ "Stand Up; Sit Down; Talk, Talk, Talk". The New York Times. July 11, 2010 . Retrieved December 25, 2016 . ^ a b Silverman, Stephen M. (June 11, 2009). "Joy Behar Gets a TV Show All Her Own". People . Retrieved November 14, 2015 . ^ Ariens, Chris. Joy Behar's HLN Show Canceled, TVNewser, November 17, 2011. ^ a b c 'Joy Behar: Say Anything' to premiere Sept. 4 Archived November 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Smith, Dinitia (November 9, 1992). "Joy Shtick". New York Magazine. New York Media: 50''51. ISSN 0028-7369. ^ Zukerman, Eugenia (2003). In My Mother's Closet: An Invitation to Remember . Sorin Books. pp. 192''193. ISBN 1-893732-47-9. ^ Delatiner, Barbara (September 3, 2000). "A Comic Who Now Feels at Home on Island". The New York Times . Retrieved August 1, 2012 . ^ "Joy Behar Bio". ABC. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012 . Retrieved August 1, 2012 . ^ "HB Studio - Notable Alumni | One of the Original Acting Studios in NYC". ^ Gallagher, Pat (April 15, 2013). "Joy Behar '-- Standing Up Laughing". The Huffington Post . Retrieved November 28, 2014 . ^ Radenhausen, Jim (April 26, 2015). "Joy Behar to give her 'View,' bring comedy and laughs to Mt. Airy". Pocono Record. ^ McCall, Douglas (November 6, 2013). Monty Python: A Chronology, 1969''2012 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-7864-7811-8. ^ Levine, Josh (2010). Pretty, pretty, pretty good : Larry David and the making of Seinfeld and Curb your enthusiasm. Toronto: ECW Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-1550229479. ^ James, Caryn (August 21, 1997). "Feet on the Ground, Heads Without Bubbles". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 27, 2017 . Retrieved August 31, 2017 . ^ Lang, Steven. "Joy Ride". Archived from the original on February 24, 2018 . Retrieved February 23, 2018 . ^ "Sunda Croonquist Visits 'Joy's Comedy Corner' on THE VIEW". BroadwayWorld.com. ^ "Bold wins at Daytime Emmy Awards". Los Angeles Times. August 30, 2009 . Retrieved November 14, 2015 . ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (March 7, 2013). "Update: Joy Behar Leaving ABC's 'The View' ". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved April 17, 2013 . ^ "Joy Behar Leaving The View". People. March 8, 2013 . Retrieved April 17, 2013 . ^ de Moraes, Lisa (March 8, 2013). "Joy Behar to exit 'The View' ". The Washington Post . Retrieved April 17, 2013 . ^ "Joy Behar leaving "The View" ". CBS News. March 7, 2013 . Retrieved April 18, 2013 . ^ Bierly, Mani (August 9, 2013). "Highlights of Joy Behar's last show on 'The View' ". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved August 9, 2013 . ^ "Joy Behar Returns to 'The View' for Season 19" Dan's Papers ^ Respers France, Lisa (September 16, 2015). "#NursesUnite against 'The View' ". CNN. Archived from the original on September 18, 2015 . Retrieved August 31, 2017 . ^ Udell, Erin (September 16, 2015). " 'The View' host Joy Behar: I didn't know what I was talking about". USA Today. Archived from the original on September 18, 2015 . Retrieved August 31, 2017 . ^ Toomey, Alyssa (September 15, 2015). "The View Under Fire After Mocking Miss America Monologue". E! Online. Archived from the original on September 18, 2015 . Retrieved August 31, 2017 . ^ Daley, Megan (September 16, 2015). "The View: Joy Behar and Michelle Collins address Miss Colorado comments". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on November 10, 2015 . Retrieved July 23, 2020 . ^ Bowerman, Mary (September 18, 2015). "Advertisers pull ads from 'The View' following nurse comments". USA Today. Archived from the original on September 20, 2015 . Retrieved August 31, 2017 . ^ "Three more companies pull ads from 'The View' ". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on September 19, 2015 . Retrieved August 31, 2017 . ^ a b Gstalter, Morgan (February 14, 2018). "Pence accuses 'The View' of 'religious intolerance' ". The Hill. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018 . Retrieved March 14, 2018 . ^ Eltagouri, Marwa (March 8, 2018). " 'The View's' Joy Behar calls Mike Pence to apologize for calling his Christian faith a 'mental illness' ". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on March 14, 2018 . Retrieved March 14, 2018 . ^ Concha, Joe (March 8, 2018). " 'The View' host apologizes to Pence about comments on religion". The Hill. Archived from the original on November 3, 2018 . Retrieved July 19, 2020 . ^ Eltagouri, Marwa (March 14, 2018). "Joy Behar publicly apologizes for calling Pence's Christianity a 'mental illness' ". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 14, 2018 . Retrieved March 14, 2018 . ^ "Joy Behar on Her Comeback Talk Show on Current TV". The Daily Beast . Retrieved July 28, 2012 . ^ "Joy Behar to Anchor New Primetime Show "The Joy Behar Show" ". The Futon Critic (Press release). Futon Media. June 11, 2012 . Retrieved July 28, 2012 . ^ Hawkins, E.B. (June 12, 2012). "Joy Behar To Host Show on Al Gore's Current TV". The Inquisitr . Retrieved July 28, 2012 . ^ Guthrie, Marisa (June 11, 2012). "Joy Behar Joins Current TV". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved November 14, 2015 . ^ Oldenburg, Ann (June 11, 2012). "Al Gore announces new Joy Behar show". USA Today . Retrieved July 28, 2012 . ^ Couch, Aaron (October 9, 2015). "Joy Behar Launching TLC Talk Show Late Night Joy: 'We're Not Afraid' to Speak Out". People . Retrieved November 11, 2015 . ^ "Joy Behar to star in one-woman show". Associated Press. October 1, 2014. ^ "Behar, Taylor & Goodman Exit OB's Vagina Monologues June 11". Playbill. June 10, 2000. ^ a b "Joy Behar Goes Solo; Next Stop, Greenwich Village". October 1, 2014. ^ Hetrick, Adam (December 21, 2014). "Joy Behar Solo Comedy Me, My Mouth and I Closes Off-Broadway". Playbill. ^ Ephron, Nora; Large, ContributorAuthor; Editor At; Post, Huffington (March 1, 2009). "My New Play: Like the Vagina Monologues but Without the Vaginas". HuffPost. ^ "READ EXCERPT: 'Sheetzucacapoopoo,' by Joy Behar". ABC News. ^ Starr, Michael (July 7, 2006). "STARR REPORT". ^ "Bill Maher gets shut down for saying sexual harassers have 's---ty sex lives' ". EW.com. ^ "A 'Hall Pass' To Cheat Keeps Marital Despair At Bay". NPR.org. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (August 30, 2016). "Photos: First Look at Woody Allen's Amazon Series 'Crisis in Six Scenes' ". ^ "Woody Allen's Crisis in Six Scenes Finds Miley Cyrus Be-wigged Once More". Vanity Fair. August 30, 2016. ^ Righi, Len (November 10, 2008). "Joy Behar relishes her "View" ". The Seattle Times . Retrieved August 1, 2012 . ^ "Eve Behar, Alphonso Scotti". The New York Times. September 16, 2017 . Retrieved September 10, 2020 . ^ Banks, Alicia (January 30, 2015). "Former 'View' Host Joy Behar Returns Bearing F-Bombs (Video)". TheWrap . Retrieved September 10, 2020 . ^ Schutte, Lauren (August 12, 2011). "Joy Behar Says 'I Do' ". