1454: Green Transition

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 14m
May 26th, 2022
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Hi Adam and John
I wanted to give you a precision about the French medical workers that are not vaccinated. They were not fired but suspended without pay. That means that they can not get unemployment money or any other aid. They can not work and they get 0€. This has been going on since september 2021 so for 8 months now.
Keep up the great work
(Sir kwyjiboo) from Luxembourg
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Food Intelligence
A Vaccine Against Group B Streptococcus: Recent Advances - PMC
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:53
Journal List Infect Drug Resist v.13; 2020 PMC7196769 Infect Drug Resist. 2020; 13: 1263''1272.
Clara Carreras-Abad1Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group and Vaccine Institute, Institute for Infection and Immunity, St George's, University of London, London, UK
2Department of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Universitat Aut²noma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Laxmee Ramkhelawon1Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group and Vaccine Institute, Institute for Infection and Immunity, St George's, University of London, London, UK
Paul T Heath1Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group and Vaccine Institute, Institute for Infection and Immunity, St George's, University of London, London, UK
Kirsty Le Doare1Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group and Vaccine Institute, Institute for Infection and Immunity, St George's, University of London, London, UK
3Pathogen Immunity Group, Public Health England, Porton Down,UK
4Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Uganda Research Unit, Entebbe, Uganda
1Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group and Vaccine Institute, Institute for Infection and Immunity, St George's, University of London, London, UK
2Department of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Universitat Aut²noma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
3Pathogen Immunity Group, Public Health England, Porton Down,UK
4Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Uganda Research Unit, Entebbe, Uganda
Correspondence: Clara Carreras-Abad Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group, Institute for Infection and Immunity, St George's, University of London, Jenner Wing, Level 2 Mailpoint J2C, Cranmer Terrace, London, SW17 0RE, UK, Email ccarrera@sgul.ac.uk
Received 2019 Oct 10; Accepted 2020 Mar 10.
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cited by other articles in PMC.
AbstractGroup B streptococcus (GBS) causes a high burden of neonatal and infant disease globally. Implementing a vaccine for pregnant women is a promising strategy to prevent neonatal and infant GBS disease and has been identified as a priority by the World Health Organisation (WHO). GBS serotype-specific polysaccharide '' protein conjugate vaccines are at advanced stages of development, but a large number of participants would be required to undertake Phase III clinical efficacy trials. Efforts are therefore currently focused on establishing serocorrelates of protection in natural immunity studies as an alternative pathway for licensure of a GBS vaccine, followed by Phase IV studies to evaluate safety and effectiveness. Protein vaccines are in earlier stages of development but are highly promising as they might confer protection irrespective of serotype. Further epidemiological, immunological and health economic studies are required to enable the vaccine to reach its target population as soon as possible.
Keywords: Group B streptococcus, Streptococcus agalactiae, maternal vaccines, maternal immunisation, neonatal sepsis, infant sepsis
IntroductionGroup B streptococcus (GBS) is a leading cause of neonatal and infant sepsis and meningitis globally.1''3 GBS can also cause stillbirths, prematurity and disease in pregnant women, immunocompromised adults and the elderly but the highest incidence of disease is in neonates and young infants.4
A systematic review and meta-analysis conducted in 2017 estimated a global incidence of invasive infant GBS disease of 0.49 (95%Cl 0.43''0.56) per 1000 live births.5 In 2015, GBS was estimated to have caused 319,000 cases of invasive neonatal GBS disease globally, resulting in 90,000 deaths.3 Serotypes Ia, Ib, II, III and V account for 98% of all rectovaginal colonisation in pregnant women worldwide.6 The most frequent GBS serotype causing disease in infants is serotype III (61.5%) followed by Ia (19.1%), V (6.7%) and Ib (5.7%).5 However, the fulminating nature of disease during the first hours of life and the technical difficulties in making an etiological diagnosis in many low- and middle-income settings means that this might represent a significant underestimation of the true GBS disease burden.7 Epidemiological data on the burden of GBS disease, especially from African countries, where most infant deaths from all-cause sepsis occur, is urgently required.7 Infant mortality estimates are seven times higher in WHO African region (51 per 1000 live births) compared to WHO European region (7 per 1000 live births).8
Intrapartum Antibiotic Prophylaxis (IAP) has reduced the incidence of early onset disease (EOD, occurring from day 0 to 6 of life) in many countries using these strategies, especially those that screen all pregnant women for GBS rectovaginal colonisation during late pregnancy and give IAP to all GBS-colonised women regardless of presenting risk factors.9,10 However, IAP coverage is incomplete even in the best of settings,11 has no impact on late onset disease (LOD, occurring from day 7 to 90 of life), stillbirths and prematurity due to GBS, as well as a limited impact on disease in pregnant women.10,12 Widespread IAP use might also be an issue in the context of international efforts to control antimicrobial resistance. Furthermore, antibiotics might have an effect on the infant gut flora. Effects of early life events on the neonatal microbiome have been associated with increased rates of allergy, asthma and obesity.13''15
Novel Features of a Maternal Vaccine for GBSA suitable vaccine against GBS given to pregnant women could provide effective protection to those forms of invasive disease that cannot be prevented with IAP or where IAP is not feasible or is incomplete. Furthermore, a vaccine would be more easily accessible than GBS culture in all settings and would avoid the need for antimicrobial administration, avoiding the potential negative consequences of IAP in the long term.
Maternal immunisation is already a successful tool to prevent tetanus,16 influenza17 and pertussis18 in young infants. The placental transfer of maternal antibodies from mother to infant reduces the window of susceptibility to infections during the first months of life.19 This same rationale has been used to investigate new vaccines against common infections, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and GBS.20 A major characteristic of these new vaccines is that they are being specifically designed for pregnant women.20
Vaccine Development: Overview of Current EffortsDuring the 2015 World Health Organisation (WHO) Product Development for Vaccines Advisory Committee meeting, GBS was identified as a high priority for the development of a vaccine for maternal immunisation because of the major public health burden posed by GBS in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), and the high technical feasibility for successful development.21 Recent estimates suggest that an effective GBS maternal vaccine (>80% efficacy), with high (90%) global coverage, could prevent 231,000 infant and maternal GBS cases, 41,000 stillbirths and 66,000 infant deaths annually.3
Evidence suggests that maternal immunisation with protein-conjugated GBS capsular polysaccharides may reduce the disease risk in neonates and young infants in a serotype-specific manner.22''24 In addition, as there are proteins that can be present in different serotypes, protein-based vaccines have the potential to provide protection across the serotype spectrum. These are also under evaluation.25,26 Table 1 summarizes the development status of current vaccine candidates.
Table 1Summary of Different Vaccine Candidates
Vaccine CandidatePreclinicalPhase IPhase IITrials in Pregnant WomenPhase IIIMonovalent and bivalent conjugates (tetanus toxoid/CRM197-CPS)xxxxTrivalent CRM197-CPS conjugatesxxxxHexavalent CRM197-CPS conjugatesxxxxN-terminal domains of the Rib and AlphaC proteinsxxPilus proteinsxOther proteinsxBiotinylated CPS conjugatesxCapsular Polysaccharide Conjugate VaccinesA number of virulence factors expressed by GBS are involved in colonisation, adherence, invasion and immune evasion27''29 and these could be used as potential vaccine candidates. One of the most well-studied virulence factors of GBS is its unique sialic acid-rich capsular polysaccharide (CPS) which inhibits complement deposition and protects the bacteria from opsonophagocytosis by immune cells, thus contributing to the evasion of host immune defense mechanisms.30,31 The CPS also enhances biofilm formation, inhibits the binding of antimicrobial peptides and neutrophil extracellular traps (NET) as well as disturbing bacterial adherence to the epithelium and mucus, thus increasing GBS invasiveness.32''38
GBS expresses 10 types of CPS (Ia, Ib, II''IX) that are structurally and antigenically different.39''41 Variously arranged monosaccharides and a sialic acid residue on the branching terminus of the repeating unit make up the CPS. According to recent meta-analyses, 97% of invasive isolates in all geographical regions are caused by five of the most common serotypes of GBS (Ia, Ib, II, III and V) with serotype III the most commonly found cause of disease in infants.5 Serotype IV is an emerging and increasing cause of invasive disease, especially in non-pregnant adults, with the potential to become an important cause of neonatal disease, with some cases already reported.42''45
As polysaccharides are T-cell independent antigens, the polysaccharide is conjugated to a protein carrier in order to trigger both a protective and a memory B-cell response. Earlier vaccines were conjugated to a tetanus toxoid, such vaccines might have particular value in LMIC where neonatal tetanus is still a concern.46,47 However, the main carrier protein currently used is CRM197, a nontoxic mutant of diphtheria toxin, which is highly immunogenic. Studies using either carrier protein demonstrated better immunogenicity with high levels of antibodies with CPS-conjugates compared to unconjugated vaccines.48,49
The first clinical trials were conducted with monovalent vaccines (Ia, Ib, II, III and V).48''52 However, single serotypes do not generally produce cross-reactive immunity against other serotypes, thus multivalent vaccines were developed. A phase I/II clinical trial (registered as {"type":"clinical-trial","attrs":{"text":"NCT01193920","term_id":"NCT01193920"}} NCT01193920 at the ClinicalTrials.gov database) of a trivalent (Ia, Ib and III) CRM197 conjugate vaccine in pregnant women reported higher levels of CPS-specific antibodies in infants at birth and no safety concerns .53 In 2017, a clinical trial of a GBS polysaccharide conjugate vaccine targeting serotypes Ia, Ib, II, III and V was started but, more recently, in view of the increase of disease caused by serotype IV, this serotype was added to create an hexavalent vaccine (Ia, Ib, II, III, IV, and V) with the aim to cover at least 98% of GBS isolates causing neonatal invasive disease ( {"type":"clinical-trial","attrs":{"text":"NCT03170609","term_id":"NCT03170609"}} NCT03170609).5,54 In order to verify the clinical safety and immunogenicity of this hexavalent vaccine, further clinical trials will be required. Currently, a phase I/II clinical trial ( {"type":"clinical-trial","attrs":{"text":"NCT03765073","term_id":"NCT03765073"}} NCT03765073) is being conducted in South Africa to evaluate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of a hexavalent vaccine in healthy non-pregnant and pregnant women.
It has been shown that opsonophagocytosis is the main mechanism for the host to clear GBS infection.24 A recent Phase II study ( {"type":"clinical-trial","attrs":{"text":"NCT01446289","term_id":"NCT01446289"}} NCT01446289) demonstrated that maternal antibodies of pregnant women vaccinated with a trivalent glycoconjugated vaccine composed of CPS Ia, Ib and III result in opsono-phagocytic killing (OPK) titers against each GBS serotype. Analysis of cord sera revealed a strong positive correlation between IgG concentrations and OPK titers, which is predictive of functional activity against GBS infection.55
The role of anti-capsular antibodies in preventing GBS maternal colonisation, as well as ascending infection and neonatal transmission was recently evaluated in an animal model.56 Results show that systemic immunisation with a type III CRM197-glycoconjugate vaccine produces high levels of IgG that can reduce vaginal acquisition of serotype III during pregnancy.56 Studies in pregnant women showed the same association with natural immunity.57,58 Further studies will be needed to confirm the same results in vaccinated women.
Few studies have evaluated the number of doses that will be required per pregnancy for full immunity. In one study in healthy, non-pregnant women, no increase in antibody levels was shown after a second dose of a trivalent CRM197-glycoconjugate vaccine administered one month after the first dose.59 A recent study published in 2019 ( {"type":"clinical-trial","attrs":{"text":"NCT02690181","term_id":"NCT02690181"}} NCT02690181) evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of a second dose of a trivalent (Ia, Ib and III) CRM197 conjugate vaccine in non-pregnant women over a long period of time (4 to 6 years) after the administration of the first dose. Antibody levels from previously GBS-vaccinated women increased '‰¥200-fold after a second dose. Women presenting with undetectable antibody levels after first dose also experienced an increase of anti-GBS concentrations after a second dose.60 These results suggest that further doses might be required in subsequent pregnancies.
Serocorrelates of ProtectionAlthough several vaccine candidates are undergoing preclinical and clinical trials, in order to achieve licensure of a vaccine for GBS, phase III clinical trials may be required. These would need to be very large in order to demonstrate efficacy in countries able to conduct such trials.61 As there is a good correlation between immune response and clinical protection, licensure of a GBS vaccine could also be based on antibody measurement, if a specific antibody response can be correlated with protection.62''65 A review undertaken in 2019 synthesised the scientific evidence to define a serocorrelate of protection against GBS disease based on studies of natural infection.66 In such a scenario, a phase IV study will be required post-licensure to assess effectiveness. This is the same approach used for meningococcal B vaccine licensure in the United Kingdom.67
Assays for Antibody Quantification and EvaluationThe concentration of antibodies against serotype-specific CPS antigens can be quantified using standard immunogenicity assays (IA). However, there are several limitations to using current IA as the concentration measurement is very dependent on how well CPS is immobilized on an ELISA plate. There are other technical difficulties including inconsistent binding of immobilized CPS to the solid phase or a nonspecific serotype-independent binding, of antibodies with lower avidity.49 There has been much debate about the methods of CPS-binding, for example that used in pneumococcal assays (poly-L-lycine) or the novel biotin-streptavidin methods.66,68,69 The biotinylated method has the advantage of being able to use mass spectroscopy to determine the exact binding site of the biotin to the CPS, enabling the monitoring of any potential conformational changes to the CPS.69 However, whether this affects the performance of the assay is unknown.
The radio-antigen binding assay (RABA) had been used successfully to quantify levels of anti-GBS antibody as it measures antibody in its native state;70 however, as with most assays, there are several limitations, including low detection sensitivity, difficulties in obtaining and using radioisotopes and limited ability to quantify IgG isotopes. Therefore, it is imperative for techniques quantifying capsular serotype-specific antibodies in serum to be sensitive as well as serotype-specific.71 Multiplex immunoassays (MIAs) based on the Luminex technology are very useful in simultaneously quantifying the concentration of IgG antibodies against the capsule of multiple GBS serotypes. A Luminex-based direct immunoassay (dLIA) was recently developed for pneumococcal CPS.68 The latter could generate up to 143 test results in a single 96-well plate using similar principles to an ELISA assay for evaluating vaccines in clinical trials. MIAs quantifying IgG antibodies against the six most frequent GBS capsular variants (Ia, Ib, II, III, IV and V) would prove to be extremely useful in the standardisation of the assay used for GBS vaccine development.
The functionality of antibodies may also have a significant role in protection against GBS infections. ELISAs are limited in this aspect as they cannot distinguish between antibodies with low avidity and those with high avidity. Therefore, the opsonophagocytosis killing assay (OPkA) enables the measurement of antibody functionality.72 For the validation of the pneumococcal vaccine, the granulocytic cell line (HL60) was used, making the assay more reproducible.73 The assay was also multiplexed, which proved to be advantageous as it was less time-consuming and the amount of serum needed for the assay was reduced.74,75 Although a multiplexed OPkA for GBS (GBS-MOPA) has been developed for use in newborns, it only targets serotypes Ia, III and V.76 Therefore, a GBS-OPA targeting all possible vaccine serotypes is necessary for future GBS vaccine development and evaluation.
Protein VaccinesAlthough CPS-conjugate vaccines have been demonstrated to induce good immunogenicity, there are still several limitations, including potential immune interference with other types of conjugate vaccines such as Haemophilus influenzae type b, meningococcal and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.77,78 There is also the possibility of serotype replacement and switching post vaccination, as well as an increase in non-encapsulated GBS strains.79''81 Alternative vaccine candidates include structurally conserved protein antigens which can induce a strong immune response against most GBS strains. In order to develop a vaccine that can confer broad protection against GBS, several studies have identified proteins common to all GBS strains. Members of the Alp family, including AlphaC, Alp1 (Epsilon), Alp2, Alp3 (R28), Alp4 and Rib, are the most well-known and abundant surface proteins. These proteins are expressed by different serotypes ( Table 2 ).82''85 Although there have been preclinical vaccine investigations using AlphaC, Alp3 and Rib proteins, the heterogeneity of the Alp sequence restricts the use of Alp proteins as potential vaccine candidates.86,87 Nonetheless, a protein vaccine based on the highly immunogenic N-terminal domains of AlphaC and Rib (GBS-NN) has been studied in a Phase I clinical trial ( {"type":"clinical-trial","attrs":{"text":"NCT02459262","term_id":"NCT02459262"}} NCT02459262). The participants included 240 healthy women who were immunised with one or two doses of GBS-NN, generating an elevated level of GBS-NN specific antibodies by over-30 fold in both groups.82,88 GBS expresses either one of two-allelic serine-rich repeat 1 (Srr1) and serine rich-repeat 2(Srr2) proteins,89 both of which can bind to fibrinogen Aα chain through the ''dock, lock and latch'' mechanism, thus contributing to the pathogenesis of GBS meningitis and GBS colonisation of the vaginal surface.89''91 The antigenic latch domain consisting of 13 amino acids containing both Srr1 and Srr2, was shown to play a significant role in GBS pathogenesis. Murine models have exhibited serotype-independent protection against GBS infection after being vaccinated with the latch-peptide vaccine.92 C5a peptidase, which is a GBS virulence factor, was also considered as a universal protein vaccine or a carrier for GBS-CPS.93 C5a peptidase encapsulated within microspheres composed of lactic acid and glycolic acid co-polymer triggered systemic and mucosal immune responses in murine models, thus protecting them against multiple GBS serotypes.94,95 Another type of surface protein are the pilus proteins, which, in preclinical and human studies, were found to induce immune responses against different GBS serotypes.30,96,97
Table 2Alp Family Proteins Commonly Expressed in Different GBS Serotypes
GBS SerotypeAlp Family Protein Commonly ExpressedIaAlphaC, Alp1, Alp2IbAlphaCIIAlphaC, RibIIIRib, Alp2VAlp2, Alp3Next Steps, New PerspectivesThe most advanced vaccine candidates are hexavalent vaccines including serotypes Ia, Ib, II, III, IV, and V, which are now in phase II trials.54 Immunogenicity and safety of these candidates has been demonstrated in non-pregnant and, more recently, in pregnant women.22 Protein vaccines are in phase I trials including human studies in non-pregnant women.88,92,94-96
Several obstacles exist in moving the most advanced vaccines into phase III clinical trials. Given the relatively low incidence of GBS disease in Europe and the USA, large numbers of participants would be needed to determine vaccine efficacy.98 In addition, obstacles exist in determining what concentration of antibody is required to protect the infant for the duration of the period at risk (the 3 first months of life) as there are currently no internationally recognised correlates of protection with which to interpret individual study results.99 Therefore, a serocorrelate of protection against GBS is needed to accelerate the licensure of a vaccine. The standardisation of reagents to measure antibodies against GBS is crucial for the establishment of serological correlates of protection and for the development of GBS vaccines. The GASTON consortium was recently set up with this aim.66
On the other hand, efforts to identify common proteins to all GBS strains have been made in order to find a vaccine that confers protection against all GBS serotypes. Recent use of molecular techniques, such as multi-locus sequence type (MLST) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS), have allowed us to better characterise the GBS structure, as well as to identify the virulent lineages such as ST17 hypervirulent strain, strongly associated with serotype III. As it is important to understand the genetic lineages that are more likely to cause GBS disease in order to better define vaccine targets, a global genomic survey of GBS has been established (the JUNO project).100
Other Areas for Future ResearchAs mentioned above, it is important to establish rates of maternal colonisation and GBS disease worldwide, as well as to understand the relationship between colonisation and invasive infection, to assist assessments of vaccine efficacy. Regional serotype distribution is also required, especially from many LMIC were few data are currently available.
Once a vaccine is licensed, the number and timing of doses for optimum coverage during pregnancy and the number of doses required for full protection needs to be determined. There are other knowledge gaps remaining, including the placental transfer of vaccine-induced immune responses in special populations, such as women infected with HIV, malaria, syphilis and hepatitis B, among others. These infections, highly prevalent in LMIC, may alter the immune response to vaccines and impair antibody transfer across the placenta. A phase II trial using a GBS trivalent vaccine (Ia, Ib, III) undertaken in Malawi and South Africa among 270 pregnant women with or without HIV infection ( {"type":"clinical-trial","attrs":{"text":"NCT01412801","term_id":"NCT01412801"}} NCT01412801) showed that the immune response to vaccines and serotype-specific antibody concentrations in infants at birth were lower in the HIV infected group.101 Maternal immunisation policies require understanding of the role of these endemic infections in generating immune responses that ensure adequate protection of infants in these challenging environments.102,103
Finally, cost-effectiveness evaluation is required. Cost-effectiveness studies have indicated that the predominant cost drivers are disease incidence, immunisation coverage and vaccine efficacy.104 In high income countries, where GBS disease is well characterized, it has been shown that a maternal vaccine would be more cost-effective compared to IAP and doing nothing.105 A population-based economic analysis in the USA concluded that vaccinating 80% of pregnant women with a vaccine that prevents 80% of cases among infants born at or after 34 weeks of gestation would prevent approximately 4100 neonatal cases annually with a net savings of 131 million USD.105 A study in South Africa also concluded that GBS maternal vaccination would be very cost-effective by WHO guidelines.106 This study reported that, assuming that vaccine efficacy varies from 50% to 90% with a 75% coverage, GBS immunisation alone, without IAP prevention, would prevent 30''54% of infant GBS cases compared to doing nothing. In contrast, risk factor based-IAP alone prevents 10% of infant GBS cases compared to doing nothing. Furthermore, at a vaccination cost between 10 and 30 USD, and mid-range efficacy, vaccine introduction costs range from 676 to 2390 USD per disability-adjusted life-year (DALY) averted, compared to doing nothing.106 A modeling study of different sub-Saharan African countries showed that maternal GBS immunisation could be a cost-effective intervention, with cost-effectiveness ratios similar to other recently introduced vaccines.107 37 African countries were clustered in four different groups according to their economic and health resources and public health outcomes. One country of each cluster was chosen as representative: Guinea-Bissau, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana. At equal coverage to that of pregnant women that attend four or more antenatal visits and with vaccine efficacy of 70%, maternal vaccination would prevent one-third of GBS cases in Uganda and Nigeria, 42''43% in Guinea-Bissau and 55''57% in Ghana. For a vaccine price of 7 USD per dose, maternal vaccination would cost from 320 to 350 USD per DALY averted in Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria and Ghana, as well as 573 USD in Uganda. The vaccine would be less cost-effective in Uganda as neonatal mortality seems to be lower.107 A recent study by our group of cost-effectiveness of a potential hexavalent vaccine in the Gambia indicated that disease incidence was the key factor in determining cost-effectiveness in a low income setting as the cost of doing nothing is very inexpensive as infants would classically die at home without receiving treatment.108 These studies, together with more epidemiological data in LMIC, might raise the impact resulting from a vaccine prevention strategy.
Data provided in this review demonstrate that obtaining a vaccine for pregnant women is a promising strategy to prevent neonatal and infant GBS disease. Consensus among public health institutions and sponsors is now a priority to allow this breakthrough that will help reduce neonatal and infant mortality, especially in the most vulnerable populations.
DisclosureProfessor Paul T Heath and Dr Kirsty Le Doare are members of the WHO Scientific Advisory Group to provide inputs to the development of a value proposition for Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Vaccines. Dr Kirsty Le Doare has received funding from Pfizer in 2016 for an unrelated project. The authors report no other conflicts of interest in this work.
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Ray Liotta, 'Goodfellas' star and gifted character actor, dies at 67
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:45
Ray Liotta, the actor best known for playing mobster Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese's crime classic "Goodfellas," has died.
He was 67.
Liotta died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was filming a movie called "Dangerous Waters," according to his publicist, Jennifer Allen.
In an acting career that spanned four decades, Liotta established himself as one of the most dependable tough-guy performers in Hollywood, skilled at portraying cops and criminals in films like "Something Wild," "Cop Land" and "Killing Them Softly."
Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta in 'Goodfellas'. Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett CollectionBut he occasionally showed off a warmer side, endearing himself to audiences as the ghost of baseball giant Shoeless Joe Jackson in "Field of Dreams," opposite Kevin Costner.
"Goodfellas" was indisputably the high-water mark of his career, however, providing him with a juicy lead role in a decade-spanning mafia epic. He portrayed Henry Hill, a real-life mob associate who gets swept up in the thrill and glamour of the criminal underworld.t
This is a breaking story. Refresh for updates.
Daniel Arkin is a reporter for NBC News who focuses on popular culture and the entertainment industry, particularly film and television.
Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.
Yuval Noah Harari - Wikipedia
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:38
Israeli historian, philosopher, and author
Yuval Noah Harari (Hebrew: ×וב×' × ×— ×--×¨×¨× [juËval Ënoaχ haËʁaʁi] ; born 1976) is an Israeli public intellectual, historian and a professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[1] He is the author of the popular science bestsellers Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2014), Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016), and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018). His writings examine free will, consciousness, intelligence, happiness and suffering.
Harari writes about the "cognitive revolution" occurring roughly 70,000 years ago when Homo sapiens supplanted the rival Neanderthals and other species of the genus Homo, developed language skills and structured societies, and ascended as apex predators, aided by the agricultural revolution and accelerated by the scientific revolution, which have allowed humans to approach near mastery over their environment. His books also examine the possible consequences of a futuristic biotechnological world in which intelligent biological organisms are surpassed by their own creations; he has said, "Homo sapiens as we know them will disappear in a century or so".[2]
In Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Harari surveys human history from the evolutionary emergence of Homo Sapiens to 21st Century political and technological revolutions. The book is based on his lectures to an undergraduate world history class.
Early life [ edit ] Yuval Noah Harari was born and raised in Kiryat Ata, Israel, one of three children born to Shlomo and Pnina Harari. His family was a secular Jewish family with roots in Lebanon and Eastern Europe. His father was a state-employed armaments engineer and his mother was an office administrator.[3][4][5] Harari taught himself to read at age three. He studied in a class for intellectually gifted children at the Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa from the age of eight. He deferred mandatory military service in the Israel Defense Forces to pursue university studies as part of the Atuda program but was later exempted from completing his military service following his studies due to health issues.[5] He began studying history and international relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at age 17.
Academic career [ edit ] Harari first specialized in medieval history and military history in his studies from 1993 to 1998 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He completed his D.Phil. degree at Jesus College, Oxford, in 2002, under the supervision of Steven J. Gunn. From 2003 to 2005, he pursued postdoctoral studies in history as a Yad Hanadiv Fellow.[6] While at Oxford, Harari first encountered the writings of Jared Diamond, whom he has acknowledged as an influence on his own writing. At a Berggruen Institute salon, Harari said that Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel ''was kind of an epiphany in my academic career. I realized that I could actually write such books.''[7][8]
Literary career [ edit ] Harari has published numerous books and articles, including Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100''1550;[9] The Ultimate Experience: Battlefield Revelations and the Making of Modern War Culture, 1450''2000;[10] The Concept of 'Decisive Battles' in World History;[11] and Armchairs, Coffee and Authority: Eye-witnesses and Flesh-witnesses Speak about War, 1100''2000.[12] He now specializes in world history and macro-historical processes.
His book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind was originally published in Hebrew in 2011 based on the 20 lectures of an undergraduate world history class he was teaching. It was then released in English in 2014 and has since been translated into some 45 additional languages.[13] The book surveys the entire length of human history, from the evolution of Homo sapiens in the Stone Age up to the political and technological revolutions of the 21st century. The Hebrew edition became a bestseller in Israel, and generated much interest among the general public, turning Harari into a celebrity.[14] Joseph Drew wrote that "Sapiens provides a wide-ranging and thought-provoking introduction for students of comparative civilization," considering it as a work that "highlights the importance and wide expanse of the social sciences."[15]
Harari's follow-up book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, was published in 2016 and examines the possibilities for the future of Homo sapiens.[16] The book's premise outlines that, in the future, humanity is likely to make a significant attempt to gain happiness, immortality and God-like powers.[17] The book goes on to openly speculate various ways this ambition might be realised for Homo sapiens in the future based on the past and present. Among several possibilities for the future, Harari develops the term dataism for a philosophy or mindset that worships big data.[18][19] Writing in The New York Times Book Review, Siddhartha Mukherjee stated that although the book "fails to convince me entirely," he considers it "essential reading for those who think about the future."[20]
His latest book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, published on 30 August 2018, focuses more on present-day concerns.[21][22][23][24] A review in the New Statesman commented on what it called "risible moral dictums littered throughout the text", criticised Harari's writing style and stated that he was "trafficking in pointless asides and excruciating banalities."[25] Another review in Kirkus Reviews praised the book as a "tour de force" and described it as a "highly instructive exploration of current affairs and the immediate future of human societies.''[26]
The first volume of his graphic adaptation of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Sapiens: A Graphic History '' The Birth of Humankind, co-authored with David Vandermeulen and Daniel Casanave, was published in November 2020 and launched at a livestream event organised by How to Academy and Penguin Books.[27]
Views and opinions [ edit ] Harari is interested in how Homo sapiens reached its current condition and in its future. His research focuses on macro-historical questions, such as "What is the relation between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded?"
Harari regards dissatisfaction as the "deep root" of human reality, and as related to evolution.[28]
In a 2017 article, Harari argued that through continuing technological progress and advances in the field of artificial intelligence, "by 2050 a new class of people might emerge '' the useless class. People who are not just unemployed, but unemployable."[29] He put forward the case that dealing with this new social class economically, socially and politically will be a central challenge for humanity in the coming decades.[30]
Harari sees an existential threat in an arms race in artificial intelligence and bioengineering and he expressed the need for close co-operation between nations to solve threats like ecological collapse, nuclear war and technological disruption.[31]
Harari has commented on the plight of animals, particularly domesticated animals since the agricultural revolution, and is a vegan.[4] In a 2015 Guardian article under the title "Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history" he called "[t]he fate of industrially farmed animals [...] one of the most pressing ethical questions of our time."[32]
Harari summed up his views on the world in a 2018 interview with Steve Paulson of Nautilus thus: "Things are better than ever before. Things are still quite bad. Things can get much worse. This adds up to a somewhat optimistic view because if you realize things are better than before, this means we can make them even better."[33]
Harari wrote that although the idea of free will and the liberal values based upon it "emboldened people who had to fight against the Inquisition, the divine right of kings, the KGB and the KKK", it has become dangerous in a world of a data economy, where, he argues, in reality, there is no such thing, and governments and corporations are coming to know the individual better than they know themselves and "if governments and corporations succeed in hacking the human animal, the easiest people to manipulate will be those who believe in free will."[34] Harari elaborates that "Humans certainly have a will '' but it isn't free. You cannot decide what desires you have... Every choice depends on a lot of biological, social and personal conditions that you cannot determine for yourself. I can choose what to eat, whom to marry and whom to vote for, but these choices are determined in part by my genes, my biochemistry, my gender, my family background, my national culture, etc '' and I didn't choose which genes or family to have."[34]
Personal life [ edit ] Harari is gay[35] and in 2002 met his husband Itzik Yahav, whom he calls "my internet of all things".[36][37] Yahav is also Harari's personal manager.[38] They married in a civil ceremony in Toronto, Canada.[39]
Harari says Vipassana meditation, which he began whilst in Oxford in 2000,[40] has "transformed my life".[41] He practises for two hours every day (one hour at the start and end of his work day[42]), every year undertakes a meditation retreat of 30 days or longer, in silence and with no books or social media,[43][44][28] and is an assistant meditation teacher.[45] He dedicated Homo Deus to "my teacher, S. N. Goenka, who lovingly taught me important things", and said "I could not have written this book without the focus, peace and insight gained from practising Vipassana for fifteen years."[46] He also regards meditation as a way to research.[28]
Harari is a vegan, and says this resulted from his research, including his view that the foundation of the dairy industry is breaking the bond between mother cow and calf.[4][47] As of May 2021, Harari does not have a smartphone.[48][49]
Harari lives in Karmei Yosef, a community settlement in central Israel.[50]
Awards and recognition [ edit ] Harari twice won the Polonsky Prize for "Creativity and Originality", in 2009 and 2012. In 2011, he won the Society for Military History's Moncado Award for outstanding articles in military history. In 2012, he was elected to the Young Israeli Academy of Sciences.
Sapiens was in the top 3 of The New York Times Best Seller list for 96 consecutive weeks. In 2018, Harari gave the first TED Talk as a digital avatar.[51]
In 2017, Homo Deus won Handelsblatt's German Economic Book Award for the most thoughtful and influential economic book of the year.[52]
In 2018 and 2020, Harari spoke at the World Economic Forum annual conference in Davos.[53]
Controversy [ edit ] In July 2019, Harari was widely criticised for allowing several omissions and amendments in the Russian edition of his third book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, using a softer tone when speaking about Russian authorities.[54][55] Leonid Bershidsky in Moscow Times called it "caution '-- or, to call it by its proper name, cowardice",[56] and Nettanel Slyomovics in Haaretz claimed that "he is sacrificing those same liberal ideas that he presumes to represent".[57] In a response, Harari stated that he "was warned that due to these few examples Russian censorship will not allow distribution of a Russian translation of the book" and that he "therefore faced a dilemma," namely to "replace these few examples with other examples, and publish the book in Russia," or "change nothing, and publish nothing," and that he "preferred publishing, because Russia is a leading global power and it seemed important that the book's ideas should reach readers in Russia, especially as the book is still very critical of the Putin regime '' just without naming names."[58]
Reception [ edit ] Harari's popular writings are considered to belong to the Big History genre, with Ian Parker writing in New Yorker that "Harari did not invent Big History, but he updated it with hints of self-help and futurology, as well as a high-altitude, almost nihilistic composure about human suffering."[59] His work has been more negatively received in academic circles, with Christopher Robert Hallpike stating in a review of Sapiens that: "one has often had to point out how surprisingly little he seems to have read on quite a number of essential topics. It would be fair to say that whenever his facts are broadly correct they are not new, and whenever he tries to strike out on his own he often gets things wrong, sometimes seriously." Hallpike further states that: "we should not judge Sapiens as a serious contribution to knowledge but as 'infotainment', a publishing event to titillate its readers by a wild intellectual ride across the landscape of history, dotted with sensational displays of speculation, and ending with blood-curdling predictions about human destiny. By these criteria, it is a most successful book."[60]
Philanthropy [ edit ] During the COVID-19 pandemic, following former United States President Donald Trump's cut to WHO funding, Harari announced that he and his husband would donate $1 million to the WHO through Sapienship, their social impact company.[61][62]
Published works [ edit ] Books [ edit ] Renaissance Military Memoirs: War, History and Identity, 1450''1600 (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2004), ISBN 978-184-383-064-1Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100''1550 (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2007), ISBN 978-184-383-292-8The Ultimate Experience: Battlefield Revelations and the Making of Modern War Culture, 1450''2000 (Houndmills: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008), ISBN 978-023-058-388-7Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (London: Harvill Secker, 2014) ISBN 978-006-231-609-7Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016), ISBN 978-1910701881Money: Vintage Minis (select excerpts from Sapiens and Homo Deus (London: Penguin Random House, 2018) ISBN 978-178487402521 Lessons for the 21st Century (London: Jonathan Cape, 2018), ISBN 1787330672Sapiens: A Graphic History, Volume 1 '' The Birth of Humankind (London: Jonathan Cape, 2020)Sapiens: A Graphic History, Volume 2 '' The Pillars of Civilization (London: Jonathan Cape, 2021)Articles [ edit ] "The Military Role of the Frankish Turcopoles '' a Reassessment", Mediterranean Historical Review 12 (1) (June 1997), pp. 75''116."Inter-Frontal Cooperation in the Fourteenth Century and Edward III's 1346 Campaign", War in History 6 (4) (September 1999), pp. 379''395"Strategy and Supply in Fourteenth-Century Western European Invasion Campaigns", The Journal of Military History 64 (2) (April 2000), pp. 297''334."Eyewitnessing in Accounts of the First Crusade: The Gesta Francorum and Other Contemporary Narratives", Crusades 3 (August 2004), pp. 77''99"Martial Illusions: War and Disillusionment in Twentieth-Century and Renaissance Military Memoirs", The Journal of Military History 69 (1) (January 2005), pp. 43''72"Military Memoirs: A Historical Overview of the Genre from the Middle Ages to the Late Modern Era", War in History 14:3 (2007), pp. 289''309"The Concept of 'Decisive Battles' in World History", The Journal of World History 18 (3) (2007), 251''266"Knowledge, Power and the Medieval Soldier, 1096''1550", in In Laudem Hierosolymitani: Studies in Crusades and Medieval Culture in Honour of Benjamin Z. Kedar, ed. Iris Shagrir, Ronnie Ellenblum and Jonathan Riley-Smith, (Ashgate, 2007)"Combat Flow: Military, Political and Ethical Dimensions of Subjective Well-Being in War", Review of General Psychology (September 2008)Introduction to Peter Singer's Animal Liberation, The Bodley Head, 2015."Armchairs, Coffee and Authority: Eye-witnesses and Flesh-witnesses Speak about War, 1100''2000", Journal of Military History 74:1 (gennaio, 2010), pp. 53''78."Yuval Noah Harari on big data, Google and the end of free will", Financial Times (August 2016)."Why It's No Longer Possible for Any Country to Win a War", Time (23 June 2017)."Why Technology Favors Tyranny", The Atlantic (October 2018)."Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus", Financial Times (20 March 2020).References [ edit ] ^ Yuval Harari official website ^ Andrew Anthony, Lucy Prebble, Arianna Huffington, Esther Rantzen and a selection of our readers (19 March 2017). "Yuval Noah Harari: Homo sapiens as we know them will disappear in a century or so". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712 . Retrieved 17 March 2018 . {{cite news}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) ^ Par Salomon Malka (28 September 2017) Les pr(C)dictions de Yuval Noah Harrari, L'arche magazine ^ a b c Cadwalladr, Carole (5 July 2015). "Yuval Noah Harari: The age of the cyborg has begun '' and the consequences cannot be known". The Guardian . Retrieved 2 November 2016 . ^ a b Parker, Ian (10 February 2020). "Yuval Noah Harari's History of Everyone, Ever". The New Yorker. ^ "CV at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem". 2008. ^ "Historian Yuval Harari on the Books That Shaped Him '' Activities". Berggruen Institute . Retrieved 24 July 2020 . ^ Parker, Ian (6 February 2020). "Yuval Noah Harari's History of Everyone, Ever". The New Yorker . Retrieved 24 July 2020 . ^ Yuval Noah Harari, Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100''1550 (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2007) ^ Yuval Noah Harari, The Ultimate Experience: Battlefield Revelations and the Making of Modern War Culture, 1450''2000 (Houndmills: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008) ^ Yuval Noah Harari, The Concept of 'Decisive Battles' in World History, in Journal of World History 18:3 (2007), 251''266. ^ Yuval Noah Harari, "Armchairs, Coffee and Authority: Eye-witnesses and Flesh-witnesses Speak about War, 1100''2000", The Journal of Military History 74:1 (January 2010), pp. 53''78. ^ Payne, Tom (26 September 2014). "Sapiens: a Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, review: 'urgent questions' ". The Telegraph . Retrieved 29 October 2014 . ^ Fast talk / The road to happiness, in Haaretz, 25 April 2012 ^ Drew, Joseph (Spring 2019). "Yuval Noah Harari. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. New. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2015 [review]" (PDF) . Comparative Civilizations Review. 80: 142''148. Archived from the original on 2 December 2021. ^ Runciman, David (24 August 2016). "Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari review '' how data will destroy human freedom". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077 . Retrieved 20 October 2017 . ^ Harari, Yuval Noah (2016). Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. London: Vintage. p. 75. ISBN 9781784703936. OCLC 953597984. ^ Harari, Yuval Noah (2017). Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. London: Vintage. p. 429. ISBN 9781784703936. OCLC 953597984. ^ Harari, Yuval Noah (26 August 2016). "Yuval Noah Harari on big data, Google and the end of free will". Financial Times . Retrieved 20 October 2017 . ^ Mukherjee, Siddhartha (13 March 2017). "The Future of Humans? One Forecaster Calls for Obsolescence". The New York Times . Retrieved 30 July 2021 . ^ Snell, James (25 August 2018). "Book review: Is '21 Lessons for the 21st Century' another hit for Yuval Noah Harari". The National . Retrieved 25 August 2018 . ^ Lewis, Helen (15 August 2018). "21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari review '' a guru for our times?". The Guardian . Retrieved 25 August 2018 . ^ Russell, Jenni (19 August 2018). "Review: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari '-- chilling predictions from the author of Sapiens". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460 . Retrieved 25 August 2018 . ^ Sexton, David (23 August 2018). "Can mindfulness save us from the menace of artificial intelligence?". Evening Standard . Retrieved 25 August 2018 . ^ Jacobson, Gavin (22 August 2018). "Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a banal and risible self-help book". New Statesman . Retrieved 30 July 2021 . ^ "21 Lessons for the 21st Century". Kirkus. 27 June 2018 . Retrieved 30 July 2021 . ^ "Livestream Event | An Evening With Yuval Noah Harari". How To Academy. 12 November 2020 . Retrieved 13 November 2020 . ^ a b c "Fast Talk The Road to Happiness". Haaretz. 25 April 2017. ^ Harari, Yuval Noah (8 May 2017). "The meaning of life in a world without work". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077 . Retrieved 10 May 2017 . ^ Intelligence Squared (15 September 2016), Yuval Noah Harari on the Rise of Homo Deus (Video) , retrieved 1 June 2017 ^ Churm, Philip Andrew (14 May 2019). "Yuval Noah Harari talks politics, technology and migration". euronews . Retrieved 14 November 2020 . ^ Harari, Yuval Noah (25 September 2015). "Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077 . Retrieved 5 April 2017 . ^ Paulson, Steve (27 December 2018). "Yuval Noah Harari Is Worried About Our Souls". Nautilus . Retrieved 31 December 2018 . ^ a b Harari, Yuval Noah (14 September 2018). "Yuval Noah Harari: the myth of freedom". The Guardian. The Guardian. ^ Anthony, Andrew (9 March 2017). "Yuval Noah Harari: 'Homo sapiens as we know them will disappear in a century or so' ". The Guardian . Retrieved 5 March 2019 . ^ Adams, Tim (27 August 2016). "Yuval Noah Harari: 'We are acquiring powers thought to be divine' ". the Guardian . Retrieved 17 March 2018 . ^ "Fast Talk / The Road to Happiness". Haaretz. 25 April 2012 . Retrieved 17 March 2018 . ^ "ז×-- ×××'מר בבכ×: ×וף ×--×ו×'×' ×'×¤× ×וב×' × ×— ×--רר×" . Retrieved 17 March 2018 . ^ Nevatia, Shreevatsa (14 October 2015). "Sadly, superhumans in the end are not going to be us". Mumbai Mirror. The Times Group. Archived from the original on 1 July 2018 . Retrieved 17 March 2018 . {{cite web}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) ^ "Yuval Harari, author of "Sapiens", on AI, religion, and 60-day meditation retreats" . Retrieved 17 March 2018 . ^ Adams, Tim (27 August 2016). "Yuval Noah Harari: 'We are quickly acquiring powers that were always thought to be divine' " '' via The Guardian. ^ "How Humankind Could Become Totally Useless". Time. 16 February 2017 . Retrieved 17 March 2018 . ^ "Interview '' Yuval Harari" (PDF) . The World Today. Chatham House. October''November 2015. pp. 30''32. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 December 2017 . Retrieved 17 March 2018 . ^ "Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens and the age of the algorithm". The Australian. Josh Glancy. 3 September 2016. Archived from the original on 10 November 2016. ^ "The messenger of inner peace: Satya Narayan Goenka; New Appointments". Vipassana Newsletter 23 (12). Vipassana Research Institute. 17 December 2013 . Retrieved 17 March 2018 . ^ Homo Deus, dedication and Acknowledgements p. 426 ^ "Interview With Yuval Noah Harari: Masters in Business (Audio)" . Retrieved 17 March 2018 . ^ "# 68 '' Reality and the Imagination". Waking Up podcast. Sam Harris. 19 March 2017 . Retrieved 17 March 2018 . ^ Mayim Bialik and Yuval Noah Harari in conversation, SXSW Online 2021, 27 May 2021 , retrieved 2 July 2021 ^ #477: Yuval Noah Harari on The Story of Sapiens, Forging the Skill of Awareness, and The Power of Disguised Books, 28 October 2020 , retrieved 19 July 2021 ^ "Yuval Noah Harari". Rothberg International School. 20 February 2020 . Retrieved 28 April 2020 . ^ Minds, Brand (18 October 2018). "Brand Minds 2019 '-- Come and see Yuval Noah Harari live!". Medium . Retrieved 28 April 2020 . ^ Parker, Ian (10 February 2020). "Yuval Noah Harari's History of Everyone, Ever". The New Yorker . Retrieved 28 April 2020 . ^ Brennan, David (23 July 2019). "Author Yuval Noah Harari Under Fire for Removing Putin Criticism From Russian Translation of New Book". Newsweek . Retrieved 24 July 2019 . ^ "Yuval Noah Harari Lets Russians Delete Putin's Lies From Translation of His Book". Haaretz. 23 July 2019 . Retrieved 24 July 2019 . ^ Bershidsky, Leonid (24 July 2019). "Putin Gets Stronger When Creators Censor Themselves". Moscow Times . Retrieved 28 July 2019 . ^ Slyomovics, Nettanel (24 July 2019). "Yuval Noah Harari's Problem Is Much More Serious Than Self-censorship". Haaretz . Retrieved 28 July 2019 . ^ Harari, Yuval Noah (26 July 2019). "Prof. Yuval Noah Harari Responds to Censoring Russian Translation of His Book". Haaretz . Retrieved 30 July 2021 . ^ Parker, Ian. "Yuval Noah Harari's History of Everyone, Ever". The New Yorker . Retrieved 31 August 2020 . ^ Hallpike, C. R. (December 2017). "A Response to Yuval Harari's 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind' ". New English Review. Archived from the original on 3 December 2021 . Retrieved 31 August 2020 . ^ Sterkl, Maria (25 April 2020). "Yuval Harari: Pandemic policy will influence world politics, economy for decades". The Times of Israel . Retrieved 28 April 2020 . ^ Harari, Yuval Noah (20 March 2020). "Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus". Financial Times . Retrieved 28 April 2020 . External links [ edit ] Jan Michalski Prize for Literature, official website Official website Meet the author '' Yuval Harari video interview '' BBC NewsYuval Noah Harari at TED Why fascism is so tempting '' and how your data could power it on YouTube
NRA-ILA | ''[A]ll We Need You to Do is Give us the Gun'': U.K. Launches National Firearm Surrender Campaign
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:02
On March 12, a two-week campaign was launched in the United Kingdom to encourage subjects of Her Majesty the Queen to surrender firearms, ammunition, weapons, and any other object even vaguely reminiscent of a gun to local police stations.