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved September 10, 2020 . ^ "Joy Behar Plans to Retire From 'The View' in 2022 (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. April 8, 2020. Archived from the original on April 8, 2020 . Retrieved April 8, 2020 . ^ David, Mark (November 16, 2017). "Joy Behar Lists Upper West Side Co-Op, Buys Lincoln Center Condo". Variety . Retrieved May 10, 2021 . ^ Andrews, Helena (May 30, 2007). "A Not-So-Rosie 'View' ". Politico . Retrieved September 10, 2020 . ^ "Joy Behar Theatre Credits, News, Bio and Photos". www.broadwayworld.com . Retrieved September 22, 2020 . ^ "Joy Behar". Playbill . Retrieved September 22, 2020 . ^ Millward, Tom (October 19, 2017). "Joy Behar's Me, My Mouth and I at Cherry Lane Theatre". New York Theater Guide . Retrieved September 22, 2020 . ^ "Joy Behar". IMDb . Retrieved September 22, 2020 . ^ Nordyke, Kimberly; Howard, Annie (May 21, 2020). "Daytime Emmy Awards: 'General Hospital' Tops Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved May 22, 2020 . Further reading Rozen, Leah (July 9, 2010). "After Work With Joy Behar:Stand Up; Sit Down; Talk, Talk, Talk". The New York Times. Mitchell, Russ (March 28, 2010). "Joy Behar: Left Front Center". CBS News. DiStefano, Blase (September 1, 2012). "Joy To Her World". OutSmart Magazine. External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to Joy Behar .Wikiquote has quotations related to: Joy BeharJoy Behar at IMDbJoy Behar at AllMovieJoy Behar at the Internet Broadway Database Joy Behar at the Internet Off-Broadway DatabaseABC News: Joy Behar on Faith Part OneABC News: Joy Behar on Faith Part TwoAppearances on C-SPAN
DEUTERONOMY CHAPTER 28 KJV
Wed, 16 Feb 2022 20:03
1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.
6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.
8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.
10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.
11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.
17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.
18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
20 The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.
21 The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.
22 The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.
23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.
24 The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
25 The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.
26 And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away.
27 The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.
28 The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:
29 And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.
30 Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.
31 Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them.
32 Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long: and there shall be no might in thine hand.
33 The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway:
34 So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
35 The LORD shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.
36 The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.
37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.
38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.
39 Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them.
40 Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit.
41 Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.
42 All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume.
43 The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.
44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.
45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:
46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.
47 Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;
48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.
49 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;
50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:
51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.
52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:
54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:
55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.
56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,
57 And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.
58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;
59 Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.
60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.
61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.
63 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.
64 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.
65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:
66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:
67 In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
68 And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.
Commentary forDeuteronomy 28 Do you have a Bible comment or question?
Tamika Mallory - Wikipedia
Wed, 16 Feb 2022 19:58
Tamika Danielle Mallory (born June 8, 1980) is an American activist. She was one of the leading organizers of the 2017 Women's March, for which she and her three other co-chairs were recognized in the TIME 100 that year. She received the Coretta Scott King Legacy Award from the Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom in 2018. Mallory is a proponent of gun control, feminism, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Personal life [ edit ] Mallory was born in Harlem, New York City, to Stanley and Voncile Mallory in New York City. She grew up in the Manhattanville Houses in Manhattan and moved to Co-op City in the Bronx when she was 14. Her parents were activists and founding members of Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network (NAN), a leading civil rights organization throughout the United States. Their work in NAN influenced Mallory and her interests in social justice and civil rights. Mallory became a staff member of NAN when she was 15 years old and later was named its executive director in 2009.
Mallory is a single mother to her son Tarique. Her son's father, Jason Ryans, was murdered in 2001. Mallory explains that her experience with NAN taught her to react to this tragedy with activism. Her son is a member of NAN.
In 2018, Mallory drew criticism for her attendance at an event with, and past praise for, controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, which prompted calls for her resignation from the 2019 Women's March. Following later allegations of antisemitism, Mallory left the organization in September 2019.