An official with the National Police Chief's Council assured citizens that they will receive amnesty for any otherwise illegal possession or transport involved in their participation. "We don't need to know your name, we don't need to know how you came into possession of it,'' Deputy Chief Constable Helen McMillan said, ''all we need you to do is give us the gun."
''Oy, just give us the gun, it's for your own good'' is a story that Britons have been hearing from their government since at least 1997. That year, the nation launched a national firearms ''buyback'' campaign to supplement a two-year legislative crackdown on private firearm ownership that eventually resulted in the banning of handguns. This policy ''success'' has frequently been lauded by gun control advocates, with Barack Obama being one of its most outspoken admirers here in the United States.
But with common firearms banned or severely restricted in Great Britain for over 25 years, what is left to be surrendered at this point?
Police officials told the media that there may be such things as family heirlooms, old service revolvers from World War II, unregistered shotguns that predate the country's 1988 Firearms Act, blank guns or starter pistols purchased in other European countries, and antiques chambered in obsolete calibers.
How such things as the decorative horse pistols hanging over the mantel endanger public safety was not explained.
But it is very telling of the gun control mindset that -- given the free hand it has in places like the U.K. '' it will eventually target objects merely for suggesting the idea of a firearm, rather than for actually being dangerous, attractive to criminals, or likely to be misused (or used at all).
That bespeaks an ideology based more on symbolism, superstition, aesthetics, bureaucracy, and the urge to control others than on a sincere, rational, and empirical concern for safety or crime control.
Indeed, recent years have seen the U.K. descend into a rather hysterical and undignified obsession with the supposed weaponization of common objects. These include not just flatware and cutlery, but such benign objects as scissors, plyers, files, and even a bicycle wheel.
It's rather sad to see a once proud country reduced to sending police officers on scavenger hunts at public housing projects for what appear to be the cast-off contents of junk drawers. It's even sadder that these ''operations'' are termed ''weapons sweeps,'' when they more resemble litter patrol.
American gun owners who might be tempted to accept ''reasonable'' incursions on their rights should take note, however. There is no more iron-clad rule of gun control than ''one thing leads to another.'' And even when the guns are mostly gone, the mania to control will remain undiminished.
The Anti-Vaccine Movement's New Frontier - The New York Times
Thu, 26 May 2022 15:45
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The mother of four brought her children, ranging in age from grade school to high school, to the doctor's office last summer for their annual checkup. When their pediatrician, Robert Froehlke, said that it was time for shots and several boosters and then mentioned the Covid vaccine, her reaction stunned him. ''I'm not going to kill my children,'' Froehlke recalls her saying, as she began to shake and weep. He ushered her out of the examination room, away from her children, and tried to calm her. ''We're just trying to help your kids be healthy,'' he told her. But he didn't press the issue; he sensed that she wasn't persuadable at that moment. And he didn't want to drive her away from his practice altogether. ''That really shook me up,'' he says.
In his 14 years of practicing medicine in Littleton, a Denver suburb, Froehlke had seen parents decline their children's vaccines for the sake of a more ''natural'' lifestyle. He had also seen parents, worried about overstressing their children's bodies, request that vaccinations be given on different schedules. But until the past nine months or so, he had rarely seen parents with already vaccinated children refuse additional vaccines. Some of these parents were even rejecting boosters of the same shots they unquestioningly accepted for their children just a few years earlier.
Froehlke estimates that he has faced around 20 such parents, maybe more: a father who said he had done his own research and sent Froehlke a ream of printouts from right-wing and anti-vaccine websites to prove it; a mother (who is a nurse) who adamantly refused routine boosters for a kindergarten-age daughter '-- and then later, when the child got sick with Covid-19, asked Froehlke without success to give the deworming drug ivermectin to her. The overall number of these new doubters in his practice hasn't been large, he says, but considering it was almost zero before the pandemic, the trend is both notable and worrisome.
These parents are not uneducated, Froehlke told me. Some of them are literally rocket scientists at the nearby Lockheed Martin facility. What has happened, he suspects, is that rampant misinformation related to the Covid-19 vaccines, and the fact that pundits like Tucker Carlson on Fox News have devoted a lot of time to bashing them '-- among other untruths, he has suggested that the vaccines make people more likely to contract Covid-19, not less '-- has begun to taint some people's view of long-established vaccines. ''I think we're going to see more of this, more spillover of persons who had previously vaccinated their children and who are now not going to vaccinate,'' he says.
Such doubt has been accompanied by, and may have been augmented by, an erosion of confidence in medical expertise generally. ''We used to be able to persuade more, with our background and training,'' he says. Parents trusted his advice because he was a doctor. Now, when he cites the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other official guidelines, skeptical parents sometimes accuse him of being a shill '-- of having been lied to and taken in by some vast conspiracy. ''It's very concerning, this lack of trust,'' he says.
Southern California; Savannah, Ga.; rural Alabama; Houston '-- pediatricians in all these places told me about similar experiences with parents pushing back against routine vaccines. Jason Terk, a pediatrician in Keller, Texas, called the phenomenon ''the other contagion'' '-- a new hesitation or refusal by patients to take vaccines they previously accepted. Eric Ball, a pediatrician in Orange County, Calif., said the number of children in his practice who were fully vaccinated had declined by 5 percent, compared with before the pandemic. He has been hearing more questions about established childhood vaccines '-- How long has it been around? Why give it? '-- from parents who vaccinated older children without much hesitation but are now confronted with the prospect of vaccinating babies born during the pandemic. Some of these parents end up holding off, he says, telling him they want to do more research. ''There's a lot of misinformation about the Covid vaccines, and it just bleeds into everything,'' he says. ''These fake stories and bad information get stuck in people's heads, and they understandably get confused.''
In another part of Orange County, Kate Williamson reports seeing more reluctance in her pediatric practice. Though she notes that vaccine hesitancy is not new '-- doctors in relatively conservative Orange County, in particular, have weathered earlier anti-vaccine flare-ups '-- the politicization of the issue seems different this time. ''I have this worry in the back of my mind '-- that we're up against something that we have never seen before,'' she says. ''To have something that could be anti-science as part of a political identity and culture is very concerning.''
In Savannah, according to a pediatrician named Ben Spitalnick, many first-time parents have been asking questions about vaccines that he had not heard in the past. Two years of seeing the doubts about Covid vaccines expressed on social media, he thinks, is causing parents to question other science as well. He and his colleagues '-- like Williamson and Ball '-- inform parents that they should find other doctors if they choose not to vaccinate their children. And, he told me, a number of patients have indeed left his practice.
If this dynamic continues, it could threaten decades of progress in controlling infectious disease. The C.D.C. has registered a 1 percentage point drop in childhood vaccinations since the pandemic began. Ninety-four percent of American kindergartners were up to date with their vaccines in the 2020-21 school year, compared with 95 percent the previous year, meaning that not only have vaccinations in this age group fallen below the C.D.C.'s 95 percent target, but also some 35,000 fewer children were vaccinated that year. Ball, Williamson and Spitalnick estimate that the volume of skeptical questions has increased by 5 to 10 percent over the past three years. ''It doesn't sound big,'' Spitalnick says. ''But it's an awful lot of babies. That could also get you below herd immunity.''
While there is a lack of data about how widespread this newfound intransigence toward vaccines is, the possibility that it may be spreading worries nearly every expert I queried. The anti-vaccine movement is ''so strong, so well organized, so well funded, I doubt it will stop at Covid-19 vaccines,'' says Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. ''I think it's going to extend to childhood vaccinations.''
Political affiliation may be an important factor behind what Froehlke and others are experiencing. Though his practice is in Jefferson County, which leans progressive, he sees many patients from nearby Douglas County, which is more conservative. (It went for Trump by more than 7 points in 2020.) And Froehlke thinks he may be seeing more newly minted naysayers than some of his peers '-- a couple of other pediatricians I spoke to in Denver had not seen more doubters '-- simply because more of his patients lean to the right politically.
David Broniatowski, an associate professor at George Washington University who studies online misinformation, says that because Covid vaccines have become so charged politically, one of the largest groups in the country, white conservatives, may have also become the most susceptible to the skulduggery swirling around vaccines. ''To my mind, they are a vulnerable audience that is targeted for manipulation by a pretty small number of grifters,'' Broniatowski says. ''It's a crazy scenario where a dominant demographic in the country may be the most vulnerable population right now.''
In 2019, even before the pandemic struck, the World Health Organization listed growing vaccine hesitancy as one of its top 10 threats to global health. W.H.O. officials often refer to the contagion of misinformation that foments vaccine hesitancy as an ''infodemic'': mountains of incorrect and sometimes flagrantly conspiratorial information about diseases that leads people to avoid lifesaving medical practices, like the vaccines used to fight them. Now the pandemic has given anti-vaccine advocates an opportunity to field-test a variety of messages and find new recruits. And one message in particular seems to be resonating widely: Vaccines and vaccine mandates are an attack on freedom.
Although it is convenient to refer to anti-vaccine efforts as a ''movement,'' there really is no single movement. Rather, disparate interests are converging on a single issue. Many reject the ''anti-vaccine'' label altogether, claiming instead to be ''pro-vaccine choice,'' ''pro-safe vaccine'' or ''vaccine skeptical.'' For some, there may be a way to make money by pushing the notion that vaccines are dangerous. For politicians and commentators, the ''tyranny'' of vaccine mandates can offer a political rallying cry. For states like Russia, which has disseminated both pro- and anti-vaccine messages on social media in other countries, vaccines are another target for informational warfare. For conspiracy-minded private citizens, vaccine misinformation can be a way to make sense of the world, even if the explanations they arrive at are often nightmarish and bizarre.
The process of swaying people with messaging that questions vaccines is how disinformation '-- deliberately fabricated falsehoods and half-truths '-- becomes misinformation, or incorrect information passed along unwittingly. Motivated by the best intentions, these people nonetheless end up amplifying the contagion, and the damaging impact, of half-truths and distortions. ''This is a deadly movement,'' Peter Hotez told me. ''With things like terrorism and nuclear proliferation, we have lots of infrastructure. For this, we don't have anything.''
Image Credit... Photo illustration by Jamie Chung for The New York Times In 1904, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of Henning Jacobson, a Swedish immigrant and minister who refused to comply with a vaccine mandate in Massachusetts. He had been fined $5, equivalent to about $170 today. At issue was how much control states had over residents' bodies. It was part of a fight that stretches back to the very first vaccine mandates, in the 19th century, and the backlashes they inspired. The arguments against mandatory vaccination then were similar to those we hear now: Vaccines are dangerous; they kill children; they infringe on personal freedom. The remarkable constancy of these claims over time is due, in part, to the fact that vaccines raise legitimately complicated and enduring questions about how much autonomy any individual should surrender for the greater good and how to apportion risk between individuals and society. In Jacobson's case, the court ultimately ruled that states did have the power to mandate vaccination when public safety was threatened '-- but not if individuals could show that the vaccine would harm or kill them.
In the early 20th century, as improvements in sanitation blunted the spread of many diseases, public-health authorities moved away from outright mandates to policies of persuasion. Vaccine science accelerated, too. When the polio vaccine became widely available in 1955, it helped children avoid the frightening paralytic conditions caused by the virus, including the loss of the ability to breathe. A decade later, scientists licensed a vaccine for the measles virus, which was still sickening tens of thousands yearly and killing hundreds. In 1980, the World Health Organization declared that the smallpox virus, which kills up to 30 percent of the people it infects, had finally been eradicated through vaccination. Today, childhood infections that were often fatal or disabling as recently as the mid-20th century '-- diphtheria, rubella, whooping cough, measles, mumps, polio '-- very rarely cause deaths in the developed world. Such public-health successes are why some scientists regard vaccines as the single greatest medical advance in human history.
But that very triumph has, paradoxically, hindered the effort to counter vaccine skepticism. In the developed world, only a small portion of the population has seen the death and suffering caused by the diseases of eras past; vaccines, in the minds of many, have come to pose a greater threat than the diseases that they have helped nearly vanquish. In a sense, vaccines have become victims of their own success.
The modern iteration of the anti-vaccine movement is often traced to 1998. That February, a group of doctors and scientists held a news conference at the Royal Free Hospital in London. They had potentially incendiary findings to discuss, which were about to appear in The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal. Their paper speculatively proposed a link between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, the first dose of which is commonly given to children during their second year of life, and regressive autism, a mysterious condition whose prevalence seemed to be spreading. The single vaccine against the three viruses, the paper's authors suggested, might cause an inflammatory disease of the gut, and the resulting intestinal dysfunction could affect the brain's development. ''I cannot support the continued use of the three vaccines given together,'' Andrew Wakefield, the British gastroenterologist who had led the research, said. ''My concerns are that one more case of this is too many.''
His words still reverberate around the world. Other skeptics had objected to vaccines over the course of the 20th century '-- for example, blaming the whooping-cough vaccine for causing neurological problems in children. But the medical establishment convincingly disproved the idea that the whooping-cough vaccine could lead to lasting neurological damage. By contrast, the doubts Wakefield expressed about a relatively new childhood vaccine '-- the combined MMR shot had been introduced in Britain only in 1988 '-- prompted a wave of fear about vaccines that continues to this day.
Measles immunization rates quickly dropped in parts of London, and within years, outbreaks began occurring in Britain and elsewhere in Europe. What seems to have been lost on the general public and the media was just how weak, scientifically speaking, The Lancet paper about the MMR vaccine really was. The study, which involved only 12 subjects, was so small as to render firm conclusions impossible. It had no comparison group of nonautistic children, and the subjects were not chosen randomly, a flaw in the study that could have possibly introduced significant bias into the results. At best, the paper should have been used to spur stronger studies that confirmed or refuted its speculation. Instead, many media outlets, including ''60 Minutes,'' treated Wakefield as one side in an ongoing scientific debate about MMR vaccine safety, when in reality there wasn't much debate at all among most scientists.
Wakefield's position started to unravel in fairly short order. In 2001, after he declined to conduct a larger study to substantiate or refute the contents of The Lancet study, the funding for his work at University College London dried up, according to Mark Pepys, then head of the university's department of medicine at the Royal Free campus, and Wakefield left his job there. Ten of his 12 co-authors from the original 1998 paper issued a ''retraction of an interpretation'' in 2004. ''We wish to make it clear that in this paper no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism,'' they wrote. Next came a series of damning articles from an investigative journalist named Brian Deer '-- several appeared in The Times of London and two others in The BMJ, formerly The British Medical Journal '-- that revealed apparent conflicts of interest and included, among other shortcomings, evidence of what he said was scientific fraud: Medical records suggested that some of the children had developmental problems before they received the vaccines. Deer also found that Wakefield's work had been funded by a lawyer representing parents of autistic children who thought they had been harmed by vaccines; the lawyer needed evidence to support the claim that vaccines had damaged the children he represented and had paid Wakefield to find it.
In 2010 '-- the same year that a whooping-cough epidemic in California led to the death of 10 infants, nine of them unvaccinated, and also sent more than 800 people, most of them young children, to the hospital '-- Britain's General Medical Council stripped Wakefield of his medical license. He had breached medical ethics by subjecting children to unwarranted and potentially painful procedures, the council charged. Soon after that, The Lancet retracted the 1998 paper, which a British gastroimmunologist described in testimony as ''probably the worst paper'' ever published in the journal's history.
In the early 2000s, Wakefield landed in Texas, where he worked for one autism-related charity and co-founded another. He still has an ardent base of supporters and, where he can find a receptive audience, gives talks about the supposed dangers of vaccines. Those appearances have included speaking to the Somali immigrant community in Minneapolis that, some years after his visits in 2010 and 2011, experienced a measles outbreak stemming from a decline in vaccinations; and video Q. and A. sessions for paying members at his film-production website.
Wakefield has also directed films such as ''Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,'' a 2016 documentary that, along with other familiar anti-vaccine attacks, charges that the C.D.C. is hiding data showing that vaccines are dangerous. The documentary was scheduled to run in that year's Tribeca Film Festival, which was co-founded by the actor Robert De Niro, who has an autistic son; De Niro then pulled the film after an uproar. And yet ''Vaxxed'' was featured on Amazon Prime's home page for a time. It was finally removed from the streaming service after the California congressman Adam Schiff publicized its presence there in 2019. Even as at least 16 well-designed epidemiological studies by different researchers around the world, using different methods, have failed to find a link between vaccines and autism, Wakefield still contends that vaccines are dangerous and that he's the victim of a smear campaign. (Wakefield did not respond to requests for comment made through his publisher and his film-production website.)
How did a paper with such a small sample size and an obviously weak design '-- a paper that was ultimately retracted '-- have such an outsize influence around the world? ''He made news; he gave lots of press conferences,'' Dorit Reiss, a professor at the University of California, Hastings College of Law, who studies vaccine policy, told me. ''And the media was very supportive.'' And research that could persuasively refute his contention was initially lacking, notes Daniel Salmon, the director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. ''It took a couple years to do studies showing that it wasn't true,'' Salmon says. ''In those couple years, Wakefield traveled the world saying vaccines caused autism.''
Seven years after the notorious Lancet paper, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., son of the assassinated senator, jumped into the vaccine-autism fray. In 2005, Rolling Stone and Salon, an online publication, co-published an article by Kennedy in which he argued that thimerosal, the mercury-laden preservative used in some vaccines, was damaging children's brains and could be driving what many had come to call the ''autism epidemic.'' Kennedy has said that his exploration of vaccine science that led to the article was spurred by a conversation with a mother of an autistic boy who, armed with stacks of scientific papers, persuaded him that the onset of her son's autism coincided with his early-childhood vaccinations. He was already familiar with mercury's toxicity from his work as an environmental lawyer.
Kennedy's article, which opens with a description of a secretive government meeting supposedly convened by the C.D.C. where the use of mercury compounds in vaccines was discussed, had all the makings of a thriller about government malfeasance. But soon after it appeared, the article, which had been fact checked by Rolling Stone, required several corrections. Kennedy got numbers wrong. He took quotes out of context, making them seem more sinister than they really were. In 2011, after the journalist Seth Mnookin brought more attention to the article's flaws in his book ''The Panic Virus,'' Salon removed the article from its site entirely.
Numerous well-designed studies have failed to support a connection between thimerosal in vaccines and autism. And the supposed link became even harder to argue for when the preservative was removed from childhood vaccines in 2001 '-- it remains in some versions of the flu vaccine '-- and the diagnosed cases of autism continued to rise. Kennedy, like Wakefield, nonetheless maintains that vaccines are dangerous. But he seems to have shifted the focus of his blame from mercury. Sometimes he faults the aluminum present in certain vaccine adjuvants, the substances designed to spark an enhanced response from the immune system. (As was the case with thimerosal, properly conducted epidemiological research has failed to support a link between the small quantities of aluminum in vaccines and any disorder.)
But Kennedy's current position has moved away from scientific claims toward an even more unsettling assertion. Vaccine mandates and government efforts to manage the pandemic, he argues, are a form of totalitarian oppression. ''We have witnessed over the past 20 months,'' he said in a recent speech, ''a coup d'(C)tat against democracy and the demolition, the controlled demolition, of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.''
Image Anti-vaccine protesters in San Francisco in 2015. Credit... Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle, via Getty Images In 2014, someone with measles, one of the most contagious viruses known to humanity, visited Disneyland in Orange County. Like the coronavirus, the measles virus spreads through the air we breathe. One hundred forty-seven people across the United States contracted the virus, some directly from that infected person, others from travelers who brought the disease home with them. (Additional cases linked to the California outbreak occurred in Canada and Mexico.) At least 45 percent were unvaccinated, according to the C.D.C.; another 43 percent had an unknown vaccination status '-- meaning many of them could have been unvaccinated as well. Although the available data is incomplete, as many as 20 percent of those who caught the measles ended up in the hospital.
Until then, California had allowed medical and ''personal belief'' exemptions to school vaccine mandates. Most states have some form of exemptions for reasons of personal or religious beliefs, a legacy from the 1960s and '70s, when, as a way to mollify resistance and get mandates passed, legislators included these loopholes. A parent or pupil could say they didn't believe in the shot and visit a doctor for counseling, and that was enough to avoid having to get it. For decades these exemptions had not posed much threat to public health: Only about 0.5 percent of Californians asked for one. But since the mid-2000s, the number of people requesting exemptions had been rising, reaching 3 percent by the early 2010s. The advent of social media and its ability to facilitate the flow of bad information may have been one factor behind this trend. Celebrities like the television personality Jenny McCarthy, who claimed that her son developed autism after receiving childhood vaccines, helped popularize the idea that vaccines could injure children. But after what became known as the ''Disneyland outbreak,'' state legislators tried to address what they deemed was a source of the problem by passing a bill, called SB277, that did away with personal-belief exemptions.
That was when anti-vaccine rhetoric began to shift from the idea that vaccines harmed children toward what David Broniatowski of George Washington University calls the ''don't-tell-me-what-to-do freedom movement.'' It represents the moment when what had been a mostly scientific and medical argument became a political one.
Around the same time, Renee DiResta, a researcher at the Stanford Internet Observatory, a cyber-policy center where she studies online anti-vaccine activity, started seeing what she describes as a ''weird libertarian crossover'': vaccine opponents networking with Second Amendment and Tea Party activists. One reason for this outreach, DiResta says, is that arguments about the supposed dangers of vaccines had proved ineffective in blocking SB277, because no good evidence supported the claim that vaccines were injurious. To keep their movement alive, anti-vaccine advocates therefore needed a new line of attack. They hoped to recruit a larger army as well.
California-based anti-vaccine groups had long used the hashtag #cdcwhistleblower on Twitter, a reference to the spurious claims of C.D.C. malfeasance that would be central to Wakefield's conspiratorial documentary ''Vaxxed.'' But the hashtag only occasionally traveled beyond the confines of the anti-vaccine crowd. So different hashtags with broader appeal '-- #TCOT (top conservatives on Twitter), #2A (Second Amendment) and even #blm (Black Lives Matter) '-- were included in tweets. The tactic paid off. According to an analysis by DiResta and Gilad Lotan, a data scientist, there had not been much overlap between what they call ''Tea Party conservative'' and ''antivax'' Twitter before 2015. But around this time, a new space emerged between the two realms, a domain they labeled ''vaccine choice'' Twitter. Its participants were obsessed with the ideas of freedom and government overreach.
These online groups, quite small in number, proved to be very adept at leveraging the viral potential of social media to make themselves seem large. Although surveys have repeatedly indicated that the great majority of parents support vaccination, these activists fostered, DiResta says, ''a perception among the public that everyone was opposed to this policy.'' To her dismay, some California Republican politicians adopted this new rhetoric of ''parental choice,'' despite the fact that SB277 had several Republican co-sponsors. They seemed to have sensed a wedge issue, she says, ''an opportunity to differentiate themselves from Democrats,'' who held a majority in the Legislature. ''It was pure cynicism.'' Many of their own children were vaccinated, she points out. But the rhetoric galvanized people in a way that previous anti-vaccine messaging hadn't.
Richard Pan, a pediatrician and California state senator who was one of the two lead authors of SB277, confirms that until 2015, the discourse around vaccines was basically civil. When he sponsored earlier legislation in 2012 that required people who wanted medical exemptions to visit a doctor first, the actor and comedian Rob Schneider testified against the bill, arguing that the effectiveness of vaccines had not been proved and suggesting that they caused autism. (In 2017, Schneider told Larry King that he had become more politically conservative over time and was against ''any form of taking away people's rights.'') That was basically the extent of the high-profile resistance.
But by the time SB277 was being debated in 2015, lawmakers began receiving death threats. Pan's home address was posted online. Protesters showed up outside legislators' offices. Some of them were closed when the staffs felt threatened by anti-vaccine protesters. And when Jerry Brown, then governor, signed the bill into law, the actor and comedian Jim Carrey tweeted, ''This corporate fascist must be stopped.'' (Carrey dated Jenny McCarthy for five years in the late 2000s.) ''This is when things start getting less civil,'' Pan told me.
In 2019, they got even worse. That year, the country experienced major measles outbreaks in under-vaccinated communities in Washington State, New York, California and elsewhere. The 1,282 documented cases were more than the C.D.C. had registered in a single year since 1992. The outbreaks were nearly enough to make the virus endemic again, meaning that after its eradication from the United States 19 years earlier, measles almost became re-established in the country.
In California, authorities had discovered that certain doctors were, in Pan's words, ''selling'' vaccine exemptions '-- and they were making lots of money doing so. Pan sponsored a bill in response that would establish oversight of doctors who offered exemptions. Now what had been largely a campaign of online harassment started spilling into real life. He began hearing epithets with racial overtones '-- ''Pol Pot,'' ''Chinese spy,'' ''Go home'' '-- hurled his way. (Pan, who was born in the United States, is of Taiwanese descent.) Protesters shut down the Capitol building in Sacramento that September by screaming and chanting in the public gallery as the legislators debated the bill. Earlier the same week, while walking down the street, Pan was punched in the back by someone livestreaming the assault on Facebook. The bill was finally signed on Sept. 9, 2019, and a few days later, a woman threw a menstrual cup filled with what appeared to be blood on legislators, yelling ''that's for the dead babies!'' According to Pan, in the entire history of the California Legislature '-- during which many contentious issues have been debated, from slavery to abortion to gun rights '-- no one had ever thrown anything at legislators. ''So far, the only ones to do that are the antivaxers,'' he says.
With Donald Trump's arrival on the national political scene, the politicization of vaccines that was happening in California accelerated in the national arena. Figures like Wakefield and Kennedy reached new levels of visibility: Wakefield attended Trump's inaugural ball, where he called for a ''shake-up'' of the C.D.C. '-- he has refused to divulge who invited him to the event '-- and Kennedy told The Washington Post that the president was considering appointing him to lead a commission on vaccine safety. Trump himself had already thrown fuel on the anti-vaccine fire. While campaigning for president, he repeated the by-then thoroughly debunked claim that vaccines cause autism. ''That took this fringe issue,'' David Broniatowski says, ''and made it a political issue associated with the parties.''
Image Robert F. Kennedy Jr. with supporters at the State Capitol in Olympia, Wash., where they opposed a bill to tighten measles, mumps and rubella vaccine requirements for school-age children in 2019. Credit... Ted S. Warren/Associated Press One chilly afternoon this past January, Kennedy took the microphone in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, before a crowd of maybe a few hundred people, some of whom carried signs reading, ''We will not comply,'' ''Resist medical tyranny'' (accompanied by a swastika) and ''Land of the free you can't mandate me.'' A march earlier that day, involving several thousand people, included members of the far-right nationalist group the Proud Boys, firefighters wearing helmets and even a few Buddhist monks from New England. They had gathered for a rally billed as Defeat the Mandates: An American Homecoming. Its speakers included many of the country's best-known vaccine skeptics: the vaccine researcher Robert Malone; the activist Del Bigtree; and, of course, Kennedy.
''What we're seeing today is what I call turnkey totalitarianism,'' he told his audience. ''They are putting into place all these technological mechanisms for control that we've never seen before.'' He continued: ''Even in Hitler's Germany you could cross the Alps into Switzerland. You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did.'' But no longer, he suggested: ''The mechanisms are being put in place that will make it so that none of us can run and none of us can hide.''
Reaction was swift, including from his own wife, the actress Cheryl Hines. On Twitter, she called the Anne Frank reference ''reprehensible and insensitive.'' But outrage over the allusion to Frank belied the deeper issue, which is just how influential Kennedy and other figures in the anti-vaccine movement have become. Kennedy is chairman of an organization named Children's Health Defense; it applied for the permit to hold the Washington rally. The nonprofit group, which says it aims to ''end childhood health epidemics by working aggressively to eliminate harmful exposures,'' churns out online articles that sow doubt about vaccine safety. And it has expanded aggressively during the pandemic. In January 2020, the Children's Health Defense website received just under 84,000 monthly visits from the United States, according to the tracking firm Similarweb. As of this March, that number had reached more than 1.4 million monthly visits, a 17-fold increase in traffic. (Revenue, coming from donations and fund-raising events, was already surging before the pandemic, according to the group's tax filings, to $6.8 million in 2020 from just under $1.1 million in 2018.)
By one measure, C.H.D.'s reach now occasionally outstrips that of bona fide news outlets. Indiana University's Observatory on Social Media, whose CoVaxxy Project follows how vaccine-related content is shared on Twitter, has found that the organization's vaccine-related posts '-- these might falsely claim that thousands of people have died from being vaccinated, for example, or that the risks of Covid-19 boosters outweigh the benefits '-- are frequently shared more widely than vaccine-related items from CNN, NPR and the Centers for Disease Control. In some weeks, the vaccine-related content of the Children's Health Defense was shared more widely than that of The New York Times or The Washington Post.
Kennedy, who did not respond to questions submitted through his publisher, embodies a seeming contradiction of the anti-vaccine movement that presents a particularly difficult challenge for lay people. He has done important work as an environmental lawyer, and though other members of his family have publicly criticized his anti-vaccine crusade, he still bears the name of one of the country's best known Democratic political families. He brings a certain amount of credibility to his cause. Many other figures who routinely question the safety and utility of vaccines have credentials that can seem impressive. They include Wakefield; Malone, the researcher who claims to have invented the mRNA vaccine (35 years ago, he and several colleagues published an important paper in the field, but other scientists say that he didn't ''invent'' the technology, which hundreds of scientists have since worked on); and Judy Mikovits, a researcher whose 2009 paper linking chronic fatigue syndrome to a viral infection was retracted from the journal Science. Mikovits, who was fired from her job as research director of the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease in Reno, Nev., has published a best-selling book about supposed malfeasance in science titled ''Plague of Corruption.''
Numerous experts told me that a good way to understand what motivates many players in the anti-vaccine movement is through the lens of profit. There are several levels of profiteering. The first involves social media companies. Historically, the algorithms that drive their platforms, some argue, have fed users more and more of what they respond to without regard for whether it's true. ''It's not some sophisticated technology,'' says Hany Farid, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies misinformation on social media. ''It turns out we're primitive jerks. And the most outrageous stuff, we click on it.''
Facebook and other social media companies have, they claim, taken steps to counter the proliferation of vaccine-related misinformation on their sites. Facebook now says that it is helping to ''keep people healthy and safe'' by providing reliable information on vaccines. But Farid and others doubt that Facebook, in particular, will ever rid itself entirely of such material because attention-grabbing content is, in the attention economy, immensely valuable. ''The business model, that's really the core poison here,'' Farid says. A partial solution, he thinks, would be changes to regulatory laws allowing individuals to hold social media companies legally responsible '-- through lawsuits '-- for harm connected to content they promote: ''You should be held accountable for what you're promoting, particularly because they're making money from it.'' Aaron Simpson, a spokesman for Meta, the parent company of Facebook, told me in an email that the company has ''every incentive'' to purge misinformation from its platforms because it makes money from ads, and advertisers have repeatedly said they don't want their ads appearing next to misinformation. And yet, in the past, prominent anti-vaccine activists have themselves been advertisers on Facebook.
Peter Hotez, of Baylor College of Medicine, points to the many anti-vaccine books sold on Amazon, some of them best sellers in their respective categories. Amazon, he says, is probably the largest purveyor of anti-vaccine books in the world. And then there are the individual figures who create anti-vaccine content. The Center for Countering Digital Hate, a nonprofit headquartered in Washington, published a report in March last year titled ''The Disinformation Dozen.'' It estimated that around two-thirds of all anti-vaccine content on Facebook and Twitter comes from just 12 sources, including Kennedy's Children's Health Defense. If social media platforms simply enforced their own standards on these 12 people and their organizations, the report argued, most vaccine-related disinformation circulating online might disappear.
Facebook strongly disputes this finding. Simpson, the spokesman, says that the center does not clearly lay out how it defines anti-vaccine content, and its analysis focused on an overly narrow set of content '-- just 483 posts from 30 groups '-- that wasn't representative of the hundreds of millions of posts about Covid-19 vaccines that users have actually shared. By the company's own calculation, content from these 12 personalities accounted for just 0.05 percent of the total views of vaccine-related content. Nonetheless, more than three dozen pages associated with these individuals have been removed, a process that Simpson says was already underway when the Center for Countering Digital Hate put out its report. Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the center, says of Facebook's challenge to its work, ''If they had any questions about methodology, they had a year and a half to ask us.''
Some ''disinformation dozen'' figures, like Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic physician, offer products directly. He presides over a multimillion-dollar business selling supplements and other merchandise online. (Mercola's businesses and brand is worth more than $100 million, according to a 2017 affidavit he filed for insurance purposes.) Customers may reach his storefront through a circuitous route, which, according to Ahmed, is also a common occurrence in the anti-vaccine universe: Seemingly distinct websites are linked to one another, forming a gigantic virtual spider web to trap unwitting visitors.
Through a foundation, Mercola has partly funded two other organizations, the National Vaccine Information Center and the Organic Consumers Association. Together their websites receive more than 800,000 visits yearly, and they link to his storefront site and his book. Mercola says that the idea that these ''small nonprofits'' would drive business his way is ''complete and unsupported conjecture.'' (According to Mercola's own numbers, visitors referred from those sites resulted in no sales and just four visitors in April.) He insisted via email that the real goal of the Center for Countering Digital Hate and other critics is ''controlling information, same as any authoritarian government has ever done.''
Other anti-vaccine advocates solicit donations directly. They may, like Mercola, initially seem to provide useful information to those seeking a more ''natural'' lifestyle. But once potential customers are drawn in, they quickly become the target of ads and solicitations for money, says DiResta of the Stanford Internet Observatory. She followed one prominent anti-vaccine figure named Larry Cook for years, monitoring his Facebook group ''Stop Mandatory Vaccination.'' He would send his audience, often new mothers, Facebook ads that said, for example, ''Parents, not only can any vaccine given at any age kill your child, but if this unthinkable tragedy does occur, doctors will dismiss it as 'Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.''' (SIDS has no connection to vaccines.)
DiResta was herself the mother of a toddler at the time, and she found these ads ''profoundly disturbing.'' Once people joined the Facebook group, DiResta says, they would find links to Amazon products, to ''detoxes'' for sale and occasionally to GoFundMe campaigns advertised as helping to fund Cook's activism. (Until last year, Cook's website explicitly noted that his operation wasn't a nonprofit, and that donated money went directly into his bank account and might be used to pay his personal bills. That text has since disappeared.) Cook openly discussed his strategy in his Facebook group. DiResta showed me screenshots from 2019 in which he refers to targeting women in Washington State who have a ''parenting interest.'' ''The goal here is to help parents start to question the safety and efficacy of vaccines,'' he writes.
In 2020, Facebook shut down the group's site because it violated its ''dangerous individuals and organizations'' policy. But Cook, who did not respond to a request for comment through his website, remains active online, as do other figures in the movement. Wakefield has held recorded talks that were offered to people who paid to become members of the website for the Health Freedom Summit. He also offers question-and-answer sessions to paying members of the website of his production company, 7th Chakra Films. Bigtree, the chief executive of an anti-vaccine nonprofit group called Informed Consent Action Network, takes donations through the group's website; the organization also received a $165,632 loan in 2020 through the government's Paycheck Protection Program, according to a database maintained by ProPublica. (Children's Health Defense got $145,399 from the program that year, and two of Mercola's companies together received $617,500. In all cases, the loans were forgiven.) ''They're profiting off advocacy,'' says Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan. ''This is their motive. I think they'll all lose some of their power if people understand that it's just a big grift.''
Image A woman is arrested at the State Capitol in Sacramento in September 2019 after protesting a bill that tightened oversight of doctors giving vaccine exemptions. Credit... Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press The picture of the world these professional vaccine agitators paint '-- full of conspiracies and cover-ups, with a dangerous medicine being forced on the populace '-- could be seen as a form of advertising. ''I look at these companies and go, 'Yeah, these are well-run marketing organizations,''' Ahmed told me. They often employ what he calls ''a marketing funnel'': a net of interconnected websites that lead users down a rabbit hole until finally, somewhere, they are asked to buy something or donate money.
The movement also has mysterious benefactors. Bigtree's Informed Consent Action Network has received significant funding from the Selz Foundation, which is controlled by the wealthy hedge-fund manager Bernard Selz and his wife, Lisa. The foundation gave ICAN nearly $1.8 million in 2018, more than two-thirds of the nonprofit's revenue that year, according to tax filings. It's unclear what the Selzes' interests are '-- they didn't respond to a request for comment '-- but through their foundation, they have also donated to a legal fund for Andrew Wakefield and to his autism-related charities.
None of this means that these actors don't actually believe the arguments they make. Kennedy earned more than $345,000 from Children's Health Defense in 2020, according to tax filings, up from $255,000 the year before '-- a lot for your average American, but perhaps not for someone of Kennedy's pedigree. He has pushed back against the idea that he is motivated by profit. ''Probably I've lost 80 percent of my income because of what I'm doing,'' he told Infowars, the conspiracy website run by Alex Jones, ''along with a lot of friendships.''
Bigtree, who earned $221,707 from ICAN in 2020 and who was the executive producer of Wakefield's documentary ''Vaxxed,'' points out that, as a producer for NBC's show ''The Doctors,'' he was part of a team that won an Emmy. ''You don't leave a job like that to make money and be hated and get attacked by papers like yours,'' he told me. ''You obviously do it because you see something so important that you're trying to save people's lives.''
Image The Defeat the Mandates march in Washington on Jan. 23 this year. Credit... Stefani Reynolds/AFP, via Getty Images There is no single, simple answer to why anti-vaccine rhetoric finds such fertile ground in the minds of so many. But one factor is that many vaccine-related conspiracy theories contain sprinklings of truth. The inclusion of such kernels of fact may constitute a deliberate strategy, Kolina Koltai, who studied vaccine-hesitancy as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington, told me. They lend a sheen of legitimacy to the distortions around them. ''Misinformation takes something that's true and decontextualizes it,'' she says. But in some cases, those kernels represent real problems that, in an ideal world, would be solved.
One of these truths is that vaccines occasionally do cause frightful reactions in people. These ''adverse events,'' as they are euphemistically known, are exceedingly rare. Although the link is inconclusive, some evidence suggests that one in every one million children who receive the MMR vaccine, for example, will develop encephalitis, a potentially dangerous inflammation of the brain. Between one and three in every million recipients of the flu vaccine will be stricken by a terrifying paralytic condition called Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome. As Peter Hotez points out, though, your chances of being struck by lightning '-- 1 in 500,000, according to the C.D.C. '-- may be greater than the likelihood of being afflicted with adverse side effects. These conditions are also treatable. More important, the diseases themselves are more likely to lead to these conditions than the vaccines. The flu can trigger Guillain-Barr(C), as well as numerous other disorders. A measles infection leads to encephalitis in about one in every 1,000 cases, far exceeding the comparable risk associated with the measles vaccine. This rule holds for the Covid-19 vaccines as well: The clotting disorders and heart inflammation very occasionally linked with the vaccines also occur '-- and are much more common '-- in actual Covid-19 infections.
Psychologically speaking, however, adverse events loom large in the imagination of those already fearful of vaccines. Daniel Salmon of Johns Hopkins, who was also a former head of vaccine safety in the National Vaccine Program Office, says that we could learn about how to better manage this anxiety from the way the government handles commercial plane crashes. The National Transportation Safety Board quickly investigates aviation accidents. It's nimble, independent and, maybe above all, trusted by the public. And it spares little expense to understand why accidents occur. In part that's because if there is even the slightest inkling that your plane might go down '-- and that that risk is regarded as acceptable '-- people will stop flying altogether and the industry will collapse. ''It's not just about preventing rare accidents,'' he says. ''It's about making the public confident that things are very safe.''
But instead of feeling confident about vaccines, a growing segment of the population may be primed to feel more anxious and doubtful about them, and that doubt may be seeping into their relationship with medical science '-- or governmental mandates '-- in general. Kate Williamson, one of the pediatricians I spoke to in Orange County, told me that because vaccine skepticism has become linked with patients' political leanings, many doctor-patient conversations are now much harder. Merely bringing up ''science'' at all can be interpreted as a personal attack. ''Politics for a lot of people, it is an identity,'' she says. ''It is a culture. I feel like if I talk about science, then I'm going against their political identity.''
Eric Ball, another pediatrician in Orange County, is vice chairman of the local American Academy of Pediatrics chapter. He told me that when California passed SB276 in 2019 '-- which tightened the oversight of exemptions '-- he and his colleagues felt emboldened to push for similar legislation in other states. Today, just three years later, these same doctors are embattled. ''We're completely on the defensive,'' he said. ''Now we just want to hold on to what we have. I worry about what's going to happen in the next several years and that we'll start seeing more kids with measles and whooping cough.''
On the ground, violence related to vaccines appears to be escalating. In December, an enraged man attacked workers at a mobile vaccine clinic in Tustin, in Orange County, calling them ''murderers.'' It took seven police officers with tasers, aided by workers and patients, to subdue him. Late last year, another man used his car to strike a vaccine worker in Los Angeles. In Colorado, unknown assailants have tossed firecrackers into mobile vaccine tents, forcing the companies in charge to hire security. Last spring, a woman plowed her minivan through a vaccine tent in Tennessee as she shouted, ''No vaccine!''
Perhaps most ominous, from a public-health perspective, is that school mandates have started to come under attack in state legislatures. Numerous states have already passed laws restricting or prohibiting mandates for the Covid-19 vaccine. And in a few, including Ohio and Pennsylvania, bills have been proposed that would weaken school vaccine mandates or even prohibit them altogether. ''I'm not sure that the people fighting for these bills truly believe in them, but they're doing it because it's politically expedient,'' Jason Terk, the pediatrician in Keller, Texas, told me. ''It matters not to them that there might be consequences to these bills passing.''
None of these legislative efforts have succeeded in becoming law yet, but they highlight a broader development that's easy to overlook. ''During the pandemic, the antivax movement was able to springboard to the mainstream,'' Koltai says. ''I don't think it's that taboo anymore to be vaccine-hesitant.''
Sean O'Leary, vice chairman of the Committee on Infectious Diseases at the American Academy of Pediatrics, suspects that, hesitancy aside, we are probably in for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in the near future. Young children are undervaccinated. Polio and measles are already flaring up in some parts of the developing world, where the pandemic has stymied vaccination efforts. He worries that one of those infections will hop to the United States, where it would now find a public-health infrastructure that is stretched very thin and a combustible population of under-vaccinated bodies to burn through. ''We're potentially staring at a huge problem in the coming months to years,'' O'Leary says. ''Now you add in potentially more people refusing vaccines '-- we're setting ourselves up for really bad outbreaks here.''
Image Credit... Photo illustration by Jamie Chung for The New York Times Prop stylists: Megumi Emoto and Andrea Greco. Vaccines: The Brooklyn Hospital and Gramercy Pediatrics.