Political activism [ edit ] At age 11, Mallory became a member of NAN to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement. By the time Mallory turned 15, she was a volunteer staff member at NAN. Mallory went on to become the youngest Executive Director at NAN in 2011. After working at NAN for 14 years, Mallory stepped down from her position as executive director in 2013 to follow her own activism goals, but still takes part in NAN's work, attending rallies and recruiting members.
In 2014, Mallory was selected to serve on the transition committee of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. During that time, she helped create the NYC Crisis Management System, an official gun violence prevention program that awards $20 million annually to gun violence prevention organizations. She also served as the co-chair for a new initiative through the Crisis Management System, Gun Violence Awareness Month.
Mallory is the president of Mallory Consulting, a strategic planning and event management firm in New York City. She is on the board of directors for Gathering for Justice, an organization aimed at ending child incarceration and working to eliminate policies that produce mass incarceration.
In 2018, Mallory criticized Starbucks for including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization whose stated mission is to "fight anti-Semitism and all forms of hate", in a company-wide racial bias training after the arrest of two black men at a Starbucks in Philadelphia. In a tweet, she accused the ADL of "attack[ing] black and brown people" and wrote, "ADL sends US police to Israel to learn their military practices. This is deeply troubling. Let's not even talk abt their attacks against .@blacklivesmatter." Starbucks subsequently dropped the ADL from its anti-bias training, a decision Liel Leibovitz of Tablet said was "giving in to bigotry."
2017 Women's March [ edit ] Mallory, Bob Bland, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour organized the 2017 Women's March, a worldwide protest on January 21, 2017. The march was a protest against the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, and also advocated women's rights, immigration reform, LGBTQIA rights, health-care reform, environmental reform, racial justice, and racial equality.
The leaders of the Women's March mobilized in Washington, D.C., and sister marches occurred worldwide. An estimated 500,000 people attended the Washington, D.C., march. The Women's March website said that total worldwide participation was nearly five million. According to The Independent, the march may have been the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. Sarsour, Mallory, Bland, and Perez were recognized in the TIME 100 of 2017.
Organization and planning [ edit ] The Women's March idea formed after Trump's election. A grandmother in Hawaii, Teresa Shook, created a Facebook event for a march in Washington, D.C., following the inauguration. Meanwhile, Bob Bland, a mother living in New York City, also created an event. Within a single day hundreds of thousands of individuals were "attending" the march's Facebook event. The surge of interest catalyzed the organizing that led to the 2017 Women's March.
Bland's and Shook's events were merged. Bland reached out to Mallory, Perez, and Sarsour, to include voices of color. The march organizers sought to integrate many different leaders and voices to create a decentralized structure. The intention was to incorporate people from every walk of life.
Mallory has said that while the march was in direct response to Trump's election, its larger concern was social problems in the United States. The march gave women, minorities, people of color, LGBTQIA, and others a space to voice their concerns, fears, and feelings. Mallory explains that she took on this responsibility because she "wanted to ensure that Black women's voices are upheld, uplifted, and that our issues are addressed, but this cannot happen unless we take a seat at the table".
Mallory's work within the Women's March was geared toward creating space for unrepresented voices in social activism. She felt that previous marches had failed to recognize the intersectional aspects within social justice, such as race, class, gender, nationality, and sexuality. According to Mallory, the organizers worked to make the march as inclusive as possible in order to promote the most change.
One of the largest supporters of the march was Planned Parenthood. Mallory explains that they partnered with Planned Parenthood because they "provide women with life-saving health services".
Later activities [ edit ] After the march, the organizers published a "10 Actions for the First 100 Days" campaign, in order to continue the momentum of social activism gained from the march. The first action was to write a postcard to Senators about issues of concern. Organizers provided a template on their website along with ways to send the postcards. The second action was to either host or attend a "huddle," an informal meeting to discuss ways to transform feelings into local and national action. The third action was to attend or host a "Hear Our Voice" event, a more formal version of action 2, in order to stimulate continuous change.
2019 Women's March [ edit ] Mallory was one of the co-presidents of the 2019 Women's March. She assumed leadership of the march along with her co-chairs from the 2017 March: Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, and Bob Bland.
Mallory has been criticized for her relationship with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and support for Assata Shakur, a former Black Liberation Army member convicted of murder. On February 25, 2018, Mallory attended a Saviours' Day speech led by Farrakhan where he made various antisemitic remarks, and later posted positive comments about the event on social media accounts. This led some supporters of the march to call for Mallory and other Women's March leaders to resign. In December 2018, The New York Times reported that "charges of anti-Semitism" stemming partly from the Farrakhan issue as well as Mallory's allegedly berating a Jewish organizer of the Women's March "are now roiling the movement and overshadowing plans for more marches next month". Mallory has disputed that they made such remarks.
Mallory responded by releasing a statement that condemned racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia, also writing, "I do not wish to be held responsible for the words of others when my own history shows that I stand in opposition to them." She added that she believed building coalitions required working with people with whom she disagreed. An early Women's March co-founder, Vanessa Wruble, said that she had been "pushed out" of the Women's March by Mallory and others because of her Jewish identity. Another organizer, Evvie Harmon, said that she witnessed Mallory and her co-chair Carmen Perez berating Wruble, saying "your people hold all the wealth", remarks that Harmon described in an account to The New York Times and Tablet. Mallory and Perez disputed that they made those remarks or that Wruble was mistreated for being Jewish. On The View, Mallory stated that she didn't agree with all of Farrakhan's statements and wouldn't use his language, but declined to condemn his previous antisemitic statements. In an interview with Margaret Hoover, Mallory refused to say that Israel has a right to exist.
George Floyd protests [ edit ] Mallory participated in the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis''Saint Paul in May 2020. In a speech at a news conference there, she accused some people of being more concerned with property destruction, particularly that of Target stores, than with justice for the murder of George Floyd. She also alleged that in Minneapolis paid instigators were responsible for property damage and arson.