Moises Velasquez-Manoff is a writer based in California. His last article for the magazine was on long Covid, the mysterious set of ailments that afflict some people after Covid-19 infection. He is also the author of the book ''An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases.'' Jamie Chung is a photographer from Pennsylvania based in New York. This is his 10th cover for the magazine. He won an American Photography Award this year.
As Food Protectionism Spreads, India Limits Sugar Exports, Malaysia Halts Chicken Sales | ZeroHedge
Thu, 26 May 2022 15:43
Tuesday was a jammed-packed day for food protectionism developments across Asia. India announced a sugar export ban, and Malaysia halted shipments of chicken. Like many others in the region, both countries suffer from high inflation. Each respective government and central bank seeks to suppress inflation, and what appears to be the move at the moment (besides raising interest rates) are protectionist measures.
If inflation continues to run hot in these countries, the risk of socio-economic turmoil increases.
Today's events first began with India. Bloomberg reported earlier that sources expected a sugar export ban was imminent. The Indian government announced the new trade restrictions late in the US cash session. Following India's lead, Malaysia announced trade restrictions on chickens to curtail rising prices.
We suspect more countries to announce protectionist measures to quell food inflation, though such trade restrictions will only exacerbate food insecurity worldwide.
* * *
Update: India, the world's second-biggest sugar producer, will cap sugar exports at ten million tons during the current sugar season (2021-22). It's another attempt to contain inflation and stabilize domestic prices.
"Taking into consideration unprecedented growth in exports of sugar and the need to maintain sufficient stock of sugar in the country as well as to safeguard interests of the common citizens of the country by keeping prices of sugar under check, Government of India has decided to regulate sugar exports from June 1, 2022," Consumer Affairs Ministry said.
The ministry will allow only 10 million tons of sugar exports for the season that ends in Sept. 2022. Sugar mills have already contracted 9 million tons, and a record 7.8 million tons have already been shipped.
India's curbs on sugar exports follow another protectionist step as wheat exports were restricted earlier this month. The government is trying to get a handle on soaring food inflation by ensuring adequate domestic supplies.
Breaking: After banning wheat export, India curbs sugar export to 10 mn tonne this season, another protectionist step as the country battles runaway inflation. Consumers prices in April climbed to an 8-yr high of 7.79%, overshooting the .@RBI's target of 6% for 4 straight months.
'-- Zia Haq (@ziahaq) May 24, 2022India's government is on a protectionist roll. What crop will they ban for export next?
* * *
Food protectionism soars and will continue worldwide through 2022, exacerbating food security risks for the world's most vulnerable countries. One country safeguarding its food supplies is India.
Earlier this month, India's government halted wheat exports amid heatwaves threatened crop yields. Another act of protectionism could be announced in the coming days with an export restriction on sugar, according to Bloomberg.
A person familiar with the new trading restrictions says the government plans to announce a ten million ton cap on sugar exports through September. The move guarantees that domestic stockpiles are adequate ahead of the next growing season in October.
India is the second-largest sugar exporter behind Brazil. Its largest customers include Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Dubai.
Bloomberg notes the proposed sugar trade restriction "appears to be an extreme case of precaution:"
India is expected to produce 35 million tons this season and consume 27 million tons, according to the Indian Sugar Mills Association. Including last season's stockpiles of about 8.2 million tons, it has a surplus of 16 million, including as much as 10 million for exports.
India rarely shipped more than 7 million tons until last year, when exports hit a record 7.2 million. Sugar mills tended to rely on government subsidies to boost exports. However, global prices have jumped almost 20% in the past year, allowing India to increase shipments without subsidies. There are expectations for exports to range between 9 million and 11 million tons this season.
The person said once shipments reach 9 million tons. Exporters will have to submit paperwork to the government to apply for permits to send the remaining 1 million tons. They added the export halt could support global sugar market prices.
Besides increasing protectionism in India, Indonesia's ban on palm oil exports roiled edible oil markets for a month (the restriction has since been reversed). Malaysia also announced to halt 3.6 million chickens a month from June 1 and increase wheat imports to stabilize prices.
The trend is clear: Food protectionism will exacerbate the global food crisis, creating headaches for governments and central banks desperately trying to curb inflation before it becomes unmanageable and results in socio-economic turmoil.
'Old Gays' Have Millions of Followers on TikTok. Why Retire? - The New York Times
Thu, 26 May 2022 15:40
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. '-- Robert Reeves, 78, spends most days lounging by the pool, taking in the low-desert sun with his friends and neighbors. The four of them talk about what's new '-- recovery from a recent corrective foot surgery, some chronic inflammation issues '-- and record videos for social media, where they've amassed millions of followers as the Old Gays.
On a blistering afternoon earlier this month, Jessay Martin, 68, headed across the street for the usual poolside confab, stopping to grab a Bud Light Seltzer Pineapple from the fridge on his way out to the patio. There, he sat down in a stuffed armchair beside a well-endowed wooden sculpture of the male form and rubbed sunscreen into his bald pate as the group discussed the day's video concept: an outfit transformation set to the rapper Jack Harlow's single ''First Class.''
''I need to wear my pretty underwear for this,'' Mr. Martin said. ''I need to have my ruffles on my rump.''
It wasn't like the first drag video they did, Bill Lyons, 78, said as he took a sip from his milk chocolate Ensure. He raised his eyebrows, then said in a stage whisper: ''Bob didn't wear any underwear.''
''Oh, no,'' Mick Peterson, 66, said under his breath.
Mr. Martin laughed and said: ''Well, he had on a full skirt!'' Mr. Reeves, the Bob in question, widened his eyes and played innocent, looking out at the shadows of palm trees glistening in his cerulean pool.
The Old Gays were running behind schedule. They still had to learn a dance and film a usable take before Mr. Martin's Tina Turner cover concert that evening. ''My music is all I've ever wanted to do, but these videos are like a big dessert in my life,'' he said. ''I live for them, I really do.''
Image ''My music is all I've ever wanted to do, but these videos are like a big dessert in my life,'' Mr. Martin, 68, said. Credit... Magdalena Wosinska for The New York Times Image By the time Mr. Lyons, 78, and the other Old Gays started posting on TikTok, they already had half a century of friendship between them. Credit... Magdalena Wosinska for The New York Times Most of the TikTok influencers living in so-called collab houses '-- mansions where they film content together '-- are barely old enough to legally sign a lease. But the Old Gays and their fellow ''grandfluencers'' are proof that recording viral videos under one roof isn't reserved for the young. And while these senior influencers may very much be performing for the camera, they're also sharing a new vision for what it means to live meaningfully with age.
By 2030, 70 million people in the United States will be over 65 years old, according to census data; for the first time, the country will have more seniors than children. Most older Americans live alone or with only a partner, according to research from Pew. And they want to stay that way: A recent AARP survey found that 86 percent of people over 65 want to age in place rather than in a care home.
But for people who have lost mobility, the rising cost of home care can be prohibitive. Even those who can manage without support face increased risks of loneliness and depression. Rather than rely on younger relatives or paid strangers for care and companionship, why not turn to each other?
''As you get into old age, moving into a nursing home is what's expected, and many older people buy into that plan,'' Mr. Reeves said. ''What we're doing, through the strength of our friendships and our mutual support, is changing the course of the way one lives their life.''
Chosen FamilyBy the time the Old Gays started posting on TikTok, in December 2020, the four men already had half a century of friendship between them. Mr. Reeves and Mr. Lyons met in San Francisco in the 1980s. In 2013, Mr. Peterson answered Mr. Reeves's Craigslist ad for a room in a gay-friendly, nudist-friendly home. In 2014, Mr. Martin moved into a house across the street.
A few years later, a younger neighbor, Ryan Yezak, 35, who'd gotten to chatting with the men during his Saturday morning dog walks, suggested they film a few videos for Grindr, where Mr. Yezak worked. Soon, though, the men were ready to take their talents to a bigger platform.
Today, they have 7.1 million followers on TikTok and a few hundred thousand on Instagram, among them Rihanna, Jessica Alba, Rosie O'Donnell, Drew Barrymore and Lance Bass. They meet up by the pool each weekday around 10:30 a.m., rehearsing and shooting videos that Mr. Yezak edits and posts.
Image ''What we're doing, through the strength of our friendships and our mutual support, is changing the course of the way one lives their life,'' Mr. Reeves, 78, said. Credit... Magdalena Wosinska for The New York Times Image In 2013, Mr. Peterson, 66, answered Mr. Reeves' Craigslist ad for a room in a gay-friendly, nudist-friendly home. Credit... Magdalena Wosinska for The New York Times For the outfit transformation, the men stripped down to their good underwear, grabbed gold cardboard letters (spelling G-L-A-M) and lined up by the pool. Between takes, they wore wide-brimmed hats to stave off the 95-degree heat.
''People like the underwear videos a lot, for some reason,'' Mr. Yezak said, waiting for his iPhone to cool down so he could film.
Mr. Lyons said, ''It's because we're half-nude!'' He was wearing low-rise black briefs and loafers, and holding up a bedazzled G.
Though the internet does reward the risqu(C), the appeal of the Old Gays goes beyond shock value to something much sweeter. When Mr. Reeves has a doctor's appointment, Mr. Lyons drives him; Mr. Martin covers his eyes at raunchy comments from Mr. Peterson; Mr. Yezak and Mr. Lyons get in tiffs about how clean the pool is.
''Yes, we have our family moments,'' Mr. Martin said. ''But I genuinely care for this little unit.''
The Role of a LifetimeAdi Azran, 27, a content producer at Flighthouse Media, a studio that makes TikTok videos, felt like he'd reached a creative epiphany last June when he showed his colleague Brandon Chase, 25, a video by @ourfilipinograndma, in which said grandma delivered a pickup line to the tune of 12.3 million views.
''I was like, 'Dude '-- old people,''' Mr. Azran said. ''And he saw the vision.''
Over the next few months, Mr. Azran and Mr. Chase plotted out a scripted series about several retirees living under one roof and cast the roles from hundreds of audition reels; if the success of ''The Golden Girls'' or ''Grace and Frankie'' was any indicator, they had a hit in their hands. But the plan changed after their first shoot with the actors. ''We called them and told them, 'We're throwing that all out the window,''' Mr. Chase said. '''You guys can just be yourselves from here on out.'''
Image The Retirement House takes a slightly more scripted approach to TikTok content. But, as Reatha Grey (front row left), noted, ''We're actually building shared memories together '-- and it's on videotape.'' Credit... Magdalena Wosinska for The New York Times So, what do you get when you give six elders and two young producers a ring light and a platform on TikTok? The Retirement House's videos are more silly than shocking: lip-syncing trending songs, playing practical jokes on each other. And though the scenes are still a bit scripted, they're a departure from the actors' previous roles.
''I've been acting for 30 years, and I've done a handful of stuff,'' said Monterey Morrissey, 71. ''And here I am doing 10 seconds on an iPhone, and three and a half million people watch it.'' (The group has 3.6 million followers on TikTok and 184,000 on Instagram.)
Gaylynn Baker, 85, started her acting career at 19, when she moved from small-town Texas to New York City and joined the chorus on ''The Steve Allen Show'' in the 1950s. Sixty-five years later, she's finally found her big break, performing goofy stunts for six-second videos watched on smartphones around the world, at a time in life when most people no longer want to be working.
''The irony, of course, is that we're in Retirement House, but I don't have anything to retire from,'' she said. ''I'm having a great time.''
Rewriting the Script for Old AgeOn a recent Thursday at the Retirement House '-- a Hollywood set rented by the hour '-- there were two shoots going on. In the kitchen, Chuck Lacey, 70, and Jerry Boyd, 76, ate miracle berries before tasting an array of sour foods on camera, reacting to lemon slices and Warheads made sweet. (Mr. Boyd, to camera: ''You sweet on me? Take one of these pills, and you'll be sour on me.'')
On the back patio, Patti Yulish, 81, performed a rap as Mr. Azran translated internet slang for her. (''Bubbe,'' he said, using her character name, ''do you know what 'sneaky links' means?'')
The silly group antics of the Retirement House are a welcome counterpoint to stories of isolated elders quietly diminishing in nursing homes during the pandemic. ''You see so many stories of older people that are not happy, because as you get older, you lose friends, you lose relatives, you don't have people to share your life with,'' said Reatha Grey, 72. ''We're actually building shared memories together '-- and it's on videotape.''
From left, Patti Yulish, Monterey Morrissey and Reatha Grey of the Retirement House. Credit... Magdalena Wosinska for The New York Times In many ways, Mr. Azran and Mr. Chase act as stand-ins for Retirement House's young viewers. They're producers, but they're also 20-somethings who went on a Virgin Voyages cruise to the Bahamas with a group of seniors. ''All my grandparents live in Israel, so I've never spent much time with older folks,'' Mr. Azran said. ''Now I'm filling that void a little bit, realizing that they're like us, just a little bit more experienced.''
The TikTok account has told its fans ''that they don't have to take the usual route into being old,'' Ms. Baker said. ''Maybe it's time for us to start getting older in a different way.''
Retirement House, for all its artifice, presents a version of aging full of novelty and active curiosity. ''It's not a home, where you need care and somebody to cook for you and bring you your pills,'' Ms. Yulish said. ''This is a group of older people who are perfectly capable of doing everything on their own, and having a lot of fun while they're doing it.''
'Have the Best Be the Last'At the same time, over a million seniors in the United States live in nursing homes '-- and some of them are going viral on TikTok, too.
''At first, it was just a little prank,'' said Lou Scott, 78, who lives at Burr Ridge Senior Living in Burr Ridge, Ill. ''Then it went viral, and I thought, Hey, maybe I have a hidden talent.'' He's a regular guest on the Spectrum Retirement TikTok (93,000 followers), which is produced by a company called Spectrum Retirement Communities and features residents from its senior living facilities across the country.
Mr. Scott recorded his first video right after a month alone in his apartment, and the response astounded him: thousands of likes and comments from viewers asking him to be their grandfather and hoping to be like him when they're older. ''It's brought people to me,'' he said. ''When you get inquisitive, it keeps your mind working, your body working.''
From left, Chuck Lacey, Jerry Boyd and Gaylynn Baker of the Retirement House. Credit... Magdalena Wosinska for The New York Times The Spectrum Retirement videos offer a more modest vision of aging in communal living than their Hollywood counterparts do '-- practical jokes in place of palm-dotted patio parties; fluorescent lights rather than ring lights. But they articulate the same profound message. ''People are still people when they live in a senior living home,'' Mr. Scott said.
Ms. Baker hopes to show the humanity and joy of aging in her Retirement House videos. ''Being lucky enough to have the last chapter of your life be the best chapter of your life?'' she said. ''If you have any say-so, for God's sake, have the best be the last.''
That sentiment surely guides the Old Gays, four survivors of the AIDS epidemic who built chosen families only to watch them disappear. ''I never imagined I would make it to my 70s,'' said Mr. Reeves, who found out he was H.I.V. positive in 1987. ''At that time, I was watching the slow destruction of my whole circle of friends, and I fully believed I was going to be dead in a year or two.''
Thirty-five years later, Mr. Reeves sees himself as a voice for his decimated generation. The Old Gays said they are often stopped by young gay fans who thank them for showing what their own golden years could look like. And through the account, Mr. Martin connected with the granddaughter of his deceased former lover.
''She called me up and wanted me to be her granddad,'' Mr. Martin said. ''It's been so healing for me to talk about him.'' Their lost friends and partners often come up in their daily conversations around the pool; their shared experience as survivors fuels the wonder and delight of their videos.
They have no interest in abiding by the unspoken rules of aging, tastefully fading away to make room for the next generation.
''We've got our own plans for our lives,'' Mr. Reeves said. ''And by golly, we're going to live.''
HSBC suspends banker over 'nut job' climate comments, say reports - BBC News
Thu, 26 May 2022 15:36
23 May 2022
Image source, Financial Times Limited
Image caption, Mr Kirk made the comments at the FT's Moral Money Summit last week
HSBC has reportedly suspended a senior executive who accused central bankers and other officials of exaggerating the financial risks of climate change.
Last week, Stuart Kirk, a leader in the bank's responsible investing team, said: "There's always some nut job telling me about the end of the world."
At the weekend, HSBC's boss Noel Quinn posted on social media that he did not agree "at all" with the comments.
The firm declined to comment on reports that Mr Kirk has been suspended.
Mr Kirk, who is global head of responsible investing at the bank's asset management division, was suspended pending an investigation into a speech he made at an event last week, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the story.
His role, which is based in London, involves considering the impact of investments on environmental, social and governance issues.
HSBC came under pressure to sack Mr Kirk after he gave the presentation entitled "Why investors need not worry about climate risk" at a conference on Thursday.
In the address he made light of the risks of major floods and said that he had to spend his time "looking at something that's going to happen in 20 or 30 years".
During the 15-minute address at the FT Moral Money Summit, Mr Kirk said "Climate change is not a financial risk that we need to worry about."
"Unsubstantiated, shrill, partisan, self-serving, apocalyptic warnings are ALWAYS wrong," a slide shown as part of the presentation said.
Later in the presentation, he said: "Who cares if Miami is six metres underwater in 100 years? Amsterdam has been six metres underwater for ages and that's a really nice place."
Mr Kirk did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment.
Since the speech, senior HSBC executives have spoken out about the comments.
In a LinkedIn post on Saturday, the bank's group chief executive Noel Quinn said he did not agree "at all" with Mr Kirk's remarks.
"They are inconsistent with HSBC's strategy and do not reflect the views of the senior leadership of HSBC or HSBC Asset Management," he said.
Nuno Matos, chief executive of wealth and personal banking at HSBC, said that he was "in complete agreement" with Mr Quinn and that "the transition to net zero is of utmost importance to us".
On Monday, HSBC declined to comment to the BBC on reports that Mr Kirk had been suspended.
Instead, a spokesperson shared a statement by HSBC Asset Management chief executive Nicolas Moreau referring to climate change as "one of the most serious emergencies facing the planet".
"HSBC Asset Management is committed to driving the transition to a sustainable global economy and has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure its clients' monies are managed for positive long-term environmental and social outcomes," Mr Moreau added.
However, both the theme and content of the presentation had been approved within the company, according to the FT.
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Video caption, How can I deal with my eco-anxiety?
Busted: Disinformation Operative Who Attacked Elon Musk's Push for ''Free Speech'' Caught Red-Handed in Secret Influence Operation - Revolver
Thu, 26 May 2022 15:26
Busted: Disinformation Operative Who Attacked Elon Musk's Push for ''Free Speech'' Caught Red-Handed in Secret Influence Operation
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It is not yet clear whether Elon Musk's increasingly precarious play for Twitter will result in the restoration of free speech in the ''global public square.'' Successful or not, Elon's brave move has clarified beyond any doubt the Regime's fundamental hostility to free speech and dissent. Judging from the critical reactions from journalists, NGOs and Democrat politicians, you'd think the man were attempting to invade Poland rather than remove censorship on a social media platform.
Of all the regime scribblers and scribes flooding the internet with glorified blog posts on the awfulness of Elon Musk's Twitter bid, a piece by Ren(C)e DiResta published in the Atlantic stands out from the rest '-- not because of its force of argument, but because of the largely forgotten scandal behind its author.
Like the now disgraced and jobless Nina Jankowicz, DiResta is a career-girl of the Disinformation Industry '-- a constellation of NATO and US State Department-funded NGOs and civil society groups that censor inconvenient truths, facts and narratives under the guise of protecting the public from so-called ''disinformation.'' And like Nina Jankowicz, it turns out that DiResta's name is closely associated with one of the most explosive and aggressively covered-up influence operations of the century.
Ren(C)e DiResta '-- Disinformation Industry Operative
With that teaser in place, let's start at the beginning with DiResta's piece on Musk and Twitter. We invite the impatient reader to scroll down to DiResta's scandal '-- but it's worth the wait for those with more patience.
Like most well-trained operatives of the disinformation industry, Ren(C)e is smart enough to couch her defense of Twitter's censorship in layers of obfuscatory verbiage and heavily qualified lip service to the importance of free-expression. We should remember that even the Department of Homeland Security assured us in a hilarious ''fact sheet'' that its ill-fated Disinformation Governance Board is set up to defend free speech.
But anything more than a cursory look at Diresta's ''concerned'' reaction to Musk and his cadre of ''free-speech absolutists'' completely betrays her true agenda. Here she is scribbling away in the Atlantic (emphasis ours):
The idea of Twitter as the ''global town square'' was articulated by then-CEO Dick Costolo in 2013. He likened it to something from ancient Athens:
Thousands of years ago in the Greek Agora, that's where you went to find out what was going on and talk about it, right? You came and talked about what was going on in your part of the village, and I came and talked about what was going on in mine, and the politician was there, and we listened to the issues of the day, and a musician was there and a preacher was there, et cetera, and it was multidirectional and it was unfiltered, and it was inside out, meaning the news was coming from the people it was happening to, not some observer.
The unintended consequences of the platform that Jack Dorsey and his co-founders built, however, came into rather stark relief as it grew; a variety of unfortunate things that happen when humans engage with humans happened. On Twitter, however, these problems reached unprecedented heights via unfettered virality and velocity. The Islamic State made a home on the platform; harassment mobs proliferated; state actors and conspiracy theorists alike recognized that Twitter was a remarkable venue for propagandizing, unmediated , to millions. Public opinion began to shift against the hands-off approach. Government regulators began to pay attention.
How could the company maximize freedom of expression while minimizing the unique harms that the new communication infrastructure had enabled? A content-moderation regime emerged . Over the next seven years, its rules and practices would evolve in response to new and novel challenges: taking down terrorist propaganda, minimizing bad information during a pandemic, handling a litany of rumors and lies about election theft.
[The Atlantic]
Let's put aside DiResta's daft use of the passive voice for a moment and take a second to appreciate how radical this passage is. The author just lumped in terrorist propaganda '-- specifically, ISIS propaganda '-- with Covid skepticism and skepticism pertaining to election integrity. Given that this is the Regime's perspective, it is much easier to understand not only why something like the Disinformation Governance Board would exist in the first place, but why it would be housed within the Department of Homeland Security '-- one of the largest national security bureaucracies set up in the aftermath of 9/11 to protect the nation from terrorism.
If Covid skeptics, election skeptics, and by extension nearly half of America can be lumped in with ISIS on the basis of their political beliefs, it makes sense that the national security bureaucracy would be turned inward in order to crush the ISIS-level national security threat of Americans who oppose vaccine mandates or, God forbid, don't think the 2020 election was fair. As we pointed out in earlier pieces, the Disinformation Industry is assigned to carry out the information warfare component of this domestic war on terror '-- to silence important speech on important matters central to democratic deliberation under the guise of ''Defending Democracy against Disinformation.''
Ren(C)e, in her piece, is desperate to protect the Regime and its disinformation commissars from the supposed ISIS-level threat of free-speech on Twitter. She goes on to attack Musk and his ''free speech absolutists'' and to reject the notion of a ''digital public square'' in its entirety (emphasis ours):
Since the advent of more active content moderation on Twitter and other online platforms, the prototypical public square has been retconned'--particularly by Musk's supporters in the United States'--into a haven for absolute free speech. This is not accurate. The real public square has always been moderated. Public-nuisance laws and noise ordinances have long placed restrictions on the time, place, and manner of expression protected by the First Amendment. Try to get a group of 100 ideological allies together to follow someone around a public park in the center of town shrieking at them, and see how that plays out.
Of course this is incredibly disingenuous. Noise ordinances and ''public nuisance laws'' simply do not analogize to narrative-level censorship on Covid, election results, and other such issues on social media.
Tellingly, in an earlier (and less guarded) piece for the Atlantic, DiResta not only encourages narrative-level political censorship on social media, she also claims that there is no political bias to social media censorship practices. DiResta insists that since misinformation overwhelmingly comes from the political right, this gives the false appearance that social media companies are biased against the right when they censor misinformation. Read the following passage and behold the twisted logic of a modern day commissar (emphasis ours):
The distinct behavior of serial spreaders of misinformation should theoretically make them easy for Facebook or Twitter to identify. Platforms that place warning labels on false or misleading content could penalize accounts that repeatedly create it; after an account earned a certain number of strikes, the platform's algorithms could suspend it or limit users' ability to share its posts. But platforms also want to appear politically neutral. Inconveniently for them, our research found that although some election-related misinformation circulated on the left, the pattern of the same accounts repeatedly spreading false or misleading claims about voting, or about the legitimacy of the election itself, occurred almost exclusively among pro-Trump influencers, QAnon boosters, and other outlets on the right. We were not the only ones to observe this; researchers at Harvard described the former president and the right-wing media as driving a ''disinformation campaign'' around mail-in voter fraud during the 2020 election; the researchers' prior work had meticulously detailed a ''propaganda feedback loop'' within the closely linked right-wing media ecosystem.
[The Atlantic]
In this piece we see reference to the same narratives, election integrity and Covid skepticism, that DiResta previously lumped in with ISIS and terrorism, perpetrated by vaguely defined alleged malefactors like ''QAnon boosters'' (whatever that is) and, Heaven forfend, ''pro-Trump influencers.'' DiResta backs up her shocking claim, that misinformation is essentially a right-wing problem, with a Harvard study. Without wasting too much of our time on it, we dug up the specific Harvard study DiResta references.
Immediately we note that the Harvard study DiResta cites in support of her remarkable claim that misinformation is exclusively a right-wing problem is funded by George Soros' Open Society Institute, among other similar ''philanthropic'' organizations. Note the bottom footnote in the first page of the study, titled ''Mail-In Voter Fraud: Anatomy of a Disinformation Campaign'':
Apart from the farce of such a study being funded by George Soros, among other similar figures, there's a very important passage buried in the study that inadvertently exposes the entire ulterior purpose of the Disinformation Industry. Here's a transcript of the relevant passage:
Our results are based on analyzing over 55 thousand online media stories, five million tweets, and 75 thousand posts on public Facebook pages garnering millions of engagements. They are consistent with our findings about the American political media ecosystem from 2015-2018, published in Network Propaganda, in which we found that Fox News and Donald Trump's own campaign were far more influential in spreading false beliefs than Russian trolls or Facebook clickbait artists.
Despite all the posturing about ''Russia'', we see that the fight against disinformation was never really about addressing an alleged threat of foreign influence. According to the Disinformation Industrial-Complex, Donald Trump is a bigger purveyor of ''false beliefs'' than Russia, and therefore, by implication, Trump and his supporters deserve to be identified, silenced, and destroyed in much the same way a foreign disinformation threat would be. It is perhaps not surprising then that DiResta would so cavalierly respond to Trump being banned from his main communications platform while a sitting President of the United States:
So many folks spent the last day asking "What if Twitter bans Trump?"
My prediction was that the obvious happens '' on social, he creates a Parler account (I personally think the frog platform is prob still a bridge too far), but that he also just leverages OANN/Newsmax.
'-- Renee DiResta (@noUpside) January 8, 2021
Of course, DiResta's remark about Parler turned out to be insufficiently optimistic from the Disinformation censor's point of view. Parler went dark just days after Trump's Twitter ban after Amazon Web Services famously pulled the plug on them.
As we promised the reader in our introduction, the story of Ren(C)e DiResta is far more scandalous than a hypocritical disinformation operative calling for mass censorship. Readers will recall that Nina Jankowicz' name came up in a major leak as an associate of the Integrity Initiative, a NATO, US State Department, UK government-funded influence operation that secretly meddled in the political affairs of NATO Democracies. While we don't know whether DiResta was associated with the Integrity Initiative, she was involved in something equally if not more scandalous.
DiResta's Dark Alabama Secret
Before DiResta was complaining about the threat of Elon Musk's ''free speech absolutism'' in the pages of the Atlantic, she worked (among other things) as a research director for a cyber security firm called New Knowledge.
New Knowledge's purpose was to study the spread of disinformation, ''malign narratives'' and Russian influence operations. In her capacity as Research Director for New Knowledge, DiResta submitted written testimony to the US Senate drawing attention to the danger of such Russian disinformation and influence operations, including the alleged Russian ''troll farm'' Internet Research Agency '-- which every self-respecting disinformation operative knows to puff up as the most malign and consequential political influence operation in modern history.
But there is one very important secretive, malign influence operation that Ren(C)e DiResta failed to disclose to the Senate. This influence operation was conducted by her own employer, New Knowledge, to influence the outcome of the 2017 Alabama special Senate contest between populist Roy Moore and Doug Jones. The details of the influence operation are even more scandalous. In what even the head of New Knowledge described as a ''false flag'' operation, New Knowledge conducted a secret influence operation to make it look like populist candidate Roy Moore was the beneficiary of a secret Russian influence operation!
The New York Times of all places broke the story of this remarkable and now-forgotten scandal:
As Russia's online election machinations came to light last year, a group of Democratic tech experts decided to try out similarly deceptive tactics in the fiercely contested Alabama Senate race, according to people familiar with the effort and a report on its results.
The secret project, carried out on Facebook and Twitter, was likely too small to have a significant effect on the race, in which the Democratic candidate it was designed to help, Doug Jones, edged out the Republican, Roy S. Moore. But it was a sign that American political operatives of both parties have paid close attention to the Russian methods, which some fear may come to taint elections in the United States.
One participant in the Alabama project, Jonathon Morgan, is the chief executive of New Knowledge, a small cyber security firm that wrote a scathing account of Russia's social media operations in the 2016 election that was released this week by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
An internal report on the Alabama effort, obtained by The New York Times, says explicitly that it ''experimented with many of the tactics now understood to have influenced the 2016 elections.''
The project's operators created a Facebook page on which they posed as conservative Alabamians, using it to try to divide Republicans and even to endorse a write-in candidate to draw votes from Mr. Moore. It involved a scheme to link the Moore campaign to thousands of Russian accounts that suddenly began following the Republican candidate on Twitter, a development that drew national media attention.
''We orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet,'' the report says.
Mr. Morgan said in an interview that the Russian botnet ruse ''does not ring a bell,'' adding that others had worked on the effort and had written the report. He said he saw the project as ''a small experiment'' designed to explore how certain online tactics worked, not to affect the election.
Mr. Morgan said he could not account for the claims in the report that the project sought to ''enrage and energize Democrats'' and ''depress turnout'' among Republicans, partly by emphasizing accusations that Mr. Moore had pursued teenage girls when he was a prosecutor in his 30s.
''The research project was intended to help us understand how these kind of campaigns operated,'' said Mr. Morgan. ''We thought it was useful to work in the context of a real election but design it to have almost no impact.''
[New York Times]
The Times obtained a statement from DiResta, who acknowledged her role in the influence operation in a heavily finessed fashion:
Mr. Morgan reached out at the time to Ren(C)e DiResta, who would later join New Knowledge and was lead author of the report on Russian social media operations released this week.
''I know there were people who believed the Democrats needed to fight fire with fire,'' Ms. DiResta said, adding that she disagreed. ''It was absolutely chatter going around the party.''
But she said Mr. Morgan simply asked her for suggestions of online tactics worth testing. ''My understanding was that they were going to investigate to what extent they could grow audiences for Facebook pages using sensational news,'' she said.
So let's get this straight: Ren(C)e DiResta, who makes a living ''researching'' so-called Russian disinformation and influence operations, and who testified before the Senate regarding such, was caught red-handed acting as an advisor, if not participant, to an influence operation designed to discredit an American politician by planting false stories that he's a beneficiary of a Russian influence operation! Rather than bow her head in shame and find a new career (perhaps joining disgraced Nina Jankowicz's wizard rock band), DiResta shrugs it off and goes on to work in a senior role for the company most closely associated with the influence operation in which she played a part.
What's still more remarkable is the attempt of not only New Knowledge's executive director, but the New York Times itself to minimize this scandal on account of the allegedly ''minimal'' impact it had on the Alabama Senate election (emphasis ours):
''The research project was intended to help us understand how these kind of campaigns operated,'' said Mr. Morgan. ''We thought it was useful to work in the context of a real election but design it to have almost no impact.''
The project had a budget of just $100,000, in a race that cost approximately $51 million, including the primaries, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Interesting argument. About that infamous Internet Research Agency ''Russian troll farm'' that was the basis of the entire Mueller report and the entire Democrat party and regime media howling non-stop about Russia '-- it spent a grand total of $46k on Facebook ads in the 2016 election.
Remarkably, this means that the disinformation group Ren(C)e DiResta worked for spent more money on its false flag operation, which involved falsely framing a US senate candidate as a beneficiary of Russian influence operation, than the original Russian troll farm which is the basis for the whole Disinformation Industry scam in the first place!
The exposure of the Alabama influence operation was so egregious that more careful operatives in the Disinformation Industry took notice and began to do damage control.
Two leading figures in the Disinformation Industry directly attacked and condemned the Alabama ''false flag'' influence operation in which DiResta participated.
In a panel discussion titled ''Disinformation in Social Media as a Threat to Democratic Institutions'', Disinformation Industry operative Alina Polyakova brought attention to the Alabama operation as an example of ''Russian-style disinformation tactics'' being used domestically by US operatives and organizations:
Partial transcript:
This firm, which was actually given a contract by Senate Intelligent Committee to write a major report on IRA (the Russian troll farm)'... actually used the same techniques that the Russians used to try to shift the elections in the special senatorial elections in Alabama last year. What they did is they set up fake Russian accounts, fake Russian trolls, fake Russian bots, to make it seem like the Russians were supporting the Republican candidate (Roy Moore)'...
Ren(C)e DiResta's Alabama ''false flag'' was so embarrassing to the Disinformation Industry that Alina Polyakova's colleague, Ambassador Daniel Fried (also a high-level operative of the Disinformation Industry), felt compelled to pile on the condemnation still more forcefully:
Partial transcript:
That awful example of an American group creating a false example of Russian disinformation campaign in the Alabama election reminds me, should remind us all'... the temptation of evil is in front of every person.
I hope that this example has become so scandalous and discredited that no one dares do it again.
Ambassador Daniel Fried and his colleague Alina Polyakova are as high ranked as it gets within the Disinformation Industry hierarchy. Dan Fried is also a former senior level official in the State Department as Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian affairs. According to his bio at the Atlantic Council (the NATO, US State Department-funded NGO where he is now a Distinguished Fellow), Fried was both a major figure in crafting the policy of NATO expansion and a key architect of US sanctions policy against Russia.
The fact that one of the architects of both NATO expansion and our sanctions policy toward Russia should also be one of the key players in pushing Social Media companies to address the threat of ''disinformation'' is a remarkable fact in its own right. Leaving that aside, for now, one would think that such strong condemnation of DiResta's Alabama operation from such a high-level player in the Disinformation Industry would have some consequences for DiResta.
In fact, the opposite is the case. Being a disinformation operative evidently means never having to say you're sorry.
Despite Ambassador Dan Fried's performative condemnation of DiResta's Alabama operation, he saw fit to approvingly cite her as an authority in his 2020 publication (co-authored with Alina Polakova) ''Democratic Offense Against Disinformation.''
Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that DiResta's work is cited in an official Department of Homeland Security memo on ''combatting targeted disinformation campaigns.''
It is not too surprising that the Department of Homeland Security would cite someone like DiResta, who is known to have participated in a targeted disinformation campaign, in a DHS document on targeted disinformation campaigns. As Revolver News recently reported, Nina Jankowicz, the one-time nominee to be the head of the DHS' ill-fated Disinformation Governance Board, appeared in a major leak of internal documents belonging to the Integrity Initiative, a NATO and US State Department-funded group that conducted covert campaigns on Twitter to meddle in the political affairs of NATO Democracies.
Incidentally, the Integrity Initiative leaks included a list of NGOs and media outlets deemed to be friendly to its operations. One of the organizations deemed to be friendly to and in close collaboration with the Integrity Initiative is a group called the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA).
Take a wild guess who is the President and CEO of CEPA? If you guessed Alina Polyakova, you would be correct! Yes'... the same Alina Polyakova who in the video clip above performatively condemns DiResta's Alabama influence operation is the President and CEO of an organization revealed in leaked documents to be ''partnering with'' the Integrity Initiative, one of the most scandalous influence operations in our nation's history!
Perhaps this is why Alina Polyakova and her colleague and co-author Ambassador Dan Fried are comfortable citing DiResta's work in their aforementioned ''Democratic Offense Against Disinformation'' report.
In fact, CEPA co-sponsored that very same report:
Notice that CEPA co-sponsored the report with the Atlantic Council's DFR Lab, which is also listed in the leaked Integrity Initiative documents as a friendly organization (see reference to DFR Lab's ''digital sherlocks'' in the document below). In fact, the head of the DFR Lab at the time, Ben Nimmo (now a senior employee at Facebook investigating influence operations), appeared alongside Nina Jankowicz, Anne Applebaum and others as members of the Integrity Initiative's UK ''inner cluster.''
When it comes to Alina Polyakova and Ambassador Dan Fried implicitly condemning DiResta for her role in the Alabama operation, it is perhaps appropriate to suggest the following guideline: Let the Disinformation researcher who hasn't worked for an anti-disinformation group caught red-handed using disinformation as a pretext to conduct secretive influence operations meddling in politics of Western democracies cast the first stone.
Since her role in the Alabama influence op was exposed, Ren(C)e DiResta has enjoyed far more accolades than simply being favorably cited by the DHS and fellow Disinformation operatives. Ren(C)e DiResta has moved from being lead researcher of New Knowledge (the group involved in the Alabama op) to being research director at Stanford's Internet Research Laboratory.
A full treatment of the Stanford Internet Research Laboratory would extend beyond the scope of this already rather lengthy report. Suffice it to say that in addition to NGOs such as CEPA and Atlantic Council's DFR Lab, many major universities now host similar think tanks to engage in ''Disinformation'' research '-- and of course it's all the same scam of using ''disinformation'' as a pretext to censor and control perfectly legitimate First Amendment-protected speech online. Harvard has the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, as well as the Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics, and Public Policy, while Stanford has the Internet Research Laboratory, where Ren(C)e DiResta now works as research director (emphasis ours):
Ren(C)e DiResta and Alex Stamos lead research on social media disinformation at the Stanford Internet Observatory. Their current project, The Election Integrity Partnership is a coalition of research entities focused on supporting real-time information exchange between the research community, election officials, government agencies, civil society organizations and social media platforms. Together they aim to detect and mitigate the impact of attempts to prevent or deter people from voting or to delegitimize election results. Stamos, previously the Chief Security Officer at Facebook, is the director of the Observatory, while DiResta serves as research manager.
In an all-too typical example of failing up, Ren(C)e DiResta goes from being caught red-handed as involved in a disinformation operation that meddled in a United States Senate election by falsely framing the candidate as a favorite of Russian bots, to overseeing an ''Election Integrity Partnership'' under the auspices of Stanford University.
In 2021, the Election Integrity Partnership released its final report on the 2020 election, titled ''The Long Fuse: Misinformation and the 2020 Election'':
Among the sponsors of this report we note some of the usual suspects: the Atlantic Council's DFR Lab and Graphika. As noted earlier, the DFR Lab was listed in the Integrity Initiative leak as a friendly org, and was run at the time by Ben Nimmo, who also appeared in the Integrity Initiative leaks as a member of the UK inner cluster. Revolver News has also reported that Nimmo once beclowned himself by accusing a particular internet user of being a Russian troll, when the bot in question turned out to be an elderly British gentleman. Nimmo engaged in this particular piece of false identification while working as Director of Investigations for none other than Graphika, another sponsor of the Election Integrity Partnership's report listed above.
More: NYT Hit Piece On ''Vaccine Cartoon'' Backfires and Reveals Plot For New ''Russia Disinformation'' Scam
And so we have a report on 2020 misinformation conducted by an election integrity partnership that is run by a woman who was caught red-handed in an influence op meddling in Alabama, and that's sponsored by two organizations that are implicated in the Integrity Initiative leaks, and associated with an Integrity Initiative cluster member who falsely identified an elderly UK man as a Russian troll. And we're just getting started! Rather than cover the report in its entirety, we will conclude by drawing attention to one particular part of the report that just so happens to deal with Revolver News.
In the months leading up to the 2020 election, Revolver News distinguished itself with a series of reports on so-called ''Color Revolutions,'' pointing out that many national security professionals who conducted color revolution regime change operations overseas were using the very same tactics domestically in order to derail Donald Trump's presidency.
Read More: The Curious Case of George Kent: State Department's Belarus ''Color Revolution'' Expert And ''Never Trump'' Impeachment Witness
Related: Meet Norm Eisen: Legal Hatchet Man and Central Operative in the ''Color Revolution'' Against President Trump
Revolver's Color Revolution series generated tremendous backlash from the Regime and its various apparatchiks, but disinformation operatives were especially aggrieved. In fact, there is a very tight overlap between the disinformation operatives of the national security state and color revolution operatives, the nature of which must be left to be explored in a later piece.
Nina Jankowicz engaged in an astonishingly dim witted attempt to debunk Revolver News' color revolution reporting.
You may have seen the term "color revolution" floating around social media the past few days.
Let's talk about what they are and why the US isn't a candidate for one '¤µ¸ pic.twitter.com/dUIOrfg4Lv
'-- Nina Jankowicz 🇺ðŸ‡...🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) September 18, 2020
As did Ren(C)e DiResta (skip to 6:18):
While DiResta is too coy to mention Revolver News directly in the link above, the Stanford University Election Integrity Partnership report that DiResta co-authored mentioned Revolver News and Revolver News's very own Darren Beattie extensively:
The election integrity partnership even put together a graphic to show how news of the color revolution spread from Revolver to the rest of the country.
We can actually commend the Election Integrity Parternship for getting one thing right '-- Revolver News' Color Revolution series did have a profound impact on the national conversation leading up to the 2020 election, and we are quite proud of that. So we give them credit and thank them kindly for their slick documentation of this fact.
It is just a shame that for all the time and money spent tracking the evolution of the Color Revolution narrative, they didn't seem to bother to address our reporting on its merits. The Revolver News pieces on Color Revolution are incredibly detailed, extensively argued, and well-documented '-- and there isn't even an attempt by the Election Integrity Partnership to address the substance. Instead, we merely hear that ''Color Revolution'' is a term that Russians and Chinese sometimes use, and therefore this is clearly an effort of disinformation on the part of conspiracy theorists to discredit the totally legitimate election results of 2020 in advance.
If we scratch just a little beneath the surface, however, we find a major conflict of interest that is even more discrediting to the Election Integrity Partnership's Color Revolution coverage. The following is from the Stanford Internet Observatory's two year celebration (The Stanford Internet Observatory, remember, conducted the Election Integrity Partnership study). Note the mention of a certain Michael McFaul as a ''faculty lead'' (emphasis ours):
Two years ago, we launched the Stanford Internet Observatory as a cross-disciplinary laboratory for the study of abuse in current information technologies, with a focus on the misuse of social media. The Observatory was created to learn about these abuses in real time and to translate our research discoveries into education for the next generation of engineers and entrepreneurs and into policy innovations for the public good. The term ''Observatory'' was not an accident: for centuries, physicists and astronomers have coordinated resources to build the massive technological infrastructure necessary to research the universe. The internet is similarly an ecosystem constantly in flux as new apps, emerging technologies, and new communities of users transform the space; researchers need innovative capabilities to research this new information frontier.
When we launched, we knew our work would be important because of the extent to which online activity increasingly shapes public perception of our society's most important issues. We did not anticipate some of the specific forms this activity would take. The global pandemic moved human interaction from substantively online to near-completely online. As our team adapted to working from home, the spread of online information intensified: an organized marketing campaign to launch the conspiratorial ''Plandemic'' video; manipulation of livestreams to push fear during Black Lives Matter protests; global superpowers using health diplomacy as concerted soft power moves in the global south; and the 2020 US election, culminating in the unprecedented'--although perhaps not unanticipated'--Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021.
We would like to extend our gratitude to our faculty leads Nate Persily and Dan Boneh at the Stanford Cyber Policy Center; Michael McFaul, the director of the Freeman Spogli Institute; and our generous supporters including Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the Omidyar Network, the Charles Koch Foundation and Felicis Ventures.
[Stanford Internet Observatory Cyber Policy Center]
In a follow-up piece, we could have a field day addressing the other ''generous supporters'' of this project such as the Omidyar Network, Newmark Philanthropies, etc. For our Color Revolution point, however, the fact that Mike McFaul is a ''faculty lead'' to the organization running Ren(C)e DiResta's ''Election Integrity'' study is particularly outrageous.
Indeed, McFaul himself is directly implicated in Revolver News' Color Revolution coverage. McFaul served as US Ambassador to Russia during the famous Euromaidan revolution in Ukraine '-- an event which even the very sympathetic Huffington Post discusses in the context of the Color Revolution framework.