References [ edit ] ^ a b "Tamika Mallory". Archives of Women's Political Communication. Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics of Iowa State University . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ a b Abdul-Aleem, Maryam (April 12, 2011). "Tamika Mallory: Young and powerful new executive director of NAN". New York Amsterdam News . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ a b Gillibrand, Kirsten (April 20, 2017). "Women's March Leaders". Time . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ a b Al-Sibai, Noor (April 20, 2017). "The Women's March Organizers Made The 'Time' 100 Most Influential People List". Bustle . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Bogart, Devero (April 26, 2018). "Social justice activists honored with Coretta Scott King legacy awards". WDTN . Retrieved April 26, 2021 . ^ a b Barker, Cryil Josh (October 24, 2013). "Tamika Mallory: The Beauty of Activism". New York Amsterdam News . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ a b c Keck, Catie (January 20, 2017). "Meet Tamika Mallory, the Lifelong Activist Who Organized the Women's March on Washington". Complex . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Press Release (July 23, 2009). "National Action Network Makes New Appointments". National Action Network. National Action Network . Retrieved March 12, 2021 . ^ Nicole, Einbinder (July 13, 2017). "This Is Why Hundreds Of Women Are Going After The NRA". Bustle . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Serwer, Adam (March 11, 2018). "Why Tamika Mallory Won't Condemn Farrakhan". The Atlantic . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ "America's Midterms '-- The Blue Wave". Manhattan Neighborhood Network . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Stockman, Farah (December 23, 2018). "Women's March Roiled by Accusations of Anti-Semitism". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Yang, Allie (January 14, 2019). "Women's March co-president Tamika Mallory discusses controversial relationship with Louis Farrakhan". ABC News . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Flood, Brian (January 14, 2019). " 'The View' grills Women's March co-founder Tamika Mallory over ties to Louis Farrakhan". Fox News . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Wines, Michael; Stockman, Farah (January 19, 2019). "Smaller Crowds Turn Out for Third Annual Women's March Events". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Stockman, Farah (September 16, 2019). "Three Leaders of Women's March Group Step Down After Controversies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ "De Blasio Administration, City Council Expand Citywide Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence". Government of New York City. Press office of City Hall. August 13, 2014 . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Odesanya, Olayemi (April 20, 2017). "Tamika Mallory and Nicole Paultre-Bell host third Black Lives Matter Summit at LaGuardia Community College". New York Amsterdam News . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ "The Story of the Gathering". The Gathering For Justice . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ "Who We Are". Anti-Defamation League . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Pink, Aiden (April 18, 2018). "Women's March Leaders Slam Starbucks For Tapping ADL". The Forward . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Hanna, Andrew (April 30, 2018). "Starbucks drops Jewish group from bias training". Politico . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Leibovitz, Liel (April 30, 2018). "The ADL Kicked Out of Leading Starbucks' Diversity Training". Tablet . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Wallace, Tim; Parlapiano, Alicia (January 22, 2017). "Crowd Scientists Say Women's March in Washington Had 3 Times as Many People as Trump's Inauguration". The New York Times . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ "Sister Marches". womensmarch.com. Archived from the original on February 24, 2018. ^ Broomfield, Matt (January 23, 2017). "Women's March against Donald Trump is the largest day of protests in US history, say political scientists". The Independent . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ a b c Wilson, Wendy L. (January 21, 2017). "Women Marching for Justice in a New Era: A Chat With Activist Tamika Mallory". Ebony . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Cusumano, Katherine (January 19, 2017). "The Women of the Women's March: Meet the Activists Who Are Planning One of the Largest Demonstrations in American History". W . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ Shamus, Kristen Jordan (January 22, 2017). "Women's March launches 10 actions for first 100 days". Detroit Free Press . Retrieved February 12, 2021 . ^ "Action One '' Postcards". Women's March on Washington . Retrieved April 24, 2017 . ^ "Action 2 '' Huddle". Women's March on Washington. Archived from the original on January 29, 2019 . Retrieved April 24, 2017 . ^ "Action 3 '' Hear Our Voice". Women's March on Washington. Archived from the original on December 28, 2018 . Retrieved April 24, 2017 . ^ a b c d e f Stockman, Farah (December 23, 2018). "Women's March Roiled by Accusations of Anti-Semitism". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved December 31, 2018 . ^ Weiss, Bari (August 1, 2017). "When Progressives Embrace Hate". The New York Times. ^ "The feminist Farrakhan fans who organized the Women's March". The Times of Israel. ^ "Supporter of homophobic, anti-Semitic U.S. religious leader to speak at NDP convention". ^ "Farrakhan Rails Against Jews, Israel, and the U.S. Government in Wide-Ranging Saviours' Day Speech". Anti-Defamation League. ^ "Women's March Co-President Attends Louis Farrakhan Rally '' Again". The Forward . Retrieved April 18, 2018 . ^ Lemieux, Jamilah (March 7, 2018). "[EXCLUSIVE] Tamika Mallory Speaks: 'Wherever My People Are Is Where I Must Be' ". News One. ^ Pagano, John-Paul (March 8, 2018). "The Women's March Has a Farrakhan Problem". The Atlantic . Retrieved December 27, 2018 . ^ Lang, Marissa J. (November 21, 2019). "Anger over Farrakhan ties prompts calls for Women's March leaders to resign". Washington Post . Retrieved November 27, 2018 . ^ McSweeney, Leah; Siegel, Jacob (December 10, 2018). "Is the Women's March Melting Down?". Tablet Magazine . Retrieved January 3, 2019 . ^ "Tamika Mallory fails to condemn Farrakhan's antisemitism on 'The View' - Diaspora - Jerusalem Post". www.jpost.com . Retrieved January 15, 2019 . ^ Kampeas, Ron (January 19, 2019). "Women's March Leader Wouldn't Say in Interview Whether Israel Has Right to Exist". Haaretz . Retrieved January 24, 2019 . ^ Regan, Sheila; Klemko, Robert; Johnson, Jenna (May 30, 2020). "As fear settles over Minneapolis, protests and violent clashes spread across the U.S." Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286 . Retrieved July 8, 2021 . External links [ edit ] Appearances on C-SPAN
Google plans Android privacy change similar to Apple's
Wed, 16 Feb 2022 15:09
An Android statue is displayed in front of a building on the Google campus on January 31, 2022 in Mountain View, California. Google parent company Alphabet will report fourth quarter earnings on Tuesday after the closing bell.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
Google on Wednesday announced it's adopting new privacy restrictions that will cut tracking across apps on its Android devices, following a similar move made by Apple last year that upended several firms' advertising practices.