Revolver reported on McFaul in our Color Revolution series as follows:
In this vein we ought to note that the term ''democratic backsliding,'' as seen in the subtitle of Norm Eisen's book, and its opposite ''democratic breakthrough'' are also terms of art in the Color Revolution lexicon. We leave the full exploration of how the term ''democratic'' is used deceptively in the Color Revolution context (and in names of decidedly anti-democratic/populist institutions) as an exercise to the interested reader. Michael McFaul, another Color Revolution expert and key anti-Trump operative somewhat gives the game away in the following tweet in which the term ''democratic breakthrough'' makes an appearance as a better sounding alternative to ''Color Revolution.''
Most likely as a response to Revolver News' first Color Revolution article on State Department official George Kent, former Ambassador McFaul issued the following tweet as a matter of damage control:
Autocrats have demonized the phrase, "color revolutions." (& revolution generally has a negative connotation for many.) Instead, I use the term "democratic breakthroughs."
'-- Michael McFaul (@McFaul) August 23, 2020
What on earth then might Color Revolution expert and Obama's former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who has been a key player agitating for President Trump's impeachment, mean by ''democratic breakthrough?''
Being a rather simple man from a simple background, McFaul perhaps gave too much of this answer away in the following explanation (now deleted).
With this now-deleted tweet we get a clearer picture of the power bases that must be satisfied for a ''democratic breakthrough'' to occur'--and conveniently enough, not one of them is subject to direct democratic control. McFaul, like Eisen, George Kent, and so many others, perfectly embodies Revolver's thesis regarding the Color Revolution being the same people running the same playbook. Indeed, like most of the star never-Trump impeachment witnesses, McFaul is or has been an ambassador to an Eastern European country. He has supported operations against Trump, including impeachment. And, like Norm Eisen, he has actually written a book on Color Revolutions (more on that later).
As is now evident, McFaul was no minor subject in Revolver News' Color Revolution series which argued that key color revolution professionals were taking an active role and using many of the same tactics in the effort to destroy Donald Trump's presidency. What a remarkable conflict of interest then for Ren(C)e DiResta's Election Integrity Partnership to not even mention in its report, which refuses to address the substance of Revolver's reporting, that one of its own lead faculty advisors was a main subject of that very reporting!
We have far from exhausted the mendacity of Ren(C)e DiResta and her fraudulent career, let alone the scandals, lies, crimes, and hypocrisies of the Disinformation Industry generally. Between this report and our earlier report on Nina Jankowicz and the Integrity Initiative, it should be abundantly clear that the ''disinformation'' scam is actually about silencing and controlling domestic speech under the false pretense of protecting Americans against influence operations. The Disinformation Industry is itself an influence operation against the American people, and represents the information warfare component of the national security apparatus' broader domestic war on terror.
As we have seen in this report, a tour through DiResta's scandalous career is not only a confirmation of the scam of ''fighting disinformation'', but also a tour through the various institutions and organizations that comprise the ecology of the Disinformation Industry. In order to expose and eliminate the Disinformation Industry, we must not not only understand the industry for the scam that it is, we must also understand the ecology and structure of the Disinformation Industry in full. We've only just begun to bring this explosive information to the public. Stay tuned for much more, very soon.
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Texas school shooter was bullied because of the clothes he wore and because his family was poor | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 26 May 2022 14:30
Salvador Ramos, 18, was reportedly bullied at school for his clothing and because his family was poor, a 'close' friend said
Warped mass murderer Salvador Ramos was a failing high school loner with an 'aggressive streak', who was bullied for being poor and mocked for wearing eyeliner.
That is how former classmates and colleagues have described the 'evil' killer, 18, who slaughtered at least 19 innocent children in the second deadliest school shooting in American history in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, before being shot dead in a shootout with a border patrol officer.
Described by one pupil as an 'emo', his lisp also made him a target, according to the Washington Post, with classmates claiming he endured gay slurs. Another said he was mocked for his clothing.
A former classmate, who asked not to be identified, told CNN he and Ramos were somewhat 'close' and used to play Xbox together. The killer was a fan of the shooting and combat game Call of Duty.
On his since removed Instagram account, Ramos is believed to have shared a photo of two AR15-style rifles just three days before the killing at Robb Elementary school, while the bio on his TikTok page chillingly read: 'Kids be scared irl' (in real life).
While the motive for the massacre is not yet known, one neighbor told local news channel Newsy that he witnessed Ramos, who worked at a Wendy's, arguing with his grandmother, claiming he was 'angry that he did not graduate'.
He said the grandmother then screamed: 'He shot me, he shot me', before Ramos 'zoomed down the street' and crashed his car before embarking on his killing spree, which also counted two much-loved teachers, bringing the death toll to at least 21.
According to the Post, the shooting took place the day after his classmates had graduated. His grandmother has reportedly survived but was critically injured, reported Reuters.
His neighbor Ruben Flores, 41, said he had a 'pretty rough life' with his mother and that he had tried to be a father figure to the teen.
He claimed to the Post that police had previously visited his maternal home, on Hood Street, and that the troubled youth argued often with his mother before moving to his grandmother's house across town a few months ago.
Meanwhile, his Wendy's co-workers told the Daily Beast that he had an ' aggressive streak' and would send inappropriate messages to female employees. They also branded him 'quiet' and 'anti-social'.
One said: 'He would be very rude towards the girls sometimes, and one of the cooks, threatening them by asking, 'Do you know who I am?'
Four days before the shooting, Ramos reportedly sent his friend pictures of his guns and ammunition. When asked why he had it, Ramos allegedly replied: 'Don't worry about it'
'And he would also send inappropriate texts to the ladies.'
The same source claimed there were multiple videos of Ramos fighting people with boxing gloves at a local park.
'He'd take them around with him,' they claimed.
In the hours leading up to the killings, the shooter reportedly showed off his guns to an LA-based woman via his Instagram page, taunting that he was 'about to do' something.
When the woman asked what, he said: 'I'll tell you before 11.' He began shooting at noon.
'As soon as he made entry into the school he started shooting children, teachers, whoever was in his way, he was shooting everybody,' Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Lt. Chris Olivarez said.
'This is just evil', an Uvalde resident told the New York Times, 'I'm afraid I'm going to know a lot of these kids that were killed.'
Another local, Adolfo Hernandez, told the same paper that his nephew had been in a classroom near where the shooting took place.
'He actually witnessed his little friend get shot in the face,' Hernandez said. The friend, he said, 'got shot in the nose and he just went down, and my nephew was devastated.'
Speaking anonymously, one classmate said Ramos had begun showing up to class less and less as other kids bullied him over his clothes and his family's financial situation.
'He would, like, not go to school...and he just, like, slowly dropped out. He barely came to school,' the friend said.
After the North Dakota native graduated from high school, the friend said they became even more distant from each other, but would occasionally message each other on Xbox.
'He would message me here and there,' he said.
Four days prior to Tuesday's shooting, Ramos reportedly sent his friend a picture of the AR and a backpack full of 5.56 rounds.
'[He had] probably like seven [magazines],' he said. 'I was like: 'Bro, why do you have this?' and he was like: 'Don't worry about it.''
His social media was filled with new rifles, which he purchased on his 18th birthday
He killed 19 kids and two adults at an elementary Robb Elementary School on Tuesday
The school shooter - who originates from North Dakota and had recently moved to Texas - had reportedly bought two rifles on his 18th birthday, which was days ago, the Daily Beast reported.
Under a new Texan law passed in September, those aged 18-21 could buy guns if they had a protective order, because they were at risk of family violence, stalking, prostitution or sex trafficking.
The law also removed the requirement for a permit for a handgun. Rifles were already permitted in Texas without licenses.
In the days leading up to the massacre, Ramos told his friend that he 'looked very different now.'
'You wouldn't recognize me,' he messaged less than a week ago.
Ramos's social media was full of photos of his new guns, which he bought on his 18th birthday, state senator Roland Gutierrez said.
Ramos also messaged a Los Angeles-based woman on May 12 on Instagram, tagging her in a photo of the guns.
'You gonna repost my gun pics,' @sal8dor_ direct messaged her.
'What your guns gotta do with me,' [sic] she replied on Friday.
'Just wanted to tag you,' he said back.
Then at 5:43am on Tuesday, @salv8dor_ messaged her and said: 'I'm about to'.
The girl asked 'about to what' to which he answered: 'I'll tell you before 11.'
He said he would text her in an hour and urged her to respond.
'I got a lil secret I wanna tell u,' he messaged with a smiley face emoji covering its mouth.
'Be grateful I tagged you,' he wrote.
She replied: 'No it's just scary,' adding: 'I barely know you and you tag me in a picture with some guns?'
His last message at 9:16am on Tuesday was 'Ima air out'.
The shooting started around 11:32am. The woman reacted with horror when she learnt what he had done.
'He's a stranger I know nothing about him he decided to tag me in his gun post,' she wrote.
'I'm so sorry for the victims and their families I really don't know what to say.'
She then added: 'The only reason I responded to him was because I was afraid of him I wish I stayed awake to at least try to convince him to not commit his crime. I didn't know.'
When an Instagram user asked if she was his girlfriend, she replied: 'I don't know him and I don't even live in Texas.'
He largely dropped out, and took the job at Wendy's, where co-workers remember him as quiet.
Adrian Mendes, evening manager at the Wendy's, said Ramos 'kept to himself mostly.'
'He felt like the quiet type, the one who doesn't say much. He didn't really socialize with the other employees,' Mendes told CNN.
'He just worked, got paid, and came in to get his check.'
Mendes said that he did not know Ramos well - he was already employed when Mendes began in February - and didn't see him most of the time because they were on different shifts.
Ramos worked from 11am to 4pm or 5pm, five days a week.
Ramos was shot and killed by law enforcement at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, after he had murdered 21 people.
DuckDuckGo in hot water over hidden tracking agreement with Microsoft | TechRadar
Thu, 26 May 2022 14:27
HomeNewsComputing(Image credit: Pixabay)DuckDuckGo may face a user backlash after security researchers discovered a hidden tracking agreement with Microsoft.
The privacy-focused company offers a search engine that claims not to track people's searches, or behavior, and also doesn't build user profiles that can be used to display personalized advertising.
Search engine aside, DuckDuckGo also offers a mobile browser (opens in new tab) of the same name, but this has raised concerns, as although this promises to block hidden third-party trackers, some from a certain tech giant are allowed to continue operating.
Search syndication agreementNamely, while Google's and Facebook's trackers are being blocked, those of Microsoft are allowed to continue running. Zach Edwards, the security researcher who first discovered the issue, later also found that trackers related to the bing.com and linkedin.com domains were also being allowed through the blocks.
The news quickly drew in crowds of dissatisfied users, with DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg, soon chiming in to confirm the authenticity of the findings.
Apparently, DuckDuckGo has a search syndication agreement with the software giant from Redmond, with Weinberg adding that the restrictions are only found in the browser, and are not related to the search engine.
What remains unknown is why the company who is known for its transparency decided to keep this agreement a secret for as long as it could.
In a statement sent to BleepingComputer (opens in new tab) , Weinberg said that DuckDuckGo offers ''above-and-beyond protection'' other browsers don't even think of doing, but that the company ''never promised'' full anonymity (opens in new tab) when browsing.
"We have always been extremely careful to never promise anonymity when browsing, because that frankly isn't possible given how quickly trackers change how they work to evade protections and the tools we currently offer," he added.
"When most other browsers on the market talk about tracking protection, they are usually referring to 3rd-party cookie protection and fingerprinting protection, and our browsers for iOS, Android, and our new Mac beta, impose these restrictions on third-party tracking scripts, including those from Microsoft. What we're talking about here is an above-and-beyond protection that most browsers don't even attempt to do '-- that is, blocking third-party tracking scripts before they load on 3rd party websites."
"Because we're doing this where we can, users are still getting significantly more privacy protection with DuckDuckGo than they would using other browsers.''
Stay truly anonymous online with the best VPN services around (opens in new tab) Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he's written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He's also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.
Gaybros: the Reddit group of macho gay boys and their trouble with fellow gays.
Thu, 26 May 2022 14:10
It’s a snowy Saturday night in Boston, and the bros are moving in pack formation. As we trudge through the fresh powder toward South End, the 10 or so guys I’m walking with jostle and joke their way forward through the frigid air, bouncing with that particular surge of giddy energy you sometimes get when you’re hanging out with people you have never met in real life.
As members of Gaybros—a Reddit-based community for gay guys with traditionally manly interests like sports, hunting, and beer—the large majority of their bonding takes place through comment threads under topics like “Ron Swanson vs. James Bond” and “My Gay Card Has Been Revoked.” But in cities like Boston, New York, L.A., Toronto, and even London, they try to regularly “meet-up” at a local restaurant or bar, exchanging Reddit’s upvotes and downvotes for proper handshakes and side-hugs. These “IRL” encounters can, understandably, feel awkward at first, as this one did when we had all gathered for dinner earlier in the evening at a crowded Italian cafeteria. Much of the conversation revolved around how the so-called bartender had asked if seltzer was a spirit. But bros being bros, the group made the best of their over-salted pasta and soda-fountain tap water, and we were quickly on our way to a more dependable source of alcohol. 
“Where are we going again?” I ask, dodging drifts and shivering from under-preparedness. “To Fritz!” someone I’m too cold to look toward explains, referencing the city’s premiere gay sports bar. Once past the middle-aged bouncer’s baritone “evening, gentlemen,” I could see why. If the Gaybro’s mission statement is “a place for guys to get together and talk about, well, guy stuff. Sports, video games, military issues, grilling, gear, working out, gadgets, tech, TV, movies, and more,” Fritz is their ideal arena. The decor is classic pub, all dark woods and vintage trophies, but with a decidedly gay twist: Look even briefly at the house-made baseball and football player posters decorating the walls, and more than sportsmanlike appreciation for the athletic male form quickly becomes apparent.
From my perch by the corner coat pile, I survey the scene: Gay men of an impressive range of age, race, attractiveness, body type, and ball-cap embroidery shake hands and strike up conversations. There’s a sweet couple in front of me: One’s sporty, the tight-fitting navy cotton of his Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt coordinating well with his olive-tinted biceps; the other is channeling New England WASP, skinny and buttoned-up, with pragmatically framed glasses. Farther down the table, a larger guy laughs loudly at something a twinky type said, and later, a very cute boy, possibly Arab, draws eyes as he pulls up a chair. He has brought along a solidly built and more maturely handsome AIDS researcher with whom I spend a considerable amount of time discussing the decline of gay social spaces like the one we’re in.
Given that the few gay spaces that do remain are almost always segregated by race, age, and sexual type (twink, bear, leather, etc.), the diversity on display among the bros was remarkable. Also worthy of note was the lack of excessive cruisiness within the group; though gay men almost never stop flirting entirely, this was clearly not, as multiple bros would tell me, a “dating service.” However, that’s not to say the evening was entirely PG. After the first round had been drained, I overhear my friend Jake—who I only found out was a Gaybro sympathizer after starting in on this story and whose husband, Tim Karu, is one of the group’s moderators—respond saucily to a comment about football players’ jock straps: “Now that’s a game I could get into!”
Around 10:30, the bros finish off their drinks and migrate yet again, this time dominating a whole stretch of sidewalk, to a place with the forthright name Club Café. The entitled New Yorker in me balked at the cover-charge, and, in any case, the aggregate level of tipsiness hinted that it might be time to let the crew have its fun unsurveilled. Plus, I thought I’d earned a break from the pressure of all those firm handshakes: The couple I was crashing with had invited me to a gay house party promising more familiar accoutrements like crudités and Robyn music, so I Google-mapped my way across Boston from bro to ‘mo. When I slipped into the handsome and rhythmically thudding townhome, young professionals in J. Crew boots like mine matched my gaze. Not a “masc” guy in sight.
But as I glanced around at the Crate & Barrel brand of gayness on display in this open-concept, Hindu deity-studded living room, I felt, not relief, but a twinge of doubt. The guys I had just left would clearly not fit in here—but was that their loss or ours?
“You need to start using brah in conversation.”
So read an instant message from a colleague when he learned that I was going to be chilling with the Gaybros. I grimaced; the mere sight of the word in the chat box elicited a kind of gag reflex in my throat, not to mention my soul. Actually saying it—or dude, or man, or, God forbid, buddy—and not imploding under the pressure of masculine performance ineptitude seemed, well, impossible. My interlocutor  was mostly joking, of course, but the kernel of truth hit home: I was probably going to have to butch-up my vocabulary a bit if I wanted to hang with, much less hope to understand, a group of fellow gay men who would willingly call themselves “bros.”
When you look up the term Gaybro on Urban Dictionary, two extremely telling definitions appear. The first—“a gay man who acts masculine and is interested in guy stuff like sports, video games, military issues, grilling, knives, gear, working out, gadgets, tech, etc …”—seems to have been lifted from the Gaybros mission statement. The second is less neutral: “Young masculine homosexual males who exhibit no effeminate characteristics or interests and make a point of going on about how ‘normal’ they are. Previously they would have referred to themselves as straight-acting but that’s so 2005. Gaybros have no gay friends because they can’t relate to other gay people. This is something else they insist on telling everyone.”
Before meeting the Gaybros, the second definition was the only one I knew, and I am not at all alone. Many gays I’ve spoken with share a visceral and somewhat histrionic revulsion toward the very idea of Gaybrodom that, ironically, is not dissimilar to the reaction many straights have to gays before they know one. When Buzzfeed interviewed the group’s founder, Alex Deluca, on the occasion of their one-year anniversary this past January, the comments section immediately filled with screeds about “masculine privilege” and “femmephobia” within the gay community. (I may have scrawled something to this effect on Facebook myself the day the story broke.)
Deluca, 23, spoke in the Q-and-A about his dismay at encountering a “very narrow definition of what it means to be gay” in mainstream culture, one that apparently doesn’t make room for guys with interests like “video games, paintball, and sports.” “I created Gaybros to provide a space for these guys,” he said. “[A place for them] to gather and talk about shared interests and to break down stereotypes and promote the idea that you could be a gay man and still be exactly who you’ve always been.”
Eli Fox, a commenter from New Orleans, captured the general complaint of those who took issue with Deluca’s treating the gay “stereotype” like an unwanted cardboard box: “This is such bullshit and just perpetuates the idea that femininity is fake or that people put it on […] He makes it sound like masculine gay guys are somehow OPPRESSED. No, they’re the most desired, because masculine traits are prized in the gay male community just like practically every other social group […] Masc guys aren’t the ones who need to spend time promoting some agenda of masculinity and “regular guy” culture crap. Society has already done that for them.”
Likely anticipating this kind of push-back, Buzzfeed had asked Deluca to respond to charges of “shaming effeminate gays.” “The most simple way I can explain it,” Deluca replied, “is that we care about interests and character, not mannerisms. Everyone is welcome to come to Gaybros to shoot the shit, grab a beer at a Gaybros meet up, and participate in the different activities and events we schedule.”
Sounds totally fair, right? Very chummy and egalitarian. But can you remember the last time you witnessed a dude’s dude get called out for having “mannerisms,” even though they certainly possess their own set? That’s a word that has almost exclusively been applied, usually derogatorily, to effeminate gay guys. And what about the phrases “shoot the shit” and “grab a beer?” These are common and generally innocuous manly sayings, to be sure. But what if they send a shiver of trepidation, even outright fear, down your spine? What if the bars and ball-fields where such expressions are commonly used have always seemed hostile or straight-up dangerous to you, perhaps because your “mannerisms” tend to overpower your “interests and character” in the eyes of the shit-shooters and beer-grabbers? And forgetting such perceived threats, what if you just find that kind of language laughably canned and retrograde? Suddenly, words that are meant to be non-judgmental and inviting become dog whistle warnings (if not screaming evacuation sirens) to entire swaths of potential supporters.
When I spoke with Deluca over Skype, he seemed pained at the idea that outsiders might be reacting to Gaybros in this way. Referring to comments like Fox’s (which he had responded to within minutes), he said “I feel a need to explain the community so when people hear about it or read about it for the first time, if that have that misconception at the beginning, I want to clear it up.” But can Deluca hope to be there to parry with every negative or uninformed comment? Of course no community is for everybody, and no one is forcing anybody to join or even pay attention to Gaybros. But if ill-chosen language is unnecessarily driving would-be members or fans away, that’s a shame, because Gaybros has a lot to offer—and not just for jock-strap connoisseurs.
After a little over a year in existence, Gaybros now finds itself at a promising but uncertain crossroads. Deluca and a few of the other moderators are currently planning and raising money for a standalone site, and they’ve already expanded their mission beyond mere interest-sharing into advocacy work. Under a wing of the group called “Gaybros Gives Back,” Deluca says the bros are attempting to raise $10,000 for The Trevor Project in March. And with more than 21,000 subscribers (or “bromos,” as they’re called) and 2.6 million page views in February alone, they seem to have the reach to meet that admirable goal.
But before the Gaybros can grow into a full-blown movement, they have some criticisms to contend with: that they are young (or newly out) and are therefore somewhat naïve or uninformed about the gay culture they don’t identify with; that they assert their supposed masculinity as a power play against more effeminate gays; that their strained relationship with the gay mainstream is the result of their own stubbornness as much as mean-girl exclusion.
They do skew young (75 percent are between 18-35, according to Deluca), and many are still hovering on one side or the other of the closet threshold. Many also seem to have more straight male friends than gay ones, no doubt for a variety of reasons. Still, though the focused discussions of “gay culture” that I’ve read on the site often lack historical context and nuance (many imply that it’s only ever been glitter, Gaga, and GHB), they’re also almost always thoughtful. Most importantly, I have never seen an instance of virtual femme-bashing that was not immediately and unanimously policed by the other members, often in lengthy, articulate correctives.
However, the “bro” part of the name—regardless of how “playful” Deluca claims to have been in choosing it—will cause many to see them as merely the next incarnation of the “butch,” “straight-acting” or “regular guys” who have defined themselves against some abstract notion of a more effeminate “gay mainstream” since at least the 1970s. (Deluca himself admits that a few of these “assholes” are indeed present within the community). But spend an hour in their online discussions or an evening chatting with them over beers and you’ll quickly learn that the Gaybros’ relationship to masculinity and gay identity is not as simple as that.
In fact, that gently tawdry jock joke that Jake made at Fritz may have been the only time I heard sports—or any of the traditionally masculine things the Gaybros claim as their interests—mentioned that evening. In my humble opinion, a more accurate term for the lovely group of guys I met in Boston (no offense intended!) would be Gaynerds. But then, I wasn’t really surprised to find that the so-called Gaybro army doesn’t actually match some Tom of Finland fantasy; though some members of the community no doubt aspire to that kind of steroid-assisted gravitas, the entirely cliched homosexual gentleman imagined by the group’s mission statement couldn’t possibly be real.
What is real, though, is the sense of alienation these guys feel when whatever traditionally masculine interests they do have interface with their sexuality, or more accurately, with the cultural expectations they see as coming with it. This incongruence has led them to want to “break the stereotype,” but in fact the Gaybros aren’t breaking anything—they’re simply adding to the beauty of what was already there.
One of the keywords that you’ll run into over and over again in the Gaybros subreddit, r/gaybros, is “brotherhood.” This is not a word that immediately comes to mind when thinking of gay guys (Bette Midler in Hocus Pocus screaming “Sissstaaaahhhs!” is what I hear), but perhaps it’s one that should. When I asked 28-year-old Tim Karu, one of Deluca’s fellow moderators, what brotherhood means to him, he immediately relaxed and said “the sense of being able to talk about anything.” That might sound banal, but coming on the heels of a lengthy discussion about the Gaybro community’s penchant for helping guys with what Karu called their “journeys” out of the closet and into gay life, it made a lot of sense. Karu said that the moderators get a lot of messages from guys who find solace in realizing that being gay “doesn’t have to be a game-changer … it doesn’t mean that I’m somebody different.” He and the other moderators  see it as an unexpected but welcome part of their mission to help these guys feel at home in their own skin in a forum that doesn’t necessarily traffic in the same beauty-ideals, aesthetic tastes, and social etiquette that a newly out gay might encounter on, say, moving to New York or San Francisco.
Of a piece with the brotherly vibe of Gaybros is the need to develop, as a site rule puts it, a “thick skin and sense of humor” toward contentious interactions, which crop up fairly often on threads about touchy issues like open relationships. Like “shooting the shit,” demanding a thick skin can at first sound like something a homophobic coach might yell at you for being upset by bullies, but it also has a socially useful function. Gaybros exists by nature and design outside the super-politically correct, college-bubble rhetoric that largely defines the terms of these discussions today (just check out the absurdly arcane ground-rules for r/LGBT to see what I mean). In this, it provides a so-called “safe space” for novice gay men who do not yet know the “right” words to explore their new identities and engage with their newfound community without fear of tar and feathers for not intuiting the difference between two-spirit and intersex. As someone who’s been through more stuffy safe space facilitations than I care to admit, I’ll say that “thick skin” starts to sound a lot like fresh air.
But is Karu right that being gay need not be a “game-changer” at all? Just because you don’t have to become an opera queen to be gay does not mean that there’s no requirements for entry other than having sex with men. If you believe (and I do), that “gay” is something more than “homosexual”—something with a history, canon, and culture—then  calling yourself gay is a “game-changer” for sure.
The other day, I was bemoaning the camp ignorance of certain contestants on this season’s RuPaul’s Drag Race with my hair stylist, Justin, and he wisely pointed out that many of the queens may not have had mothers, of the drag or biological sort, to teach them their own history. The same thing has happened to gay men in general. As Michael Warner writes in The Trouble with Normal, “queers do not have the institutions for common memory and generational transmission around which straight culture is built. Every new wave of queer youth picks up something from its predecessors but also invents itself from scratch. Many are convinced that they have nothing to learn from old dykes and clones and trolls, and no institutions … ensure that this will happen.” Take that with the generational void caused by AIDS, and you have a perfect recipe for a generation who rejects “gay culture” while knowing little, if anything, about it.
But then again, with maturity comes evolution. Deluca said that due to criticisms like mine, he and the other moderators have officially decided to drop the term “stereotype” from the Gaybros materials. This is a great step, and indeed, any adjustment of language (short of renaming themselves) that can help disentangle Gaybros from the gay culture wars is to be encouraged. The group has too much potential as a lively new model for engaging with issues like coming-out, political correctness, community-building and the rest to get waylaid by the old traps of masculine privilege and Andrew Sullivan-style queer-shaming. And of course, as gay culture is redefined for the 21st century, there’s nothing that says the Gaybros can’t bring their guns, video-game controllers, and sports sticks to the club as well.
Speaking of clubs, I went to a second meet-up at a busy New York gay bar a few weeks ago with the intention of snatching a few more quotes. When I pushed in to the at-capacity room, however, I realized my plan was hopeless. The Gaybros, according to their posted itinerary, were somewhere there among the queens, Brooklyn hipsters, and shirtless go-go boys, drinking and flirting and laughing and hoping. But they were indistinguishable from the rest of their brothers.  
San Francisco goes full White Supremacy. Entire aisles have been put behind barriers, making it more difficult to steal - The Donald - America First | Patriots Win
Thu, 26 May 2022 14:04
''Truglow 144 points 3 days ago + 147 / - 3 How can I get my hair products?
''bubadmt 157 points 3 days ago + 158 / - 1 Das rayciss doe
The more and more I hear people calling good ideas "racist" the more I start to question whether racism in itself was never wrong.
Racism is wrong. So is calling anything you disagree with racist. If someone is calling the locking up of grocery store products racist, they're just fucking idiots who don't know what racism is.
Clarify what you mean by "racism is wrong".
Multiculturalism is cultural suicide. Tolerance to degeneracy is inversely proportional to decency. Accepting mental disorders as normality is insanity.
Here's a quote that is said to be from Isreal Cohen in 1917. It is labeled as a hoax according to Wikipedia who attribute the hoax to Eustace Mullins, but it IS interesting that such a quote labled as a hoax since 1957, is the reality we currently find ourselves in. Thomas Abernethy from Mississippi added it to the Congressional Record, Vol. 103, p. 8559, June 7, 1957. The statement ends up being on page 29/38 of the second section from the Congressional record pdf
We must realize that our party's most powerful weapon is racial tensions. By propounding into the consciousness of the dark races that for centuries they have been oppressed by whites, we can mold them to the program of the Communist Party. In America we will aim for subtle victory. While inflaming the Negro minority against the whites, we will endeavor to instill in the whites a guilt complex for their exploitation of the Negroes. We will aid the Negroes to rise in prominence in every walk of life, in the professions and in the world of sports and entertainment. With this prestige, the Negro will be able to intermarry with the whites and begin a process which will deliver America to our cause."
The elite society shapers want to destroy you, and they will do it under the guise of tolerance.
Slanderous words like racist and white supremacy have been over used to describe anyone that doesn't capitulate to their narratives. The words have lost their power and meaning. Whites should all embrace the fact they are going to be considered racist JUST because they are white.
Every other race is allowed to have their pride, but if you aren't ashamed of your whiteness then you are a white supremacist/racist/nazi. The elite fear you because it is you who has the numbers and power to stop them should you unite with a common goal.
We hear a lot about white supremacy, but I don't know a single white supremacist or see white supremacy influence in my daily life. Do you? I do however benefit from white inventions, social constructs and their influence on cival society, but I am not seeing or experiencing hateful white supremacy in anyway.
Whites make up a majority of the population, yet I don't see their numbers making up the majority of violent crimes or among the wealthy ruling class elites. I do see other races make up those totals and neither one of them are politically correct to call attention to. Again, it's odd that the propaganda narratives are all focused on white supremacy when their numbers are not reflected in violent crimes or extreme wealth.
There are those that will use your empathy and care against you to destroy you. What we see now is the forced dismantling of one race in order to forcefully prop up others. They want to make you feel weak and insignificant because it is you that has the numbers and convictions to stop them when motivated to do so.
I am 53 years old and I've only met one white supremacist. He was a dick.
'' deleted 9 points 3 days ago + 10 / - 1 Christian morals are only found among Christians. Read the bible, you will find there's a clear separation between Christians and those following the world's wicked paths. If they're not proper christians they should not be trusted.
You're response wasn't an answer.It also isn't related.I fail to see how being racist and treating people with respect are mutually exclusive.One is an opinion. The other is how you act. I'm nice to people I dislike everyday. Isn't that what adults do? How does adding racist views change that?
Satanists changed the meaning of racism. It used to be the study of race and racial differences. Now it means white man bad.
I've asked this a dozen times, what does racist even mean? nobody can ever give a good answer.
Racist- someone who hates someone based on the color of skin being different from their own. Don't play stupid kid... You sound like a far right leftist..
Jesus this fucking website is getting quite dumb, can't wait for truth to open up to android.
It's because of the decriminalized shoplifting under $1000.
State government refused to protect them so now they can protect themselves.
Following the left's stats on poverty, the only conclusion is that the left believes most looters are black and that's why it's called racist.
You know, it could still be decriminalised. However, that doesn't mean a good legal public flogging wouldn't reduce the amount of theft. That should be a thing.
Racism inherently can't be wrong because it's a made up word to describe a non-existent concept.
There ARE NO races. However, there ARE about 7-8 subspecies of H. Sapiens, that we refer to as "races".
Incorrect. There are no sub species either. We are all imago dei.
So what's your explanation for all the extinct species of Homo?
It's not just the racisms, there's trans women unable to buy their manpons without having a manager paged on the inner com.
I worked in a retail drug store in an Large Urban Area... #2 most likely shoplifters? Trannies. They often ripped themselves to shreds trying to use razor blades on women's cosmetics. Happened like twice a month, regional manager asked why we went through so many first aid kids.
It's not just the racisms, there's trans women unable to buy their manpons without having a manager paged on the inner com.
How dare you use a gendered term like MANager to refer to the boss; it so patriarchal. The correct word is "vagina having person who is in charge" ... unless they identify as a cat or a tree or something.
That's a tranager they're paging, bigot!
The more and more I hear people calling good ideas "racist" the more I start to question whether racism in itself was never wrong.
I laughed too hard at this
Is ges kikin it listening to "Sexy Chocolate" sang dat new sheeeeidt.
''JMaN 36 points 3 days ago + 36 / - 0 hahahahaha "hair products"...
And don't forget to Scotch Guard your sofa.
''JMaN 3 points 3 days ago + 3 / - 0 You're a stud! Hahaha
ha - I was trying to remember the name of that product from Coming To America - Eddie Murphy & Arsenio Hall
Tequila is my hair product
They are going to use robots to bring stuff to people and get rid of the workers
Vending machines already exist.
This is funny
Really old school grocery stores were NOT self service.
Everything was behind the counter.
This has come full circle.
Vending machines may be the only way to continue self service in these cesspool cities.
Yeah I could easily see that happening with pillbox style dispensaries. Pay up front and the item is brought out by a bit or what have you.
Tokyo has 1 vending machine for every 3 people and there's still a lot of employed people.
Tokyo made lots of America look third world. Oh I'm thirsty'... there's a vending machine right there on the street. No trash anywhere. Polite nationalized people. It was nice.
Funny I thought it was our leaders who made America look third world.
Tokyo also has no basketball americans and a culture that idolizes them
I fucking shit you not - the first of maybe 3 joggers I saw the whole time was when I walked into a KFC. I couldn't contain my laughter. ðŸ‚
''MLGS 3 points 3 days ago + 3 / - 0 They also have very few people who belong to certain demographics the US has in abundance.
Or a return to the counter service, warehouse behind counter style of shop.
Shout out to Consumers Distributing! Ahead of their time, then fell way behind, and thanks to the degenerate Dindus and California politicians... They're back in demand LOL
Was Consumers Distributing a West Coast thing? I've never heard of them.
In the East, we had Service Merchandise which operated on that model.
Ping to u/PatriotPirate
1870's style with a sawed off shotgun under the counter and a guy with a handlebar mustache.
If job applicants demand more than the cost to maintain robots, or workers regularly steal, they'll probably fall back on robots.
''JMaN 7 points 3 days ago + 7 / - 0 Kill those fucking robots! We'll kill em all!
It seems most likely stores are going to turn into warehouses with pickup spots. The only thing employees will do is bring the groceries to your car.
''MudDog 11 points 3 days ago + 11 / - 0 Soul Glow?
That's going to be the name of the shoplifting robot. He talks jive and belittles the customers for taking too long and being too stupid to make change.
no, the Shaniqua-bot will have long plastic extensions glued to its fingers and a weave on its head that keeps getting caught in the gears.
and the Shaniqua-bot will not know how to make change.
''JMaN 3 points 3 days ago + 3 / - 0 Hehehehe!
Do you mean hair prodoooooocts?
''NADSAQ 78 points 3 days ago + 78 / - 0 At the local Total Wine, you can grab a $200 bottle of single malt and put it in your cart, but you need a manager to unlock a $30 bottle of Hennessy.
I don't understand why because the price is so much lower and you would think the price would make it pretty black and white as to which bottles get locked up.
Haha, seen same at Bevmo, Hennessy locked up but the wine, saki and scotch isnt.
Joggers don't drink wine.
Fred Sanford called Ripple the National Drink of Watts. Lamont didn't drink it, so now it's gone.
Cham-pipple for special occasion.
Safeway on Powell St between North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf in SF had ''You're on Camera'' next to the locked up Hennessy. Wasn't by accident, I'm sure.
You don't put bottles of scotch in brown paper bags and chug them on the corner.
Damn you have a Total Wine where you can buy liquor...? Niceeeeee
''NADSAQ 7 points 3 days ago + 7 / - 0 Costco has liquor, too. Part of the reason why I am now two plus years sober was their $14/handle spiced rum.
You should be committed for drinking that filth. Stick to God's choice. Guinness
''NADSAQ 10 points 3 days ago + 10 / - 0 I am going to stick to sobriety. That's God's choice for me.
As an ex addict myself, not worrying about getting my fix or feeling like shit etc as being high (and low) became the norm is a better high than most drugs I've done too many times.
'' deleted 0 points 3 days ago + 2 / - 2 ''NADSAQ 3 points 3 days ago + 3 / - 0 lol ok
I take that back, if you're drinking 14$ liquor, you are already unfit and retarded to drink. Good thinking , retards need not drink.
''NADSAQ 8 points 3 days ago + 8 / - 0 lol ok. you seem angry. hang on to that feeling because I sure as fuck don't care about your opinion.
Angry? Sounds like projection to me
You need to step off your high horse for a hot second and check your fucking self. There is no reason to be calling fellow pedes retarded.
Why because I don't enjoy poor man piss?
'' deleted 0 points 3 days ago + 1 / - 1 There's no secondary market for alcohol is why. You can't sell alcohol to a pawn shop and its very hard to sell alcohol even unopened to random strangers. So, at most you can sell it to friends or neighbors and for joggers they want Hennessy not good stuff.
The reason they steal shit like laundry detergent is its easy to resell and/or return to another store.
'' deleted 77 points 3 days ago + 77 / - 0 You can hide hundreds of dollars in there and he won't find it for years.
LPT: Hide their food stamps in there and they will starve within a few weeks.
Pretty sure belts are not locked up either.
It's not racist enough if you ask me
'' deleted 21 points 3 days ago + 31 / - 10 '' deleted 19 points 3 days ago + 28 / - 9 '' deleted 13 points 3 days ago + 19 / - 6 I've always found it enlightening that so many black racists talk about how horrible it was that their ancestors were brought here, but none of them ever express any interest in returning to their ancestral homeland. Slavery is wrong, but by any and all objective measure having an enslaved ancestor is the best thing that ever happened to a black person.
'' deleted -6 points 3 days ago + 1 / - 7 They belong just as much as any other racists.
'' deleted 0 points 3 days ago + 3 / - 3 '' deleted 16 points 3 days ago + 17 / - 1 My friend works at a grocery store in a quiet 95% white city with no crime. A family left their bikes outside unlocked (because there is no crime) and my friend witnessed the one single black teen in the vicinity come up and steal one. This shit isn't coincidental, statistically there is something wrong with them.
That is disappointing to read, but completely unsurprising. I had the same instance last year; parked a bicycle outside Publix to go in for less 10 minutes, and it was stolen by.....
I work in the apparel retail industry, and our store has been struggling with similar issues as well. I've noticed that many in the black community are obsessed with name-brand apparel. When a black person approaches for assistance, it is often to ask some variation on "Where's your Polo section?" or "Do you carry Tommy?" not clarifying Polo Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger.
When I direct them to products branded U.S. Polo Assn, which has a similar logo to PRL, they're usually uninterested because "[they] want real Polo." Perhaps they should clarify that when asking, rather than just saying "Polo," because in our store, "Polo" refers to U.S. Polo Assn. Some ended up stealing the U.S. Polo products they just claimed were fake.
The same can be said about Nike and Calvin Klein products.
Imagine asking the workers for directions to the items you're gonna steal??
These people no longer surprise me anymore
It irks me so much. Without the "diversity" around, America would be just as safe and peaceful as Japan but with more freedom and a lot more space.
''XlDEN 4 points 2 days ago + 4 / - 0 (Mods are shadow-deleting racially aware posts.)
They are pre-StoneAge gatherers. They lack impulse control and live in the moment. They belong in nature, not in civilization.
'' deleted 0 points 3 days ago + 1 / - 1 ''exrod 50 points 3 days ago + 50 / - 0 Why do they steal air fresheners?
Occam's Razor tells us that they're thieves and they stink.
'' deleted 13 points 3 days ago + 15 / - 2 '' deleted 3 points 3 days ago + 4 / - 1 '' deleted 4 points 3 days ago + 5 / - 1 Lockerroom could be a negro name
I really wish they'd start stealing toothpaste and deodorant
It's San Fran (Shit Capital outside of India)
Designated shitting city.
Shitting Pretty in The Bay,
Probably for resale to the mom and pop stores they haven't burned down (yet).
The cow farts are bouncing off the ozone layer and being thrown back onto the earth. You dont smell em? You racist sumbich.
The cow farts are bouncing off the ozone layer and being thrown back onto the earth improvised black neighborhoods. Stop eating meat you racist.
I eat meat everyday BIGOT!
Honestly, pretty soon most of these stores will just be rows and rows of vending machines. Either a kiosk or you chose what you want on your cellphone. No chance for people to steal shit.
The real bad places are going to be just a stainless steel drawer that pops out with a cellphone app. And a LRAD in the corner in case people get assaulty.
Or it will be like old timey general stores where you'd give the grocer a list and he'd fill your order for you.
Some local stores in my area do this and offer free delivery over a certain amount. I take full advantage of it. Normally have to order and schedule at least a week ahead, but I'm all in. I always hated going to the store and having to deal with droves and droves of zombie retards, so this all works out for me. Plus, it keeps me from impulse buying. Win-win.
I've done this for grocery shopping for years. Curbside pick up was a game changer. I don't do it for produce because the mouthbreathers working at most stores will find the most rotten and bruised stuff, but for all the dry and packaged goods its a big time saver. Means I just pop in after work once or twice a week and grab produce as needed.
''zooty 2 points 3 days ago + 3 / - 1 Pickup's great when it works. Nothing worse though than wanting something specific, throwing in a bunch of additional stuff to make it up to the minimum then they tell you that they didn't have your wanted item in stock but you still have all the other stuff to pay for.
I was shocked by your post till I got to the end. My spouse doesn't let me shop any more because of all the impulse buying.
I like this actually. Locking up the food and drinks behind these walls is a great idea actually.
What happens when they steal the lrad?
Mumble rap gonna be REAL LOUD
Won't stop a jogger from smashing the glass
That's what the LRAD is for. At the very least, go be assaulty somewhere else.
That's how the bodegas operate over here.
One filthy little bullet proof window and you stuff your money under and they put your purchase in a metal box in the wall that you open from your side.
This is at night tho.
You're probably right. Stores like Best Buy already have store vending machines in malls and airports and they can fit a lot in there.
They'll just have whole store and hire 1-2 employees to act as attendants who walk around mopping up homeless pee and helping the occasional person get the card reader working
''Not allowing blacks to easily shoplift is white supremacy.'' - Liberals
'' deleted 14 points 3 days ago + 15 / - 1 '' deleted 6 points 3 days ago + 7 / - 1 '' deleted 6 points 3 days ago + 7 / - 1 '' deleted 1 point 3 days ago + 2 / - 1 '' deleted 1 point 3 days ago + 2 / - 1 AOC literally said this and added that there should be stores that exist that just allow it. Like some government funded shop-lifting store.
These stores exist, they're all in Chicago. It's just allowed.
legalize crime, crime skyrockets, why are stores trying to mitigate crime?
lefties left confounded and bewildered
[taps forehead] If you legalize crime, it's not crime any more.
How does that work? Someone unlocks it every time you want something? Fuck that.
Stores didn't originally have products accessible to shoppers. "Self-service" was an innovation introduced by Woolworth's
''Boruzu 13 points 3 days ago + 13 / - 0 That's what I wanna know! You have to grab some employee, point here and there and over there and I'm oh I forgot where that dykfur I wanted was, oh lessee maybe aisle 2? How would anything get done?
at that point would it not make sense to just have escorts?
Escorts? At the supermarket? Tell me more.
Not those kind of escorts.
Nothing gets done. These stores are always understaffed and the people who do work there are usually 65 year old landwhales who can't afford to retire, but for pushed out of their prior career for being old. So they take forever to respond to pages and they always have an attitude about coming to help you because walking 100 feet is a major exertion for them.
When I see stores like these, I turn around and walk out.
are usually 65 year old landwhales who can't afford to retire, but for pushed out of their prior career for being old.
So you admit these people were pushed out of their career, but show them no sympathy? You will get old too someday, and God forbid a medical problem doesn't steal your savings. Good luck.
That's literally how it used to work. Self service is relatively new.
''Boruzu 1 point 2 days ago + 2 / - 1 You don't know what a dick's fer??? ðŸ‚
''Boruzu 1 point 2 days ago + 1 / - 0 Felt good, thanks
'' deleted 1 point 3 days ago + 1 / - 0 Pretty sure the store(s) doing this are already on a list to be shut down. This is just to deter more theft and cut their loses when the lease is up they don't renew.
We will be back to old fashioned general stores soon where the clerk does everything
Yes. Just like it is now with the more high-value items. It's not the entire store, it's just more than before. OTC medicines and liquor particularly.
retailers have rushed to lock things up during the pandemic
No, they locked things up because the city has done the unthinkable and legalized stealing from innocent people.
'' deleted 1 point 3 days ago + 1 / - 0 This is the worst racism that has ever happened in this country's history. One thousand times worse than slavery. Bless, stay strong.
Corporate stores are locking up products because they think black people steal stuff.
Smh, so racist. It's like Jim Crow all over again.
I watched a teenager steal the money from a tip jar on Friday. I just loudly said "I seen that" a few times, until he said "seen what?" which got a "you know what. Taking the tip money."
I told the owner to get a bigger, deeper tip jar, he just said, "oh, it's just kids." It was only like $2, but I hate theft so it still ticked me off.
So the owner doesn't care if his employees get robbed. Sounds like a good dude.
I used to look them dead in the eye and say, "Jesus is watching you."
"It's just kids."
10 years later
"It's just the new world order."
'' deleted 1 point 3 days ago + 1 / - 0 ''cd3dog 21 points 3 days ago + 22 / - 1 You get what you vote for. And the government you deserve. Good and hard.
"We refuse to prosecute petty theft"
cue mass petty theft
feigned shock
Smartest thing any chain store could do is delivery where they pay in advance and no cash. Would more than offset the theft, and make for needing much less costly real estate.
Of course this ruins it for drug dealers and poor people whose income streams have to be cash based lest they give away the goose that they're all criminals.
Do not be so quick to go cashless
''Fizz 10 points 3 days ago + 10 / - 0 Yeah, cash isn't stealing all the stuff
Do you take gold shavings?
You mean other than paying for the armored car and armed guards so the delivery driver doesn't get murdered.
And then there is the endless law suits every time a thieving shit bag gets killed and the family sues because gimme dat.
And dear god what would the workers comp payments look like to cover your employees.
People who shop lift are not intelligent enough to pull off an armored truck robbery. If they were, amazon would be losing trucks by the dozen in New Orleans. If it became routine, then it would simply have a police tail or be used as bait.
People who get caught shop lifting*.
Amazon trucks get carjacked all the time in Chicago. It does not take intelligence to steal a truck.
''kt524 12 points 3 days ago + 12 / - 0 Or just cut the hands off of the people who steal instead of further punishing and inconveniencing those who don't.
What's sad is that I can't argue with you on that point.
Or a deposit where you can't enter the store until you put $500 down and then they pay you back what's left at checkout. People with credit would just get the $500 charged to the card, then refunded, and not notice much.
They could still steal more than $500, but it'd take a big bite out of profits.
It kills impulse purchases too. But eliminates impulse thefts
If only White People would just stop stealing shit!
Just like the home security system commercials. Always a white guy dressed in black breaking your window.
Hide the kids hide the wife!
I respect you for archiving it before sharing the link
'' deleted 1 point 3 days ago + 1 / - 0 America is turning into a 3rd world shithole.
Correction: Deep blue areas are turning into a 3rd world shithole.
Correction: election integrity is turning into a 3rd world shithole..
They are bruises on the map.
We don't have a crime problem.
We have a _ _ _ _ _ problem
'' deleted 0 points 3 days ago + 1 / - 1 Yeah I imagine stores should do a "member only" store model
One of the best things about shopping in Costco, Sams and BJ's is that the membership helps keep most of the riff-raff out.
Imagine a generation of people so dishonest that everything has to be locked behind plexiglass.....to do business with them......
Didn't some stores mark everything up 1000s of dollars and give you a 'discount' at the register, to circumvent the new law?
Don't worry about it too much
It ain't the pandemic that caused that.
Depends which pandemic you're referring to.
The "plan"demic, but really it was caused by the LibTard-Demic of the SF city council and mayor.
Part of the plan. Much easier transition to completely automated stores. Technology is more efficient and cheaper not to mention better atitude.
Customer service is straight-up gone in 2022. Stores treat us like we're lucky they're even open.
''NoFats 7 points 3 days ago + 7 / - 0 I noticed this at Home Depot today.
There's probably real money to be made in these high crime areas with a small storefront that carries grocery, medicine, and other essentials. But instead of walking in to the store and picking up what you want, you place an order at a kiosk and the goods are sent out a few minutes later. After you pay.
Would be easy to enable online ordering and integration w/ delivery services, too.
I'm gonna call it, JoggerMart.
Before The supermarket, that's exactly what people did. Got to counter and place your order.
I feel sorry for anyone who might happen to be stuck in a shit hole like that. What a miserable situation...
The BIGGEST problem in America is the White Liberal. Whatever they brand themselves as today (Progressive, Marxist, Democrat, Social Democrat etc.) this is merely a distraction. They are nothing but destructive.
Sunscreen is still out on the shelf.
'' deleted 1 point 3 days ago + 1 / - 0 People are making fun.but this is part of The Plan.
blame robbing, then lock it up.then you need the chip to unlock - and if your social credit score is low...you dont eat.
People need to pay attention - the social unrest is a weapon, and the vector to justify increasing lockdowns.
as if we cant smash displays if it comes to that
One of my nearby Walmart stores, in a fairly middle-class area with no large nearby ''poor'' areas recently has locked up entire isles. At first it was spray paint it begin growing now even the cheap socks and underwear are behind the glass.
They must know what's coming.
Looks like some third world shit
They voted for it. And white guilted themselves for it
'' deleted 5 points 3 days ago + 6 / - 1 you may see some duplicates considering the thousands of posts a day, your old gay butt will be ok.
How in the hell are you supposed to shop like that? It would take three damned hours to get what you need having to ask an associate in every department. Abe, they had to go back. You had one job.
He was gonna do it, but that idiot booth couldn't wait a month or so.
Most employees would not work at such a store when the employee is the only thing between the violent shoplifter and what he wants.
It's an old article, that's how you know it's been memory holed
Would love to see the internal stats on items most stolen. Almost guaranteed they'd align with a certain set of preferences.
weaves, afrosheen, menthols, and..... candy hearts?
''DZP1 4 points 3 days ago + 4 / - 0 BevMo has had this for a long time. For good reason.
Walgreens has pulled many stores out of SF now because of the blatant theft by joggers. They come in, leap over the counter, and grab items behind the counter. One guy rode in on a bike, filled a trashbag with goods, and wheeled out. Security guards can't stop them for fear of risk for a lawsuit. Plus the DA practices catch and release instantly with no bail.That's what it's come to in Twitter's home city.
Downtown SF has been turning to shit due to liberal DA and corrupt and liberal Board of Supervisors. City planning department is utterly corrupt - it costs $200,000 to open an ice cream parlor - and the Millennium Tower is leaning 27 inches. The city runs a sanctioned open-air shooting gallery for drug users but it arrested a reporter who tried to go in. Thank you so much, liberals.
'' deleted 4 points 3 days ago + 6 / - 2 Brick and mortar stores are just going to wind up being pick up spots for online orders. Maybe even huge vending machines with wagies working inside.
Yeah, they are already pushing discounts for curbside pickup.
Good Lord. And shit's still getting worse
So do you have to pay for the item before the worker takes it out for you? With the behavior of these thefts they are just going to have the worker open the glass and then just steal everything. Of just take sledge hammers in, there's really no fear amongst thieves anymore. They got time, no one will do anything.
'' deleted 3 points 3 days ago + 4 / - 1 Just found out in California. Drive through guy just told me. You gotta ask for anything plastic. They won't give you forks or straws without asking. June 1. Meaning I'm gonna ask for all the plastic you can give me.
Dont worry about gentrification. Your shitholes can stay shitholes.
'' deleted 2 points 3 days ago + 6 / - 4 '' deleted 2 points 3 days ago + 3 / - 1 Bet this doesn't happen in New Hampshire or Vermont. What are the racial demographics of those states again?
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Gender-Inclusive Biology: A framework in action | NSTA
Thu, 26 May 2022 13:54
Gender-Inclusive Biology: A framework in actionPractical Strategies for Teaching About Gender, Sex, and Sexuality in Biology
N ow that gender and sexual diversity are more visible than ever, our science curriculum must adapt to serve our students and prepare them for the future. Among youth ages 13''18, 10.5% identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (Kahn et al. 2018) and at least 0.7% identify as transgender (Herman et al. 2017). Public awareness has grown to a point where 27% of Americans know someone who is transgender, and 45% view gender as a spectrum rather than a binary (n = 1306; Carmichael 2020). On television, one in 10 characters in the 2019''2020 broadcast season was LGBTQ (GLAAD 2020). Yet schools remain a place where youth experience daily bullying and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender expression (Kahn et al. 2018).
Even teachers actively working against bullying may be surprised to learn about the impact of LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum on youth safety and learning. When a school implements LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, students report less victimization, less absenteeism, and more positive relationships with their teachers (Kosciw et al. 2014; 2018). Yet this is exceedingly rare in science classes, with only 2.4% of LGBTQ students seeing any LGBTQ-inclusive science content in 2017 (Kosciw 2018). Lack of inclusive curriculum also impacts students' career pathways'--LGBTQ high school seniors who saw positive LGBTQ representation in science class were 17.3% more likely to choose a STEM major (n = 1124; Kosciw 2014).
High school biology teachers have rich opportunities to include gender diversity in our teaching. Inquiry lessons, by nature, allow students to create and discuss claims from evidence, and this can include claims about gender. When we teach genetics, we can highlight the complexity of genetic sex determination to add depth, rigor, and relevance to the lesson. When we teach evolution, we can include diverse animal reproductive strategies that make for captivating case studies. When we teach anatomy and physiology, we can expose students to data that challenges the notion of binary ''male'' and ''female'' bodies, and validates the complexity of human experience.
This article will outline a thinking framework that any teacher can use to adapt curriculum through a lens of gender diversity. We will illustrate the adaptation of several sample lessons to achieve three key outcomes: (1) to support and reduce harm to LGBTQ students, (2) to engage all students with inquiry into science in society, and (3) to develop student empathy toward diverse identities and perspectives. Additional resources are included at the end of the article to continue teachers' explorations of creating inclusive classroom culture.
A Framework for Gender-Inclusive BiologyWe use the five attributes of authenticity, continuity, affirmation, anti-oppression, and student agency to guide us in adapting any lesson to be inclusive of diverse gender, sex, or sexuality.
1. Authenticity '' Provide accurate content and language that acknowledges both gender diversity and scientific precision. For example, ''ovaries produce eggs'' in meiosis, not ''women produce eggs.'' Ask: Is the content accurate or oversimplified?
2. Continuity '' Consistently include gender, where applicable, as one of many lenses for analysis. Begin with a diversity lens instead of teaching an oversimplification that is later changed for exceptions. Ask: Do we have a consistently inclusive lens or a special token lesson?
3. Affirmation '' Highlight and celebrate the naturally occurring diversity of human and nonhuman species. Frame diverse phenomena, such as chromosomal intersex traits, with interested curiosity. Do not sensationalize or pathologize these variations. Ask: Do we normalize or stigmatize variation?
4. Anti-Oppression '' Encourage students to identify and analyze the patterns that inform society's status quo. Help students recognize recurring injustices such as intersex genital mutilation, court-ordered sterilization and chemical castration of transgender and gay individuals, and sex verification in sports. Ask: Do we empower or marginalize groups?
5. Student Agency '' Provide students choices and habitually incorporate a student feedback cycle. Students engage more when they explore their own questions and make decisions, especially in learning about gender, sex, and sexuality. Ask: Do we invite the sharing of student experience?
AuthenticityAs science teachers, we are uniquely equipped to transform students' curiosity about gender into authentic, meaningful inquiry experiences. Biology teachers constantly strive for more authentic lessons that connect to student experience. When teaching for equity, we elicit and center student ideas to support how their understanding changes. So when students ask about gender and biology, to be authentic with them in the classroom, we must remain ''faithful to their line of inquiry'' (Ontario Ministry of Education)!
The National Research Council's Framework describes science partly as continually extending, refining, and revising knowledge, a disciplinary core idea with ''broad importance'' across domains and grade levels. We can answer our students' questions not with pretend authority, but with a challenge to restructure previous scientific understandings about gender, including the teacher's own. This creates a genuine opportunity to apply scientific knowledge and skills to classroom and student experiences.
For example, lessons about skeletal development often include the classification of bones as ''male'' or ''female,'' oversimplifying forensic pathology techniques. When lessons reinforce how popular media misrepresents the use of bones as unquestioned ''proof'' of someone's identity, we end up limiting the questions our students can pose. Sex classification systems are based on small samples of skeletons from one location, thus flattening details about the spectrum of sexual characteristics and morphology. For example, a common manual for skeletal pathology uses a system based on ''49 adult skeletons from a 19th-century cemetery in Canada'' (Bass 2005; Bone 1993).
Instead of rigidly classifying the sex of any human remains, we can guide students in questioning these models used by scientists. After learning about a male-classified human skeleton that was later found to have XX chromosomes, our students reflected on their own legacy and the physical evidence they'd leave behind for future scientists to interpret (Hendenstierna-Jonson et al. 2017). This links structure and function to other elements of everyday life by giving students an authentic connection to their learning and development (CCC).
The NRC also views science as an ''evidence-based, model and theory building enterprise'' (National Research Council 2013). A responsible approach to three-dimensional learning about gender requires we explicitly frame gender as a vital lens of inquiry for empirical data analysis. If students are given an opportunity to examine how sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone impact multiple organ systems, independent of gendered labels, they construct a deeper understanding of the phenomena first. They then compare this knowledge with social, medical, and academic stereotypes about gender and ability. Thus, students develop the skills, connections, and scientific knowledge to critically examine complex ideas and competing models that can bridge life experience and societal concerns. To illustrate some of these adaptations for authenticity, we provide a sample activity called ''Modeling Patterns and Variations in Studying Human Skeletons'' at http://bit.ly/.
ContinuityStudents process many messages about gender diversity from their families, friends, media, and school. When we teach about gender, we must plan proactively to make sure our messages are internally consistent from lesson to lesson, while also acknowledging students' experiences outside of biology class. For example, in a genetics unit, we may initially teach students that females have XX chromosomes and males have XY chromosomes because so many textbooks and lesson materials use this oversimplification. But some students will think and some will even ask out loud, ''What if someone's XX but they identify as a male because they're transgender?''
The student's question reveals our teacher oversight'--we never formally defined ''male'' and ''female'' in the first place. When we realize this issue, we take a moment to clarify that when we say ''male'' and ''female'' in the genetics unit, we are referring to chromosomal sex, not gender identity. We may also acknowledge that some humans are not XX or XY, but students hear this as an ''exception to the rule'' because we are discussing it after we have already learned the rule.
What if, instead of teaching a simplification, we started each unit by defining sex and gender in context? For example, in genetics the important difference between ''male'' and ''female'' is in the X/Y chromosomes, but in an evolutionary context, the sexes are distinguished by their behavior or the size of their gametes instead. And in anatomy and physiology, ''male'' and ''female'' traits are often shaped by levels of estrogen and testosterone.
Gender-inclusive teaching requires continuity in the terminology and concepts taught from one lesson to the next. To provide continuity, we must consistently include gender, where applicable, as one of many lenses for analysis. This means beginning each unit of study with a diversity lens rather than teaching an oversimplification that will later require amendment. When we address gender diversity in a piecemeal, reactionary way or through a detached, one-time ''very special lesson,'' we miss the opportunity to make connections between multiple units of study.
When talking about gender, sex, and sexuality, our language should focus on the precise organ, function, or pattern being studied. In Figure 1, we suggest language updates for a typical high school biology curriculum. Even more hostile or reticent students and families can usually appreciate how greater precision helps us communicate in science.
Figure 1 Building Continuity in Gendered Language.
AffirmationWhen we normalize gender and sexual diversity in natural phenomena, we celebrate and affirm all student experiences through an inclusive, inquiry-focused lens. When students extend their critique of scientific models to chromosomes, hormones, and other gender-dense phenomena, they take a powerful step in analyzing how their own learning and construction of scientific knowledge affects their identity and community.
The National Research Council asserts that ''science teachers need to acquire effective strategies to include all students regardless of ... gender backgrounds'' (NGSS Appendix D). When students see positive representations of naturally occurring diversity, they are empowered to pursue their curiosity. We as teachers can do so much by offering different models and phenomena without injecting prior misconceptions or incurious attitudes. Choose language that turns toward, not away from, diversity and complexity. Show students that myriad, naturally occurring families exist, such as same-sex swan couples who see 80% of their offspring survive to adulthood compared to only 30% of offspring from different-sex swan couples (Braithwaite 1981). Students can also see how gender expression is different from sex and chromosomes by exploring a game about meiosis and intersex traits. This normalizes student experiences without singling out any one student uncertain about their developing identities. In expanding our scope to recognize real phenomena, our striving toward NGSS requires we also acknowledge the flaws in a binary model.
The SEPs and DCIs under the NGSS also directly affirm student questions (and identities) that even the most prepared science teacher may be unable to predict. If students ask about eugenics and the idea of a ''gay gene,'' teachers can point to evidence of how same-sex behavior persists across species and all eras of human history, far more commonly than many other genetic conditions (Roughgarden 2013; 256, cf. 284). On our website, we have compiled a Queer Species Database with hundreds of instances of diverse sexual behavior, sex, and gender. Teachers can pull from this body of evidence as needed to affirm student experiences regardless of their stated identity.
Although students and their families will hold varying perspectives on LGBTQ+ issues, teachers should encourage all to be curious and learn from gender diversity in biology. Diverse phenomena hold countless opportunities to strengthen our understandings in science, and they should not be framed as merely sensational or pathological ''exceptions.''
Anti-OppressionScience is a human endeavor, and the ways we understand science and apply it societally can have lasting impacts on both individuals and groups (NSTA NGSS Appendix H: Nature of Science April 2013, p. 6). One part of creating a gender-inclusive biology curriculum requires identifying places where societal power and oppression impact specific marginalized gender groups, including transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming people. Science involves describing and explaining phenomena, not prescribing what should happen in systems. Many decisions are not made using science alone, and the NGSS recognizes that scientists and engineers of ''diverse backgrounds...rely on social and cultural contexts to resolve issues'' (NSTA NGSS Appendix H: Nature of Science April 2013, p. 6). Involving our students in critiquing how scientific models are created and their social implications is only one way we can help dismantle structural inequities in science education (Bakshi 2020).
One excellent lesson that highlights these disparities is the Sex Verification of Athletes interactive created by HHMI BioInteractive. In this lesson, which targets NGSS Performance Expectations HS-LS1-2 and HS-LS3-1, students explore how biological sex has been defined and measured in sports throughout history. In the process, students develop a model to represent how intersex traits'--such as differences in genital structure, gonads, and hormone synthesis or sensitivity'--can arise from genetic inheritance. This lesson intersects with all parts of our framework, but especially highlights the ways that people with intersex traits have been mistreated, objectified, and ostracized from the athletics community based on differences that are natural and random.
Student AgencyGood teaching requires knowing our students well and listening to their feedback to adjust our teaching practice. This is especially true when creating a gender-inclusive curriculum that works in the specific context of our classrooms. While making shifts toward a gender-inclusive teaching model, it is valuable to ask your students what they are interested in learning about, and hear their questions and concerns. A regularly scheduled check-in for student feedback can be one step in creating a safer space for students to engage in questions and topics that may be deeply personal or challenging to discuss.
Key Terms for Gender, Sex, and Sexuality
Familiarize yourself and your students with these terms and concepts before beginning any activity where gender, sex, and sexuality may come up. See Online Resources for some graphical conversation starters that may help you introduce these terms to your students.
Gender identity: A personal sense of one's own gender. Self-determined and distinct from a person's sex assigned at birth.Sexual orientation or sexuality: A person's attraction toward men, women, both, another gender, or neither. Distinct from gender identity.Sex assigned at birth: The determination of a newborn infant's sex as male or female, usually from inspection of the external genitalia by health care provider.Transgender: Broadly, any person whose gender identity is not fully aligned with their sex assigned at birth.Cisgender: A person whose gender identity is aligned with their sex assigned at birth.Intersex: Any person with sex characteristics than vary from the typical patterns of male or female development. Intersex people are born with these differences or develop them in childhood.Inclusive Classrooms in Any Subject Area
Use these best practices to create a safer classroom culture for all students, whether you teach biology or another subject. In a safe and inclusive classroom, students will be more willing to ask about how gender, sex, and sexuality relate to the content they are learning.
Proactively learn your students' names and gender pronouns on the first day of school. Share how you would like to be called, then ask your students to introduce themselves, either publicly in class or on a private survey. If you must call out names from the roster before asking, call out last names instead of first names.Listen to students and trust them as the experts on their needs.Openly acknowledge to your students when your own expression or behavior is uninformed or incorrect. When given a clarification, respond with curiosity and not defensiveness'--this is an opportunity to do better.Highlight narratives of strength among marginalized groups. Resist the urge to define marginalized groups by their trauma and tragedy.Address casual offensive comments in the classroom promptly and firmly. Focus on the harm done to the individual and community, and coach students in repeating non-harmful forms of expression.One way to involve students in the process of adapting your curriculum is to co-create language and diagrams that accurately describe the phenomena they are learning about (Figure 2). During a lesson on mitosis, for example, we are likely to encounter a diagram that shows silhouettes of a figure in a dress creating eggs and a figure in trousers creating sperm. When encountering this diagram for the first time, we can ask students to think about different ways of describing the process that are inclusive and universal. For example, egg creation occurs in ovaries, and sperm creation occurs in testes. By revising the model with accurate labels of the location of these processes, we eliminate inaccuracies and provide opportunities for students to be a part of creating their own learning materials, adding to their learning experience.
Figure 2 Before (left) and After (right) diagrams demonstrating modifications to promote student agency.
Similarly, during a lesson on pedigrees and genetic inheritance, the terms ''mother,'' ''father,'' and ''biological parent'' are often used to describe the two individuals who create the egg and sperm that become a new person. However, we know that the relationship of these three people cannot always be described by those words'--for families who adopt, use surrogacy or donor gametes, or see a parent transition gender, these terms may directly contradict the way they describe themselves. This idea of ''the two individuals who created the egg and sperm that became a new person'' has no official, accurate, and inclusive name in the English language. So this is a great opportunity for students to co-create language that accurately describes this idea. In the past, students have come up with words such as ''Biological Life Transmitters'' (BLTs), ''Gene-Givers'' (GGs), or ''Storks,'' since those cells ''bring'' the baby. This is a rare opportunity for the students to teach language to the teacher rather than the other way around, and models the way that science and language are constantly shifting to be more accurate and inclusive. Student agency allows students to take ownership in what they are learning, and for students with high interest in these topics to explore them even further.
Objections to Gender-Inclusive Biology TeachingWe recognize that each of our readers teaches in a unique setting and must adopt gender-inclusive teaching practices in a way that fits their school community. Many teachers worry that their administrators or students' families will raise objections to teaching about gender, sex, and sexuality in biology class. In Table 1 (see Online Connections), we address some common objections and offer solutions-focused responses and resources.
ConclusionThis overview demonstrates how teachers can use the five elements of the Framework for Gender-Inclusive Biology Curriculum to make high-impact adaptations to their biology lessons. Adaptations can be as simple as substituting one term for a more precise and inclusive term. Adaptations can also be more involved, such as a multiday inquiry on how binary sex classifications are oppressive to intersex athletes. These adaptations achieve three key outcomes: (1) to reduce harm and support LGBTQ-identified students; (2) to engage all students with opportunities to share ideas and construct their social understanding of scientific evidence; and (3) to develop student empathy toward diverse identities, perspectives, and scientific ethics. Although our examples focus on high school biology topics, we believe the framework can also be used to create and adapt curriculum in K''8 science and in other content areas.
When we intentionally teach about gender in biology, we are able to shape the way students understand themselves, science, and society. One of our students who identifies as transgender said, ''Your class is the reason I know what I want my career [in STEM] to be, and that means a lot to me.'' One intersex student cited a gender-inclusive biology course as ''one of the motivations that makes me believe school isn't just a hell hole.'' A cisgender ninth grader said after a gender-inclusive meiosis activity, ''This makes much more sense because lots of different people are out there and this way you understand better when you meet someone new.''
Classroom teachers and workshop attendees remark that they appreciate the authenticity and rigor that a gender-inclusive curriculum provides. We believe that teaching gender and sexual diversity in the biology classroom is a natural fit and better reflects real-world science and engineering practices. As one student concluded: ''It's biology, and if we wanna be talking about people, we have to be talking about all people.'' '–
Online ConnectionsTable 1: Common Objections to Gender-Inclusive Biology Teaching https://bit.ly/3l1jVjb
Online Resources for Gender-Inclusive Biology TeachingThe Gender-Inclusive Biology Project: free classroom-ready lessons and resources for K''12+, curated by the authors of this article. www.genderinclusivebiology.com.
Gender Inclusive Classrooms (Elementary school focus) www.genderinclassrooms.com
STEM Teaching Tools Practice Brief: http://stemteachingtools.org/brief/76
Teaching Outside the Binary (Middle school focus) www.teachingoutsidethebinary.com
GLSEN Educator Resources www.glsen.org/resources/educator-resources
Gender Spectrum www.genderspectrum.org
InterACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth https://interactadvocates.org
Graphical conversation starters for teaching key terms for gender, sex, and sexuality:
Gender Galaxy: https://www.actioncanadashr.org/beyond-basics-sneak-peek-gender-galaxyThe Gender Triangle by GLSEN & InterACT https://www.glsen.org/activity/ References Bakshi, L. 2020, October 29. Building an Anti-Racist Science Classroom. Next Gen Navigator blog. https://www.nsta.org/blog/building-anti-racist-science-classroom.
Bass, W. 2005. Human Osteology: A Laboratory and Field Manual, 5th ed. Special Publication No. 2 of the Missouri Archaeological Society. Columbia, MO. http://coas.missouri.edu/mas (After Rogers and Saunders (1994:1049, Table 1).)
Bone, K.E. 1993. A Bias in Skeletal Sexing. Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee. https://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_gradthes/4135
Braithwaite, L.W. 1981. Ecological studies of the black swan: III. Behavior and social organization, Australian Wildlife Research 8 (1): 135''46. http://hdl.handle.net/102.100.100/292286?index=1. (as cited by Roughgarden, J. 2013. Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People. University of California Press, Berkeley. p. 136.)
Carmichael, M. 2020, Jan 7. Press Release: Ipsos Surveys Around Gender. Ipsos Global Market Research. www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/ct/news/documents/2020-01/topline_what_the_future_gender.pdf
Gates, G. 2011. How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender? The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law. http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Gates-How-Many-People-LGBT-Apr-2011.pdf.
GLAAD. 2020. Where We Are on TV: 2019''2020. GLAAD.org. https://www.glaad.org/whereweareontv19
GLSEN and InterACT. 2020. Gender Triangle Education Guide. https://www.glsen.org/activity/gender-triangle-education-guide
Hedenstierna-Jonson, C., et al. 2017, Sept 8. A female Viking warrior confirmed by genomics. Am. J. Phys. Anth. (164:4) available at https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23308.
Herman, J. L., et al. 2017. Age of Individuals Who Identify as Transgender in the United States. Los Angeles, CA: The Williams Institute.
HHMI BioInteractive. 2019. Sex Verification Testing of Athletes. https://media.hhmi.org/biointeractive/click/testing-athletes/
Kahn, E., et al. 2018. HRC 2018 LGBTQ Youth Report. https://www.hrc.org/resources/2018-lgbtq-youth-report
Kosciw, J.G., et al. 2018. The 2017 National School Climate Survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth in our nation's schools. New York: GLSEN. https://www.glsen.org/research/2017-national-school-climate-survey-0
Kosciw, J.G., et al. 2014. The 2013 National School Climate Survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in our nation's schools. New York: GLSEN. https://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/GLSEN-2013-National-School-Climate-Survey-Full-Report.pdf
Kann, L., et al. 2018. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance'--United States, 2017. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries 67 (8).
NGSS Lead States. 2013. Appendix D: ''All Standards, All Students'': Making the Next Generation Science Standards accessible to all students. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, by States, Volume 2: Appendixes, ed. NGSS Lead States, 25''39.
NGSS Lead States. 2013. Appendix H''Understanding the scientific enterprise: The nature of science in the Next Generation Science Standards. Next Generation Science Standards: For states, by states, 430''436.
Roughgarden, J. 2013. Evolution's rainbow: Diversity, gender, and sexuality in nature and people. University of California Press, Berkeley.
EU health chiefs tell nations to prepare vaccination strategies amid scramble to contain monkeypox | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 26 May 2022 13:47
European countries will be told to prepare a vaccination plan to tackle the spiralling monkeypox outbreak, it was claimed today as Denmark became the latest country to be struck down.
EU authorities are set to publish a risk assessment, which will advise all member states to draw up an inoculation strategy to control the spread of the tropical virus.
No monkeypox-specific vaccine exists but smallpox jabs, which were routinely offered to Brits until the virus was eradicated four decades ago, are up to 85 per cent effective.
The strategy likely to be recommended is the same one already deployed in Britain. MailOnline last week revealed officials were attempting to contain the spread by vaccinating all close contacts of the 20 confirmed monkeypox cases, including NHS workers.
The strategy, called ring vaccination, involves jabbing and monitoring anyone around an infected person to form a buffer of immune people to limit the disease's spread.
It comes as experts warn nations could bring in travel restrictions to control the spread of the illness, if the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the outbreak an emergency.
Monkeypox is usually only spotted within Africa, but 16 countries '-- including the US, France and Spain '-- have all now detected the virus this month. Denmark is latest to confirm an infection, in a man who recently returned from Spain. Greece and Argentina are probing suspected cases.
Health chiefs are alarmed about the 'unprecedented' cluster of cases, which has disproportionately struck gay and bisexual men.
Boris Johnson today claimed it was important for No10 to 'keep an eye' on the situation as he sought to calm fears after Scotland recorded its first case. On a visit to a school in south east London, the Prime Minister added: 'So far the consequences don't seem to be very serious.'
Despite growing alarm about the world's growing outbreak, leading experts are adamant monkeypox won't spiral out of control like Covid, which forced nations into economically-crippling restrictions.
EU health chiefs are publishing a risk assessment today which will advise member states to prepare a programme for rolling out jabs to control the spread. No monkeypox vaccine exists, but the smallpox vaccine, which was routinely offered to Britons until the virus was eradicated more than four decades ago, is 85 per cent effective at stopping a monkeypox infection
Boris Johnson reveals No10 is 'keeping an eye' on monkeypox as virus hits Scotland Boris Johnson today claimed the Government is closely watching the monkeypox outbreak, as Scotland confirmed its first case of the tropical virus.
The Government has sought to calm fears over the outbreak as the UK's infection toll today hit 21, with England set to confirm more cases this afternoon, MailOnline understands.
Visiting a school in south east London, the Prime Minister said: 'So far the consequences don't seem to be very serious but it's important that we keep an eye on it and that's exactly what the new UKHSA is doing.'
Meanwhile, Simon Clarke, chief secretary to the Treasury, said he is 'cautious' but 'certainly not concerned' about the UK's ability to manage the outbreak.
Mr Clarke said: 'We are certainly not in a position where I would in anyway worry the public that this is some repeat of Covid, because it certainly does not appear to be anywhere near the same platform of seriousness.'
It comes as authorities in Scotland are desperately trying to trace anyone who may have been infected by the first ever case logged north of the border. No details about the patient were released.
The UK's current monkeypox vaccination strategy relies on Imvanex, made by Denmark-based Bavarian Nordic. Data shows it prevents around 85 per cent of cases, and has been used 'off-label' in the UK since 2018.
The jab, thought to cost around £20 per dose, contains a modified vaccinia virus, which is similar to smallpox and monkeypox but does not cause disease in people.
As part of its strategy, sources claim the UK has already ordered an extra 20,000.
UKHSA bosses have not yet disclosed exactly how many close contacts have already been vaccinated.
The Financial Times reported today that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is set to recommend a similar vaccine plan for EU member states.
But sources told the newspaper that it would not be 'an easy decision' to recommend Imvanex is rolled out to all close contacts at this stage.
It said nations should carry out a risk-benefit analysis for each contact before deciding whether to jab them.
The US is already stockpiling the jabs for future, ordering 13million for a reported $299million (£240million).
Bavarian Nordic told MailOnline that it is experiencing an 'overwhelming interest' in its vaccine from 'multiple countries'.
It comes as WHO bosses had been informed of 92 confirmed cases by Saturday and 28 suspected infections, most of which have been detected in Europe.
But the true toll will be many times higher, with top scientists warning community transmission means some of the spread is inevitably going undetected.
A disproportionate number of cases are in gay and bisexual men.
Monkeypox is usually only spotted within Africa.
Denmark today became the latest nation to announce that it was probing a suspected case, in an adult male who had returned from a trip to Spain.
Boris Johnson today said it was important to 'keep an eye on it', as the Government sought to calm fears over the outbreak. Visiting a school in south east London, the Prime Minister said: 'So far the consequences don't seem to be very serious but it's important that we keep an eye on it and that's exactly what the new UKHSA is doing'
Undated handout file image issued by the UK Health Security Agency of the stages of Monkeypox
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection which kills up to one in ten of those infected but does not spread easily between people. The tropical disease is endemic in parts of Africa and is known for its rare and unusual rashes, bumps and lesions (file photo)
Timeline of monkeypox in the UK 1958 : Monkeypox was first discovered when an outbreak of a pox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research.
1970 : The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the infection has been reported in a number of central and western African countries since then.
2003 : A Monkeypox outbreak occurred in the US after rodents were imported from Africa. Cases were reported in both humans and pet prairie dogs. All the human infections followed contact with an infected pet and all patients recovered.
SEPTEMBER 8, 2018 : Monkeypox appeared in the UK for the first time in a Nigerian naval officer who was visiting Cornwall for training. They were treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 : A second UK monkeypox case is confirmed in Blackpool. There is no link with the first case in Cornwall. Instead, the patient is though to have picked up the infection when travelling in Nigeria. They were treated at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
SEPTEMBER 26, 2018 : A third person is diagnosed with monkeypox. The individual worked at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and treated the second Monkeypox case. They received treatment at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
DECEMBER 3, 2019 : A patient was diagnosed with monkeypox in England, marking the fourth ever case.
May 25, 2021: Two cases of monkeypox were identified in north Wales. Both patients had travel links to Nigeria.
A third person living with one of the cases was diagnosed and admitted to hospital, bringing the total number ever to seven.
MAY 7, 2022 : A person was diagnosed with Monkeypox in England after recently travelling to Nigeria. The person received care at the expert infectious disease unit at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London.
MAY 14, 2022 : Two more cases were confirmed in London. The infected pair lived in the same household but had not been in contact with the case announced one week earlier.
One of these individuals received care at the expert infectious disease unit at St Mary's Hospital in London. The other isolated at home and did not need hospital treatment.
MAY 16, 2022 : Four more cases were announced, bringing the UK total to seven. Three of these cases are in London, while one of their contacts is infected in the north east of England.
The spate of cases was described as 'unusual' and 'surprising' as experts warn gay and bisexual men to look out for new rashes.
MAY 19, 2022: Two more cases were revealed, with no travel links or connections to other cases. The cases were based in the South East and London. Fears began to grow that infections are going undetected.
MAY 20, 2022: Eleven more cases are announced, meaning Britain's monkeypox outbreak have doubled to 20. Minsters discuss the possibility of a public health campaign to warn gay men the disease may be more prevalent for them.
'Health authorities do not expect widespread infection in Denmark, but we are following the situation closely to be prepared for a possible development in the infection situation,' Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said in a statement.
The man is currently in isolation and authorities are in touch with any close contacts, the ministry said.
Argentina last night also revealed it was probing a possible case.
Health chiefs there said individual with monkeypox symptoms lives in Buenos Aires and was in isolation while tests were being carried out.
They had recently returned from Spain, which has seen 30 cases of the tropical virus, with most having links to single 'sauna' in Madrid.
The Gran Canarian pride festival, held between May 5 and 15 and attended by 80,000 people from Britain and across Europe, is also being investigated after being linked to numerous monkeypox cases in Madrid, Italy and Tenerife.
In Belgium, three cases have been linked with a large-scale fetish festival in Antwerp, which ran from May 5 to May 8.
Organisers said there is 'reason to assume that the virus has been brought in by visitors from abroad to the festival after recent cases in other countries'.
There were 20 cases of monkeypox in the UK as of Friday, but Dr Susan Hopkins, the UK Health Security Agency's chief medical adviser, said officials were detecting more cases 'on a daily basis'.
The first patient had returned from Nigeria, where the smallpox-like virus is endemic. None of the other cases are related to travel, suggesting there is community transmission.
One of the cases is reportedly a young child who is intensive care in a London hospital, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
There had previously been only seven cases in the UK since 2018, all related to travel from Africa.
Downing Street has said the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is monitoring monkeypox 'extremely carefully'.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: 'The facts we know is that monkeypox is not usually spread easily between people, and the risk to others remains low.
'A notable portion of early cases detected have been in gay and bisexual men, so the UKHSA is urging this community in particular to be alert.
'It's true to say that most people recover within a few weeks.'
Asked if the Prime Minister has spoken to chief medical officer Sir Chris Whitty over the matter, the spokesman said: 'I don't believe he has.
'He's receiving regular updates on it and the Health Secretary is leading for the Cabinet.'
It comes as it emerged last night that high-risk close contacts of monkeypox patients are being told to stay at home for 21 days and avoid contact with under-12s, immunosuppressed people and pregnant women.
The Government said unprotected direct contact or high risk environmental contact includes living in the same house as someone with monkeypox, having sexual contact with them or even just changing their bedding 'without appropriate PPE'.
The three-week isolation is twice as long as the advice for contacts of those with Covid at the height of the pandemic because the incubation period is much longer.
People are considered a lower-risk contact if they have come within one metre of a monkeypox contact.
These individuals, who include those who have sat next to an infected person on a plane, are receiving daily phone calls from contact tracer and advised to stay off work for 21 days if their job involves children or immuno-suppressed colleagues.
The UK has stopped short of requiring people by law to quarantine if they develop monkeypox, but ministers are considering a public health campaign to alert gay and bisexual men, because of the number of cases in this group.
It came as Mr Johnson said monkeypox was a rare disease following the spate of cases.
Asked whether there should be quarantine for visitors or the use of the smallpox vaccine, Mr Johnson said: 'As things stand the judgment is that it's rare.
'I think we're looking very carefully at the circumstances of transmission. It hasn't yet proved, fatal in any case that we know of, certainly not in this country.'
Meanwhile, Simon Clarke, chief secretary to the Treasury, said he is 'cautious' but 'certainly not concerned' about the UK's ability to manage the outbreak. Twenty Britons had been sickened with the virus before today. Scotland's patient is believed to be number 21.
Mr Clarke said: 'We are certainly not in a position where I would in anyway worry the public that this is some repeat of Covid, because it certainly does not appear to be anywhere near the same platform of seriousness.'
Experts have warned a return to travel restrictions, previously brought in to limit the spread of new Covid variants, could be on the horizon.
Professor Kathy Bergin, an expert on the workings of the WHO at Cornell Law School, claimed if the UN agency declares monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), countries will almost certainly bring in travel restrictions.
But she said it is unclear is this will happen. Only six PHEIC's have ever been declared before, with Covid being the most recent.
The classification is based on the seriousness of a disease and whether it has spread across international borders. If it does go ahead, the WHO 'will almost certainly caution against travel restrictions'.
Professor Bergin added: 'However, travel restrictions have been the go-to response for many countries once an international emergency is declared, and the WHO doesn't have a mechanism to force countries to comply with its recommendations beyond diplomacy or "naming and shaming".'
It comes as a UK Government official insisted today that monkeypox is 'not a repeat of Covid'.
Simon Clarke, chief secretary to the Treasury, claimed he is 'cautious' but 'certainly not concerned' about the UK's ability to manage the outbreak, which has already sickened 20 Britons including a child.
Mr Clarke said: 'We are certainly not in a position where I would in anyway worry the public that this is some repeat of Covid, because it certainly does not appear to be anywhere near the same platform of seriousness.'
UK Health Security Agency bosses are set to announce even more cases today, after warning on Friday that the worst was still to come.
High-risk close contacts of monkeypox sufferers are being told to self-isolate for three weeks and to avoid contact with children.
That is twice as long as the quarantine advice for Covid contacts at the height of the pandemic because the virus' incubation period is much longer.
How DO you catch monkeypox and what are the symptoms? EVERYTHING you need to know about tropical virusMonkeypox is spreading globally for the first time, in an outbreak that has caught health officials off-guard.
The UK's case count on Friday doubled to 20 but the majority of them are not linked '-- which suggests more are going undetected.
A disproportionate number of cases are in gay and bisexual men, authorities have said. Health chiefs say the pattern of transmission is 'highly suggestive of spread in sexual networks'.
Here is everything we know about the monkeypox outbreak so far:
How do you catch monkeypox?
Until this worldwide outbreak, monkeypox was usually caught from infected animals in west and central Africa.
The tropical virus is thought to be spread by rodents, including rats, mice and even squirrels.
Humans can catch the illness '-- which comes from the same family as smallpox '-- if they're bitten by infected animals, or touch their blood, bodily fluids, or scabs.
Consuming contaminated wild game or bush meat can also spread the virus.
The orthopoxvirus can enter the body through broken skin '-- even if it's not visible, as well as the eyes, nose and mouth.
Despite being mainly spread by wild animals, it was known that monkeypox could be passed on between people.
However, health chiefs insist it is very rare.
Human-to-human spread can occur if someone touches clothing or bedding used by an infected person, or through direct contact with the virus' tell-tale scabs.
The virus can also spread through coughs and sneezes.
In the ongoing surge in cases, experts think the virus is passing through skin-to-skin contact during sex '-- even though this exact mechanism has never been seen until now.
How deadly is it?
Monkeypox is usually mild, with most patients recovering within a few weeks without treatment.
Yet, the disease kills up to 10 per cent of cases. But this high rate is thought to be in part due to a historic lack of testing meaning that a tenth of known cases have died rather than a tenth of all infections.
However, with milder strains the fatality rate is closer to one in 100 '-- similar to when Covid first hit.
The UK cases all had the West African version of the virus, which is mild compared to the Central African strain.
It is thought that cases in Portugal and Spain also have the milder version, though tests are underway.
How is it tested for?
It can be difficult to diagnose monkeypox as it is often confused with other infections such as chickenpox.
Monkeypox is confirmed by a clinical assessment by a health professional and a test in the UK's specialist lab - the UKHSA's Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory.
The test involves taking samples from skin lesions, such as part of the scab, fluid from the lesions or pieces of dry crusts.
What are the symptoms?
It can take up to three weeks for monkeypox-infected patients to develop any of its tell-tale symptoms.
Early signs of the virus include a fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion '-- meaning it could, theoretically, be mistaken for other common illnesses.
But its most unusual feature is a rash that often begins on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body, commonly the hands and feet.
The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.
How long is someone contagious?
An individual is contagious from the point their rash appears until all the scabs have fallen off and there is intact skin underneath.
The scabs may also contain infectious virus material.
The infectious period is thought to last for three weeks but may vary between individuals.
What do I do if I have symptoms?
Anyone with an unusual rash or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia, should contact NHS 111 or call a sexual health service.
Britons are asked to contact clinics ahead of their visit and avoid close contact with others until they have been seen by a medic.
Gay and bisexual men have been asked to be especially alert to the symptoms as most of the cases have been detected in men who have sex with men.
What even is monkeypox?
Monkeypox was first discovered when an outbreak of a pox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research in 1958.
The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the infection has been reported in a number of central and western African countries since then.
Only a handful of cases have been reported outside of Africa and they were confined to people with travel links to the continent.
The UK, US, Israel and Singapore are the only countries which had detected the virus before May 2022.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection which kills up to one in ten of those infected but does not spread easily between people. The tropical disease is endemic in parts of Africa and is known for its rare and unusual rashes, bumps and lesions (file photo)
Nurses and doctors are being advised to stay 'alert' to patients who present with a new rash or scabby lesions (like above)
Is it related to chickenpox?
Despite causing a similar rash, chickenpox is not related to monkeypox.
The infection, which usually strikes children, is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
For comparison, monkeypox '-- like smallpox '-- is an orthopoxvirus. Because of this link, smallpox vaccines also provide protection against m onkeypox.
Are young people more vulnerable?
Britons aged under 50 may be more susceptible to monkeypox, according to the World Health Organization.
This is because children in the UK were routinely offered the smallpox jab, which protects against monkeypox, until 1971.
The WHO also warns that the fatality rate has been higher among young children.
Does it spread as easily as Covid?
Leading experts insist we won't be seeing Covid-style levels of transmission in the monkeypox outbreak.
A World Health Organization report last year suggested the natural R rate of the virus '' the number of people each patient would infect if they lived normally while sick '' is two.
This is lower than the original Wuhan variant of Covid and about a third of the R rate of the Indian 'Delta' strain.
But the real rate is likely much lower because 'distinctive symptoms greatly aid in its early detection and containment,' the team said, meaning it's easy to spot cases and isolate them.
Covid is mainly spread through droplets an infected person releases whenever they breathe, speak, cough or sneeze.
How is the UK managing the outbreak?
MailOnline this week revealed close contacts of monkeypox cases, including NHS workers, are already being offered the Imvanex smallpox vaccine.
The strategy, known as ring vaccination, involves jabbing and monitoring anyone around an infected person to form a buffer of immune people to limit the spread of a disease.