Google said it's developing new privacy-focused replacements for its advertising ID, a unique string of characters that identifies the user's device. The digital IDs in smartphones often help ad-tech companies track and share information about consumers.
The changes could impact big companies that have relied on tracking users across apps, like Facebook-parent Meta. Apple's tweaks hit Meta particularly hard, for example. Meta said earlier this month Apple's privacy changes will decrease the social media company's sales this year by about $10 billion. That news contributed to wiping $232 billion from the company's market cap in a single day, eventually pushing the company's below $600 billion. Meta was worth more than $1 trillion back in June 2021.
But while Meta fought against Apple's changes, it seems supportive of the way Google plans to implement its privacy tweaks.
"Encouraging to see this long-term, collaborative approach to privacy-protective personalized advertising from Google," Graham Mudd, vice president of product marketing, ads and business at Facebook said on Twitter. "We look forward to continued work with them and the industry on privacy-enhancing tech through industry groups."
Google said it will continue to support the current identifiers for the next two years, which means other companies have time to implement changes.
Apple was criticized by Facebook and other companies for rolling out its App Tracking Transparency feature, which reduces targeting capabilities by limiting advertisers from accessing an iPhone user identifier. With that change, users were given a pop-up window that let them block apps from tracking their data for advertising purposes.
Google criticized Apple's approach in its blog post without naming the company.
"''We realize that other platforms have taken a different approach to ads privacy, bluntly restricting existing technologies used by developers and advertisers," Google Android vice president of product management, security and privacy, Anthony Chavez, wrote in a blog post. "We believe that '-- without first providing a privacy-preserving alternative path '-- such approaches can be ineffective and lead to worse outcomes for user privacy and developer businesses."
Focusing on privacy practices could help the tech giant get ahead of regulatory issues as lawmakers and consumers become more aware and concerned of their personal data. The company said it would work closely with regulators.
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Biden's New 'Clean Energy' Plan Will Overhaul U.S. Manufacturing - The Atlantic
Wed, 16 Feb 2022 14:42
The White House hopes to save the planet by bringing back U.S. manufacturing en masse.
The AtlanticFebruary 16, 2022, 8:43 AM ETEvery week, our lead climate reporter brings you the big ideas, expert analysis, and vital guidance that will help you flourish on a changing planet. Sign up to get The Weekly Planet, our guide to living through climate change, in your inbox.
It is one of the strangest feelings that modern transportation can afford: You've just gotten on a train and are gazing out the window. And then, slowly, the scene outside begins to move, and for a split second your mind cannot tell whether the train is moving or the world is.
I wonder if President Joe Biden, who as a senator used to commute from Delaware to Washington, D.C., on Amtrak, is feeling like that right now. For the past year, his administration has pursued an ambitious plan to prepare the United States for the risks of the 21st century: Biden wants to fight climate change, reinvigorate American industry, and get ready to compete'--economically, culturally, perhaps even militarily'--with China. But he has been frustrated by a different kind of economic upheaval. The outside world'--coronavirus variants, supply-chain snarls, scorching inflation'--has stymied many of his goals, even while Biden has overseen the strongest economic growth since 1982. It doesn't help that Congress's ongoing failure to pass the Build Back Better Act has kept Biden from bringing much of his decarbonization plan to fruition.
But a set of recent announcements shows that Biden's biggest ambitions for the climate and the economy are not quite dead yet. Yesterday, the White House unveiled a slew of policies aimed at overhauling the U.S. industrial sector in order to reduce its planet-warming carbon pollution. Many of the policies have bipartisan backing'--they were authorized in last year's infrastructure bill. These policies are a big deal because they could help solve one of decarbonization's thorniest problems: how to make steel, concrete, chemicals, and other major industrial products in a zero-carbon way. These products typically rely on fossil fuels to generate intense heat or provide a raw-material input, which is part of why the industrial sector is responsible for more than 20 percent of global emissions.
However crucial these policies are for the planet, they are arguably even more important as a matter of political economy. They signal a profound and bipartisan change in how the federal government presides over the economy: In order to bring new technologies to market, Washington is willing to act as an investor, matchmaker, and consumer for fledgling innovations. It will design markets to serve public needs, cut loans that banks won't write, and ensure competition among linchpin firms. The government, in short, is ready to care about stuff again, the real-world economy of flesh and steel. That it is furthering its climate and China goals at the same time is exactly the point.
To understand why, look at the first of these policies: By the middle of this decade, the government will spend $9.5 billion to boost hydrogen production in the United States. Hydrogen can play many roles in the quest to decarbonize industrial products, because, like fossil fuels, it can generate intense heat and store chemical energy. The Department of Energy aims to cut the cost of making hydrogen with renewable electricity at least 80 percent by the end of the decade. That's about when it would become price-competitive with oil, gas, and coal, according to the consulting group Wood Mackenzie.