A spokesman for the UKHSA did not disclose how many have been vaccinated, but said: 'Those who have required the vaccine have been offered it.'
Health chiefs are also contacting all close contacts of those who have been infected.
Additionally, close contacts of those with a confirmed monkeypox infection are being told to stay at home for 21 days and avoid contact under-12s, immunosuppressed people and pregnant women.
The Government said unprotected direct contact or high risk environmental contact includes living in the same house as someone with monkeypox, having sexual contact with them or even just changing their bedding 'without appropriate PPE'.
As with Covid, someone who has come within one metre of an infected person is classed as a monkeypox contact.
This lower category of contact, which also includes sitting next to a person with monkeypox on a plane, means a tracer will call the person every day for three weeks and they will be advised to stay off work for 21 days if their job involves children or immuno-suppressed colleagues.
The UK has stopped short of requiring people by law to quarantine if they develop monkeypox, but ministers are considering a public health campaign to alert gay and bisexual men, because of the number of cases in this group.
What if it continues to spread?
Experts told MailOnline they 'could see a role' for a targeted jab rollout to gay men in the UK 'if this isn't brought under control quickly'.
Close contacts of the UK's known cases are already being offered the jab, which was originally designed for smallpox. The two rash-causing viruses are very similar.
A health source told MailOnline 'there would be a number of strategies we'd look at' if cases continued to rise.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London's public health regional director, said if the outbreak in the capital continues to grow then the rollout of vaccines and treatments could be broadened to more groups.
He said there are 'plans in place' to have more antivirals if the outbreak keeps growing.
What other countries have spotted cases?
At least 16 countries '-- including the US, Spain and Italy '-- have now detected cases of monkeypox.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it had been informed of 92 confirmed cases by Saturday and 28 suspected infections, most of which have been detected in Europe.
The most cases have been detected in Spain, Portugal, Canada and the UK.
Within Europe, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland have also confirmed cases.
Australia, Israel and the Canary Islands also have monkeypox patients, while health chiefs in Argentina are investigating a possible case.
The smallpox vaccine, called Imvanex in the UK and Jynneos in the US, can protect against monkeypox because the viruses causing the illnesses are related
Is there a vaccine for it?
The smallpox vaccine, called Imvanex in the UK and Jynneos in the US, can protect against monkeypox because the viruses causing the illnesses are related.
Data shows it prevents around 85 per cent of cases, and has been used 'off-label' in the UK since 2018.
The jab, thought to cost £20 per dose, contains a modified vaccinia virus, which is similar to both smallpox and monkeypox, but does not cause disease in people.
Because of its similarity to the pox viruses, antibodies produced against this virus offer cross protection.
Are thre any drugs?
There are a handful of antivirals and therapies for smallpox that appear to work on monkeypox, including the drug tecovirimat, which was approved for monkeypox in the EU in January
There are a handful of antivirals and therapies for smallpox that appear to work on monkeypox.
This includes the drug tecovirimat, which was approved for monkeypox in the EU in January.
Tecovirimat prevents the virus from leaving an infected cell, hindering the spread of the virus within the body.
An injectable antiviral used to treat AIDS called cidofovir can be used to manage the infection, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It also works by stopping the growth of the virus.
What is the situation with the UK outbreak?
Twenty cases were confirmed in the UK between May 6 and 20.
No details about the eleven confirmed on May 20 have been released yet.
But six of the previous nine confirmed cases were in men who have sex with men '-- which officials say is 'highly suggestive of spread in sexual networks'.
How worrying is it?
UK health chiefs say the risk of a major outbreak is low.
But experts not that the outbreak is 'concerning' and that it is 'very unusual' to see community transmission in Europe.
Dr Michael Head, a global health expert at the University of Southampton, said the rise in cases is 'undoubtedly worrying'.
But he noted that 'a big monkeypox outbreak like this is still a very different situation to a Covid pandemic'.
Dr Head added: 'Given 11 further cases have been announced today, it's likely there will be more cases to come in the UK.
'There certainly will be further cases confirmed in other countries. The contact tracing efforts by public health teams will be crucial in containing the outbreak.'
Dr Charlotte Hammer, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Cambridge, said: 'It is very unusual to see community transmission in Europe, previous monkeypox cases have been in returning travellers with limited ongoing spread.
'Based on the number of cases that were already discovered across Europe and the UK in the previous days, it is not unexpected that additional cases are now being and will be found, especially with the contact tracing that is now happening.'
What is the situation in the US?
The US has confirmed two cases and is investigating more.
A Massachusetts man on May 18 became the first confirmed US case for this outbreak.
On May 19, officials in New York City announced they were probing a suspected monkeypox case as well.
And what about Australia?
Australia last week confirmed its first every monkeypox infections.
One is a man in his thirties who travelled from Britain to Melbourne with symptoms earlier this week.
The second case is a man in his forties who became mildly unwell days after returning to New South Wales from Europe. Both he and the person he lives with are isolating at home.
What do I do if I have symptoms?
Anyone worried that they could be infected with monkeypox is advised to make contact with clinics ahead of their visit.
Health chiefs say their call or discussion will be treated sensitively and confidentially.
COVID UPDATE: What is the truth? - PMC
Thu, 26 May 2022 13:32
Journal List Surg Neurol Int v.13; 2022 PMC9062939 Surg Neurol Int. 2022; 13: 167.
Retired Neurosurgeon, Theoretical Neuroscience Research, LLC, Ridgeland, Mississippi, United States.
*Corresponding author: Russell L. Blaylock, Theoretical Neuroscience Research, LLC, Ridgeland, Mississippi, United States.
moc.liamg@7036yalBReceived 2022 Feb 6; Accepted 2022 Feb 11.
Copyright : (C) 2022 Surgical Neurology International
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, transform, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most manipulated infectious disease events in history, characterized by official lies in an unending stream lead by government bureaucracies, medical associations, medical boards, the media, and international agencies.[3,6,57] We have witnessed a long list of unprecedented intrusions into medical practice, including attacks on medical experts, destruction of medical careers among doctors refusing to participate in killing their patients and a massive regimentation of health care, led by non-qualified individuals with enormous wealth, power and influence.
For the first time in American history a president, governors, mayors, hospital administrators and federal bureaucrats are determining medical treatments based not on accurate scientifically based or even experience based information, but rather to force the acceptance of special forms of care and ''prevention'''--including remdesivir, use of respirators and ultimately a series of essentially untested messenger RNA vaccines. For the first time in history medical treatment, protocols are not being formulated based on the experience of the physicians treating the largest number of patients successfully, but rather individuals and bureaucracies that have never treated a single patient'--including Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, EcoHealth Alliance, the CDC, WHO, state public health officers and hospital administrators.[23,38]
The media (TV, newspapers, magazines, etc), medical societies, state medical boards and the owners of social media have appointed themselves to be the sole source of information concerning this so-called ''pandemic''. Websites have been removed, highly credentialed and experienced clinical doctors and scientific experts in the field of infectious diseases have been demonized, careers have been destroyed and all dissenting information has been labeled ''misinformation'' and ''dangerous lies'', even when sourced from top experts in the fields of virology, infectious diseases, pulmonary critical care, and epidemiology. These blackouts of truth occur even when this information is backed by extensive scientific citations from some of the most qualified medical specialists in the world.[23] Incredibly, even individuals, such as Dr. Michael Yeadon, a retired ex-Chief Scientist, and vice-president for the science division of Pfizer Pharmaceutical company in the UK, who charged the company with making an extremely dangerous vaccine, is ignored and demonized. Further, he, along with other highly qualified scientists have stated that no one should take this vaccine.
Dr. Peter McCullough, one of the most cited experts in his field, who has successfully treated over 2000 COVID patients by using a protocol of early treatment (which the so-called experts completely ignored), has been the victim of a particularly vicious assault by those benefiting financially from the vaccines. He has published his results in peer reviewed journals, reporting an 80% reduction in hospitalizations and a 75% reduction in deaths by using early treatment.[44] Despite this, he is under an unrelenting series of attacks by the information controllers, none of which have treated a single patient.
Neither Anthony Fauci, the CDC, WHO nor any medical governmental establishment has ever offered any early treatment other than Tylenol, hydration and call an ambulance once you have difficulty breathing. This is unprecedented in the entire history of medical care as early treatment of infections is critical to saving lives and preventing severe complications. Not only have these medical organizations and federal lapdogs not even suggested early treatment, they attacked anyone who attempted to initiate such treatment with all the weapons at their disposal'--loss of license, removal of hospital privileges, shaming, destruction of reputations and even arrest.[2]
A good example of this outrage against freedom of speech and providing informed consent information is the recent suspension by the medical board in Maine of Dr. Meryl Nass' medical license and the ordering of her to undergo a psychiatric evaluation for prescribing Ivermectin and sharing her expertise in this field.[9,65] I know Dr, Nass personally and can vouch for her integrity, brilliance and dedication to truth. Her scientific credentials are impeccable. This behavior by a medical licensing board is reminiscent of the methodology of the Soviet KGB during the period when dissidents were incarcerated in psychiatric gulags to silence their dissent.
OTHER UNPRECEDENTED ATTACKSAnother unprecedented tactic is to remove dissenting doctors from their positions as journal editors, reviewers and retracting of their scientific papers from journals, even after these papers have been in print. Until this pandemic event, I have never seen so many journal papers being retracted'-- the vast majority promoting alternatives to official dogma, especially if the papers question vaccine safety. Normally a submitted paper or study is reviewed by experts in the field, called peer review. These reviews can be quite intense and nit picking in detail, insisting that all errors within the paper be corrected before publication. So, unless fraud or some other major hidden problem is discovered after the paper is in print, the paper remains in the scientific literature.
We are now witnessing a growing number of excellent scientific papers, written by top experts in the field, being retracted from major medical and scientific journals weeks, months and even years after publication. A careful review indicates that in far too many instances the authors dared question accepted dogma by the controllers of scientific publications'--especially concerning the safety, alternative treatments or efficacy of vaccines.[12,63] These journals rely on extensive adverting by pharmaceutical companies for their revenue. Several instances have occurred where powerful pharmaceutical companies exerted their influence on owners of these journals to remove articles that in any way question these companies' products.[13,34,35]
Worse still is the actual designing of medical articles for promoting drugs and pharmaceutical products that involve fake studies, so-called ghostwritten articles.[49,64] Richard Horton is quoted by the Guardian as saying ''journals have devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry.''[13,63] Proven fraudulent ''ghostwritten'' articles sponsored by pharmaceutical giants have appeared regularly in top clinical journals, such as JAMA, and New England Journal of Medicine'--never to be removed despite proven scientific abuse and manipulation of data.[49,63]
Ghostwritten articles involve using planning companies whose job it is to design articles containing manipulated data to support a pharmaceutical product and then have these articles accepted by high-impact clinical journals, that is, the journals most likely to affect clinical decision making of doctors. Further, they supply doctors in clinical practice with free reprints of these manipulated articles. The Guardian found 250 companies engaged in this ghostwriting business. The final step in designing these articles for publication in the most prestigious journals is to recruit well recognized medical experts from prestigious institutions, to add their name to these articles. These recruited medical authors are either paid upon agreeing to add their name to these pre- written articles or they do so for the prestige of having their name on an article in a prestigious medical journal.[11]
Of vital importance is the observation by experts in the field of medical publishing that nothing has been done to stop this abuse. Medical ethicists have lamented that because of this widespread practice ''you can't trust anything.'' While some journals insist on disclosure information, most doctors reading these articles ignore this information or excuse it and several journals make disclosure more difficult by requiring the reader to find the disclosure statements at another location. Many journals do not police such statements and omissions by authors are common and without punishment.
As concerns the information made available to the public, virtually all the media is under the control of these pharmaceutical giants or others who are benefitting from this ''pandemic''. Their stories are all the same, both in content and even wording. Orchestrated coverups occur daily and massive data exposing the lies being generated by these information controllers are hidden from the public. All data coming over the national media (TV, newspaper and magazines), as well as the local news you watch every day, comes only from ''official'' sources'--most of which are lies, distortions or completely manufactured out of whole cloth'--all aimed to deceive the public.
Television media receives the majority of its advertising budget from the international pharmaceutical companies'--this creates an irresistible influence to report all concocted studies supporting their vaccines and other so-called treatments.[14] In 2020 alone the pharmaceutical industries spent 6.56 billion dollars on such advertising.[13,14] Pharma TV advertising amounted to 4.58 billion, an incredible 75% of their budget. That buys a lot of influence and control over the media. World famous experts within all fields of infectious diseases are excluded from media exposure and from social media should they in any way deviate against the concocted lies and distortions by the makers of these vaccines. In addition, these pharmaceutical companies spend tens of millions on social media advertising, with Pfizer leading the pack with $55 million in 2020.[14]
While these attacks on free speech are terrifying enough, even worse is the virtually universal control hospital administrators have exercised over the details of medical care in hospitals. These hirelings are now instructing doctors which treatment protocols they will adhere to and which treatments they will not use, no matter how harmful the ''approved'' treatments are or how beneficial the ''unapproved'' treatments are.[33,57]
Never in the history of American medicine have hospital administrators dictated to its physicians how they will practice medicine and what medications they can use. The CDC has no authority to dictate to hospitals or doctors concerning medical treatments. Yet, most physicians complied without the slightest resistance.
The federal Care Act encouraged this human disaster by offering all US hospitals up to 39,000 dollars for each ICU patient they put on respirators, despite the fact that early on it was obvious that the respirators were a major cause of death among these unsuspecting, trusting patients. In addition, the hospitals received 12,000 dollars for each patient that was admitted to the ICU'--explaining, in my opinion and others, why all federal medical bureaucracies (CDC, FDA, NIAID, NIH, etc) did all in their power to prevent life- saving early treatments.[46] Letting patients deteriorate to the point they needed hospitalization, meant big money for all hospitals. A growing number of hospitals are in danger of bankruptcy, and many have closed their doors, even before this ''pandemic''.[50] Most of these hospitals are now owned by national or international corporations, including teaching hospitals.[10]
It is also interesting to note that with the arrival of this ''pandemic'' we have witnessed a surge in hospital corporate chains buying up a number of these financially at-risk hospitals.[1,54] It has been noted that billions in Federal Covid aid is being used by these hospital giants to acquire these financially endangered hospitals, further increasing the power of corporate medicine over physician independence. Physicians expelled from their hospitals are finding it difficult to find other hospitals staffs to join since they too may be owned by the same corporate giant. As a result, vaccine mandate policies include far larger numbers of hospital employees. For example, Mayo Clinic fired 700 employees for exercising their right to refuse a dangerous, essentially untested experimental vaccine.[51,57] Mayo Clinic did this despite the fact that many of these employees worked during the worst of the epidemic and are being fired when the Omicron variant is the dominant strain of the virus, has the pathogenicity of a common cold for most and the vaccines are ineffective in preventing the infection.
In addition, it has been proven that the vaccinated asymptomatic person has a nasopharyngeal titer of the virus as high as an infected unvaccinated person. If the purpose of the vaccine mandate is to prevent viral spread among the hospital staff and patients, then it is the vaccinated who present the greatest risk of transmission, not the unvaccinated. The difference is that a sick unvaccinated person would not go to work, the asymptomatic vaccinated spreader will.
What we do know is that major medical centers, such as Mayo Clinic, receive tens of millions of dollars in NIH grants each year as well as monies from the pharmaceutical makers of these experimental ''vaccines''. In my view, that is the real consideration driving these policies. If this could be proven in a court of law the administrators making these mandates should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and sued by all injured parties.
The hospital bankruptcy problem has grown increasingly acute due to hospitals vaccine mandates and resulting large number of hospitals staff, especially nurses, refusing to be forcibly vaccinated.[17,51] This is all unprecedented in the history of medical care. Doctors within hospitals are responsible for the treatment of their individual patients and work directly with these patients and their families to initiate these treatments. Outside organizations, such as the CDC, have no authority to intervene in these treatments and to do so exposes the patients to grave errors by an organization that has never treated a single COVID-19 patient.
When this pandemic started, hospitals were ordered by the CDC to follow a treatment protocol that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of patients, most of whom would have recovered had proper treatments been allowed.[43,44] The majority of these deaths could have been prevented had doctors been allowed to use early treatment with such products as Ivermectin, hydroxy-chloroquine and a number of other safe drugs and natural compounds. It has been estimated, based on results by physicians treating the most covid patients successfully, that of the 800,000 people that we are told died from Covid, 640,000 could have not only been saved, but could have, in many cases, returned to their pre-infection health status had mandated early treatment with these proven methods been used. This neglect of early treatment constitutes mass murder. That means 160,000 would have actually died, far less than the number dying at the hands of bureaucracies, medical associations and medical boards that refused to stand up for their patients. According to studies of early treatment of thousands of patients by brave, caring doctors, seventy-five to eighty percent of the deaths could have been prevented.[43,44]
Incredibly, these knowledgeable doctors were prevented from saving these Covid-19 infected people. It should be an embarrassment to the medical profession that so many doctors mindlessly followed the deadly protocols established by the controllers of medicine.
One must also keep in mind that this event never satisfied the criteria for a pandemic. The World Health Organization changed the criteria to make this a pandemic. To qualify for a pandemic status the virus must have a high mortality rate for the vast majority of people, which it didn't (with a 99.98% survival rate), and it must have no known existing treatments'--which this virus had'--in fact, a growing number of very successful treatments.
The draconian measures established to contain this contrived ''pandemic'' have never been shown to be successful, such as masking the public, lockdowns, and social distancing. A number of carefully done studies during previous flu seasons demonstrated that masks, of any kind, had never prevented the spread of the virus among the public.[60]
In fact, some very good studies suggested that the masks actually spread the virus by giving people a false sense of security and other factors, such as the observation that people were constantly breaking sterile technique by touching their mask, improper removal and by leakage of infectious aerosols around the edges of the mask. In addition masks were being disposed of in parking lots, walking trails, laid on tabletops in restaurants and placed in pockets and purses.
Within a few minutes of putting on the mask, a number of pathogenic bacteria can be cultured from the masks, putting the immune suppressed person at a high risk of bacterial pneumonia and children at a higher risk of meningitis.[16] A study by researchers at the University of Florida cultured over 11 pathogenic bacteria from the inside of the mask worn by children in schools.[40]
It was also known that children were at essentially no risk of either getting sick from the virus or transmitting it.
In addition, it was also known that wearing a mask for over 4 hours (as occurs in all schools) results in significant hypoxia (low blood oxygen levels) and hypercapnia (high CO2 levels), which have a number of deleterious effects on health, including impairing the development of the child's brain.[4,72,52]
We have known that brain development continues long after the grade school years. A recent study found that children born during the ''pandemic'' have significantly lower IQs'--yet school boards, school principals and other educational bureaucrats are obviously unconcerned.[18]
TOOLS OF THE INDOCTRINATION TRADEThe designers of this pandemic anticipated a pushback by the public and that major embarrassing questions would be asked. To prevent this, the controllers fed the media a number of tactics, one of the most commonly used was and is the ''fact check'' scam. With each confrontation with carefully documented evidence, the media ''fact checkers'' countered with the charge of ''misinformation'', and an unfounded ''conspiracy theory'' charge that was, in their lexicon, ''debunked''. Never were we told who the fact checkers were or the source of their ''debunking'' information'--we were just to believe the ''fact checkers''. A recent court case established under oath that facebook ''fact checkers'' used their own staff opinion and not real experts to check ''facts''.[59] When sources are in fact revealed they are invariably the corrupt CDC, WHO or Anthony Fauci or just their opinion. Here is a list of things that were labeled as ''myths'' and ''misinformation'' that were later proven to be true.
The asymptomatic vaccinated are spreading the virus equally as with unvaccinated symptomatic infected.
The vaccines cannot protect adequately against new variants, such as Delta and Omicron.
Natural immunity is far superior to vaccine immunity and is most likely lifelong.
Vaccine immunity not only wanes after several months, but all immune cells are impaired for prolonged periods, putting the vaccinated at a high risk of all infections and cancer.
COVID vaccines can cause a significant incidence of blood clots and other serious side effects
The vaccine proponents will demand numerous boosters as each variant appears on the scene.
Fauci will insist on the covid vaccine for small children and even babies.
Vaccine passports will be required to enter a business, fly in a plane, and use public transportation
There will be internment camps for the unvaccinated (as in Australia, Austria and Canada)
The unvaccinated will be denied employment.
There are secret agreements between the government, elitist institutions, and vaccine makers
Many hospitals were either empty or had low occupancy during the pandemic.
The spike protein from the vaccine enters the nucleus of the cell, altering cell DNA repair function.
Hundreds of thousands have been killed by the vaccines and many times more have been permanently damaged.
Early treatment could have saved the lives of most of the 700,000 who died.
Vaccine-induced myocarditis (which was denied initially) is a significant problem and clears over a short period.
Special deadly lots (batches) of these vaccines are mixed with the mass of other Covid-19 vaccines
Several of these claims by those opposing these vaccines now appear on the CDC website'--most still identified as ''myths''. Today, extensive evidence has confirmed that each of these so-called ''myths'' were in fact true. Many are even admitted by the ''saint of vaccines'', Anthony Fauci. For example, we were told, even by our cognitively impaired President, that once the vaccine was released all the vaccinated people could take off their masks. Oops! We were told shortly afterward'-- the vaccinated have high concentrations (titers) of the virus in their noses and mouths (nasopharynx) and can transmit the virus to others in which they come into contact'--especially their own family members. On go the masks once again'-- in fact double masking is recommended. The vaccinated are now known to be the main superspreaders of the virus and hospitals are filled with the sick vaccinated and people suffering from serious vaccine complications.[27,42,45]
Another tactic by the vaccine proponents is to demonize those who reject being vaccinated for a variety of reasons. The media refers to these critically thinking individuals as ''anti-vaxxers'', ''vaccine deniers'', ''Vaccine resisters'', ''murders'', ''enemies of the greater good'' and as being the ones prolonging the pandemic. I have been appalled by the vicious, often heartless attacks by some of the people on social media when a parent or loved one relates a story of the terrible suffering and eventual death, they or their loved one suffered as a result of the vaccines. Some psychopaths tweet that they are glad that the loved one died or that the dead vaccinated person was an enemy of good for telling of the event and should be banned. This is hard to conceptualize. This level of cruelty is terrifying, and signifies the collapse of a moral, decent, and compassionate society.
It is bad enough for the public to sink this low, but the media, political leaders, hospital administrators, medical associations and medical licensing boards are acting in a similar morally dysfunctional and cruel way.
LOGIC, REASONING, AND SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE HAS DISAPPEARED IN THIS EVENTHas scientific evidence, carefully done studies, clinical experience and medical logic had any effect on stopping these ineffective and dangerous vaccines? Absolutely not! The draconian efforts to vaccinate everyone on the planet continues (except the elite, postal workers, members of Congress and other insiders).[31,62]
In the case of all other drugs and previous conventional vaccines under review by the FDA, the otherwise unexplained deaths of 50 or less individuals would result in a halt in further distribution of the product, as happened on 1976 with the swine flu vaccine. With over 18,000 deaths being reported by the VAERS system for the period December 14, 2020 and December 31st, 2021 as well as 139,126 serious injuries (including deaths) for the same period there is still no interest in stopping this deadly vaccine program.[61] Worse, there is no serious investigation by any government agency to determine why these people are dying and being seriously and permanently injured by these vaccines.[15,67] What we do see is a continuous series of coverups and evasions by the vaccine makers and their promoters.
The war against effective cheap and very safe repurposed drugs and natural compounds, that have proven beyond all doubt to have saved millions of lives all over the world, has not only continued but has stepped up in intensity.[32,34,43]
Doctors are told they cannot provide these life-saving compounds for their patients and if they do, they will be removed from the hospital, have their medical license removed or be punished in many other ways. A great many pharmacies have refused to fill prescriptions for lvermectin or hydroxy- chloroquine, despite the fact that millions of people have taken these drugs safely for over 60 years in the case of hydroxy chloroquine and decades for Ivermectin.[33,36] This refusal to fill prescriptions is unprecedented and has been engineered by those wanting to prevent alternative methods of treatment, all based on protecting vaccine expansion to all. Several companies that make hydroxy chloroquine agreed to empty their stocks of the drug by donating them to the Strategic National Stockpile, making this drug far more difficult to get.[33] Why would the government do that when over 30 well-done studies have shown that this drug reduced deaths anywhere from 66% to 92% in other countries, such as India, Egypt, Argentina, France, Nigeria, Spain, Peru, Mexico, and others?[23]
The critics of these two life-saving drugs are most often funded by Bill Gates and Anthony Fauci, both of which are making millions from these vaccines.[48,15]
To further stop the use of these drugs, the pharmaceutical industry and Bill Gates/Anthony Fauci funded fake research to make the case that hydroxy chloroquine was a dangerous drug and could damage the heart.[34] To make this fraudulent case the researchers administered the sickest of covid patients a near lethal dose of the drug, in a dose far higher than used on any covid patient by Dr. Kory, McCullough and other ''real'', and compassionate doctors, physicians who were actually treating covid patients.[23]
The controlled, lap-dog media, of course, hammered the public with stories of the deadly effect of hydroxy- chloroquine, all with a terrified look of fake panic. All these stories of ivermectin dangers were shown to be untrue and some of the stories were incredibly preposterous.[37,43]
The attack on Ivermectin was even more vicious than against hydroxy-chloroquine. All of this, and a great deal more is meticulously chronicled in Robert Kennedy, Jr's excellent new book'--The Real Anthony Fauci. Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health.[32] If you are truly concerned with the truth and with all that has occurred since this atrocity started, you must not only read, but study this book carefully. It is fully referenced and covers all topics in great detail. This is a designed human tragedy of Biblical proportions by some of the most vile, heartless, psychopaths in history.
Millions have been deliberately killed and crippled, not only by this engineered virus, but by the vaccine itself and by the draconian measures used by these governments to ''control the pandemic spread''. We must not ignore the ''deaths by despair'' caused by these draconian measures, which can exceed hundreds of thousands. Millions have starved in third world countries as a result. In the United States alone, of the 800,000 who died, claimed by the medical bureaucracies, well over 600,000 of these deaths were the result of the purposeful neglect of early treatment, blocking the use of highly effective and safe repurposed drugs, such as hydroxy-chloroquine and Ivermectin, and the forced use of deadly treatments such as remdesivir and use of ventilators. This does not count the deaths of despair and neglected medical care caused by the lockdown and hospital measures forced on healthcare systems.
To compound all this, because of vaccine mandates among all hospital personnel, thousands of nurses and other hospital workers have resigned or been fired.[17,30,51] This has resulted in critical shortages of these vital healthcare workers and dangerous reductions of ICU beds in many hospitals. In addition, as occurred in the Lewis County Healthcare System, a specialty-hospital system in Lowville, N.Y., closed its maternity unit following the resignation of 30 hospital staff over the state's disastrous vaccine mandate orders. The irony in all these cases of resignations is that the administrators unhesitatingly accepted these mass staffing losses despite rantings about suffering from short staffing during a ''crisis''. This is especially puzzling when we learned that the vaccines did not prevent viral transmission and the present predominant variant is of extremely low pathogenicity.
DANGERS OF THE VACCINES ARE INCREASINGLY REVEALED BY SCIENCEWhile most researchers, virologists, infectious disease researchers and epidemiologists have been intimidated into silence, a growing number of high integrity individuals with tremendous expertise have come forward to tell the truth'--that is, that these vaccines are deadly .
Most new vaccines must go through extensive safety testing for years before they are approved. New technologies, such as the mRNA and DNA vaccines, require a minimum of 10 years of careful testing and extensive follow-up. These new so-called vaccines were ''tested'' for only 2 months and then the results of these safety test were and continue to be kept secret. Testimony before Senator Ron Johnson by several who participated in the 2 months study indicates that virtually no follow-up of the participants of the pre-release study was ever done.[67] Complains of complications were ignored and despite promises by Pfizer that all medical expenses caused by the ''vaccines'' would be paid by Pfizer, these individuals stated that none were paid.[66] Some medical expenses exceed 100,000 dollars.
As an example of the deception by Pfizer, and the other makers of mRNA vaccines, is the case of 12-year-old Maddie de Garay, who participated in the Pfizer vaccine pre-release safety study. At Sen. Johnson's presentation with the families of the vaccine injured, her mother told of her child's recurrent seizures, that she is now confined to a wheelchair, must be tube fed and suffers permanent brain damage. On the Pfizer safety evaluation submitted to the FDA her only side effect is listed as having a ''stomachache''. Each person submitted similar horrifying stories.
The Japanese resorted to a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) lawsuit to force Pfizer to release its secret biodistribution study. The reason Pfizer wanted it kept secret is that it demonstrated that Pfizer lied to the public and the regulatory agencies about the fate of the injected vaccine contents (the mRNA enclosed nano-lipid carrier). They claimed that it remained at the site of the injection (the shoulder), when in fact their own study found that it rapidly spread throughout the entire body by the bloodstream within 48 hours.
The study also found that these deadly nano-lipid carriers collected in very high concentrations in several organs, including the reproductive organs of males and females, the heart, the liver, the bone marrow, and the spleen (a major immune organ). The highest concentration was in the ovaries and the bone marrow. These nano-lipid carriers also were deposited in the brain.
Dr. Ryan Cole, a pathologist from Idaho reported a dramatic spike in highly aggressive cancers among vaccinated individuals, (not reported in the Media). He found a frighteningly high incidence of highly aggressive cancers in vaccinated individuals, especially highly invasive melanomas in young people and uterine cancers in women.[26] Other reports of activation of previously controlled cancers are also appearing among vaccinated cancer patients.[47] Thus far, no studies have been done to confirm these reports, but it is unlikely such studies will be done, at least studies funded by grants from the NIH.
The high concentration of spike proteins found in the ovaries in the biodistribution study could very well impair fertility in young women, alter menstruation, and could put them at an increased risk of ovarian cancer. The high concentration in the bone marrow, could also put the vaccinated at a high risk of leukemia and lymphoma. The leukemia risk is very worrisome now that they have started vaccinating children as young as 5 years of age. No long-term studies have been conducted by any of these makers of Covid-19 vaccines, especially as regards the risk of cancer induction. Chronic inflammation is intimately linked to cancer induction, growth and invasion and vaccines stimulate inflammation.
Cancer patients are being told they should get vaccinated with these deadly vaccines. This, in my opinion, is insane. Newer studies have shown that this type of vaccine inserts the spike protein within the nucleus of the immune cells (and most likely many cell types) and once there, inhibits two very important DNA repair enzymes, BRCA1 and 53BP1, whose duty it is to repair damage to the cell's DNA.[29] Unrepaired DNA damage plays a major role in cancer.
There is a hereditary disease called xeroderma pigmentosum in which the DNA repair enzymes are defective. These ill-fated individuals develop multiple skin cancers and a very high incidence of organ cancer as a result. Here we have a vaccine that does the same thing, but to a less extensive degree.
One of the defective repair enzymes caused by these vaccines is called BRCA1, which is associated with a significantly higher incidence of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
It should be noted that no studies were ever done on several critical aspects of this type of vaccine.
They have never been tested for long term effects
They have never been tested for induction of autoimmunity
They have never been properly tested for safety during any stage of pregnancy
No follow-up studies have been done on the babies of vaccinated women
There are no long-term studies on the children of vaccinated pregnant women after their birth (Especially as neurodevelopmental milestone occur).
It has never been tested for effects on a long list of medical conditions:
Heart disease
Neurodegenerative diseases
Neuropsychiatric effects
Induction of autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia
Long term immune function
Vertical transmission of defects and disorders
Autoimmune disorders
Previous experience with the flu vaccines clearly demonstrates that the safety studies done by researchers and clinical doctors with ties to pharmaceutical companies were essentially all either poorly done or purposefully designed to falsely show safety and coverup side effects and complications. This was dramatically demonstrated with the previously mentioned phony studies designed to indicate that hydroxy Chloroquine and Ivermectin were ineffective and too dangerous to use.[34,36,37] These fake studies resulted in millions of deaths and severe health disasters worldwide. As stated, 80% of all deaths were unnecessary and could have been prevented with inexpensive, safe repurposed medications with a very long safety history among millions who have taken them for decades or even a lifetime.[43,44]
It is beyond ironic that those claiming that they are responsible for protecting our health approved a poorly tested set of vaccines that has resulted in more deaths in less than a year of use than all the other vaccines combined given over the past 30 years. Their excuse when confronted was'--''we had to overlook some safety measures because this was a deadly pandemic''.[28,46]
In 1986 President Reagan signed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which gave blanket protection to pharmaceutical makers of vaccines against injury litigation by families of vaccine injured individuals. The Supreme Court, in a 57-page opinion, ruled in favor of the vaccine companies, effectively allowing vaccine makers to manufacture and distribute dangerous, often ineffective vaccines to the population without fear of legal consequences. The court did insist on a vaccine injury compensation system which has paid out only a very small number of rewards to a large number of severely injured individuals. It is known that it is very difficult to receive these awards. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, since 1988 the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has agreed to pay 3,597 awards among 19,098 vaccine injured individuals applying amounting to a total sum of $3.8 billion. This was prior to the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccines, in which the deaths alone exceed all deaths related to all the vaccines combined over a thirty-year period.
In 2018 President Trump signed into law the ''right-to-try'' law which allowed the use of experimental drugs and all unconventional treatments to be used in cases of extreme medical conditions. As we have seen with the refusal of many hospitals and even blanket refusal by states to allow Ivermectin, hydroxy-chloroquine or any other unapproved ''official'' methods to treat even terminal Covid-19 cases, these nefarious individuals have ignored this law.
Strangely, they did not use this same logic or the law when it came to Ivermectin and Hydroxy Chloroquine, both of which had undergone extensive safety testing by over 30 clinical studies of a high quality and given glowing reports on both efficacy and safety in numerous countries. In addition, we had a record of use for up to 60 years by millions of people, using these drugs worldwide, with an excellent safety record. It was obvious that a group of very powerful people in conjunction with pharmaceutical conglomerates didn't want the pandemic to end and wanted vaccines as the only treatment option. Kennedy's book makes this case using extensive evidence and citations.[14,32]
Dr. James Thorpe, an expert in maternal-fetal medicine, demonstrates that these covoid-19 vaccines given during pregnancy have resulted in a 50-fold higher incidence of miscarriage than reported with all other vaccines combined.[28] When we examine his graph on fetal malformations there was a 144-fold higher incidence of fetal malformation with the Covid-19 vaccines given during pregnancy as compared to all other vaccines combined. Yet, the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology endorse the safety of these vaccines for all stages of pregnancy and among women breast feeding their babies.
It is noteworthy that these medical specialty groups have received significant funding from Pfizer pharmaceutical company. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, just in the 4th quarter of 2010, received a total of $11,000 from Pfizer Pharmaceutical company alone.[70] Funding from NIH grants are much higher.[20] The best way to lose these grants is to criticize the source of the funds, their products or pet programs. Peter Duesberg, because of his daring to question Fauci's pet theory of AIDS caused by HIV virus, was no longer awarded any of the 30 grant applications he submitted after going public. Prior to this episode, as the leading authority on retroviruses in the world, he had never been turned down for an NIH grant.[39] This is how the ''corrupted'' system works, even though much of the grant money comes from our taxes.
HOT LOTS'--DEADLY BATCHES OF THE VACCINESA new study has now surfaced, the results of which are terrifying.[25] A researcher at Kingston University in London, has completed an extensive analysis of the VAERs data (a subdepartment of the CDC which collects voluntary vaccine complication data), in which he grouped reported deaths following the vaccines according to the manufacturer's lot numbers of the vaccines. Vaccines are manufactured in large batches called lots. What he discovered was that the vaccines are divided into over 20,000 lots and that one out of every 200 of these batches (lots) is demonstrably deadly to anyone who receives a vaccine from that lot, which includes thousands of vaccine doses.
He examined all manufactured vaccines'--Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson (Janssen), etc. He found that among every 200 batches of the vaccine from Pfizer and other makers, one batch of the 200 was found to be over 50x more deadly than vaccines batches from other lots. The other vaccine lots (batches) were also causing deaths and disabilities, but nowhere near to this extent. These deadly batches should have appeared randomly among all ''vaccines'' if it was an unintentional event. However, he found that 5% of the vaccines were responsible for 90% of the serious adverse events, including deaths. The incidence of deaths and serious complications among these ''hot lots'' varied from over 1000% to several thousand percent higher than comparable safer lots. If you think this was by accident'--think again. This is not the first time ''hot lots'' were, in my opinion, purposefully manufactured and sent across the nation'--usually vaccines designed for children. In one such scandal, ''hot lots'' of a vaccine ended up all in one state and the damage immediately became evident. What was the manufacture's response? It wasn't to remove the deadly batches of the vaccine. He ordered his company to scatter the hot lots across the nation so that authorities would not see the obvious deadly effect.
All lots of a vaccine are numbered'--for example Modera labels them with such codes as 013M20A. It was noted that the batch numbers ended in either 20A or 21A. Batches ending in 20A were much more toxic than the ones ending in 21A. The batches ending in 20A had about 1700 adverse events, versus a few hundred to twenty or thirty events for the 21A batches. This example explains why some people had few or no adverse events after taking the vaccine while others are either killed or severely and permanently harmed. To see the researcher's explanation, go to https://www.bitchute.com/video/6xIYPZBkydsu/ In my opinion these examples strongly suggest an intentional alteration of the production of the ''vaccine'' to include deadly batches.
I have met and worked with a number of people concerned with vaccine safety and I can tell you they are not the evil anti-vaxxers you are told they are. They are highly principled, moral, compassionate people, many of which are top researchers and people who have studied the issue extensively. Robert Kennedy, Jr, Barbara Lou Fisher, Dr. Meryl Nass, Professor Christopher Shaw, Megan Redshaw, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Neil Z. Miller, Dr. Lucija Tomjinovic, Dr. Stephanie Seneff, Dr. Steve Kirsch and Dr. Peter McCullough just to name a few. These people have nothing to gain and a lot to lose. They are attacked viciously by the media, government agencies, and elite billionaires who think they should control the world and everyone in it.
WHY DID FAUCI WANT NO AUTOPSIES OF THOSE WHO DIED AFTER VACCINATION?There are many things about this ''pandemic'' that are unprecedented in medical history. One of the most startling is that at the height of the pandemic so few autopsies, especially total autopsies, were being done. A mysterious virus was rapidly spreading around the world, a selected group of people with weakened immune systems were getting seriously ill and many were dying and the one way we could rapidly gain the most knowledge about this virus'--an autopsy, was being discouraged.
Guerriero noted that by the end of April, 2020 approximately 150,000 people had died, yet there were only 16 autopsies performed and reported in the medical literature.[24] Among these, only seven were complete autopsies, the remaining 9 being partial or by needle biopsy or incisional biopsy. Only after 170,000 deaths by Covid-19 and four months into the pandemic were the first series of autopsies actually done, that is, more than ten. And only after 280,000 deaths and another month, were the first large series of autopsies performed, some 80 in number.[22] Sperhake, in a call for autopsies to be done without question, noted that the first full autopsy reported in the literature along with photomicrographs appeared in a medico-legal journal from China in February 2020.[41,68] Sperhake expressed confusion as to why there was a reluctance to perform autopsies during the crisis, but he knew it was not coming from the pathologists. The medical literature was littered with appeals by pathologist for more autopsies to be performed.[58] Sperhake further noted that the Robert Koch Institute (The German health monitoring system) at least initially advised against doing autopsies. He also knew that at the time 200 participating autopsy institutions in the United States had done at least 225 autopsies among 14 states.
Some have claimed that this dearth of autopsies was based on the government's fear of infection among the pathologists, but a study of 225 autopsies on Covid-19 cases demonstrated only one case of infection among the pathologist and this was concluded to have been an infection contracted elsewhere.[19] Guerriero ends his article calling for more autopsies with this observation: ''Shoulder to shoulder, clinical and forensic pathologists overcame the obstructions of autopsy studies in Covid-19 victims and hereby generated valuable knowledge on the pathophysiology of the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 and the human body, thus contributing to our understanding of the disease.''[24]
Suspicion concerning the worldwide reluctance of nations to allow full post mortem studies of Covid-19 victims may be based on the idea that it was more than by chance. There are at least two possibilities that stand out. First, those leading the progression of this ''non-pandemic'' event into a perceived worldwide ''deadly pandemic'', were hiding an important secret that autopsies could document. Namely, just how many of the deaths were actually caused by the virus? To implement draconian measures, such as mandated mask wearing, lockdowns, destruction of businesses, and eventually mandated forced vaccination, they needed very large numbers of covid-19 infected dead. Fear would be the driving force for all these destructive pandemic control programs.
Elder et al in his study classified the autopsy findings into four groups.[22]
Certain Covid-19 death
Probably Covid-19 death
Possible Covid-19 death
Not associated with Covid-19, despite the positive test.
What possibly concerned or even terrified the engineers of this pandemic was that autopsies just might, and did, show that a number of these so-called Covid-19 deaths in truth died of their comorbid diseases. In the vast majority of autopsy studies reported, pathologists noted multiple comorbid conditions, most of which at the extremes of life could alone be fatal. Previously it was known that common cold viruses had an 8% mortality in nursing homes.
In addition, valuable evidence could be obtained from the autopsies that would improve clinical treatments and could possibly demonstrate the deadly effect of the CDC mandated protocols all hospitals were required to follow, such as the use of respirators and the deadly, kidney-destroying drug remdesivir. The autopsies also demonstrated accumulating medical errors and poor-quality care, as the shielding of doctors in intensive care units from the eyes of family members inevitably leads to poorer quality care as reported by several nurses working in these areas.[53-55]
As bad as all this was, the very same thing is being done in the case of Covid vaccine deaths'--very few complete autopsies have been done to understand why these people died, that is, until recently. Two highly qualified researchers, Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi a microbiologist and highly qualified expert in infectious disease and Dr. Arne Burkhardt, a pathologist who is a widely published authority having been a professor of pathology at several prestigious institutions, recently performed autopsies on 15 people having died after vaccination. What they found explains why so many are dying and experiencing organ damage and deadly blood clots.[5]
They determined that 14 of the fifteen people died as a result of the vaccines and not of other causes. Dr. Burkhardt, the pathologist, observed widespread evidence of an immune attack on the autopsied individuals' organs and tissues'-- especially their heart. This evidence included extensive invasion of small blood vessels with massive numbers of lymphocytes, which cause extensive cell destruction when unleashed. Other organs, such as the lungs and liver, were observed to have extensive damage as well. These findings indicate the vaccines were causing the body to attack itself with deadly consequences. One can easily see why Anthony Fauci, as well as public health officers and all who are heavily promoting these vaccines, publicly discouraged autopsies on the vaccinated who subsequently died. One can also see that in the case of vaccines, that were essentially untested prior to being approved for the general public, at least the regulatory agencies should have been required to carefully monitor and analyze all serious complications, and certainly deaths, linked to these vaccines. The best way to do that is with complete autopsies.
While we learned important information from these autopsies what is really needed are special studies of the tissues of those who have died after vaccination for the presence of spike protein infiltration throughout the organs and tissues. This would be critical information, as such infiltration would result in severe damage to all tissues and organs involved'--especially the heart, the brain, and the immune system. Animal studies have demonstrated this. In these vaccinated individuals the source of these spike proteins would be the injected nanolipid carriers of the spike protein producing mRNA. It is obvious that the government health authorities and pharmaceutical manufacturers of these ''vaccines'' do not want these critical studies done as the public would be outraged and demand an end to the vaccination program and prosecution of the involved individuals who covered this up.
CONCLUSIONSWe are all living through one of the most drastic changes in our culture, economic system, as well as political system in our nation's history as well as the rest of the world. We have been told that we will never return to ''normal'' and that a great reset has been designed to create a ''new world order''. This has all been outlined by Klaus Schwab, head of the World Economic Forum, in his book on the ''Great Reset''.[66] This book gives a great deal of insight as to the thinking of the utopians who are proud to claim this pandemic ''crisis'' as their way to usher in a new world. This new world order has been on the drawing boards of the elite manipulators for over a century.[73,74] In this paper I have concentrated on the devastating effects this has had on the medical care system in the United States, but also includes much of the Western world. In past papers I have discussed the slow erosion of traditional medical care in the United States and how this system has become increasingly bureaucratized and regimented.[7,8] This process was rapidly accelerating, but the appearance of this, in my opinion, manufactured ''pandemic'' has transformed our health care system over night.