In the past few decades, the government might have tried to reduce hydrogen's cost by funding academic research and development efforts on new technologies. (Even the most conservative presidents have supported pure R&D, because companies have no incentive to conduct pure science.) Yet most of the newly announced money'--some $8 billion'--will go not to R&D or research grants, but to actually building factories. The Department of Energy will construct four ''Hydrogen Regional Innovation Hubs'' across the country. This reflects a view that technological progress emerges not from basic research alone, but from scientists, engineers, and workers solving problems together. As the economic analyst Dan Wang has written, that kind of collaborative process used to be what made Detroit and Silicon Valley special; in recent years, China has tried to emulate that magic by building its own technological clusters. Now the U.S. is reviving its old approach.
You can see another new approach in the Department of Energy's $1 billion project, also announced yesterday, aimed at bringing down the cost of hydrogen electrolysis, the process of using electricity to split water into its constituent oxygen and hydrogen. Instead of funding only early-stage research, the project allows the DOE to intervene at any point in the technology's path to market in order to bring down the cost of electrolysis.
Those policies focus on increasing the supply of hydrogen in the economy. Another set of policies in the package will try to create demand for zero-carbon industrial goods. The federal government is, after all, one of the world's biggest consumers, buying $650 billion of goods and services a year. The Biden administration is creating a ''Buy Clean'' task force that will use the government's power to help bring low-carbon steel, concrete, and asphalt to the market.
If these enticements help a low-carbon concrete maker come to market, the ramifications would be huge: The world's appetite for concrete is voracious'--we produce 30 billion tons of the stuff every year'--and concrete making alone is responsible for 5 to 10 percent of annual global CO2 emissions. An American firm would have a major advantage if it was the first to market with a zero-carbon concrete.
Finally, one of the most important efforts'--and the one most likely to fly under the radar'--is that the new Buy Clean task force will begin to calculate the carbon emissions ''embodied'' in various industrial products from American companies. It will ask, in essence, how much carbon pollution was emitted to make a ton of steel from a certain refinery in Ohio, or a ton of cement from a plant in Alabama. Although this may sound like an accounting exercise, it is a necessary precondition for the Biden administration's ambitious trade policy. The American industrial sector is less carbon-intensive than that of virtually any other country (except the European Union's). Last year, that relative climate friendliness allowed the White House to broker a ''green steel deal'' that gave American steelmakers access to the European market despite the U.S.'s lack of any carbon price. But in order to cut more of those deals, the government must know the emissions embodied in various goods.
Not all of these industrial policies are new. The ones that stoke demand are some of the oldest innovation-boosting plays in the government's book. Decades ago, they were used to establish American industries in semiconductors and solar panels. But they fell out of discussion until Operation Warp Speed, the Trump-era program that successfully developed COVID-19 vaccines within a year, demonstrated their efficacy. The Biden administration is trying to build on that success.
More broadly, this package is trying to solve the problem of how American climate policy should relate to the world. The thing is, when Republicans point out that the U.S. emits only 11 percent of global greenhouse-gas pollution each year, they're right (although their follow-up point, that therefore the U.S. should give up on fighting climate change, is dead wrong). The U.S. cannot solve climate change by itself'--no country can.
Still, Washington can make decarbonization far easier and cheaper for the world. America remains the global hegemon'--culturally, financially, technologically. When poorer countries are ''developing,'' they are, the assumption goes, developing to become more like the United States. Our superpower status has, with some exceptions, generally been a disaster for the climate: We have exported our car-centric transportation system abroad, extracted resources at terrible expense, and encouraged the global economy's oil dependence. In the 2010s, SUVs'--another quintessentially American cultural export'--were the second-biggest cause of rising climate pollution.
But if the U.S. is able to establish what a new zero-carbon lifestyle looks like, if it is able to develop competitive zero-carbon industries, then that too will shape the rest of the world's development. And if the U.S. can sell some of its zero-carbon industrial goods to other countries to help them build net-zero energy systems, buildings, and transportation networks? Then the Biden administration'--or any future climate-concerned presidency'--would really have some options.
Biden's plan, of course, could still fail. If Senate Democrats fail to broker a deal over the essential climate provisions in the Build Back Better Act, broader defeat for Biden's agenda will be very likely. And even if some legislation gets through, Biden's hand is still not ideal. If it turns out that Americans are too wedded to the status quo'--if nobody actually wants to live by zero-carbon industrial infrastructure, such as power plants, solar farms, and transmission lines'--then the plan will fail. Biden may yet move the world. Or the world could move him.
Report: Conspiracy theorists fueled bump in extremist killings in 2021 | National | journaltimes.com
Tue, 15 Feb 2022 15:36
A person carries a sign supporting QAnon during a protest rally in Olympia, Wash., on May 14, 2020. The QAnon conspiracy theory has been linked to acts of real-world violence, including last year's riot at the U.S. Capitol. In June 2021, a federal intelligence report warned that QAnon adherents could target Democrats and other political opponents for more violence.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File Newer strains of far-right movements fueled by conspiracy theories, misogyny and anti-vaccine proponents contributed to a modest rise in killings by domestic extremists in the United States last year, according to a report released Tuesday by a Jewish civil rights group.
Killings by domestic extremists increased from 23 in 2020 to at least 29 last year, with right-wing extremists killing 26 of those people in 2021, the Anti-Defamation League said in a report first provided to The Associated Press.
The ADL's report says white supremacists, antigovernment sovereign citizens and other adherents of long-standing movements were responsible for most of the 19 deadly attacks it counted in 2021. The New York City-based organization's list also included killings linked to newer right-wing movements that spread online during the coronavirus pandemic and former President Donald Trump's presidency.
The ADL concluded that roughly half of the 2021 killings didn't have a clear ideological motive, fitting a pattern that stretches back at least a decade.
The group's tally included a shooting rampage in Denver by Lyndon James McLeod, who killed five people in December before a police officer fatally shot him. McLeod was involved in the "manosphere," a toxic masculinity subculture, and harbored revenge fantasies against most of his victims, the ADL report notes.