As you have seen, an unprecedented series of events have taken place within this system. Hospital administrators, for example, assumed the position of medical dictators, ordering doctors to follow protocols derived not from those having extensive experience in treating this virus, but rather from a medical bureaucracy that has never treated a single COVID-19 patient. The mandated use of respirators on ICU Covid-19 patients, for example, was imposed in all medical systems and dissenting physicians were rapidly removed from their positions as caregivers, despite their demonstration of markedly improved treatment methods. Further, doctors were told to use the drug remdesivir despite its proven toxicity, lack of effectiveness and high complication rate. They were told to use drugs that impaired respiration and mask every patient, despite the patient's impaired breathing. In each case, those who refused to abuse their patients were removed from the hospital and even faced a loss of license'--or worse.
For the first time in modern medical history, early medical treatment of these infected patients was ignored nationwide. Studies have shown that early medical treatment was saving 80% of higher number of these infected people when initiated by independent doctors.[43,44] Early treatment could have saved over 640,000 lives over the course of this ''pandemic''. Despite the demonstration of the power of these early treatments, the forces controlling medical care continued this destructive policy.
Families were not allowed to see their loved ones, forcing these very sick individuals in the hospitals to face their deaths alone. To add insult to injury, funerals were limited to a few grieving family members, who were not allowed to even sit together. All the while large stores, such as Walmart and Cosco were allowed to operate with minimal restrictions. Nursing home patients were also not allowed to have family visitations, again being forced to die a lonely death. All the while, in a number of states, the most transparent being in New York state, infected elderly were purposefully transferred from hospitals into nursing homes, resulting in a very high death rates of these nursing home residents. At the beginning of this ''pandemic'' over 50% of all death were occurring in nursing homes.
Throughout this ''pandemic'' we have been fed an unending series of lies, distortions and disinformation by the media, the public health officials, medical bureaucracies (CDC, FDA and WHO) and medical associations. Physicians, scientists, and experts in infectious treatments who formed associations designed to develop more effective and safer treatments, were regularly demonized, harassed, shamed, humiliated, and experience a loss of licensure, loss of hospital privileges and, in at least one case, ordered to have a psychiatric examination.[2,65,71]
Anthony Fauci was given essentially absolute control of all forms of medical care during this event, including insisting that drugs he profited from be used by all treating physicians. He ordered the use of masks, despite at first laughing at the use of masks to filter a virus. Governors, mayors, and many businesses followed his orders without question.
The draconian measures being used, masking, lockdowns, testing of the uninfected, use of the inaccurate PCR test, social distancing, and contact tracing had been shown previously to be of little or no use during previous pandemics, yet all attempts to reject these methods were to no avail. Some states ignored these draconian orders and had either the same or fewer cases, as well as deaths, as the states with the most strictly enforced measures. Again, no amount of evidence or obvious demonstration along these lines had any effect on ending these socially destructive measures. Even when entire countries, such as Sweden, which avoided all these measures, demonstrated equal rates of infections and hospitalization as nations with the strictest, very draconian measures, no policy change by the controlling institutions occurred. No amount of evidence changed anything.
Experts in the psychology of destructive events, such as economic collapses, major disasters and previous pandemics demonstrated that draconian measures come with an enormous cost in the form of ''deaths of despair'' and in a dramatic increase in serious psychological disorders. The effects of these pandemic measures on children's neurodevelopment is catastrophic and to a large extent irreversible.
Over time tens of thousands could die as a result of this damage. Even when these predictions began to appear, the controllers of this ''pandemic'' continued full steam ahead. Drastic increases in suicides, a rise in obesity, a rise in drug and alcohol use, a worsening of many health measures and a terrifying rise in psychiatric disorders, especially depression and anxiety, were ignored by the officials controlling this event.
We eventually learned that many of the deaths were a result of medical neglect. Individuals with chronic medical conditions, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological diseases were no longer being followed properly in their clinics and doctor's offices. Non-emergency surgeries were put on hold. Many of these patients chose to die at home rather than risk going to the hospitals and many considered hospitals ''death houses''.
Records of deaths have shown that there was a rise in deaths among those aged 75 and older, mostly explained by Covid-19 infections, but for those between the ages of 65 to 74, deaths had been increasing well before the pandemic onset.[69] Between ages of 18 and aged 65 years, records demonstrate a shocking hike in non-Covid-19 deaths. Some of these deaths were explained by a dramatic increase in drug-related deaths, some 20,000 more than 2019. Alcohol related deaths also increased substantially, and homicides increased almost 30% in the 18 to 65-year group.
The head of the insurance company OneAmerica stated that their data indicated that the death rate for individuals aged 18 to 64 had increased 40% over the pre-pandemic period.[21] Scott Davidson, the company's CEO, stated that this represented the highest death rate in the history of insurance records, which does extensive data collections on death rates each year. Davidson also noted that this high of a death rate increase has never been seen in the history of death data collection. Previous catastrophes of monumental extent increased death rates no more than 10 percent, 40% is unprecedented.
Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Indiana's chief medical officer, stated that hospitalizations in Indiana are higher than at any point in the past five years. This is of critical importance since the vaccines were supposed to significantly reduce deaths, but the opposite has happened. Hospitals are being flooded with vaccine complications and people in critical condition from medical neglect caused by the lockdowns and other pandemic measures.[46,56]
A dramatic number of these people are now dying, with the spike occurring after the vaccines were introduced. The lies flowing from those who have appointed themselves as medical dictators are endless. First, we were told that the lockdown would last only two weeks, they lasted over a year. Then we were told that masks were ineffective and did not need to be worn. Quickly that was reversed. Then we were told the cloth mask was very effective, now it's not and everyone should be wearing an N95 mask and before that that they should double mask. We were told there was a severe shortage of respirators, then we discover they are sitting unused in warehouses and in city dumps, still in their packing crates. We were informed that the hospitals were filled mostly with the unvaccinated and later found the exact opposite was true the world over. We were told that the vaccine was 95% effective, only to learn that in fact the vaccines cause a progressive erosion of innate immunity.
Upon release of the vaccines, women were told the vaccines were safe during all states of pregnancy, only to find out no studies had been done on safety during pregnancy during the ''safety tests'' prior to release of the vaccine. We were told that careful testing on volunteers before the EUA approval for public use demonstrated extreme safety of the vaccines, only to learn that these unfortunate subjects were not followed, medical complications caused by the vaccines were not paid for and the media covered this all up.[67] We also learned that the pharmaceutical makers of the vaccines were told by the FDA that further animal testing was unnecessary (the general public would be the Guinea pigs.) Incredibly, we were told that the Pfizer's new mRNA vaccines had been approved by the FDA, which was a cleaver deception, in that another vaccine had approval (comirnaty) and not the one being used, the BioNTech vaccine. The approved comirnaty vaccine was not available in the United States. The national media told the public that the Pfizer vaccine had been approved and was no longer classed as experimental, a blatant lie. These deadly lies continue. It is time to stop this insanity and bring these people to justice.
FootnotesHow to cite this article: Blaylock RL. COVID UPDATE: What is the truth? Surg Neurol Int 2022;13:167.
DisclaimerThe views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Journal or its management.
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Get Woke, Go Broke: Old Navy Takes Massive Loss, Angers Customers After Going All-In On 'Inclusivity' Sizing | The Daily Wire
Thu, 26 May 2022 13:28
Old Navy and its parent company Gap Inc. took a massive loss after Old Navy went all-in on the so-called ''body positivity'' movement, offering extremely large and small clothing items.
Instead of cashing in on the feminist movement and earning praise for its apparent progressivism, Old Navy was left with clothing in only the extremely large and small sizes '-- and unhappy customers. A lot of unhappy customers.
''Analysts expect the company to report net sales of $3.44 billion, down from the $3.99 billion it reported in the same period last year,'' a report from The Wall Street Journal said of a Gap Inc. report, which ''showed the company's latest quarterly results on May 26.''
The bad numbers have already triggered a ''management shake-up,'' the report noted.
''Old Navy set out to make clothes shopping more inclusive for women of all body types,'' the Journal said. ''It ended up with too many extra-small and extra-large items and too few of the rest, a mismatch that frustrated customers and contributed to falling sales and a management shake-up.''
Back in August, Old Navy started offering their clothing in sizes 0 to 30, and XS to 4X. The petite and plus-size departments were gone, instead incorporated with the rest of the clothing, apparently to be more ''inclusive.''
''This is the largest integrated launch in the brand's history and an important growth driver for the business for years to come,'' Gap Chief Executive Sonia Syngaltold championed the move at the time.
''Soon after, however, Old Navy's sales started to nosedive,'' the Journal reported. ''Last month, Nancy Green, the chain's president and chief executive, stepped down after less than two years running the brand. Gap warned that sales for the spring quarter would fall short of expectations in part due to troubles at Old Navy.''
The Journal spoke to numerous customers who were frustrated with the sizing change, explaining that they were now unable to buy clothes that fit.
''I have to look through a lot of sizes and then my size isn't available,'' one woman said.
''They mostly just have larger sizes and sell out of the small sizes,'' another female shopper. ''It is super-frustrating.''
Old Navy is certainly not the only company to try to ride the woke wave and fail.
The Daily Wire noted last month that Netflix reported the streaming service ''lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 while bracing for 2 million lost subscribers in the second quarter. Shares of the company dropped more than 20% in after-hours trading.''
Netflix has routinely branded itself as racially and sexually woke, turning off some customers.
In one example offered by The Daily Wire, Netflix in October 2020 ''began creating a show about the life of Colin Kaepernick '-- a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who gained notoriety for kneeling during the national anthem, as well as later suggesting the NFL draft bears a resemblance to slavery.''
In the fall of that year, ''subscription cancellations soared by 800% amid reaction to the company's release of 'Cuties' '-- a French film that depicts pre-pubescent girls in sexually provocative situations,'' The Daily Wire added. ''Netflix defended the film as a 'social commentary against the sexualization of young children.'''
Related: Tuned Out: Netflix Shares Plunge As Subscribers Flee; Elon Musk Blames 'Woke Mind Virus'
Mike Rowe Says Feds Revoked His Filming Permit, Received Call Claiming It Was Pulled For His 'Personal Politics' | The Daily Wire
Thu, 26 May 2022 13:26
Television host Mike Rowe said that the General Services Administration (GSA) recently revoked his permit to shoot a new episode of ''Dirty Jobs'' and wondered whether it was done for ''political reasons'' or as an attempt to ''yank my chain,'' which he said the move failed to do.
In a lengthy message posted Monday on Facebook, Rowe explained why he didn't appear at the job site this week as scheduled to shoot an episode highlighting a woman-owned company in the boilermaker trade. Rowe said that to his both surprise and disappointment the shoot was canceled ''at the last minute'' when the GSA ''suddenly revoked our permit.''
''I just wanted to assure you guys that this decision had nothing to do with me, Discovery, or my production team,'' Rowe wrote. ''This decision was made solely by the GSA, who oversees the location where you are currently working, and required us to apply for a permit months ago. Obviously, we did. The necessary permits were quickly issued, and we were assured several times over the last few months that everything was still good to go.''
''Then, just two days before I was scheduled to arrive, we received a phone call from a woman at the GSA who informed us that our permits were being revoked,'' he added. ''When we asked for an explanation, she said, 'security concerns.' When we asked her what kind of security concerns, she said she didn't know. She only told us that the decision had come down from 'the very highest levels within the GSA.'''
The TV host did not specify the location of the scheduled shoot but posted pictures of what appeared to be M&M Welding and Fabricators, the company his show had planned to feature in the episode. Rowe went on to reference other places where the show ''has filmed in many sensitive environments under government control,'' citing previous permits obtained from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and NASA, adding, ''We even got a permit to film inside the National Security Agency!''
''What's really going on here?'' Rowe asked in his post.
Rowe said his crew later received a call from someone he said ''sounded credible'' who claimed the permit was revoked because of Rowe's viewpoints.
''According to this caller, someone at the highest levels of the GSA, 'doesn't like Mike Rowe's personal politics,' and used their power to deliberately string us along until the last possible second, for the express purpose of 'yanking my chain,''' Rowe wrote.
Rowe added that his ''personal politics are not a matter of public record, and Dirty Jobs has no political agenda whatsoever.''
''However, I do happen to have a hit show on Fox Business,'' Rowe wrote. ''It's called How America Works, and not everybody is happy about it.''
Rowe admitted he can't say for sure if what the caller told him was accurate.
The Daily Wire reached out to GSA for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
COVID vaccines may impair long-term immunity to the virus | Israel National News - Arutz Sheva
Thu, 26 May 2022 13:04
Vaccines against the coronavirus may impair the body's ability to produce a key type of antibody, thus potentially limiting the immune system's defenses against mutated strains of the virus, a new study suggests.
The study draws upon data collected during Moderna's randomized control trial for its mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, from July 2020 through March 2021.
Researchers looked at participants who tested positive for the coronavirus during the trial, comparing serum levels of specific types of antibodies, based on vaccination status, as well as viral load.
In particular, the study looks at the antibody response to the virus' nucleocapsid protein core, using the anti-nucleocapsid antibodies levels (anti-N Abs) as a marker for comprehensive immune system response to the virus, as opposed to the narrower response to the spike protein. Variants of SARS-CoV-2 with mutated spike proteins have been a subject of concern for the reliance of vaccinated immunity on antibodies targeting the s-proteins of the original variant.
As expected, serum levels of the anti-nucleocapsid antibodies varied based on measured viral load in both the placebo and vaccine cohorts, with participants who had higher viral loads found to have higher levels of neutralizing anti-nucleocapsid antibodies.
Researchers also found a pronounced difference, however, in the levels of anti-nucleocapsid antibodies between vaccinated participants and members of the placebo cohort, even when the study controlled for viral load.
Trial participants who were given the placebo, rather than the vaccine, and became infected during the trial were found to have significantly higher levels of the neutralizing anti-nucleocapsid antibodies than vaccinated participants who had comparable viral loads.
Approximately 60% of participants from the placebo cohort who experienced very mild infection, with low viral loads, were found to have anti-nucleocapsid antibodies, compared to roughly 10% of vaccinated subjects.
Among those with higher viral loads '' qualifying as mild cases, rather than very mild '' 71% of the unvaccinated developed anti-nucleocapsid antibodies, compared to just 15% of those in the vaccine group.
Of all unvaccinated subjects who had been diagnosed with the virus during the trial, nearly all (93%) had measurable levels of anti-nucleocapsid antibodies, compared to less than half (40%) of those in the vaccine cohort.
''While an increase in seroreversion cannot be ruled out, given the short time frame the more likely explanation is a vaccine-induced reduction in seroconversion,'' researchers wrote, suggesting that trial participants given the vaccine had reduced levels of the anti-nucleocapsid antibodies as a direct result of the vaccine's narrow focus on the spike protein.
The researchers also hinted that the diminished anti-nucleocapsid antibody response among the vaccinated could lead to undercounting of breakthrough cases, when measured by antibody sampling.
''Even with frequent serosampling, serosurveys that rely on antibodies to the N protein may underestimate within-community transmission dynamics.''
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SMART Copyright Act Would Broaden Definition of Copyright Protection Tools to be Designated as Standard Technical Measures
Thu, 26 May 2022 12:47
''By enabling STMs to be developed for a specific content industry, the lawmakers believe this will decrease the complexity of approving STMs via a multi-industry process.''
Earlier this month, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Strengthening Measures to Advance Rights Technologies (SMART) Copyright Act into the U.S. Senate. The bill is designed to address shortcomings with some of the statutory provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which have failed to incentivize the development of new technical measures for preventing copyright infringement online the way that Congress originally envisioned when passing the DMCA in 1998.
No STMs Designated for Copyright Protection Since DMCA Passed 20+ Years AgoThe SMART Copyright Act is mainly aimed at reforming safe harbor provisions limiting liability for copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. § 512, especially Section 512(i) governing eligibility conditions that online service providers (OSPs) must meet to qualify for Section 512's safe harbors. Under the statute as currently written, OSPs must adopt policies for terminating subscribers or account holders who are repeat infringers and must not interfere with standard technical measures (STMs), which are technical measures that identify and protect copyrighted works online. Such STMs are to be developed with industry stakeholders in an open process for designating STMs, must be available on fair and nondiscriminatory terms do not impose substantial costs or burdens on OSPs or their networks.
Although Section 512(i) was drafted with the intent that the open process for designating STMs would incentivize the development of new STMs, there have been no STMs designated for the Section 512(i) requirement since the DMCA was signed into law. This fact was recognized in the U.S. Copyright Office's May 2020 report on Section 512 safe harbors, although the report did acknowledge that some platforms like Facebook and YouTube had created content protection tools that were useful to larger copyright owning firms. Last December, the Copyright Office announced a series of consultations that began in late February of this year focused on identifying forthcoming technologies that could be implemented to protect copyrighted content online. That notice indicated that a further notice of inquiry on the interpretation of Section 512(i)'s provisions on STMs would be forthcoming from the Copyright Office, but the Federal Register shows no record of such a notice as of the time of this writing.
Tillis and Leahy's new bill would amend Section 512(i) to broaden the definition of STMs beyond those designated under the current statutorily provided multi-industry consensus process. While that process would remain intact, the definition of STMs would be expanded to include those technical measures that are identified or developed with broad consensus from copyright owners and service providers relevant to a specific industry, such as film or music. By enabling STMs to be developed for a specific content industry, the lawmakers believe this will decrease the complexity of approving STMs via a multi-industry process.
New Section 514 Creates Rulemaking Process for Designations, New Civil PenaltiesThe bulk of the SMART Copyright Act would create a new Section 514 under Title 17 of U.S. Code that gives the Register of Copyrights and the Librarian of Congress new authority to establish processes for evaluating and designating technical measures as new STMs. This new section would create a triennial process beginning within a year of the SMART Copyright Act's passage during which the Librarian would accept petitions from copyright owners and other stakeholders proposing either to designate a new STM or rescind a former STM designation. After evaluating petitions, the Librarian may begin a rulemaking process to designate STMs during which the Librarian would solicit written input from experts on the availability of such technical measures, including any intellectual property rights that must be licensed to use such technologies, the cost of accommodating such measures if made standard and their possible impact on news reporting, information sharing or other public interests.
Following the rulemaking period, Section 514 would further direct the Register of Copyrights to make recommendations on each proposed technical measure with written input from the Librarian of Congress' Chief Technology Advisor, a new position that would be created by the SMART Copyright Act. The Register's recommendations would also include input from several agency heads including the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, the Attorney General and any relevant cybersecurity agencies, and the resolution of any disagreements with these agency heads on the subject of a proposed measure would be in the Register's recommendations. If the Librarian then decides that the record supports the designation of a new STM, then the designated STMs would be published with descriptions of the type of copyrighted work to be protected, the type of service providers exempt from the designation, and a deadline of at least one year following designation by which time covered service providers must implement or accommodate the new STM.
The bill would also create civil penalties that can be enforced against service providers covered by the newly designated STMs who fail to implement the new technical measures. Violating service providers could be sued by copyright owners in U.S. district court and the SMART Copyright Act would give courts the authority to grant injunctive relief, award damages, and even exercise discretion to award costs and attorney's fees. Copyright owners could sue for actual damages, but new Section 514 would also create statutory damages between $200 and $25,000 per violation, not to exceed a total of $150,000. Copyright owners alleging two violations by a service provider within a three-year period could recover statutory damages between $5,000 and $400,000 per violation, not to exceed a total of $800,000. For three or more violations, the court can choose to triple the statutory damages handed out to repeat offenders under the new section.
While the introduction of the SMART Copyright Act has generally been welcomed by the music industry and other copyright stakeholders, some critics have raised the specter that the introduction of new STMs would create a new set of standard-essential patents (SEPs) that could be problematic for certain industry players. The SMART Copyright Act has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where it awaits further debate before moving toward a vote on the Senate floor.
Image Source: Deposit PhotosAuthor: AndreyPopovImage ID: 211210396
Steve Brachmann is a freelance journalist located in Buffalo, New York. He has worked professionally as a freelancer for more than a decade. He writes about technology and innovation. His work has
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FBI uncovers 'ISIS plot' to assassinate ex-US president '-- RT World News
Wed, 25 May 2022 11:42
The plan involved smuggling ISIS operatives into America to kill George W. Bush the FBI claims
An Iraqi citizen living in the US has been charged in a scheme to murder former President George W. Bush. He is accused of planning to help members of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorist group enter the country and assassinate the ex-president.
An FBI terrorism task force arrested Shihab Ahmed Shihab Shihab, 52, on Tuesday for ''aiding and abetting a plot to murder former United States President George W. Bush,'' among other charges, according to the US Department of Justice.
Shihab allegedly traveled to Dallas, Texas earlier this year to surveil Bush's home, and accepted tens of thousands of dollars in late 2021 to help smuggle IS members into the country through the southern border while working with confidential FBI sources.
The man arrived in the US in 2020 on a visitor visa obtained with the help of ''a corrupt Iraqi American contractor at the US embassy,'' the FBI claimed, and worked a number of jobs around Ohio and Indiana in the time since.
Shihab appeared in federal court later on Tuesday, and in addition to charges linked to abetting the attempted murder for a former US official '' which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison '' he has also been charged for attempting to illegally bring an individual into the country, which could result in a 10-year sentence.
The George W. Bush administration made a number of claims about the government of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, including that it possessed weapons of mass destruction, posed an imminent threat to Europe and was secretly allied against the US with Al-Qaeda, the terrorist group behind the September 2001 attacks. The erroneous allegations were used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003 to the American public.
The US-led occupation by NATO forces plunged the Middle Eastern nation into turmoil, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and ripples of instability that spread throughout the region. Islamic State, a Sunni terrorist group that grew in power in 2014 and attempted to create a new nation within Iraqi and Syrian territory, began as a militant group in the post-invasion chaos.
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U.S. court sides with SEC on market data overhaul in blow to big exchanges | Reuters
Wed, 25 May 2022 04:00
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comNEW YORK, May 24 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday said the Securities and Exchange Commission can proceed with its overhaul of the way essential stock market data is collected and disseminated, striking a blow to exchanges that earn revenue from the data and had opposed the plan.
The SEC in 2020 approved new rules governing public data feeds that it said would also improve transparency and address inefficiencies in the collection and dissemination of the data, following years of complaints by brokers that the exchanges that control the data are conflicted in their role.
Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O), Intercontinental Exchange Inc's (ICE.N) NYSE unit, and Cboe Global Markets (CBOE.Z), opposed the plan, which allows firms other than the exchanges to develop and sell data products based on data obtained from the exchanges.
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comThe exchange groups, which together run 12 of the 16 U.S. stock exchanges, argued the new rules were contrary to the goals and policies of the Securities Exchange Act.
In denying the exchanges' petition against the SEC, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the SEC's rule "clearly represents a reasonable balancing of the objectives Congress directed the Commission."
The exchanges were put in charge of the data feeds, which show current best prices and last trades for stocks, before they were for-profit companies and the rules were last updated in 2005.
Since then, exchanges have created faster, more sophisticated proprietary data feeds that compete against the public feeds. Many larger brokers say they need to pay for those private data feeds, often more expensive than the public ones, in order to remain competitive, and that this has created a two-tiered market.
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comReporting by John McCrankEditing by Bernadette Baum
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Alex Cooper Is Coming for Joe Rogan's Spot - The New York Times
Tue, 24 May 2022 23:55
Not everyone knows who Alex Cooper is, but she's trying hard to change that. The 27-year-old host and producer of the ''Call Her Daddy'' podcast, Cooper has quickly become one of the country's most popular podcasters, developing a following of millions of loyal listeners since debuting her raunchy sex-and-dating show on the aggressively laddish Barstool Sports site in 2018. Last summer, Cooper parlayed her success on Barstool into a more than $60 million deal to take that show to Spotify. The shift of platform was accompanied by a shift in content. When ''Call Her Daddy'' started, Cooper and her former co-host, Sofia Franklyn, drew attention for their swaggering sexual explicitness. (For somewhat convoluted reasons, Franklyn ceased hosting the show in 2020.) But in its current iteration, ''Call Her Daddy'' has broadened beyond blue talk to include Cooper's probing interviews with clinical psychologists, psychotherapists and social media stars about topics like mental health, codependency and the ills of online life. (That's not to say the show isn't still raunchy. It surely is.) ''It frustrates me when people try to pigeonhole me like, Oh, it's just that sex show,'' Cooper says. ''I feel that sometimes people don't want to acknowledge the show's success: It must have been because of her looks or the salacious content. No. It continues to be one of the biggest shows in the world, and it's not because I stumbled upon something.''
Your core audience is women between ages 18 and 33. What have you figured out about how to capture and hold their attention? When I look at some creators, I can see them thinking, I need to do this every week because this is what people come for. My episodes are so different every week. I love the unpredictability. After I went to Spotify, it took my listeners a minute to get a hold on, like: We didn't get a sex tip this week. What's going on? If you keep doing the same thing, it can almost become like a sitcom, where you think, I can miss today's episode. I'm trying to make ''Call Her Daddy'' like a friggin' HBO show, where you're like, I cannot miss this week because I don't know what's about to go down. So I push into the uncomfortable moments of some interviews. People love to be uncomfortable. Listeners think they like to feel cozy. No. People love to feel a little on edge.
What's a question I could ask you now that would create one of those uncomfortable moments? Oh! I don't know if something could make me uncomfortable. I'm just going to be myself. I hope you like me. If not, that's life.
The version of ''Call Her Daddy'' that you were doing for Barstool Sports was a lot more sexually provocative than what you're doing at Spotify. Did you decide that the raunchier stuff was a dead end? Yes. The shift had already mentally happened when I was at Barstool, but the brand had become cemented. When you heard ''Call Her Daddy,'' you immediately were thinking of the crazy, raw, salacious comedy podcast. I had, my last year at Barstool, started to change the show when I took it over solo. I started to be like: We're in a pandemic. I'm not having much sexual interaction. What else is going on in my life? That's when I started to talk more about mental health. Then when I went to Spotify '-- I'm going to be honest with you, I did not think that the show was going to take the trajectory of having these intense interviews. The fact that I interviewed Amanda Knox? Since I've shifted from just relationship-dating conversation, my listenership has never been higher.
Barstool Sports, for a lot of people, is synonymous with misogyny. Has your thinking about the brand changed since you worked there? As much as it's the bro culture, they never told me what to do with the show. Also, while I was there the woman I directly reported to was Erika Nardini, the C.E.O. The C.F.O. was a woman. My editor was a woman. That was my experience at Barstool. We can say whatever we want about Barstool, but they gave me my I.P. back. In the history of Barstool, not one person that left has ever regained ownership of the I.P. I was the first to do that. So I can't have any complaints. But I totally get it. People want me to [expletive] on it.
I'm not asking you to [expletive] on it. I know that. But the best part was how many men by the end were terrified of ''Call Her Daddy'' at that office. We kind of ran [expletive]. So I had a good experience, but it was the right move to leave in order for me to grow and push the show in a direction that I felt was necessary.
The ''about'' section on the ''Call Her Daddy'' Spotify page says the podcast is ''putting a modern twist on feminism'' and ''spitting in the face of misogyny.'' How is it doing that? First of all, the definition of feminism has transformed. As time has progressed, as a feminist, I have tried to elevate past just ''women deserve equal rights as men.'' If we're going by the definition of feminism as equality '-- politically, socially, economically '-- for all sexes, then ''Call Her Daddy'' stands for feminism. But while I identify as a female, through the show I've learned that we probably need to stop focusing on the two sexes and expand it to equality of all human beings. Absolutely I'm a feminist. I support women. I want us to all succeed. But we need to expand that concept to humans in general because there are a lot of communities that are not being given an equal chance. So yes, feminism, but let's broaden that conversation past just women.
So feminism is too limiting? Yeah, I think so, and I think a lot of people are starting to feel that way. Gender is so fluid, and everyone needs to get on board with that evolution. I don't have all the answers. I am trying to learn. Hopefully the Daddy Gang can learn through me '-- pronouns and how to be respectful and listening instead of just trying to assume.
Alex Cooper interviewing the social media influencer Emma Chamberlain for the ''Call Her Daddy'' podcast this year. From Spotify
This is kind of left-field, but you played Division I soccer, right? Yes.
Did the culture of sports have an influence on how you think about the podcast? I am so competitive. My dad played Division I hockey at Wisconsin. My mom was an equestrian. Both of my siblings played sports. I push myself to be the best I can. But when I got to college, it was a different level of competition that I didn't quite understand, and it pushed me to a level that I was so grateful for. I'll talk about it one day: I had a traumatic experience happen in college with regard to soccer. It made me a stronger person. So, learning the tools of competitiveness, resilience, having to gain confidence in yourself. Although it was hard in the moment, that does translate to who I am today as the host of ''Call Her Daddy.''
Are you able to tell me about that traumatic experience? I would prefer not to just because I'm not personally healed. But I got a full ride to play, and my senior year I didn't play but I kept my full scholarship. That can kind of indicate where the wrong was done. I got to keep my full scholarship but didn't play because of a situation with the coach.
There was inappropriate behavior? Yeah. Basically the dean of students and sports came together and said, like, What do you want? Because there was inappropriate '-- yeah. I'm going to tell the story one day. I just need to figure out in what medium. I need to be in a position where I feel fully healed.
You suggested that there were ways in which that experience helped plant the seed for ''Call Her Daddy.'' How so? I got something I worked my entire life for stripped away because someone in a position of power couldn't control themself. And I did nothing wrong. So what I took was the motivation of feeling like no one will ever again take something away from me just because they're title-wise above me. That ignited something in me. I felt, you know what, I'm going to exude the confidence that I know I have in myself, and this is not going to derail my goals. If anything it's going to propel me to be like ''eff you'' and watch me now succeed. I was trying to embody that in ''Call Her Daddy'': Be confident in yourself, and you don't need to be in a position where you feel uncomfortable.
You're talking about empowerment. The show has certainly changed since its early days, but there's still a fair bit of focus on social media influencers and gossip. Might those subjects, which have a lot to do with status and comparison and affluence, feed ways of thinking that are disempowering? There are going to be episodes where maybe someone was like, That wasn't very empowering, and a model talking about her issues, I can't relate. But if people look at ''Call Her Daddy'' and are like, That's not very empowering, then you're probably not listening or watching the show as of recently. What I can say is every single episode, I believe there's something in it for someone. It may not be ingestible for everyone, but that's also life. I'm going to keep forging forward and making great content. I truly believe what I'm doing is changing the podcast industry.
In what way? As a consumer, I don't listen to podcasts. I only listen to my own. But what I've found is that we as the younger generation '-- millennial, Gen Z '-- have a very short attention span. I don't believe any show has ever been edited like ''Call Her Daddy.'' In the early days, I wouldn't even allow there to be an ''um.'' I would not allow there to be a moment that was not saturated. You're at the edge of your seat the entire time. In order for ''Call Her Daddy'' to be consumable to the younger generation, it needs to be quick and snappy. It's in your face. It's clickbait-y. Obviously, though, with clickbait material there needs to be enough substance underneath to hold a loyal audience. So through those salacious, wild moments there were teachable moments. And now with Spotify I am going to launch more vlog podcasts. I'm using the video element and tacking it on to the audio element. It's 10 times more entertaining and stimulating.
You're describing a televised talk show, right? Essentially, yes. It's 10 times more work. An audio podcast, now I have it down to about two and a half days of editing and perfecting. The video podcasts take me five days to edit. But I'll do it for my audience because they love it. I know as a consumer I want to watch a podcast. Also, I don't need to be sitting in the room the whole time. Let's podcast from the car! Let's go to the grocery store and bring people along on the experience! Let me help you visualize it by quite literally showing you. I'm trying to conceptualize where is ''Call Her Daddy'' and Alex Cooper going? I am conscious of where-to next because I like to be the best at what I do. I'm very competitive.
Who do you see as your competition? Myself.
You must have your eye on someone. OK, yeah. Obviously the person above me is Joe Rogan. I'm usually second to him. But I don't feel competitive with Joe Rogan because our content is so different. My show is one of the biggest shows in the world. In my category there is nothing above it. That is why I can, not arrogantly but confidently, say I am my own competition. Which can be worse than having someone to catch up to. I have to find my own way to motivate myself. But that's not ever been my problem because I live in a bubble. I cannot not work. My competitiveness is like, I want to have the No. 1 show in the world. I want to break every record possible.
Just to go back to the show's content: I know that the relationship-advice side of what you do is really important to your fans. What are you giving them that they weren't getting before? I've been through so much and am not embarrassed to say I've been cheated on, I've been screwed over. At any caliber of dating, you're going to experience those things. I want people to feel more empowered to be like, OK, so you got cheated on. That says more about that person than you. Just by being overt, people gravitated toward that. I also think I have a knack for dating. Maybe my IQ isn't as high as some people, but my EQ is up there. I feel very confident in interacting with human beings.
Have you always wanted to project yourself out into the world the way you do now? When I was younger, I was so invested in having an outlet because I was severely bullied. My escape was going into my basement and picking up a movie camera and producing a music video or a short film. I found a lot of comfort in being able to express myself and feeling not judged. Creating content has always been a form of self-expression that has made me feel seen, that made me feel I am worthy and have something to show that I'm good at.
Do you think that being bullied affected your attitude toward, say, popularity, physical attractiveness, status? I wonder if feeling excluded from those things may have distorted their significance. Oh, of course. You get it. Those things have stuck with me. The dynamic of knowing I was a good kid, got a great personality, so why is it all about my looks that I'm getting bullied for? That hyperfocused me on wanting to understand, what if I did look a different way? Then would people like me? Through therapy I've recognized that's not healthy. There's a part of me that now values how I've taken that experience and turned it into something positive. If you understand that I did experience that in my childhood, then these undertones of rooting for the underdog and not taking [expletive] and trying to empower myself '-- you can feel them in my show. That's when other women are like, I want to be like that, too. I've got a lot of people that are feeling empowered from this and find the courage to do things because of me and vice versa.
Are there any other ways in which being bullied still influences what you do? When I got my braces off, got on Accutane, slapped some hair dye on and I started playing soccer and growing muscle '-- I was the same human inside, and yet all of a sudden people started treating me differently because I was a hot chick. I felt like, Wow, that's all it took? I still feel like the little ugly awkward girl in middle school. For a while I had to fake confidence and convince myself I was confident when I wasn't. Knowing I've gone through that in my life, I can teach other women to fake it till you make it. Eventually one day you're going to wake up and be like, I do actually feel confident because I've been faking for so freaking long, so let's go!
This interview has been edited and condensed from two conversations.
David Marchese is a staff writer for the magazine and the columnist for Talk. Recently he interviewed Neal Stephenson about portraying a utopian future, Laurie Santos about happiness and Christopher Walken about acting.
Supersessionism - Wikipedia
Tue, 24 May 2022 13:58
Christian doctrine that the New Covenant supersedes the Old Covenant
Supersessionism, also called replacement theology or fulfillment theology[1] is an interpretation of Christian theology which asserts that the New Covenant which was instituted by Jesus Christ has superseded or replaced the Mosaic covenant which was exclusive to the Jews. Supersessionist theology also holds that the universal Christian Church has succeeded ancient Israel as God's true Israel and Christians have succeeded the ancient Israelites as the people of God.
Often claimed to have originated with Paul the Apostle in the New Testament, supersessionism has formed a core tenet of Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant churches during most of their history. Many early Church Fathers '' including Justin Martyr and Augustine of Hippo '' were supersessionist.[2]
Most historic Christian Churches, including the Roman Catholic, Methodist and Reformed Churches, hold that the Old Covenant has three components: ceremonial, moral, and civil (cf. covenant theology).[3][4] They teach that while the ceremonial and civil (judicial) laws have been fulfilled, the moral law of the Ten Commandments continues to bind Christian believers.[3][5][4]
Since the 19th century, certain Christian communities, such as the Plymouth Brethren, have espoused dispensationalist theology rather than covenant theology.[6] Additionally, as part of Christian''Jewish reconciliation, the Roman Catholic Church has placed an increased emphasis on the shared history which exists between Christianity and the modern Jewish faith.
Rabbinic Judaism rejects supersessionism because it considers supersessionism offensive to Jewish history. However, Islam teaches that it is the final and most authentic expression of Abrahamic monotheism, superseding both Judaism and Christianity. The Islamic doctrine of tahrif teaches that older monotheistic scriptures and interpretations of them have been corrupted, but the Quran presents the purest version of their divine message.
Etymology [ edit ] The word supersessionism comes from the English verb to supersede, from the Latin verb sedeo, sedere, sedi, sessum, "to sit",[7] plus super, "upon". It thus signifies one thing being replaced or supplanted by another.[8]
Throughout Church history, many Christian theologians saw the New Covenant in Christ as a replacement for the Mosaic Covenant[9] and the Church as the new people of God.[10] The word supersession is used by Sydney Thelwall in the title of chapter three of his 1870 translation of Tertullian's An Answer to the Jews.
Christian views [ edit ] The New Testament [ edit ] In the New Testament, Jesus and others repeatedly give Jews priority in their mission, as in Jesus' expression of him coming to the Jews rather than to Gentiles[12] and in Paul the Apostle's formula "first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."[13] Yet after the death of Jesus, the inclusion of the Gentiles as equals in this burgeoning sect of Judaism also caused problems, particularly when it came to Gentiles keeping the Mosaic Law,[14] which was both a major issue at the Council of Jerusalem and a theme of Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, though the relationship of Paul and Judaism is still disputed today.
Paul's views on the Jews are complex, but he is generally regarded as the first person to make the claim that by not accepting claims of Jesus' divinity, Jews disqualified themselves from salvation. Paul himself was born a Jew, but after a conversion experience he came to accept Jesus' divinity later in his life. In the opinion of Roman Catholic ex-priest James Carroll, accepting Jesus' divinity, for Paul, was dichotomous with being a Jew. His personal conversion and his understanding of the dichotomy between being Jewish and accepting Jesus' divinity, was the religious philosophy he wanted to see adopted among other Jews of his time. However, New Testament scholar N.T. Wright argues that Paul saw his faith in Jesus as precisely the fulfillment of his Judaism, not that there was any tension between being Jewish and Christian. Christians quickly adopted Paul's views.
For most of Christian history, supersessionism has been the mainstream interpretation of the New Testament of all three major historical traditions within Christianity '' Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant. The text most often evident in favor of the supersessionist view is Hebrews 8:13: "In speaking of 'a new covenant' [Jer. 31.31-32] he has made the first one obsolete."
Church Fathers [ edit ] Many Early Christian commentators taught that the Old Covenant was fulfilled and superseded by the New Covenant in Christ, for instance Justin Martyr wrote that the "true spiritual Israel" referred to those who had "been led to God through this crucified Christ". Irenaeus taught that, while the New Covenant had superseded the old, the moral law underlying the Law of Moses continued to stand in the New Covenant.[21] Whereas, Tertullian believed that the New Covenant brought with it a new law, writing: "Who else, therefore, are understood but we, who, fully taught by the new law, observe these practices, the old law being obliterated, the coming of whose abolition the action itself demonstrates. ...Therefore, as we have shown above that the coming cessation of the old law and of the carnal circumcision was declared, so, too, the observance of the new law and the spiritual circumcision has shone out into the voluntary observances of peace."
Augustine of Hippo followed the views of the earlier Church Fathers but emphasized the importance to Christianity of the continued existence of the separate Rabbinic Jewish faith: "The Jews ... are thus by their own Scriptures a testimony to us that we have not forged the prophecies about Christ." The Catholic church built its system of eschatology on his theology, where Christ rules the earth spiritually through his triumphant church. Augustine, however, also mentioned to "love" the Jews as a means to convert them to Christianity. Jeremy Cohen, followed by John Y. B. Hood and James Carroll, sees this as having had decisive social consequences, with Carroll saying, "It is not too much to say that, at this juncture, Christianity 'permitted' Judaism to endure because of Augustine."
Roman Catholicism [ edit ] Supersessionism is not the name of any official Roman Catholic Church doctrine and the word appears in no Church documents, but official Catholic teaching has reflected varying levels of supersessionist thought throughout its history, especially prior to the mid-twentieth century. The theology that the Jews dissent by continuing to exist outside the Church is extensive in Catholic liturgy and literature. The Second Vatican Council (1962''65) marked a shift in emphasis of official Catholic teaching about Judaism, a shift which may be described as a move from "hard" to "soft" supersessionism, to use the terminology of David Novak.
Prior to Vatican II, Catholic doctrine on the matter was characterized by "displacement" or "substitution" theologies, according to which the Church and its New Covenant took the place of Judaism and its "Old Covenant", the latter being rendered void by the coming of Jesus. The nullification of the Old Covenant was often explained in terms of the "deicide charge" that Jews forfeited their covenantal relationship with God by executing the divine Christ. As recently as 1943, Pope Pius XII stated in his encyclical Mystici corporis Christi:
By the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ. ... [O]n the gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees and fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross, establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race.
At the Second Vatican Council, which was convened two decades after the Holocaust, a different framework emerged on how Catholics should think about the status of the Jewish covenant. The declaration Nostra aetate, which was promulgated in 1965, made several statements which signaled a shift away from "hard supersessionist" replacement thinking which posited that the Jews' covenant was no longer acknowledged by God. Retrieving Paul's language in chapter 11 of his Epistle to the Romans, the declaration states, "God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues. '...Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures."[32] Notably, a draft of the declaration contained a passage which originally called for "the entry of that [Jewish] people into the fullness of the people of God established by Christ;"[33] however, at the suggestion of Catholic priest (and convert from Judaism) John M. Oesterreicher, it was replaced in the final promulgated version with the following language: ''the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and 'serve him shoulder to shoulder' (Zeph 3:9).''[32]
Further developments in Catholic thinking on the covenantal status of Jews were led by Pope John Paul II. Among his most noteworthy statements on the matter is that which occurred during his historic visit to the synagogue in Mainz (1980), where he called Jews the "people of God of the Old Covenant, which has never been abrogated by God (cf. Romans 11:29, "for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable" [NRSV])."[35] In 1997, John Paul II again affirmed the Jews' covenantal status: ''This people continues in spite of everything to be the people of the covenant and, despite human infidelity, the Lord is faithful to his covenant.''[35]
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI writes in his 1999 work Many Religions - One Covenant that "the Sinai [Mosaic] Covenant is indeed superseded."[36]
The post-Vatican II shift toward acknowledging the Jews as a covenanted people has led to heated discussions in the Catholic Church over the issue of missionary activity directed toward Jews, with some Catholics theologians with Cardinal Avery Dulles reasoning that "if Christ is the redeemer of the world, every tongue should confess him", while others vehemently oppose "targeting Jews for conversion". Weighing in on this matter, Cardinal Walter Kasper, then President of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, reaffirmed the validity of the Jews' covenant and then continued:[39]
[B]ecause as Christians we know that God's covenant with Israel by God's faithfulness is not broken (Rom 11,29; cf. 3,4), mission understood as call to conversion from idolatry to the living and true God (1 Thes 1,9) does not apply and cannot be applied to Jews. '...This is not a merely abstract theological affirmation, but an affirmation that has concrete and tangible consequences; namely, that there is no organised Catholic missionary activity towards Jews as there is for all other non-Christian religions.
Walter Kasper, ''The Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews: A Crucial Endeavour of the Catholic Church" (2002)In his apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium (2013),[40] Pope Francis emphasized communal heritage and mutual respect for each other, writing:
We hold the Jewish people in special regard because their covenant with God has never been revoked, for ''the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable'' (Rom 11:29). The Church, which shares with Jews an important part of the sacred Scriptures, looks upon the people of the covenant and their faith as one of the sacred roots of her own Christian identity (cf. Rom 11:16-18). As Christians, we cannot consider Judaism as a foreign religion; nor do we include the Jews among those called to turn from idols and to serve the true God (cf. 1 Thes 1:9). With them, we believe in the one God who acts in history, and with them we accept his revealed word.
'--'‰Pope Francis, ''Evangelii Gaudium" (2013)
Similarly, the words of Cardinal Kasper, "God's grace, which is the grace of Jesus Christ according to our faith, is available to all. Therefore, the Church believes that Judaism, [as] the faithful response of the Jewish people to God's irrevocable covenant, is salvific for them, because God is faithful to his promises,"[41] highlight the covenantal relationship of God with the Jewish people, but differs from Pope Francis in calling the Jewish faith salvific. In 2011, Kasper specifically repudiated the notion of "displacement" theology, clarifying that the "New Covenant for Christians is not the replacement (substitution), but the fulfillment of the Old Covenant."