FILE - Mourners gather outside a tattoo parlor, one of the scenes of a shooting spree by Lyndon McCleod, in Denver on on Dec. 28, 2021.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File Right-wing conspiracy theorists killed five people last year in two incidents, both involving "troubled perpetrators," the ADL report says.
In August, California surfing school owner Matthew Taylor Coleman was charged with killing his two young children with a spear gun in Mexico. Coleman told an FBI agent that he was "enlightened" by conspiracy theories, including QAnon, and believed his wife had passed "serpent DNA" on to his children, according to a court affidavit.
A Maryland man, Jeffrey Allen Burnham, was charged with killing his brother, his sister-in-law and a family friend in September. Charging documents said Burnham confronted his brother, a pharmacist, because he believed he was poisoning people with COVID-19 vaccines.
"Prior to the coronavirus, the anti-vaccine movement in the United States did not have a particular ideological leaning and contained both left-leaning and right-leaning activists," the ADL report says. "However, the politicization of the coronavirus and other factors have created many new anti-vaccine conspiracy adherents and given the anti-vaccine movement a distinctly right-wing tone it did not previously have."
The QAnon conspiracy theory has been linked to other acts of real-world violence, including last year's riot at the U.S. Capitol. In June, a federal intelligence report warned that QAnon adherents could target Democrats and other political opponents for more violence.
A core idea QAnon promotes is that Trump was secretly fighting a Satan-worshipping, child sex trafficking cabal of "deep state" enemies, prominent Democrats and Hollywood elites. QAnon hasn't faded away with Trump leaving office.
Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow at the ADL's Center on Extremism and author of Tuesday's report, said the QAnon movement is still evolving and increasingly overlapping with other extremist movements, including vaccine opponents.
"Could it sort of dissipate into those or could it find some sort of new focus or new life? Or could it just hang around if Donald Trump is elected again in 2024 and take a new form then?" Pitcavage said during an interview. "It's difficult to predict the future of those movements, so it's difficult to predict whether they will continue to have this sort of similar effect on people."
A dearth of mass killings in 2021 meant that last year's tally was far lower than the totals in any year between 2015 and 2019, when killings by domestic extremists ranged from 45 to 78.
In other respects, the ADL data for 2021 mirrors long-term trends.
Right-wing extremists have killed at least 333 people in the U.S. over the past decade, accounting for three-quarters of all extremist-related killings, the report says.
The ADL distinguishes between killings that it considers to be driven by ideology and those that it found to be non-ideological or lacking a clear motive. Its report says the numbers for each category have been close to even over the past 10 years. The ADL concluded that 14 of the 29 extremist killings in 2021 were apparently motivated at least in part by ideology.
The ADL attributed 13 killings last year to white supremacists, three to anti-government extremists, two to Black nationalists and one to an Islamist extremist.
The group didn't count the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, as an extremist killing. Sicknick collapsed and died hours after he was attacked by rioters who stormed the Capitol and interfered with Congress' certification of President Joe Biden's electoral victory. In April, the Washington, D.C., medical examiner's office ruled that Sicknick suffered a stroke and died from natural causes.
"Although it is clear that the Capitol attack could have contributed to, or even precipitated, the strokes that felled Sicknick, it cannot be definitely proven that he was murdered by a Capitol stormer," the ADL report says.
Images of chaos: AP photographers capture US Capitol riot Rioters scale a wall at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Jose Luis Magana Supporters loyal to then-President Donald Trump attend a rally on the Ellipse near the White House on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez Trump supporters participate in a rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo Trump supporters participate in a rally Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo Then-President Donald Trump gestures as he arrives to speak at a rally in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Jacquelyn Martin People listen as then-President Donald Trump speaks during a rally Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci Supporters of then-President Donald Trump try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez A supporter of then-President Donald Trump is injured during clashes with police at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez A rioter pours water on herself at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Jose Luis Magana A Trump supporter holds a Bible as he gathers with others outside the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo A demonstrator supporting then-President Donald Trump, is sprayed by police, Jan. 6, 2021, during a day of rioting at the Capitol.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo Rioters try to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo U.S. Capitol Police try to hold back rioters outside the east doors to the House side of the U.S. Capitol, Jan 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik Rioters gather outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Jan 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik Protesters gather outside the U.S. Capitol, Jan 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik Jacob Anthony Chansley, center, with other insurrectionists who supported then-President Donald Trump, are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber in the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Chansley, was among the first group of insurrectionists who entered the hallway outside the Senate chamber. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta U.S. Capitol Police hold rioters at gun-point near the House Chamber inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik Lawmakers evacuate the floor as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite Police with guns drawn watch as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite Congressmen shelter in the House gallery as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik Members of Congress wear emergency gas masks as they are evacuated from the House gallery as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik The House gallery is empty after it was evacuated as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., cleans up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 2021, after rioters stormed the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik Members of the DC National Guard surround the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., read the final certification of Electoral College votes cast in November's presidential election during a joint session of Congress after working through the night, at the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)
J. Scott Applewhite A flag hangs between broken windows after then-President Donald Trump supporters tried to break through police barriers outside the U.S. Capitol, Jan 6, 2021. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo A flag that reads "Treason" is visible on the ground in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 2021, after rioters stormed the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik An ATF police officer cleans up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 2021, after rioters stormed the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik Fencing is placed around the exterior of the Capitol grounds, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021 in Washington. The House and Senate certified the Democrat's electoral college win early Thursday after a violent throng of pro-Trump rioters spent hours Wednesday running rampant through the Capitol. A woman was fatally shot, windows were bashed and the mob forced shaken lawmakers and aides to flee the building, shielded by Capitol Police. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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A person carries a sign supporting QAnon during a protest rally in Olympia, Wash., on May 14, 2020. The QAnon conspiracy theory has been linked to acts of real-world violence, including last year's riot at the U.S. Capitol. In June 2021, a federal intelligence report warned that QAnon adherents could target Democrats and other political opponents for more violence.