These statements by Catholic officials signal a remaining point of debate, wherein some adhere to a movement away from supersessionism, and others remain with a "soft" notion of supersessionism. Traditionalist Catholic groups, such as the Society of St. Pius X, strongly oppose the theological developments concerning Judaism made at Vatican II and retain "hard" supersessionist views.[43] Even among mainstream Catholic groups and official Catholic teaching, elements of "soft" supersessionism remain. The Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to a future corporate repentance on the part of Jews:
The glorious Messiah's coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by 'all Israel,' for 'a hardening has come upon part of Israel' in their 'unbelief' toward Jesus [Rom 11:20-26; cf. Mt 23:39]. ... The 'full inclusion' of the Jews in the Messiah's salvation, in the wake of 'the full number of the Gentiles' [Rom 11:12, 25; cf. Lk 21:24], will enable the People of God to achieve 'the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,' in which 'God may be all in all.'[44]The Church teaches that there is an integral continuity between the covenants rather than a rupture.[45]
In the Second Vatican Council's Lumen gentium[46] (1964), the Church stated that God "chose the race of Israel as a people" and "set up a covenant" with them, instructing them and making them holy. However, "all these things. '...were done by way of preparation and as a figure of that new and perfect covenant" instituted by and ratified in Christ (no. 9). Vatican II also affirmed, "the Church is the new people of God" without being "Israel according to the flesh", the Jewish people.In Notes on the Correct Way to Present the Jews and Judaism (1985), the Church stated that the "Church and Judaism cannot then be seen as two parallel ways of salvation and the Church must witness to Christ as the Redeemer of all."
Protestantism [ edit ] Modern Protestants hold to a range of positions on supersessionism and the relationship between the Church and the Jewish people.[47][48] These differences arise from dissimilar literal versus figurative approaches to understanding the relationships between the covenants of the Bible, particularly the relationship between the covenants of the Old Testament and the New Covenant.[47]
After the establishment of the political state of Israel in the wake of the Holocaust, mainstream Christian theologians and denominations began to re-examine supersessionism and some communities came to outright reject the doctrine. The prominent Protestant alternatives to supersessionism are covenant theology, New Covenant theology, classical dispensationalism, progressive dispensationalism and covenant premillennialism.[51][52][53][54] Another alternative, dual-covenant theology, contrasts with supersessionism by holding that the Mosaic covenant remains valid for Talmudic Jews.[55]
Extensive discussion is found in Christian views on the Old Covenant and in the respective articles for each of these viewpoints: for example, there is a section within dispensationalism detailing that perspective's concept of Israel. Differing approaches influence how the land promise in Genesis 12,[47] 15[56] and 17[47] is understood, whether it is interpreted literally or figuratively, both with regard to the land and the identity of people who inherit it.[47][56]
Adherents to these various views are not restricted to a single denomination though some traditions teach a certain view. Classical covenant theology is taught within the Presbyterian and Continental Reformed traditions.[56] Methodist hermeneutics traditionally use a variation of this, known as Wesleyan covenant theology, which is consistent with Arminian soteriology. In the United States, a difference of approach has been perceived between the Presbyterian Church and the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the United Methodist Church which have worked to develop a non-supersessionist theology.[58]
Paul van Buren developed a thoroughly nonsupersessionist position, in contrast to Karl Barth, his mentor.[51] He wrote, "The reality of the Jewish people, fixed in history by the reality of their election, in their faithfulness in spite of their unfaithfulness, is as solid and sure as that of the gentile church."[59]
Mormonism [ edit ] Mormonism rejects supersessionism.[60]
Jewish and Muslim views [ edit ] Rabbinic Judaism rejects supersessionism, it only discusses the topic as an idea which is upheld by Christian and Muslim theologians. Modern Jews are offended by the traditional Christian belief in supersessionism, because they believe it undermines the history of their religion.[61]
In its canonical form, the Islamic doctrine of tahrif teaches that older Jewish and Christian scriptures and interpretations of them have been corrupted, which has obscured the divine message that they originally contained. According to this doctrine, the Quran both points out and corrects the supposed errors which were introduced when the original meanings of monotheistic scriptures were corrupted, which makes it the final and purest of all of the divine revelations.[62][63]
Sandra Toenis Keiting argues that Islam was supersessionist from its inception, because it advocated the view that the Quranic revelations would "replace the corrupted scriptures possessed by other communities", and that early Islamic scriptures display a "clear theology of revelation that is concerned with establishing the credibility of the nascent community" viz-a-viz other religions.[62] In contrast, Abdulaziz Sachedina has argued that Islamic supersessionism does not stem from either the Quran or the hadith, instead, he has argued that it stems from the rulings of Muslim jurists who reinterpreted the Quranic message about islam (in its literal meaning of "submission") being "the only true religion with God" into an argument about the religion of Islam being superior to other faiths, thereby providing a theoretical justification for Muslim political dominance and a wider interpretation of the notion of jihad.
In Islamic legal exegesis (tafsir), abrogation (naskh) is the practice which was developed so that the contradictions which exist in Quranic revelations could be resolved, in accordance with this practice, the earlier revelations were amended. Only Quran 2:106 contains a form of the word naskh (specifically, it contains "nanskh" which means "we abrogate"). Q2:106 indicates two varieties of abrogation: "supersession" '' the "suspension" and replacement of the old verse without its elimination '' or "suppression" '' the nullification of the old verse in the written Quran (mus'haf).
Types [ edit ] Both Christian and Jewish theologians have identified different types of supersessionism in the Christian reading of the Bible.
R. Kendall Soulen notes three categories of supersessionism identified by Christian theologians: punitive, economic, and structural:
Punitive supersessionism is represented by such Christian thinkers as Hippolytus of Rome, Origen, and Martin Luther. It is the view that Jews who reject Jesus as the Jewish Messiah are consequently condemned by God, forfeiting the promises otherwise due to them under the covenants.Economic supersessionism is used in the technical theological sense of function (see economic Trinity). It is the view that the practical purpose of the nation of Israel in God's plan is replaced by the role of the Church. It is represented by writers such as Justin Martyr, Augustine, and Barth.Structural supersessionism is Soulen's term for the de facto marginalization of the Old Testament as normative for Christian thought. In his words, "Structural supersessionism refers to the narrative logic of the standard model whereby it renders the Hebrew Scriptures largely indecisive for shaping Christian convictions about how God's works as Consummator and Redeemer engage humankind in universal and enduring ways." Soulen's terminology is used by Craig A. Blaising, in "The Future of Israel as a Theological Question".[69]These three views are neither mutually exclusive, nor logically dependent, and it is possible to hold all of them or any one with or without the others. The work of Matthew Tapie attempts a further clarification of the language of supersessionism in modern theology that Peter Ochs has called "the clearest teaching on supersessionism in modern scholarship." Tapie argued that Soulen's view of economic supersessionism shares important similarities with those of Jules Isaac's thought (the French-Jewish historian well known for his identification of "the teaching of contempt" in the Christian tradition) and can ultimately be traced to the medieval concept of the "cessation of the law" '' the idea that Jewish observance of the ceremonial law (Sabbath, circumcision, and dietary laws) ceases to have a positive significance for Jews after the passion of Christ. According to Soulen, Christians today often repudiate supersessionism but they do not always carefully examine just what that is supposed to mean. Soulen thinks Tapie's work is a remedy to this situation.[70]
See also [ edit ] Abrogation of Old Covenant lawsAntinomianismAntisemitism in ChristianityChristian anti-JudaismChristianity and JudaismChristian observances of Jewish holidaysChristian views on the Old CovenantChristian ZionismCircumcision controversy in early ChristianityConversion of the JewsJudaizersNew Covenant theologyPhilo-SemitismSabbatarianismReferences [ edit ] Citations
^ "VARIOUS FORMS OF REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY '' The Master's Seminary" (PDF) . ^ Bartlett, David L.; Taylor, Barbara Brown (27 January 2011). Feasting on the Word: Year A, Volume 3: Pentecost and Season after Pentecost 1 (Propers 3-16). Westminster John Knox Press. p. 350. ISBN 978-1-61164-109-7. Church fathers such as Justin Martyr and Origen taught variations on supersessionism and Augustine's understanding of election led him to a similar conclusion. ^ a b "God's Law in Old and New Covenants". Orthodox Presbyterian Church. 2018 . Retrieved 1 June 2018 . ^ a b Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 100 ^ Dayton, Donald W. (1991). "Law and Gospel in the Wesleyan Tradition" (PDF) . Grace Theological Journal. 12 (2): 233''243. ^ Pietsch, B. M. (6 July 2015). Dispensational Modernism. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-027307-1. ... A. J. Gordon began his pastorate non-dispensational, but after discussions with Plymouth Brethren laymen and "a searching of the Scripture," he experienced a "second conversion." ^ Cassell's Latin Dictionary ^ Collins Dictionary of the English Language ^ Fonrobert, Charlotte Elisheva. "Jewish Christians, Judaizers, and Christian Anti-Judaism." A People's History of Christianity, Volume 2: Late Ancient Christianity. Ed. Virginia Burrus. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2005. ^ Johnson, Luke Timothy. Christians and Jews: Starting Over - Why the Real Dialogue Has Just Begun. Commonweal magazine. January 31, 2003. ^ Mt 15:21-28 ; Mk 7:23-30 ; cf. Mt 10:5-6 ; Acts 3:26 ^ Rom 1:16 ; 2:9-10 ^ Acts 10:28 ; 11:1-2 ; 21:17-28 ; Gal 2 ^ Means 1903, p. 183. ^ a b Nostra aetate n. 4 ^ "Second Declaration on the Jews and Non-Christians, 28''29 September 1964," qtd. in Philip A. Cunningham et al (eds.), The Catholic Church and the Jewish People (Fordham, 2007), p. 195. ^ a b Pontifical Biblical Commission, ''The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures'' (2002). ^ Ratzinger, Joseph. Many Religions - One Covenant. p. 70. ^ Reflections by Card. Walter Kasper, Boston College, 6 November 2002. ^ Pope Francis (2013). "Evangelii gaudium n. 247". ^ Cardinal Walter Kasper, Dominus Iesus ^ "Judaism & the Church: before & after Vatican II". District of the USA. 2013-01-24 . Retrieved 2020-02-23 . ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church "CCC 674". ^ Commission for religious relations with the Jews. "Guidelines And Suggestions For Implementing The Conciliar Declaration "Nostra aetate" (n. 4)" www.vatican.va (Rome, 1 December 1974). ^ "Lumen gentium". ^ a b c d e Maltz, Steve. The Real Roots of Supersessionism. in Smith, Calvin L., ed. (2013). The Jews, Modern Israel and the New Supersessionism. Kent: King's Divinity Press. ISBN 9780956200617 ^ Frankel J, Mendelsohn E. The Protestant-Jewish Conundrum: Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Volume 24. Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN 9780199753413 ^ a b Charry ET. Supersessionism. in Green JB, Lapsley J, Miles R, Verhey A (editors). Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics. Baker Academic, 2011. ISBN 9780801034060 ^ Provan CD. The Church Is Israel Now: The Transfer Of Conditional Privilege. Ross House Books, 1987. ISBN 9781879998391 ^ Diprose, RE. Israel and the Church: The Origins and Effects of Replacement Theology. InterVarsity Press, 2004. ISBN 9780830856893 ^ Vlach MJ. Has the Church Replaced Israel? : A Theological Evaluation. B&H Academic, 2010. ISBN 9780805449723 ^ Harrison BW. The Liturgy and 'Supersessionism'. Ignatius Press, June 2009. ^ a b c Brand, C. (editor) Perspectives on Israel and the Church: 4 Views ISBN 9780805445268 ^ Bretton-Granatoor, Gary M. "The Presbyterians' Judaism problem." Jewish Journal. 27 June 2014. 27 June 2014. ^ van Buren P. Probing the Jewish-Christian Reality. Christian Century. 1981;June 17''24:665-668. [1] ^ Kessler, Orin (2012-07-30). "People of the Book". Foreign Policy . Retrieved 2013-04-18 . ^ Ahuvia, Mika. "Us vs. them: Challenging stereotypes about Judaism in the wake of the Pittsburgh shooting." Stroum Center for Jewish Studies. 1 November 2018. 30 July 2021. ^ a b Sandra Toenies Keating (2014). "Revisiting the Charge of TaḥrÄf: The Question of Supersessionism in Early Islam and the Qurʾān" . Nicholas of Cusa and Islam. Brill. pp. 202''217. doi:10.1163/9789004274761_014. ISBN 9789004274761. ^ "A rage against history". 2015-01-12. ^ Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 44 (2001): 442. ^ Tapie Aquinas on Israel and the Church. Bibliography
Augustine (426). The City of God. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. Edinburgh: T&T Clark. 2:389. Boys, Mary; Cunningham, Philip; Pawlikowski, John T. (2002). "Theology's Sacred Obligation". America. pp. 12''16. Burton, John (1985). The Exegesis of Q.2:106. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. Vol. 48. pp. 452''469. Burton, John (1970). Those Are the High-Flying Cranes. Journal of Semitic Studies. Vol. 15. pp. 246''265. Carroll, James (2001). Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Chazan, Robert (2000). "Christian-Jewish Interactions Over the Ages". Christianity in Jewish Terms. pp. 7''24. Cohen, Jeremy (1991). Essential Papers on Judaism and Christianity in Conflict: From Late Antiquity to the Reformation. New York: New York University Press. Connelly, John (2012). From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933''1965. Harvard: Harvard University Press. Dag, Esra Akay (2017). Christian and Islamic Theology of Religions: A Critical Appraisal. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781351785747. Dulles, Avery (2002). "Covenant and Mission". America. pp. 8''11. Hood, John Y. B. (1995). "Aquinas and the Jews". Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Kasper, Walter (2011). Christ Jesus and the Jewish People Today. Eerdmans. Lewis, Bill (2004). Sons of Issachar for the 21st Century. Memphis: Sons of Issachar Ministries. Levine, Amy Jill; Brettler, Marc Zvi (2011). The Editors' Preface. The Jewish Annotated New Testament. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. Justin Martyr (c. 155). Dialogue With Trypho. Ante-Nicene Fathers. Edinburgh: T&T Clark. 1:200. Means, Stewart (1903). Saint Paul and the Ante-Nicene Church: An Unwritten Chapter of Church History. London: A & C Black. Michael, Robert (2011). A history of Catholic antisemitism : the dark side of the church (1st Palgrave Macmillan pbk. ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0230111318. Pawlikowski, John T. (1989). Jesus and the Theology of Israel. Michael Glazier. Rodes, Stanley J. (2014). From Faith to Faith: John Wesley's Covenant Theology and the Way of Salvation. James Clarke & Co. ISBN 9780227902202. Soulen, R. Kendall (1996). The God of Israel and Christian Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress. ISBN 978-0800628833. Tertullian (c. 200). An Answer to the Jews. Translated by Sydney Thelwall (1870). Edinburgh: T&T Clark. Tobin, Gary A.; Ybarra, Dennis R. (2008). The Trouble with Textbooks: Distorting History and Religion. Lexington Books. ISBN 9780739130957. Wright, N.T. (2018). Paul : A Biography (2020 pbk. ed.). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. ISBN 9780061730580. OCLC 988858994. Further reading [ edit ] David Nirenberg Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. 2013. ISBN 978-0-393-34791-3. Tapie, Matthew A. Aquinas on Israel and the Church: The Question of Supersessionism in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas. Pickwick/Wipf & Stock, 2014. 1st chapterVlach, Michael J. The Church as a Replacement of Israel: An Analysis of Supersessionism. PhD Dissertation. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2004. content: 6 pg.pdf, 1.chapter: 24 pg.pdfAguzzi, Steven D. "Israel, the Church, and Eschatological Hope: Moltmann's Millenarianism and the Jewish-Catholic Question." PhD Dissertation. Duquesne University, 2014.Charles D. Provan. The Church Is Israel Now: The Transfer Of Conditional Privilege. ISBN 978-1-879998-39-1 (supports supersessionism)External links [ edit ] Michael Forrest and David Palm, "All in the Family: Christians, Jews and God", Laywitness magazine, July''August, 2009. An article opposing "extreme" supersessionism and dual covenant theology."Why Catholics for Israel?" an article by Catholics opposing supersessionism.Michael J. Vlach. Supersession Info Page (opposing supersessionism)"The Attacks of Replacement Theology" (opposing supersessionism)Mikael Knighton. "False Gospel: Supersessionism (Replacement Theology)" (opposing supersessionism)
2003 Midwest monkeypox outbreak - Wikipedia
Mon, 23 May 2022 21:40
Outbreak of monkeypox in the United States
2003 Midwest monkeypox outbreakThe outbreak included Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, and Missouri as well as an additional case in the eastern state of New Jersey.
DiseaseMonkeypoxVirus strain"West African clade"[1]SourceAnimalLocationMidwestern United StatesIndex caseMay 15, 2003Confirmed cases71Recovered71Deaths
0Fatality rate0%The 2003 Midwest monkeypox outbreak marked the first time monkeypox infection has appeared in the United States, and the first time in the Western Hemisphere. Beginning in May 2003, by July a total of 71 cases of human monkeypox were found in six Midwestern states including Wisconsin (39 cases), Indiana (16), Illinois (12), Kansas (1), Missouri (2), and Ohio (1). The cause of the outbreak was traced to Gambian pouched rats imported[clarification needed ] into the United States by an exotic animal importer in Texas. The rats were shipped from Texas to an Illinois distributor, who housed them with prairie dogs. No deaths were reported. No human-to-human transmission was found. All cases involved direct contact with infected prairie dogs. Electron microscopy and testing by polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry were used to confirm the causative agent was human monkeypox.[2][3]
Timeline [ edit ] In May, 2003, a three-year-old Wisconsin resident was bitten by a prairie dog purchased from a local pet store.[4] The child was hospitalized after developing fever of unknown origin (103 °F), swollen eyes, and a red vesicular skin rash. The child's parents also developed a rash, but no other symptoms.[5] Physicians immediately associated the symptoms with the animal bite and reported the case to the Milwaukee Health Department. Testing of both the child and the prairie dog confirmed the monkeypox virus as the causative agent.
Between May 15, 2003, when the three-year-old index patient was first diagnosed through June 20, the date of the last patient with a laboratory-confirmed case of monkeypox, a total of 71 people ranging in age from 1 to 51 were infected.
Source [ edit ] Gambian pouched rat receiving food reward
On April 9, 2003, a Texas importer received a shipment of 762 African rodents from Accra, Ghana. The shipment included Gambian pouched rats, rope squirrels, tree squirrels, African brush-tailed porcupines, dormice, and striped mice. Of the 762 rodents received, 584 (77%) were shipped to distributors in six states and Japan. The remaining 178 (23%) rodents could not be traced beyond the Texas importer due to lack of documentation.[3]
From April 9, 2003, through June 5, 2003, 584 animals were shipped from the Texas distributor to distributors in Texas (9), New Jersey (1), Iowa (1), Japan (1), Illinois (2), Minnesota (1), and Wisconsin (1).[3]
Illinois distributor number one received Gambian rats and dormice. This distributor housed the rodents with 200 prairie dogs. This distributor shipped prairie dogs to pet stores in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, and Michigan. No human cases of monkeypox were reported in Japan, Michigan, and South Carolina. Laboratory-confirmed cases occurred in Kansas (1), Missouri (2), Indiana (16), Illinois (12), and Wisconsin (22).[3]
Of the 200 prairie dogs housed with the Gambian rats and dormice, 94 tested positive for monkeypox virus, including prairie dogs in pet stores in Wisconsin (44 cases), Indiana (24), Illinois (19), Ohio (4), Kansas (1), Missouri (1), and one case in the eastern seaboard state of New Jersey. The Gambian rats and dormice housed with the prairie dogs at Illinois distributor number one tested positive for monkeypox virus.
The most recent incidence of monkeypox prior to the Midwest outbreak occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1996''1997, with a reported 88 cases.[6] No deaths occurred in the Midwest outbreak. This was attributed to the prompt medical care received and the standard of living in the United States, which includes soap, running water, washing machines, sterile dressing materials, and hospital use of universal precautions, including isolation, gown, mask, gloves, and handwashing.[7]
Transmission [ edit ] No human-to-human transmission was found during this outbreak. All cases were found to be the direct result of contact with infected prairie dogs. Human-to-human transmission has been reported in Central and West Africa.
Signs and symptoms [ edit ] The onset of the illness among the patients in the United States began in early May 2003. Patients typically experienced fever, headaches, muscle aches, chills, and nonproductive coughs. This was followed 1''10 days later by the development of a generalized papular rash that developed first on the trunk, then limbs and head. The papules evolved through phases of vesiculation, pustulation, umbilication, and crusting. All patients reported direct or close contact with recently acquired prairie dogs.[8]
Treatment [ edit ] No direct antiviral treatment for monkeypox is known, only supportive care and prevention of secondary infection. Use of universal precautions in the care of those with the disease has been shown to prevent human-to-human transmission. However, inoculation with the smallpox vaccine has shown to be effective in abating the progression of the disease in those with active infection, and in the prevention of the disease in the general population.
Use of smallpox vaccine [ edit ] In the Midwest outbreak, the CDC issued guidance on the use of smallpox vaccine, Cidofovir, and Vaccinia immune globulin. Twenty-six residents in five states received the smallpox vaccination. This included 24 adults and two children. Among the adults vaccinated were two laboratory workers, before exposure and to 24 persons after exposure (11 health-care workers, seven household contacts, three laboratory workers, two public health veterinarians, and one work contact). One adult who was vaccinated as a child did not have a major vaccine reaction or "take" 7 days after vaccination and required revaccination.[9]
No adverse reactions to the smallpox vaccine were reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
[ edit ] To prevent the monkeypox virus from entering into the United States again, the Centers for Disease Control banned the importation of all African rodents. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also issued orders banning the interstate shipment of prairie dogs and all African rodents.
See also [ edit ] Monkeypox virus2022 monkeypox outbreakZoonosisFomiteOutbreakReferences [ edit ] ^ Osorio, J.E.; Yuill, T.M. (2008). "Zoonoses". Encyclopedia of Virology. pp. 485''495. doi:10.1016/B978-012374410-4.00536-7. ^ "Medscape Monkeypox Review". Bcbsma.medscape.com . Retrieved 2013-03-22 . ^ a b c d Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Atlanta, Georgia. (MMWR) July 11, 2003. (52) 27; 642-646. ^ Linda Spice, ''13 Sick After Prairie Dog Contact; Milwaukee Pet Store Employee, Two OthersRemain Hospitalized,'' Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 6, 2003. ^ Todd Richmond. Four Get Monkeypox Virus from Prairie Dogs." Associated Press. 6/11/2003. ^ Y.J.F. Hutin, R.J. Williams, P. Malfait, et al., Outbreak of Human Monkeypox, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1996-1997. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 7(3) May''June 2001. ^ Todd Richmond. Four Get Monkeypox Virus from Prairie Dogs. Associated Press. June 11, 2003. ^ Anderson MG, Frenkel LD, Homann S, and Guffey J. (2003), "A case of severe monkeypox virus disease in an American child: emerging infections and changing professional values"; Pediatr Infect Dis J;22(12): 1093''1096; discussion 1096''1098. ^ CDC: Update: Multistate Outbreak of Monkeypox --- Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, 2003Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. June 27, 2003/ 52/(25); 589-590. External links [ edit ] Viralzone: OrthopoxvirusVirus Pathogen Database and Analysis Resource (ViPR): PoxviridaeCDC - Monkeypox Fact SheetCDC Questions and Answers About MonkeypoxVirology.net Picturebook: Monkeypox
Wimbledon punished over ban on Russian and Belarusian stars with ranking points stripped - Mirror Online
Mon, 23 May 2022 13:41
This year's Wimbledon will be a points-less event after the ATP, WTA and ITF took action against the tournament for banning all Russian and Belarusian players in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine
Wimbledon took the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players ( Image: PA)
The ATP and WTA has stripped Wimbledon of its ranking points after Russian and Belarusian players were banned from competing at the tournament.
Wimbledon took the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players last month following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. At the time, Wimbledon chief Ian Hewitt said the UK Government had left the with "no viable alternative".
He said: "The UK Government has set out directive guidance for sporting bodies and events in the UK with the specific aim of limiting Russia's influence. We understand and deeply regret the impact this will have on all the people affected. We believe we have made the most responsible decision possible. We believe (given Government guidance) there is no viable alternative in this truly exceptional and tragic situation."
The decision was criticised by both the ATP and the WTA and the former governing body confirmed in a statement that Wimbledon has been stripped of ranking points. The organisation said: "The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our Tour."
And the WTA swiftly followed, with chairman Steve Simon saying: "The recent decisions made by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to ban athletes from competing in the upcoming UK grass-court events violate that fundamental principle, which is clearly embodied in the WTA rules, the Grand Slam rules and the agreement the WTA has with the Grand Slams.
"As a result of the AELTC's position that it will not honour its obligation to use the WTA Rankings for entry into Wimbledon and proceed with a partial field not based on merit, the WTA has made the difficult decision to not award WTA ranking points for this year's Wimbledon Championships.
"In addition, each of the WTA-sanctioned events (Nottingham, Birmingham, and Eastbourne) will be penalised and their WTA tournament sanctions will be placed on probation. Since alternative and comparable playing and ranking point opportunities exist in the same weeks as those events for the affected players, WTA ranking points will remain in place for those events."
The ATP, WTA and ITF have stripped Wimbledon of ranking points ( Image:
Getty Images)The ITF also confirmed that Wimbledon has been stripped of ranking points for the junior and wheelchair tennis events. "This difficult decision has been taken as a protective measure that upholds the principles of open entry to international competition based on merit and protects the integrity of ITF international tennis competitions," an ITF statement read. "The ITF's position remains that Russian and Belarusian athletes remain eligible to participate as neutral athletes."
However, British number two Dan Evans has criticised the decision, insisting: "We should be playing for ranking points at Wimbledon and it will be disappointing for me as a Brit if we're not. If we're sticking it solely on tennis and not politics there should be points for Wimbledon.
"It is unfortunate for the players who can't play but there are bigger things happening which seems to be getting overlooked by the ATP here. I think the majority of the players think it is not ideal the other players can't play but there should still be points at Wimbledon.
"In my opinion they are only trying to protect the Russian players by not letting them play. There are a lot of other people losing out because of a very small minority of players who are missing the tournament."
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VIDEO - (1313) Special Address by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission | Davos | #WEF22 - YouTube
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:59
VIDEO - (14) Henk Losser on Twitter: "WEF-voorzitter #KlausSchwab en Pfizer-CEO #AlbertBourla lachen om de "fanatieke groep anti-vaxxers" die het afgelopen jaar achter #Pfizer aan gingen en de "complottheorien" die ze over zichzelf hebben gelezen...ZIEK
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:57
Henk Losser : WEF-voorzitter #KlausSchwab en Pfizer-CEO #AlbertBourla lachen om de "fanatieke groep anti-vaxxers" die het afgelop'... https://t.co/uvH4pwFPMw
Wed May 25 21:31:03 +0000 2022
Simpe : @HenkLosser ....ze zien er uit en doen ook gewoon als boeven zijn en doen! Begrip-loos, empathie-loos, het boeit ze'... https://t.co/Ul26TUyKrm
Wed May 25 21:55:40 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (14) Sky News on Twitter: "Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Pfizer's CEO Albert Bourla said COVID is still more of a worry than monkeypox at this point. Read more here: https://t.co/pB52l0g9iS https://t.co/8BlRKIu02b" / Twitter
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:55
Sky News : Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Pfizer's CEO Albert Bourla said COVID is still more of a worry tha'... https://t.co/6Xq1UkcI70
Wed May 25 21:37:02 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (14) World Economic Forum on Twitter: ".@BillGates speaks at the @Pfizer press conference. Watch here: https://t.co/QuLZ8qKqDa #wef22 https://t.co/NxWAMwaulz" / Twitter
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:51
World Economic Forum : .@BillGates speaks at the @Pfizer press conference.Watch here: https://t.co/QuLZ8qKqDa #wef22 https://t.co/NxWAMwaulz
Wed May 25 07:35:40 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (14) Jos¨ Floren§a on Twitter: "#WEF... #KlausSchwab #WEF2022 #Davos #DavosAngrier #Davos2022 #DAVOS22 #DavosAgenda #Davos ANGRIER people.. https://t.co/WVx6LTRZsZ" / Twitter
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:48
Jos¨ Floren§a : #WEF... #KlausSchwab #WEF2022 #Davos#DavosAngrier #Davos2022 #DAVOS22 #DavosAgenda #Davos ANGRIER people.. https://t.co/WVx6LTRZsZ
Wed May 25 20:11:56 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (14) The Post Millennial on Twitter: "Executive Director of Oxfam International at WEF: "COVID has been one of the most profitable products ever..." https://t.co/3hvEoFcbyi" / Twitter
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:46
The Post Millennial : Executive Director of Oxfam International at WEF: "COVID has been one of the most profitable products ever..." https://t.co/3hvEoFcbyi
Wed May 25 20:05:00 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (14) Maajid أب٠عمّار on Twitter: "WEF Shill, Yuval Noah Harari is at WAR against humanity: ''The biggest question..what to do with all these USELESS people. The problem is boredom & what to do with them.. when they are.. WORTHLESS. My be
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:38
Maajid أب٠عمّار : WEF Shill, Yuval Noah Harari is at WAR against humanity:''The biggest question..what to do with all these USELESS'... https://t.co/lu5JyqnEno
Sun May 22 10:29:09 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (1313) Russia and China advocate green corridor for grain exports - YouTube
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:36
VIDEO - (14) The Pezant Journalist '"👁 on Twitter: "WEF Davos '22 Pfizer announces partnership with Gates Foundation, Malawi & Rwanda called "Accord for a Healthier World" Bill Gates: "We're talking to the entire pharmaceutical industry about these ki
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:33
The Pezant Journalist '"👁 : WEF Davos '22Pfizer announces partnership with Gates Foundation, Malawi & Rwanda called "Accord for a Healthier W'... https://t.co/boVwhpAPVS
Wed May 25 15:53:55 +0000 2022
Mike D : @PezntJournalist Their real name https://t.co/VOSPQtOJRX
Thu May 26 01:27:17 +0000 2022
Kit Tambo : @PezntJournalist They don't have enough food and clean water is scarce... but fly into Davos on private jets to talk about ''vaccines.''
Wed May 25 23:07:38 +0000 2022
DeGenarant : @PezntJournalist @great_reset2030 His grin at the very end makes me wanna puke. His conscience knows whats really g'... https://t.co/QV8kCWHHcG
Wed May 25 22:45:11 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (14) Gert-Jan (Hoopvol, einde in zicht?) on Twitter: "@Freedom9369 I can't speak for other countries but in the Netherlands, no one was asked their opinion. The sitting government is even voting without consulting the opposition party or acknowled
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:29
Gert-Jan (Hoopvol, einde in zicht?) : @Freedom9369 I can't speak for other countries but in the Netherlands, no one was asked their opinion.The sitting'... https://t.co/PMvlaotYBR
Sun May 22 17:21:51 +0000 2022
Frank CP : @gje_74 @Freedom9369 Please, add Dominican Republic to this list. Our constitution declare us independent of any fo'... https://t.co/TUfz5Q9kXq
Mon May 23 15:04:14 +0000 2022
🍹MarieðŸ' : @gje_74 @Freedom9369 Nothing in Canada
Mon May 23 10:21:43 +0000 2022
'"PrimumNonNocere : @gje_74 @Freedom9369 The plan 👉 introduce #DigitalID and #UBI conditioning tools for more kill shots and then anno'... https://t.co/Ffg2pnCugE
Mon May 23 09:25:56 +0000 2022
Wendy Downing : @gje_74 @Freedom9369 Not the UK either.
Mon May 23 07:15:45 +0000 2022
Marc Demillequand, PhD, Chem Lc. : @gje_74 @Freedom9369 WHO = WEF = NATO https://t.co/odYrwmzS8e
Mon May 23 06:11:24 +0000 2022
Antonie de Vry : @gje_74 @Freedom9369 That is because the Netherlands are "ruled" by clowns. Even worse, they vote on subjects witho'... https://t.co/qGBkLpPTcU
Mon May 23 05:20:33 +0000 2022
Denis Kristan : @gje_74 @Freedom9369 This govermet is becoming your bigest enemy
Sun May 22 22:48:16 +0000 2022
crwlngkngsnk : @gje_74 @Freedom9369 Ireland is the same.A pretend attempt at questioning which was answered with word salad.
Sun May 22 22:26:36 +0000 2022
Pierre : @gje_74 @Freedom9369 In America, less than 10% of the citizens even know anything about it
Sun May 22 21:10:54 +0000 2022
Yasser Haaropgat : @gje_74 @Freedom9369 Neither in France,Italy or Austria .
Sun May 22 19:18:49 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (14) Andrew Lawton on Twitter: "This is a hilarious self-own. On a Davos energy transition panel, the moderator asked World Economic Forum guests to raise their hands if they had an electric vehicle. JUST FOUR of them did. https://t.co/NYFXbX8ToG"
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:28
Andrew Lawton : This is a hilarious self-own. On a Davos energy transition panel, the moderator asked World Economic Forum guests t'... https://t.co/lymOmyPCyf
Tue May 24 18:15:44 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (14) Andrew Lawton on Twitter: "A CNN anchor, the chairman of Credit Suisse, and France's top central banker giddily discuss the arrival of central bank digital currencies within five years at the World Economic Forum in Davos. https://t.co/nKPN2q
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:27
Andrew Lawton : A CNN anchor, the chairman of Credit Suisse, and France's top central banker giddily discuss the arrival of central'... https://t.co/HCBwvK0QGp
Mon May 23 20:59:45 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (14) Andrew Lawton on Twitter: "Australian eSafety commissioner Julie Inman Grant tells the World Economic Forum we need a "recalibration" of freedom of speech. https://t.co/zEq72wFhNf" / Twitter
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:25
Andrew Lawton : Australian eSafety commissioner Julie Inman Grant tells the World Economic Forum we need a "recalibration" of freed'... https://t.co/Wxb0O4x8aw
Mon May 23 16:48:42 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (1313) HSBC's Stuart Kirk tells FT investors need not worry about climate risk - YouTube
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:19
VIDEO - (1313) E69: Elon Musk on Twitter's bot problem, SpaceX's grand plan, Tesla stories, Giga Texas & more - YouTube
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:11
VIDEO - (14) Oscar Merry on Twitter: "Fascinating observation from @RichardWiseman talking to @tferriss about how we're ~20% better at detecting lies when listening to audio vs video. cc @adamcurry Full episode - https://t.co/i8hxh61bre https://t.co/BfkjV
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:09
Oscar Merry : Fascinating observation from @RichardWiseman talking to @tferriss about how we're ~20% better at detecting lies whe'... https://t.co/01AXzsJTo1
Thu May 26 14:49:20 +0000 2022
Sir Chad Farrow : @MerryOscar @adamcurry @RichardWiseman @tferriss No one does this type of deconstruction better than @adamcurry and'... https://t.co/EV7awBP1FL
Thu May 26 15:14:42 +0000 2022
Muteness : @MerryOscar @RichardWiseman @tferriss @adamcurry kinda unique observation
Thu May 26 15:13:13 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (14) Jeremy Loffredo on Twitter: "Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla explains to the WEF there's a surplus of 7,000,000,000 doses of his COVID vaccine sitting in warehouses because there aren't enough "educated populations that believe the vaccines are doin
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:07
Jeremy Loffredo : Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla explains to the WEF there's a surplus of 7,000,000,000 doses of his COVID vaccine sitting'... https://t.co/qiE3q45BcN
Thu May 26 06:09:59 +0000 2022
ðŸšSafeMoonAlien 👽 /// #NFA : @loffredojeremy @seancondev https://t.co/CT7FYxhFs4
Thu May 26 16:06:23 +0000 2022
El Justiciero : @loffredojeremy @seancondev Replace educated >> with brainwashed >> population and it makes sense ðŸ†
Thu May 26 16:05:45 +0000 2022
Sndor K¶r¶ssy : @loffredojeremy Imagine hoe much energy was wasted producimg these fake vaccins
Thu May 26 16:04:13 +0000 2022
x : @loffredojeremy told 2 shots work. now its 4...... joke of a company.
Thu May 26 16:02:56 +0000 2022
Matias #BolsonaroPresidenteAte2026 : @loffredojeremy @GFiuza_Oficial
Thu May 26 16:02:31 +0000 2022
Mamita : @loffredojeremy Ha Ha !
Thu May 26 15:58:31 +0000 2022
Pete McGregor : @loffredojeremy @plymouthian Psychopaths
Thu May 26 15:58:27 +0000 2022
St. John (pronounced Sinjun) O'Callaghan : @loffredojeremy @StockShaman Well we must be dumb if we don't agree with you, right?
Thu May 26 15:54:56 +0000 2022
Sean Davis : @loffredojeremy Garbage vaccine, put out by a garbage company and run by a garbage individual. Pfizer is a dumpster fire of a company.
Thu May 26 15:54:19 +0000 2022
Robert Pierre : @loffredojeremy Does he really believe what he is saying? I doubt it.
Thu May 26 15:53:58 +0000 2022
Chris Sheppard : @loffredojeremy What a scam!! I said it's all about money, not science!!They don't even know how to spell science!!
Thu May 26 15:52:54 +0000 2022
David Windt : @loffredojeremy "educated"https://t.co/uoRHNCgCoB https://t.co/gFNMYRYDM9
Thu May 26 15:52:11 +0000 2022
Tugay : @loffredojeremy 7 billion X $36 = $252 BILLION Just one company put in their pocket they dont want to stop #plandemic forever
Thu May 26 15:52:03 +0000 2022
VIDEO - Yuval Noah Harari ve Daniel Kahneman S¶yleşisi - Bing video
Thu, 26 May 2022 12:32
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VIDEO - dopaminergic13 on Twitter: "@adamcurry clip of the day ? No I guess he will do better sadly in the months to come https://t.co/BDnWPUqQc9" / Twitter
Mon, 23 May 2022 22:37
dopaminergic13 : @adamcurry clip of the day ? No I guess he will do better sadly in the months to come https://t.co/BDnWPUqQc9
Mon May 23 17:20:58 +0000 2022
SorenCS : @dopaminergic13 @adamcurry Flip a coin, this is either a renaissance for humanity or the start of something unimaginable.
Mon May 23 17:30:51 +0000 2022
dopaminergic13 : Impact orientated initiative you folks remember that element of language
Mon May 23 17:22:20 +0000 2022


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Audio Clips

Bridgewater Hedge Fund says we’re on cusp of 1970’s Stagflation.mp3
CBS 60 Mins Presents - anchor Leslie Stahl (1) french wine and global warming (1min3sec).mp3
CBS 60 Mins Presents - anchor Leslie Stahl (2) Greg Jones cilmatalogist (1min8sec).mp3
CBS 60 Mins Presents - anchor Leslie Stahl (3) tie climate to france (18sec).mp3
CBS 60 Mins Presents - anchor Leslie Stahl (4) harvest changed from 1354 (56sec).mp3
HSBC Stuart KirkClimate Takedown -1- intro.mp3
HSBC Stuart KirkClimate Takedown -2- climate catastrophe increases prices.mp3
HSBC Stuart KirkClimate Takedown -3- loan length six years - irrelevant after that.mp3
HSBC Stuart KirkClimate Takedown -4- rigging models with interests rates.mp3
Ask John jingle.mp3
ABC WNT - anchor David Muir - last pay phone in manhattan (13sec).mp3
Naomi Wolf on 2A.mp3
Tedros - Unfortunately there is a small minority groups that’s against the WHO Pandemic Treaty.mp3
WEF2022 - Alibaba Group president J. Michael Evans - individual carbon footprint tracker.mp3
Biden on shooting short.mp3
CHangin guns laws unlikely npr.mp3
circus is back Npr ad.mp3
emerald aash borer.mp3
Georgia elections 2r FTN.mp3
Georgia elections 3r FTN.mp3
Georgia elections Kicker FTN.mp3
Gun legislation USA KPIX.mp3
Horrid dog story.mp3
ISO ahd enough.mp3
ISO done.mp3
local TV anchor chokes up and is saved KPIX.mp3
Newsome versus Abbot KPIX.mp3
Progressives Democrats Raskin fixing things NPR.mp3
Progressives during election.mp3
progressives during electionOpen.mp3
RECALL Boudin.mp3
Sabeer rattling ABC 4 classified.mp3
Sabeer rattling ABC admiral 3parrot.mp3
Sabeer rattling ABC admiral yaks.mp3
Sabeer rattling ABC on nuke sub 1.mp3
sugar is next to rise in price.mp3
Texas Orourkke interrupts.mp3
Ukraine package one.mp3
Ukraine package two fox local.mp3
UN sanctions on NKorea npr.mp3
ABC GMA3 - anchor Dr Sutton - 2nd booster if I had covid in Jan. (29sec).mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Stefanie Ramos - pfizer data 5 and under (40sec).mp3
ABC GMA3 - anchor Dr Sutton - monkey v covid -ring vax defined (1min34sec).mp3
M5M Montage of whites becoming minority.mp3
MSNBC Russia Gate counter messaging.mp3
Richard Wiseman Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire on Tim ferris - audio lie detection is better.mp3
Elon on WeChat - the plan is this with or without twitter.mp3
ABC WNT - anchor Ian Pannell - 20 miles from the frontlines (1min51sec).mp3
Telesur - Russia and China advocate green corridor for grain exports.mp3
WEF2022 - van der Leyen keynote -2- Russian Ukriane conflict much result in BAN on Russian fuels.mp3
WEF2022 - van der Leyen keynote -4- Food - hitech solutions.mp3
WEF2022 - van der Leyen keynote -30 Refuel EU.mp3
WEF2022 - Yuval Noah Harari Israeli Professor - Klaus Schwab confidant.mp3
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla 7 billion vaccines because of educated populations.mp3
Pfizer CEO on monleypox - grunting tics.mp3
Schwab and Bourla talk about fanatical anti-vaccers targeting them.mp3
WEF2022 - At Davos HSBC fires its executive who said climate hysteria was all BS.mp3
WEF2022 - Australian eSafety commissioner Julie Inman Grant tells the World Economic Forum we need a recalibration of freedom of speech.mp3
WEF2022 - BillGates on Pizer partnership and laugh tell of new vaccine -.mp3
WEF2022 - Credit Suisse Chairman and other central bankers on CBDCs.mp3
WEF2022 - Energy panel moderator asks for hand of EV drivers.mp3
WEF2022 - Executive Director of Oxfam International - COVID has been one of the most profitable products ever.mp3
WEF2022 - Klaus Schwab - Prepare for an angrier world.mp3
WEF2022 - Pfizer announces partnership with Gates Foundation _- ESG EFFORT.mp3
WEF2022 - van der Leyen keynote -1- Intro straight into war and climate change.mp3
  • 0:00
    It's bogus. That's what it is. Adam curry, John C. Dvorak.
  • 0:04
    It's Thursday, May 26 2022. This is your award winning keep my
  • 0:07
    nation media assassination episode 1454. This is no agenda.
  • 0:14
    deconstructing Davos and broadcasting live from the heart
  • 0:17
    of the Texas hill country here in FEMA Region number six in the
  • 0:20
    morning, everybody. I'm Adam curry,
  • 0:22
    and from Northern Silicon Valley where everybody's talking about
  • 0:25
    the fact that Wendy Williams had her show stolen from her. I'm
  • 0:29
    Josie Devorah
  • 0:31
    Raglan buzzkill
  • 0:35
    it's hard for me to believe that people you know and you talk to
  • 0:38
    are really distressed about Wendy Williams. You're talking
  • 0:42
    about the showbiz talk show host Wendy Williams. Yes. She's not
  • 0:47
    like a tennis sister, another another Williams sister. You're
  • 0:51
    talking about Wendy from the
  • 0:52
    show. He's a little bigger than the other ones. But she had her
  • 0:59
    show stolen from her and it this took place about a year ago from
  • 1:02
    the anti vaxxers I
  • 1:03
    didn't know she was his anti Vax and next thing you know, she's
  • 1:07
    sick or something or she's got mental health issues. She had a
  • 1:11
    nervous breakdown, no one else say. And so they took the show,
  • 1:15
    but she can't get back on the show has been going on for
  • 1:19
    oh, wait, hold on. So so so she had to leave from I remember
  • 1:22
    this somehow God knows why. She had to leave for mental health
  • 1:26
    reasons, show business. And then someone else took over the show.
  • 1:29
    Now she's ready to come back. And they won't let her is that
  • 1:31
    what you're saying?
  • 1:32
    That's my understanding. But what's how Gray's out? I think
  • 1:36
    she's out for good. But to keeping the show going with
  • 1:38
    these phony baloney guests who is some of them are good.
  • 1:42
    Especially the good. Gay Guy is to show as gay. That's anything
  • 1:49
    successful. White gay guy. That's really funny. And I don't
  • 1:53
    know why they don't leave him on. But they today they had some
  • 1:56
    Wendy Williams clone who tried to be funny, but it was
  • 1:59
    disgusting. To me. The most disgusting part about it is that
  • 2:04
    the show itself the people that are kind of part of the show