FILE - Mourners gather outside a tattoo parlor, one of the scenes of a shooting spree by Lyndon McCleod, in Denver on on Dec. 28, 2021.
Cue Health, Google's provider of Covid-19 tests, just held its IPO
Mon, 14 Feb 2022 18:13
Cue Health, which makes at-home Covid-19 testing kidds, made its public market debut Friday.
In April, Google started sending at-home Covid-19 tests to its U.S. employees from a little-known start-up in San Diego called Cue Health.
Most of Cue Health's business up to that point had come from a deal with the U.S. Department of Defense to provide rapid tests to the federal government. Google instantly became the health tech company's biggest private sector customer.
Cue Health has used that relationship to help build a story compelling enough for public market investors. On Friday, the company debuted on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol "HLTH," and the stock climbed 25% to $20 at the close. That values Cue Health at $2.9 billion.
Founded in 2010, Cue Health had only a tiny amount of revenue before the Covid-19 pandemic. It spent the better part of a decade as a diagnostic testing company in research mode.
Everything changed in 2020, when the worst pandemic in a century suddenly made access to instant testing essential. In June 2020, the company received its first emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for Covid-19 tests.
Cue Health's test kit includes a wand, cartridge and reader. Users take a nasal swab with the wand and insert it in the small box, where a reader feeds results to a smartphone app within about 20 minutes. There's no need for processing at a lab.
In July 2020, a month after the emergency authorization, the National Basketball Association began using Cue Health tests for its "NBA bubble" in Orlando, Florida, where games were restarting without fans. Three months after that, the company signed a $480.9 million deal with the DOD, to "meet the unprecedented demand for rapid and accurate molecular diagnostic testing," according to the prospectus.
Cue Health Covid-19 test
The company is still operating under emergency use authorization as the products have not been fully FDA cleared or approved.
"We've been really working hard through the pandemic," Cue Health CEO Ayub Khattak said in an interview with CNBC on Friday after the IPO. The team "showed great determination to scale in the midst of the pandemic, which was quite a challenge."
Khattak founded the company with product chief Clint Sever originally under the name Ruubix. Before last year, they were mostly focused on research and development.
The latest boon to the business came from Google, a deal that wasn't announced publicly and was first disclosed in one sentence in Cue Health's IPO prospectus earlier this month.
"In April 2021, the Company and Google LLC entered into an agreement to provide Cue Health Readers and Cue COVID-19 Test Kits to Google's U.S.-based employees through year end," the filing said.
Cue said that revenue in the first half of the year reached $201.9 million, up from $5 million in the same period a year earlier. More than 80% of its revenue came from sales to the public sector. Of the remaining $34.8 million in revenue, $28.9 million was from a "single enterprise customer," Cue Health said.
Khattak declined to name that customer, but people familiar with the matter confirmed to CNBC that it's Google. The people asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.
A Google spokesperson declined to comment.
Cue Health could still be a particularly risky bet for investors because the company hasn't proven it has a market outside of Covid-19 tests.
The company acknowledges that issue at the beginning of the risk factors section in its prospectus. "Our COVID-19 test is currently our only commercially available test," the filing says. "Our limited commercial operating history may make it difficult to evaluate our current business and predict our future performance."
Scaling up productionAs of August, Cue had sold 5 million testing kits and said that it's manufacturing cartridges at a rate that exceeds 15 million a year.
"We anticipate growing our manufacturing capacity to a rate equivalent to tens of millions of Cue Cartridges per year by the end of 2021," the filing said.
Cue Health has had to hire to meet scaling demands. The company had fewer than 100 employees in 2020 and now has more than 1,250. In April, Glenn Wada, a senior vice president at Salesforce, was named chief commercial officer. Khattak said that despite the competitiveness for tech talent, Cue Health has been able to recruit because it's addressing such a tangible global problem.
Beyond Covid-19, Cue Health says it's working on a number of tests that can be completed using saliva, urine and blood samples and nasal swabs. Those diagnostic tests will cover things like respiratory health, sexual health and determining risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease.
Khattak said the company hopes to provide direct-to-consumer virtual care and testing for common illnesses like strep throat.
For Google, the agreement with Cue Health has allowed employees to order additional test strips through the company's internal resources portal. Without the availability of in-office perks like free food or other amenities, the company has tried other ways to appeal to employees, offering resources for mental and physical health.
Google had planned for employees to return to the office in September, but that date got pushed to Jan. 10, 2022.
Khattak said the Google partnership began because his company was using the Google Cloud Platform, which competes with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Google approached Cue Health when it realized that its workforce needed the kind of testing product Khattak's team was developing.
"It kind of converged at that point," Khattak said. "We were doing everything we could to scale up and meet demands of our customers so we were not necessarily in outreach mode. But given the connection we had, we chose them and they chose us."
Their work together goes deeper.
In August of this year, Cue and Google Cloud entered into a partnership to develop real-time variant tracking and sequencing of Covid-19, the prospectus says.
They aim to create an "advanced respiratory biothreat detection system spanning from the Company's at-home diagnostic testing to full real-time viral sequencing as well as analytical and predictive capability using Google Cloud powered solutions," according to the filing.
Another testing company on trialCue's public debut comes as Elizabeth Holmes, founder of defunct blood-testing company Theranos, is on criminal trial for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She has pleaded not guilty.
Khattak said Theranos naturally comes up in conversation, given the timing of the two events.
"As a company growing and having that sort of in your backyard, basically, it's something that essentially creates a much higher hurdle," Khattak said. "But, we are in the fortunate position that we have a product that's widely used, There's no black box that you can't understand what's going on."
Cue Health also has independent clinical studies from the Mayo Clinic and has been thoroughly vetted through health validations.
"We're excited to be through a lot of those hurdles," Khattak said.
WATCH: Cue Health CEO on FDA emergency authorization for Covid at-home tests